Ancient man knew, in the most direct fashion, what to do and how best to do it. But, because he performed so well, he started to develop a sense of selfness, which gave him the feeling that he could predict and plan the actions he was used to performing. And thus the idea of an individual "self" appeared; an individual self which began to dictate the nature and scope of man's actions. As the feeling of the individual self became stronger, man lost his natural connection to silent knowledge. Modern man, being heir to that development, therefore finds himself so hopelessly removed from the source of everything that all he can do is express his despair in violent and cynical acts of self-destruction. The reason for man's cynicism and despair is the bit of silent knowledge left in him, which does two things: one, it gives man an inkling of his ancient connection to the source of everything; and two, it makes man feel that without this connection, he has no hope of peace, of satisfaction, of attainment.
Our difficulty with this simple progression is that most of us are unwilling to accept that we need so little to get on with. We are geared to expect instruction, teaching, guides, masters. And when we are told that we need no one, we don't believe it. We become nervous, then distrustful, and finally angry and disappointed. If we need help, it is not in methods, but in emphasis. If someone makes us aware that we need to curtail our self-importance, that help is real.
Explanations are never wasted, because they are imprinted in us for immediate or later use or to help prepare our way to reaching silent knowledge.One of the most dramatic things about the human condition is the macabre connection between stupidity and self-reflection. It is stupidity that forces us to discard anything that does not conform with our self-reflective expectations.
Normal perception has an axis. "Here and there" are the perimeters of that axis, and we are partial to the clarity of "here." In normal perception, only "here" is perceived completely, instantaneously, and directly. Its twin referent, "there," lacks immediacy. It is inferred, deduced, expected, even assumed, but it is not apprehended directly with all the senses. When we perceive two places at once, total clarity is lost, but the immediate perception of "there" is gained.
Self-importance is a monster that has three thousand heads. And one can face up to it and destroy it in any of three ways. The first way is to sever each head one at a time; the second is to reach that mysterious state of being called the place of no pity, which destroys self-importance by slowly starving it; and the third is to pay for the instantaneous annihilation of the three-thousand-headed monster with one's symbolic death.
Human awareness is like an immense haunted house. The awareness of everyday life is like being sealed in one room of that immense house for life. We enter the room through a magical opening: birth. And we exit through another such magical opening: death.close the door of self-reflection. Be impeccable and you'll have the energy to reach the place of silent knowledge.