Above the entrance to the Oracle of Delphi were written the words, “Know yourself.” Jesus came along and added a sense of urgency and consequence to the ancient idea when he said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
What Jesus is saying is that spirituality is serious business, with serious consequences. Your life hangs precariously in the balance, teetering between a state of unconscious sleepwalking and eyes-wide-open spiritual enlightenment. The fact that most people do not see life this way testifies to how deeply asleep and in denial they truly are.
So what is it that we are to bring forth?
Within each of our forms lies the existential mystery of being. Apart from one’s physical appearance, personality, gender, history, occupation, hopes and dreams, comings and goings, there lies an eerie silence, an abyss of stillness charged with an etheric presence. For all of our anxious business and obsession with triviality, we cannot completely deny this phantasmal essence at our core. And yet we do everything we can to avoid its stillness, its silence, its utter emptiness and radiant intimacy.
Deep down we all suspect that something is very wrong with the way we perceive life but we try very, very hard not to notice it. And the way we remain blind to our frightful condition is through an obsessive and pathological denial of being—as if some dreadful fate would overcome us if we were to face the pure light of Truth and lay bare our fearful clinging to illusion.
………We are all born with being veiled in obscurity. We may recognize the transparency of being shining in the eyes of an infant, but such being is not conscious of itself. It is veiled in an absence of self-awareness. Infants live in a magical world of unconscious being, while adults live in a world of egocentric separation and denial of being. Rectifying and restoring being to its true dominion and sovereignty is what spiritual awakening makes possible.
The question of being is everything. Nothing could be more important or consequential—nothing where the stakes run so high. To remain unconscious of being is to remain asleep to our own reality and therefore asleep to Reality at large. The choice is simple: awaken to being or sleep an endless sleep.
From 'The Way of Liberation' by Adyashanti
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion that nothing could be more important or consequential than the question of being? Can you share a personal story of a time you became aware of your life teetering between a state of unconscious sleepwalking and eyes-wide-open spiritual enlightenment? What helps you bring forth what is deepest within you?
To me we are all at different places in our walk in this life. I was put off the article by the authors writing,
"The fact that most people do not see life this way testifies to how deeply asleep and in denial they truly are."
It is a judgment statement.
As I am living and being in a different country, in a different culture, people do things differently. I am finding we are basically the same, just different. Everyone's journey is different and self discovery for each of us will be different...
At times I long for true- authentic being- (like now as I sit enraptured by a beautiful song and I contemplate this passage). But I fade, float, get distracted and lazy so easy. Oh to have a sustained, free sense of deep being.
The very purpose/essence of this invaluable human birth is to find one's true self, the eternal lifeforce within to become soul conscious. And to experience the perinial spring of kindness, love, peace, purity,power and all that is holy n worthwhile.Otherwise it is a waste of the lifetime n energy by loosing the golden opportunity.Meditate by the Kabir's Surat-Shabad Yoga helps.
I was waiing for a very important reply. Each day I felt a deep melting of my identity as the reply did not come. Then I remembered whatJesus said: I am not what I do, or what others say or think of me or what I possess. Deeper than that, I am a particle of God, the beloved of God (Luke 4,1-13; Luke 3,21-21). Also everything works togeher for good if your open to th divine "Masterplan" (Romans 8,28). Human responses are bubbles in the river of life. My essence is the undercurrent, the Source, the Fountain, where I am part of Pure Being.
Being reflects who you are from the soul within you . It is an inner expression of who you actually are . If one does not does not express from the level of being , then the ego comes in between and one only expressses oneself at the surface level and not from the level of being .it takes considerable amount of courage and express oneself at the being level .
We're all asleep and in denial in some ways and to some extent. The essence of me is my soul, which isn't really mine and it's more accurate to say I belong to it rather than it belongs to me. This soul that I call mine is the extension of Soul or Being and is the essence of me. Busyness more than anything gets in my way of focusing more on my soul. I'm too often busy doing instead of being. A baby is simply and purely being. Little children are good at being. I believe that's why Jesus said unless you become like little children you won't enter heaven, which is here and now to the extent we are being. Being is most important and whatever helps one awaken to Being is important to do. I was in a state of unconscious sleep walking through my teens, unconsciously abiding by the rules and beliefs about life that I had learned, and in my early twenties I began to what I believe was to see what is, see beyond the shoulds and illusions, and begin to open my eyes to spiritual enlightenment. It's been a slow and unsteady process since then. Now I know, as wise others have said, I am a spiritual being having a human experience, not a human being having an occasional spiritual experience. What helps me bring forth what is deepest in me is the process of doing it, with the help of tools like reading, reflection, meditation, discussion. More leads to more.[Hide Full Comment]
Know thyself or who am I is a question, an inquiry that I find in all wisdom tradions. What is really Real? Whai is Reality, my individual Reality and Universal Reality? Am I Sleeping or Awake? What happens when I sleep and keep on sleeping or wake up for a while and go back to sleep? I have been tackling these basic questions of living for quite some time. The first step for me is to recognise and be aware of my sleeping. The second step for me is to remain awake and not to go back to sleep. This has helped me in making wise choices. Remaing awake is a serious business with serious consequences. It affects not only me but people connected with me and even people far away from me. We see how the egocentric behaviors of the people in power are affecting the lives not only of people but also the whole planet.
Two days ago I was counseling one of my clients who has been going through a lot of anger, resentment, frustration anguish and hurt by what her thirty five years old son has been doing-acting selfishly many many times. I helped her to be aware of how she was letting her hands burnt over and over by not learning from her painful experiences and by holding onto something beyond her control and hurting herself by not letting go of the thoughts and feelings of anger and hurt she has been holding on inside herself. What is inside of us comes outside of us. I asked her to be calm and still and feel the presence of Jesus in her heart and listen to Jesus's words of wisdom to heal her wounding heart. It was an awakening experience for her and I was happy to see her awakening and being at peace with herself. This experience filled my heart with light of love and gratitude.
I have learned the necessity of deligently and consistently practicing to be mindful of myself to remain awake when I start going to sleep. The wise words of Jesus need to be used as a mantra for awakening. Awakening saves us and others and sleeping destroys us and others.
May we walk on the path of awakening for our goodness and for the goodness of others in our life!
Jagdish P Dave
This is such a beautifuil passage. The quote “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” resonated very deeply within me. It has felt very true to me for several years now. In my experience, this is a very formidable challenge that is put forth and has been a hard one to meet. Meeting it means sustained inner work and going into inner territories that might absolutely frighten you. But the polarity of the choice as described in the quote is so stark that you have no choice but to attempt to meet it. Else it will destroy you. It is indeed serious business with serious consequences.