How Do We Change?
Who or what are we?
Who or what changes?
We can answer these questions for ourselves, but we first have to distinguish between relative and ultimate realities to ascertain what can change and what does not change.
Knowing the difference between the thinking mind and the nature of mind, is like knowing the difference between space and things in space. Space never changes. Things have a beginning, a middle and an end, and so are changeable. The same applies to thoughts and emotions.
“Okay. Stop there! Who the bloody hell are WE?!”
We are that which is aware of the bloody question! 😉
We are awareness itself, pure awareness, pure consciousness. This cannot change, has never changed and will never change. It is the final authority in the universe.
“So what bloody well changes?!”
The bloody questions! 😉
Mistakenly, awareness thinks that ‘it’ is the thoughts and emotions that appear in the mind-space, and thus creates a false – but seemingly real – image of itself. A relative self. My self. Awareness relates to appearances in the mind and manifests a relative reality; an attractive, colourful image. Pure consciousness – the clear mirror – became fascinated by the reflection and so, is stuck in confusion… “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” Oh yes, it’s me 😀
It is this that awareness fixates upon all the time, ensnaring itself and going round in circles. When we see this fixation taking place and become fed up with the resulting chaos of confusion, the realisation of this loosens the veils and gradually, our obsessive clinging drops away. The method for this is meditation.
The defilements drop away: that is what changes, because we have realised that these ideas and emotions we’ve been holding on to have no reality!* When awareness stops fixating on external phenomena – including thoughts – it becomes aware of itself. Life is simpler and more intelligent. Everything starts to make sense! Sanity!
This is both simple and difficult because of our confusion about our self. The simplicity of emptiness/pure awareness/pure consciousness cannot be grasped by the thinking mind, because it is the nature of mind itself that is looking. We are pure intelligent mind-space.
Change is simply dropping the righteous idea about ‘me’ (which is the origin of sin), revealing pure righteousness itself…beyond doubt!
“Oh, it can’t be that bloody simple.”
Oh yes, it bloody can!
“What about all that religious stuff?”
‘Religious’ is being reverent, and showing a deep respect to that which reminds us of our true nature – but once we remember, we can drop the religiousness, as it’s not the real thing. If we don’t drop our obsessive reverence, we get stuck in fear and hope..and more craziness.
Is this obsession destroying religion from within? In this age of technology, where it’s easy to be informed, we are perhaps starting to see the true meaning behind spirituality, rather than being merely caught up in our group, which separates us.
*From a Dzogchen perspective, these very emotions are seen as wisdoms: this has been explained in other articles on this blog.