Doing, Having and Knowing

Il dolce far niente.
How sweet it is to do nothing.

Religion in particular has given humanity the idea that freedom, salvation, happiness or a meaningful and rewarding life or after-life can be accomplished by following rules or pleasing an anthropomorphic deity. Our own inner wisdom will tell us that this is not so.

Remember Nisargadatta’s very profound advice:

Do nothing. Have nothing. Know nothing.

Clive Johnson put it this way. “The scriptures declare that immortality cannot be gained through work or progeny or riches, but by renunciation alone. Hence it is clear that work cannot bring us liberation. Certain knowledge [experience] of Reality is gained only through meditation upon right teaching [Right View or Simple Reality], and not by sacred ablutions, or almsgiving, or by the practice of hundreds of breathing exercises.”[i]

No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
— Kahlil Gibran[ii]

What would such a dramatic change in paradigm feel like if we were to embrace Simple Reality?  From The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning by James Lovelock: “Just as in 1930 we had to give up on a massive scale the uncomfortable lifestyle of peacetime, so soon we may feel rich with only a quarter of what we consume now. If we do it right and with enthusiasm, it will not seem a depressing phase of denial but instead, as in 1940, a chance to redeem ourselves. For the young, life will be full of opportunities to learn, to create, and they will have a purpose for living.”

And A Course in Miracles agrees that, “Like all lessons [knowledge] is an illusion, for in reality there is nothing to learn.”[iii]  Once we enter P-A the need for doing, having and knowing anything will seem absurd as the basis for a sustainable human community.

Doing, Having and Knowing

[i]     Johnson, Clive [ed.]. Vedanta: An Anthology of Hindu Scripture, Commentary and Poetry. New York: Bantam, 1971, p. 130.

[ii]     Gibran, Kahlil. The Prophet. New York: Knopf, 1923, p. 56.

[iii]    A Course in Miracles © Volume Three: Manual For Teachers (Farmingdale, New York: Coleman Graphics), published in 1975, by the Foundation for Inner Peace, P.O. Box 598, Mill Valley, CA 94942-0598, and  P. 32.

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