How many times do we need to directly experience Truth before we drop the illusion of ignorance (known as the wheel of samsara in Hinduism)?
Several sangha members have very clear experiences as Nothingness. During our last satsang, some shared that this experience seems to come and go. All that is necessary to awaken to our eternal essence is to drop attachment to the mind (its memories, beliefs, accomplishments, and fears). When we drop these attachments, what remains is Boundless Eternal Consciousness. Resting as this Consciousness, it is immediately clear This has never been born and can never die—This is what you can’t pick up or set down. Consciousness is our eternal essence, immediately obvious when we drop attachment to the mind and its chatter for even a second.
Why then does this recognition produce a permanent shift for some and appear to come and go for others? When we rest as Consciousness, free from all identification with mind, it is Self-evident this divine essence cannot come or go.
How then does the recognition seem to fade for some? In the end, it comes down to a belief in a thought. Common ones are unworthiness, specialness, and arrogance, but any thought believed will do. We have a long habit of identification with the mind.
This truth was recently succinctly stated by Mukti, a beloved teacher in California: “Thoughts themselves don’t create division, separation, and suffering. Rather, investing thoughts with belief, identifying with them, and taking them personally are what fuels the wheel of samsara.”
No one is unworthy. No one is special. Until established as our True Self, every “one” is arrogant. Get over it. Stop hanging on to excuses and avoidances. Whether we recognize it or not, we are Consciousness. We are free to either live in ignorance of our divine essence or open to Eternal Truth.
The mind is a tool, and as such, has many uses, but it is not fundamentally what we are any more than our nose or elbow is fundamentally what we are. Each piece of this body serves some functional purpose in this apparent phenomenal existence, but none are relevant to that which is non-phenomenal. We would never say, I am my elbow, but we go around pretending to be our mind even though both are simply tools.
An awakened friend of ours recently observed the fierce grace that has been his physical existence. He has multiple medical problems that have made it abundantly and irrevocably clear he is not his bowels, his muscles, his immune system, or his eyes. As he notes, “It is as if nature was taking me through piece by piece pointing out you are not this, you are not that.”
Fortunately, most of us do not have to go through piece by piece saying, not this, not that. We can simply stop and notice the unchanging Consciousness. Every time we stop identifying with our thoughts, memories, emotions, mind, and body, we immediately recognize our eternal Self. It’s time to stop acting like the person who is repeatedly shown a snake is a rope and still holds on to the belief it is a snake. How many times do we need to directly experience Truth before we drop the illusion of ignorance?
Peace, Steve and Bec