(An article inspired by a request from Elena Nezhinski, co-founder of Liberation Unleashed and co-author of the acclaimed book “Gateless Gatecrashers”
We all love and strive for peace and happiness. We love the joy-full celebration of life.
We love to marvel at the magical mystery and wonder of life.
And yet, our human condition is plagued with a sense of lack, incompleteness and a sense of impending doom. An incessant stream of resistance and seeking plagues us and disrupts our peace. Most of our thoughts are I-thoughts full of useless resistance to what is. Thought that insist on a different experience, dreaming and wishing for a more favorable condition or situation.
Although we love lasting happiness, most often it evades us… with a flicker of happiness, here and there.
The sense of lack is at the forefront of our life experience. A sense of lack and incompleteness fed by thoughts and images about wanting more, never having enough. One I-thought after another insisting that my happiness resides in having more money, a bigger house, a better body, a different partner, a more lucrative job, a longer vacation, etc… Such thoughts seem continuous, uninterrupted, imagining an internal self that is seeking happiness in an external world. Is there such a thing as an internal self? The I-thought seems to define what I am. The I-thought seems to define me as a personal consciousness contained in a mortal body mind.
Am I what thought says I am?
Can thought define what I truly am?
Seeking happiness in the world, body and mind do not seem to work out. At some point it becomes clear that lasting happiness cannot be realized in any worldly object, in any experience, situation or relationship.
We get the hint that happiness cannot be the result of anything, cannot be the result of any cause.
It is at that crucial moment that our attention turns away from the world and the mind and looks in a new direction.
If happiness is not a result of any action, any thought or any attainment, then it must simply be. Could it be that lasting happiness causelessly IS?
Could it be that we already are what we are seeking?
Could it be that the peace and happiness that we so love, are not out there in any phenomenal event and instead are our true nature, what we already are, right here right now, this very moment?
Could it be that, in spite of the sense of lack, in spite of thought that says otherwise, we already are whole and complete, lacking nothing?
If that is indeed so, how do we come to the fullness of this realization? How do we wake up from the dream of separation and not simply remain with our intellectual understanding? How does the illusion of personal consciousness come to an end and thus reveal the eternity and infinity of the Self?
If what we seek is already what we are, here and now, then it is simply a matter of noticing that it is indeed so. That what we have been looking for was right there all along, staring us in the face.
Like when we are searching for the car keys while they are in our hand, we simply need to notice that it is so, that they are in our hand. Then we instantly realize that they had always been in our hand.
The we smile and laugh. In that instant all the angst dissolves.
But how can we notice that the keys are in our hands when we believe that we forgot them in the kitchen? It is this belief that makes us look in every kitchen drawer, in every kitchen cabinet, in every corner of the kitchen, without finding them.
Everything arises in the stillness and is bathed in the presence that it is made out of.
Is it possible to connect with the stillness, the eternal presence … the silence that pervades all phenomenal events?
Everything we know, every thought we know, every perception we know, every sensation we know … we know it through consciousness, awareness. The only reality. The stillness of presence, the light of awareness escapes the mind and yet, without it, what is the mind?
Is it not the light of awareness that allows the mind to be known? Is it not the light of awareness that knows the mind, that knows every thought, every perception, every sensation?
This light of awareness is the only reality, and it is the aware presence that you are. The aware presence that reads these words this very moment.
Every image you know is known via the screen of awareness. Without the screen of awareness, no images are possible. The reality of every image is the reality of the screen. The reality of awareness.
What is so lovely about awareness is that it is not a mind form, it is not an object, it is not limited. It perceives forms and limited objects, but is not limited by what it perceives. Like water takes on the shape of a cloud, steam or ice, while remaining limitless water.
There is a sense of complete freedom and peace in the realization of our true nature of infinite aware presence. It is effortless and the mind is in the off mode. It is as if cosmic intelligence is running the show, as it has eternally been doing and takes care of galaxies as well as the breath and blood flow of the body.
The belief that there is an external world and an internal self that perceives it is ignorance and the source of our suffering.
Once you delve in the inquiry of your belief systems, and question the core belief that consciousness is personal, the eternity and infinity of consciousness can be revealed to you and dissolve the illusion of separation from your mind.
Once the illusion of separation is removed in the mind, what follows is the vasanic process of the dissolution of the remaining ignorance in the body, in the feeling state. That is the submerged part of the iceberg.
It is this final dissolution of ignorance at the feeling level that establishes the Self.