“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
True self is beyond the ken of most people. It sounds wildly egoic to call it God — i.e. form and formless, everything and no-thing, bounded and unbounded — but that’s what it is.
Most surprising of all, you don’t need to go looking for it.
It’s right beneath your feet.
Of course, this ‘do nothing’ message (because you’re already it) doesn’t sit comfortably with the personal development groupies. For a start, it’s hard to sell; but, more particularly, it’s hard to articulate when, at best, you can only signpost something beyond the mystical.
If there’s a problem though it’s the little self (the ego) knows the game is up. It’s not that there would be nothing left for it to do, it’s simply that it would be the same as everything (and no-thing).
To the ego (of course) searching for yourself/itself sounds preposterous. That’s why Chögyam Trungpa said, “Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment.”
Of course, I could cut out all this spiritual hokus pokus and return to the Tips, Tricks and Goals paradigm. But they never work. Let me repeat: they never work. Oh they do for a while, but the way our mind is engineered — remember it’s an inside-out job — we’ll soon lose interest and revert to our ‘normal’, delusional state.
I suppose what you want to know is what you’ve to do to reach this enlightened state? I don’t know. And I’m not saying that to be obtuse. I honestly don’t know. Think about it: how can you search for something that you already are? Perhaps you can pray, or meditate or read a spiritual text. Again you could do all of these things but if you believe by doing so you’ll get something, then all you’re doing is pandering to your ego.
If there’s an aperture, you might try sitting still and observing your thoughts come and go. Don’t interpret them. Just notice them. After that, without wishing for anything, understand that your felt experience, your emotions and feelings always follow your thoughts. Normally, the thoughts come so quickly that you don’t see the connection, but if you arrive at a place where you’re willing to admit (a) you’re not your thoughts and (b) they’re not true, you may find a deeper consciousness than you’ve ever experienced.
But in the end, there’s nothing you need to do to make sense of life. It just is.
As for true self, perhaps it’s not the best label to represent a ‘oneness’ state but it sure beats listening to another exhortation that makes us look without, which only adds to our frustration in never living a life of inner peace.