In The diamond within yourself, Gangaji takes you on the spiritual path to answer any questions. The book consists of 55 short texts; reflections and insights that become dear to you and that fascinate and enrich your time and again. Throughout the book, Gangaji asks you questions that prompt genuine, deep self-examination. Because she says: ‘Direct self-examination is the key to true freedom.’ In this article you can read an excerpt from The diamond in yourself: see what causes your suffering.
Wheel of suffering
In fact, being unwilling to see what causes your suffering, you remain bound by the wheel of suffering. Are you willing to see what causes your suffering, do you dare? If so, you dare it that everything changes. Everything. Yes, that goes a long way. At this point, most people give up. Ultimately, your personal story as you experience it ends when your body dies. But you can already put an end to the story. Get rid of the whole story. Get rid of all that is beautiful and terrible. Then true freedom reveals itself.
You may see if you are willing to face what causes your suffering, that you do not even know the causes. When you are willing to see what the suffering is really about, the possibility opens up for your whole life to change. At this point, most people shut down because there are some beautiful aspects of their lives that they don’t want to lose. Almost everyone wants to get rid of the suffering. Until you are willing to lose everything in order to see what is causing your suffering, you cannot possibly heed that which calls you home.
I remember reading the wise words of wonderful teachers and great scriptures. Then I nodded and said, “Yes, I know that’s true, I feel it’s true.” And then I went out of the room and right back to my own particular neurotic love affair with suffering. Of course, I also sought happiness in my own specific way. But most importantly, I was still trying to get rid of my suffering instead of being really honest about its cause.
Source of your suffering
You have, right now, the chance to consider yourself, to be honest with yourself: ‘Am I suffering? Where am I suffering? What is suffering?’ When you tell yourself a story that says it’s so stupid to suffer, you conveniently keep the suffering out of your sight and focus, allowing it to continue in your subconscious and then be projected onto others.
Then you blame your misery on your mother, your lover, your teacher, the government, or God. Obviously, relationships can hurt you immensely and many relationships have to change or come to an end in order to stop the cycle of pain. But you can now, right now, put aside the story of the causes of your suffering and simply face what you believe to be the source of your suffering. And then subject and object dissolve, ‘you’ and ‘the other’ arise again. You examine what is here and now.
When confronting the suffering, it can help to recall a painful relationship or past event. Recognize any urge or inclination to avoid things. Drop all those thoughts and face the suffering directly.
Can you, in that moment, find a sufferer, someone who suffers? Are you aware of a separate entity, or are you perhaps aware of a vast empty space, filled with intelligence, aware of itself? Where is the boundary between you and this space? Where is the suffering now? Do you see that this moment of truly being face to face is not separate from all the moments in your life?