The Natural State

They say that faith can move mountains. So can bulldozers, so can nuclear weapons—I’m not sure if that’s really what faith is intended for. I guess if there’s a mountain that has to be moved, and you’ve got nothing else to do it with, you could probably do it with faith.

I think faith is intended to enable us to discover who and what we are, what our purpose is in life and what life is. It’s interesting—when you talk to someone in the West and very often in the East too, but particularly in the West, about the meaning and purpose of life—it is assumed that the a priori structure of life will remain in place, and we’re talking about a substratum modification of how we live. That is to say, we’re being philosophical.

Philosophy implies nothing active. Philosophy implies a passive expression that really has nothing to do with day-to-day existence. On the other hand, an ontological review of existence as such, with serious revisions of life, is the nature of self-discovery. In other words, self-discovery suggests that you will reach cosmological points of view, not philosophical but actual dialectical changes in the way the flow of consciousness passes in, above, around and through your mind, that will so change the reality that you perceive, even on a sensorial basis, that there will be nothing that is the same.

Self-discovery is not a submodification of how we live. It’s not a methodology per se. We’re dealing with changing the structural operation not of the mind—that’s a submodification—but actually delineating new aspects of mind and experiencing them and literally removing that which was ourself and our perception, to move from the human level of perception—we’ll take it that we all know what that means—to another method of perceiving life. To walk down a hallway and instead of seeing what you see today when you walk down a hallway, to experience life—those moments of walking down a corridor in hundreds of states of mind, seeing the atoms move, perhaps, perhaps seeing everything in streams of light; perhaps being aware of hundreds of realities simultaneously as part of that hallway, perhaps seeing the corridors of eternity intertwined with the simple hallway that runs through a structural building. To see your life again and again as not just your life but as eternity; to be so completely integrated in the experience of perception that there’s no sense of a perceiver but just the fluid moment of ecstasy that is reality unfolding itself to itself.

The politics of consciousness, the dialectical change of mind that occurs in Buddhism, is not simply the assimilation of a new philosophical basis or religious basis for viewing and interpreting experience. Rather it is the complete structural revision of that which is, from our point of view, that which is us—the mind, the perceiver. Life.

In the 1960s, the psychedelic revolution occurred and Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and other people experimented with LSD, psilocybin, mescaline. They didn’t do anything new. Similar psychotropic substances have been used in the Far East, in the American Indian culture, all over the world, for a long time. These drugs seemed to open up the doorways of perception and allow one to experience reality, what we’ve grown used to in the nine-to-five sense, as something totally different—to take a bubble bath and suddenly find oneself in a hundred universes and the bubbles have a meaning.

Everything, every atom, every part of life has a meaning, implies a meaning that cannot be thought about because we’re in a pure dialectical state of attention in which there’s no thought. The idea is that every atom of existence is reality and is perfect and is enlightenment. But in the dead world of the Western mind, all that is seen are shades of gray. There’s a cloud over every experience. There’s no possibility of divine incarnation, divine intervention, let alone that one’s self in every moment is divine, endless, continually shifting through infinite radiances of the perfect diamond mind of the universal godhead. There’s no possibility in the cosmology of the West for such things.

So in the 60s people started experimenting with these drugs, and they found that reality was not what they had perceived before. It was, certainly, but they found that there were alternate ways of perceiving reality, and so on and so forth.

Now whether these experiences are valid, invalid, hallucinatory or not, these are issues for philosophers and lawmakers to deal with. Whether they’re dangerous to society, I have no idea. That’s not my province. I deal with the world of Buddhism. In Buddhism we use not drugs but energy, which is developed through the practice of meditation and through mental exercises and by leading a certain style of life that enables us to create effects that LSD, psilocybin, mescaline and these things—they’re toys. They’re minor shifts in awareness that obviously don’t last. A person has to take the drug again, I guess. These experiences are minor compared to the experience we produce with meditation, which, of course, is permanent and unending.

The realization of satori, the day-to-day enlightenment, the nine-to-five enlightenment, changes one forever—to experience satori for what in linear time we would call a few minutes. You will never see life the same way, let alone self. A permanent change is made in one’s structural awareness. More circuits of the mind come on. Forever. Each time you experience satori again, when you’re able through your extremely hard work, perseverance, willpower, to stop your thoughts for protracted periods of time—it’s very hard work.

You have to want to do it very badly. You have to want to be high. You have to hate being where you are, in these gray, endless, dead states of Western mind, in which the possibility of incarnation, let alone of one’s own divinity or the divinity of every moment, doesn’t exist. Religion is confined to a book. The possibility of the spiritual experience is nonexistent in the West. It happened a couple thousand years ago, and you either met the guy and you had it or you didn’t. Once in a while there’s a saint who has a minor revelation.

In the Western philosophy you can’t perceive infinities at every moment. It’s not there to do. What you must do is shuffle through the variant choices that you’re given, which are boring and dead in that the grayness holds us into these lower sentient states of mind. The lack of belief, the lack of possibility prevents us from seeing what is there. Endless states of mind do not exist per se in another dimension that you have to physically go to, or another world or a place you have to die to get to. They exist wherever you happen to be sitting right now. Rather, it’s a question of moving your perception from the state of what you would call the normal—I would call the very abnormal—waking consciousness into infinite states of perception.

That is done with the will; with the power of one’s will we stop thought and move into alternate forms of perception. We gain that power through practicing very, very, very hard each day when we meditate to stop our thoughts. We gain the ability. We also store energy by leading a conservative life, and we continually discipline and direct the development of the mind so we can sustain our journey into enlightened states of mind. Anyone can do this who wants to. It is a great deal of work. It is more than satisfying. The work is nothing compared to the ecstasy. But you have to admit the possibility of a world, of a universe, of such brightness, of such ecstasy in its own presence.

Ecstasy does not require a physical experience. It is perception in its simplistically pure form. That is to say, what we see in this world is a gross abnormality. The human consciousness, the development of human beings, fails to perceive the very simple, divine nature of every atom in every moment. The cloud of negativism and doubt is so complete that it eliminates the possibility of enlightenment. We can’t even imagine what it is or that it could happen to anyone, let alone to us.

In the Far East, it’s understood that beings are born enlightened, that there are cosmological cycles other than the one that we’re engaged in. A larger universal view of time and eternity is held by the most common peasant in rural India. The peasant has no problem that someone can be born from another universe into a human body, walk up to their hut one day and ask for something to eat, sit down with them, transport them by their mere presence into infinite galaxies of awareness, walk out, and that that person’s life will never be the same. They will have shown them infinity without having to say a word, just by the pure power of their presence because that individual is perceiving life directly, and just to be around them in their aura, one sees it at least somewhat that way, which suggests the possibility of experiencing our own divinity from moment to moment in any circumstance or situation.

The issue in Buddhism is perception, gaining control of the mind and directing one’s attention, to raise the kundalini energy so that it flows with such volatility and force that we simply perceive life correctly. The gray aura of humanity caused by the billions and billions of individuals who live on this planet makes it very difficult just to see what is. Nothing shines because of the deadness of the human mind.

The aura of billions of people coats all experiences like a thick cloud of smog. Just to live on the earth is to live in that smog. If billions of people meditated, then everything would shine here. If no one were here at all but yourself, the world would shine in a way that would amaze you. But the human mind generates an auric field that covers up the naturalness, the innate divinity of life. That auric field is a field of doubt. It’s a field that runs contrary to existence. Obviously it’s a side of existence, for it is existence.

So the province of Buddhism is the stretching of perception. It’s pushing the mind to its—we call it the “natural state,” to indicate how unnatural the normal human consciousness is. You know it’s kind of funny when you’re first reading some of the Zen texts or the Tantric Buddhist texts, and you hear Tilopa, or one of these guys, who are saying, “Abide in the natural state.” And you think, “My God, what I have to do to get to the natural state. How can he call it ‘natural’? I have to meditate for hours every day, straighten my life out, I have to do all this incredible stuff to get to what this guy calls the natural state.”

What he’s saying is that everyone has sunk on this planet to such a low state of consciousness, and that [state of consciousness] has become so defined and striated in the individual mind of every single perceiver, and it’s taught to every child by every mother and every father, by every political regime, by every philosophy—the total denial of what is. It’s kind of an Emperor’s New Clothes situation in reverse. It is the natural state we have deviated so far from, the path of it, in this age of darkness, meaning the darkness of the human minds that are on this planet.

In this age of endless violence and repression of the human spirit, we are so far below the natural state. I mean, human beings are a kick. With their technology, humanity actually has the gall to feel that they are more advanced than they were; technology somehow defines intelligence. Technology has nothing to do with intelligence. If technology enables you to kill more people, that doesn’t define intelligence. An intelligent species survives, perhaps increases its numbers, but it survives in a high level of style.

The planet Earth is a subworld. Not the planet—the planet is just time and space colliding—but the basic level of awareness on this planet we consider to be subnatural, way below what’s average, because if an enlightened being walked through New York City today, no one would see him or her. They would just see a person. They wouldn’t see the glow.

There is a wonderful moment in the Last Temptation of Christ, where Mary comes up to Christ and she doesn’t want anything to do with any of this and she says, “Hey, come on home, son, I’ll make you something to eat. We’ll sit around and talk like we used to.” He looks at her and he says, “I have no mother, I have no father here. I have a father elsewhere.” Meaning, this human parent thing, come on, give it a rest. I’ve existed forever and I happened to pass this way; I went through that particular toll, and I’ve paid the toll and that’s enough. But I can’t perceive life the way you do. You perceive life vis-a-vis one lifetime in this very simplistic way. My perception shows me that you were just another minute experience on my agenda.

So then, whoever is with Mary turns to her—after this conversation Mary is heartbroken—and Agnes, or whoever it is, says, “Well, didn’t you see what was going on?” And Mary says, “What do you mean?” Her companion says, “Well, didn’t you see the thousands of wings, the thousands of angelic lights that existed and went on probably forever? Didn’t you see into all those dimensions when he was standing there?” And Mary says, “No, not only did I not see, I don’t want to see. I just want my son back.”

If someone enlightened walked down the street today, no one would see the glowing light, the thousands of emanations, because the description of the world, the deadness of the aura of the human mind is so complete that it literally blocks out reality. Ever have a conversation with someone where you’re trying to explain something to them and they don’t want to hear it? No matter what you say, they keep changing the subject, or even if you say it, they will not absorb it.

The entire structure of the human mind works that way. It blocks out most of infinity. To a certain extent it’s necessary because otherwise one would be insane, unless you have a very developed mind to deal with the endless permutations of infinity simultaneously. We don’t need all information to make good, logical choices or to have a pleasant time. Sometimes too much information just creates a clog. But the human mind works in such a way that it actually blocks out most perceptions. We don’t realize that because we don’t realize there’s an option, because we’re brought up in a world where we are taught not to perceive but to avoid direct perceptions of reality and to substitute instead this kind of one-dimensional view of life. We don’t know that there’s anything else to do.

With everyone doing it on the same planet, the overall auric vibration, which stretches out and touches every mind here, is so complete that it’s impossible to see anything divine—unless we really push ourselves. We have to learn to redo the circuitry in the mind. We have to think in new ways. We have to perceive in new ways. This is what Buddhism is about. It’s how you actually restructure the mind. Not to come to some abnormal, unique perception, but to get to what Tilopa calls the natural state—what is just ordinary perception in the universe for anyone who’s not totally blind.

The Buddhist study is that. We don’t feel that enlightenment is particularly unusual. We feel that it’s the natural state. Enlightenment means simply perceiving life directly as it is in all of its infinite, ever changing wonder, in all of its varied, myriad states of mind or as parinirvana, or whatever. You know, pick your favorite words. The words mean nothing. The perception is.

Black belt doesn’t mean much—the point is, can you knock somebody down? If you’ve got a black belt and you can’t do that, then the belt means nothing. To say one is enlightened means nothing. Anybody can say it. To say it as [if it were] exceptional, like, “I’m enlightened, I’m this great thing.” Well, no, it doesn’t mean that at all. That’s just, well, obviously we’re not dealing with someone who’s enlightened. We’re dealing with an asshole, a major asshole because this person, in their confusion, might actually believe they’re enlightened, but how could it be extraordinary or special when it’s simply the natural state?

There are beings that descend from other cosmic cycles that drop by for a while. They have extraordinary powers and abilities, certainly, and I think that we should respect all life and all forms and cycles, particularly from a common sense point of view, if it can be beneficial to us. If we have a cousin who’s a multi-millionaire and we’re having problems just making it financially and they drop by for the weekend, I mean it really doesn’t pay to be nasty to them. (Audience laughs.) In the quest for infinite truth, I don’t see any point in buttering them up if that would cause you to fall from a higher state of mind. But if you could maintain the higher state of mind and at the same time make friends with the extremely rich relative, this is—in Buddhism we’re very big on common sense. We have to be. There aren’t many of us and there’s a lot of everyone else in the world, even though Buddhism is the world’s largest religion. Still, there are very few of the true practitioners of the way, and there are a lot of human beings out there who are very hostile towards anything that rocks their perceptual boat. They’ll kill you in a minute rather than deal with truth. It’s more convenient because then they can forget about it and rationalize your death.

So Buddhists, serious practitioners, have basically over the years walled themselves off from humanity. Remember, monasteries were built not to keep people in but to keep people out. We lived up in the Himalayas because it was the last place anybody wanted to go, except the people who happened to get stuck being born there. It’s a very unfriendly environment. It’s cold! And since it was the least favorite piece of real estate on the planet and at an altitude high enough to avoid a lot of human aura, we would go up there to meditate after India became too crowded and China, and so on and so forth.

We live in a world that’s crowded now wherever you go. The human aura permeates everything. But it hasn’t really changed anything. Perception is still the same. The natural state is still the same. It’s what we seek. We seek enlightenment. Enlightenment is not something unusual; it’s just how life is—seeing it directly. Powers are a little different, knowledge of other cycles.

Enlightenment, in other words, doesn’t mean that you know a lot of things. It just means that you are perceiving endless life, and everything glows that you see, including yourself; and that there’s no sense of a stable self. There’s no fixed personality, nor is there schizophrenia. There are endless refractions of infinity, which we are, just as we are endless refractions of nothingness. All of life is moving in and out of itself in constant, fluid, perfect change at every eternity.

Meditation is the pathway to enlightenment—always has been, always will be. Meditation just means holding the mind in a state of quiescence with no thought. That’s not unusual. I think, to think a lot is unusual, personally. It’s thought that creates the grayness. So as a Buddhist monk, one concerns oneself primarily with leading a life that doesn’t make one think too much. Obviously one thinks when necessary—one perceives right and wrong, what is correct and incorrect, what is always happy and that which should be avoided. But to endlessly have the mind just jabbering on, covers over the diamond, the jewel in the lotus.

We believe that there’s a jewel in the lotus with a diamond inside us. We don’t mean that in a symbolic, mythologic, allegoric form. We mean directly, that there’s a diamond, something that shines with infinite facets right at the very core of your mind. It is the core of your mind. But you don’t perceive it as such; you don’t see the glow. You don’t see the infinite facets, all the realities. You don’t see God in yourself, let alone God in anyone else unless they’re very, very advanced in meditation, in which case they glow so brightly that if you’re with such a person and you direct your attention towards them, their glow is so strong because they have become the diamond, the wisdom.

A very advanced master can glow so strongly that you see the divine in them. You see that glow. You look into them and you see infinity constantly changing, evolving and radiating in new forms. We call such beings avatars, something like that, meaning advanced enlightenment. Not just the ability to perceive the endless flow of reality oneself but one whose mind is so powerful that it just simply radiates. Such beings are very unusual. Very few students, Buddhist monks, ever encounter such a being. It’s really not necessary, to be honest. What’s necessary is to learn to stop your thoughts and become enlightened yourself. If one has the opportunity to meet such a being, it creates substantial change in one’s awareness in life.

Most people never meet such a being, most monks. They wouldn’t know what to do. They read about “the” Buddha who was one such being who lived in 600 B.C., whatever. Maybe they read about Milarepa, who was one such being, and a few other names. But in the whole Buddhist tradition, there have been very, very few beings at the level of enlightenment that you could simply look at them and see the diamond mind of the universe without a lot of effort—very few, very rare. There have been a number of enlightened beings, meaning people who live in satori; people who have stopped thought completely; who perceive life in unending, shifting, perfect form without a sense of self, meaning personified fixed ego that has definitive past history, identities, and so on. But very, very few ever have, at least in this world, passed through, whose radiance is that bright. It’s unusual.

It’s not really necessary for the student of enlightenment to encounter such a being. All that’s necessary is a good place to meditate, a knowledge of what meditation is and someone to study with who has learned to make their own mind completely tranquil, who can show you how to deal with the variant difficulties and opportunities of mastering the mind and your society and your environment, [dealing] with your history, and so on and so forth—someone who can show you the steps, who’s taken the steps, understands the difficulties, the hardship, the humor, the variant sides of the experience of gradually making the mind natural. That’s all that’s really necessary.

To deal with someone from other infinities is problematic at times, to deal with a true master of all the realms of the yogas. We call them someone with the seven seals of enlightenment, meaning that their gradated perception has passed through all the realms—these are human words. I mean there’s no way to explain it, particularly in English, let alone even in the Eastern languages, it’s difficult. There are words for such things, but the words themselves are still words.

There are beings who, from time to time, come into this world. Not simply with miraculous powers, which we call the siddhas, but with a miraculous awareness that is so strong yet so subtle that anyone or anything that touches that awareness is transformed forever. All their karmas are shifted. That transformation, of course, it’s hard to say how it will work. It’s always a teaching, let us say. Some people might encounter such a being. If that was your fortune, it might cause a lot of what you would perceive as problems and difficulties in your life. But those problems and difficulties are not really problems and difficulties. Those are the doorways to freedom. In other words, when you encounter a being that’s beyond what we would consider the natural state, beyond personal enlightenment, and they use words like avatar, and so on—any word is just going to be confusing. But when you encounter someone like that, all they do is exist in complete purity in all universes simultaneously—you know, the words break down again.

But let us say that they just teach by their presence. They don’t really have a message for humanity. It’s irrelevant at that point. They’re just a fluid, perfect embodiment of what we call the dharmakaya or the enlightenment of nirvana—nirvana in human form, if it’s in this world, nirvana in other forms in other worlds. To encounter such a being is considered the ultimate karmic blessing in the sense that your life will be so configured that every single variant problematic karma will surface, which means that you have the opportunity of passing through them all correctly, going over the ocean of the samsara and reaching nirvana yourself.

It’s kind of like meeting God in a human body. It’s tricky. What do you say? “How’s it been?” But suppose it hasn’t been, from that point of view, from the infinite mind of—maybe there’s no past. Maybe this is all that’s ever been, this one moment particularized forever in infinite and variant forms. Maybe there are no variant forms. Maybe this moment doesn’t even exist as you perceive it to—it’s complicated.

That’s why it’s best to just keep your life simple and not worry about these cosmological matters. But it’s interesting to know that there are beings that do walk through this world occasionally like that. Sometimes it’s one’s karma to encounter such a being and it creates tremendous changes in the multi-life configuration, not simply the life configuration, because when you’re dealing with a volatile energy field that’s that strong, it enumerates not just the kind of pro temp mind in the current body, but the field of energy is so strong that obviously it would have a protracted multi-life effect. That is to say, it’s kind of like radiation; it’s the rads.

You see, if you’re exposed to a person who has achieved what we call satori, they go into samadhi many hours a day, they’ve eliminated personal selfishness, you know, all that sort of stuff—a saint who lives in an enlightened state. They put out, what, 30 rads? When you encounter their aura, when you spend time with them, you could pass by them and not see much, but if you’re open to them, if there’s a symbiosis between the mind states, yours and theirs, then you’ll be lifted into very pleasant states of mind. You will find them very inspiring. When you leave them you’ll be more in touch; there will be a stillness, a peace inside your mind.

Such a person can, if you just meet them once, affect your life forever. You’ll walk away with a very quiet, very beautiful feeling, perhaps a deeper understanding of life that actually comes from touching their aura, and again, there’s no aura that’s “our aura.” It’s the radiant mind of the universe manifesting itself in a particular way through a particular being, but it’s a one-life affair. We refer to it in Buddhism as a multi-cycled being from the realms of the dharmakaya, what we could call a complete Buddha. Maybe that’s a better word. The Hindus use the word, avatar. It’s complicated because they have a cycle and there are only so many [avatars]. We believe that there are innumerable Buddhas.

A Buddha is a being who is complete, integrated enlightenment, through every cycle, through every awareness, forever. When you run into such a being, if you run into not just an enlightened person but a Buddha, then that energy field, the rad level is so high it’s incalculable, and their effect on an individual is for many, many, many, many, many, many lifetimes. Simply by the sheer vortex of the energy emanating from them, from their soul, from that part of the universe, which they have—they’ve so integrated themselves with deeper levels of enlightenment that it just flows through them.

Enlightenment is not a finite state. It’s not something that you just do and it’s done. It goes on forever. I wouldn’t say that there are levels of enlightenment because that makes it too simplistic, too uniform, too diurnal, too yin and yang. Let us say that enlightenment is not something that just happens one day and that’s it, and you get the totality of it and there’s no more. There’s no way to explain it. I can simply say what isn’t, certainly, and it certainly isn’t that. There are beings whose enlightenment is further. They have suffused more of the diamond mind of the universe.

There’s no end to enlightenment. That’s the good news, of course. We call “the Buddha” someone whose mind has become so integrated with the deeper levels and structures of infinite mind and infinite being that there is only reality for them. There is no delusion of any type. Yet they come into a body, take on an incarnate form, experience the joys, the sufferings, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, all that sort of thing.

In Buddhism we like to talk about our Buddhas. We’ve named our “ism” after one. But the theory is that we are all incarnate Buddhas. We just have not realized deeply, not simply philosophically or in thought, we have not moved the mind, what our friend Don Juan calls the assemblage point, to that deep a level. The idea is that you can move the assemblage point, where the mind joins together and creates life, to deeper and ever deeper points of understanding and perception.

Your journey is to see how deeply you can interface your mind with infinity. That’s the journey of a monk, to see. “Monk” simply means that you’ve decided that the most important thing, the only relevant thing in life is that. You’ve been properly initiated by a teacher who has put you on the path, empowered you, given you directions for meditation, and then off you go to meditate and to live your life as purely, simply and excitingly as possible. Excitingly in the sense that your perception is that life is glowing more every day because your meditation is clarifying and the way you lead your life and the thoughts you think are continually clarifying your perceptual body. If, on the other hand, life is glowing less, obviously you’re not doing yoga properly and you have to start over, hit the reset button and learn what yoga is. You’ve fallen from the path and it’s time to get back on it.

This happens to most monks a number of times. Where you just—you’re not practicing yoga at all. You’re not practicing real meditation. You’re practicing ego or practicing laziness or practicing confusion. It happens to everybody and we don’t feel bad about it. Since we don’t have a self, we don’t have to worry about it, we don’t have to account for what we’ve done or not done, we simply have to get back on the path. Being on the path means we again meditate with joy, we again deal with the suffering of life and the pain of existence without perfect enlightenment with a smile. It means that we clarify our lives and we have a quiet place where we live, we keep it clean and simple, and we have a quiet life with lots of fun in it and brightness of course, but quiet in the sense that we don’t fill it with unnecessary clutter, with cluttering emotions, cluttering perceptions, cluttering hates, cluttering jealousies, cluttering vanities because these things simply cloud the mind and they don’t afford a very perfect view of existence, rather an imperfect view.

The perfect view of existence comes from an unclouded, uncluttered life and mind whereby the radiance of perfect attention of the mind of the universe floods us at every moment. This is Buddhism. This is being on the path. Meditating with clarity so that at the end of one’s meditation the world shines brightly. That means you’ve meditated. If the world does not shine brightly, even just the physical, sensual perception after meditation, you have not meditated. You have sat and thought of things that were not real. So we have to be dynamic, we have to push ourselves to stillness, to the natural state.

Eventually the natural state becomes so natural that it really doesn’t require effort. We abide in it perpetually. But it’s only by modifying the mind and one’s perception of life continually for a number of years that that occurs, with a grand sense of brightness, enthusiasm and humor. But life should be continually brighter. We are seeking an innocence that escapes humanity. We are continually seeking our own innocence. We want to recapture it for eternity. It’s in there, but we lose touch with it.

We come to the path because we know it’s there, we feel it there, we remember it being there, whether as children or in another life. We seek our own innocence. We have to continue to seek our own innocence in a world which doesn’t care for innocence, which doesn’t even acknowledge the divinity of existence. In a world of beings basically gone mad in a sense with their societies and their structures and their technologies, but who are completely oblivious to the religious experience of every given moment.

How absurd to have all the worlds and all the technology and all the power and not to perceive life in its infinite ecstasy, to have all the stuff, but none of the fun. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Well, it doesn’t have to. It’s an individual matter that each of us considers.

Your life is either getting brighter from moment to moment or it’s not. If it’s not getting brighter, it’s because there’s no risk. There’s no risk in sitting, thinking instead of stopping your thought. There’s a lot of risk in stopping your thought. You might experience ecstasy. You might enter new dimensions. You might see yourself or reality differently. There’s no risk in doing a lousy meditation or not meditating at all. There’s no risk in being convenient and comfortable. There’s a lot of risk in the world of enlightenment. There’s the risk of perpetual freedom. But this is a world that defines everything backwards, a world in which good is called bad, brightness is called darkness, up is called down, enlightenment is called abnormal behavior and abnormal behavior is applauded as reason. In the prison camp, the Gestapo state brain-police planet Earth, what is normal is insane and what is insane is normal. But it doesn’t pay to tell that to the local politicians or other structural organizations that run the place. They didn’t crucify Christ because they liked what he said, clearly. That is the reaction.

Normally, Buddhists build walls to keep others out so they can simply see life as it is—happily, brightly. And we do not seek to interfere in the politics of the world or in other people’s methods of perception since we acknowledge that all are God-perceiving, as they will. But we still know what we know. We know that God is in everything, and that to not perceive that at every given moment is illusion—delusion—and to perceive God in the radiance of perfect reality in every given moment in everything that we do, see and are, is normal. It’s not saintly, it’s normal. We call someone a saint in a world in which everyone is abnormal. The normal person becomes extraordinary. But there’s nothing extraordinary about being a saint—that’s just someone who’s somewhat online with life.

In the world of enlightenment, a Buddha is normal. In the world of Buddhas, in the world of enlightenment, to be a Buddha is just another aspect of perfection, in infinite perfection. Everything depends upon your state of mind, in other words.

Thank you.