I have been reflecting on what happens when people become apparently immersed in the teachings, dedicating their lives to them. A number of options are possible. On the one hand the teachings can function like any neatly worked out theory or explanation of life: as a way to take refuge when in doubt and consolation when in pain or delight when happy. It becomes a system, a worldview invested with the highest value and upheld as such to the detriment of any other view or of anything not measuring up to its assumed 'standards'. If somebody is sufficiently identified with this kind of process, it can give them a sense of an equally elevated importance, with the accompanying danger of a solipsistic dismissal of others. It can easily lead people into a quality of misanthropic isolation. The qualities of wholeness the teachings convey are not easy to find in the labyrinth of relationships and ideational and emotional constructs competing, inwardly and outwardly, for space and priority in our lives. So one can blame others for their lack and proceed to avoid them. The identification with such descriptions can end up alienating the adept from other people as unworthy of that sacred trust. And while there might be a point of not throwing such pearls to swine, the swine nonetheless cannot be ignored, for they are our vulnerable and beastly brothers.The thing with the teachings is that they are open-ended. At their core there is, literally, nothing.

The thing with the teachings is that they are open-ended. At their core there is, literally, nothing.

The thing with the teachings is that they are open-ended. At their core there is, literally, nothing. It is all based not on description and reasoning, however factual, but on seeing and not just any seeing but 'timeless' seeing in which accumulation of any kind is not just irrelevant but positively detrimental. So trying to build a refuge, a theory or a cudgel with which to browbeat others out of the teachings is ultimately futile. This can in turn lead to a certain feeling of futility because the notions one may entertain can easily show their hollowness when faced with the actuality of one's life. The authenticity the teachings demand transcends the conceptual and thus directly places the adept in the no-man's land of ungraspable 'truth'. To be one with what is from moment to moment is a discipline erasing all identity. Time is not the means and becoming is not the end. It is a timeless process of choiceless negation. While in principle this makes for real humility, it can also give rise to a panic fear, leading people back to the first option or causing them to abandon the endeavor altogether

K would maintain that between the known and the unknown there is no bridge, that they have no meeting point. So while for him there is no duality, there is nonetheless a gap in the universe. I get the feeling that living means navigating just such impossible straits.

It's been a sunny and beautiful day. I am still hoping that the temperatures will remain mild (relatively speaking) to the point of avoiding snow and ice. Maybe one frost or two, a couple of snow flakes adorning the thorny hedges, a thin blanket of whiteness and stillness over the sloping dikes, but no chilling winds and frozen lakes. This morning I was hearing a dove cooing on the branches of the alders outside my window. It sounded a bit mechanical, I thought, but it was a sign of something pleasantly out of season. The trees themselves still retain their green foliage, which must delight the doves. Leaves do fall but reluctantly as though more out of a seasonal obligation than of their own accord. There is something positively despondent in the way they waddle down to the ground. And sometimes at night I hear the migrating geese following the high call of their yearly migrations. I am glad that so much life still exists and I can't help but feel a certain awe and reverence for its miraculous gift.