The Thing We Are trying to Find but have Forgotten
Many of us can become easily confused when we try to change our lives in a positive direction. But the concept behind todays post is to inform people of the ‘thing’ they are looking for or desperately trying to find. Many of us may think money, success, fame, relationships or other ‘things’ are the answer to our deepest issues but unless we actively get to the root of the issue. We will always find ourselves left with a sense of lack and longing.
Desire is not Bad but Find the Self First
This is not one of those posts that is aimed at telling people to give up their material possessions or desires, or any other such misguided nonsense that is bandied around in the spiritual community. It runs much deeper than that, money is good if you want money, fame is good if you want fame, success is good if you want success, relationships are good if you want relationships.
To want things or to have desires is never a bad thing and don’t let anyone fool you into believing it is a bad thing to want to improve your life. If we become completely devoid of desire, we would simply lose our will to live. It is only through the desire to keep living that we possess a will to live or get up in the morning. It is only through a desire to eat and breath, that we possess a desire to eat and breath.
Don’t Lose Sight of the Important Thing to Find
‘Without understanding yourself, what is the use of trying to understand the world?‘ – Ramana Maharshi
But we must never lose sight of the fact, that our desires alone will never bring us peace and happiness. Fulfilment of desires may work on a temporary basis, but the minute we lose any of these ‘things’ that appear to make us happy, we will often find ourselves back at square one. If we are constantly at war with ourselves on an internal level and unless we try to understand who we truly are on a deeper level, we will never find peace or happiness. We need to understand that finding ourselves is the crucial starting point in our quest for change.
‘The Kingdom of Heaven is within you, and whoever shall know himself shall find it.’ – Egyptian Proverb
This is why we must strive and seek to find ourselves as a starting point in our quest for change. We must understand the importance of finding ourselves before we begin seeking to fulfil our desires. Otherwise we merely put ourselves into a position of constant and ever lasting disappointment. This can be easily seen by the fact we have a world filled with highly unhappy and miserable rich people. It is not the money they possess which is the cause of their misery, it is the rich persons lack of internal peace that is the cause of their misery.
The Duality Of Man Explained Simply
‘There is a Natural body, and there is a Spiritual body’ – Corinthians 15:44
Neville Goddard often mentioned the duality of man which is something I have covered myself in many previous posts. It could be said that we have an outer external self and an inner internal self. A Natural Outer body and a Spiritual Inner body. Understanding that we have two selves is probably the easiest way, to describe something that is on the surface very complex. Most of us merely live our lives in the outer self/shell of our being and forget the inner self, that is the cause and source from which the outer self springs and exists.
‘Although the outer or ‘natural’ man of the senses is interlocked with his environment, the inner or spiritual man of imagination is not thus interlocked.‘ – Neville Goddard
Unless we reconnect with the inner self of our being, we are prone to becoming a slave to external circumstances and we may find ourselves cut off from this all powerful inner part of our being. Nevilles concept of the man who is dual in nature is probably one of the easiest ways for us to comprehend a complex subject. If on a day we are feeling depressed, angry or anxious. We must find the will to reconnect with our inner self and go within. Even a very basic understanding of this concept could be enough to remove us from our suffering. We go within by simply withdrawing our focus and attention on our external circumstances and retreating to mental silence.
Reconnecting with the inner self is rediscovering the root of our being. Ramana Maharshi described reconnecting with our inner self as being similar to experiencing our true pure nature. Maharshi described this reconnection as an experience of feeling supreme bliss, detachment and freedom from suffering. The outer external self is this personality we cling to that has been moulded by the circumstances and society in which we live. The inner self is that part of us that is the original cause of our being. This part of us remains untouched and unaffected by all of the external circumstances which we experience on the outer.
Looking out and Looking In from Osho
‘We know about our outer senses, but each sense has a double dimension. For example, eyes. They can look out. This is only one dimension of their functioning. They can look inward also. That is their other function. Or, ears. You can hear what is happening outside. That is one function, one dimension. You can also hear what is happening within. That is another function, another dimension.
Every sense has two doors. One opens into the outside world; the other opens into the inside world. Each sense is both outer and inner, but we use our senses in only one way. We have become fixated; we have forgotten that these same senses can be used to reach within.‘ – Osho ( link to original post)
I think Osho describes the double nature of humanity beautifully here and there isn’t much for me to add. With each sense we possess, we have the ability to look out merely on the external world or we can look in to the internal world within us. Many of us have forgotten the benefits of looking In, we merely are slaves to our external circumstances. Osho clearly points out here, that we must remove our ignorance of merely remaining focussed on outer circumstances.
We can not discover this inner self by focussing on the world around us, by keeping track of the daily news or by phoning our friend up to get some gossip. These are all processes that focus on looking Out and not looking In. We need to look In to find ourselves. We do this by silencing the outer man/mind, being still is our first step here to experiencing the inner self. Once we truly find ways to quieten the mind. i.e. silencing the outer self. We get the chance to experience the peace that Maharshi often spoke of when he described the beauty of finding the inner Self. We don’t need to force ourselves to stop thinking or any other such extreme method, we merely stand back from our external thoughts and watch them as they occur.
Whatever method we employ to silence the mind or look In, whether it be meditation, creative work, exercising or walking in nature. We must understand that it is all much the same thing, once we are feeling detached from our problems and suffering and are detached from the external world, we can know for certain that we have reconnected with our true inner self again.
Finding Your Inner Self is the ONLY Thing that Matters
In my previous post I spoke of Ramana Maharshi’s views on finding the Self. Maharshi was of the view that the only thing we need worry about in this lifetime is finding our true self. He viewed this as the fundamental basis of our existence, the importance of finding out who we truly were.
‘The only useful purpose of the present birth is to turn within and realise the Self. There is nothing else to do.’ – Ramana Maharshi
‘Your own Self Realisation is the greatest service you can render the world’ – Ramana Maharshi
It is now clear to me also, that all of the great sages of the past said this same advice. The great Meister Eckhart in many of his teachings said the same thing.
‘A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.’ – Meister Eckhart
Rumi said the same thing –
‘Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.’ – Rumi
‘There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life. There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine. O traveler, if you are in search of That. Don’t look outside, look inside yourself and seek That.’ – Rumi
The sixth Buddhist Patriach Hui Neng had many views on the matter also-
‘For him who…knows his own mind and sees intuitively his own nature. He is a Hero, a Teacher of gods and men, a Buddha.‘ – Hui Neng
‘Man’s nature is originally pure. It is by false thoughts that the True Self is obscured. Our original nature is pure as long as it is free from false thoughts. If one does not realize that his own nature is originally pure and makes up his mind to look at purity. He is creating a false purity.‘ – Hui Neng
Also, Lao Tzu from the Tao Te Ching –
‘Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.’ – Lao Tzu
‘Theologians may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language.’ – Meister Eckhart
Eckhart couldn’t put it more clearly than this, all mystics and sages agreed upon this same basic premise. This was the very basis of all spiritual teachings. The scientists of the world who theorised over everything in our universe, often found themselves in conflict and at odds with each other. In fact, many theories have simply led humanity in to greater confusion and greater discontent.
The mystics on the other hand, all agreed on the same basic premise. They all understood that the key to our existence on this planet was finding and realising our true selves. The purpose of this post was to remind the readers of this basic and simple premise, we must find ourselves as a starting point before we try to find any other purpose for our existence. Once we begin to understand the beauty, power and brilliance we hold within ourselves, we can then move on to building the life we always dreamed of. By finding our true self, we in effect wipe the slate clean and start again.
I will round out todays post with a quote from Harriet Emilie Cady from her brilliant and highly underrated book, ‘Lessons in Truth’. She emphasises here the importance of our self responsibility in finding our own light and power from within ourselves.