Nowhere Man

DISCOURSE ELEVEN

What is nowhere to the body consciousness is everywhere spiritually;
Our outer-nature ridicules Contemplation as a waste of time

On the same topic, someone may tell you to gather all your strength and worship the Unborn internally. That is all well and good but I don’t recommend this since someone may take the advice literally. Always see to it that you are no way “within yourself”—nor above, nor below, nor on one side, nor on the other.

“Well then,” you will ask, “in this line of reasoning I will end-up being nowhere!” That is simply wonderful, for THAT is where I would have you be—nowhere!” Why? Because nowhere materially is everywhere spiritually. Always make sure and be aware that your Contemplative work is completely divorced from the material. Yea, your spiritual work is never in any particular physical place. Recollect that whatever your mind is focusing on, truly you will be there in spirit just as your bodily form is in the location you are physically.

Of course, during the course of your Contemplative work, the skandhic mind with its five functions will assume that you are doing nothing because it has nothing to feed upon, nothing to drain your energies away from your spiritual faculties. Never allow those miserable skandhic bandits to gain the upper hand, just continue to persevere in that nothingness with the assurance that the Unborn Lord is always very near at hand. For I tell you truly that it is far better for you to be nowhere bodily, wrestling with your body consciousness, than to reign supreme in the land as some lord of leisure enjoying everything as if you personally owned all of it.

I say unto you, abandon the world’s “everywhere” and “something” for THAT marvelous “nothingness” and “nowhere”. Don’t ever feel anxious that your body consciousness is unable to comprehend IT. All is simply unfolding as it should—for this nothingness is so lofty that nothing in the created order could ever reach IT. For IT can never be understood, dissected, and studied; IT can only be lived.

For the newly initiated, IT will only appear to be very dark and inscrutable. At this early junction one is blinded by the very splendor of its spiritual light and not by rays of ordinary darkness nor the absence of physical light. So, then, who is this that labels this spiritual wonder as mere emptiness? Only the superficial self and not the Real Self. For the Real Self proclaims IT as the ALL; but at the same time, as no-thing. For in this Luminous Darkness one intuitively knows the essence of all things—both material and spiritual—devoid of any particular focus to any one thing by itself.

This is my favorite discourse since it directly addresses the via negativa of Dionysius. Nowhere constitutes location-less when assigned to materiality; yet it becomes everywhere when assigned to the spirit: the Unborn is everywhere at once and yet nowhere in particular. And it is through the Dark Principle of Nowhere-ness, in the stateless state, that adepts need to find imageless habitation. The Unborn as well is never to be consigned with anything imaginable or intelligible—in this sense IT is always a no-thing. Another mystic of the negative path is Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj; he was always quite at home with nothingness:

Who is to get on? I have no pose, no stance, no fixed form of my own. If I had, it would be difficult to relate to anybody. Since I don’t have any form, by nothingness I have become the subtlest, so I can fit into anything, any situation…

In that nothingness, what is present? That “you” which has been present in that nothingness and has had the experience of nothingness, who or what is that? If there is nothingness, then there is nothingness about [nothing left of] an individual either. So who is it who is grumbling, who is not satisfied with the experience, with the nothingness? If there is nothingness, there must be total nothingness. There can’t be an individual who is away from it and can still say. “There is nothingness.” So what is this individual, who is not satisfied with the total nothingness, which it is? Who is dissatisfied? Who is grumbling? In that nothingness, the individual also must be dissolved. Then who is it that is grumbling? Who is it that is not satisfied?

I have come to this nothingness in which the search has ended because the seeker has also disappeared into that nothingness of which we are talking.

When asked, “The problem is where do I go from here?” Maharaj responded, Who? The question is “who” is to go anywhere? It started with the whole thing and the circle is now complete. In that nothingness, we are also nothingness. So who is to go anywhere? For whom are there any more questions left? In that nothingness, anything is nothingness. You are also nothingness. (from The Experience of Nothingness, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s Talks on Realizing the Infinite)

For the Real Self proclaims IT as the ALL: John of the Cross Wrote, “In order to be the All, desire to be nothing.”

This entry was posted in The Cloud of Unknowing in Light of the Unborn and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter Captcha Here : *

Reload Image