“You will never really think hard about your life until your oxygen mask is taken away from you when you are at the bed of the ocean. At that exact moment, your true self will be revealed. You will really know if you are a believer or an atheist, whether you really love life or hate it as you usually say. All your claims will be tested”
― Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity
Who are you?
A list of accomplishments?
Your future dreams?
Or, you past nightmares?
You don’t know.
Before you shout at the screen, try this for size:
“What is there when there is no thinking?” — see the work of Darryl Bailey.
Not so fast.
Sit with that question.
For me — and I don’t mean the egoic identity — there is everything and no-thing.
WOW, that’s pretty far out; but that is what ‘it’ is. (If you don’t believe me, go find the ‘I’ in ‘I am’.)
This is something way bigger than my thinking mind can conceive. Actually, even if you’re not religious you could call it God, as long as you’ve not mixed up the white-bearded, elderly gentleman with the Universe (which is more apt to describe what I now think of as God).
But what does the foregoing have to do with showing up in the world?
We might use the term ‘authentic’, but so few people ever stop to invite the more beautiful question — e.g. “What am I?” — and, as a result, journey on in a way where the only ‘driver’ is daily doing, not self-realisation, let alone self-actualisation — see the work of Abraham Maslow.
If you dare, take a moment out of your day and think about why you’re here.
Is it to assemble a bushel of things (and then move things around), or is it to drop the egoic identity and be who you were born of of your mother, i.e. true self?
Does it matter?
Only you can answer that.
The thing is, I’m not expecting anyone to grasp or get what I’m saying (particularly when the ‘me’ stands in the way of lifting the veil of separation), but I’d wager that if someone offered you a way to inner peace you’d be all over it like a rash. That’s not to say you wouldn’t be stuck still in the primordial soup we call life, but it does mean you’re better able to cope with the vicissitudes of life.
And here’s the kicker: until you drop the false self — you can’t engineer it — then you’ll be stuck in your thoughts, emotions, feelings which you think are life, and not the whole damn thing.
I mean, come on, are you telling me that your heart beating, your eyes seeing, you nose smelling and your ears hearing are any less you than your thoughts? Of course not. But we don’t ever see that because our big fat stupid ego always gets in the way.
Do you see now why so many people are seeking?
For me, this true self v. false self dichotomy isn’t either (and) or, it’s everything — i.e. just this.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s easy to flip in and out of a thought-induced life, but what I am saying is that as soon as we rest in awareness (of everything) we immediately recognise the point of what I’m saying, i.e. there’s something much vaster than our thoughts.
So, in summary, if you want to show up, truly, you can’t expect to do so whilst you’re lost in your head. Sure, you can try mindfulness but that can just as easily become another thing to get.
No, if you want to show up, then simply ‘Be’ and drop everything else.
Yes, that’s it. The highest form of meditation is to Be.
But, at the end of the day, you have to find your own way in the world, and my experience is unique to me as yours is to you. If that’s right then you must understand that to pass through the membrane from false to true self, you’ve to test your own experience. If you don’t then I fear you’ll be living a nightmare of your own creation for the rest of your natural days.
Sorry folks, I know that’s not a nice note to end on but that’s what it looks like to me.