This post comes with thanks from Nick Smith at Life2.0.
Once we get a glimpse of our true nature and a glimpse of what it’s like to have a free untroubled mind, there’s an incredibly strong tendency to do battle with our dark side—to wage war against any troublesome thoughts or recurring angst that keeps us from the peace and fulfillment we’ve tasted and seek in our lives. Or, as some would put, to pursue a path of enlightenment.
But in seeking freedom there’s something that’s always overlooked: the fact that the experience of freedom arose out of a complete lack of striving… in a moment when, per chance, the mind has let slip it’s incessant control over our life.
‘Peace of mind’ doesn’t just describe the state but the way too—a quiet mind always turns
joyful because there’s nothing in the way to block our Self awareness.
Pursuing enlightenment is therefore like a dog chasing it’s own tail in the hope that it might catch itself, in order to finally know what it means to be a dog! There can never be a path to Truth because the truth is always just here…. as the experience of our Life being expressed in this moment unclouded by the shadow of what we think it to be.
So whenever we feel the need to move towards or move away from anything we trample on this flower of Beingness that is always here in the stillness of this present moment. And when this is seen, we can also recognise that the need to do or resist something in order to be free, is the ego’s way of preventing us from stopping and opening up right now—a delaying tactic so that awakening is always in that imaginary place we call the future, and the things that trouble us are seen ‘out there’ in a world that appears quite apart from us.
The irony of all this, is that it’s only when we have failed in all our attempts to get to the place we want to be that we finally give up… and in that giving up there is a peace and openness in which our Self and
oneness with everything is recognised, and remembered as always being so. As Lao Tzu once said, ‘failure is the means to success’. From this perspective the best thing we could actually ‘do’ would be whatever it takes to have all our dreams brought to dust and all our hopes dashed.
The mind deceives.. it’s mantra is to keep the mind moving so what is here in open awareness can never be seen. The ‘me’ that seeks for enlightenment, freedom, call it what you will.. is incapable of being enlightened—it is just a false self-imagine. The truth of who we Are is already free.
It’s letting going of our intellectual curiosity and need to overcome anything that allows us to relax into the experience of what Is, bringing the oneness into clarity and open our mind to the knowing that comes from our greater Self. The reason for this is simple. When we determine that there’s something to be resisted or pursued we lower ourselves to the ego’s way of thinking and erect a barrier to the flow of energy, of love and information that comes to us moment by moment from our whole Self.
So perhaps a more useful approach than asking ‘how do I wake up?’ is to ask ‘what is it in this moment that I am valuing more than being fully conscious and open to the experience of all that Is?’… because it is only in this moment that we can be aware of this choice to be free and only in this moment that that choice can be exercised. I’ve found that it helps to go easy with ourselves here. Instead of resisting the thoughts and feelings that keep us in bondage we can welcome the opportunity to bring them to light. No need to find the origin of each one, simply recognise that they no longer serve the place we are at now and simply let them pass. Without value they can no longer exist in our experience.
Our Self shines bright and fully formed within. The choice is whether to give this feeling welcome—to step back and allow it to shine into conscious awareness, or to continue to resist it. Every book, blog, guru, doctrine or philosophy we look to for answers simply delays this decision—probably the best that anyone can do for us is point us back to this our ultimate responsibility.
Nick Smith… Life 2.0