The essential question is not man’s question to Jesus: “Good Teacher, what must I do?”
This I claim by the two-footed logic that the question is man’s and it is practical. For Man is always questioning what is his practice when what he means to ask is what is his essence; confusing what is essential to his nature with what is practical in his environment; confusing what is behaving with what is being.
Whatever is essential cannot be practical. The essence of anything is as impractical as a hug on a horse. Yet it is precisely because it is impractical, that a mother’s hug is no less than absolutely necessary to a child--either at home, on a horse, or in a hailstorm. The practicality of a thing comes out of the essence of a thing. Not the reverse. In practice, being attempts to return to its essence. As when hugging, mother and child attempt to return to, which is to say remember, which is to say practice, that love is oneness. The practical may reveal and call back to the essential, but it does not cause nor does it give birth to the essence of a thing. Because essence has no cause—can have no cause. It is a thing’s origin. It is the solid ground that action crawls, then stands, then walks upon. And because man is eternally confused of his essential need, it is never met.
It is not practical.
Man’s essence, therefore his essential need, is goodness.
It is never essential that man have the answer to what he must do, but instead what he must be.
The essential question rather is Jesus’ singular one to man, “Why did you call me good?”
Jesus’ answer is to ask how it is a man knows goodness when he sees it. Jesus’ answer is that he doesn’t have any questions to answer—man does; that he can’t answer what only man can; that neither he, nor anyone, should give someone what he already has, but has only forgotten; that he can’t and shouldn’t answer what man must surely already know: that he has eyes, and must simply open them; that he is asleep in his bed and must wake up.