“I am No Thing”

People talk about “being awake” and “knowing the Truth” or being “spiritually enlightened” but haven’t yet realized that everything they think they know—life and death, light and darkness, solid and empty—are relative aspects of something as inconceivable as the smell of color.

Being “awake” has nothing to do with knowing what reality is.

Being awake is knowing what reality is not.

It’s to cease identifying oneself with any object of knowledge.

Just like any statement about the substance of reality is meaningless, the claim that “I am” “something” is meaningless. Along the same lines, the assumption that “I am nothing” would, of course, equally have no significance since ‘something’ and ‘nothing’—’being’ and ‘non-being’—are relative concepts and belong to the “knower”.

From this standpoint, the only statement that has a basis is “I am no thing” – ‘thing’ is a word—a noun—and words and nouns are something we made up for the purpose of communication.

“As butterflies come to the newly planted flowers, Bhodidharma says, “I know not.””