‘The Imaginary Invalid’ – Honoré Daumier, 1860-62 (Philadelphia Museum of Art) – Wikimedia
There may have been a time in your life when you had a glimpse or experience that you had considered to be a major event or happening, some breaking news coming from god’s mouth. And yet you were left after it with only scattered shreds of truth. You had failed to inhabit your experience and make it yours. You had stayed on its threshold and didn’t dare to visit its interior and be blessed by it. You remained where and who you always were, with the bitter taste of a failed enlightenment as a topping. So you have entertained the memory of it. You have placed this experience on a pedestal. Worshipped it as something to be attained or achieved.
So you have searched for it. You have enquired, read, experienced, shared. Slowly, almost inadvertently, you have gathered some understanding. You have sailed on the sea of existence, harvesting here a tiny piece of truth, there a hazy recognition, maybe even a glimpse of a wee realisation, which you have again locked behind closed doors. And you have sailed further. It made you push or widen your understanding even more. Silently. Surreptitiously. Until one day home is coming closer to you. You find yourself inhabiting this truth. It is making itself known as being only who you are, or that which you are. It suddenly takes you by surprise and clarity. This is what it is!
So let’s put it in a nutshell: What was felt as a person having an experience of bliss, is now lived as pure being or bliss having no experience of a person. The person has been swallowed into being. And his or her ‘experience’ upgraded as being the present awareness itself, without the need — or even capacity — for any ‘experience’ at all. The time has come when it is impossible to be again a person having a spiritual experience, because the natural state has been discovered to be the experience itself which has expanded to the infinite dimensions of just being, without any person attached to it. The curse of being a person has faded and is now replaced by the blessing of individuality or undivided being. This is a complete reversal of the situation.
In other words, the person that you experienced yourself to be at the time was in fact — without realising — the very being that you-the-person were attempting to recognise through your experience. Nothing new came into being. The apparent person was already itself the experience that had been projected as a future and unattainable realisation. You were never possessing or experiencing anything ‘other’ at the time, but were only realising who you truly are, which your subsequent re-forming as a person had thrown into the realm of an ‘experience’ that you had and that could now only be recalled or attained. But to seek to attain something which you already are, will make you miss it again and again. It is like believing to have an illness when you don’t have one. Your forever trying to cure it while being already perfectly healthy, is your poison. You are poisoning yourself through that which you believe is the remedy. And there are serious and numerous symptoms, from regular rashes of suffering to hallucinations of being a person in its own right, from undue fascination for the objects of experience to bursts of forgetfulness of who you truly are.
The realisation of our true nature is the realisation of our being already healthy, without the illness that we are unduly imposing on ourself through our belief in being a separate entity or seeker. This false seeking identity — the medicine that is applied — is what transforms a healthy being into a sick person. Our participation or activity in helping ourself simply ‘being’ is redundant. It is the very expression of our sickness. No treatment needs to be applied on being because the illness, which is the presence of the sick person, is fantasised. Remove that person, stop intoxicating yourself, and your health will be naturally restored to its state of blissful presence. Realise that only healthy being is and can ever be. The person is the hypochondria of being.
Text by Alain Joly
Painting by Honoré Daumier (1808–1879)
– Honoré Daumier (Wikipedia)
– Other ‘Reveries’ from the blog…
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2 thoughts on “The Hypochondria of Being”
Each post is so Beautiful, Touching, Compelling. What a gift to receive. Thank you,
Thank you Allan! Lovely to hear that. 🙏