We humans have such an awesome capacity… we have a full spectrum of consciousness. Through the vehicles of the mind, body, emotion, will and intuition, we can experience endlessly expansive or endlessly intricate dimensions of inward and outward movement of being. Within that, as we can later come to know, we have the capacity to share in profound depths of oneness with the universe. And what we also have is power – the ultimate kind of power, the greatest power in the entire universe: We have the power to choose to be anything we prefer, real or illusory, unlike the rest of existence which can only be itself.
As beings, we recognize what moves us and what we love most within those rich and diverse experiences of humanness. We clearly know the flow of goodness beneath the sensory wrappings, and we love it. It is the human heart – consciousness, finding itself in love with the Truth from which it originates, the Truth that touches it and nourishes it in so many different ways within.
Those formless touches of being, which come wrapped in sensory experience, quieten and gentle our hearts and nourish us purely. They are beautiful and they are true. But instead of residing in that same true way of being, allowing those touches to move through us as easily as they moved into us, we find their beauty for ourselves. We identify with the vehicles of form through which those touches of being came, and we begin to create an identity. We isolate what brings us joy and peace, and we begin to desire that… begin to require that. We as consciousness actually have the capacity to hold onto those experiences, claim personal ownership of them, grasp anything we find pleasing and force away whatever is not. We have the power to abandon a complete and true way of being, for an inherently deficient path of self-gratification.
And that is the beginning of our own distortion as consciousness. The more space we give for an illusory identity of want and need, the less room there will be for what is real. Soon, we cannot even identify what reality is. And then we begin to seek…
This mistaken “identity of being” will lead us to falsely searching for a seemingly elusive reality: the Truth that we know exists, but somehow can no longer find. It is we as consciousness, erroneously identifying ourselves as the vehicles of expression, instead of recognizing and surrendering to the reality of pure consciousness, love, Truth itself, which expresses itself them.
In that self-oriented way of being, everything we touch and everything we do, becomes tainted through. If what we are living for is to take the nourishment and beauty of Truth or love for the satisfaction of the senses – to feel good, to be at peace, to have something we can claim as our own – then we find ourselves continuously seeking and never truly finding. We have become a consciousness residing in a way of insistent desire, instead of in a true way of being, like the Truth itself that we have tasted and now hunger to regain.
Ironically, the very Truth we are in love with most, has always shown us how to be. What we are really in love with most, is the true intimacy of inner rest, softness and tenderness. We are truly in love with the only way of being that satisfies and nurtures us completely. But as consciousness, we create a personal love based on self-oriented longing. We become a consciousness that replaces intimacy of true being, with the personalness of dishonest striving. We become restless, and we harden inside in our effort to hold and control. We exchange the gentle and tender manner of a real way of being, for one of inner labor and insistence. We lose the goodness we know is true, and we gain a goodness we think and feel is true, based on indulgence in personal wishes and dreams. We lose our connection with reality… we lose our way. We lose the integrity of surrendering to the only reality, because we have created a private, inherently empty reality instead.
As a young man of seventeen, I was unexpectedly gifted with a knowing and an experience of oneness with the source: an intimate universe on the inside and at the same time an equally intimate universe on the outside. I was conscious and clear between the two, yet I was being in the oneness of both at the same time. My awareness of reality expanded in ways that I could never have imagined. I experienced joy, love and deep, inner rest, and I became dearly re-connected to a true way of being, that at the time, I could not comprehend with my mind.
That true way of being slowly dissipated and after one year, everything vanished as quickly as it had come. I found myself feeling profoundly empty and incomplete. I thought that life could only be meaningless and superficial without the intimacy and the nectar of experiencing oneness with the source, reality, Truth, and without the contentment of the nourishing way of being I had come to reside in. Yet in the midst of what seemed like incredible loss, I had a tiny, little knowing: I still knew the true way of gentleness and rest that I had so warmly been re-acquainted with throughout that year, though I could not understand nor experience it.
Instead of simply residing in that way of being I knew was true, at any personal cost to my emotions and mind, I initially attempted to regain the sensations of Truth. When I allowed my own honesty to become finer, I realized it was not experience itself that mattered, just Truth… but I thought I had lost my way. I began to strive and search intensely through many different means, relentlessly pursuing anything I believed might show me the way back. And as consciousness… that took me deeper and deeper within myself. I allowed honesty to look at each doctrine, each teacher and each technique I encountered, only to discover that they were all less than absolutely true. I became completely devastated. Each time I discovered yet another untruth, I let myself drop even deeper within. As consciousness, I was at the bottom of my own well, a well I had carved out through letting myself be continuously cracked open, deeper and deeper… and there was no water.
At last, through simplicity of heart, through pure and absolute honesty, I just simply let go. I surrendered… unconditionally… to just simply being at the bottom of that well of darkness and never again trying to get out; warmly never again hoping for water. And it was at that moment that I became re-immersed in the benevolent reality of pure being. I became filled with the same absolutely immaculate reality of Truth I had known before, only this time, to the depths that I had inwardly allowed myself to be hollowed out. I now knew that I not only loved Truth more than my own personal life, but that Truth could only be truly known through sheer honesty, and surrender in openness and softness to what that honesty reveals. Truth is loving reality with an open hand, instead of pursuing reality with the clenched hand of personal necessity and demand.
There was a continuum of awakenings that followed over the years. I remained in constant honesty and surrender to what I knew was true, allowing my own self-created constructs and attachments of mind and emotion to die. And as that took place, my ability to function as integrated consciousness – to function as a being of what I am in love with most – began to live. More and more deeply I realized that I would only serve Truth; live in surrender to what I know… at any personal cost. I am no longer my own. I belong to Truth. I have no interest in power or personal identity, just a love of true being, upheld by an absolute inner honesty of heart.
It is so easy for everyone to just simply rest as consciousness in that same true way of being. All it requires is untainted surrender to what you honestly know is true, and all it will cost is your personal wants and needs. All it will cost is just your personal dream… your illusion. Then, as you continue to let in Truth to the point where it has replaced everything in you that is untrue, then you come into true form. You come to know your real self, and you come to realize and live the reality you were in when you were very, very young. You begin to grow as a real human being, a beloved servant of Truth, instead of as a human “wannabe,” a slave of your own illusion.
Truth is so easy, it is so consummately nourishing and complete. It is everything we have always been looking for, and yet it has always been here, right here within our own hearts, within us as consciousness. Truth is consciousness, but our own distortions conceal it. Truth has always been so close, so accessible – it only waits for our open door. And the greatest power we have as human beings is choice. We can choose to create our own gates of illusion and create everything they will enclose, or we can open the door and simply let reality in – just let its purity and profound goodness completely consume us. It is all up to us. But the moment we open that door – even just a crack; if we let ourselves be honest inside, then what we will find, is totally irresistible…
John de Ruiter