But just what is thinking? Is this massive barrage of intake, evaluation, analysis, conclusion thinking? The answer may seem obvious, but I am not at all sure it is.
If we study the parts that "do" this for long enough, we eventually reach the conclusion that they are indeed, as Gurdjieff advised us, mechanical. That is, there are automatic parts that are, so to speak, "hard wired" which mediate this process.
All too often, at work, someone asks me a question and a part of me that knows the answer spits that answer out almost instantly, while something else in me-- something that is not part of the "thought" process- sits back and watches and says to its self (I speak figuratively here, because this observing part seems to be for the most part strictly "non-verbal") "Wow. Where did that come from? That is way cool."
So there are all these parts inside the machine that act automatically. 99.9% of my manifestation arises from and is filtered through these parts.
For our purposes, we must understand that everything that thinks is "I." Whatever thinks is not Truth. To state it positively, it may be a fragment of Truth, but it is only a bit of what's actually going on. We become identified with that bit and so we are that bit. We're back to the "discrimination of the conceptual mind," which Ch'an master Ta Hui described as worse than poisonous snakes or fierce tigers.
There has to come a moment when we stand in front of this blackboard called life, called "I," take the eraser in hand, and boldly, ruthlessly, confidently sweep the entire slate clean in, as my father says, "one swell foop."
Bang. The clutter is gone. There is NOTHING there.
The blackboard is now pregnant. We take one baby step forward into a realm where there are no definitions. A realm where all things live and breathe, where all conditions are unconditional. It's a realm of 100% not knowing, where everything is understood as it is.
Could it be?
We're all sitting right on the edge of enlightenment, all the time. It's just... over... there. Not such a big deal. But our minds are too short to reach it.
There are a lot of moments in the average day when everything is so obviously crappy I wonder why I don't just throw it all away. As I just said to a friend of mine (the famous rlnyc of Doremishock blog fame) my diapers all come pre-tizzied.
The dilemma arises: do I really like holding all these smelly diapers so much?
Or should I immediately abandon them?
It's time for a change of pace.
Today is a day to water the trees and throw fruit down the well.