Saying For Today: A hundred mirages created from one mirage is each one a mirage. Non-being cannot think its way to being.
Miracles of the Light
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
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A seeker asked the Sage, "Sir, do I go outside myself or within myself to find myself?" "Neither," replied the Sage. "Or either, until there is no outside or inside to go to."
That you are cannot be located in time and space. Looking into the past or future, you cannot find it. Looking in any direction, you cannot locate it. But, to find it, you must look. All this can be seen to be terrible news. Or it can be seen to be good news.
*Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."
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A stranger seeking to meet Bayazid Bistami, a ninth-century Sufi sage, came to his door. The man spoke, "I'm looking for Bayazid." The sage answered, "The truth is I myself have been looking for him for the last thirty years."
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Bayazid recognized Bayazid was an adornment for whom Bayazid was not and could not be. Yet, he knew he could not meet the one he was without who he was not seeking for who he was.
For one to know what or who one is, nonexistence seeks existence. Nonexistence does this from a feeling of deprivation, a being ill-at-ease. Nonexistence means no self-existence, while existence means existing without relying on anything outside or other. That is, you cannot be explained or described as a result of causes and conditions. You are outside of continuity, so birthless and deathless; what you are not is within continuity, so bound to birth and death. Hence, to arrive at the startling truth of your nonexistence, though painful and confusing, is a crucial point of transformation. Few, if any, will awaken spiritually without undergoing this bewilderment. Yet, how fortunate are those who become puzzled with the overwhelming sense of their non-being.
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As a wise saying says, "What we speak of can never be found by seeking, yet only those who seek find." Another way of saying this is, "We cannot find that we are by seeking; yet, seeking is essential to lead us where seeking cannot lead us."
Knowing this paradox, we might wish to see the joke played on us, and we might want to laugh, seeing the trick works. The enigma is a back door approach that works by a snicking up on us - that is, who we think we are.
If who we think we are formulates what it sees itself to be - a front door approach -, thereby claiming that it has found who it truly is, that will only be a new version of the same self, a replication of nonexistence, non-being copying itself. A hundred mirages created from one mirage is each one a mirage. Non-being cannot think its way to being.
Grace has its ways of surprising us despite ourselves, thankfully so. Hence, somehow, the dissolving of self-effort in seeking allows that self to relax. Exhausted by the non-self seeking faithfully, the self shows itself. Grace is present in the futile search, assuring the futility proves finally fruitful.
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Does one, then, disdain the non-self when seeing its mirage-like nature? No. When the non-self sees the self, the non-self comes to know itself, if anything, as more holy, not less holy. I intentionally said above, "Bayazid recognized Bayazid was an adornment for whom Bayazid was not and could not be." Consequently, that we are not is precious, and that we are reverences it as a shadow of itself - a holy shadow.