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Quote Of The Week – Who I Am

August 12, 2009

“The most interesting thing was that none of those masters were actually interested in the inner state. No one ever asked: “Aziz, what is your state?” Such a basic question! Instead, they asked: what did master Chao Chou mean saying Mu? Who really cares? It is wonderful to study the sayings of Old Sages, but what they were pointing to is much more important. In awakening to Who I Am one holds the essence of all possible Koans, from the past, present and future.”

AZIZ KRISTOF, a non-traditional Adviata Zen master.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. clarkscottroger permalink
    August 20, 2009 2:33 pm

    My favorite quote (real or imagined), attributed to some wise man is, ‘if you have to ask the question, you cannot understand the answer’

    This is, no doubt, a multi-paraphrased version, but it’s appeal remains. Its about the question, not the answer. (I mean, he said cannot, not would not)

    (am new to this blog thing, just getting out and visiting. Like the site.)

    • August 20, 2009 9:59 pm

      Thanks for the comments clarkscottroger. Hope you are enjoying your exploration of the blogosphere. It can be a very interesting place.

      The quote you mention is a great one that really hits at the heart of the issue. Asking the question, by its very nature, creates a separation of unknown/known, a division that only appears to exist from a state of falsehood (in relation to truth). To ask the question, in and of itself, is to not yet know what Sir Ramana Maharshi asked in his famous teaching: Who Am I? If you are existing in the state of questioner, you cannot understand because you are not yet existing in the state of known. However, through that questioning, uncovering, dissolving, and undoing, the questions begin to fall away and the true awakened nature is revealed (in the state where there are no questions, no separations, no unknowns).

      It is the separation and divide of the question itself that is the barrier where “cannot” stands firm. But through the questioning – honest, brutal, truthful – one comes to the point where questions are no longer needed as the context for them no longer exists in the way they once did in the context of separation (and ego, fear, etc.) The question is the poverbial rabbit hole that takes us deeper within to an understanding/awakening of true nature.

      I guess it would be like the unborn baby in the womb asking questions about what is outside the womb. It cannot understand the answers until it enters the world. Its life to that point is separate from the world it will be birthed into, and its questions don’t fit the context of that new way of living.

      It all comes back to the issue of the illusion of separation. Until the illusion is revealed as false, the questions remain. When that illusion is exposed and the truth is awakened unto, the answer is known, and the questions are no longer necessary.

      It is because of this conundrum that sages and teachers have taught in parables, allusions, and so forth, working to create a context of understanding for those who are not yet in the awakened place where the questions are not necessary, a task as difficult as trying to explain what sight is like to a blind person.

  2. clarkscottroger permalink
    August 23, 2009 7:50 am

    (If I may…) I would suggest that, as you have rightly stated, before the acceptance of the ‘artificiality’ of separation, the unknown cannot be known. From this springs the need/necessity of a ‘third party reference’.
    Right now you know everything you can know, even the unknown is ‘known’ (of). A third party reference is a platform that is in the area of the unknown, (which is not really a different place), that we can know of without knowing about. This tool, be it in the form of a guide or a guru, dogma or creed, as long as it does not become ‘the thing itself’, is the only way to push into the area of understanding that is hding behind the separation (of known and unknown), that we impose upon ourselves. It is the place(holder) for the non-rational aspect that is necessary to expanding our ‘boundaries’.
    Thanks for the interesting and challenging site..

  3. August 23, 2009 8:32 pm

    I agree that there can be a necessity for a ‘third party reference’ as that way to push into the area of understanding what is not yet known. It is that teacher aspect that helps the student gain access and mover further into the unknown.
    The key, as you point out, is guarding against the guide, or creed, or teacher becoming the thing itself. As I see it, this has happened in many of the paths and faiths of the world today – little in the way of actual growth/evolution/expansion/awakening, but a lot of dancing around in the illusion, fear, and reverence for that which is not.
    It is one of the greatest tricks of the ego to use traditions dedicated to “freedom”, “salvation”, “enlightenment”, “God’s Will”, etc. in ways that enslave, blind, and, more insidiously (IMHO) distract the follower. It is that distracting worship of ‘the thing itself’, be it dogma, or individual, or other that serves to perpetuate fear, division, and, ultimately, that ego’s survival.
    Thanks for the dialogue.

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