The doctrine of self-realization goes by many names. Seeking spiritual enlightenment , breaking out of the karmic wheel, or walking the path of the Tao , among others. That sounds very nice, but how do you actually get on this path?
Simply put: life hurts you, excruciating pain. Compare it to a person who has grown old and wise. He must have been young and stupid to get there in the end. Likewise, an enlightened person must first have felt extremely heavy. Enlightenment could be described as something a wise person looks for after discovering that wisdom, too, does not ultimately provide the protection sought.
The ways of the ego
You’ve already tried to fight the pain. Maybe you were fighting literally, in the world around you. Perhaps by fighting against the truth of others, or by fighting against the fighting of others (judging judgments, for example). Perhaps you fought figuratively, rejecting your inner world, denying who you are and who you thought you shouldn’t be.
You tried to run .
In work, entertainment, status, money, drugs, stories, discipline, anger and fill in whatever applies to you.
Gradually a realization dawns. All these options are postponing the inevitable. Either way you run circles around yourself, circles around your pain. Self-realization is the search for your true nature, for something that is yours and can never be taken away from you. The search for yourself. Fortunately, there is almost only good news in that regard.
The path of the self
There are two promises.
The first promise is that it is possible. The second promise is that this is your future anyway, just like everyone else’s. It’s not for nothing that this process has been written about for millennia and although ‘the teaching’ has been lost in our current culture for lesser-known reasons (and perhaps needs modernization), it has all along been pointing to the infinite.
The infinite is as it sounds, unchanging. That part that is never lost.
There is, of course, one small ‘but’:
A large part of life is clearly changeable. We were aware of that, of course, because this is the cause of all suffering. We must first know something in order to be able to mourn the loss. Temporarily you will have to work actively to let go of all things, things that you have to let go of anyway on your way to, and the moment of, death.
However, if you can muster the courage, you can keep everything that can let you go.
Fight and flight, remember? You already tried and it didn’t work. What do you do when all the old fails? Indeed, something new!
- Time to rigorously stop.
- Time to turn your gaze inward.
- Time to face your fear.
- Time to shine the light of your attention in your darkest memories.
The process demands a lot from you. It asks you to do that one thing you haven’t tried yet. Feeling your pain, your fear , your anger , and your judgments . To let all that intensity be, to recognize and acknowledge it.
Do not put things into perspective, do not describe, do not act and do not flee. Everything is what it is and you are who you are, just like everyone else. Everything is in its place and it may be there. You actively seek silence, consciously seek peace. This is your pain, here is your fear. This is you and you deserve attention. Be kind to yourself!
Repeat this process for every fear, for every truth, for every relationship (past and present), for every shame and every guilt, until you no longer have to think that all is well. You repeat this until you feel/know in every fiber of your body that all is well. So, heave a sigh of relief and stop. Only three components are needed, namely: intention, courage and time.
Thus create your own purgatory, your energetic cleansing. This one will burn down anything you were clinging to, showing you along the way that it was ‘the clinging’ that brought you the pain. Painful memories and heavy feelings slowly clotted in your system.
Old anger, for example, cools to hatred and freezes in your stomach.
I want to heal and so I don’t want to get rid of it any longer. I want in!
Your warm judgment-free (silent/meditative) attention , which we can also call ‘unconditional love’, will work like a stove on the ice blocks.
I bite myself and carry on.
The pus that is frozen will loosen and taste almost as bitter as when you temporarily parked it there.
Suppose it only took a tenth of the time to process, which was years on hold. In that case, you still won’t be ready next month.
Time doesn’t heal any wounds, but giving things genuine attention takes time. That which is felt, feels seen and loved. That which love knows can flow again and will continue its journey. In other words, it can let you go. On an intuitive level, your self-knowledge/self-love grows exponentially as a result.
We all know the expression: knowledge = love, right?
no? It’ll come.
The only thing that changes is everything, the only thing that changes is nothing.
I am consciousness.
I’m not coming from anywhere and I’m not going anywhere.
I am the presence in the space in between,
which invariably changes everything.