When we explore this question with an open heart and mind, we will make the startling discovery that there isn’t anything that we truly possess. When we die, we will loose our body, our relations, and every possession we believed we had in life. But even in everyday life, we discover that everything comes and everything goes. There is nothing we can always hold on to and say, this I truly own. We can reflect on the nature of breath itself. It comes and it goes. We don’t possess breath, rather it possesses us.
Even our own life is eventually taken away from us. As we explore this question, we come to realize that we possess nothing.
Yet the idea or belief that we possess things and even life itself persists in us. We act, as if, we really did possess our life. And anytime we base our lives on what is false, we will suffer as a result. If we are not able to live in the light of truth, we must then live in the darkness of what is, in fact, false.
I don’t want to spend too much time on this aspect of the exploration. Many other writers have addressed this subject in much more detail, but for the sake of convenience let’s just see that we don’t possess our body – our body gets sick without our agreement, it acts in ways that we would prefer it not to – we don’t possess our mind – it thinks thoughts that we would prefer not to think – it has feelings that we would rather not have – and, in time, we lose both our body and mind to the effects of time.
If we truly possess nothing, then who or what are we? Also with the knowledge that we will never, ever possess anything how might that fact effect how we conduct our everyday life?
What is it that clings to beliefs or releases these beliefs through direct contact with the truth?
We can see that we can never possess the truth – so what is really happening in this life? What are we missing thus far in this discussion?
If you are I are truly nothing, then are we just vacuous holes drifting here and there in a meaningless universe?
Here is where it gets interesting, so please read on.
How do those of use live who live in the truth of this emptiness experience this seeming nothingness?
First, we realize that we never really “let go” of any belief. Rather the beliefs in our separate, independent existence fell aside when the truth of their utter and complete emptiness was seen directly. They were simply clusters of thought that arose in a world of pain and confusion prior to the time when we had the language to express our fear and vulnerability (see the Liberation book for all the details of why this is absolutely true).
Please read these next several sentences carefully.
When we live in the fiction of a separate self, we can’t help but struggle and contend with the uncertainties and inherent confusion of daily life. What we are doing is to, literally, force an idea that is false onto the fabric of life that is real. It’s like hammering a square peg into a round hole. As long as we persist in the forceful imposition of a lie onto life, we must suffer the consequences. That is a fact and a law of life.
Now allow this truth to permeate your consciousness. When we realize that we possess nothing, we also make another more far reaching realization … we realize that it is our sense of self – of “I am” that is possessed by Life itself. When we realize that it is we who are possessed by life, what was previously experienced as “empty” or lacking in meaning, becomes completely and utterly full! In each moment we are possessed by life and that possession by life takes the form of life’s awareness of itself. Thus the meaning of life becomes the immediate expression of life.
This is not a matter of surrender (for who would surrender and to whom would we be surrendering?). Rather, it is a matter of seeing the unarguable truth of this very moment. The alone and separate mind loves to spin fantasies about how our wonderful or terrible future will be like, but all of that is based on the falsehood of believing that it is we who possess life and not the other way around.
So, right now, try seeing the emptiness of your illusory possessions and in that same moment realize that what you have taken to be your separate self is really just Life itself – alive, vibrant, real, and just.
So everything that happens if not happening to you. Rather, it is Life being itself in this moment. The more you allow this complete and total fullness into your life, the more relaxed will be your experience of every moment. It is so beautiful that words do it a terrible injustice.
This is the Life of Life – it is the Tao.
Please spread the word.