Discovering Who You Are: An Essay

Now Featured in the Patheos Book Club
Sudden Awakening
Stop Your Mind, Open Your Heart, and Discover Your True Nature
by Eli Jaxon-Bear

Before we begin the spiritual search we first try analgesics. We ignore the pain of our life by distracting ourselves. We become very busy with career, family, or any other pursuit that we can give our attention to in order to stay distracted. We don't have time for insight or emotional pain. This is the "ignorance is bliss" school of life. For some people it works.

We may also become involved in emotional intensity as a way to fill the space left by our ignoring what is already here.

Relationships with family, lovers, friends, co-workers create the emotional dramas that ride on top of the deeper untouched pain and fear of life and death. For most people this is where life is spent. A life of pleasures and pains, gains and losses, family and tragedy is where life begins and usually ends for most of us. We often die with the hopes that our children will have a better life, will find something that we did not even know to search for.

Suffering it seems is the human condition. We are born only to replicate, grow old and die. It seemed to most people that the best we could do was to take care of our family, have the most success, pleasure and money, and live a relatively comfortable and good life.

But in our time a deeper possibility has emerged. This possibility of freedom from suffering not as a practice or a future goal but of a living possibility for each of us is what informs our time now. For now it has been received in our collective psyche, the meme has spread through the internet that it is possible to wake up and be free. This possibility did not exist for our parents or their parents for countless generations before because they had not yet heard of it.

Now that we have heard the call, how will we respond?

We have to be willing to penetrate the ignorance, to stop and face what we have been running from. The secret into direct realization is to fully stop, as we will see.

We must be willing to invite our pain, our fear of living and our fear of dying, our fear of separation, our sense of worthlessness and despair. In going in the direction that we have been avoiding we discover what we have been searching for.

When we are deeply willing to experience whatever may be here, we will penetrate to the substratum where everything is born. Here, prior to the arising of anything at all, we realize peace and freedom. We discover who we are.