Have you thought recently how you don’t need anything?
No me neither.
In fact, I need a LOT of things. I need my health for a start. I need to be alive obviously. I need the people I love to be alive of course. And I need them to love me and to tell me they love me. I need my income well actually I need a bit more. I need a job that I like. I need this house that I live in. I need a partner. I need my children to be healthy and not bullied. I need the weather to be a bit warmer and less rainy than it is now. I need clothes and food and drink. I need to have friends and go out. I need holidays. I need approval and likes of my blogposts. I need to feel safe and secure.
And all of that is true if I am simply what I seem to be – a real person with emotional and physical needs and desires that must be satisfied for me to be OK.
But what if that is only part of what I am?
What if I am also awareness of that person?
What if I am awareness of an ever-changing idea of self?
What if I am awareness that my experience of a body and what it needs comes and goes with thought moment to moment.
What if I am awareness that everything in my living experience is simply thought appearing and disappearing.
I am both.
I am a human self that is by nature vulnerable, insecure and unstable that believes it needs all sorts of things to make it secure and stable.
And I am pure awareness of that idea of self, pure awareness of what that self thinks it needs.
In quieter moments I know this. I see that my idea of who I am changes all the time, that there is nothing fixed or objectively real about it, that what I experience is a creation of mind.
When I forget that I have this gift of awareness, then it looks as though it all begins and ends with me, this self, right here. I spend my time trying to stabilise and secure my self by making sure my needs are met.
What we don’t realise when we only see half of the picture is that the more time we spend trying to meet our needs in order to be less vulnerable, insecure and unstable, the more vulnerable, insecure and unstable the self becomes.
This is because needs are created in thought. The more time we spend hanging around in thought, the more real it looks, the more energised and imaginative it becomes, the more branches it can add to itself.
It’s an enormous gift. This is what has led to the telephone, the iPad, sushi, handbags, pyjama bottoms (to name just the things on my table right now. You might well have your own table and own examples…).
So it’s all well and good and brilliant this infinite creative power.
Until it comes to illusory needs created by an illusory self…
Because a need created in thought can never be met.
My five year old loves asking me ‘Is 7 zillion spillion the biggest number?’ so that I can say ‘No. Because there is always 7 zillion spillion and one’. ‘Ha ha ha’ he says rolling around ‘What about 54 pillion dillion….?’
It is the same with thought created need. There is always another thought to trump any solution we create in thought.
It goes like this:
I really need a house to be secure.
What if I lost my job?
I could get a council house.
What if there are none available?
I could live with family.
What if they didn’t have space?
I could live in a hostel.
What if there were no beds?
I would ask a friend.
What if they said no.
I would end up on the pavement.
What if it snowed? What if people hit me? What if I died?
And on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on…
As Einstein said we can’t solve a problem out of the mind that created that problem.
So in thinking about and trying to meet my needs, I spend my life in the worst nightmares that this infinitely creative needy self can produce.
If I think I need to be living in this house to feel secure. Then even while living in this house, my mind is in a sleeping bag on the pavement.
If I think I need your approval to feel OK then even when you are saying ‘That is awesome Clare’ I am finding clues in your tone and body language that indicate you don’t mean it.
If I think I need food then even when I have just eaten and my cupboard is stuffed full I am experiencing the hunger of going without.
If I think I need sunshine to be happy then on the brightest, longest day I am already in winter.
If I believe my happiness depends on your being alive then in our moments together I am living your death.
In not seeing the nature of need more clearly we categorically reject life.
We cannot allow ourselves to experience the things we think we need!
Totally bonkers isn’t it?
And the interesting thing about this thought created experience of not having what we need is that it has ZERO to do with reality.
The film going through my head of what will happen if my need is not met is an utter fabrication. It is a film of desolation and desperation. Its purpose is to isolate me, confirm my insecurity. It looks fixed, real, terrible.
This film is a collage of all imaginary horror.
It makes no allowance for the fact that my experience is ever-changing.
It does not show the access I have at any time to my awareness of where experience comes from.
It does not feature the ideas that always occur to me the moment I get in touch with reality.
It denies the constant inner resilience that I have had my entire life up to this moment.
It has nothing to do with the simple, clear reality of life.
This self is made of thought. The needs of the self are made of thought. The horror film of the unmet need is made of thought.
All of it created out of thin air, changing, transient, unfixed, unstable, unresolvable.
When I get really quiet and I sit in my awareness, I know this.
I see that this house I live in is created by thought. I see that anywhere I live is created in thought. I see that I can have the bliss of utter abundance in a cardboard box and the terror of poverty in a 17 bed mansion. And so I walk around my house and every detail is perfect and allowable. None of it contains the implication of loss. It is simply what it is right now. It will come and go because it comes and goes in my mind, nowhere else.
I see that my experience of my life is created in thought. I see that anything I make my life mean will come and go. My experience of my body comes and goes. Anything I fear about my health is my creation from moment to moment. I see that I don’t need to be alive, that no one needs me to be alive and, in seeing that, I live each moment more fully and truthfully then I ever did before.
I see that whether you are alive or not you are always the creation of thought in my mind. I see there is nothing for me to cling on to. There is no rejection of your life because it no longer contains your death. My experience of you is my experience of me. I am fully with you, I notice you. My eyes drink in your beauty. My ears are open wide to the sound of your voice. I am safe to experience all of you. I live you.
True living is to allow it all. All of it. The crazy thoughts. The desperate needs. The longings and the insecurities and the horror films. This self that is so insecure and unstable. There is nothing to resist. It is all safe in our awareness.
Deep within we know, have always known, that we need nothing.
And we don’t even need to see the truth of that.