“Separation is the state of perceiving truth through illusion and believing the illusion.” ~ Adyashanti
Your body and mind are not your deepest essence. Even when the mind is silent, as in deep sleep, even when the body falls away at death, you as you truly are will always remain. Your deepest essence is not the self you have always thought you were, separate and apart from others and the world. That self is an individual vehicle for navigating through life. The One that is driving the vehicle, and expressing as everything, is the same for every apparently separate being. As we abide in truth, that One begins to awaken to its real Self and can be experienced until it is realized as the natural point of view we operate from — with wisdom, love, openness, and availability.
Think of the love for one’s children, in the highest sense. Our children are different from us, but not separate from us. We nurture them, protect them, love them, and accept them as if they were extensions of our own self. This feeling of being not separate from an apparent “other” can be a pointer to the truth that we are not separate from any aspect of the totality. The Source that gave birth to us all, as apparently separate selves, will continue to love and accept us as we become aware of that Source as our eternal nature.
The sense of a separate self is made of resistance, the fear of death, and the feeling that something is wrong or lacking and needs to be found or fixed in an imaginary future. Resistance is the cause of suffering. Even when something is painful or frightening, it can be met without resistance. This is difficult but necessary if the suffering is to be seen through and allowed to transmute into understanding.
The fear of death is physical and visceral whenever the body (which we identify with as if it were our self) is threatened. A sense of panic or adrenalin rush may arise that seems insurmountable, but if allowed, it passes quickly. Scientists say it takes 90 seconds to cycle through such a biochemical reaction. Any residual reaction is due only to our thoughts continuing to stimulate the physiological response.
The feeling that something is wrong or lacking and can be fixed or added in the future is an illusion. What we truly are is everything and nothing, infinity and eternity. Eternity is not an unimaginably long period of time but exists in and as this present moment.
There is no enlightenment or Self-realization in the future. It exists fully and finally in this moment now. It may be experienced to varying degrees depending on how awake we are to our essential nature, but it never exists anywhere or anytime other than here and now.
As long as the body-mind lives, there will always be a sense of an individual self. It will continue to fulfill obligations and responsibilities, communicate with other apparently separate selves, and take care of the body-mind as best it can. It will still move toward physical comfort and away from physical discomfort. Our unique expressions will remain but with less suffering and isolation.
This wordlessly watching Awareness, this perceiving Presence, embracing and accepting all without resistance, is Being in the highest sense. The highest sense is our sense of the one Spirit we all share and are—this sacred, sentient, substanceless substance of which all of existence is made, endlessly loving and expressing its Self in and as every experience.