We are standing at the punchbowl, glass in hand. Dude ambles over and we say, “Help yourself.” He doesn’t know it and we don’t either, but a spiritual pointer has just been expressed.
In Hopi mythology, Spider Grandmother appears as either an old woman or a common spider. She is appreciated for her wisdom, medicinal remedies and plain-spoken advice. The following conveys her earthiness and spiritual pungency: “Don’t go around hurting people. And try to understand things.”
“Only the necessary is good,” said the coal-eyed sage and seller of sundries. The mind salutes this statement with a split list of essentials and non-essentials. But that’s not what Nisargadatta was pointing to. His reference was to the necessity of a quiet mind.
The man who condemns himself commits what Nisargadatta calls a grievous spiritual error.
I cannot say that I have been improved or elevated by virtue of believing something. Where, then, is the necessity for belief? From the outside, belief appears as a kind of pseudo-knowing, a mind-made obstacle to knowing.