Sometimes a stunning image calls for an equally knock-out quote. I’m moved to post this one from Nisargadatta, because there’s so much misunderstanding around the ‘primary fact’. It shows up as stories that equate Reality with divine or sublime objects, or posit that it’s an experience one should strive to attain (via a smorgasbord of profit-earning materials and activities). It’s touted to ‘bring’ peace, happiness, awakening, enlightenment, and of course the obliteration of all our messy emotions as well as the problems we have with ‘others’.
Bring? The primary fact is that these supposed attributes are immanent in every case.
The primary fact is not metaphorical, mythical, magical or mystical. It’s not able to be experienced yet all experiences depend upon it for their existence. It is prior to anything conceivable and depends upon nothing for its absolute and ever-available presence.
And yet: It can only be apperceived as its display. How sweet is that?
Beyond the mind there is no such thing as experience.
Experience is a dual state.
You cannot talk of reality as an experience. Once this is understood, you will no longer look for being and becoming as separate and opposite. In reality they are one and inseparable like roots and branches of the same tree.
Both can exist only in the light of consciousness, which again, arises in the wake of the sense ‘I am’.
This is the primary fact.
If you miss it, you miss all.
– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That
What are the implications of this view?
There is only The Dance. Today you are as twinkle-toed as a prima ballerina. Yesterday you dragged those feet as though they were cast in lead. Tomorrow? Who knows what will arise and choreograph your steps with exquisite fidelity to your patterned preferences and aversions?
It’s all the same, beloveds: Reality r-e-a-l-s on regardless; it only has one pair of shoes.
Photograph: Tree of Life, copyright Kenneth Mucke: more information here.