When anything is said or written, where does it come from, and who says or writes it? Who can claim authorship, and how verifiable is that claim? The answer on a conventional level would seem to be so very obvious: “Well, I said it; I am the author!” But like all things that seem so obvious, there is another way of looking at this, and it is a fortunate person who is led to ask these deeper questions and to keep asking them until the “obviousness” of the usual answer becomes less certain.
In order to look into this inquiry deeply, we need not formulate any grand philosophy; we only need to closely observe our own experience. In any given moment, when a person becomes very settled, rested and still, when they want nothing and know nothing and are freed of the need to defend or defeat, then an authorless place is allowed to appear. From that authorless place, one is not speaking from memory or relating the present to the past. The complete reliance on the here-and-now in that immediate time, place and circumstance invokes an intelligence from which the ever-new can appear.
The speaker in that case would be hearing what is being spoken as if it were spoken by someone else; the speaker would be the first one instructed by what is being spoken. That is to say, the speaker is being educated and enlivened by what they themselves are speaking---how extraordinary! One cannot actually identify the source, as what is being expressed is not limited to the personality of the one expressing it. This need not sound odd to anyone of us who has ever found speech or writing occurring completely spontaneously and openly, without preparation or goal.
This authorless expression is not something that is cultivated, contrived or aspired to. It may seem to be a rare thing only because of our lifelong allegiance to the rumblings of the mind: the thoughts, emotions, experiences and stories that have seemed to be so very real for us. When we relax our hold a bit and allow all of these things to be as they are, we then allow this intelligence to reveal itself that is not bounded by the thoughts, emotions and experiences. The mirage created by thought is seen through, and once we are no longer transfixed by the mirage, something quite marvelous occurs.
For short moments, many times we continue to allow this authorless place to become unconcealed. This movement of unconcealing may happen sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but this doesn’t matter. We persist, never letting loose of our genuine enthusiasm and courageousness. We are sustained over and over again by the brilliant practice of short moments many times, the skillful means of a loving teacher and a direct teaching, and the support of a community of fellow discoverers.
We gain more and more confidence through our own direct experience that this authorless place is ever present and ever sustaining and is not something that we need to earn or acquire. When words are authorless, then the perceived gap between speaker and listener is given up, and no one is a stranger. Authorship thins into no thing or no person in particular, and what seemed impossible for a person before is now gloriously possible.