“Strip away the layers and reveal your soul
“You got to give yourself up and then you become whole
“You’re a slave to yourself and you don’t even know
“You want to live the fast life but your brain moves slow
“If you’re trying to stay high, then you’re bound to stay low
“You want God but you can’t deflate your ego
“If you’re already there, then there’s nowhere to go
“If your cup’s already full, then it’s bound to overflow” – Matisyahu
At the risk of oversimplifying certain terms and beliefs, I’ll say that we have a foot in two worlds – the physical (the illusory) and the spiritual (the real). When we cultivate resistance to the refined reality we have the potential to perceive (or to the illusory), we trap ourselves in the false realm we’re ready to grow away from.
Resistance in any form feeds the ego and, thus, our external reality, and in the same vein, anything that feeds the ego creates resistance. Resisting spirit is easier than most of us think, and if we want to spiritually thrive, we’ll have to release any resistance that attempts to influence us.
Now that we’re becoming aware of the spiritual nature of our existence, we’re slowly yet surely being led to release any resistance we could otherwise cultivate.
We’re being led to cease identifying solely with our physical, identity-driven selves, and we’re being led to see that something far realer and more blissful exists beyond the ego-driven thoughts and actions our illusory selves would have us feed.
We’re gradually becoming aware of the fact that we’re divine beings who are on the earth to share the omnipotent love we’re starting to feel with everyone who can open up to it, and acting on this realization requires releasing any mental tension or resistance that could easily hold us back.
Our missions on this evolving planet are far too important to continue feeding the illusory, physical self, and with this in mind, we can empower ourselves to live for love; for reality.
We’ll continue to hold ourselves and the planet around us back if we continue to feed the illusion, but luckily, we’re awakening in massive numbers and proclaiming our readiness to feed only that which is real and spiritually nourishing without directly denying or resisting that which isn’t.
Sri Aurobindo tells us that the ego drives every form of resistance to our authentic selves.
“The centre of all resistance is egoism and this we must pursue into every covert and disguise and drag it out and slay it; for its disguises are endless and it will cling to every shred of possible self-concealment. …
“There is no I nor thou, but only one divine Self equal in all embodiments, equal in the individual and the group, and to realize that, to express that, to serve that, to fulfill that is all that matters.” (1)
Attempting to enforce our will, Krishnamurti tells us, will always lead to disharmony.
“The positive or negative action of will, which is desire sharpened and heightened, always leads to strife and conflict; it is not the means of understanding.” (2)
As Krishnamurti also advises, attempting to be ‘free’ automatically cultivates resistance because we’re already free – we just have to realize it.
“Meditation is the breaking of all bondage; it is a state of freedom, but not from anything. Freedom from something is only the cultivation of resistance.” (3)
The mind, Krishnamurti shares, can’t be quiet and attempt to acquire something at the same time.
“The mind is not quiet when it is acquiring or becoming. All acquisition is conflict; all becoming is a process of isolation. … Such a mind is a dead mind, it is isolating itself through various forms of resistance, and so it inevitably creates misery for itself and for others.” (4)
Only when we can surrender the ego to the higher facets of our consciousness that help us find a clear understanding of ourselves will we experience true liberation from the self-imposed illusion. We don’t want to strive to find this liberation, as we’ve learned so far, because to do so is to trap ourselves in the illusory idea that we aren’t already free.
I can say from experience that we’re only as free as we allow ourselves to be. If we let ourselves, we can be the freest and purest masters who ever walked the earth, but through the cultivation of resistance and our endless attempts to gain a glimpse of the freedom we already have, we actually trap ourselves in an ego pit of our own design.
We can transcend this pit if we make a real and true effort, but we’ll want to be careful not to create tension. In a sense, we really will have to recognize and accept that we’re already free, however difficult it could seem.
As Krishnamurti also shares, identifying with the physical personality automatically leads to self-enforced oppression.
“Identification, surely, is possession, the assertion of ownership; and ownership denies love, does it not? To own is to be secure; possession is defence, making oneself invulnerable. In identification there is resistance, whether gross or subtle; and is there love where there is defence.
“Love is vulnerable, pliable, receptive; it is the highest form of sensitivity, and identification makes for insensitivity. Identification and love do not go together, for the one destroys the other. … Identification destroys freedom, and only in freedom can there be the highest form of sensitivity.” (5)
Denying our thoughts, Krishnamurti advises, will keep us from discovering our true self.
“The denial of thought does not bring about love.
“There is freedom from thought only when its deep significance is fully understood; and for this, profound self-knowledge is essential, not vain and superficial assertions. Meditation and not repetition, awareness and not definition, reveal the ways of thought. Without being aware and experiencing the ways of thought, love cannot be.” (6)
We have to understand the things that make up our true self if we want to experience any degree of enlightenment. We don’t necessarily want to deny any aspects of ourselves we perceive as ‘lower’ or ‘darker’, because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that we need those parts of ourselves to thrive.
We can’t deny any aspect of ourselves if we want to advance, but the idea is not to feed them or identify with them as our sole means of understanding ourselves. Something very real, pure and genuine lays beyond our physical identities, but just because this ‘something’ exists doesn’t mean the illusion we’re immersed in isn’t still ‘real’ in its own way.
As long as we can grasp the illusory aspects of our existence in a detached way and go out of our way not to directly feed them, we’ll find the higher vibration we seek. Again – realizing that this vibration already exists within is one of the best ways to feel it.
Once this realization’s met, we can turn our thoughts toward spirit and Source and really enable ourselves to soar.
The very essence of resistance, Krishnamurti tells us, is denial of our true selves.
“Self-knowledge is to be discovered in the action of relationship. Self-knowledge does not come about through self-isolation, through withdrawal; the denial of relationship is death.
“Death is the ultimate resistance. Resistance, which is suppression, substitution or sublimation in any form, is a hindrance to the flow of self-knowledge; but resistance is to be discovered in relationship, in action. Resistance, whether negative or positive, with its comparisons and justifications, its condemnations and identifications, is the denial of what is.” (7)
- Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1983, 316.
- J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. First Series. Bombay, etc.: B.I. Publications, 1972; c1974, 67.
- J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. Second Series. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1967; c1958, 166.
- Ibid., 32.
- J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living. First Series. Ibid., 12-3.
- Ibid., 17.
- Ibid., 147.
Concluded in Part 2 tomorrow.