All the answers to the really big questions in life can only be found in one place: inside yourself. But until we can get through the filter of past conditioning, we continue to seek the answers through our thoughts. The trouble is that thoughts can be deceiving. All thought begins with an initial impulse, but how that impulse is interpreted is subject to our awareness of the past conditioned filter we have been cultivating since our first experience as humans soon after we were first born.
That first experience was one of separation. We had a direct experience of our dependency on another for survival, and this is by far the most powerful influence over every choice and decision we make. Depending on the situation, we either feel at the mercy of another or we rail against the need of another, but regardless they are still just reactions based on the illusion of this first direct experience as separate beings.
[I know: “but we are separate beings”. While I can’t deny the overwhelming evidence supporting this fact, the best I can offer is that it’s not the only fact about us as a species, just the most apparent one. The rest of the truth, again, can only be discovered by you through your own direct experience, and any words I offer can only help direct you to that experience if you are receptive to having that experience.]
A direct experience of truth is far more powerful than any knowledge acquired through thought or study. Without this filtering process of ourselves as separate beings, as is the case with infants, a person just takes in all the information without labeling it as good or bad. It just simply comes in, is processed, and then a response comes as a result. But as we get older, and we have collected enough responses and labeled them as good or bad, we begin to anticipate certain outcomes based on our limited perception of a situation, and that anticipation sets us up to find the very experience that we are expecting to find. Instead of responding to situations, we now begin reacting to situations based on this limited perception and anticipated outcome. Then, when we have “confirmed” our expected results enough times, we simply avoid that situation all together because now we are sure we know what the result will be without even venturing to try.
But what is that past filter based on? Again, it’s based on direct experiences from our childhood of ourselves as limited beings. And unlike in other cultures that have “rights of passage” to help children disidentify with this necessary but limited perspective of themselves and of life, we in contemporary cultures continue to identify ourselves as separate beings and view our lives from this stunted perspective. It limits everything we think is possible in this life, and everything that we are capable of achieving. Everything either becomes a battle for resources and power or a reinforcement of ourselves as being at the mercy of others. Any attempts to “reclaim” power are just us waging our own war against what we see is an unjust situation, but really the only injustice is the one that we have created for ourselves. And really, it’s more of just a tragic misunderstanding than it is an injustice, but it creates the same turmoil for us nonetheless.
So what is the solution? How can we step outside of this perspective of life when it’s the only perspective that seems to be logical and reasonable? I freely admit that so many of the concepts that I share sound absolutely ridiculous. I shared those same feelings of “it sounds great in theory, but it could never apply to my life” and “people who see the good in bad situations are just deluding themselves in order to cope with their difficulties”.
But then I had a moment of direct experience of the truth of it all. My thoughts and logic and rationalizing faculties all broke open for just a few brief moments, and I experienced the absolute truth beyond all the concepts. This happened without years of studying religions or traditions, it happened without having to give up anything I have and without having to shave my head, and it happened without me having to change my diet or move to a cave in Tibet. It happened, quite simply, while reading a book. And it can happen for you if and when you are ready for it to.
And when you get there, you will see the absolute simplicity of life, and all the answers that have continued to plague you will come to you without any effort at all. I’m not saying you’re going to like all the answers you find, but they will be there and you will realize it as truth and that realization will give you the strength and focus to face any challenges you might have with grace and certainty. What stops is the internal struggle, and in that cessation of hostilities, you get filled with a deep peace, inspiration, compassion, and truth. But don’t take my word for it…