Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stop Pretending

Some good words from Nisargadatta's I Am That:

"In reality nothing is lacking and nothing is needed, all work is on the surface only. In the depths there is perfect peace. All your problems arise because you have defined and therefore limited yourself. When you do not think yourself to be this or that, all conflict ceases. Any attempt to do something about your problems is bound to fail, for what is caused by desire can be undone only in freedom from desire. You have enclosed yourself in time and space, squeezed yourself into the span of a lifetime and the volume of a body and thus created the innumerable conflicts of life and death, pleasure and pain, hope and fear. You cannot be rid of problems without abandoning illusions.


"There is no such thing as a person. There are only restrictions and limitations. The sum total of these defines the person. You think you know yourself when you know what you are. But you never know who you are. The person merely appears to be, like the space within the pot appears to have the shape and volume and smell of the pot. See that you are not what you believe yourself to be. Fight with all the strength at your disposal against the idea that you are nameable and describable. You are not. Refuse to think of yourself in terms of this or that. There is no other way out of misery, which you have created for yourself through blind acceptance without investigation. Suffering is a call for enquiry, all pain needs investigation. Don't be too lazy to think.


"You are not in the body, the body is in you! The mind is in you. They happen to you. They are there because you find them interesting. Your very nature has the infinite capacity to enjoy. It is full of zest and affection. It sheds its radiance on all that comes within its focus of awareness and nothing is excluded. It does not know evil nor ugliness, it hopes, it trusts, it loves. You people do not know how much you miss by not knowing your own true self. You are neither the body nor the mind, neither the fuel nor the fire. They appear and disappear according to their own laws.

"That which you are, your true self, you love it, and whatever you do, you do for your own happiness. To find it, to know it, to cherish it is your basic urge. Since time immemorial you loved yourself, but never wisely. Use your body and mind wisely in the service of the self, that is all. Be true to your own self, love your self absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realised them as one with yourself, you cannot love them Don't pretend to be what you are not, don't refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realisation, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When you realise the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realisation can break it. Go for it resolutely."

As he says, "Don't pretend to be what you are not, don't refuse to be what you are!" Can you see what he is referring to when he says "what you are not?" Look in the mirror tomorrow morning. Stare long and hard. Look at your preconceived notions and ideas, the labels you have stuck on yourself every day since you were born, those that were stuck on by your parents, sisters, brothers, children, spouses, teachers, preachers, friends, enemies, doctors, and on, and on. All of that is what you are NOT. Toss those labels in the trash. Get rid of them. Don't pretend that any of that nonsense defines who you are. Stop playing that game.

And then, sit your butt down on your zafu, or on your couch, or on a blanket on the floor, or in a kitchen chair, or lean against a tree, or get comfortable in the train or on the bus or in the taxi. Get in whatever position it takes so that you can focus all your energy on investigating "who you are." Now look. Intensely. Let go of all the above nonsense. Don't strain, just let it go. Drop it all. Don't ask how, just let it drop off. Allow yourself to peek behind the screen where all those labels are stuck and see that in that label-less world on the other side the real you is also sitting there, all the while chuckling at your foolishness and patiently waiting for you to come home.

And how do you get home? By simply blinking your eyes, letting go of all the "stuff" you believed about yourself before, accepting that you are and nothing more, and settling into being there. You don't go home, you simply see that you are already there but didn't realize it. You don't go anywhere; you are everywhere, nowhere, all the time, at no time, never, and forever more. And that place is called home.

Stop pretending to be who you are not!

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