The Great Work

Peace & Love…man

In a recent Rupert Spira video he said something along the lines that peace and happiness are the nature of our true being and that we share that being with everyone and everything. 

The nature of writing an article about such a thing would suggest an arguement against it. Not so today. Indeed, I think that wee sentence pretty much sums up all that I could ever say to anyone looking for advice while on their spiritual journey.

We’re fierce hard on ourselves, we come into this life kind of like a blank slate, although loaded with genetic biases that can click it at any moment, unconsciously (it seems), during our lifetimes and there are also genetic biases that will kick in depending on how we treat our bodies and minds and the enviornment we find ourselves in, or not as the case can also be. So, we have all those things going on that we don’t have much, if any, control over and then we pick up biases and prejudices in our noggins along the way and identify with them and we think we are these things that we’re obviously not when we actually investigate them.

Am I my name? Am I my nationality? Am I my university/career qualifications? Am I my sexuality? You can argue you are but when really investigated to the nth degree and the ‘my’ of the ego gets put aside then the answer is a firm ‘no’. I am not the things I’ve bought into thinking that I am. And that’s a weird thing to even comtemplate. Hold on a minute, I’m not X, Y and Z. What am I then?

If I am the person who has the thoughts and feelings and sensations that I have, then that’s what I am. Surely? Or am I the person experiencing the above and I’m not the things being thought? All sensations and feelings are just thoughts afterall and thoughts are, quite obviously, just thoughts but we take a wrong turn, or many wrong turns, when we identify with our thoughts. They are just that; thoughts, and when we see ourselves falling into the trap of identifying with them we can stop ourselves and try and trace them back to where they come from.

Let’s take a football fan, like me. I support Liverpool. Why? Well, I could speal off an answer that there’s a strong tradition of an Irish community in Liverpool and I identified with that. Or that during the 80s and 90s they had a strong contingent of good Irish footballers and that’s when I got into enjoying football. All easily identified with. But that’s not why I supprt them. The actual reason is pretty flimsy; the last pub I worked in was a kind of unoffical Liverpool supporters club (it was mostly a rugby pub but thank god for these football fans) and when their games were televised we’d have a decently-sized crowd of supporters coming in. Most of the staff also followed Liverpool, with one poor unfortunate soul supporting Man United, and feeling the sense of community that this pub gave to Dublin’s southside Liverpool supporters I became a part of this wee community. 

So, we can obviously see here that what happened was the ego saw a sense of belonging and wanted to be part of that. It deired to be part of something bigger than itself. The same logic can be applied to all of our individual biases, we see/hear/feel something and heed the call and now identify with that. 

But to go back to where I started; we’re fierce tough on ourselves. Because we fall into these different identities we have formed for ourselves, unwillingly, mostly, we stick a whole boatload of meaning on them and think we are those things. We all do it, we’d not be human if we didn’t. But many times we invest too much meaning into these identies and we cling to them because they’re what we think give our lives meaning and we grasp and cling and wrestle with them even when they cause harm to ourselves and our loved one. We stick by our guns because being stubborn is how to succeed…or so we’re lead to believe anyway.

We don’t really seem to love ourselves enough, instead we think we love what we ought to be or the states of mind that we think we ought to have. And this desire, this need for what is actually imaginary can never been satisfied because, well, it doesn’t exist. But if you show yourself some love then you can see these things we identify with are just thoughtforms we’ve held for too long and easing up on the reins can relieve a massive weight. 

As Spira says in the video; peace and happiness are our true nature, we all seem to know this deep down within ourselves too. But we trip up many times along the way and identify a path or a calling which we think will lead to these things. But they don’t and they can’t because they’re imaginary, they’re just thoughts we’ve clung too because we’ve gotten caught up in identifying with them. It’s in the stillness and calmness of being alone and suspending the ego and the different identies we have that we realise, oh hold on, now I get it, there’s peace and happiness here within and it’s been there all the time, I was just too caught up in my own head to see it. But it’s there and it’s always been there and always will be there and it’s on tap too.

And then the realisation comes, oh, wait, we all have this. We’re all peaceful and happy beings but we get caught up in what we think are ‘our’ thoughts and woah, suddenly we see that if we can all tap into that peace and happiness we can actually all be peaceful and happy. 

The paradox of all this is that it does start with the ego because it’s the ‘I’ who knows something is afoot; something is missing and what I thought was supposed to lead to happiness doesn’t. The ‘I’ knows there’s something deeper behind who we think we are. Often the toughest hurdle is first finding out who that I is, the you without the masks and in seeing that one you then realise there are many other masks we wear and you come to realise, a certain one has been distructive, for example, but I know now where it comes from and that’s compassion, and that’s learning to love and accept all the things we are even though they ultimately are just roles. And then we can do that to others around us and we learn to see the world like going from a short angel lense to a huge-wide-open view of things.

So to finish up then, give yourself some peace and happiness; peace and happiness is always here and waiting and it will wait for you.

A funny thing happened as I was about to post this yesterday, the host for the website had a wee fail and when reading back I felt the piece wasn’t finished. I opened Twitter then and the first post I saw was this:

…which I thought fit and while it does say to disregard all teachings and books and you can, of course, do this with all my words above, the message is the same; peace and happiness are found within.

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