(The texts that appear before and after this set of images are from the book lending its title to this post.)
All of life a boundless stream
a sigh of infinite waves;
all of life trembling, pulsating,
timelessly flowing renewal and decay
And you and I, my friend
—venture of ventures—
here and now
to be nothing
but its selfless sight.
"Crouching over the camera in the middle of a narrow creek, I hold my breath and press the shutter. Filling the viewfinder are the translucent remains of a fallen leaf and a dripping, broken-off branch precariously perched on the edge of a tiny waterfall. At that very instant, an insect flies into the frame and becomes part of the image. A single point in space and a single moment in time are captured from one of countless possible points of view in an image incapable of representing the mystery of that place or of that instant now dead, forever gone.
Through no merit of my own, this fairly ordinary event triggers the realization that a photograph such as this could be taken at every point of space and time, from every conceivable angle, and for a million years, and the resulting collection would still reveal little or nothing of the all-inclusive flow of life. Suddenly the veil of representation lifts, revealing what is actually unfolding at every instant and everywhere: life itself. It is evident now that our common ground in life is something totally other than the particular images and ideas with which every human being habitually regards himself as though he were separate from the time-bound content of the personal psyche, other individuals, and the totality of existence. The isolated process of self-centered thought stops dead in its tracks overwhelmed by the realization of the unity of existence. In an instant, everything is made whole and new.
There is an observation of mind and life that is not mediated by the personal experience and cultural knowledge that isolate the self and divide the world. This perception cannot be learned from, or taught to another person because it is non-dual, which means that there is no subject that could possess or acquire it by means of knowledge. Its power to dissolve the illusion of psychological separation lies precisely in that it ultimately has nothing to do with the particular images and ideas, or the gradual effort to become more and better that constitute the isolated self. Thus, when it comes to seeing what lies beyond mental isolation, everyone is on their own —out of time, and therefore out of the false protection granted by any traditional consensus of shared knowledge and desire. Perception untrammeled by self-centered thought is now or never."
You can see a different version of "Seeing the Stream, Being the Stream" (published by BLURB) by clicking on this link.