If we were building a house, how meticulous most of us would be with regard to its construction. At the very least, we would do our best to ensure that we employed a great architect, an honest supplier of quality building materials, and a builder with a reputation for building quality homes. Most important, however (as any real estate agent will inform us) is location, location, location. As such relates to the title of this article, we’re not referring to the superficial appeal of a potential neighbourhood; we’re referring to the foundation upon which we build our home. How ironic it seems that the majority of us pay great attention to the foundation upon which we plan to build a house; yet so willingly remain unaware of that upon which we are basing our life. Perhaps the following passages from Matthew 7:24-27 will help us become curious about our essential nature:
24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock.
25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it has its foundation on the rock.
26But everyone who hears these words of mind and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Without being aware of it, most of us have been building our life (the house referred to in the passages) upon the shifting sandy foundations which ultimately lead to its destruction. Those foundations are false assumptions related to the nature of our being. We have assumed–without any clear discernment–that we are the person that we believe ourselves to be. Thus, we are happy when the conceptual person is apparently experiencing situations labeled “good;” and very unhappy, indeed, when suffering those labeled “bad.” Due to identification with something we are not (and which ultimately proves to be illusory), many of us will spend our life chasing the good times–no matter how much energy is required to do so. We will sacrifice our health, our family, and all of our resources in the pursuit of happiness. And once we finally arrive (which we never do–since life is never static), we are content…until we are not.
In desperation, most persons attempt to correct their unhappy situations through the usual means. Those means (which almost always entail external behaviour), lead persons to believe that having an affair, purchasing a shiny new red sports car, climbing the corporate ladder, having another baby, moving to a new house, becoming more spiritual, or buying another twenty pairs of shoes will correct the underlying dissatisfaction. On and on the not-so-merry Ferris wheel spins…until the person cries, “Stop the ride! This isn’t working anymore!” Suffering, although extremely painful at the time, finally leads us to turn away from the phenomenal world and seek a better foundation upon which to build our life.
What is the rock to which the scripture referred? Nothing less than the very Truth of our Being. It is not something acquired through accretion of mind-based knowledge; it is a heart-based recognition of That which we have always been. Contrary to what we have been conditioned to believe, the phenomenal world–which seems so very real–is not the Absolute Reality of our Being–not even close. It is appearance only. What’s Real is Consciousness (aka God). It is That which creates and knows all apparent phenomena. The Infinite cannot be defined (for our attempts to do so would only produce concepts); but It can be known directly when we become still. We are not the person we believe ourselves to be. We ARE–period; but not as a “thing.” We are That which cannot be forgotten. To know our essential nature is to build our life upon The Rock.
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. 🙏🙏