The most tremendous possibility of all is closed to us – this just happens to be the direction we never ever look in. We make a point of never looking in this direction – it is only because the most tremendous of all possibilities is closed to us that we can luxuriate in the illusion of being this self or that self. There is absolutely no way at all that we could cherish the illusion of being this or that self if we were to look in ‘the direction of wonders’.
If we want to continue to believe that we are this self or that self then this direction (the direction of wonders) must not exist for us, and it doesn’t. Nowhere will you hear people talking about it. You can travel far and wide and you still won’t reach anyone knows or cares what you’re talking about when you’re talking about this direction, or the tremendous possibilities that lie in it. The most learned professor of psychology won’t have a clue as to what you’re on about. Absolutely they won’t. There’s nothing as stubbornness as this refusal of ours to look in the one interesting direction in life, the only interesting direction in life.
We only have time for the uninteresting direction, which is the direction of things that have a relevance to the self, the direction that seems to hold possibilities for the self, promises for the self. This is the direction that really has a grip on us, the direction that we are – it comes down to it – obsessed with to the exclusion of all else! All we will ever find in this direction however is the self – all the self is ever interested in is itself, in other words, which is a bit of news which shouldn’t really come as that much of a surprise to us. The self is only interested in the direction that contains things that are relevant to it, and so the self is only interested in the self.
There’s a funny little ‘twist in the tale’ here that we are very unlikely to see in the ordinary run of things. Actually, it’s a twist that we never will see, in the ordinary run of things! The ‘twist’ is this – when we look in the direction of all the directions that are (apparently) possible for the self (which is to say, when we look in the direction of the self’s hopes and fears) then this act creates the self. The self is created purely and simply by focusing our attention on that direction which seems to hold possibilities for it and ignoring all else. This is something we ought to know, but don’t!
The compulsion that we are subject to every day of our lives is the compulsion to look only in the direction of developments that are apparently possible for the self is what creates the self and this is another way of saying that it is fear that creates the self (or that it is by obeying fear that we get to believe that we are this or that self). So on the one hand we could say that the self comes into (apparent) being when we obey the compulsion to look exclusively in the direction in which there are – apparently – possibilities for the self, whilst on the other hand we could say that the self comes into (seeming) existence as a result of us being absolutely terrified of looking in the direction where there are no possibilities, apparent or otherwise, for the self.
This way of looking at things sounds very strange if not to say utterly absurd (too absurd to give even a moment’s consideration to) but at the same time it makes a type of sense that is as clear as a bell. What could be simpler than this? The self is created when we get caught in the absolute compulsion to ignore all information that tells us that there isn’t a self, and this is the same as saying that the self is created when we exist in a state of complete fear with regard to reality. The fear of reality is another way of talking about the self and the self is another way of talking about the fear of reality.
That is why the most tremendous possibility of all is closed to us – the most tremendous possibility of all is reality, and reality is where the self isn’t. That is why we are not interested in it! Instead, we are obsessed with looking in the direction that is created by the self’s hopes and fears, by its projections. This direction is unreal, therefore. Projections are unreal and so too therefore is the movement in the direction of our projections! As Krishnamurti says –
The ideal is a self-projection, and your working towards that self-projection is what you call action, action with a purpose.
It is not possible to imagine a more doomed and futile situation than that of the self – situations just don’t come any more doomed and futile than this. You would be wasting your time looking for one! We spend all our time chasing our goals and trying to realize our purposes, and yet our goals and purposes are simply a restatement of where we already are, which is nowhere.
This is something which it is possible to state very, very bluntly and yet which still will not be understood. It is also something that manifests more and more starkly as ‘the Great Perversity’ when we can see it. We resolutely and pig-headedly turn our backs on all the wonders of the world, just so that we can celebrate that which doesn’t exist, and never could…