Do I have an overarching thesis?
Yes. It’s that our nature is Divine consciousness and our forgetfulness of that reality makes us suffer. Now ‘Divine’ is a very particular word and I use it in the sense that it pertains to the supreme being, the absolute, ultimate intelligence, the source of all. And ‘forgetfulness’ is another particular word. We could equally say ignorance, as in unawareness, also non-recognition.
So I’m saying that when we discover or remember or recognise who and what we are we’ll be happy, free, and have a life full of meaning.
Well that was easy, I thought I’d have a harder time articulating that, can we all go home now?
Well maybe. The problem is until that discovery is made and confirmed as to be our living reality, we’ll continue to suffer and lasting peace and happiness will continue to elude us. And it’s compounded by the fact that in our ignorance and confusion regarding our true nature we mostly don’t even identify the problem correctly. So as they say, we look for happiness in all the wrong places.
Most of the wisdom traditions and the enlightened teachers throughout history have tended to point to the same ultimate reality and have prescribed various ways to approach it or ‘realise’ it. But to a modern mind the idea that ‘everything is consciousness’ is so far removed from our consensus reality that often it’s too radical a proposition to even consider.
The truth is that most people I encounter who dismiss these ideas do so without ever having sincerely explored them, or they have some naive parodic version of spirituality in mind. Arguably this is the shadow of modernity, whose focus on the measurement and manipulation of the natural world, while admittedly fruitful, struggles to account for a foundational non-corporeal reality; even though the truth of primordial consciousness as first principle is blindingly obvious and self-evident upon examination.
“Know That, by knowing which, everything is known”. Chhandogya Upanishad
So the truth is there to be realised, but what stands in the way? Mostly our unwillingness to take a look, to explore the nature of our inner being in good faith on its own terms. And it is hard, because when our cultural conditioning points to the exact opposite direction, psychologically and even socially we have to swim against a strong tide to get there.
It’s been my experience and observation that many people only resort to this ‘turning within’ when all the outward facing strategies have failed. A great many spiritual seekers come to the path because their lives have failed or collapsed in some way. Crisis is a powerful Dharma Gate. Now a cynic might interpret this as desperation and deluded grasping at invisible straws. But it rather points to the final inability of the materialist worldview to provide real meaning and existential satisfaction beyond endless consumption and the promise of being ‘entertained to death’.
But when all strategies of avoidance and temporary indulgence fail or lose their savour, and when we find ourselves in this this living moment without interest in status or possessions, without the comfort of conception, imagination, or memory, then we’re finally faced with ‘what remains’ — our naked being, unadorned, unconditioned, and free.