‘As mystics we rest in being. As friends and lovers we share our being. As artists we celebrate our being. As scientists and philosophers we explore or investigate our being. But whatever we do or wherever we go we don’t allow our experience to eclipse our being, our essential self-aware being – naked awareness.’ ~ Rupert Spira
If you are on the spiritual path in search of enlightenment, awakening, liberation, absolute consciousness, aware presence, divine spirit – whatever you might call it – there’s nothing to it. Literally. No thing to it.
There is nothing that will get you there, yet nothing is the answer.
First of all, there is no path. Well, that isn’t actually true. There is a path, the direct path, also called the pathless path, but once you’re on it, once you’ve discovered you are already on it, always have been on it, there’s no place to go. No distance to travel.
In what direction would you go to find your essential being?
In what direction does the wind blow to find the sky?
No thing will bring you any closer to the peace, happiness, and love that you crave.
No thing. Nothing. There is nothing to add to your essential being, whose qualities are already peace, love, and happiness, and there is nothing to take away.
What can you add to the sky to make it more sky?
And if you were able to take away a piece of the sky, where would you put it?
No word, no idea, no emotion, no sensation, no perception, no substance, no relationship, no object, no philosophy, no religion, no teacher, no teaching. Nothing will get you any closer to your true nature than you already are.
Where is this nothing?
What does this nothing contain?
What is everything?
So . . . who are you? We?
Regardless of what you think, feel, sense, or perceive, you are not that. We have been conditioned since birth to believe that we are made up of our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, but if we look at the facts of our experience, nothing could be further from the truth – they are all temporary attributes, they come and they go, and therefore can’t be considered real.
If we aren’t our thoughts and feelings, who or what are we?
Ask yourself, do I know my thoughts, do I know my feelings, do I know my perceptions? The answer is obviously yes. And then ask yourself, when my thoughts disappear, when my feelings disappear, when my perceptions disappear, do I disappear with them? The answer is obviously no.
You, your essential aware self, knows the coming and going of all thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, but doesn’t come and go with them. Identify with this awareness that knows the rise and fall of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, not with the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions themselves.
And then see clearly that even this so-called awareness, this witness that observes the coming and going of all things, is itself a concept known by something beyond it.
We are That.
A bird’s song is a simple song, a song sung from dawn to dusk, year after year, for a lifetime. It may be only a few melodic notes, perhaps a small variation here or there, but always beautiful in its simplicity.
Composers from all musical traditions have been inspired by birdcalls like that of the nightingale and the cuckoo. ‘The Lark in the Morning’ is an old and beloved Irish fiddle tune. The call of the Western Meadowlark brings to mind a saxophone riff by Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker.
And to know ourself as Awareness is a simple song – there is only one thing going on, not two. That is, there is only one consciousness, one aware-presence that knows the coming and going of all things, but doesn’t come and go with them. And all things that arise in consciousness, which, in fact, is everything, must be made of consciousness, leaving us to conclude that consciousness is all there is.
The source of our being.
How simple is that?
I, Awareness, sing my song, my simple song
My one note song
From dawn to dusk, from dusk till dawn
A timeless melody
As I am boundless, with no beginning or end
Nothing exists outside of me
I am the source of all sound
All songs appear in me, in my silence
All songs are known by me, by my silence
All songs are made of me, of my silence
I, Awareness sing my song, my simple song of silence
Alive with the rhythms of peace, love, and happiness
The only song I know
My one note song
When you have expectations of others that are not met, more often than not you feel disappointed, maybe even frustrated or angry, certainly not satisfied or happy.
Greet someone with no expectations and see what happens. This is more easily done with strangers than it is with someone close to you – with strangers expectations are low. We don’t know what to expect. When we think we know someone well, we tend to have a preconceived idea of how we expect them to act, and when they don’t act accordingly it upsets the balance of our little self, the only one who has expectations in the first place.
Just as the sky expects no particular formation from the clouds, awareness, the source of our being, has no expectations about the comings and goings of the self, others, or the world, and therefore accepts everything as it is, embraces everything as it occurs, in an open field of loving kindness.
When you greet someone from this perspective, you don’t expect anything in particular; you just meet them as they are. In turn, they will feel your unconditional acceptance and communication will be open and spontaneous.
And then recognize the infinite and eternal qualities of this awareness, its ever-present, boundless nature – that part of us that knows ‘I am’ – and realize that there can be room for only one. And you, I, we are That – one consciousness manifesting as the many.
No expectations. Try it. You won’t be disappointed.
‘We are as Gods and might as well get good at it.’
So wrote Stewart Brand in the opening line of his first Whole Earth Catalog in 1968. This became the rallying cry for many a Flower Child. It was the perfect slogan to fuel the rising curiosity in spirituality that was being inspired by the hallucinogen induced psychedelic experience and the influx of Eastern mystics with their talk of meditation, yoga, and enlightenment.
We are as Gods.
An idealistic concept, and a goal worth striving for, especially for a young and enthusiastic seeker. To behave as a God seemed as good a way as any to reach a higher plane of consciousness, and if many followed this path it might even create a kinder, gentler world.
We are as Gods.
Not exactly. If we look closely at our own experience, we will discover that at the core of all experience there is only one thing going on – one infinite and eternal source for all appearances. Therefore, we are not as Gods . . .
We are as God.
There is only one source of being. Call it whatever you want – God, Divine Spirit, Consciousness, Aware Presence – but there can be only one, not many.
And because there can be only one, you, I, we, must be a manifestation of this one source, and thus, at our root we are all the same.
Why only one? Set aside your story for a moment – who you think you are, including your sex, race, beliefs and opinions, what you have accomplished or failed at in the past, and what you plan on doing in the future.
What’s left? With all sense of a personal self set aside, all that’s left is a sense of being, a sense of being aware that you are, a sense of being aware that you are aware. And does this awareness have any limitations? Any boundaries?
Can you find a beginning or an end to this awareness? Does it come into existence and then disappear? Is it ever not here?
No beginning or end can be found to this aware presence, or a time when it is not present. You have to be present to say that it is not present, which, of course, is an obviously absurd statement. Therefore, you must be awareness itself, infinite and eternal awareness.
We, you, I, are as God, and we might as well get good at it. And the good news is that once you recognize that your essential being is God, or consciousness, or whatever name you give it, you won’t have to get good at it, because there is only one way you can act, and that is Godly.
Tastes, Textures, & Smells
If I am before
Then who am I?
I am the I am
This stillness, its quiet, with no beginning,
this silence before the word,
before it could be said, all in the One Moment
lit by the morning, aging into light,
as the autumn promises with its resplendencies
the return of another summer,
the transformation from darkness
into transparency of this, given
so we might understand
this awesome This,
the one eye seeing this fragility,
this delicious tasting,
no matter how brief.
~ RC Williams (1931-2015)
One plus one equals one.
One is all there is.
Can you find two?
If you can, it’s only one finding itself.
Locate a beginning to one.
It can’t be found.
Locate an end to one.
It can’t be found.
No beginning, no end.
Where is there room for another?
One is all there is.
One plus one equals one.
For many of us the title brings to mind the great Spielberg movie, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind.’ This post is definitely about a close encounter, but, with a nod to Rupert Spira, we could say a ‘closer than close’ encounter of the only kind.
Just as the images on the screen – spellbound humans exchanging hand signs with an endearing little alien – is just a temporary appearance and has no affect on the screen whatsoever, so to does consciousness, that which knows both the knower and the known, the witness and the observed, stand undisturbed by anything that occurs in it.
A closer look at our experience shows that there is only one thing going on – that there is no division between the experiencer and the experience – the seer and the seen, the hearer and the heard, the knower and the known. Can you find the point where the hearer ends and the sound begins? No. It is one seamless experience – hearing – that takes place in the boundless field of consciousness.
And where do we go to find this boundless field of consciousness?
The instant you realize that there is no direction you can go to get any closer to the original source of your being – where can a cloud go to find the sky? – the only thing that remains is an all-pervading stillness and peace that can best be described as love.
And this is as close as it gets.