"You are looking for what is looking."
~ St. Francis of Assisi
Friday, March 20, 2009
The picture above depicts a person experiencing extreme despair. Many of us can relate to extreme suffering at some point in our lives, if we continue to live long enough. The universe itself can bring you to your knees and leave you feeling alone, wondering if it's worth it to continue living for another day. How will you respond when major disappointments come your way?
The poet, Rumi, has said:
"Learn the alchemy true human beings know. The moment you accept what troubles you've been given the door will open."
As long as we believe we can handle by ourselves the troubles we've been given, we will patch up our lives with temporary fixes. We often latch onto a new belief or idea that makes us feel better.
And what's wrong with believing in a belief? What's wrong with having faith in something that makes you feel better? Let's look at what a belief is. A belief is a fixation upon a version of the truth. When a belief becomes rigid, growth is not possible. The truth we think we've found is made up of self-projected thoughts that we say is a belief or faith. You can say the mind has found its own self-projection. An ideal or belief is self-projected, fictitious, and unreal.
A belief (even a religious belief) can entrap us in our own isolated bubble. It often separates us from people we view as either being different or those who believe differently.
Any institution or group can be used to divide people, whether it is a church, an exclusive club membership, a school or university, a city you live in, an organization, or a nation that believes it's better and more powerful than all other nations. When an individual believes he is superior to others, he becomes rigid, blocked, greedy, and often times, jealous. Or he may even have hidden emotions and thoughts of being inferior to others. When an entire nation identifies itself with an inflated ego or a belief, such as "we're right, they're wrong", the destruction that can and often does occur is tremendous. Wars are created or fought, and people think it's rational and even justifiable to injure and slaughter others.
Understanding and experiencing who you "really" are on a deep level is the key to the freedom of beliefs. So, how do you find the "real" you? By surrendering all beliefs, all thoughts and labels of who you think you are, and by tossing them away. "But then I'll be nothing!" you may be saying. Yes, that's exactly right! You are a no-thing, a no self. Only in your mind have you created a "false self" belief, which gives you the illusion you are separate from everything.
True freedom from suffering comes when you surrender the "false self" idea and realize you are so much more. You are Life, the beautiful Oneness, the precious "I Am-ness". Prana is a word that describes who you are so well. It comes from India, where "prana" literally means "life force". This life force is the flow of intelligence, this life energy, the source of all, is the essential core nature of who you are. There is no self, no need to find yourself, for how can you find yourself when you never were a "self"? Once you know this on a deep level, how can you then not experience the internal divineness within you and within all people and beings throughout the universe?
May you experience this for yourself now: peaceful, blissful, eternal awareness.