The various forms appearing in life can’t be the reality, because all of them are changing; they’re nothing more than false appearances. If we watch a cloud and it takes on the shape of a person, a house, or a mountain, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, we always know it’s a cloud. The appearance of form is not the reality; the unformed cloud is.
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The same is true of everything: bodies, objects, sensations, moods, thoughts, activities, states of mind, relationships, and so on. All things are changing, flowing. They’re the passing appearances of a great, unformed, and inexplicable happening – an event, a presence – call it whatever you have to.
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If we sit quietly, making no effort, life expresses itself clearly; it simply happens on its own. There’s nothing else to get. The great truth is obvious. The heart beats; the breath comes and goes. Vibrations, pulsations, twinges, feelings, thoughts, and emotions rise and fall. Urges rise and pass; some become actions, others do not; and so life flows.
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There can be no sense of peace until we realize we’re an indefinable activity. All things, all actions, all thoughts, words, and deeds, are the passing appearances and expressions of a great unformed, indefinable event.
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Sitting quietly, making no effort, all is revealed: a vibrant, pulsing, formless happening, simply happening. There is no goal in this, no final point; there is only what expresses itself in this moment, and whatever it appears to be now is unavoidably on its way to some other appearance. (from Essence Revisited)
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There are many ways of pointing to this vibrant, formless happening. Some have called it the Great Spirit. Some call it the river of life, or the ocean of existence. Some call it the flow of nature. It’s been compared to clouds and water, having no particular shape. Some say it’s formless and some call it “un-form.” Some say it’s energy and some say it’s movement. Some call it God, Tao, or Atman. Some call it Mind. Some call it “original nature.” And some just call it the universe, which literally means “undivided turning.”
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