Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Found Out

Often, we can have a nagging sense that we're a fraud, that we're not what people think we are, and that we could be discovered, or found out.

On one level, this is absolutely true. We're not what people think we are. Most people think each of us is our persona, our identity. Where we went to school, our occupation, our partner and children and friends and possessions. The stories we tell to ourselves and others. And yet none of that feels like our true essence, because our story, and how we feel about it, changes all the time, based on our mood or the situation.

But there is some essence at our core. Even though we can't exactly say what it is, we all know on some level that it has nothing to do with possessions or achievements.

The fact that we can't clearly say what this essence is can be very disconcerting. When we are in a fearful state (which we are a lot of the time), it is easy to interpret this essence, this vast space, as something lacking. We worry there is something wrong with us, because our minds can't say what or who we are. We hear the clear messages of society and other people, who seem so certain, and we think we're the only ones that feel this way, the only ones that that have this flaw of not knowing. This becomes a deep secret that we have to hide, even from ourselves. So when we do occasionally see into our timeless nature, we tend to be afraid rather than awed.

We're so ashamed we're nothing, that we fail to see we're really everything.

This fundamental misunderstanding drives our misery and our suffering. We think if only we do more or get more, we can cover up the nothingness inside of us. But we fail to see that the nothingness is the birthplace of everything. It is the pure potential from which the entire universe arises. It is everything we need--everything there is, in fact--right here inside us, waiting to be born in each moment.

We ultimately discover that that our essence is both that which is seeking and that which is sought. We were never anything else. We can't be anything but this, no matter what our thoughts say. And this seeker, this witness, is beyond description, beyond identity. It is consciousness itself, the very same consciousness that is looking through the eyes of every other sentient being. 

We can run from it by piling things on top of it, by pretending it is not there, by pretending the thoughts are in control rather than the field they arise in. But eventually, the vastness overtakes us. We're the ones who find out, and when we do, we're no longer concerned about anyone else learning our secret. Because there is nothing we can hide, and no one to hide it from. And there's no one left to hide anymore.


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