Reading by Liz Helgesen (Download file)
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?