How Then Shall We Live?

I wrote in December about the radical experiential knowledge that we are not simply separate individuals but beings who are deeply connected to the timeless, eternal Reality that is called by many names. This is classical enlightenment. The story I used last time about waves and water illustrates the normal state before enlightenment or awakening as I prefer to call it. The first wave was convinced that it was separate and would be destroyed on impact with the shore. The secret imparted by the second wave revealed our true nature, we are not separate, individual waves, rather we are water, and one with all there is. This is what’s called our True Self.

This realization does indeed shift everything. We recognize we are not only connected to the timeless, eternal but that same essence is at the heart of everyone and everything in our world. We see that we have suffered from a case of mistaken identity. One of my favorite expressions of this dilemma is found in Roger Walsh’s book Essential Spirituality:


We have underestimated ourselves tragically.

We are sadly mistaken when we see ourselves as merely temporary bodies

 instead of timeless spirit; as separate suffering selves

 instead of blissful Buddhas; as meaningless blobs of matter

instead of blessed children of God.


As we awaken to who we really are, the question inevitably is raised: how then shall we live? It is fantastic when our realization softens our hearts to the plight of others. It is miraculous that our minds open to perspectives other than our own. But that’s not enough. Each of us has something truly unique to offer to the world and with the connection to the deeper Reality, comes the clarity that we are here to do exactly that.

The True Self is often described as the same essence looking out of each of our eyes. It is a graphic way to remind us that when we look at another we are gazing into the same essence that animates our own existence. It helps us to see past the personality quirks that drive us crazy, to who one is at their deepest core. However in actual fact, that essence shows up differently as each of us so it our unique expression of essence that actually looks out onto the world. This Unique Self is articulated beautifully in the book I recommended in the December newsletter, Your Unique Self by Dr. Marc Gafni. Simply put, Reality expresses Itself as you differently than it expresses Itself as me.

We were born unique, different than anyone on the planet. As we mature and let go of the fixations and stories we’ve held to be true about ourselves, our uniqueness blossoms. We lose our exclusive identification with ego and gradually relax into our very own self.  The constrictions imposed by family and culture slip into the background as our Unique Self comes to the fore. From this place we can play our own music and appreciate the others without competition or envy. As Marc puts it, “You join the great symphony of Being and Becoming – first by mastering your own instrument, and second by listening deeply to all the other instruments. Peace will come to the world when each person can hear themselves for who they are, without needing to drown out all the other voices.”

This then is how we should live, appreciating our unique gifts and offering them to the world with no comparison to another in any way. This then is how we should live, celebrating ourselves, supporting others and knowing each contribution is part of the whole that will enable our consciousness and culture to evolve.

As I have engaged in this journey of self-realization, I’ve found that my gifts help people both awaken and live into their uniqueness. It is my greatest joy to serve the world in this way. If this interests you, see my website for more information and set up a free consultation. I would love to talk with you.


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