Our Problem Is Our Relationship With Consciousness
Our true, essential nature is pure being that is conscious; these two cannot be separated, like light and its luminosity. But when this luminosity plays on something and becomes attracted to it, we are caught and held, and things appear solid. As a result, we forget that phenomena has no permanent nature.
We then relate to this distraction and build an image of our self relating to this object of desire, based on our cherished ideas about this object. Unfortunately, all too often this turns into aversion because we start judging, and so we suffer. This is all because we ignored or forgot our essential nature of clear light.
Being in a human body, this relating helps us to survive but, when we don’t let go, we can be imprisoned by ideas for a lifetime. Our self image – or ego – is created by relating to me and my ideas about what’s out there: this constant relating to things and thoughts takes us further and further away from our source of pure essence, and we become stuck in a material and mental world. This relating and judging, rather than what is happening ‘over there’, is the cause of our suffering.
This suffering causes panic to arise, and we become desperate to survive in our made-up world, while trying to hold on to our self image. Holding this all together creates our emotions, while we blame the world for doing exactly what we are doing. We are in danger of becoming narcissists, lacking empathy, feeling we are right, and trying to control others, and then throwing up smoke screens which disguise our true intention, which is to bolster up our selves and undermine others. In other words … pride.
In the very moment when we recognise that we are doing these mental gymnastics, there is a gap and, for that moment, we actually are free! It only takes familiarity to sustain this natural moment of clarity, of the light shining. Never feel guilty or ashamed, or hold onto the past; just a little regret and a motivation not to do this again and again. As we aren’t yet fully enlightened, we have to grin and bear it, accepting a difficult or unpleasant situation without complaining because we know there is nothing we can do to make things better (of course, if we can do something then we do it – if we have the skills).
The purpose of meditation is to slow down and notice our clinging, our relating to memories, our judgements, and what all those are doing to us. Reactions are not instantaneous – there’s a whole lot going on before that. We need to take time to notice what we’re doing to ourself. We – rather than the emotions – are supposed to be in charge after all; then we are free.