I see you look only at the constructions of the I-ego and end up thinking and believing that those constructions are who you are. But that is a superficial examination of who you are. There is some apparent truth in doing that – the constructions do appear but they are not what is real. They are reflections of the mind in the mind. Anything, any reflection in the mind is apparent truth. It doesn’t last. And more times than not it is flawed–meaning it is murky. The murkiness covers what is real.
Think of it as a patchwork quilt, an old fashioned one. It was sewn out of rags, bits and pieces leftover from a variety of worn out clothes. You use the patchwork quilt to keep you warm or as a decorative wall piece, prettied up or to show off your skills – this is much like how you use the ‘I-ego.’ Little kids do this and so do you. You use your ‘I-ego’ to keep cozy, sometimes you feel boastful and proud, sometimes you show off, sometimes angry and hurt. All of it being fabricated out of rags; leftovers from various bits you learned. This fabricated ‘I-ego’ is not real because it is impermanent.
Time and time again you go back to the bits of rag to explain your behavior, to defend how you got to where you are and to protect your positions in everyday life. We all can see this fabrication. But spiritual work asks of you and me to set aside that quilt in order to see and know and realize the flawless awareness that is the emanation of the threads of all the fabrications.
Right now the best I can tell you is that the emanations are like the silky threads that surprise us. What I mean is that you have walked into a spider web – and although the spider is exponentially smaller than your body mass you get caught in the unseen, sticky silky threads. The flawless is like that – to see and realize the silky web in the emptiness of the space without covering up with the fabricated quilt. You are afraid to uncover.
When you find yourself touched by the web, your reaction is to struggle to get out of it – usually the silk feels annoying and you want to get it off your face & hands and be on your way. What I am trying to say is the mysterious and often unseen silk rising out of the belly of the spider is the emanation of the threads of all the fabrications of the world. BUT you think these threads are either an irritation or a boon depending upon your conditions. You miss, altogether, the emanation in the emptiness of space because of your focus is on your bits of rag that you have put together.
This leads to a be-damned attitude with all the other silky threads. You strengthen your separate, frail apparent ‘I-ego’ and enter the realm of suffering. You cry out in all manner of ways about your little self.
Self-examination is essential if you are interested in finding liberation – not the liberation of dogma and doctrine or denomination but the ineffable, indescribable emanation of emptiness. When St. A studied wisdom deeply she discovered that the bits and pieces of the ‘I-ego,’ i.e., form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and self-consciousness are impermanent her suffering stopped. To think otherwise, leads to the mark of existence which is suffering.
With great encouragement for you,
Author: FaShi Lao Yue
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