It was all the time 1-2 blocks away

nancy pro's picture

Average: 4.7 (17 votes)

You are probably familiar with the this situation:

You are looking for a rare small store that specializes in the repair of some all-forgotten article.

You have got the address and clear instructions on how to arrive there and yet you drive in circles for more than half an hour and can't find the place.

Suddenly, when you are already completely out of hope, you happen to spot the store at the corner of your eye in a near crossing street.

You park and get out of the car and then it dawns on you: the store was all the time 1-2 blocks away.

The store is enlightenment, the roads are the techniques and realizations, the car is your body and you are the conditioning, well, at least for now. One day you will discover how close you were to the store so many times.

happy together's picture

exquisite allegory

exquisite allegory. It is indeed an all-forgotten article... and the store is small and rare.... and there are so many streets around to entangle...

But all roads finally lead to this store... whether it takes more time or less time which is not important... you will get there...

happy together | Fri, 05/01/2009 - 09:27
barbara's picture

So true

We are so near to the store but have our eyes fixed on selective vision, filtering based on familiarity and survival.

We are so near to the store but have our mind navigating based on the same old automatic conditioning.

When you are conscious about these two patterns of behavior, you are granted with the precious opportunity to look and navigate beyond these patterns. But only for a split of second, until these patterns are back to control and you are back to unconscious sleeping.

barbara | Fri, 09/11/2009 - 08:28
neo's picture

present and aware

You have to happen to be present and aware when the store happens to enter your sight otherwise you can drive in circles for eons looking for that store.

I know this feeling... that it was a moment ago so close and yet I missed it out of strong conditioning...

neo | Fri, 05/01/2009 - 10:00
nathan's picture


That something is so familiar

nathan | Fri, 05/01/2009 - 18:47
Phroggy's picture


Never will you be able to find the store because the store has been set up in the back seat of your car all along, following you everywhere, waiting for you to stop driving in circles and simply turn around and look to see that it has never been out there somewhere but always right here.

That which is going in circles looking for the the store! It's utterly absurd and hillarious.

Phroggy | Fri, 05/01/2009 - 20:09
suzi's picture


These are just 2 allegories, they are not mutually exclusive, neither of them is true or needs to nor can be true. Their role is simply to reflect a current feeling and bring a transformation. I feel that the one in the post is more transformative as it takes into account the present state and perspective of the individual and has no bit of theory one needs to trust or believe in.

suzi | Sat, 05/02/2009 - 10:00
Omkaradatta's picture

Which one?

"I feel that the one in the post is more transformative as it takes into account the present state and perspective of the individual..."

Which individual?

Omkaradatta | Sat, 05/02/2009 - 22:03
Phroggy's picture


Yes, and that's the whole transformative point. We can tell all sorts of allegories about how the Truth is right around the corner or under the manhole cover and the seeker is absolutely safe in the knowledge that it will one day find where it is hidden. This is not transformative in any way, it's just more fuel to keep the seeker putting around the block looking for something that isn't there, because it's here.

The seeker is the delusion. That's potentially transformative. Cruising around the block is the seeker's way of keeping the seeking going without ever having to find anything. The seeker, and everything it thinks it is, and everything it thinks it knows, is a sham, a game, a wonderful explosion of imagination and creativity, and also a prison. None of it is ultimately True. You ARE that Truth which you seek. Before you start the car and after you've gone around the block 10,000 times and finally run out of gas. You're still the same Truth and the task is impossible.

I ask myself, how many more trips around the block? I don't know, but I know I'm done pretending it's out there waiting for me to find it.

Phroggy | Sun, 05/03/2009 - 02:56
suzame's picture

what he is right now

According to theories: no individual.

According to the present state of a non realized which is the only starting point possible: him identified with his mind.

I think someone already wrote you this before: when you are in Ohio and needs to go to LA, you will start your journey from Ohio and not from NY though maybe NY is more attractive and convenient. Denial of the present state leads only to more denial.

PS. I agree that the original allegory has more aesthetic in it and as with any poem or allegory - the aesthetic is what gives them power including the power of transformation.

suzame | Sun, 05/03/2009 - 06:52
Phroggy's picture


So, the one identified with his mind is to realize that Truth is very close and can be found by the mind? How can this be transformative since it does not resemble anything that's true?

Using your Ohio to LA analogy, if you are identified with the mind, begin with where you are instead of where you want to be. Begin by exploring what that identity consists of and if it has any substance to it at all. You want to be in NY city cause the food is better there, but you're in Cleveland, so get over it. :)~

Phroggy | Sun, 05/03/2009 - 07:43
dora's picture

why compare?

"resemble anything that's true?"

Says who? what does resemble? using words?

It is an analogy FGS, not a religious/philosophical text. There is a place for both the analogies, there is no one which is more true or more superior than the other as the purpose of analogies is to connect to the reader mainly beyond the limited words in the most intimate path to something deep in him/her that simple words cannot reach. Some may connect more to the original analogy and some to the other. Why compare? It reminds me the organized religions that argue which is more close to truth and whose god is the true god while they are all and none of them and in the same time.

Analogies do not mean to depict truth but just to provoke a mental state that points at it and this is achieved by feeling between the words instead of trying to understand every word and every relation between the words.

Finally, Krishnamurti once said that true listening means to focus completely in what is said forgetting the background of our own ideas, not comparing the new nor trying to fit the new to the already believed or learned.

dora | Sun, 05/03/2009 - 09:05
Phroggy's picture


The reason for comparing concepts is to look and see what's true. This is the value of discussion, but only if one is open to looking and is willing to question what they think they know. If you think all ideas, all religious doctrine, all pointers are created equal because the Truth cannot ultimate be spoken, you're mistaken. I assume the reason folks here would prefer to listen to the masters rather than the televangelists is because the quality of the pointers is better.

No guru worthy of the name is going to tell you that you're very close to the Truth and just keep looking; you missed it the first 100 times around the block. He's going to tell you you're no closer nor farther away from Truth than the day you were born because you ARE that Truth. He's going to tell you that that the 'you' you think you are can never find Truth and all your seeking must ultimately come to an end in the realization of what you have always been.

Phroggy | Sun, 05/03/2009 - 18:34
Omkaradatta's picture

Theories and truths

"According to theories: no individual."

According to the truth, the only individual is the one reading this message now. No other individual matters.

"According to the present state of a non realized which is the only starting point possible: him identified with his mind."

I submit you don't even know for sure if anyone else exists at all (but you). There's no direct evidence of that, only theories ;-).

Why not admit the already-obvious: (To you) nobody else exists (but you), since anyone saying things you don't relate to are merely spouting theories. Once this is realized -- that you are the nondual Self, and there are no others -- the ego is kaput, and the game is over.

Omkaradatta | Sun, 05/03/2009 - 20:54
solo's picture


At some point, the individual spots the curve in the tunnels of his/her conditioning that leads to the realization thanks to a grace from beyond that cannot be depicted in words and which can occur only if and when the individual is fully present. When that happens, he/she realizes that he/she were so close to this curve so many times but yet his/her conditioning lead him to other direction. He is familiar with this junction of his/her conditioning in which he automatically always took the other direction without even noticing.

This is true not only regarding the "big" "famous" self realization but also regarding the small realizations we are fortunate to have from time to time and which are more precious and real and for me are enough. These realizations always happen when for some reason you turn one day to a different street than the one you always took automatically. This is the magic, this is the thinking outside the box (of conditioning, of the "I") and when this happens you see how many times you were already in this same junction reacting unconsciously and automatically by turning to the same mental street just because of the habit.

I feel this every time I am driven to a new ally which my conditioning have never led me to before though I have always seen this ally at the corner of my eye.

solo | Sun, 05/03/2009 - 09:57
Meherwan's picture

Kabir's words

In his youth Kabir( a great 16th century saint) was approached by two disciples who wanted minute intellectual guidance along the mystic path.

The master responded simply:

" Path presupposes distance;
If He be near, no path needest thou at all.
Verify it maketh me smile
To hear of a fish in water athirst!"

Meherwan | Thu, 07/09/2009 - 07:51
happy's picture

You are damn right

You can't imagine how right you are. A few years ago, I underwent a near-death experience. I saw then among other things in retrospective how damn close I had been so many times when I had been on the right direction and stopped only a "few meters" away, if I had just listened to the clear voice of my heart and not to my lazy mind, had just to keep on a little bit more but I had not. Certain meditations, certain specific points of great insight but also difficulty and boredom, if only I had been a little bit more persistent and less jumpy, less judgmental, a bit more earnestness, a bit more patience, a bit more attentiveness, a bit more relaxed, so close.

Now it is not important anymore.

Listen to this wise woman, be attentive and persistent, cast off your speculations and calculated doctrines and listen consistently to the instincts of your heart when you navigate in labyrinth of streets. Then you will not need to wait for a near-death experiences to realize things.

happy | Wed, 09/30/2009 - 17:37
kaput's picture

Sense of urgency

When you happen to be in the proximity of the store, there is a certain feeling, a sense of urgency.

It is very subtle, mostly unconscious.

Identify and stay tuned to this feeling and it will serve you like a loyal compass.

kaput | Fri, 10/09/2009 - 18:33
shishmanidov35's picture

So true

So true, so true, so true.

We notice this in microcosmos when we see in retrospective how close we were to some state or insight, that we stopped our meditation too early, that we didn't have enough patience or alternatively that we put too much effort.

I can bet that it is the same with enlightenment. We are so close to it in so many moments of grace and still our mind makes sure we deviate from there and take another street.

shishmanidov35 | Sat, 12/12/2009 - 23:14
sharonk's picture

Buddha said about this

Buddha said: "There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: not going all the way... and not starting."

This is very connected to this smart piece. I found the quote in

sharonk | Tue, 03/16/2010 - 13:55