‘St Matthew and the Angel’ (detail) – Guido Reni, 1635 – Wikimedia
So many of my thoughts, feelings, and even sensations are here solely because they are sustained by, or dependent on, or conditioned by the representation I have of myself. In more bluntly put words, my belief in being a discrete, separate entity creates the bigger part of them. This is because I think that I am solely this me-person that I indulge in these endless thoughts about myself. This is because I think that I am only this separately existing entity that I am caught in the grip of these disturbing feelings around myself. This is because I think that I am undoubtedly this body that my world acquires a dull and solid reflection where I-myself live and am caught in.
But this apparent suffering reality of our life is only as disturbing, dull, or solid as is the reality of our separate self. This is where our life finds its solace: in the defeating of this illusion; in this looking within to discover the reality of our self, and the truth of our being. This is where the promise of spirituality comes in with its many gifts of release. This is where the ‘good news’ of religion finds its full meaning and effectiveness. And it says something like:
Our life will get smoothened and simplified, not because all problems inherent in it will magically disappear, but because we will notice that the reality of our self is only apparent. We have entangled ourself in our self-induced thoughts, feelings, and realities, and these are in turn creating and feeding our illusory sense of being a person or entity. But this seeming entity is a mirage, a dream born out of our conditioned mind, a construction produced by our imagination. We have been mesmerised by an idea. We have been seduced by a thought. We were never meant to be caught in this way, to be so idiotically trapped in this nightmarish and ultimately fake reality. But the good news is: we can wake out of it. In fact, we are meant to. No lie can survive successfully. No dream can acquire definite reality. No illusion can sustain its blurry vision.
Our life is a suffering life because we have failed to see that we are not our thoughts and feelings. These are only happenings. They were unfortunately and magically created, along with the self that owns them and sustains them. This creator is not a self as we think it to be. The creator is itself a thought. We are a thought that produces many thoughts. We are a belief that manufactures many feelings. We are a misunderstanding that biasedly shapes our senses.
Our true being has been disguised. We have been blinded by our attire, seduced by our fanciful clothing, made up of the thoughts and feelings that we mistakingly took to be ourself. And more truly and tragically so, we have been chronically disheartened by its cheap fabric. We have been engulfed by a self-image and we suffer. We have drowned into a lie of our own making. But this is only a disguise — nothing more. It doesn’t define us, or oblige us. We can take it off, remove the clothing, release the load of our false, imaginary self. Actually, it will fall of itself, because of its being seen, unmasked. It will lose its disguising skill and ability, and reveal our true naked self and being.
This is the promise of spirituality, the ‘good news’, or ‘gōd spel’, or ‘evangelium’ of Christianity. Why have we distanced ourself from it, pushing it on a far away shore? Faith is not about belief. True faith is about looking, unmasking, revealing, realising. This promise is now. Not a now in time, but an eternal now, in which this promise is already revealed, already realised and fully implemented. This promise wasn’t really a promise. Or it was, but only for the illusory self that we have indulged ourself to be for so long. This promise is a call. “Hey! Stop! Look! It’s here already!” And that’s it! In one single gaze: Done with the evangelium…
And then our life gets smoothened and simplified, not because all problems inherent in it magically disappears, but because we are drawn to notice all the qualities inherent in being. They shine in our life. They are made apparent. We are mesmerised not by our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, limitations — all born out of our misconceptions on the reality of our self — but by the light of simply being, its inherent beauty, its total is-ness, its subtle and gentle making as love and happiness.
Text by Alain Joly
Painting by Guido Reni (1575-1642)
– Guido Reni (Wikipedia)
– Other ‘Reveries’ from the blog…
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