“Rupert explains that the passage speaks directly to the nature of our essential self or being. The name ‘I’ refers to our essential self. As we sink deeply into our being, it gradually loses the qualities that it derives from the content of experience and, at some point, stands revealed as unlimited or infinite being — God’s being.This process of sinking deeply into being is really the essence of prayer or the essence of self-inquiry or self-surrender because as we sink into being the self that we previously imagined ourselves to be loses its limitations and stands revealed as God’s being. So this sinking into being is the complete surrender of the individual to God’s infinite being.”
Rupert Spira: Hello everyone, I wanted to let you know about my forthcoming online weekend retreat from the 15th to the 17th of September, titled the Divine Name.
The name “I” refers to our essential self for being. As we sink deeply into our being, our being either suddenly or usually gradually loses the qualities derived from the content of experience. At some point, it stands revealed as unlimited being or infinite being, God’s being.
This process of sinking deeply into being is the essence of Prayer, self-inquiry, or self-surrender. It is the complete surrender of the individual to God’s infinite being.
I wanted to share some passages from one of my favorite books, the Ashtavakra Gita, translated by Thomas Byram. It’s called the Heart of Awareness and speaks directly to the nature of our essential self or being:
Yesterday I lived bewildered in illusion, but now I am awake, flawless and serene, beyond the world. From my light, the body and the world arise, so all things are mine or nothing is.
Now I have given up the body and the world. I have a special gift: I see the infinite self as a wave seething and foaming is only water, so all creation streaming out of the self is only the self. Consider a piece of cloth, it is only threads, so all creation when you look closely is only the self.
Like for sugar in the juice of the sugarcane, I am the sweetness in everything I have made. When the self is unknown, the world arises, not when it is known.
But you mistake the rope for the snake. When you see the rope, the snake vanishes.
My nature is light, nothing but light. When the world arises, I alone am shining. When the world arises in me, it is an illusion, water shimmering in the sun, a vein of silver in mother of pearl, a serpent in a strand of rope.
From me, the world streams out, and in me, it dissolves, as a bracelet melts into gold, a pot crumbles into clay, a wave subsides into water. I adore myself, how wonderful I am. I can never die. The whole world may perish from Brahma to a blade of grass, but I am still here. Indeed, how wonderful I adore myself, for I have taken form, but I am still one, neither coming nor going, yet I am still everywhere. How wonderful and how great my powers, for I am without form, yet till the end of time, I uphold the universe. Wonderful, for nothing is mine, yet it is all mine, whatever is thought or spoken. I am not the knower, not the known, nor the knowing. These three are not real, they only seem to be when I am not known.
For I am flawless. Two from one, this is the root of suffering. Only perceive that I am one without two, pure awareness, pure joy, and all the world is false. There is no other remedy. Through ignorance, I once imagined that I was bound, but I am pure awareness. I live beyond all distinctions in unbroken meditation. Indeed, I am neither bound nor free. An end to all illusion, it is all groundless. For the whole creation, though it rests in me, is without foundation. The body is nothing, the world is nothing. When you understand this fully, how can they be invented?
For the self is pure awareness, nothing less. The body is false, and so are its fears, Heaven and Hell, freedom and bondage. It is all invention. What can they matter to me? I am awareness itself. I see only one, many men, one wilderness. Then to want may I cling. I am not the body, nor is the body mine. I am not separate. I am awareness itself, bound only by my thirst for life.
I am the infinite ocean. When thoughts bring up the wind, freshens, and like waves, a thousand worlds arise. But when the wind falls, the trader sinks with his ship. On the boundless ocean of my being, he found us and all the worlds with him. But oh, how wonderful! I am the unbounded deep in whom all living things naturally arise, rush against each other playfully, and then subside.
So, I hope that some of you will be able to join me, and I look forward to seeing you then.