Chapter 3: Being Is Intrinsically Valuable
The first question:
I have heard that enlightenment, or the natural state of man, is something acausal - it just happens. And all our endeavors to bring about awareness, to be aware, are actually taking us away from this state since they are all mind games, and these activities for self-awareness are just a “holy business.” I cannot imagine what my life would be if I gave up the search since it has permeated my life as long as I can remember. If there is no way to integrate, nothing one can do, why all this activity? Why bother? Yet what else is there to do? Please comment.
It is one of the most significant questions to be asked. We will have to go deep into it. It is true, absolutely true, that enlightenment is acausal: it cannot be caused by our efforts. But that does not mean that you have to cease making efforts, because then too it will not happen.
This mystery, this paradox, has to be understood deeply. The tendency of the logical mind is either to decide that enlightenment is causal so that one can make efforts to achieve it, or it is acausal, it happens only when it happens of its own accord - then there is no need to make any efforts.
In both ways you will miss. If you think it is causal, and make efforts, you will miss, because it is not causal. If you think it is not causal, that hence there is no need to make any efforts - why bother? - you will miss again.
The reality is: you have to make all possible efforts, yet it is not going to happen through your efforts, but you will be prepared through your efforts to receive it when it happens.
It is acausal. It will happen. It is not a doing on your part. But when it happens, will you be ready to see it? That is the point, the very crux of the matter. When it happens, will you be ready to recognize it? When it happens, will you be ready to welcome it, to open your heart to it, to receive it into your being? Will you be ready to become a host to the guest when it knocks on your doors?
Your efforts are not going to create enlightenment; your efforts are simply going to make you more and more available to it, open to it, vulnerable to it. Your efforts are going to make a womb out of your being so you can be pregnant with it. It is going to happen from the beyond. And it is not that it is going to happen somewhere in the future - it is already happening. You are just not ready.
When it happened to Buddha, it could have happened to the whole earth, to the whole of humanity. But Buddha was ready to receive it and others were not ready to receive it. The sun rises: it will rise only for those who have eyes, it will not rise for those who are blind.