The coaching I do is about seeing who we really are.
We go through our lives believing we are this separate body, this identity, these choices, this life, these needs. But there is no substance, no realness to this. It is impermanent and subjective, a function of momentary perception. All appearing and disappearing within consciousness. Consciousness is, ultimately, who we are. And as consciousness, as awareness with no judgment, there is nothing to resist and nothing to seek.
So that is who we are. Awareness. Aliveness. Beingness. And yet, even as we see this utterly mind-blowing fact more clearly, there is still a body here. Doing stuff. Breathing. Eating. Talking. Seeing. Touching. Exactly as before. There is still food to be bought. Bills on the table. A boss perhaps or clients asking for things. Deadlines. Perhaps children or a partner.
So how does this work? How do we go about ‘real’ life with the realisation it is not as real as previously thought? How does open, unresisting, unseeking awareness meet a seemingly dynamic world of apparent objects and apparently separate people ?
And this is where the fear sets in.
After a life of resisting everything that looked dangerous or harmful, will the ending of that resistance mean we end up saying ‘yes’ to everything? Open to all the shit – the manipulation, the harm, the violence – because all of it is ‘allowed by consciousness’. Directionless, opinion-less, like a piece of plastic floating on the ocean. Moved and swayed by every treacherous wave?
And after a lifetime of seeking, with nothing now to look for would we just say ‘no’ to everything because nothing is needed or required. Slumping in silence in a blank room, purposeless, numb, unmotivated? Forsaking all the things we used to love and relish because ‘nothing is real’.
We worry that the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’ will ruin everything, destroy our life, turn us into a doormat or a zombie.
Ha. Not even close.
Not even close.
This understanding is about the impersonal, about the universal and consistent. It is about seeing through this transient idea of what we need to be secure and happy which has driven behaviour all our lives. It is about the dissolving of individual limits, requirements and identity. It is even about seeing that this body that looks so real, so solid is also only ever a function of perception.
We shift from the personal to the impersonal. It is a deeply profound shift that brings enormous liberation. In fact it uncovers (as Rupert Spira describes it) the ‘causeless joy, imperturbable peace, love that knows no opposite and freedom at the heart of all experience’ that we have been searching for all our lives.
And of course, this deeper connection to this impersonal space which is what all of us ultimately are, will show up in the form that life takes. It has to because that is the only way life can appear.
So there is still the yes and still the no. And there are still apparently separate forms and situations to say yes and no to. But, now, with one hell of a difference. Let’s see why:
1. The yes and no of innermost integrity
When we believed in this personal identity, the ‘yes’s’ and ‘no’s’ of our life came from unquestioned fears, insecurities and needs, an idea of a past, an idea of a future, a false idea of reality, an attempt to stabilise and mind-read and protect ourself. And they trapped us in the self-perpetuating idea of an insecure me in an insecure world.
Now though, as we shift away from that illusory personal, the only guideline for the ‘yes’ or the ‘no’ can be the truth of who we are. This inner, impersonal understanding becomes the only guideline.
If the request chimes with the joy, peace, love and freedom that we know ourselves to be it is a ‘yes’. If it doesn’t then it is a ‘no’.
All the simplicity, integrity and realism we could ever wish for. And the changes that happen as a result are mind-blowing.
2. The yes and no of right now.
E.L. Doctorow said, ’Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ It is the same for everything. Believing in a personal identity we believed we had to predict the future, make decisions now that we could stand by, that would stay in place forever.
Knowing there is no identity to get things right and there is no future, the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’ that emerges from our innermost integrity is only for right now, just as far as the headlights show. It might all change completely in a mile or two.
And how honest that is. How timeless. How reliable.
3. The yes and no of no choice
Believing that we have the ability to choose what we do, there is the constant no to what is happening and yes to the idea of something else. I’m writing now but I should be calling clients. I’m eating cake but I should be eating fruit. I’m thinking this but I should be thinking that. I’m feeling agitated but I should be feeling calm. He is like that but he should be like this.
It looks like what this body does, feels, thinks, says, writes is in our control. But it is only ever moved by whatever thought or belief takes precedence, by whatever understanding of reality is in place.
And the interesting thing is that as we shift from personal to impersonal, the old understanding of reality dissolves, old thought patterns and beliefs melt away. And now, with no limit whatsoever, love, joy, peace and freedom are ruling the roost, guiding the movements, directing the show. And who knows what will show up from that place…?
Seeing who we are is the ultimate ‘yes’ to life, to love, to freedom, to peace, to miracles. And it is a firm, clear ‘no’ to the stuff that cannot possibly be true, a no to all that stuff that has weighed us down all our lives.
Sounds good? Yes…? No…? Maybe…?