When it comes to true nature, here’s a common question (I was asked the following forms of this question in each of three presentations this past week):
- Why do we tend to overlook that we are infinite Consciousness itself rather than merely a reflection within infinite Consciousness?
- Why do we forget that we are a single Being and, instead, focus on the appearance that we are 7.5 billion personal or separate selves?
- Why do we live in a culture virtually consumed—hoodwinked—by the belief in separation, duality, or materialism?
Well, it turns out there’s a simple explanation for all versions of this inquiry. An explanation that revolves around the journey of self-exploration or discovery—“I am not this; I am that”—which, to varying degrees, everyone travels.
Here’s how this journey tends to play out:
A baby is born and, to it, Consciousness (the baby’s true nature) is merged with experience. A newborn has no understanding of separateness. It doesn’t know itself as distinct from its mother, its cradle, or the room in which it sleeps.
However, because the baby’s experience is known from the perspective of a body (not, of course, from the perspective of its mother, a cradle, or a room), as the baby grows, it is perfectly normal—and necessary—for it to connect its identity to the body from which it formulates experience. Heck, this body is even given a personal name. And it lives in a culture that promotes the belief that the body is, in fact, who the baby truly is.
As a result, at this stage of the journey—the “I am not my mother’s body; I am my body” stage—a separate self, or the concept of being an individual, is solidified. And in spite of the universal inkling (which I know you’ve experienced) that there’s more to me than this body, 99 percent of “individuals” pull the emergency brake on the journey precisely at this stage. This is why we live in a world that views separation as a fact, not merely a temporary reflection or appearance.
And who can blame us for halting this journey?
Those who express an interest in exploring or questioning the existence of this separate self, who express a knowing that “I am greater than this finite body,” who express an interest in continuing the journey of self-discovery are almost always labeled as crazy, freakish, woo-woo, eccentric, or just plain-old weird. (Being a rugged athlete was my cover for years.)
What’s more, virtually all experts in self-help, religion, spirituality, and psychology cater to the idea of relieving the burden of the self. They promote self-belief, nurturing a soul, communication between selves, and numerous tools, relationships, practices, mantras, and techniques designed to fortify what one can never be—a secure separate entity.
Go back to the three versions of the inquiry mentioned at the outset of this article. Do you know the answer now?
Yes or no, here’s my take:
We live in a culture that has cut short the natural journey back to Source.
In fact, my life’s work is about encouraging you to keep going on the journey that takes you away from the idea that you share a body with another such as your mother or an object such as a cradle, to the idea that you are a separate/finite body and, then, with a little bit of courage, back to who you truly are: Consciousness itself. My role is to remind you to not settle. To not allow our culture—this mass of hardened separate selves—to convince you that it’s the only game in town.
Simply ask yourself:
Who or what am I?
Can you find a self or an “I” that is separate?
Has a separate object or world ever been experienced?
When I lose my sense of self, my body, what remains?
Between thoughts, in deep sleep, and upon death, where do I go?
No matter what a world of separate selves or egos claims, let’s kickstart the journey back home.
I am not you.
I am me.
I am not me.
I am infinite and eternal: Consciousness.