“… Our Being is the objectless, aware presence that lies behind and, at the same time, intimately pervades all experience …” ~ Rupert Spira
Self, our Being, “I Am,” our True Nature, Awareness … are captivating topics … in their “own right” … and …
They tend to dominate, or take hold of, the spiritual seeker’s attention in his/her self discovery journey either from the start or at some stage “downstream”… whether the journey is triggered organically (at any age) … or by some traumatic event … or by some ecstatic “happening” … or whatever other “triggers” …
And these topics are important … and at times take on a “burning” quality … they are also tricky in that they are inherently somewhat paradoxical (e.g., one is already that which one is seeking) … although at the same time many would posit that they are inherently simple (as they “rest on the obvious”) especially if one undertakes the exploration deeper … or is earnest about it as more and more is revealed …
So, today we offer a very brief glimpse into this “territory (if it can be called that :-)”… through the wisdom tempered by both East and West … by considering some short words and/or poems of Papaji and Rupert Spira …
These words or “short-poems” invite a deeper reflection … and the treasures hidden within; are revealed as one reflects on them deeper and deeper … so, we suggest that you allow the “time and space” that is some form of “pause, read, reflect – then repeat” – which is a very personal process so whatever/however it works best for you 🙂
We begin with Papaji (all excerpted from his book This) … on our True Nature … and awareness …
“… You are the One that is even more silent than awareness … Your nature is silence and it is not attainable. It always Is …”
You are the One which is aware
of the awareness of objects & ideas
You are the One that is even more silent than awareness
Your nature is silence and it is not attainable
It always Is.
You are the unchangeable Awareness in which all activity takes place.
And … on the Self …
Self is what you are.
You are That Fathomlessness
in which experience and concepts appear.
Self is the Moment that has no coming or going.
It is the Heart, Atman, Emptiness.
It shines to Itself, by Itself, in Itself.
Self is what gives breath to Life.
You need not search for It, It is Here.
You are That through which you would search.
You are what you are looking for!
And That is All it is.
Only Self is.
And the treasure that awaits in the “Quiet” – the doorway to love and peace …
Peace is beyond thought and effort.
This is why Keeping Quiet is the key
to the storehouse of Love and Peace.
Identify yourself as this Quietness, as this Nothingness
and be careful not to make it an experience
because this is mind tricking you out of it
with the trap of duality; the trap of witness and witnessed.
Being is Being, there is no witness and no witnessed.
After letting go of object
do not hold onto the subject either, let go.
The purpose of life is to be at Peace,
to Love all beings, and to know who you are.
Know your Self and you know everything.
This Immaculate Knowledge alone is,
Emptiness alone is.
How can you come out of This
if there are no limits to it?
The appearance of a manifestation
is but the play of this Emptiness.
Know who you are, Here and Now,
by simply Being Quiet.
~ Papaji (Sri H. W. L. Poonja).
Next we offer a “contrast” – if it can be called that … because as we know through The Rig Veda: There is only one truth, only men describe it in different ways.
Of course, the similarities are evident … although, as expected, each has his own unique “voice” 🙂
Our Being …
The contents of experience are continuously changing. No thought, feeling, state of mind, activity or relationship is essential to us. They seem to temporarily qualify our self, but our basic sense of being remains the same throughout. It is the changeless background of our ever-changing experience.
Our being or self is the constant factor in all changing experience, just as a screen is the stable background upon which all movies are played.
Our being is not itself an experience but enables all experience to occur, just as the screen permits a film to be played.
Our being is the objectless, aware presence that lies behind and, at the same time, intimately pervades all experience. As such, our being both transcends the limitations of experience and is immanent within them.
Divested of the qualities that it borrows from experience, our essential nature is unlimited or infinite. As such, our being is not ‘our’ being; it is simply being.
When the unity of being shines in our relationship with another person, we experience it as love. Our being recognises itself in the apparent other. As the Sufi mystic Balyani said, ‘Otherness for Him is Him without otherness’. It is for this reason that Rumi said, ‘True lovers never really meet; they are in each other all along’.
Rupert’s words, above, are excerpted from the Introduction of his book “A Meditation on I Am,” where he closes with:
“… paradoxically, how could anything be more worthy of our interest, love and attention than that from which all objects and selves derive their apparently independent existence? It is that which can never be captured in words, and yet all words speak only of it. It is that which can never be portrayed by art, and yet all art issues forth in its service. It is that which demands our silence, and yet all speech — and all poetry — pours out in its name.
As a Zen master once said, ‘if I speak, I tell a lie; if I remain silent, I am a coward’, It is in this spirit that, over a number of years, the words of this poem took shae in my mind.”
So below are a few “stanzas” from Rupert’s I AM:
I am the knowing with which all things
I am the presence in which all things appear
I am the substance out of which all things
I am and know Myself alone
I shine in the mind as the knowledge ‘I am’
I pervade the body as the feeling of being
I am felt in the heart as peace and happiness
It is My being that shines as existence in
I speak but am silent
I move whilst at rest
I know but cannot be known
I experience but cannot be experienced
I am but do not exist
Whatever appears, appears in Me
but I do not appear
I am the silence in music
and the music in silence
I am concealed in the world
but reveal the world
I am the womb and the tomb
of all that exists
~ Rupert Spira
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India is undergoing a humanitarian crisis brought upon by the ravaging resurgence of COVID-19 … we are providing THREE vetted sources that can be used to help provide relief to India … we have donated personally and also as Stillness Speaks to PATH, CARE, and some of the GoFundMe campaigns below …
Despite the financial challenges that are amongst us all, if your situation allows you to donate then please visit one of the following sources … and contribute whatever is possible …
… Deliver oxygen where it’s needed the most through PATH – a global team of innovators working to accelerate health equity so all people and communities can thrive …
… Provide essential hospital services, more health workers, additional beds, oxygen supply, and much more through CARE (and their CARE India chapter) – for 75 years, CARE has led the way to a better life for the world’s most vulnerable people ….
… Donate to India COVID-19 fundraisers on GoFundMe – all fundraisers have been verified by GoFundMe’s Trust & Safety team and will be updated as new fundraisers are created and verified. All GoFundMe fundraisers are backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee which ensures that all funds on this page will go to those affected by India’s COVID-19 surge …
Helping those in extreme need is the “order of the day” …
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May you remain safe and healthy as you navigate these unsettling times.