May 26, 1997 09:26 AM
I believe some in the group have a tendency to misinterpret what
Nisargadatta Maharaj meant when he stated: Desire nothing ... for that you
may surely have. His wisdom is sometimes quite subtle. Perhaps a comment or
two will serve to clarify this matter.
Comment 1 (a poem actually, by Benjamin
We have got a single minute --- only sixty
seconds in it.
We didn't seek it, didn't choose it, but it's
ours; we can't refuse it.
When it's past time won't erase it; we're the
losers if we waste it.
We can't keep it; must expend it --- and
account for how we spend it.
Just a single tiny minute ... but Eternity is
I would suggest (to Jaqi and others) that it is probably this "minute"
that Maharaj had in mind when he gave us the quote mentioned earlier. To
Maharaj and Mays (and, yes, DSArthur) the most important minute in our lives
.. is the one we are experiencing right now. The previous one is already
gone and "time won't erase it." And the next one --- is unattainable. Due
to the linearity of time we can only experience THIS moment. The last
one is gone forever and the "next" one never arrives. That is why Mays
wrote: "we have got a <single> minute ..." . But what can be accomplished in
"a single minute?" A vacation?
A delicious meal? Earning a lot of money? For this is what desire is all
about---acquiring, over time, that which we presently do not have. And yet
.. there is one thing that can be accomplished in "a single minute." That is
harmonizing (being "in tune", if you will) with the universe. Essentially,
this involves "doing what needs to be done" in both thought and deed ... not
because it is desirable or rewarding but simply because it needs to be done.
Desire is not a factor here because desires (and their fulfillment) generally
require a certain amount of time ... and, as already noted, "we have got a
<single> minute ...". So then, Maharaj and Mays and others have urged us to
"seize the moment." And, instinctively, we know what needs to be done. Oh
yes, to be sure, we don't always do it. In fact, we don't even mostly do it
.. but that doesn't alter the fact that we "know." From this perspective we
should be able to see that desire is not an impetus to action but a
distraction. Maharaj is telling us that the secret of existence, of
happiness, of bliss (and, conversely, the avoidance of suffering) is ...
doing for the universe what needs to be done --- not because it is
"desirable" but simply because it needs to be done. And we can do it in "a
single minute." The fact is, it must be done in a single minute because, as
Mays has pointed out, that is all the time we'll ever have.
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