In 1977 I spent two weeks in India with a guru, Charan Singh. At that time visitors could spend up to three months at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh in the Punjab, soaking up the mystico-spiritual vibes gratis.
Flying off from the Amritsar airport to return home, via Delhi, I remember looking out of my window seat at the majestic Himalaya mountains, saying to myself, "I don't want my thoughts to be mine anymore, but yours."
I was a devoted disciple back then. I still am. What's changed is the meaning I give to yours. Thirty years ago it meant the guru; today it points to mystery.
This, actually, is entirely in accord with Charan Singh's teaching, for he said, "May your love of the form culminate in the love of the formless." It's a natural progression. Really, an inevitable one.
For what we know, no matter how much, is so much less than what there is.
Here each of us is, one of six billion people on an insignificant planet circling an average star that comprises just one of two hundred billion or so stars in the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of a hundred billion or so galaxies in a universe that extends far beyond what can be observed, and could well be just one of countless universes in a cosmos that has no end.
And yet many (if not most) think they've got it all figured out, because the Bible, Koran, Torah, Adi Granth, Vedas, or whatever, tells them so.
They don't know what life is, what consciousness is, what matter/energy is, or what anything is at the root of its really real reality, not to mention what any possible metaphysical existence may consist of. Worse, they don't know that they don't know—or at least aren't willing to admit it to themselves.
I am. Now. That's why the sentiment of my Amritsar airport takeoff moment is still with me. I've just extended yours to encompass the mystery of what I, and you, and everything else in existence is.
Of which I'm clueless. Happily so.
I no longer feel that I have to fly halfway around the world to honor a sacred impulse. The mystery that is me provides worshipful opportunities aplenty.
In my previous three posts I've been equating meaninglessness with mystery. Makes sense, doesn't it? If I knew the Meaning of It All, there wouldn't be any mystery to the cosmos. And there's a lot. So, how to honor meaninglessness?
By not being meaningful. Usually this is considered to be undesirable. I say something to a companion and am told, "I have no idea what you mean." Communication failure! I try again, hoping to make sense this time.
However, if I'm facing in the direction of ultimate Mystery, my communication with what is uncommunicable should be as non-sensical as possible.
I may be speaking with myself. Or, not. Who knows? It's a Mystery. Either way, meaninglessness tunes me in, to some degree, with what lies beyond the meaning of the little I'm aware of now.
My meditation periods used to be deeply meaningful. Now my goal is different. I still enjoy mantra meditation—repeating a word (or words) to still my thought-stream. The mantra used to have a meaning for me. Mystery, though, deserves to be honored with meaninglessness.
D.T. Suzuki speaks of Buddhist mantra meditation as using a name ("Namu Amida Butsu") whose meaning consists in having no meaning. Essentially, the mantra becomes a koan.
Meditation, or "coming into the presence of the Buddha," thus gave way to the constant reiteration of the phrase as not always or necessarily referring to any definite objective reality, but merely as a name somehow beyond comprehension, or rather as a symbol standing for something indescribable, unpredictable, altogether transcending the intellect, and therefore suggesting a meaning beyond meaning.
In other words, meaninglessness.
Wu, Wu, Wu. Woo-woo. Wuuuuuuuuuuu. Whew!