Posted by: Soh
(Image: 'Wu Wei': non-action, 'Zi Ran': "self so; so of its own; so of itself")

The path of anatta and emptiness is truly the path of total uncontrivance. Isn't it so? If in our mind we have an image of what awareness, or what our practice should be like, there will be contrivance -- trying to get back to a supposed inherent space of awareness, background, etc, or what we think awareness is or should be based on a captured memory -- we will unconsciously contrive to get back to a 'state', except we don't see it as a state, we don't see the contrivance involved -- we see it as inherently existing changeless Self -- inherently so.

In anatta, truly there is zero movement -- the zero movement is not to rest in a state of immutable 'Being' which is still a form of grasping and caging of clarity. The zero movement is from not moving a step away from the spontaneous manifestation of transience, not holding back, no essence or substance hiding anywhere. Because there is absolutely no changeless self/Self behind anything, there is absolutely no fixed manner awareness/experience is, everything is absolutely fluid and vanishing and there is constant renewal. Every moment is utterly new and completely unpredictable, therefore naturally there is resting in the unpredictable spontaneity of appearance/manifestation/activity rather than with something familiar -- holding back to something familiar is merely clinging to a reification based on memory. We don't fixate on something transcending waking, dream and deep sleep, we simply let waking be waking, dream be dream, deep sleep be deep sleep, in its actual condition or luminous-wisdom-display. The qualities of deep and intense clarity, transparency, bliss, naturally manifest without contrivance in spontaneous manifestation without any trace of self/Self. If we try to contrive a state of clarity, if we try to contrive the spaciousness, the transparency, the bliss, that won't do -- we are merely caging clarity, holding back to a self.

And we don't let the luminous-wisdom-display blind us from afflictive dependent origination. What is this karmic propensities? It is really just your very face -- experience -- as it is! There is nothing beyond, behind, or within karmic propensities -- the very delusionally shaped experience. It's like seeing those picture puzzles, at first it seems like black random shapes, yes? And then suddenly you saw "aha! there's a cow in there" and from then on, you cannot unsee that cow anymore. It's no longer black random shapes, there's clearly a cow very prominently shown in the picture. Now, this analogy has been used as representing 'awakening' -- a sudden shift of perception from ignorance to wisdom, seeing things as it is. However, this analogy is also perfect for the total exertion of karmic propensities.

Whereas previously you see a rope, suddenly rope becomes 'meaningful', now you see it as a snake, and it seemingly can't be unseen. Your mental conditioning has shaped the way you perceive and experience those 'black, random colours' into something truly solid and inherently existing in a certain manner. It is a magical 'creation' of a new experiential reality, the total exertion of our mental conditioning. That is like our delusional vision of self and inherent existence. It is our very experience itself shaped by karmic propensities into our very apparent reality. That is how delusion and karmic propensities manifest in our experience -- there is nothing hiding behind our experience influencing experience (some people may believe there is a hidden 'subconscious' pulling the strings on experience) or inside the very delusional appearance -- and just that is the total exertion of our afflicted conditionings. And this is no different from emptiness of self, the subject, where it is seen there is no inherent self/awareness/subject behind or within or beyond the very manifestation... but emptiness of self can be applied to all other things including 'karmic propensities'.

And likewise there is nothing behind, beyond, nor arising, abiding, and ceasing in the pure luminous-wisdom-display of our pure sensory experience. All things are ultimately empty of inherent existence, or real arising, and simultaneously its emptiness of inherent existence allows us to see its conventional reality that is the total exertion of all conditions. The two truths are inseparable, what dependently originates is fundamentally non-arising, and the emptiness of something reveals its conventional reality. When we have the view of the inseparability of two truths, to see the total exertion of appearance is also to see its non-arising, to see its fundamental non-arising is to see the very appearance as mere appearance of total exertion without anything created or existing behind/beyond/within the appearance. Though sometimes we skew towards one side of the two truths.

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