What is Here versus What is There


“THE HIDDEN RICHNESS THAT rests in our life, in our heart, in our experience is here—not over there, in some better life, in some other house, in some other career, in some other relationship or country or spiritual school.

One time, perhaps, we actually knew that—and then we forgot. From time to time, we are reminded by others of that richness, or we rediscover it ourselves. But over and over, we forget.

When we lose touch with the fullness of who we really are, when we ourselves cannot recognize or appreciate it, when it is invisible to us or seems inaccessible, the knowledge that we are the location and source of what we are seeking is only abstract information, irrelevant to our personal situation.

It cannot affect who we are or how we live if we can’t find this richness in our immediate experience, can’t feel it or taste it or sense it directly. In fact, what we find is that most everything in our life works against our turning that knowledge into the currency of personal inner richness.

Our beliefs about what will allow us to survive, or what can help us solve our problems, or what will make us happy, or even what will fulfill our desire to make a difference in the world all seem to point us away from here.

We are always going somewhere, internally or externally—to the store, the movies, the beach, the office, the restaurant, the television, the Internet, the newspaper, the latest spiritual teacher to come to town, our partners, our children, our friends, our parents, our worries, our concerns, our fears, our hopes. And on and on. We are in motion, going after, seeking out, restless, never satisfied, never at peace.

This seems to be the central dilemma of human life—that it is easier to desire what is over there than to appreciate what is right here. In fact, what is here seems to be so fundamentally inferior, less than, or inadequate compared to what is apparently over there, that it hardly seems worth the effort to look here. Why not just go over there? Why, indeed?

All spiritual paths, traditions, and schools have been attempting to answer that question for us for thousands of years. Each in their own way teaches that your spirit or your soul—your original unconditioned consciousness—exists only in you, so going elsewhere can never give you access to your essential nature, to who you really are.

And the essence that is you is purported to be something quite magnificent: Your true spiritual nature is said to be full of love, peace, strength, beauty, joy, compassion, wisdom, and intelligence.”



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