How many times have you heard a sage describe moving without moving, acting without acting, doing without doing?
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday who described this state perfectly when she spoke of being the stillpoint flowing.
I think flow is the paradigm of the higher dimensions. And the stillpoint is us resting in our centers. When we are the stillpoint flowing, I think we’ll be who these sages are describing.
I personally have once had a brief experience of this state, when I was in a meditation workshop. I described it as spending a half hour in my higher Self. All was activity and much was getting done but all of it was getting done without me moving a muscle. Many times I tried to find a word to describe how I felt in that state and the only one I could ever find was “regal.”
So being the stillpoint flowing, it seems to me, is where we’re going. Why don’t we spend a moment listening to what the sages say about it? We’ll hear them mentioning it in two circumstances: (A) when describing the state of the sage and (B) when describing what the student could do to reach the state of the sage.
Lao- Tzu, who later incarnated as Djhwal Khul, (1) tells us
“The Wise Man
Knows without going,
Sees without seeing,
Does without doing.” (2)
All higher-dimensional beings use telepathy more than they use vocal speech, can read auras, etc., which may be knowing without going and seeing without seeing.
He counselled us to “touch ultimate emptiness.” (3) That ultimate emptiness is of course God and touching it and merging with it is the purpose of life. Lao Tzu further describes “It” here:
“Between the earth and sky
The space is like a bellows,
Empty but unspent.
When moved its gift is copious.” (4)
But one does not move this bellows with desire. I’d imagine one moves it only with love.
Lao Tzu tells us that “in all the world but few can know Accomplishment apart from work, Instruction when no words are used.” (5) These few would be advanced sages, well, just like we’re going to be.
Those who came after Lao Tzu and followed in his footsteps knew the same action without acting, movement without moving. Here are other sages in his line saying much the same thing.
We have to factor in to their descriptions the fact that many sages phrase their observations in ways designed to shock their listeners into awareness. So for instance, Chuang Tzu saying “be blank and soulless” or Lin Chi telling his hearers to do nothing put matters this way, in my opinion, for that reason.
“You have only to rest in inaction and things will transform themselves. Smash your form and body, spit out hearing and eyesight, forget you are a thing among other things, and you may join in great unity with the deep and boundless. Undo the mind, slough off spirit, be blank and soulless, and the ten thousands things one by one will return to the root — return to the root and not know why.” (6)
“To transcend motion and stillness is the highest meditation. Mortals keep moving, while arhats [sages enlightened but less so than a buddha] stay still. But the highest meditation surpasses that of both mortals and arhats. People who reach such understanding free themselves from all appearances without effort and cure all illnesses without treatment. Such is the power of great zen.” (7)
Lin Chi (Rinzai)
“Followers of the Way, even if you can understand a hundred sutras and treatises, you’re not as good as one plain monk who does nothing.” (8)
“The way I see it, there’s no call for anything special. Just act ordinary, put on your clothes, eat your rice, pass the time doing nothing.” (9)
This advice is part of the Perennial Philosophy. If we move out of Taoism proper and the lines of Buddhist enquiry that incorporated it, we still find the same advice. In the selections that follow, some are advising the student to be still and some are describing the state of the sage.
“He who sees the inaction that is in action, and the action that is in inaction, is wise indeed. Even when he is engaged in action he remains poised in the tranquillity of the Atman.” (10)
Sri Ramana Maharshi
[One should continue practicing] until the mind attains effortlessly its natural state of freedom from concepts, that is till the sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ exists no longer. (11)
[Sadhu Arunachala:] “Bhagavan [Ramana] would often tell us to ‘make an effort to be without effort.'” (12)
“Your efforts can extend only thus far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach it.” (13)
“It would be a better world if each one of us were aware of true inaction, which is not the opposite of action. But that is another matter.” (14)
“The truth frees…. The highest state of inaction is the action of truth.” (15)
“You must be completely denuded, without the weight of the past or the enticement of a hopeful future — which does not mean despair. If you are in despair, there is no emptiness, no nakedness. You cannot ‘do’ anything. You can and must be still, without any hope, longing, or desire; but you cannot determine to be still, suppressing all noise, for in that very effort there is noise. Silence is not the opposite of noise.” (16)
It’s probably only in a dualistic universe, such as this one in Third Dimensionality, that one cannot easily flow. And it’s probably only in spiritual ignorance that we’re unaware that we are that stillpoint. But in the higher dimensions we’ll soon be in, we’ll be the stillpoint flowing and move without moving.
(1) Linda Dillon: “When he was on the Earth as Lao Tzu, that was about 400 BC and that’s a long time ago and he came again as Caspar, who was one of the three wise men, the magi who came to give gifts to Jesus, and he was the bringer of gold. And then he has more recently incarnated as Djwhal Khul, and many of you probably know Djwhal Khul, also known as the Tibetan, who again is a teacher and a Master that works with the Tibetan lamas in spirit and his theme is balance.” And in the same interview, Lao Tzu: “Now sometimes it is also fear and there were times when I would have students, both as Djwhal Khul and in Atlantis, when we would talk and they would say ‘oh I do not dare to tell my parents about this, they will think I am crazy.’” (“Transcript: Lao Tzu on Humility on Heavenly Blessings,” April 26, 2013, at https://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/04/transcript-lao-tzu-on-humility-on-heavenly-blessings/.
(2) Lao Tzu, The Way of Life. The Tao Te Ching. trans. R.B. Blakney. New York, etc.: Avon, 1975, 100.
(3) Ibid., 68.
(4) Ibid., 57.
(5) Ibid., 96.
(6) Chuang Tzu in Burton Watson, trans. The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1968, 122.
(7) Bodhidharma in Red Pine, trans., The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma. Port Townsend, WA, Empty Bowl, 1987 , 24. Arhats or arahants have experienced the enlightenment that accompanies the kundalini reaching the seventh chakra, which is often called Brahmajnana, God-realization, or kevalya nirvikalpa samadhi. Buddhas may have experienced the enlightenment when the kundalini reaches the hridayam or spiritual heart, which is higher than the former state, and is usually called a permanent heart opening or sahaja samadhi. Buddhas may also have experienced a higher state than sahaja. I’m not certain.
(8) Master Lin-Chi in Burton Watson, trans. The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai]. A Translation of the Lin-Chi Lu. Boston and London: Shambala, 1993, 76.
(9) Ibid., 53-4.
(10) Sri Krishna in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 52.
(11) Sri Ramana Maharshi, Spiritual Instruction of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Eighth Edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1974, Chapter 2, Question 18.
(12) Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick], A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1961, 54.
(13) Sri Ramana Maharshiin Munagala Venkatramiah, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Downloaded from https://www.ramana-maharshi.org/books.htm, 31 August 2005, Question 197.
(14) J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. Second Series. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1967; c1958, 2, 99.
(15) Ibid., 37.
(16) Ibid., 115.