Something very simple about the gateless gate:
When I am caught up in thoughts about time and space, confusion and awakening, a me and I, there appears to be an I that is now confused, in the past was more awake, in the future can awake, and is not as awake as some others out there. It all seems and feels very real and true. The gate leading from confusion to clarity seems real and true.
When there is more clarity – when images of time and space, confusion and awake, a me and I, an inner and outer world, a gate from confusion to clarity are recognized as images, happening within and as awareness, it all looks a bit different. It’s all appearances and experiences within and as awareness, including a me and I that is confused or clear, confusion and clarity, and a gate leading from confusion to clarity.
So being caught up in and taking these thoughts as real and true, there is certainly the appearance of time, a me and I, confusion and clarity, and a gate to pass through. It all feels very real and substantial. Passing through this gate, it’s all revealed as happening within and as awareness. It’s all the play of awareness. Spirit taking on all these different forms, and temporarily identifying as a me and I, and taking thoughts of confusion and clarity etc. as real and true, making it all appear real and true to itself. It’s the infinite temporarily experiencing itself as finite, from the “inside” of all of these ideas, and then again noticing itself as infinite.
So there is a gate since it’s experienced as real and true. And there is not a gate, since it’s all happening within and as awareness. And as capacity for all of this – awareness and it’s infinite forms and appearances.
It’s a gateless gate.
In Buddhism, they sometimes talk about the gateless gate.
Here is a simple way of talking about this, from own experience:
First, there appears to be a gate. Then, it’s revealed to never really have been there.
As I am caught up in thoughts about who I am, time and space, awakening and so on, it seems that a shift into more clarity will happen in time and be a clear shift, it’s a gate I can enter.
When it happens, it’s all revealed to be quite different. There is no-one that can enter any gate and no time for it to happen within. It’s all happening within and as awareness – a who, time, space, confusion, awakening.
Both ways of talking about it are revealed as true in its own way. There is the appearance of a gate, and a life lived as if it’s true. And there isn’t really a gate.
And that’s not always so true either. Often, it’s not so clear cut. There may be a shift into clearly recognizing the gateless gate, and then the gate to some extent appears again. Old wounds and thoughts surface. There is an emotional charge or pull to a whatever thought is here, and it’s taken as true. Awareness goes on the “inside” of the belief, making it appear true. The me and I, time and space, and the gate temporarily and to some extent appear real and substantial. And these wounds and beliefs surface so they too can find liberation. So Spirit can recognize itself as Spirit also here.
For me, and perhaps many others, it’s a process. First, there is no awareness of or interest in any gate. Then, there may be the appearance of a gate and it seems and feels quite solid and real. Then, it may be revealed as just an appearance. Then it may appear again, and appear real to some extent while there is also a knowing – from own experience – it’s not really. And then some or all of these repeat for a while. In my case, it went directly from the first to the third, and then there was and is a cycling among the last three. And it’s not really a process, or a cycling.