Life is a singular movement. Sometimes loud, sometimes violent, sometimes ferocious. Sometimes sweet, sometimes soft, sometimes as gentle as a feather. Sometimes life roars, sometimes it whispers… but it always moves. And yet at the heart of that movement, there is no origin, no point of reference, no centre… no ‘heart’ at all, if truth be told. And truth can never be told.
Words such as these attempt to tell the truth that cannot be told, and yet the words themselves are but another part of that infinite movement, that inexpressible aliveness that fuels all things, moves all things, is all things in their totality. Life is a movement, and its origin is movement. Its origin is itself.
Life has no centre because it has no circumference. There’s nowhere where it ends, nowhere where it begins. It is simply a spontaneous expression of aliveness, happening now, now and now, leaving no trace of itself, projecting nothing into the future, concealing nothing, giving itself totally and completely and exhausting itself in that expression, leaving no residue. It is all things, and yet it is no thing.
Life – or what we call ‘life’, anyway, is totally beyond mind, too alive for mind, too free for mind, too total for it, and that total and complete expression, which we are no way separate from, happens constantly. Life throws itself out of itself again and again to create the illusion of a world, to give us this wonderful dream of waking life. And yet of course, life ‘does’ nothing at all. There are no separate events, people, places, and so nothing separate from anything else has ever been done. From the Big Bang, and before that, there has only been one happening, and it is happening now. No happening separate from any other happening, although the illusion is a good one. And the illusion is what we might call “me”.
I’m standing near the sea. A storm rages. The wind nearly knocks me off my feet. Waves crash onto a jetty. The roar is deafening. Seagulls struggle to fly in the gale.
And yet the wind is not separate from me. The sea, the jetty, the seagulls are not separate from what I am. In fact, I cannot even say that. All I can say is that, presently, life, Oneness, aliveness, Being – call it what you want – appears as the sea, the jetty, the wind, the seagulls, and this body as it stands there in the gale. It is all a present appearance, appearing for no-one. It exists only to be itself, and for no other reason. Nothing exists apart from it, nothing that could ever be known, anyway. This is how the Source appears now. This is the movie playing out presently. This is the dream, and it is total, and it is complete, and it needs nothing else. Life has already accomplished what it set out to do.
I am one with it, I am separate from it, I am something, I am nothing, I see it, it is seen by no-one. All just words. Life needs no more words. Its words are already the crashing of the waves against the beach, the foam building up along the shore, the screech of the seagulls, the deafening roar of the wind blasting my eardrums. Its words are already being spoken, and life doesn’t need anyone to speak for it, especially not me. The words of life are being shouted, screamed. They deafen me. I am annihilated by them.
And not just here, in this storm, but everywhere, all the time. In the quietest moments, and in the loudest moments, life speaks. And the quiet moments and loud moments are both perfect expressions. It’s all One Taste, all the taste of life itself, living itself as it must. “Jeff” is just a relic from the past. “Jeff” is a fossil. Who needs the past? What good did it ever do? Who needs the future? It never arrives anyway. Nothing at all can begin to touch the wonder of this. Of this moment, this present expression of life.
Like newborn babies, we always see it for the first time. The sea roars for the first time. The seagull screeches for the first time. Back inside my room, where it’s warm and cosy, I sip a cup of tea for the first time. Nobody could tell me otherwise.
This needs no defending. It does not need to be proved, to be argued. It is its own defence, it is its own proof. Nobody can argue with the isness. Well, they can actually. And they do. And that’s the misery of a lifetime.
But when that argument ends, what is is always enough. More than enough.
Life is an offering, and it offers itself now, now and now. It offers present sights, sounds, smells and feelings and asks nothing of you. And yet we spend our lives wanting so much more. Well, that is our misery. In the absence of that, there is only this, as there always has been. Only ever what presents itself now. Only what emerges presently from the Source, only what manifests out of the Unknown, you get only that and nothing more.
And right there, it is all released. The burden of a lifetime, gone in the blink of an eye. This “Jeff” character who suffered and suffered, and sought a way out of his suffering, where is he? He’s simply not there. Who is typing these words then? Is Jeff typing these words, you may ask? There is only that question. No answer rises up to meet it, and so the question dies away, dissolving back into the Source.
This awakening, it has nothing at all to do with you. If you think that “you” can get awakened, you’ll be chasing your own tail for the rest of your life. You cannot awaken, because this is already fully awake. Already whole, already complete, and it’s only in the dream of separation that the search appears to have any validity at all. But in the falling away of the seeking, the miracle is revealed. And the miracle is life itself, and life itself has always been the miracle. We just couldn’t see it, because we were too busy trying to be someone, trying to become something, trying to be good, trying to understand, trying to succeed… or even trying not to try.
But in the clear seeing of this miracle, all of that is rendered obsolete. In the seeing that there is only this, in the shockingly simple and simply shocking waking up from the dream of separation, there is a death, and that death, as Jesus said, is the only salvation. You have to lose your life to save it. And so when there is no-one, there isn’t an empty void, a lonely and joyless black space devoid of all qualities… no, no, no. That void is full, it is bursting with life. With the sea roaring, and seagulls screeching, and the wind crashing against your face, and a steaming mug of tea, and… life, damn it, life! The emptiness is fullness, the void is fully alive, the nothingness is life in all its magnificence, and that is the freedom that the so-called ‘individual’ could never, ever find.
And in that, all the concepts in the world dissolve. They are seen to be what they always were: words, just words. And beyond those words, the foam from the crashing waves fascinates me more than anything in the world, and those seagulls are as precious as my very own children, and the wind is simply life caressing me, and there is a fragile beauty here that words could never touch at all. It’s a wordless, bittersweet, tender love affair with life, a life that’s given now, freely, to be seen, just to be seen.
This awakening, this love, this tenderness, this innocence will never be put into words, never communicated, never captured, and yet it is all there is, forever appearing everywhere, always being everything, always rejecting nothing, embracing you – or what you take yourself to be – in every single damn moment.
Life itself is the only miracle. There is no other. The secret of spiritual awakening has always been staring you in the face.
By Jeff Foster