Nirvāṇa

If you have properly alighted on The-Not you have run out of questions. There is nothing more to ask or to say. The Trail ends here.

Exalted queries like: ‘What is Reality?’ take shape only on the platform of uninvestigated presumptions and the platform of the ‘Subject-Object’ Divide. They have no more life at ‘The-Not.

But if you still have questions there is a word, one that goes back to the earliest texts, meant to help with the answer.

Here is my old File-Box Post:

Nirvāṇa in its proper definition has nothing at all to do with any empyrean ecstasy, cosmic peace or any of that later rubbish. And no, upon reaching it you still will not be able to part the Red Sea.

The stock explanation of Nirvāṇa is that it marks some kind of Ego-Death, a typically vague gloss that doesn’t mean anything. But it does allow the Teacher to talk for hours about its significance.

The word Nirvāṇa, literally a ‘Flaring-Out’, has its etymological roots in a fire that has ‘Come to Rest’.

The Madhima Nikaya, the source most often cited, says it is like asking the direction taken by a dead fire: ‘To ask: ‘In which direction has [the dead] fire gone?’, is a question that: ‘does not fit the case’.

The answer to the question: ‘What is Nirvāṇa?’ lies in an understanding of the misunderstanding that underlies the question itself.

The self-scuttling has to be done at the level of the questioner.


An early definition of Nirvāṇa was as the ‘Exhaustion of Philosophical Views’. Now, is the ‘Exhaustion of Philosophical Views’ itself a ‘Philosophical View’ or not? Err…is this a ‘SEE’?

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