Possibilities of arrival

When somebody starts making extravagant pronouncements about the possibility of arriving at the place you never left there are generally two kinds of reactions. There is either complete bewilderment on the one hand or else people get tremendously excited and start running around madly looking for directions to get there. Of course, between you and me, neither will help much. However, if a person is moderately astute, he might rather look into what it is that creates the sense that he has not in fact already arrived at the place he never left. Why is it that he feels deep within that he has not yet arrived? What is this pervasive sense of restless incompleteness? Why does he feel like the apple is always dangling just out of reach?

The texture of mind

As all couturiers know, the quality of the dress is determined by the fineness of the fabric. In the same way the texture of the mind is determined by the subtlety and fluidity of the thinking. The pliability of the thinking determines the flexibility of the mind. When the mind is soft and flexible it can bend this way and that like a willow. Then you will also be able to bend like a willow. You will run on like running water. But when the mind is rigid and fixed, then how you see the world and existence will be rigid and fixed. You will see the world and your existence as merely something inconvenient that lies between you being here and where you imagine you ought to be. You will see it as a mountain to move out of your way.

Buying a ladder

When you are after a ladder you should know that there are all kinds of different lengths of ladder that you can buy. So, when you buy a ladder, you have to be careful. You have to make sure that the ladder you buy is long enough. That it is the kind of ladder that goes all the way up to where you want to go. I mean a ladder that is just a few inches short is no good is it? It won’t do the job. It will get you almost there. But it won’t get you quite to where you already are.

Flat Mountain

Everybody has a favourite mountain they like to climb. When I go out climbing, the mountain I like to climb is called Flat Mountain. It is a mountain that is completely flat. It is a mountain that has no north or south or east or west. It is a mountain that has no bottom or top. No matter how much you climb Flat Mountain you never reach the top. And no matter how far you descend down Flat Mountain you never reach the bottom. Even though you climb and climb and climb, the funny thing is that you never tire of climbing Flat Mountain.


Things move. Things that are things are things that are put together out of other things. They are things that are assembled. They can be disassembled and reassembled. They can be unassembled. They can be fixed and unfixed. Fastened and unfastened. They can be piled up and piled down. They can be moved around from here to there and back again. But the understanding of things that is intelligence has nothing to do with mechanics. It has nothing to do with winches and hoists. Or with the assembly of things big or small. The understanding of things belongs to the arena of the things that don’t move. Things that aren’t things don’t move.

Onions on a string

Do things just happen? Or are the things that happen tied together like onions on a string? How do you pull one thing away and leave the other there? How do you unravel one thing from another? The foam from the wave. The wave from the tide. The tide from the current. The current from the water. How do you separate what happens from what has happened and what will happen? Do you think that such a thing can be done?

Certain things

In your life certain things are laid down. Certain things have to happen. You cannot avoid them. And certain things must be done. If you don’t do the things that must be done then you cannot resolve. You cannot gather all the parts of you together and become one whole. That’s why you must do the things that must be done. You must complete what must be completed.

Teapot and cup

There is a concordance between things. A natural relationship between one thing and another. Between the wheel and the wheelbarrow. Between the teapot and the cup. There is a relationship of mutual affinity. The one attracts and necessitates the other. In the same way there is a relationship between the aliveness of intelligence itself and the coming into understanding of things. If there’s no affinity then that magic which is understanding cannot emerge. It’s like cooking a meal. If the chef doesn’t have a feeling of love for the food what kind of dish can be expected at the table?

Knowing things

Generally speaking, people like to know things. The more things they know, the more they think they know. They like to be able to stand up and say, “I know all about it.” But even though it is good to know things, it’s not always good to know all things. There are some things you are really better off not knowing. Sometimes it is better not to know a thing than to know it. In fact, too much knowing of things that you need not to know can cause all sorts of problems. It can even cause your head to get overheated and catch fire.

Giving directions

Some people are good at giving directions. Others are no good at it at all. If you listened to their directions, you would get absolutely nowhere. The thing is though that people always want to be somewhere other than where they are. They say, “Tell me how to get to where I’m not.”
But the way that I see it is that before you can get to where you are not, you have to get to where you already are. Once you get to where you already are, then you can get to where you are not. From where you already are, it’s really easy to get there. You just turn to the left or you turn to the right and there you are.