I hope I connected all the dots in this talk, but the main dots I connected was the ritual in the world and ritual in the mind is the same ritual, an unconscious behavior that has two meanings: one meaning is in time, and the other meaning is the avoidance of our timeless freedom from ritual. Ritual is an avoidance of Freedom and Creative Awareness. Awareness is aware of ritual, aware of conditions, so awareness is not conditioned, and conditioning is the function of time, the function of the past. Awareness or our Buddha Nature is. free from conditioning and suffering.
This truth is so simple we can’t see it. We can see it because we are invested in ritual thinking and behavior. The ritual has the purpose of maintaining our story of reality, and we are the main character in our story of reality. Ritual holds that story in place. Our story, which is the past, gives us meaning. But our story is always out of sync with the present moment because it is always new. The tension between our story and reality is the measure of our suffering.
I’ve been talking about compulsions. A compulsion is a ritual we have to do, even though we don’t want to. We have to do it because there is a secret unconscious pleasure in it. I we could see the pain in this pleasure, we would stop the compulsions. But that means we would have to make the compulsion conscious. We would have to take radical responsibility for what the compulsion does to our life and others. We don’t want to see that. The unconscious compulsion is an avoidance of consciousness.
At some point there has to be a turning point, either voluntarily or forced, where we turn and go into the compulsion, into the ritual with full awareness, not judgment and blaming, but acceptance and curiosity. We have to make the unconscious conscious by lighting a lantern and going into the cave.
What is the Divine Compulsion? I’m being very honest now. The Divine Compulsion is the Bodhisattva vow to teach this Dharma, to liberate all sentient beings. An impossible vow, yes, but it is given. This is why I transcend the reluctance to give this talk. What’s the point, the mind says. And yet I do it. Why? I don’t know. But when I do it, the words come. I don’t know if they help liberate you or not. The fruit is not the goal. This is my Bodhisattva Vow that I didn’t make but was given to me, that does me.
My whole adult live since 1968 has been fighting and surrendering to the vow, to this Divine Compulsion. We all have a Divine Compulsion to be our true nature. We all have a vocation. And in our natural vocation we can fulfill the Divine Compulsion.
My cry from the Cross has been How Can I Be of Service? What is my vocation? What is my duty? And I have resisted, while at the same time created project and packages in order to create my completion in the future. Always in the future, which implies that I’m not complete now, that I’m not doing my duty, my service now. Tomorrow is where I’ll be completed.
So Facebook Live comes along and when you are live there is no tomorrow. This is it!