I am led by a guide into a secret Buddhist city, ancient and new at the same time. It contains all the wisdom of Buddhism and beyond, and research is being conducted into every subject under the sun. A man greets me in a small central office. He tells me, cheerily, that I am to learn all the knowledge in the city, not only once but ten times over. I say that it is not only hopeless but futile, and he says “yes, that is exactly what you will learn. It can’t be done, insight is endless, and it won’t get you what you desire the most.”
This was a waking dream, unfolding in that place between sleep and awake when I wake up in the morning. It reflects something I recently have explored more consciously, although through an image that brings it home further.
Insight is endless. And it won’t get me what I desire the most.
Insight can have temporary and practical value for functioning in the world, or as pointers for awakening, and is invaluable in that way. But in itself, it is nothing. Insight is a tool only.
In most cases, a small amount of life 101 insight is sufficient. Insights into how to function in the world in the ways our human self is called to do. Insight into the dynamics of healing and maturing. Insight into how to invite what I am to notice itself.
But a mindless pursuit of insight for its own sake is really a dead end. Some of it may be useful, and it may be an exiting adventure for a while, but it doesn’t get me what I most desire:
The simple insight of what I am. The insight that clearly reveals any other insight as a tool only.