“We already are That for which we are seeking." - Papaji
Have you ever spent time looking for your keys or sunglasses only to find that they were in your hand all along?
Of course, everybody has. It is a fascinating and mysterious phenomenon of the human mind that we can simply not see what it right in front of us, even filtering out what is touching our skin. That is the power of perception and the power of our assumptions to obscure that which is right there in front of us.
Stage magicians know this. They know that people have built in prejudices and presumptions that will allow the magician to distract the viewers to such a degree that they can do something right in front of them and it won't be seen.
When I was learning to fly airplanes (a long time ago) I was doing an approach to an unfamiliar airport. I was flying, my instructor was next to me and said, "Let me know when you have the airport in sight." I was looking quite vigilantly but i just didn't see it. After a while he said, "Do you see the airport?" "No" I replied and he gave me this look of bewilderment.
Suddenly I did see it. It filled the windshield. I was right on top of it. I had been looking for something small and distant with such an expectation of what I was going to see that I didn't see what one would think, absolutely no one could miss. Hence my poor instructor's utter bewilderment. By the way I did get better at it.
Is the problem we're are naive? Is the problem we don't pay attention? Is the problem that we are easily duped? No, those are all the symptoms of unquestioned assumptions. Once you see how the magician does it, you are never fooled again. This is the whole thrust of spirituality and its simplest and most profound practice, self-inquiry. You see, in this case you are both the magician and the audience.
When we have assumptions that are not questioned we will miss that which is right in front of us. Suppose you grew up with very disapproving parents who were never satisfied with anything you ever did. As a child, mommy and daddy are always right and so you conclude that "I am just not smart enough." This sinks into the nervous system not as a thought but as an assumption so unquestionable that it rarely appears in conscious thought. Yet it is silent influencing all your perceptions. All the evidence to the contrary will be either overlooked, ignored or reframed into something self-diminishing.
It isn't true. It never was. But perceptions shapes our experience in such a way that it is literally what we see, hear, feel, smell, taste and think. You may even take "How To Be Smart" seminars and try all sorts of smart pills. But the fact is, you are already smart. Your parents were wrong. They simply did not see your value because they didn't see their own.
So when the spiritual teacher comes along and says, "You already are everything you have been seeking" you say "Huh?" We are incredulous.Yet, the teacher insists. You are that already. You just don't see it." To quote Christ in the Gospel of Thomas "The kingdom of God is spread upon the earth, but the people do not see it."
Spiritual awakening is not some form of altered, mystical, expanded consciousness. It is a revealing of what has always been, Even accepting the possibility that maybe this is the case, opens the doors of perception to allow in evidence that was totally filtered out just a moment before. When something deeply believed to be true is seen, not as true, but only as an assumption believed to be true, immediately perception shifts. You see the world differently because you see yourself differently.
So consider this, as least as a possibility. What if you already are everything you had ever hoped to be? What if it was only your beliefs that were holding you back and nothing real. Can you take that in just as a possibility and just see what happens. Maybe you will call off the search for that new, improved you out there. Maybe the keys have been in your hand all along.
Join myself and host/producer Lisa Berry for the next episode of "OM School Live" every Tuesday at 12 noon eastern time (5pm UTC). at http://youtube.com/gpwalsh.
GP offers dozens of workshops, meditations and courses on his learning platform, The OM School
Check out GP's podcast on Spotify and other media outlets
Watch GP Live Every Tuesday at noon Eastern and Every Sunday at 8pm Eastern or catch his hundreds of vides on Youtube.