Occlude, verb: block passage; obstruct a path.
Human beings generally suffer from an occlusion of perception which obstructs their view of the nature of things. Some people are aware of this - and to be aware of this is the first step in undertaking sadhana, spiritual discipline leading to an unimpeded view, to seeing how things really are.
Most are not aware of it, and so continue to suffer for reasons that in their heart of hearts they know but have chosen to forget.
Then there are those whose view is not occluded. There are the liberated beings how have outgrown and matured beyond what we accept and regard as 'the human condition'. They are the awakened ones, very few in number. All the great spiritual traditions spring from and honour those whose view is not occluded.
When spiritual teachers say that the true nature of being is obscured by craving and ignorance, it is to this occlusion they refer. And the true nature of which they speak is not some cumbersome philosophical concept understood only by academics and scholars. It is the very joy of being alive, the first flush of spring, the bliss of being which is known to kittens and children and those unencumbered by self-concern. It is the delight of compassion which need ask nothing in return and has no care for the morrow. It is the love which springs spontaneously from one who dares to be tender.
It is true that humans must abandon innocence and break from the womb of nature, and that having done so they will wander for aeons in the realm of created being, subject to death and decay. But all along they are emanations of that intelligence which animates all, that which knows but is not known. To begin to truly love, which is to love without cause and without object, is to begin to overcome that blindness which occludes our perception of the impercievable, that impossible task which only love can accomplish.
jps | August 2002