Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round; I really love to watch them roll. No longer riding on the merry-go-round; I just had to let it go.
I don’t think anyone is already born a great, enlightened master. Most of us are normal, or at least pretty normal, when we’re first born. And for a while, the world has something to offer us. There’s love, and sex, and violence, and nature, and oceans, and art, and emotion. There are both beautiful and horrible grandiose things in this world for us to experience. And there’s so much that a lifetime isn’t enough time to even start to do it all.
But some of us manage to gain a bit of enlightenment. It starts as just a small peak at what else is out there beyond the physical. And suddenly we’re exposed to something so much greater than anything that can be found on this world. There exists infinite universes with countless variations of physical properties. This single lifetime loses meaning as one starts to see dozens or hundreds of lifetimes that went before it and they start planning the hundreds of lifetimes yet to come in the infinite future. Out there, outside of this world, there are countless new adventures to be had and millions of new experiences that are both wonderful and horrible.
And what can this small, lowly world ever offer that can compare to completely letting oneself go and becoming one with the universe, feeling all of its power coursing through us, as it violently whips us where it will? How can any connection made in this world hold meaning next to a divine connection? What physically sexual act is as wondrous as having another entity’s soul merge completely with your own before breaking away, each of you leaving a part of yourself in the other, and becoming soul mates for all eternity?
After we’ve experienced enough, we’ve found some truth. That this world and this lifetime is insignificant. We can easily puzzle out any mystery this world can give us. So we sit as wise gurus and call ourselves enlightened masters talking about illusions and the meaninglessness of this existence. The real point of existence lies in our spirituality, not in our physicality. The body is a sack of meat we’ll soon discard, the soul is the real treasure that will be with us forever. Wealth and comfort and physical pleasures are vain pursuits that offer us no lasting value.
And most end their road of spiritual discovery here and think they’re masters.
In order for one to gain certain types of wisdom and power, they need to expose themselves to the greater aspects of the universe, and unfortunately this will destroy all of the physical things they have cherished because they can’t compete with what’s out there.
But it isn’t supposed to end there. There’s yet another stage where the adept comes down from this level and is once again able to see the full wonder and beauty of what exists in this world, in this physically, the same as the naive mundane looking upon this world for the first time, except that they can fully experience that beauty through eyes that have also seen those other wondrous things.
We once had complete access to all of those things that exist outside of physicallity. Our bodies weigh us down and limit us. When we die, we’ll regain access to all of those things again if we choose them. But each of us gave up all of that access and power we once had, we willingly sacraficed it. And we did that because we saw something in being a physical entity that was worth more to us than that. We each saw a greater beauty here, in this world, than what existed out there, and we each have our lessons to learn here too.
And if you aren’t dead yet, you haven’t finished what you’re supposed to be doing here. There’s some riddle you haven’t yet solved, or some indulgence you haven’t yet had, or some bit of business you’ve neglected and left unfinished.
And the true master realizes that their life cannot be completely focused on their spirituality, because if that was their purpose and what their soul truly wanted and needed, they wouldn’t be alive. And the true master can see the value in physical happiness, in enjoying themselves during this lifetime, and indulging in those things that bring them pleasure.
You gave up so much to come to this world because it could offer you something that you thought held a greater value. So find out what that is, grab it, and indulge in it.
You don’t gain spiritual power by sacrificing the things that bring you joy for no purpose whatsoever.