How many pointers does it take to turn on the light? –

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How many pointers does it take to turn on the light?

Posted by bill2smith:

Bill Smith:
There are so many teachings, so many traditions (many sects of Christianity, many forms of Buddhism, many forms of Hinduism, Islam, Sufism, others). I know that realization can happen within these traditions. But I also believe that any of these teachings and traditions can be a trap, a box. I guess, really, it’s the mind that’s the box. The mind can be greedy, can love acquiring things. It can be deluded into thinking that by accumulating knowledge, it will find its way out of the maze of the material world when all that knowledge can provide is signs, pointers. I mean, how many pointers do I need?

I’ve read Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi, and Nisargadatta off and on for 50 years (along with many Zen teachers). How many pointers are necessary? The mind is a tool, just like the body. But ultimately, all the ideas and concepts in my mind must be seen for what they are: They are things, objects; a teacher points to the door and then her job is done. It’s up to me to open the door and go through. But to do that, I have to abandon the teacher and the words that point; recognize they are things, name and form.

Is someone who has accumulated the knowledge (ideas, concepts, thoughts) of the teachings “more Aware” than someone who has none of that knowledge? Is it possible for “pure perception” or “pure knowing” to occur without any of this knowledge? I suspect that Ramana Maharshi had very little knowledge of the teachings when he left home as a boy and refused to speak to anyone. Do I have more chance of “getting there” if I have more knowledge of the teachings, more concepts, more ideas about this? I’m not sure.

“Can we question why we need to be something—Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jew? What is that something? Is it a thought, an image, a concept about oneself? Having a concept about oneself is a divisive thing, isn’t it?”  Toni Packer

“What am I, what are you, what is every one of us anywhere on this globe when all images, identities, and traditions are put aside?” Toni Packer

Krishnamurti: Can you, if you are the guru of so and so, dispel his darkness, dispel the darkness for another? Knowing that he is unhappy, confused,… can you dispel that? … You may point out, you may say, “Look, go through that door,” but he has to do the work entirely from the beginning to the end…

Swamiji: It is just this:… The door is there. I have to go through. But there is this ignorance of where the door is. You, by pointing out, remove the ignorance.


Krishamurti: But I have to walk through. Sir, you are the guru and you point out the door. You have finished your job.


Nisargadatta: Those who know only scriptures know nothing. To know is to be. I know what I am talking about; it is not from reading, or hearsay.


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Toni Packer: The Work of This Moment

Nisargadatta: I Am That

Krishnamurti: The Awakening of Intelligence

Created: February 15, 2024 
Last modified: February 15, 2024

This post has 1 Comment

One response to “How many pointers does it take to turn on the light?”

  1. Holger Avatar

    Thank you Bill.

    We can spend lifetimes studying,
    reading, talking and still overlook
    the elephant in the room – Awareness.

    Being in the Presence of truth lovers,
    being in good company, made all the
    difference for “me”.

    Great timing for this topic!
    Words are secondary, trust is important.

    Is the suffering and seeking a flaw,
    or a master-plan?

    “I don’t know”, but quite amazing.

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