There is nowhere we have to go, nothing we have to do, although lots of going and doing seem to happen. This apparent activity is just as it is without anything being wrong with it. It simply cannot make or create anything with regard to spirituality.
At some point we are reoriented in our search away from the attainments and achievements we long for – we come to a maturity and a place of pause. In this pause we likely realize we are chasing our tail. We might then begin a serious inquiry into the very nature of our essence, what-we-ARE, not what we might become if we do spirituality the right way, trying to hold our posture straight and our thoughts still. We might then realize that only by inquiring into our beliefs about ourselves, by questioning and challening our core set of default beliefs, do we have a chance to see past them, to realize their shortcomings, to recognize that what we believed ourselves to be isn’t as we thought.
As it stands we are seeking out wholeness – calling it Oneness or Enlightenment or Nonduality or somesuch – the root desire is wholeness or completeness – to not be isolated, to not be missing something, to not be empty, to fill a figurative hole in our lives and in our hearts. Oneness and Enlightenment are just fancy words we’ve learned to use to describe this vague but natural and most basic desire to be whole. And all the while we go about various spiritual paths, hoping that we are getting closer to that “oneness” we desire, we are marching toward the ultimate hole, the ultimate isolation or incompleteness. That emptiness we dread is called Death. So even if we achieve that great Enlightenment, we insist that we are something which resides in a body, something which was created, born, brought out of non-existence into a temporary existence, only to have that ticket revoked upon old age or illness or accident.
It is truly a desperate situation – if this is what we take ourselves to be – a finite existence – a person – an entity which was born – the search for wholeness then is really just fantasy – it’s just wishful thinking – hoping that some chanting and reading and listening to a guru will somehow cease or at least push out this impending demise, this unavoidable ending of our existence.
It might dawn on us that this is what we’re doing, that we are taking ourselves to be finite beings, existence which comes in individual servings, all the while we are seeking wholeness. We might realize this inherent contradiction, that we are looking for completeness or fullness while our most solid belief is that we are not complete, that we are separate, that we are independent, a thing on it’s own, an entity which popped into existence from nothing, a person which stands apart from six billion other persons.
It becomes crystal clear that there are only two possibilities – either you ARE separate and then spirituality is just a fantasy, or you never WERE separate, and your belief about yourself AS something separate was always false. This realization has an amazing effect on the ability to focus our search – with option one, you’re already done with the search – you realize you are separate and spirituality is false. The second option is almost as easy. You never were separate to begin with, therefore the only problem is your idea of what you are – ignorance of your true nature – and the solution is self-knowledge.
Self-knowledge is simply inquiring into your ideas about what you are, challenging them and entertaining the possibilities that they are not true, that you are in fact already whole, already full, already complete, already perfect, already not lacking anything. This means reality is already whole – it isn’t now separate and then through some seeking and spirituality it BECOMES whole. It is ALREADY whole – already not separate – and you cannot be anything other than that whole reality.
Question the idea that you were born, that you are something which did not exist, which came into existence, and will at some point cease to exist. This very idea is the root of all ignorance and suffering. When it is realized that you are the whole, nothing changes – nothing needs to change. It is immediately clear that nothing is wrong and never was – that you are complete, perfect and whole already.
Even if you don’t know it yet.