HOME, the return to what you already are
My sister and I were in Costa one Sunday (we love a café). We were talking about holidays.
A memory came up of when we were in France in a swimming pool. I was waiting behind someone on the ladder to get out.
At the same time as I pulled myself up the ladder, the woman in front dipped down. Her foot went right down the top of my swimming costume.
In reality, it probably took less than a few seconds for her to extract her foot. In my memory it took so long that it is probably still there. My sister was next to us and saw the whole fee(t)asco.
In the cafe, my sister and I started laughing so hard remembering this that we just couldn’t stop.
We were laughing and laughing and laughing and in the midst of laughing I caught her gaze and saw… what…?
What did I see in her eyes? What did she see in mine?
The laughter took away all veils and, in that moment, what was revealed?
Realness, truth, presence, Aliveness, joy, sameness, Love...
What remains when we look up at the night sky and all worries dissolve?
What creates that almost unconscious flow of movement, ideas, creation when we are absorbed in painting, writing, playing music, dancing, running, meditating?
What is perfectly moving the lungs and beating the heart even in our moments of feeling desperately incapable?
When we listen, what translates sound to meaning? When we speak, how do words form? When we dance, what moves our limbs?
What is unveiled when the miracle beauty of nature, a partner, a friend, a child, a pet takes our breath away?
What remains alert, alive and responsive while we sleep?
When we learn, what is making learning happen?
Through this book we will explore what that is.
We will consider what we are before the mind, before thought, before separation, before belief creates an idea of ourselves.
It is not easy to do this with words.
And there are many who would argue that it is impossible anyway. That words can never come close and the mind can never understand what lies before it.
However, what we are talking about here is logical and evident. It is impossible to argue with because, when the enquiring mind gets still with what is real, nothing else makes sense.
Different teachers use different words to point to what ‘Home’, the foundational truth of being, really is.
There are different slants to these words, they point to different facets of beingness. In this book we are considering six of these different ‘pointings’ and what they indicate about who we are.
(I’m calling them ‘pointings’ because they cannot be described conceptually, the conscious mind built as it is from beliefs in separation must label and distinguish and cannot grasp the indivisible.)
For each of the ‘pointings’ we are considering what veils that truth, what keeps the mind in the experience that we are something other. And what allows the mind to settle into that truth.
All of them indicate the infinite and absolute.
The first is Consciousness or Awareness which is perhaps the ‘pointing’ most often described in spiritual teachings. We will consider how Consciousness cannot be an aspect of the individual mind, that it must precede thought and belief for thought and belief to even appear. That it must precede individuality and separation for the concepts of individuality and separation to even take form.
The second is Intelligence. We will consider ourselves as the Intelligence of life itself. We actually are the organising power. There is no separate ‘me’ with its own separate Intelligence. This has profound implications for our understanding of free-will, control and accountability.
The third is Aliveness or Life. In the moment of a person’s death, what happens? The body is still there, exactly as it was when the person was alive. The clothes are the same, the hair, the features. But now the person is not there. So, what is the person? The person cannot be the body. The person must be the life that animated the body and yet there is nothing personal about life. Even though this is what we are, the ultimate miracle of Aliveness is continually overlooked and forgotten. It is hidden continually by the illusory ‘life and death’ drama of the mind’s creations.
The fourth is Wholeness. This is the essence of non-duality. There is no objectively separate thing and no objectively separate person which is why it has to be described by a non-defining term like ‘non-duality’. Any other word would create of it a concept, a something. We’ll look at what this makes clear about the material world and what we are.
The fifth is Peace. In this chapter we consider that true Peace is the knowing that the Intelligence of being will respond to whatever arises. That the true Peace of our being is unrelated to any external object or circumstance and nothing to do with any particular emotion or mental state. Peace is what lies prior to all experience.
And finally, we consider Unconditional Love as our true nature. The mind knows that Love is our essence. It looks like we have to try to return Home by being loved. This sets us up for a lifetime of confusion until we realise that every interaction is revealing the futility of the search and the truth of us. No wonder we can suffer so much in our relationships with others and with ourselves.
For those readers who are already tuned into enquiry, you might use this book to consider ‘pointings’ that might not have resonated so much in the past. You have had a lot of experience in moving into this direction and now it can extend as a true space of exploration. With nothing to fix or secure and everything to experience, you are already open to seeing new possibilities and unknown worlds. For you, I hope the richness of truth starts to become more and more apparent.
And for those who are completely fresh to this, first of all, welcome. You are in exactly the right place. Begin by noticing the desire to have the right insight in order to create a different experience of life. Just notice that urge, and allow it to fall away into curiosity. Allow a real rigour to come to mind. Ask: is that true? Is what this book is saying really true? How could that be true? Use the inner sense, that comes from curiosity to see what resonates. And notice how the seeking energy, that desire to be something different, to feel something different negates enquiry. It keeps the mind trapped in its own resistance. Curiosity is the gateway to truth. And truth, as they say, sets us free.
This is a lifetime of the only exploration that makes any sense. What is true? What is real? What doesn’t change?
Consciousness. Intelligence. Aliveness. Wholeness. Peace. Love.
Along with a great deal of laughter.