The river longs to return to the ocean.

Written by Master Charles Cannon


 “The river longs to return to the ocean.”  --Zen saying

“The river longs to return to the ocean.”  What nonsense!  Why would the river long to return to the ocean?  From a truthful perspective, it makes no sense because the river is the ocean, and whether or not it is aware of itself makes no difference.
If everything is consciousness, symbolized by the ocean, then the river is also consciousness.  If the river longs to return to the ocean, it is deluded.  It has separated itself from itself illusorily and is seeking that which it is not.  It is seeking what it does not have.  This is madness.
It is like the proverbial fish looking for water all the while completely surrounded by it.  There is a well-known universal principle, “what you seek you do not have, and what you have you do not seek.”  If you are consciousness — if all and everything is consciousness — why would you seek it?

All forms of consciousness are the same consciousness, just as you are.  Right here and right now, if you are seeking consciousness and you are seeking life, then you’re deluded because you’re already alive.  You are an instrument of consciousness, a form of consciousness experiencing itself and delighting in itself simply because it is so.  This is what is happening.

Are you not alive in this moment?  If you are seeking life you are like the fish looking for water — you are like the river longing for the ocean.  Consciousness that seeks consciousness makes no sense.  If the river is truthful, it does not long to return to the ocean but just enjoys being itself.

About the Author

Master Charles Cannon

Master Charles Cannon

Master Charles Cannon is a modern spiritual teacher, founder of Synchronicity Foundation for Modern Spirituality, and developer of the High-Tech Meditation and Holistic Lifestyle experience. His work over the past 40 years has helped transform the lives of millions worldwide who respect him as one of the truly innovative spiritual teachers of our time.