What could be more important than going from a superficial understanding of who we are to discovering the depth of our own Being?
How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:
Put aside everything you think you already know.
Open your mind and heart to receive something new.
Take your time going through each point.
Return to any points that particularly touch you.
In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.
*All quotes are by Rupert Spira, from the video: Where Happiness Lives
1. The Sacred "I"
"We have never, for a moment, been anything other than this Being, this infinite, Self-aware Being. The Being in each of us, or rather the Being that IS us, is the only infinite, Self-aware Being that there is: God’s infinite Being.
We do not become this through a practice of meditation or a spiritual tradition. It is simply ignored and then remembered, veiled and then revealed. And then, as this activity relaxes, its essence or nature shines. Its essence or nature has not been transformed, it has not evolved, and it has not become enlightened.
Our Being is always in the same condition: colourless, transparent, empty, luminous, knowing, imperturbable, lacking nothing. They have this beautiful equation in the Vedantic tradition: Sat-Chit-Ananda - the knowing of our own Being as it is, is Happiness itself.
Keep the name “I” sacred. Remember, “I” is the name that anything that is aware of itself gives to itself, and the only thing which is aware of itself, or indeed anything else, is Awareness.
Therefore, be sure that the word “I” always only refers to Awareness’ knowledge of itself. And in Awareness’ knowledge of itself, there is no shape, no size, no form, no colour, no age, no gender, no location, no nationality, no sickness, no agitation, no lack.
The name “I” is the highest mantra. One need only sound the name once and allow one’s attention to be drawn to its referent. That is the direct path to Peace and Happiness."
We have never been anything other than Awareness itself, the sacred "I." Do you know yourself as the sacred "I"? If not, it's time to uncover and remember the truth of who you are.
2. The Peaceful "I"
“I” is the name that whatever knows itself gives to itself. What is it in you that says “I” or “I am”? It is your essential being asserting its presence. It is your being saying “I am” or “I am present.”
The name “I” or the thought “I am” is like a lighthouse to a sailor on a stormy night. It indicates the place of peace, the place of safety. The thought “I am” indicates to you where to go to find your Being and its innate peace, because our Being is innately peaceful before our Being is coloured by experience. Its nature is just peace.
When we say, “I am depressed, I am lonely, I am sad, I am agitated, I am fearful, I am guilty, I am confused,” in all of these experiences, the “I am” is present there, but in all of these experiences we tend to emphasize the depression, the confusion, the loneliness, the sorrow, the excitement, etc. As a result, we neglect or overlook the presence of our own Being.
So, in this approach, whatever we’re experiencing (I am depressed, I am agitated, I am lonely, I am afraid…) we emphasize the “I am” aspect of the experience. We don’t reject the qualifying aspect - the depression, the loneliness, the fear - we just don’t give it our attention. We give the “I am” aspect our attention and that takes us from the feeling of depression or sorrow, it takes us deeper into our own Being. It takes us to the place of peace in our Self.
It’s not necessary to repeat the thought “I” or “I am” to yourself. You just take the thought once, take the thought, “I am,” and then you allow your attention to be drawn to its referent, drawn to that which is referred to by the name “I,” which is your essential Being."
Our Being is innately peaceful before it is coloured by experience. In fact, our very nature is Peace.
Today, as you go through your experiences, notice there is a place of peace deep within you that is untouched by all the drama of life. Like the water at the bottom of a lake, it remains calm and peaceful, no matter what the weather is like on the surface.
Remember the thought, "I am," which can always bring you back to the seat of Awareness and Peace.
3. The Effortless "I"
"To begin with there is this feeling of returning to yourself. It’s a practice of meditation. But in time you realize, I don’t have to return there, it’s where I naturally am, it’s my home.
So then meditation ceases to be something we practice. We realize it’s what we are. We no longer practice returning to ourselves, we just abide in ourself as our Self. If anything, we have to practice becoming a person again. That is adding thoughts, feelings, activities, relationships to our essential being.
Initially we think, a person is what I am and meditation is what I do. At some point there is a reversal. We realize that meditation is what I am and the person is what I do. In other words, the person is an activity of thinking and perceiving that is added to me. It is my activity but not myself.
It’s fine, if you feel that you’re lost in experience, in suffering or excitement or whatever, it’s fine then to trace your way back to yourself. If it feels, to begin with, that it’s something you have to make an effort to do, then make the effort.
Later it will come clear to you that being your Self is actually the only thing in life that requires no effort at all. Everything else apart from being yourself requires effort."
As you explore this deeper dimension of yourself, do so with patience and compassion. Allow yourself to make the effort to return to yourself until you no longer need to.
4. The Unsullied "I"
"For a mind that is lost in experience it appears that the peace of our true nature becomes available form time to time. It seems to come and go amidst the drama of experience.
In fact, the peace of our true nature is always present just behind our experience. It’s always there. It sometimes seems to be obscured by experience and then we feel it’s no longer present and we have to go in search of it. It’s not absent, it’s just that it’s clouded or veiled by the intensity of experience, particularly the intensity of suffering.
But all that’s necessary to do then is just take one step further back in yourself, from the suffering to your Being, just behind it. It’s like the screen behind the movie. It’s not really behind the movie but, for one who is lost in the drama of the movie, it’s legitimate to say, notice the peaceful screen behind the drama of the movie.
When you say “I am suffering,” instead of trying to relieve that suffering through the acquisition of objects, substances, activities, states of mind and relationships, investigate the Self, the "I" that is suffering.
What is it in my experience that is truly worthy of the name "I"? What has remained with me throughout all circumstances, in all situations, at all times? Only that is worthy of the name "I". What is that and is that one suffering?
It is not in fact necessary to turn away from any experience. Simply don’t allow “I” to be sullied by experience. Don’t allow your experience to persuade you that you are anything other than this infinite, inherently peaceful, unconditionally fulfilled presence of awareness."
Notice the "I" that is in the midst of all your experiences, like the movie screen that remains unchanged, regardless of what story is being projected onto it.
Don't turn away from your experience, but also don't allow it to persuade you "that you are anything other than this infinite, inherently peaceful, unconditionally fulfilled presence of awareness."
5. The Eternally Safe "I"
"Awareness is like the space of this room. It cannot be harmed by experience. At any moment of experience, if you ask yourself: is what I essentially am, harmed or hurt or stained by the current experience? The answer is always no. The current experience flows through you and it leaves you in the same, pristine condition - you, Awareness.
See that. See it clearly. Understand it. Feel it.
And then you never have to defend yourself. You don’t have to lock yourself up into an ivory tower - witnessing presence of consciousness over in the background of experience somewhere - you can go out into experience.
You can have a job, you can have a family, you can go anywhere that your character takes you in life because you know that what you essentially are is intimately one with all experience and yet absolutely free of it.
You’re safe everywhere.
Your Self is closer to you that even your most intimate thoughts and feelings. If we feel that our Self is not clearly known, as it essentially is, it is not in fact because we do not know our Self, but rather because we have overlooked our Self or forgotten our Self in favour of objective experience."
Today's quote is incredibly comforting and liberating if we can see that we are like the space of this room. We are the space in which all things happen, a space that is eternally vast and immeasurable.
Notice how you can allow all your experiences to flow through you when you remember your place as the space of Awareness. You can be intimately involved in all your experiences, and yet not attached to them. This is a beautiful way to live.
6. The Shining "I"
"We have become so accustomed to giving our love and attention to the content of our experience and we have simply overlooked or forgotten that which is closest to us, that which is most well known to us.
There is nothing remarkable or extraordinary or difficult about recognizing the nature of our Self.
Words like enlightenment or awakening are misnomers and have led to so much misunderstanding. Words such as enlightening or awakening confer some extraordinary, exotic flavour on this simple recognition of our own being. They make it sound as if it is some marvelous event that happens to a few extraordinary people.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing could be more misleading.
All of these are distractions, refined distractions from this simple knowing of our own being. All that is necessary is to soften the focus of one’s attention from the content of experience and allow one’s self to emerge from the background of experience.
Our Self, the only Self there is - everpresent, unlimited, Self-aware being - is shining brightly in the midst of all experience, irrespective of its content.
But if our being or Self seems to be obscured, or not to be clearly known, then simply soften the focus of your attention from the content of your experience and give your attention to your Self. Come back to your Self. Allow your Self to emerge from the background of experience."
At the deepest level, our Self is always shining brightly. But we get so caught up in all our human experiences, both physical and psychological, that we forget the spiritual essence of our true nature.
Every time we realize this, we immediately take our place as Awareness and everything spontaneously rebalances. From this place of Peace, Love and Wisdom, we can't help but bring the light of consciousness to everything we touch.