I have observed that amongst spiritual seekers there is some confusion about the topic of change. Often people have glimpses, moments or times when the identification with the thoughts, emotions and all the things that normally tie people down, breaks down.
But in daily life they find it not easy to come back to this transcendence and often they feel very strongly that they are wrong and should change.
The invitation is to a deep acceptance of our True Nature, which is the Self or the silence that occurs when the thoughts become still and when we do not identify with them. This is the goal of our spiritual life – to absolutely be as we are.
It is very common among spiritual seekers to have self-judgements in everyday life, to have the idea that you are not okay and that you should change. This is a subtle mistake because implicit in this idea of changing is that I am going to change because I don’t think I am okay as I am.
This is an amazingly egoistical idea because the divine wisdom, has put you into a particular situation and you are saying no, you want to change it. But it is also a little bit subtle because there is this deep priority or desire to reach Self-realisation and then to live in this realisation.
Therefore, as you judge yourself not realised now, you think you need to change something so that you can be realised in the future.
There is a paradox! Change has to happen but you can’t do the change because the ‘you’ that wants realisation doesn’t exist. This ‘you’, in fact, is an illusion. You are a creation of your conditioned mind.
You are identified with your conditioned mind, and this ‘you’ simply doesn’t exist. You believe that it does exist and therefore you also believe you can change so that one day you can be as you are. Then of course life becomes very complicated.
There is another approach to life. You have an inner desire or longing to become Self-realised, to become unattached to the thoughts. You realise that right now you are absolutely identified with the false self, with the illusory self, and that you are playing out in your life your own particular soap opera. You simply accept yourself, the false self, as you are.
A deep self-acceptance that right now you are exactly as you’re meant to be, exactly in the place you are meant to be and you are exactly doing what you are supposed to do. See that these things are changing but they are not changing because you are changing them.
Change simply happens and if you have the longing to become Self-realised there will be a movement of change to bring you to this Self-realisation.
Life has a tendency to give you exactly what you want. If you want to be rich, you can become rich. If you want to be Self-realised, you can become Self-realised. ‘Be as you are’ is an invitation to accept yourself exactly as you are in this moment without any self-judgement. ‘I am not okay the way I am, I have to change.’
This is a completely wrong way of thinking and nothing happens, except that you are constantly making yourself unhappy. You can’t change like that and you realise that your judgements about yourself have been going on for a long time and haven’t brought you very much.
Existence is not separate from what is. You are also not separate from what is. And ‘what is’ includes everything: emotions, feelings, everything. If you are bored, be bored. If you are happy, be happy.
If you are pissed off, enjoy it. We always have the idea that we have to change pissed off into something nice. Nothing has to change. Anyway, how can you change it?
My recommendation is to completely accept yourself as you are in this moment and at the same time have the goal or longing to come to Self-realisation. When we can accept ourselves in this moment we suddenly discover that life becomes much more easy because we are not putting onto the realities of daily life some kind of philosophy or idea about how we would like to be.
We just trust our navigation system, our own being and live our life in presence from moment to moment, a very simple flow.
This is also new for me, to not hide or deny the emotions, feelings. To accept what ever is there and stay with that, because it will change anyway.
So simple and we are making life so complicated and painful through that.
I understand the truth that judgements don’t make sense, because the moment is as it is, it cannot be changed. Still there are a lot of judgements coming up in me, in a robotic way and I get more aware how much tension and heaviness they create. When my mind gets quiet and I am present, not thinking of the past or future, the whole energy gets more relaxed and lighter. This is where I want to be, thank you for the reminder that acceptance is a main key.
I think change happens on the level of experience. Change is always happening, if one is silent enough to observe it. I understand your words as change is not directly related to our true nature. Both seem to happen parallel. Even though change is needed, on an another level nothing ever changes. You encourage to focus on what is relevant, on what never chages.
This is absolutely true! Even though I’ve heard this message many times I find myself coming again and again to this point. This ‘inner work’ is confused so often with self-improvement, which is what seems to be the main religion in today’s society. This article is really making it clear and bringing the whole topic back into the heart, from where trust can happen. Really relevant article for everyone who is ‘working on themselves’ I think.