Die to your imagined self and abide in profound peace.
‘Imagined self’. What does this mean? You say, ‘I am this being, I am this self, and I don’t think I am imagining it.’ But is this you, this self, the real you or just an image that has been created by your conditioned mind?
The separate self we have come to call I, as in I am a woman, a man, I am old or young, etc., has no lasting qualities. All attributes of the body-mind we call the self are temporary and therefore unreliable measures of reality.
You imagine you are real, but you are only a conglomeration of passing thoughts, changing emotions, subtle or strong sensations, and endlessly shifting perceptions. What in this collection of characteristics can be considered real?
When you strip away the imagined attributes of your so-called self, what remains?
You still remain, or more to the point, your essential being, a knowing and aware presence, remains.
As you rest in this, as this, knowing presence, empty of the ephemeral, full of unchanging emptiness – your original Self – what is your experience?
Die now or die later and your experience will be the same. The knowing presence at the core of our being, devoid of the clutter of the body-mind’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, is revealed as an infinite and eternal peaceful stillness.
No limits can be found to this great emptiness. It is always present in the background of all experience, and when experiences fade, which they all do, it alone remains, unchanged.
And, as the background of all experience, all appearances must be made of this background, whatever unnamable stuff that might be. And if all things are made of the same stuff, all things are, at their core, the same. No separation, no division, no self, no other. And when all boundaries dissolve all that remains is love.
How do we strip away the imagined attributes of our so-called self? ‘Strip away’ is just a manner of speech. We really don’t have to do anything. In the stillness of not-doing, our essential shared nature, ever-present awareness, is revealed. And with this revelation all of our imagined attributes fade into the background just as the darkness of night fades in the coming dawn.