The Self and the Guru
At the centre of each and every one of us is a solid island untouched by the outside world, where the spirit resides, the all-seeing, all knowing powerful self which is linked to everyone and everything. It is beyond space and time. It enjoys playfulness, silence and freedom but we too often constrict it in with thoughts and the pressures of daily stressors such as work, family, friends, the economy and financial burdens. We are led to believe that happiness is found in things we have to purchase, that certain career paths will make us successful, happy and powerful. In some cases we are led to believe that we are limited in some way and only to be able to reach a low level as we have something missing which would take us to the next step on the career ladder. This is all non-sense. The ego is the only part that needs ‘things’. It needs to be right, better than anyone else and it is the part which feels pain when someone proves it wrong.
Conversely, the immutable ‘real’ self is impervious to external factors which cause so much suffering in the world. This suffering can be seen in the greed and arrogance of individuals, companies and countries that show little or no empathy for their fellow humans or the planet we live on and trhe complex and simple life forms that grow on it. Many people try to find meaning in their lives when they realise the consumer lifestyle they follow is hollow and does not bring the peace and happiness they long for.
Finding happiness and peace and connecting with the true self is not an easy thing as it means connecting with the real world. It means going outside our comfort zone of friends, work colleagues and into unknown territory.
Empathising with those who we may normally judge, looking at lives we cannot understand and feeling something truly difficult for nearly everyone- love. Loving people who bring pain to the ones around them. Love for the ones who kill and maim. Love for the ones who grow rich from the suffering of the poor. You will want to know why we need to love these individuals and the reason is it is the only way of breaking the shackles that hold the world back from being the perfect paradise it should and can be.
In India, and other places in the world there are spiritual elders, or Gurus who have this unconditionally love for all. They see you for what you are, a wonderful being of love and light and nothing else. If you are ever lucky enough to meet another human like this, who knows the darkest recesses of your mind, the secrets that you want to remain just that, the shame you feel for something you did or did not do and all you feel from them is unconditional love that fills you with an unshakeable peace then you have found what you could be. More than that you do not have to seek them out for you can be that. You can be your own Guru. Know yourself for what you really are – that being of love and light. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made and do not strive for what others wish for you. Everything you will ever need lies within yourself – peace and happiness.
Author: Mark Edwards