It’s very simple therefore. You only have to understand that you can’t do anything about it. And as they say in Zen, you cannot take hold of it, but you can’t get rid of it. And in not being able to get it, you get it. So all these trials that gurus put their students through have as their ultimate object convincing you that you can’t do anything. Only it’s convincing you very thoroughly, it’s convincing you in more than a theoretical way. Now perhaps I shouldn’t tell you that. But you see I’m not a guru. In that, I don’t give individual spiritual direction to people. And I give away the guru’s tricks. That not may not be very good, but on the other hand, those tricks are only necessary in the sense that, I would say to someone it’s necessary for you to go to a psychiatrist if you think you must. And if you’re not going to be satisfied without going to Japan and study ins and Buddhism from an Roshi, ‘OK you better go.’ It isn’t necessary unless you say it is. If that’s the only thing that will satisfy you, and you feel that deep down inside you you’ve got that yearning therefore you’ve got that yearning. But on the other hand you have and you haven’t. And I’m not going to put you down on that account you see. The particles What do you want to do? What is it in you to do?
But there it is. That you can struggle and struggle and struggle. And indeed will do so, as long as you have the feeling inside you to missing something. And, people, your friends, all sorts of people will do the utmost to persuade you that you’re missing something. Because they’re missing something, and they think they’re getting it through a certain way and therefore to assure themselves that like you to do it to. So there’s this thing, and you see a clever guru beguiles his students, by letting them have the feeling of success and accomplishment in certain directions. A guru gives people exercises A. that are difficult but can be accomplished and B. that are impossible. You will always be hung up on the impossible ones but the possible ones you will feel get a feeling of making progress, so that you will double your efforts to solve the impossible exercises. And then they range things in many many ranks and levels through which you can advance. This stage of consciousness that state of consciousness all think of the degrees of Masonry or so on, ranks or learning things, the different belts you get in Judo market. You can do that. And gives people the sets of competing with themselves or even with others. Because of the feeling inside that there is just something I’m missing. And of course, if you are learning any sort of skill, and you haven’t perfected the skill, there is indeed something you’re missing.
But in this thing that we’re talking about, that isn’t true. Because you, as the Buddhists say, are Buddhas from the very beginning. And all that searching is like looking for your own head. Which you can’t see, and therefore might conceivably imagine that you’re lost. So, that indeed is the point. That we don’t see what looks. And therefore, we think we’ve lost it. And so, we’re in search of the Self the Atman. Well that’s the one thing we can’t find. Because we have it, we are it! But we confuse it, with all these images. So therefore, if you understand perfectly clearly that you can’t do anything. To find that very very, important thing. God, enlightenment, Nirvana. Whatever. Then what?
Well, I find you know it’s so stupid, because even if I tell myself well there’s nothing I can do about it. Why did I say that? You see. Why did I say that? Why did I go out of my way to tell myself there’s nothing I can do about it? Because, in the back of my mind, there’s the funny little feeling that if I did tell myself that something different but how easy all right. So even that doesn’t work, nothing works. Now and absolutely no. Nothing works where are you. Well here we are I mean you know this is feeling something going on oh well doesn’t stop dead when there’s nothing you can do. Because there’s something happening.
Now just there. That’s what I’m talking about, there’s the happening. When you are not doing anything about it you’re not not doing anything about it you just can’t help it it goes on despite anything you think or worry about or whatever, now there is the point. Right there. And remember, although you will think that first that this is a kind of determinism, there are two reasons why it isn’t. One, there is no-body being determined. Now, other people think of determinism, as the direction of what happens by the past. The causation of what happens by the past. Now, if you will use your senses, you will see that that is a hallucination. The present does not come from the past. If you listen, and only listen, close your eyes. Where do the sounds come from, according to your ears? You hear, you hear them coming out of silence. The sounds come and then they fade off. They go like echoes or echoes in the labyrinths of your brain, which we call memories. The sounds don’t come from the past. They come out of now and trail off. You can do that later with your eyes. You can see, like when you’re watching television, there’s a vibration coming out of the screen to your eyes. And it starts from there somehow. Because we see the hands and then they move, we think that the movement is caused by the hands, and that the hands were there before and so can move later. We don’t see that our memory of the hands is an echo of their always being now. They never were, they never will be, they’re always now. So is the motion. And that that is recollected is the trailing off echo like the wake of a ship. And so, just as the wake doesn’t move the ship, the past does not move the present. Unless you insist that it does. And if you say, ‘Well naturally I’m always moved by the past.’ That’s an alibi. And it completely fails to explain how you never learn anything new. And that’s why all the psychologists who are mostly behaviorists are completely bogged down in trying to find a theory of learning. Because according to the the theory of learning that we have, everything they knew that you assimilate is really only learned when translated into terms of what you already know.
So in that sense, learning becomes like a library, which increases only by the addition of books about books already in it. And a lot of libraries are indeed like that. So, that’s what we call scholasticism. So then, you become aware that this happening isn’t happening to you, because you are happening. The only you there is, is what’s going on. You know, feel it. And disregard these stupid distinctions that you’ve been taught I mean stupid relatively speaking. And feel it genuinely. When you feel genuinely, you get down to rock bottom all that isn’t there. That’s a game that’s been erected on. And it isn’t determined. In other words, you get this odd feeling of a synthesis between doing and happening. In which doing is as much happening as happening and happening is as much doing as doing. And if you’re not very careful at that point you’ll Plame yourself God Almighty, in the Hebrew-Christian sense. Like Freud alleges, babies feel that they’re omnipotent. And in a way they are. I am omnipotent insofar as on the universe. But I’m not omnipotent in the role of Alan Watts. Only cunning.
So now then, this sensation of that happening is basic to all we would want to explore. It’s there as you see you can’t do anything. And that as you see you can’t do anything, you don’t go and distract yourself with something else, like committing suicide. Or getting drunk, or any sort of distraction. Because if you do that, you will miss what follows, from the feeling of what is going on when you’re not doing anything. When you’re not able even to not do anything. See, this is a sticky place. You can’t get in, and you can’t get out. That’s why it’s called in Zen it’s called the mosquito biting the Iron Bull. Or the man who swallowed a ball of red hot iron that she can’t gulp down can’t spit out. It’s that difficult What are you to do or not do not tell Suzy that dilemma. That what you saw was you just isn’t there at all. I don’t make it difficult because that’s a form of evading it. Don’t make it easy, that’s a form of evading. It’s neither difficult no easy because if it were difficult it would have to be difficult for someone if it were easy it would have to be easy for someone. And the someone we’re talking about is just the one that isn’t there. And if you think it is there, okay, it’s a free country you can have that thought but it’s a thought. In other words your ego is a thought among thoughts it is not in fact the controlling thinker, or the feeler or the sensor. It’s one of them.
And so therefore all this thing is going along. And as I say we get anxious because we feel nobody is in control but nobody ever was. Now in your lives as far a reasonably orderly life I mean that have been some catastrophes and messes, but it’s amazing how we have got this far I mean the thing looks after itself. And you well remember that a lot of times that when you thought you were in charge and doing something sensible, you did something extremely foolish and when you thought you did something extremely foolish, it turned out to be a blessing. And that’s the way things go.
Now of course, this is a dangerous way of speaking, to people who are in the process of young people especially, who are still in the process of learning elementary competence in the culture, learning the taboos and the conventions. Because we take their minds off the happening. To do that, well it isn’t necessary to do it that way. It isn’t really necessary to turn a child into a moron in the process of becoming an adult, but that’s what we do. Because we teach a child to be a child. And that that prevents them from growing up. It’s a method of keeping them off the labor market. But if you take that to speak to a child from the beginning as if it were an adult, and talk not baby talk, but straight language, your child will become Master of English language, say about three years old. Certainly in talking it. And will be able to tell you a lot of funny things you don’t know. But then, the trouble is you have to send the thing to school. Where if it is that advanced it will be regarded as a freak. And have a very bad time of it so it will have to conceal itself as a moron. But sometimes children are brought up without that interruption of being a child. You know with all the cutie pie stuff and that’s what bores me about Christmas it’s a way of commercializing childhood. So there’s our basic part of departure. And I will have an intermission in which we will have coffee and…