Why do I want to know the truth of who I really am?
If we ask ourself that question and are deeply honest in our reply then we may be surprised at what comes up. Perhaps we imagine we’ll become special, be admired, loved and revered by others, become powerful, rich and famous, that we’ll no longer have to do any work, that life will become endlessly blissful and all our problems will instantly vanish, that we’ll be transformed into some kind of perfect super being. It’s important too of course that this ‘state’ should be difficult to accomplish otherwise, God forbid, everyone might ‘get it’ and then all our newfound specialness will be put in severe jeopardy.
It may be embarrassing to admit such delusions of grandeur but if we are open to feeling the rawness of that humiliation then deep honesty is our greatest tool. We start to see the even subtler, more slippery layers of expectation, such as wanting a permanent experience of ‘being present’ and feeling impatient with this faulty, incomplete ‘me’ thing that keeps on turning up with its jumbled mess of past baggage.
In all our fantasising we lose sight of the obvious fact that all these wonderful benefits are still for that very same imaginary ‘me’; ‘me’ who wants it all a certain way, ‘me’ who has an agenda, ‘me’ who wants more more more, always more. And so the feeling of separation is enhanced, driving more seeking creating more separation driving more seeking. We may go to the ends of the earth, taking on the most severe practises, whilst all the while aggrandising an ever more special, super hard core, spiritual ‘me’.
What if we appeal to that deep honesty once more and sink through the layers of our seeming separate self?
Beneath all the seeking and all the longing there lurks a sense of inadequacy and lack. Can we feel the burn of that inadequacy before rushing off into some new diversion? Sink deeper, deeper in and there, despite all our pretending to the contrary, we find worthlessness, uselessness, unlovability, fraudulence. Can we feel into the pain and humiliation of that, without escaping into some new drama or story of justification, of how badly we were treated as a child or what so and so did to us? Go deeper, deeper still, for beneath the feeling of worthlessness, the stories and the pretence, the rationalisations and the justifications, when we’re utterly laid bare, what’s left is the seeming terror of nothing at all, pure emptiness, a deathly absence.
In fully meeting the horror of that nothingness, that abyss, without turning away, without fleeing back into our world of make-believe, without expecting anything in return, no money, no fame, no eternal bliss, the miraculous revelation is that we are not destroyed! On the contrary, we come to realise all that we truly long for: the boundless freedom, the infinite love, the eternal joy that is our primordial, undivided nature.
In knowing the separate self to be a figment, a phantom, a fabrication, we no longer having anything to protect. Our suit of armour is outmoded and redundant, on its way out to the mounting scrapyard of beliefs.
We become so good at pretending that we end up believing our pretence, continually upgrading to the latest version to keep up with the rest, not realising that everyone else is pretending too! And there’s the laughter. Laughter at all the multi level game playing, the convoluted story making, the deadly seriousness, the escapist fantasies and the deep misunderstandings.
The breath of love gives life to all; love that sees its own face shining in every fallen leaf, in every star and all that lies between.