Having never left the house, you are looking for the way home.– Nisgaradatta Maharaj
These types of quotes are pointers. They point to something we may, at some level, overlook.
They are medicine for a certain condition.
And they are not meant to be any final or complete truth. Their nature is such that they cannot be any final or complete truth.
WHAT IS IT MEDICINE FOR?
So what’s this pointer medicine for?
The idea and perception that we somehow left what we are and what we most deeply seek.
It can help us turn from seeking it “out there” – in others, in the past or future, in another state, and so on. And turn to looking for it here. What is it that has never been gone, even if all content of experience comes and goes?
WHAT DOES IT LEAVE OUT?
What does it leave out?
It leaves out the limited validity in the reverse.
Having never left the house -> Having left the house. In what sense is that true?
How did I leave the house? I leave it any time I operate from the sense that I exclusively am this human self, a separate self in the world. I leave it when I don’t notice what I more fundamentally am to myself, in my own first-person experience.
Also, since I have lived much of my life from that assumption, and especially some of my formative childhood years, a lot of me operate from that assumption. Many parts of me have left the house, in that sense, and it’s up to me to welcome them back into the house, help them recognize they never left the house, and allow them to realign in that noticing.
THE VALIDITY IN THE REVERSALS OF POINTERS
In general, I find it helpful to look for the validity in the reversals of these types of pointers. It helps me unstick from any one particular view, and find the limited truth in each.
It also helps me find the stuck orientation(s) in me the pointer is medicine for, and what the reversals may be medicine for.