Is there anything about me that doesn’t come and go?
Every emotion, every thought, every image, every taste, and every sound. They all come into my perception, and then very quickly leave. I may add any habitual judgement to what I am perceiving, but that also comes and goes.
Perhaps it is the reactions to these perceptions that make up the self? But those also change. Your favorite music, preferred food, and taste in art may change dramatically throughout your entire life.
All of my perceptions only show me what changes. In order to perceive these changes I must be that which doesn’t change. For instance, in order to perceive the color white your natural state can’t be to see white. I can only be what is not perceivable.
I perceive things because they are different that I am. Anything that is me is rendered invisible (like the white paint on a white canvas). So in relation to all that is perceivable I do not exist. I am the eternal opposite.
Excuse me while my mind blows….
Perception is the birthplace of all conceptual knowledge. Therefor whomever I am must be known on another level. It must be felt without thought. Without imagination. It can have no content.
Nisargadatta says “The only fact you can be sure of is that you are”. So while I am nothing that can be perceived, I must be the space in which perception happens. I am aware that there is perceiving happening. When I identify as the perceiver, or the person, I suffer. When I am just aware of it, there is peace.
If you want to help the world you must be beyond the need of help
– Nisargadatta Maharaj
I have gotten to that point in my spiritual journey where it feels like there’s nothing left for me to do. It’s the feeling that I don’t need anymore information to become realized, yet I remain unrealized.
Since I began down this road almost 3 years ago I was always making progress. And even today I have made headway with a profound glimpse at understanding how all of the Universe exists only in my mind. That there is no ‘out there’ only ‘in here’. For a time I felt at peace with all the ways in which my perceptions have manifested around me. Or rather, within me.
And then… the feeling goes away. As it must I suppose. To be enlightened is not to always have wonderful experiences, but to be unaffected by the ups and downs of experience. It’s not the pursuit of happiness but the search for that unwavering state of bliss that already exists deep within.
Frustratingly, there is no series of tasks that must be done to realize your true nature. No amount of meditation or yoga will guarantee anything. A spiritual teacher can only point to what it is by telling you what it is not. It’s like I am waiting for an ‘a-ha’ moment while also anticipating an ‘a-ha’ moment. As if the mind can know how it will feel to transcend the mind.
I am currently reading “I Am That” by Nisargadatta Maharaj and find it the most profound book on spirituality I have ever read. In a recent chapter he instructs the questioner to remove all expectations from life and you will be free. I will strive to take that advice to heart.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
Love is knowing I am everything,
and between the two my life moves.”
– Nisargadatta Maharaj