I have a friend who is anorexic. She knows that she is thin. By this I mean that she knows what her clothing size is; what her weight is; her body fat index, and all of that. She knows what the ideal weight for her age and height is, and she knows that she is well under that weight. On top of all of that, she was a psychology major. She knows how she was abused as a child, how it affected her, and the deep-seeded causes behind her condition.
All of this knowledge though, and she is still just as lost as she ever was in the cycle. She “knows” but there is no real “knowing”.
She can weigh herself. She can do experiments. She can read books upon books. She can become an expert on studies on anorexics. However, there is still a disconnect. Obviously, there is a difference between knowing and knowing. Or, to put it better, there is a difference between knowing and enlightenment.
Hopefully one day some flash will go off in her head (or her heart), and she will “know” that she is not fat. Until that happens though, she is going to keep looking in that mirror and will keep on seeing that thing she hates.
Enlightenment is like that though. You can not read it in a book. Hell, even if someone else has found out what the “answer to it all” is — they can not tell you what it is. Even if they told you… you would not “get it”. Sure, you may intellectually get it, but you will not really get it. There is a difference.
No Zen Master, Priest, Monk, Sage… whatever, can really tell you what answer it is that you are looking for. If they told you, you would not really understand it anyway — not until you seek it out and really know it for yourself. That is just the way it is. Until that happens were are just telling the thin girl that she is not fat over and over again.
Every day this past week I have seen people in Q&A sessions with this Zen Priest, asking him “What have you learned?”, “What great question have you found the answer to?”, “What is enlightenment?”… “What is the answer!?”.
He can not give you that answer. Heck if he did then he probably just made it even harder for you to ever find out the answer to that question since now you heard it and it is going to do nothing for you, and so that is going to be the last answer you consider ever considering again during your search.
You have to find it yourself. You have to come to know it yourself.
I watch people get frustrated at his not telling them what they want to hear, but I understand why there is not use to it. It will not do any good. They just need to sit down and shut up and come to find it themselves. One time I saw him get pestered to the point that the told them the answer to what “great revelation” he has had recently… and after he gave it the person only looked disappointed because it seemed meaningless or trivial to them. They simply did not get it.
We are all suffering from various delusions. We would not know the truth even if it came along and bit us on the ass. Hell, even if we did come to a “knowing” based on intellect or books/study — that is not the same thing. We may walk around think we now “know”, but it is not a real knowing. Until it has become real enlightenment… we are just more people, like my friend, suffering from anorexia but knowing that we are thin.
For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com