Bhajana

Satsang and Soul

The Paradox of the Wave Seeking the Ocean

In what sense is it true (or untrue) that there is nowhere to go, nothing to become and nothing to do?  Obviously, if a wave is seeking the ocean, the wave already is what it is seeking, and what it is seeking is already fully, totally, abundantly present. In that sense, there is nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to become. But unless that is realized, the wave is suffering under the spell of a false belief. It longs to wake up to what is obvious and actually already known, but somehow being overlooked.

It is clear to anyone who has passed through the so-called “gateless gate” of enlightenment (aka being liberated on the spot, here and now) that there never was a gate or anyone who passed through it. Nothing was ever lacking, and nothing previously absent was attained. The entire search was an appearance, an imagination, a misunderstanding, a kind of mental movie. But at the same time, there is an undeniable difference between knowingly realizing this and being confused and entranced by the story of separation and lack, which is why there is said to be a gateless gate rather than no gate at all. As the Advaita sage Nisargadatta put it, “Your begging bowl may be of pure gold, but as long as you do not know it, you are a pauper.”