Thursday, February 14, 2008

self-enquiry: eradicating the false belief

We are not seeking after some new thing to come to us. It is not about seeking after the realization and enlightenment to come to us. It is a practice, the purpose of which is to rid us of a disease, of a false belief.

Nothing can give you what you are, nothing.

There is no experience that will be authentic and then, "Oh, now I get it! Now I see what I am."

You are always the same; you never move, you never change. The purpose of the practice therefore is not to bring you realization, or to bring you enlightenment, or to bring you peace, or love, or anything at all, but to get rid of this false belief. Not to get rid of the thing that I falsely believe myself to be, even. Just to get rid of the belief, just to do away with that. In our spiritual adventure, we have heard that, and we have turned it into an idea that what we have to do is get rid of ego, because it is ego that I am falsely identified with. But nobody has had any luck at that, so that can't be it.

This false belief is the lens through which you see everything. It is not something that you can trade off and say, "Okay, I am going to believe something different." This belief is the lens through which you see everything, and the eradication of that belief is to just get rid of that lens.

That is what inquiry is intended to do. And it is intended to do that by the repeated meeting with the reality of what you are, because the lie can't stand up over repeated contact with reality, over time. No lie can. But it takes time. It takes time for that falseness to depart, to be eaten up, to be eroded away. For me, it took a long time, lot of work.

When you say long time, how long? (Laughter)

Hundred years? That's too long?

No. I think I have been doing that too, you know, hundred years.

In this lifetime, there was a time when there was the appearance of a real desperate need to be finished with this nonsense. Whatever the nonsense was, there was a real desperate need in me; I could not live unless I could be finished with this. You see, that’s the other thing about looking for love, or looking for peace, or looking for emptiness, or looking for awareness, or looking for Brahman, or looking for True Self. The desperate need brought me to the realization that what I needed absolutely to see was the reality of what I am, and not to see myself as love, and not to see myself as Brahman, and not to see myself as anything except the reality of what I am. Once that desperate need got a hold of me, it took a couple of years, before the false belief, the lie went away (I wouldn't know how else to speak of it).

You have to see that what you are looking for is the reality of what you are, and not something that will confirm some idea you have about what you should be — like love, or peace, or emptiness, or awareness. To see what you are, really. And how hard can that be? You are here! You know you are here. And it is hard to hold your attention on this reality, but it isn't hard at all to catch a flash of it. You are here. "What am I? What am I?"

And the reality of what you are never moves. Your attention will skitter away into movies and spiritual discourse, politics and other things, all of which are fine, no problem with them. But it is those moments of the direct, conscious seeing of that which nothing can be said about, of seeing it and knowing it to be you, it is the accumulation of those moments that destroys this false belief.

~ John Sherman (full talk)

No comments: