The primary barrier to spiritual discovery is fear. Where it cannot be dissolved, it will be impassable. This is elemental.
Specifically, the fear which dominates is that of the future (or, conversely, the fear of not maintaining a future). Fear and any idea of future time are unmistakably wedded. This irremediable relationship has likely been the immediate insight of every saint who has come to the confrontation with risk. Fear is insurmountable, as long as the future gapes around it.
This pivotal recognition propels the adventurer into a seminal contemplation of the alleged property of time. The only prospect for surpassing the limitations of fear is to somehow transcend the bondage of time. And this is precisely what each spiritual discoverer has indicated. Fear does not die in the future, it dies with the future—as the future is laid to rest.
To pierce the heart of the dragon of time is the real function of “sitting quietly, doing nothing.” Stillness, utter stillness, is the antidote to the compulsion of volition, to the bondage of chronic activity. It is to permit one’s future to wither and die of neglect, as alarming as that may seem. A sudden unanticipated (even unintended) lurch, and the chain falls aside. Buddha arises from under the Bo tree, Jesus arrives on the shores of Galilee, Maharshi sits outside the temple, Krishnamurti lights his parting bonfire at the Order of the Star.
Not everyone finds themselves prepared to turn their face toward the immaterial and their back on the material. We each do what we do. But the dissolution of conflict is to see choice through to its ending, to be unequivocally consistent in one’s interpretation of truth. It is only in this way that truth can be interpreted. And only the firmament of truth is worthy of our exploration. In this, too, our mentors concur.