(Fu – Return / The Turning Point)
I have always found it profoundly ironic that whilst the spiritual path becomes a quest for enlightenment, our Original Nature sits there all the while, perfectly enlightened, patiently waiting for ‘us’ to reconnect with it!
So why aren’t we the embodiment of our enlightened original nature if that is who we are? Why aren’t we all walking around as enlightened beings creating an enlightened society? Why do we have to embark on a quest, seeking spiritual tools and methods that can help ‘re-train’ us into some semblance of coherent expression in our daily lives?
We say we want some fundamental sense of peace and stability in order to feel creative and be able to unleash our inherent potential; yet as a society we constantly create a culture that keeps us under unrelenting pressure of false, unnecessary struggles to survive; an unceasing anxiety about what every day might require of us.
It makes no sense that we starve ourselves and everything around us of the essentials of life. We are literally ‘hell-bent’ in our orientation to compulsively recreate again and again the conditions that will never give ‘life’ to us or the ecosystems we are in and connected to. Something is seriously wrong with the human psyche at large. We seem unable to free ourselves of an addiction to this dangerous and destructive ‘lose lose’ zero sum game we play.
The spiritual medicine we seek, seems to be our longing to be released from this hellish dystopia of dysfunction and destruction. To return to a healthy, wholesome, integrated reality internally and externally, seems to be the cosmic will driving our spiritual seeking. If this is the case, it would then follow that it is not enough to keep this matrix of our accumulated, unsuccessful, conditioned beliefs going and simply ‘add on’ our spiritual quest.
The schism between our ‘default’ values and our wishing, hoping, wanting it to lead us to a better place is patently a deeply unsuccessful one. If the perceptions we have adopted could lead us to a better, more nourishing place, it would have done so by now. We would be living in it!
Unfortunately When things don’t come together as we would wish it to, we either give up our spiritual path or start constructing a fantastical fantasy ‘reality’ of what we imagine the spiritual world to be. We lose our common sense even more than we already have in this escapist pursuit.
So how do we even start? Where do we go to begin mapping a trajectory that will return us to the true stability we crave ? We start by making a serious effort to understand who we are originally, before conditioning distorted us.
A serious effort is not an obsessive separated effort to find our ‘enlightened’ being. Rather it is the tuning into a deeper strata of ourselves that already exists as a reference point. Our Original Nature is the lodestar guiding our daily living, if we allow it to.
To be able hear the guiding messages that are always subliminally transmitted by our Original Nature is to start to bring alive the neglected inner senses that complete us. To be able to follow, act on the messages that guide us towards self correcting daily living into inner ease, is to become truly functional in the most sublime practical way.
When we are even somewhat functional in this process, (ie even a little beyond the knee jerk Pavlovian responses of our narrow, limited thought processes) our potential starts to feel released and with it our joyful, curious, innovative nature. To be able to give expression to this way of being is to find a surprising, spontaneous yet profoundly liberating freedom in our lives and to bring a rich insightful quality to it. To be who we are is to feel deeply nourished.
This sense of liberation from the imprisonment of a deadened mechanistic way of life is a powerful invisible force that transforms us deeply. It’s a tangible feeling of growth, inspiration and we have energy! Suddenly the world has colours and everything seems full of potential, waiting for our creative input. It can be likened to the influence of the invisible wind imprinting its presence on the grasses swaying in the direction it’s blowing.
We don’t need to struggle with changing our outer circumstances first. It is the transformative changes within, directed by the quiet background voice of emotional intelligence and understood by the clarity of an open, reflective mind, that unlocks us from this dystopian prison. Outer changes then follow slowly and naturally with every decision that reflects a free inner world.
Our Original Nature is perfectly capable of weeding out dysfunctional illogical ‘logic’ and seeding the better, long term harmonious decisions of ‘cosmic logic.’ What we reconnect with in this re-learning process, is that the infrastructure of a harmonious free life, requires much more than just the clinical rationales of a limited, unfeeling, un-empathic mind which looks for the shortest ‘straight line’ way of achieving its goals.
The reality we long for is a soulful one, where the mundane takes on a profound resonance.
‘Meaning in life’ is what we yearn for and this should not be confused with some superficial demonstrable external achievement. Instead, our original Nature revels in experiencing life at various levels of depth simultaneously… Meaning in life is the meaning of life.
To return back to our Original Nature means to de-condition ourselves from the grip of a distorted egoistic inner programme running wildly out of control and decommission it! Nothing needs to replace this programme, for where a space is made, our Original Nature fills it perfectly!
This act of self mastery is explained in exquisite, insightful detail in the I Ching (Book of Changes) in hexagram 24 Fu. Return / Turning Point.
The Turning Point is the moment we decide to end the self conflict of opposing values or ‘logics’ fighting for domination in our thoughts. It is the moment we decide we want to return from a trajectory that inherently perpetuates self conflict. In order to create a better world for ourselves in daily life as well as in a larger way, we have to create the conditions conducive to it.
To want to return to our original nature is a powerful urge of self preservation – the kind that acknowledges and includes the growth of an interdependent all in its consciousness. It’s the ability to take our place equally in the whole. It’s the cosmic acceptance of ourselves not as higher or lower, not as special, but as a unique component in the cosmic creative act. It is to want to co-create with all around us,
To be able to actually take a practical step towards a cohesive, coherent, harmonious way of life, to be able to recognise and calibrate our small, daily actions, is to feel the return of self worth, integrity and dignity. There is nothing like knowing we are moving in the right direction! It is such a hugely empowering experience when our trust in our self guiding Original Nature manifests as a constant gift giving inner reality that has the power to ease and improve our outer reality. The root of all true healing lies is getting back to our Original Nature.