Non-Doing… We hear this a lot in the advaita world and intellectually it’s accepted but can we really see what this is implying? It says that nothing is ever doing anything, that you are not the doer and that although nothing is happening, nothing is left undone. Over the past couple of weeks I have been observing this non-doing, and allowing it to reveal itself to me in it’s natural essence however, as I am no teacher I don’t know how well this will bleed onto the virtual pages of the internet. I have come to see or to re-discover what this non-doing entails or might entail. I will try and explain it as best as I can but please take into account that this is a pointer in the direction where to look if you would like to see for yourself (and i encourage you to look so that you don’t have to believe me, but that you will see with your own eyes.)
What we seem to perceive as being movement really is nothing more than a play of shadows in light on a movie screen, except we believe it to be movement because we are so used to the assumption that just because something is moving that it must be doing something. However over the past couple of days I’ve observed I’ve come to a realization that this isn’t necessarily true.
Let me give you an example:
that came up in my vision when I was taking a trip observing rolling hills of beautiful grass while the wind was blowing on a beautiful sunny day. The grass was greener than ever and it was swaying back and forth as if it were full of life. (which isn’t incorrect, grass is life so it would only be natural to look this way.) As to doing or not doing, I can no longer say that it is doing anything other than what it is, grassing if you will. The grasses nature, out of all the manifestations that is Self, is to be bendable, to continuously grow, and whatever mysterious things it may have up its sleeves, but it isn’t doing anything then being what it is. So to see it sway back and forth has nothing to do with the grasses nature, its natural ability to bend makes it seem so but this is not the grasses doing, this is winds nature. The winds nature is to be what it is, is it moving or in action? I can’t say that it is because winds nature is to be wind, it requires no action or reaction for it to happen. So the fact that grass is perceived to be moving isn’t so and the doing of wind is not a doing at all, as it is natural to wind to be it’s nature. I can suspect that wind wouldn’t be telling itself (I think I’m going to blow across this land right now) and so it does. I can suspect it is doing what it does best and that is to be wind. So then if you look at it from this perspective, who or what is doing? If you can tell me, please do, but there need not be argument for argument sake, but rather to look at it deep down inside and see that not even we are doers.
Our first defense is to defend the claim that we are in control of this body, that we are capable of so many outcomes, all of which we are in control of. I cannot find the one who is controlling the body though, who is it, and how can I point it out, it is as if a ghost is operating this system. I say a ghost for lack of a better word, something is there, but it cannot be logically pointed out to the mind, because everything that we have come to know or think we know, are all based around certain assumption so that it would make sense to the assumption of “I am this body.” So that it may exist without a not knowing state, and so that it may feel that it’s in control. This is how it feeds into not-doing though, is if the body is made up of millions of cells all of which because of their nature act through what they are manifested to do (allowing digestion to happen, respiration happening, thoughts to be caught) then who is really in control of the body, the mind that thinks its doing, isn’t really doing anything. All of the bodies “doings” are non-doings, yet nothing is left undone, the body does what it does to maintain the life that it is, and very beautifully might I add. Thoughts happen, but who is having the thought and who is observing the thought, and which one is it that is claiming to have and claiming to observe. All are just thoughts that are claiming, so when those thoughts are gone, what’s left?
Can we honestly say that we can point to a direct source and explain in words what is doing, and what isn’t doing. I question the one who is claiming they are doing, because I can no longer see doing, yet there is never anything undone. Tons of things are in continuous and absolute manifestation at every moment. There is a difference between non-doing and non-action. You can be in non-doing (in fact this is our nature) but this doesn’t necessarily mean that we are in non-action.