Feb. 8, 2011

Student: When we say that whatever is happening is the Universe expressing itself in utter perfection, isn’t this also a thought or story that we can cling to?

Michael: Absolutely. That’s why we don’t stop practicing. We find that the deeper our practice goes, the more we have the compulsion to keep leaning into the natural evolutionary current that nudged us into spiritual exploration in the first place.

Student: But then we can’t cling to that current either.

Michael: Of course not. Meditation repeatedly shows us that every thought is a story that offers us two choices: We can either cling to the story or we can observe it’s passing. The more we let the stories pass like clouds, the less suffering that is generated. This is especially true with whatever stories we have regarding enlightenment.

Student: Can you ever say that what happens is perfect or imperfect? Isn’t it simply just what’s happening, that’s it, “end of story,” so to speak.

Michael: Of course you can say that, as long as you see that it’s also the “end of no-story.” And the end of the “story vs. no-story” dualism is what we label as perfection. Put another way, perfection is the comprehensive release of any and all labeling.

Student: Like a total absence of signs and no need for them?

Michael: Exactly. A totally signless way of being expressed consciously through you. When both signs and what they signify simultaneously express themselves and merge, we get find ourselves in a place beyond all labeling. I think that Wittgenstein nails this when he says, “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.”

Student: But even this is just a story.

Michael: Precisely. It’s a mysterious paradox that points back to itself, repeatedly telling us to let go.

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