Posted 19 December 2016 by Sal
Nothing Seems to Matter
I found myself revisiting the bleakness this past week that we talked about during our individual sessions. I found myself thinking a lot about how everything is preordained and nothing really matters. I realized this was just a thought, but I seem to keep revisiting this bleakness.
What do you mean by “nothing matters?”
There is no one here. There is no chooser and no doer. So, things just happen and none of it really matters.
None of it really matters to whom? Let’s look. Does it matter if someone you love is sick? Does it matter if someone is abusing a child? Does it matter if our crazy politicians start these wars in foreign countries and slaughter millions of innocent people? I think it matters.
In freedom, you have all the care in the world. You can care and feel deeply people’s pain and the insanity of the lunatic mind. “Nothing matters” is just a concept. Because there is no doer does not mean regular emotions like compassion, sadness or empathy won’t arise. No doer, just means there’s no one creating those emotions, they are just arising. Of course, the care for your children and the care for your family matters.
The most valuable thing is to know your essential nature is free. That is the most important thing. Everything else comes and goes without exception. I think when you recognize your essential nature, you care more deeply.
If you look at the opposite of a free person, someone who is schizophrenic, they don’t care about anything. They are too wrapped up in their own pathologies to care. Someone who is open and healthy, and not so focused on self, can care for others. I often say that enlightenment is not for you, it is for everyone else. As Douglas Harding said, “Can’t you see, I’m space for you to be.” What he is saying is that there is no one here, there’s only freedom. What we are usually saying is, “Can’t you see, I am a psychological mess that you have to deal with?”
The pathological mind is a burden not just to oneself, but to the whole world. Look at the shape the world is in. I look at the news and it breaks my heart. I think it matters and I am disgusted by what is going on. Why is this going on? Because there are pathologies in the human mind. The mind is filled with them. The personal pathologies create the pathologies in the world.
Usually, the people with the most power have the most pathologies. The most destructive pathologies are greed, the lust for power and control. People in power achieve these positions because of these pathologies.
“Nothing matters” is a halfway around the circle concept like the Neo-Advaita view—I am only awareness. The Neo-Advaitists say, “I am awareness and the body does not matter because all of this is an illusion.” Under this philosophy, people believe it does not matter if they lose a child. What a ridiculous philosophy of conceptualism. Full circle means you see that you are human and you can care because you are healthy. You can care more. You feel more.
“Nothing matters” is a bit philosophical as well. It needs to go full circle. You are not just awareness. You are the Absolute appearing as you. You are the Absolute. You are it. You are IT. The body is the appearance of IT. The body is not something appearing separate from the Absolute, God. It is the appearance of God. This is full circle and is what non-duality really means.
A healthy, free person, who knows their essential nature and who values truth, knows all of this form is ephemeral. It all comes and goes. It all changes, and to be fully pathologically attached to something that causes suffering is not healthy. This does not mean that in the time of an appearance of your family, friends, or the world, that nothing matters. It is called the Play of Leela. Enjoy, as it is a play! It is not called the “The illusion that does not matter.”
Of course, we want to care, but we have these concepts of what enlightenment is and we think we should not care about anything. This is not true. What good is enlightenment if there is no caring. It is pointless. My favorite saying is from the Zen master Dogen, “Next to kindness, enlightenment is the most important thing.” I think wanting to be free is all about caring. The more you recognize your essential freedom and see the value in it, the more you recognize it is not about you. With this work, you are removing one more malignancy from the world, and you are caring.
We hear all these spiritual concepts that if you are enlightened, then nothing will touch you, and you won’t be attached. In a way it is true, but it is not the way we think. We are still human.
Inquirer 2: Meaninglessness and purposelessness are concepts that I have heard and misunderstood. I can see why because when I am living through concepts, things can appear meaningless. But, when there are no concepts, there can be no meaning.
It is good that you brought this up because when we are on a holiday, we see this moment can only be as it is. The question, “What is the meaning of this moment?” becomes irrelevant. There is no meaning for this moment. It just is. The word meaningless brings with it a connotation of cynicism and negativity. People think it is very depressing. However, no meaning does not equate to meaningless. No meaning simply means what is, is.
In truth, there is no meaning for this moment. Any meaning we could find for this moment has to be some idea generated by the mind. You can ascribe meaning to this moment if you want. It is fine. I don’t particularly see a reason to do it. Some people like to feel they have a purpose. If they feel the need to have a purpose, that is okay, but know it is just a self-ascribed purpose. It does not mean it is the actual purpose.
What is the meaning of my life? What is my purpose? These are very philosophical questions and they never get answered because there are no answers. Let’s be on holiday.
This moment just is.
What is the meaning of this moment?
No one knows.
It does not have a meaning, and it is not meaningless.
Those are just concepts.
It just is.
What is, is.
Who knows why?
It is nice to not care about why anything is the way that it is. I don’t care to attempt to know why this moment is. I do care about the people in my life, humanity and the world. Those I care about. I just don’t care to know why this moment is the way that it is. There is no answer. It just is.