The End of Spiritual Enquiry

An Article by Barry Long

Indulging in spiritual enquiry is a waste of time. But then the whole of existence, as we have to live it, is a waste of time – until we come to our senses.

The more we keep enquiring, the less we will discover of the truth. The truth is now; and now is what is. That is everything in sense, this moment, now, in the observer"s own experience. It is the way of ignorance to look for something more.

While you"re engaged in spiritual enquiry, you"ll be distracted from what is and go into what has been provided by spiritual masters, the Buddhists and all the other religions. You"ll go into inner space and start to imagine what God is, what Jesus is, what Mohammed is, what Buddha was talking about. You"ll go into all sorts of ceremonies, mantras and the rest of it – all rubbish compared with the truth. The only truth is what is, as it is, now – the phenomena in front of you. All the rest takes you away from the truth. And then, inevitably, you have to suffer and know confusion and contradiction.

Your living life has been provided so that you can suffer enough and go through loss and all the temporary successes and failures, depressions and confusions; and the temporary moments in which you are in the state of mind to sense that there is a God or truth. Temporary – because to hold the truth as an uninterrupted state requires you to be absolutely and completely in your senses, now, every moment. You can"t do that until you have lived and suffered sufficiently; so that eventually you get rid of your imagination about the truth and instead perceive its reality.

You would expect a spiritual master to say there is "only one truth and that is now." But I tell you this: The only truth is to be now, in your senses; what you are seeing and hearing is the truth; and if you perceive anything in your inner space, it is not the truth.

Inner space is where you think, want, imagine, wish and dream; where you have spiritual realisations; where you realise God, truth and love. All that happens in inner space – demonstrably, in your own experience. But anything you are imagining, that you"re building on as an opinion, a position, is not the truth. There is no truth in imagination. And there is no truth in reflection.

Inside of you is the clamour of your emotions and the clutter of your mind. Should you happen to eliminate a bit of the clutter and the clamour, then it is true that a reflection of the truth may shine through; and you will be exalted in that moment and think that you have realised God. But it"s only a reflection of God. It"s only a clearing of a little bit of the intellect, which is the reflection of God in existence. A reflection of God is like a reflection in the mirror. Is that you in the mirror? No, it"s your reflection. So a reflection of God in the intellect is not God. . . . God is now, this moment, every moment.

The intellect is smeared with all the rubbish of belief and religion, and the hopes and untruths that masters have spread. You cannot find the truth until you have expunged all that from inside of you. You"ll never find the state of absence, which is the state of truth, unless you"re able to be now – with nothing arising inside.

Do I have to remind the Buddhists of what the Buddha said? – "I have nothing arising." That means: no opinions, no beliefs, no mantras, no wanting, no trying, no effort, no clamour, no clutter – as a way of life.

What can you do to eliminate the clamour and the clutter? You have to stop reflecting on your emotions, on your thoughts, on your memory. You have to stop thinking, wishing, dreaming while you"re awake. While I do that, I exist. I only exist in the past – as a reflection on my memory, my emotions, or what I know. When there is only perception, now, in the senses, I disappear. Then there is the state of absence – no person, no individual. Just what is.

This is a negation of everything – except doing. Nobody on earth can stop doing. The problem is only that I produce an "I" to reflect on what I am doing. There is nothing arising. But I am still "doing" . . . The bird is singing and there are the trees, the skies, the clouds, and whatever my senses are reporting in sound and sight; that is the only reality now.

I don"t know how deep this reality is within the senses. It"s one great something or other that I cannot name. Is that all it is? Nobody can say. Anything that"s said about it is an interpretation. It is what it is now. That"s the mystery; that"s the secret.

© The Barry Long Trust

Author Bio : Barry Long was an Australian spiritual teacher who died in 2003. This article is edited from a private interview he gave on 21 July 2001. A complete transcript is available online at: http://www.barrylong.org/statements/spiritualenquiry1.shtml There is an article about Barry Long’s life and work in the Esoteric Library : http://http://esoteric.2hav.net/articleviewer.php?artid=1299


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