Gateless gate and goals

 

Before passing the gateless gate (noticing clearly what we are), the goal of awakening may be held to quite strongly. It may seem very important, almost a matter of life or death.

Yet, when the gate has been passed, it is recognized as not important at all. “Awake” or “deluded” are equal. We realize that there is nothing but God, always and already awake, and either noticing that or not. If it notices, it is “awake” in a conventional sense, and if not, it is caught up in imagining itself to be a human being.

What shifts this is the realization that although it is all God – already and always awake – there is an experience of suffering, and of a separate someone suffering, so compassion comes up. And a desire to help alleviate this suffering, either through conventional ways or by aiding awakening.

It is clearly seen as part of the game and having no absolute value, but it is still done because we have to do something. And the heart moves us.

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