False Sense of Doership

  • π™π™šπ™–π™˜π™π™šπ™§, 𝙄 π™Ÿπ™ͺ𝙨𝙩 π™—π™§π™šπ™¬π™šπ™™ π™©π™šπ™–.
  • 𝙒𝙝𝙀 π™—π™§π™šπ™¬π™šπ™™ π™©π™šπ™–?
  • I did; the tea is brewed. (Speaker begins walking away.)
  • No, don’t go away. You have to understand. Who brewed tea? In order for tea to be brewed, tea first had to be available. Tea was poured from the bag to the tea pot, which we bought at the market. The seller purchased the tea pot from the wholesaler, who received it from a tea field in Southern China. Who is working in the field?
  • Chinese farmers.
  • But are they the only ones out there? They take care of the soil by watering it regularly, but the main job is done by the sun, water, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and the soil which is rich with minerals. In order for tea to end up here, a lot of interconnected events have to happen.
  • Yes, but it was me who brewed tea, not some farmer or the sun.
  • Slow down. If the farmer or the sun did not exist, could you do it alone?
  • No, but that does not eliminate my role in the process.
  • You’re correct. However, it means that the process by which the tea was brewed also depended on the farmer, the sun, and lots of other factors.
  • I understand.
  • Now listen: was it really you who was responsible for brewing tea or was it the boiling water from the pot?
  • I put the pot on the fire; the fire boiled the water and I poured the water onto tea leaves.
  • Can’t you see that without fire, water, and the teapot which kindly provided its body for this ritual, you could not do anything?
  • Yes.
  • Can you begin to understand how much work was performed by the universe in order for tea to be brewed? Ha, ha, and we’ve only begun. Where did you get the water?
  • I took the water from the creek.
  • Does it participate in the process of brewing tea?
  • Um…
  • The creek’s water comes from the mountains, right? Where is the mountain water coming from? It comes from the clouds. How does it get up there? It evaporates from the ocean.
  • I see. Go on; don’t stop.
  • Yes, I understand that the whole universe takes part in the process of brewing my tea; I am not solely responsible. I am very small compared to the universe; my actions could be easily ignored.
  • Oh no! Do not ignore your actions, explore them! You are saying, “I brewed tea,” but what did you do? What exactly did YOU do?
  • What did I do? I took the kettle and poured hot water onto tea leaves…
  • Are you sure YOU did it? Let’s look at it closely. Did you consciously move all of the muscles required for this process in exactly the right sequence in order to pour the water into the pot and not onto your own hand?
  • Yes, of course I strained them.
  • How exactly did you do it?
  • I am not sure of the intricate details; I learned to do it when I was a child.
  • Perfect. Did you learn to send signals to your neurons? Did you learn how to release the energy in your muscle cells to order each mitochondria to rebuild ATP by splitting and oxidating glucose? Did you open and close ionic and metabotropic channels of each cell to move potassium and sodium both ways, force yourself to breathe, force your heart to beat, force erythrocytes to transport oxygen to these muscles?
    Did you do all of that? Are you regulating your breathing? Are you telling yourself that you are hungry or sleepy? Are you changing blood sugar levels? How are you doing all this in a timely fashion? Do you say to yourself, β€œah, I’ve just eaten a big piece of pie, so I will order my pancreas to release more insulin?” Are you in control of all your bodily functions and regulations?
  • All of it happens automatically.
  • Everything happens automatically?
  • Yes, but I ordered my body to make tea.
  • Let’s assume you are right. How exactly did you control your body?
  • I just decided to brew tea and di…
  • Stop. Did you put this thought into your own head, or did it simply appear there?
  • The thought came to me, that…
  • Stop. Did it come to you? (Speaker begins to smirk)
  • Yes, it did come, and it came to ME which means it is my thought!
  • You think so? So you are sure that you are the master of your thoughts, correct? No problem then, just sit down and stare at this dot for forty eight minutes without blinking. If you are the master of your thoughts, and the thoughts are the masters of your body, just sit and stare.
    What’s the problem: sore legs or watered eyes? Hey, you are the master. Order them not to be sore, and not to water… ha, ha. Order you hair to fall out of your head. Order yourself not to think. Order yourself to see Atman.
  • So you are saying I cannot even truly brew tea of my own accord?
  • Even Brahma cannot brew tea. If the tea example is clear to you, examine all of your actions. Is there anybody who is truly in control of the process?
  • I understand; events just happen and things are done.
  • Ha, ha, now go and meditate, and do not think that it is you who meditates. WHO meditates?
  • Ha, ha!
  • He, he!
    Aloha Averianov,
    translated from Russian by Max Viskov

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