HSEP34: “No Self?” A Powerful Discovery for Less Suffering
I remember whispering to myself, "Holy shit, I don't exist," when I first saw it deeply, saw that the separate self was only an illusion. Who I thought I was, this character called "me," was a hallucination that wasn't actually alive or real. Before this discovery, the life I was perceivably living, the life of me, was 100% convinced that 'me' was a real me. Furthermore, every ounce of suffering experienced, was 100% wrapped up in this illusion of me; meaning... the suffering only existed because I mistook the hallucination of myself as something that was real.
The funny thing is, if someone told me 20 years ago, "who you think you are... doesn't exist," I would have written them off a crazy person. "How absurd, I'm existing right now," I would have thought. On the surface of things, YES, it definitely seems like there is a self, it seems like the character of you is actually alive and living a life. Yet, upon a deeper investigation, this self we think we are, is only a collection of thoughts believed in.
This concept, of "No Self," is not new, as it's been spoken about for thousands of years in many different ways through many different spiritual and philosophical traditions. All of which, in some way, attempting to communicate that the belief in a separate self, is at the core of all human suffering.
"Self" implies "Other."
With the belief in a self comes the natural belief in "others." This is the separation, a self that is separate from others. In the same way, we can look at a flower and say it's separate from other flowers. We can look at events, and say they are separate from other events. We can look at the season of winter and say that winter is separate from spring. However, the separation between these things, is a line of separation created only in the mind.
We look at a flower, and we assume that what we are looking at, is its own thing, separate from other things. We look at events that happen in life, and assume they happen on their own. Likewise, we can look at the winter and believe that it acts on its own; like it's the winter doing winter, the spring doing spring, the summer doing summer, and the autumn doing autumn. However, all of these things are not really separate things; in fact, they aren't things at all.
The flower (as a separate thing) doesn't do itself. It's done by the wholeness of Life. However, easily, we can create a story in the mind that says (and believes) the flower is doing the flower. In a funny and playful way, this puts an immense pressure on the flower, as it must now do - on its own - what only Life as a whole can do; which is to create a flower.
As humans, the same silliness is happening. We believe ourselves to be separate from the wholeness of Life, existing as a separate thing, and we must manage the 10,000 elements that come with BEING alive. We must do... what only Life as a whole can do. Naturally, we have to ask... how's that going? 🙊
If one really wants to see this deeply, and open themselves up to this life altering discovery, I first recommend being open to discerning the difference between imagination and reality. This requires a bit of stillness, and a genuine interest in seeing beyond the illusions. The difficulty, of course, is that people generally don't want to see they don't exist, they don't want to see the collapse of their illusions. There are so many fears at play here that avoid this discovery. Why? Because... our illusions serve as a foundation of sanity and comfort for the human experience, even though the sanity is anxious, and the comfort is really a safe prison cell with nice decorations.
As it relates to suffering, I encourage people to see that what they are ultimately looking for in Life, the energy behind all seeking, is to find... the Self. We are ultimately trying to answer the question: Who Am I? However, and what creates the suffering, is that we are looking for a separate self. This is also to say that we are looking for a self this isn't really there, which is why it's so damn frustrating and full of disappointment. Sometimes it looks like we find it, and then it slips through our fingers; such is the nature of all illusion, for a while, it appears to be real, but it doesn't take long for us to find out that it's not real.
In our seeking for Self, we are actually looking for the wholeness of Life, we are looking to reconnect, or come home to what we truly are; which is inseparable from Life. We are looking to end the separation and return to wholeness; we are looking to surrender our self illusions and reconnect with reality.
MMM!, that's so yummy 😋
I'm so stoked to dive into this more deeply during the live show today, on "Holding Space for Love to Be Seen." Join the conversation by watching live on YouTube, share your comments, bring your questions, and let's HOLD SPACE together.
If you are part of the FREE inLight Connect Community, you can watch the recording here for a limited time.