Words Are The Outer Layer Of The TeachingAs much as I enjoy the exchange with others on the path, all too often it turns from honest self-inquiry into a battlefield of opinions. Would you comment?
In the Indian tradition, the teaching is a transference of insight or energy according to the capacity of the student, activated by the Guru or teacher.
Words can be used or not, but they are not the main vessel. As much as I enjoy the exchange with others on the path, all too often it turns from honest self-inquiry into a battlefield of opinions. Would you comment?
Daniela: In the Indian tradition, the teaching is a transference of insight or energy according to the capacity of the student, activated by the Guru or teacher. Words can be used or not, but they are not the main vessel.
As much as I enjoy the exchange with others on the path- all too often it turns from honest self-inquiry into a battlefield of opinions. Would you comment?
Rupert: You are quite right that the words are not the main vessel of the teaching. They are the outer layer of the teaching.
However, there is much more to language that the stringing together of abstract sounds. We all know for instance that that there are innumerable ways to simply say ‘Hello.’ Each of these different ways will add depth and meaning to the word. In fact it is the way we say the word rather than the word itself that is its true import. Likewise there are many other aspects of the teacher or the teaching which convey the essence of the understanding.
However even more potent than these subtler ways of communicating is the love and understanding from which the words arise. If our words come from this silence they come as it were, pregnant with it, and they deliver their silence straight into the heart of the listener. The listener may not even be aware that this seed of silence has been planted in the heart. It is only later when it begins to grow in us that the mind takes note of the fact that something has changed. We do not need to know, in fact we cannot know how or when this seed was planted.
It is like falling in love. Why was it that particular face or that particular smile that stirred this depth of love? Who knows and who cares!
And when this love was stirred in us was it not something that we had always known but seemingly forgotten? Do we not recognise this love as the most intimate and familiar thing we know? Do we not know that it is for this that we live….not for the person, but for this love?
It is the same with the teaching or the teacher. What is it about the teaching or the teacher that seems to precipitate this awakening of love for the absolute? I do not know! How is it that a look or a word or a gesture can melt the heart? I do not know!
To begin with it may seem that this love is dependent upon the teacher just as when we are teenagers we feel that love is dependent on our sweetheart. But in time, this perfume lingers when the teacher or the teaching is not present. Maybe just the thought of the teacher or the teaching is all that is required to reawaken this love that lives in the heart.
In time even the thought of the teacher or the teaching is not needed ...this love simply awakens to itself at its own bidding. In fact it has always been like that…..the teacher, the teaching, the lover, the child, were only the forms that this love took to draw the apparent entity back into the heart.
This is only written for those of us whose path has been through a relationship with a teacher. It is not everybody’s way.
Turning now to your question about the exchange of words such as takes place in a forum like this and the potential for self-enquiry to turn into a battlefield of opinions, I would say this. It is true that a forum such as this has its limitations, but that does not in any way invalidate it.
I have little experience of other forums but from the correspondence I have received in private from many people in this group, I am under the impression that what is taking place here is unusual.
Out of over a hundred questions and answers only a small handful have been merely intellectual. In fact I have been very touched by the depth, openness, sincerity and honesty of our correspondence and, I have to admit, surprised by just how much can be communicated in a forum like this.
If we find ourselves disliking part of the correspondence, we should simply ignore it and move on…it was not meant for us! Not everybody is going to be interested in everything that is said here, nor is it necessary to read everything.
We may simply choose those parts of the correspondence that resonate with our own experience and leave the rest. If we have a problem with others we simply enter the battlefield.