Today, unfortunately, if you talk about the sacred, people look at you as if you are completely off the beam. We, as a society, have shelved spirituality into the potty toilet area. If you are different from “mostpeople,” if you are truly interested in finding out if there is anything really sacred, what will your first step be? If it is to merely look within the parameters of the particular edicts and beliefs of the organized religion that you happen to have been brought up to accept, then that “looking” will be dictated — like an old, worn out, secondhand pair of pants — by what others want you to believe is the truth (which may not, at all, be the truth). There are so very many different religions (and sects), each with their own versions and beliefs as to what constitutes the truth.
If you look for a great philosopher, a wise man, a guru, a special kind of Zen monk, priest, or authority to lead you to the truth, your choice (of that person) is based upon supposition and confusion. If you were not confused, you would not need to pick someone else in the first place; enlightenment, and its absolute and concomitant certainty would already be a part of you. Out of your confusion and lack of having been enlightened, you choose another to guide you; that very choice (of that other person) may be — since it does not come from absolute, clear certainty — erroneous and very foolish. Even Hitler “felt right” to a lot of people. (A lot of people quote others and say things, concerning what they are sure is “truth,” and, it may be — as far as the rare individual, who was truly enlightened and visited by that profundity, is concerned — that what they say is often very erroneous and unfortunate.)
So what is one to do? If one is not very passionate about this… if it is merely some minor inquiry, then (of course) not much will happen; it will just be some rather trivial pattern on the marginal side of a large group of concerns. If one is not very passionate about this, one will merely remain as “mostpeople,” who all get wrapped up in the details and only seldom (or never) care about looking into the whole. They have children, they have money, they have impressive homes and automobiles, but they do not have any deep understanding of the whole; (nor do they really care to.) So then, essentially, they are in (and exist “as”) sorrow; because a mind without that profundity is, by absolute and natural law, a sorrowful mind… an empty shell.
So what is one to do? Obviously, the mind that deeply inquires into this must first examine the mechanism that is doing the looking. If the mechanism of the mind is distorted (and not clear) then, obviously, what it sees will be tainted, perverted, contaminated and not true. So the mind must understand itself. It must understand itself as it actually is (in life and in relationship) and not according to the opinions and beliefs of another. If the mind merely analyzes itself according to set and held patterns that it has absorbed from others, it is looking with (and “as”) others’ patterns, which may not be looking with an untainted, uncontaminated background whatsoever. Unfortunately, many of us depend upon others for instructions, for patterns. This inquiry, however, if it is to be pristine and honest, may demand that one stand alone. That means not depending on anyone. Most of us have no clue as to what it means to truly stand alone.