There was a time when I wouldn’t have had a clue about the deeper nature of the chains referred to in the title of this article. I was–as is the case with so many persons–still lost in the concept of personhood and working hard to arrive at that mythical human destination called success and lasting happiness. It would be many apparent years and a truckload of suffering before I was granted reprieve. Coincidentally, “he,” who was the cause of my suffering, goes by the same name as the guy who is apparently writing this article. Let’s just say that we can blame the unhappiness on Art.
As much as it might seem, I’m not being facetious. The only guy who apparently experienced the suffering was Art. At the time, I was missing one crucial piece of information: Art is conceptual only; he has no independent existence apart from the finite mind. Neither does the character with whom you’re most likely identified. You read that correctly. The person who you think you are isn’t the “real” you. The True “I – Self” that is our essential nature is beyond all human drama. It cannot be stained by life. The Bhagavad Gita states the truth of our Being this way: “Weapons cannot cut It, nor can fire burn It; water cannot wet It, nor can wind dry It.“
I share this for one reason only: To help spare others the pain and anguish of needless suffering. Although it definitely doesn’t seem the case, suffering paradoxically serves a purpose; for it indicates that we have strayed too far from the Truth. It, thus, informs us that we need to change our direction and seek a meaningful way to live a fuller life. When we rediscover the nature of True Self, everything improves; for we are living from the perspective of Truth.
The degree of suffering that we experience in this apparent life is in direct proportion to our understanding of the truth of our being. If we think we’re the little John or Jane Doe—lookout! The only true solution is to transcend the nature of the little “self” that is apparently experiencing it. In other words, to recognize (know again) the Truth of our Being. A lot of very wise beings–including Buddha, Jesus, and Lao Tzu–knew this, and so can we. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj summed up the matter this way: “You can only be what you are in reality; you can only appear to be what you are not.”
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏
2 thoughts on “The Chains That Bind”
“suffering paradoxically serves a purpose; for it indicates that we have strayed too far from the Truth.” Love this – great words again Art. Trust you’re well 🙏
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Thanks very much, AP2. Yes, very well, thanks, and I hope that you and your family are, too!
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