lookingup

Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer


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lookingup

further discussion

D: Does that mean that everything is meaningless?
J: Nothing is meaningless. But nothing has meaning, either. You can't say positively that something is or isn't meaningful. Nothing is there, but that nothing is not meaningless. Nor is it meaningful. Nor is it even nothingness, for that matter. There's nothing that can be touched.

D: So there's just nothing, then? How can you get up out of bed every morning if there's nothing to get up to?
J: No, there's not necessarily "just nothing," either. I mean, to get through life, a person might need to find meaning (or meaninglessness, I suppose, depending on their background and conditioning), but that's just what they need to get through life. When a person looks at what's really there, they might find that there is neither meaning nor meaninglessness. Just like there is neither the presence nor absence of anything at all.

D: So then, what does that do for our discussion about this stuff? Is there anything meaningful about talking about this directly? Is this a philosophy in and of itself that should be discussed?
J: You know, it's really not important what a person says, as much as where a person is coming from. Do you really believe that things can be meaningful or meaningless? Or do you come from a place where there's neither the meaningful nor the meaningless? If you're coming from that place, you have the freedom to talk about anything. If you've transcended your conditioning, you will speak whatever needs to be spoken at the time. You'll do whatever is called for in the moment. You'll act or speak in whatever way the moment demands.

D: What does that mean, "what the moment demands?" Is discovering what the moment demands an evaluative process, or is it a purely intuitive understanding?
J: If you have transcended your own conditioning, then you can understand what the moment demands. Only someone who is totally free from their conditioning can really be in the moment - everyone else will be reacting to their own conditioning. So, you have to be aware of your conditioning. I mean, I haven't transcended my own conditioning, so I don't even necessarily know what that means (laughter). But it seems that you can be cruel, soft, warm-hearted, compassionate, or anything, but if you've transcended your own conditioning, then you can understand what the moment demands.

D: It sounds like you're negating the importance of acting in a certain way. If the only criteria is that you're acting in a manner that's free from your own conditioning, does that connote that your actual actions (along with their intended or unintended results) lose their importance? What importance does compassion have in this scenario, for example, versus oppression?
J: Well, as soon as you start defining things like compassion or oppression, then the meaning disappears completely. Grace doesn't call itself anything, it's just grace. And grace will work through anything, because all there is is grace. Even the most highly conditioned person can act as an instrument of grace. But just because a person calls something by the name "compassion" doesn't mean anything. Once you talk about it, you lose it - it's really just the absolute playing with itself, playing itself out.

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fewtch April 5th, 2001

The whole discussion hinges on the assumption or belief that there is "a person" or are "persons." If this belief or assumption is questioned, the entire discussion may just (figuratively) vanish, along with the belief.

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J: No, there's not necessarily "just nothing," either. I mean, to get through life, a person might need to find meaning (or meaninglessness, I suppose, depending on their background and conditioning), but that's just what they need to get through life. When a person looks at what's really there, they might find that there is neither meaning nor meaninglessness.
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