It’s An Inside Job!
The ‘insider’ is our own pure, unbiased intelligence that can discern what is real and what is seemingly real, once we understand what reality is. Compassion and devotion are not a means to ingratiate ourselves: they are a natural expression of realisation. If we’re not careful, our natural intelligence can become clouded: thinking something through is vitally important, but being obsessed by our thoughts imprisons us.
The following is by Tsoknyi Rinpoche:
“… Once you understand rigpa (pure conscious awareness) experientially, you know what is meant by the ability to enjoy the phenomena of samsara. Before you recognised rigpa, there seemed to be only two ways of relating to samsaric phenomena: one is dualistic grasping, and the other is the feeling of futility and wanting to keep it away from yourself.
“Please understand that the compassion and devotion that arises from experiencing the awakened state are not what we conventionally know as compassion and devotion. It is together with true intelligence, the real knowledge of how to be free – that is why they can become true compassion and true devotion. Otherwise, of course we feel compassion, of course we have some degree of devotion, but it is more like we either are forced into or manipulate ourselves into these feelings for a specific reason: they don’t happen spontaneously and sincerely. The devotion and compassion that arises out of true intelligence are unshakeable. They arise out of true confidence.
“Intelligence here means a sense of being capable, of knowing how and what is happening when a thought or emotion begins to take shape. You are no longer blinded to what is taking place. Nor is it like in the past, when you got annoyed or irritated, when you got wrapped up in certain feelings for hours at a time before you could finally let go. It’s not like that any more. There is a sense of being awake to the situation that you can call intelligence. You are seeing clearly how it works – not only how it unfolds but also what the solution is, and how it is possible to simply let the clinging dissolve. You are not ignorant about that at all. This intelligence comes from within. You can almost say it is in the air, together with the arising of, for example, desire, which otherwise could cause so much trouble.
“The negative emotions create so many complications and so much pain when we get caught up in them, chases after something, and loses track of oneself. Intelligence here means to see very clearly what leads to negative states, what has bad consequences, and what the right way is. All this is laid out quite clearly in your field of vision, so that of course you choose – not conceptually, but with a certain immediacy – the right way, rather than the blind alley. This intelligence is not like being able to memorise ten thousand phone numbers or figure out intricate systems. It is natural, from deep within. It’s a feeling of not being blind, a fundamental absence of blindness. That intelligence is a natural attribute, a natural atmosphere that arises from recognising rigpa…”