‘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
‘This too shall pass.’ This common phrase has been around for a long time, its origin attributed to, among others, early Persian poets, the Bible, Judaism, and various Western and Eastern philosophers. A version of it can be found in most world cultures and for good reason – it’s a starting point for a true understanding of the nature of experience. If we pay any attention to what’s going on around us, it’s obvious that all things come and go. Some things take longer than others to arise and pass away, but the rise and fall of all objective experience is inescapable, and many of us base our life’s actions on this inevitability.
We usually say ‘this too shall pass’ when we find ourselves in an unpleasant situation, one we’d rather avoid or not experience at all. It might be physical like a sickness, or psychological like a bad mood. Whatever it is, we assume it is I, the personal self, who says ‘this too shall pass’. But the personal self consists solely of passing attributes. Try to name one characteristic of the personal self that doesn’t come and go and you can’t. The body-mind is comprised of thoughts, images, emotions, sensations, and perceptions of the world. All constantly changing attributes, coming and going, appearing and disappearing like colorful fall leaves floating down a mountain stream.
So if there is no personal self, who or what is actually saying this?
Whoever or whatever is saying ‘this too shall pass’ cannot itself be passing, otherwise how would it know anything was passing? It’s like the difference between sitting on the edge of a stream watching the leaves drift by and being one of the leaves.
Identify that within you that never comes and goes, that is ever-present and aware, and you have found your essential being. Although that isn’t quite true, as your essential being was never lost in the first place, it was just mistaken for a drifting leaf. But once you discover this unchanging element of being within you, within all of us, it can be said with assurance that this understanding shall never pass.
Sit or lie comfortably.
Close your eyes.
Take time to notice your breath, the inhale, the exhale.
Now imagine and feel that your inhale is the exhale of Consciousness or Absolute Awareness, and that your exhale is the inhale of Consciousness.
In is out.
Out is in.
Find yourself in the spaceless space between nothing and nothing.
In so doing, be the realization.
‘The known always changes. The knower never changes.’ ~ Rupert Spira
To know yourself is as simple as knowing that which knows our experience. Our experience is always changing, but the knower of experience, of all experience, never changes. Discover the knowing presence within yourself that is never changing and know your essential being, our essential shared being, once and for all. No mistaken identity.
Can you have any experience outside of consciousness, outside of awareness, the knowing presence at the core of our being that has been with us unchanged, untarnished, since we were infants?
Look at your hand. Is it outside your field of awareness?
Feel the weight of your body on the chair. Is this sensation outside your field of awareness?
Listen to any sound that occurs. Is it outside your field of awareness?
Take a thought, an image, an emotion, a memory. Are any of these appearing outside of consciousness, outside your field of awareness?
Is it possible for anything to exist outside of consciousness, outside our field of awareness?
If you say yes, how would you prove this? You must be in consciousness, in awareness, to experience anything, even the erroneously labeled ‘outside of consciousness’.
Nothing can appear outside of consciousness, outside our field of awareness, because that is all there is.
What are the implications of this discovery?
All things that arise in consciousness must be made out of consciousness.
This being the case, if we, everything, is made out of the same stuff, there can be no real division or separation between any thing.
When there is no separation, no division, when all we experience is indivisible oneness, don’t we call that love?
‘Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
when I paint my masterpiece.’ ~ Bob Dylan
The background of all experience is like a blank painter’s canvas. You can paint any image on the canvas – in the style of a Picasso collage, a Rembrandt landscape, a Pollock drip painting, or a Dali surreal image – and it has no affect on the canvas whatsoever. Underneath the paint the canvas rests in its original blank state – pristine and wholly receptive.
In just the same way, your essential being, awareness itself, is unchanged, untarnished, and unconditionally receptive regardless of what is happening in your body, mind, or world. Myriad thoughts, good, bad, and neutral, fantastic or disturbing images, wild emotional swings, intense or subtle bodily sensations, and perceptions of the outside world, all come and go, but your essential nature remains still, peaceful, pristine, open, aware, and knowing.
Before paint is ever applied to canvas, before you, that is, you as aware, knowing presence, experience a thought, mood, or perception of the world, all is ‘smooth like a rhapsody.’
Already a masterpiece.
‘Security and happiness cannot be found in anything
that comes and goes. Find whatever it is in your experience
that doesn’t appear, move, change or disappear, and invest
your identity, security and happiness in that alone.’
~ Rupert Spira