Life has no shortage of circumstances that challenge our strength. On any given day, someone–perhaps you–is dealing with the impending death of a loved one; the heartbreak of an unexpected divorce; or the humbling conditions related to poverty. Our body-mind, which we once trusted to be full of vigor, may at some point seem a weakened traitor, both physically and mentally. In response to loss, strife, or fear, we may shudder as we hear a sorrowful cry of “this can’t be happening to me,” and later, vaguely realize that the voice was our own. Doors that we so eagerly open, and imagine to be leading to our shining promises, may, instead, lead us to despair. Upon the seeming luck or fate of our little “i,” we attempt to base our happiness. At best, this is folly; at worst, a formula for varying degrees of suffering.
Dear Readers: Please join me, if you will, and sit still for a few minutes. You may also find it helpful to take three relaxing breaths. To find our way to the peace that we inherently are, it’s important that we distance our perspective from the mental noise related to our person and the stimuli of the apparent world. It’s also important that we investigate the nature of the little “i” who seems to be going through such trying circumstances.
Ever since our appearance on earth, we’ve been habitually conditioned to believe that we are a person (of name and form) in a world made of so-called “matter.” This is so strongly impressed upon us, that to even question it seems ludicrous. However, to recognize YOU (the deeper dimension of Self) and, thereby, live with greater peace, we must investigate the assumption for validity. The following questions may be of help:
- Are you absolutely certain that you are a separate body-mind in a big world? (or, are the body-mind and the world actually within YOU, Consciousness?)
- Do you know, for a fact, that matter exists beyond your awareness of it? (If so, how?)
- Is it possible, that objects and persons within the waking state (defined as “reality” by the masses) could also be rendered via the mind that produces similar effects within the dream state?
- Is the knower of your body-mind’s experience growing older? (or is It ageless, changeless, and eternal?)
- Can you find a limit to the YOU that is aware of your body-mind?
Many Beings may be unaware that science has been unable to identify matter that is independent of the mind that perceives it. This, in itself, is a pointer which can deepen our understanding; because it means that Consciousness and matter are intimately interconnected. Let’s further our inquiry by taking a look at the meaning of the following verse from John 10:30:
“I and the Father are one.”
When we understand the meaning of the verse (which the Bible attributes to Jesus) the degree of suffering related to identification with the person may lessen. Many seekers conceptualize the Father as a distant God sitting atop a cloud in the heavens, but such a view doesn’t suggest the Oneness referred to in the verse. It implies a relationship that is based in duality: subject to object. Through enlightenment, we recognize–directly–that the Father (Consciousness) is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus’ body-mind would, therefore, be an appearance within Consciousness, as would ours. The old expression, The All in All, relates the same principle: The All (the Father) must, logically, be within us (the children); and we, therefore, are within the Father (the All). In I Am That, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj offers his sage advice through the following quote:
“Before the mind–I Am. ‘I Am’ is not a thought in the mind.
The mind happens to me, I do not happen to the mind.“
This indicates that Consciousness (Awareness) is prior to the mind; that Awareness is self aware and eternal. That we have erroneously identified with being a person, in an ever-shifting environment, is the cause of great suffering. Within each of us, there is a dimension of YOU (true Self) that is untouched by anything that your apparent body-mind may seem to be experiencing. We need not wait for suffering to recognize our essential nature. When better than NOW?
Dare to Dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡