“The stabilization in peace … is a natural, effortless and spontaneous outcome of this exploration, just as this exploration itself is a natural, effortless and spontaneous and enjoyable outcome of our love of and interest in the nature of experience.” ~ Rupert Spira
Some report that “Peace Slips Away” after attending satsang or retreat. What is the nature of this “back and forth” that is commonly experienced by Truth Lovers? What causes the “separate self” to arise and apparently steal away the sense of tranquility?
Question: What do you suggest would help the back and forth sense of reality and imagination? I seem to understand and there is peace etc. then it somehow slips away and I am again wondering? I suppose I am asking is there anything I can do that would actually stop this apparent self from arising or be aware of it more, see it for what it is while it is occurring and not be swept along with it?
Here is Rupert Spira unfolding the …
Peace That Never Fades Away
Answer: The one that wants the apparent self to stop arising is the apparent self itself. In other words, the desire to get rid of the apparent self perpetuates the apparent self.
The apparent self could be described as ‘the resistance to what is.’ This resistance takes two forms: 1) I want or need such and such to take place in order to be happy or 2) I don’t want what is present and need it to disappear in order to be happy. These two, desire and fear, are in fact two sides of the same coin. The coin is the apparent self.
See clearly that in order to resist what is, there has to be a stance, a point of view, a located entity, an apparent self. This resistance depends upon the apparent self. If we then resist the apparent self and try to get rid of it, we are resisting our resistance. We fear our fear. We simply compound the problem.
So, first of all see that we have an agenda with the apparent self and as long as this agenda is present it is more of the same. Just look clearly until your looking naturally becomes disinterested, just as you would look at a passing car….no agenda for or against.
See The Apparent Self For What It Is
See clearly that the apparent self, which is simply a current thought and feeling, arises effortlessly within us but does not in any way touch, harm, move, change or implicate us, Consciousness, in any way. We do not need to make this the case. It is already the case.
It is from this position or rather from this open, welcoming, allowing space that we are able to contemplate the apparent self.
This apparent self has two main residences, one in the mind as a belief and one in the body as a feeling. Once the belief in separation has been investigated and we have come to the understanding that there is no evidence that whatever we are, that is, whatever it is that is seeing these words, is limited or located for instance, behind the eyes, we are open to the much deeper exploration of the sense of separation at the level of the body.
The level Of The Mind
At the level of the mind we may, as you say, come again and again to the understanding that what we are is not limited and located only to lose this understanding again. The mind arises again with an objection and this objection seems to invalidate our previous understanding and, as a result, peace is lost.
For instance the mind may say (and often does!) ‘Well, if Consciousness is unlocated how come I cannot see what you are seeing?’ In this and numerous other ways the mind will present apparently valid reasons for the belief that Consciousness is limited.
For those of us with enquiring and tenacious minds each of these objections has to be fully explored until we come, from our own experience, to see that all our beliefs about Consciousness are invalid.
It is, in many cases, the depth of this understanding at a intellectual level that precipitates the deeper enquiry at the level of feelings. I say ‘in most cases’ because some people are very open to the exploration at the level of the body without coming to this intellectual clarity and that is just as legitimate. In this case, it just means that their minds do not present the same obstacles as those of us who are more skeptical!
Insufficiency Of Intellectual Understanding
Sooner or later, for many of us, the intellectual understanding is seen to be insufficient and the willingness and openness to explore our experience at the deeper level of feelings arises. In this case we just follow our love and interest and start to explore the sense of ‘me-ness’ in the body and its corollary, the sense of ‘not me-ness’ in the world.
The stabilization in peace that you refer to is a natural, effortless and spontaneous outcome of this exploration, just as this exploration itself is a natural, effortless and spontaneous and enjoyable outcome of our love of and interest in the nature of experience.
1st & 2nd & 4th Images: Scotland & Think & Dreaming – images copyrights Moyan Brenn, edited (dimension & logo inserted), and CC BY 2.0.
3rd Image: Seeing Eye to Eye to Eye by qthomasbower,edited (dimension & logo inserted), CC BY-SA 2.0.
This post is an edited migration of an old Stillness Speaks 2009 post.