Posted by: Soh

By: Scott Kiloby

The Flow

Have you any idea why your body is moving, why the sun is shining, why love arises when you see a friend, or why anger appears as you see an enemy?  Science and philosophy and all sorts of other disciplines have tried to give explanations.  They act as authority, giving us causes and conditions, and more theories.  But to really answer the question "why" one has to stop trying to understand it.  To let this dynamic flow of life just happen brilliantly and spontaneously on its own requires the absence of the one who is trying to nail it down, understand it, and theorize about it.

Analyzing and understanding have their place.  The intellect has its place.  In fact, it is part of the flow itself.  But this dynamic flow, this vibrant life with all its dancing forms, seamlessly interacting with each other...this cannot be known or understood.  To be free is to be this flow.  In Buddhism, they talk of "entering the stream."  This is not about understanding the stream or figuring out why this part of the stream bends into that part of the stream or how deep one area of the stream is compared to another area (yet all of that knowledge is part of the flow of the stream also).  To enter the stream one has to jump into a place where one is free of all fixed conceptions.

When you think you know what life is, or how it moves, be willing to let that thought float away.  Let each thought be what it really is, just another temporary current in the flowing river of life itself.  Don't pretend that ideas are more than what they are.  The ideas of a separate me, you, and all other objects are just that.  They are ideas.  Can an idea (a current) become the river?  It is already the river.  This depth of freedom remains out of reach so long as you fixate on one current.  If you believe that only a particular conception, idea, thought, or other form will lead you to the river, you are pretending again.

Take a look around and see that you have no clue how or why this life moves in the way it does.  You aren't doing it.  Others aren't doing it.  It's being down.  Your very effort to awaken and your very movement to control life are already currents of the river itself.  They cannot bring about the flow.  They are it.
And there is no reason to stop ideas from flowing.  They too are already the flow of the river.  Just see that ideas cannot bring you to what you already are.  And if you have the idea that this flow or this river is a thing, you are fixated on a conception again.  Don't believe the river of life is a static thing.  Let it move.  Laugh at every thought that tries to pin that movement down.  And see that the thought itself is the movement.

Sometimes reading words like this can unhinge the idea that life can be understood or captured by an idea.  All that seeking, all that effort to try to be at ease with life, can slip away.  It leaves you realizing that you already are the easeful flow of life itself.  This flow doesn't have to be free of concepts.  Often, in spiritual teachings, we overemphasize the absence of concepts.  This is unnecessary when you see that concepts are not pointing to separate things.  They are just arisings, currents in the river that constantly change, move, and swirl.  When you believe concepts are delivering truth, they do not move and change.  They become static things that you repeat, believe in, rely on for identity and truth.  In seeing that concepts are not delivering absolute truth, that they are merely a way of communicating, concepts and freedom are seen to be one in the same.  This very sentence, which is conceptual, is already part of the flow of life.  It cannot capture the flow itself.  A current cannot capture the river.  A current only "eddies" into another current, all of it being the flow of water itself.

All forms (thoughts, emotions, sensations, events, experiences) are seamless currents of an unknowable river.  They have no individual, separate existence.  A current can never stand apart from the river.  It cannot divide itself even from another current.  The river of life is seamless in every direction and depth.

You can't jump into that river.  You are already that.  You can, however, stop pretending that you are other than that.  You can stop telling the story that the river is something that you, the current, can know.  When you stop pretending, all effort falls away.   All control falls away.  There you are, just flowing.  Nothing in life feels like a separate thing.  Total inseparability.  You are not a thing that flows alongside other things, but the seamless flowing itself.  Not a noun, but a verb.  Flowing, moving, changing, living, loving, seeing, being.  That is the flow of life.