Does spiritual enquiry have any value?

Spiritual enquiry, where I come from, is a waste of time. Everybody is wasting their time indulging in spiritual enquiry. Spiritual enquiry is basically so that you will keep living the life of ignorance. The more that you keep enquiring, the less you will discover of the truth. Eventually, you've got to say, ‘What is the truth?’

Well, the truth is now. And now is what is. And what is, is everything in sense, this moment, now, in the observer's own experience – only what is. It’s no good saying, ‘I have a knowledge of God’. Or ‘I have a knowledge of my car’. Or ‘I have a knowledge of this and that’. That is not what is. That is in your imagination – in your inner space. The only thing that is here now is what is – the phenomena in front of you now. That’s the truth.

So, Barry, is spiritual enquiry really a distraction from the truth?

Yes. While you're engaged in spiritual enquiry, you'll be distracted from what is and go into areas which have been provided by spiritual masters, the Buddhists and all other religions. You’ll be going into inner space and starting to imagine what God is, what Jesus is, what Mohammed is, what Buddha was talking about. You’ll be going into all sorts of ceremonies, mantras and all the rest of it – which is all a lot of rubbish compared with the truth.

The truth is now – the phenomena in front of you, what is, as it is, now. That is the only truth. The rest of it takes you away from that. And inevitably, because you are away from that, you will have to suffer and know confusion and contradiction. In all the masters that you listen to, you will find contradiction, because no one is saying the truth is only now – and it is the phenomena you see with all your senses.

So, Barry, not many people are actually walking around in this moment, or living now. What's in the way then? Is there a process or is there some way to get rid of everything, so that then you are just living now?

Yes. That’s the process of living. Your living life has been provided so that you can suffer enough and go through tragedy – go through loss (because everybody dies, ones you love and your own body). Everybody has to go through all that, which is living, with its temporary successes and temporary failures; and temporary driving into the world; and temporary depressions and confusions. And temporary moments in which you are in that state of mind where you sense that there is a God or truth – temporary, that is, because to hold that as an uninterrupted state requires being absolutely and completely now, every moment, in your senses. You can't do that until you have lived sufficiently and suffered with all that I just described – trusting that that will eventually get rid of your imagination about the truth instead of perceiving the reality of the truth. And the reality of the truth is now; it never was anything else, only now. It is utterly and completely in the phenomenal existence; that's where it is.


© The Barry Long Trust 2009

Transcript of a private interview recorded at Barry Long’s home on Saturday, 21st July 2001