Wed, 26 June 2019




Sudden illumination in unconditional surrender. The example of Mahakashyapa

Several times I have spoken of Lay Spirituality as a way in which there can be no dogmas or religious indications. This is the way in which no way is followed. The path is completely absent, in lay spirituality what matters is the simple presence to oneself and this cannot be a path but a simple attention to the state in which one is. Consciousness is aware of consciousness.

To accept oneself as something completely unfathomable and unknowable, not conformable to any precise axiom of intellectual or religious derivation, means to remain suspended in the void being empty. Impossible to see the boundaries of one's being.

This lack of identification in any structural form (of thought or otherwise) is at the same time also the "strength" of spiritual secularism. There are no safe ports of call, there is no boat, there is no sea, no one and nothing to look for ... only the current of life, of conscience, only the sense of being present. In this lack of conditions it is possible to feel our self surrendering, our mind melting away, thus discovering the center that is not a center because it is all that it is.

This, it seems to me, is also the experience described in the Buddhist history of Mahakashyapa's encounter with the Buddha. It happened that Mahakashyapa approached the Buddha and from these he was simply touched, nothing more, no education, no glance, a trivial touch, perhaps unnoticed, a light shuffle as can occur between two people who meet. Yet at that precise moment Mahakashyapa became aware of himself, of his perennial presence in himself, at the contact of such a wonder he simply began to dance. How would a drunk or a madman do? In fact even a madman is only conscious of his reality, ignoring that of the world, but in the madman contingency and speculation still exist, the world for him is "different" is not how others perceive it but "his personal world" like him imagine continues to exist ... And this is the inner difference between a so-called "madman" and Mahakashyapa. From the point of view of the external observer - though - the reaction can be the same. And so also appeared in the eyes of Ananda, the faithful disciple of the Buddha. Ananda complained to the Buddha, saying, "What is this? Perhaps he is a madman, perhaps he had a profound experience, but it is the first time that he sees you, how is it possible that he was so impressed? I have lived for forty years together with you and I touched your feet with devotion countless times, yet none of this has ever happened to me .. ".

The Buddha did not answer, he could not answer Ananda's question, because Ananda himself was his own and precise obstacle to achieving Awareness. The fact is that Ananda was the elder brother of the Buddha (some say he was the cousin - ed) and when he introduced himself to him to be initiated he asked him: "I am your elder brother, before accepting to become your disciple I ask you a please, because afterwards I could no longer do it, I ask you to always be in your presence, to be able to sleep in your own room and to be able to introduce any person at any time without you being able to say - now is not the time for me to speak with this person - promise me this before accepting me as a follower. " The Buddha agreed and this was the constant impediment of Ananda to reach awareness, evidently it was his destiny, and in fact it was realized only after the Buddha left the body.

In truth, Ananda could at any time renounce his pre-conditions, he could have been light and out of any "context" just as Mahakashyapa had been, but this was not possible and it is right that it should be so because he could do so. his destiny in an exemplary way, as happens to each of us. To tell the truth, it is not necessary for each of us to conform to a model or to conform to a hypothetical ideal, this is not the purpose of secular spirituality, but rather that of letting go and being whatever one is, without placing conditions of arose, it is enough to be what we are, and to be consciously and lovingly.

I wrote this story thinking of a speech I made with a friend about "what to do" to be yourself ... We can think of "doing" something if in any case it was possible for us to change what we are, but is this possible? Can we change ourselves? Apparently, through our own compliance with natural internal drives, we can change what are the outward forms of our manifesting ourselves, but how can we change the intrinsic reality of consciousness that we are always and in any case?

Paolo D'Arpini


Date: 10 April 2019Author: Paolo D'Arpini
Credits Publisher: Comitato per la spiritualità laica


Public Profile:

By the same author: 

Publications and Essays

What is in us is also in the other

Publications and Essays

Catholicism and Buddhism compared

Publications and Essays

Lay Spirituality

Publications and Essays

Ether and consciousness

Publications and Essays

Wu wei. Act without acting

Publications and Essays

I remain as I am...

© 1998-2019 Spiritual® and Spiritual Search® are registered trademarks. The reproduction, even partial, of Spiritual contents is prohibited. Spiritual is not responsible in any way of the contents of the linked websites. Publishing House: Gruppo 4 s.r.l. VAT Registration number PD 02709800284 - IT E.U.