The expression that serves as the title of this article implies completeness and integrity. Nothing is lacking. I’m using the expression to refer to the type of “knowing” that we experience when we recognize our essential nature. When we “become” a knower of Truth it is unmistakable because it is incomparable. Anything less is just spice and bits–a poor imitation of the Truth that we seek. When you knowingly discover That within ourselves, we realize that we are home in Awareness of our Whole True Nature.
At some point, the majority of persons become dissatisfied with life as it is. By stating that, I’m not being negative or ungrateful; such is just an inherent part of our shifting human experience. The historical Buddha called it Dukkha. In spite of financial abundance, great relationships, and wonderful health, most persons eventually become aware that something (not a thing) seems missing. We realize that no matter how great our efforts, the results that we chase only yield temporary happiness. This is when many individuals embark upon a spiritual journey of discovery.
The investigation of our spiritual nature may initially bring a sense of fulfillment. We may find contentment in visiting distant ashrams, temples, or cathedrals. We may also enjoy studying scriptures or listening to gurus, ministers, or priests who share knowledge of true Self. The practice of meditation or daily prayers may seem new and exciting. For a while, the disruptive negative noise of the ego may lessen or seem to have stopped. However, seekers often discover that even this new spiritual activity also loses its ability to deliver happiness. Still, something seems to be lacking.
In deep sleep, we have intimate experience of the peace that comes with Being our essential Self; for in that placeless place, we know nothing of a self, world, time, space, or the problems or pleasures that are associated with our human conceptual self. With the return of the Waking State (erroneously assumed to be reality), most persons find themselves in the same happiness quandary. Perhaps the following two questions and answers borrowed from Who Am I? by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi will be an aid to deeper understanding:
5. Will there not be realization of the Self even while the world is there (taken to be real)?
There will not be.
The seer and the object seen are like the rope and the snake. Just as the knowledge of the rope which is the substratum will not arise unless the false knowledge of the illusory serpent goes, so the realization of the Self which is the substratum will not be gained unless the belief that the world is real is removed. [The referral to the rope and snake is related to a story in which a monk was once greatly frightened because he erroneously believed a rope to be a snake.]
Enlightenment means to be free “from” the dominance of the little “i” that was dissatisfied with human experience–not “as” the little “i.” There is no way that an illusory character can be free of itself because in Truth it doesn’t exist. In other words, if we’re still carrying the perspective of our personal John or Jane Doe, we have not yet knowingly experienced The Whole Enchilada. I’m not sharing this to pass judgment on anyone’s position as being right or wrong; for events are unfolding in the right time, in the right manner. The message is only intended as a kind pointer to help guide you to the rich knowing that only you–yourself–can experience.
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. 🙏🙏
One thought on “The Whole Enchilada”
Thank you Art for so beautifully sharing this wisdom. Your articles always inspire me to BE free from the dominance of the ego “i”. Namaste.🙏