“When the journey TO God ends, the journey IN God begins.”-Rupert Spira
Death. It haunts us all, putting a full stop to our lives. The great equalizer, some call it.
But it provides an interesting point of introspection into the nature of reality. That quest took me to the edge of a 19th story jump before I realized that I was looking for: happiness. Since then I’ve gone through the study of many texts, but have been fortunate to come across the practice of self enquiry; which was the most direct path to that which I sought. It’s a contemplation that leads to the nature of what I am.
Am I my body?
Am I my thoughts?
Am I my feelings?
Am I my actions?
Then what am I? For all physical sensations, thoughts, feelings, sensations, and actions I see, and yet I am not any of them.
I come to the conclusion that perhaps I am the witnessing presence in which all these things take place, untainted and unaffected by all that happens in me. Appearing as if to be constrained to the physical limitations, for I can only experience as much as the limitations of this physical vehicle permits, like water in a container. The thought of a banana passes through my mind, it moves on, and yet I still am aware. A family friend just passed away. The grieving appears, it lingers for a while, and even then it too, fades away. The nervousness and tension of making the top of a Clash Royale stats website appears. I play on, and slowly it fades away, disappearing into the flow state as I play on. I sit down and meditate afterwards, becoming aware of my breathing as it deepens, bathing the tensions in my body with peace and love. I feel at ease. I contemplate what I am. I feel super relaxed. It fades away as I get up to go for a jog.
In all that, that which I refer to as “I” was always present, always aware. To put it more accurately, “I” was the dimensionless, unseen stage on which all these events and contemplations take place. Even the act of metaphorically contemplating the stage happens in the space of awareness that “I” am.
Whatever I may be, the conscious presence that I am has been with me all my life, untouched, untainted, unaffected by all the contents, events, and thoughts throughout my lifetime. Perhaps the same could be said for past and future incarnations (from Nigel’s perspective).
In fact, the only thing that I can say with all certainty is that “I am”.
That the lifetime of this person called ‘Nigel’ comes, takes place, and goes in this witnessing presence that I am, in the timeless stage that we call the ‘here and now’, one fleeting dream after another. Who knows what the next incarnation would be like, the thoughts and contemplations of the next one to grace the stage?
Nigel says he found immortality through sheer luck. More accurately, ‘Nigel’ re-remembers that he is the stage on which the play of life happens and not the temporary character that frolics on it. ‘Nigel’ could only seem have forgotten that he is the stage, but in reality, he was always the stage itself. Now if ‘Nigel’ ever feels overwhelmed by life, he only needs remember that he is the stage, face them as they are: actors in a play; and let the problems waltz themselves out.
Birth is a promise. Death is its fulfillment. Whatever happens in between is but a play, and you are the stage, eternally peaceful and at rest.
*Everyone may have a different take on the metaphor, but please do feel free to share your thoughts 🙂