Suffering is the belief we are separate from wholeness.
To believe ourselves separate from wholeness, is to believe ourselves separate from our own Self. That’s like believing yourself to not be “here”, believing yourself not to be “now”, believing yourself not to BE.
Have you tried to be somewhere other than “here”? By the time you are “there”, it’s “here”. It sounds a bit silly when I put it that way.
Have you tried to be somewhere other than “now”? And before you reflect on your “being in the moment” skills, that is a huge example of trying not to be “now”. If you’re not sure why, call me.
Have you tried to deny that you ARE? I did. It seemed the only option, until I realised I was throwing the baby out with the bathwater – because there was an awareness of the denial of Self. If there is clearly knowing awareness, then “I” am the knower. The “knowing”, if you prefer.
It’s our cultural conditioning, our inherited conditioning. To believe ourselves other than here, now. Consistent deferring of engagement with life until a certain thing has been achieved. Learning to ride a bike, to pass exams, to drive, to go to college, to get a job, to get married, to have children, to lose weight, to get in the moment, to earn more money, to get out of lockdown, to…
Suffering is a denial that I am here, now, and “this” is all there is, “This”, of course, is undivided, indivisible Awareness, appearing AS THOUGH a bike, an exam, a car, a degree, a job, a person…
So why do we believe these appearances demand a paradigm of separation?
This isn’t about thought. It isn’t about your stories or your intellect. Let the stories tell themselves. Stories have a powerful current, they aren’t knocked off course by trying to think them different. And don’t blame your intellect. If ever anyone was “doing the best they can with what they’ve got”, it would be the intellect. The intellect merely needs to be given clearer information, and this we can do. As Einstein said (allowing for the poetry of his expression):
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
If belief was just about thought, we’d have a rational conversation and that would be it.
Beliefs are like strange creatures living at the bottom of a pond. They feed on mud. They breed suffering. There is no chance of rational conversation. This is why we can understand we’re not who we thought we were, but still act as though we were.
Why do beliefs develop and stagnate?
A relative answer is that the freedom to immerse in experience includes the freedom to believe it’s who we are.
Beliefs are the opposite of clear sight.
What can we do about beliefs?
Please don’t tell me there is no “doing”, we’ve spent a lifetime “doing” the acquisition of belief.
This though is more of an undoing, but there is still activity. Activity turned in the direction of truth, rather than in the direction of herding beliefs.
Grace is what turns a doing into an undoing.
And what is grace?
Grace is the call inward.
Suffering comes when it looks like we are being asked to surrender more than we can bear to give up. Yet all we are asked to surrender is the suffering itself.
How do we surrender suffering?
We continue to explore who we are. And we notice every moment, every thought, every feeling is naturally surrendered. It can’t be otherwise. You can’t swim in the same river twice.
Suffering is the belief we are separate from wholeness, from our own Self. We can’t talk ourselves out of belief, we simply continue, with it. As we explore our true nature, belief is noticed, and seen through. If it’s seen through progressively, we might well use a technique to assist the process. If it’s seen through directly, it is gone, like a vampire brought into sunlight. And then we engage with life, directly, knowing it for what it is.