Another way to talk about always & everywhere is to say that enlightenment is retroactive. (From Joel at CSS.)
When we find that we are capacity for whatever is happening, as they say in the headless world, we also find that it is always like that. There has never been a time it wasn’t like that already, it is just that we didn’t notice. We took ourselves to be a portion of what we are capacity for. (This human self, a doer, observer, etc.) So in that sense, enlightenment is retroactive. It is all already Buddha Mind, the Divine Mind, the play of God.
But there are also other aspects to it.
For instance, we may see that all is already innocent, and always was innocent. The world is innocent. Our actions were innocent. The actions of others were innocent. We took a story to be true, acted as if it was true, and couldn’t help it. It is all completely innocent, and it is the same way for others as well. Other ways to see this is to find that it is all living its own life, with infinite causes. The whole of existence is behind every little thing happening, including taking stories as true, acting on them, and creating suffering in that way. And it is all the play of God. In all these ways, we find that it is all innocent, and always were.
We may also see that all is already kind, and always have been kind. Even the most apparently awful things in our life was kind, an invitation to grow up as a human being, and for what we are to wake up to itself. The only reason it seemed less than kind was because we took a story to be true.
Similarly, we may find that it is all already infinitely wise. There is an amazing wisdom in how it all unfolds as movements within one whole. And whatever happens is God manifesting, experiencing and manifesting itself, and – in our human context – an invitation to grow and wake up.
And there is no suffering. When what we are wakes up to itself, there is no suffering. It is all the play of what we are, similar to what we find in a dream, so there is no suffering. And although there certainly was the appearance of suffering, that suffering is revealed to not be as it appeared at the time. For one, there is no trace of any experience. When it is gone, it is gone. (Apart from as a memory, and we can continue create suffering there if we take stories as true.) Also, suffering is a gestalt made up of sensations and images (labels, interpretations.) There is no suffering, and no problem, in either one of those. And we may find that there is suffering only because take a story as true, so suffering is really an expression of infinite wisdom and kindness, and an invitation to grow and wake up, and find what is more true for us than our initial beliefs.
All of this can easily co-exist with conventional views, and it is often helpful – in a practical way – when it does.
For instance, everything may be innocent, but we still take responsibility for our own actions in a conventional sense, and invite others to take responsibility for theirs.
And when we relate to others, we may be aware that their suffering is maybe not as it appears to them, yet take their experience of it seriously. It is real to them. And suffering is real to me as well, when I experience it. Holding both invites in kindness and receptivity in how we relate to ourselves and others.
- enlightenment is retroactive, and also kindness, wisdom, lack of suffering
- see that is always like that
- all buddha mind
- all innocent
- all kind
- all wise (wisdom in the process)
- no suffering (sensation + images, also – suffering only b/c resist)
- see that is always like that