Sometimes the pain is so deep, isn’t it? But when “you” realize the pain is actually Love, everything changes.
It is easier for the mind to judge, to stay distracted and disconnected in the pain of the limited self rather than to merge with the reality of the Truth of the Beauty and Perfection that is Now, while simultaneously being aware that Now will never be again–that the small self will lose this Now–will continuously lose it, and can and eventually will lose everything it understands and values. Ultimately, that it will lose itself to death. The small self-mind is aware of this in the dark recesses of its operating system (the whole thing is the survival mechanism—which cannot do other than what it does: focus on the survival of the organism—therefore, non-survival must always be in its crosshairs), always trying desperately to avoid the pain of the awareness of its own temporary nature. How can it protect itself from any kind of loss or death when it is inherently an organism destined to die??? The small mind-self shorts out and must circle back on itself in endless iterations of self-deceit to continue to function as it is compelled to and must do.
In addition to the knowledge that it can and will only lose, lose, lose and then die, the limited self—by definition of limitation via the function of the inescapable nature of the duality of existence (and what we call the “person”), will also always be self-experienced and self-judged (as well as other-judged and judging) as incomplete—which itself is pain. The nature of the experience of duality IS incompletion, is parts, is this-is-and-that-isn’t—and this is pain to the small self.
This dream the small self dreams of “me”, of separation, is the pain. It cannot be otherwise.
To hold, to bear the pain the limited self experiences in that incompletion, in the non-wholeness, feels, sometimes, to itself, unbearable. Duality will and must always be judged by the limited self (the survival mechanism) as either “good” or “bad”. It must judge and determine safe from unsafe to survive—it cannot discern much else and applies this to everything on its radar. The good can and will be lost (and must be protected from this) and the bad should not exist (and must be changed). Both thoughts, both perceptions are pain and keep the small mind-self in a near constant state of pain and not-homeness.
But to the unaware, limited self-mind, this judging serves a purpose: it removes the attention from the larger knowing, from the Truth of Reality, which it perceives as necessary because it perceives as unbearable the pain of what this True Self Knows: there is nothing but here, nothing but now, that in this, everything is always immediately or eventually lost and the self does not exist. To the poor small self this cannot be and IS the ultimate loss.
To the small self-mind, all loss should be avoided, and the ultimate loss MUST be avoided. But still, there is the inescapable knowing of the small mind that imperfection, that bad, that loss and ultimate disappearing will happen. That the resulting experiences of anger, of grief will not be bearable. From this knowing of incompletion, the limited self creates the pain of duality…the loss, the not-good-enoughness, and ultimately the temporal nature of its experience of life. To deal with the knowing that it can’t ultimately escape not only death, but imperfection and incompleteness as well, the small self distracts itself with the judgements, the stories, the games, the deception. It reflexively turns inward to numb the perceived pain that is inherent in duality–that IS duality. The very-real-feeling experience of living from the unaware and unconscious separation of the small mind-self is, by definition, pain.
But that pain the small self experiences is in reality a misperception and in truth, the small self-mind itself is a misperception; all that is really ever here is Love.
This Love, to the limited self, feels like more than it can handle. Why? Because the life of the limited self and all that goes along with that, juxtaposed with the Knowing of the True Self feels unbearable…to the limited self. The inescapable limitation is what feels unbearable and what it perceives must be remedied by this program or book or guru, that resolution, this new habit, that new car, house, job, partner…this may keep the small self busy for a long time. Perhaps a lifetime. But here’s a key: this pain the small mind-self perceives and seeks to avoid is only pain to the small, limited self. The small self recognizes its inescapable nature and howls in inconsolable pain and grief, and while this is the truth, it this is not the Truth. Now is the Truth. But the Now, the Truth, cannot be “loved” by the limited self.
The Unlimited Self (which is everything) is not a thing or a concept or something that can’t be, it just IS—and should not be referred to with a pronoun (such as “it”) because that makes “it” into a concept of the mind which definitionally but only ideationally creates limitation—the small self perceives that it is separate from this Unlimited Self, that that can happen, that this separation is the nature of itself—but, sigh, language is duality incarnate as well and has to be worked around, as I’m attempting to do in this sentence.
Once the limited self becomes consciously aware that the Unlimited Self (Truth) is operating the vehicle of the small self-mind and body (that this is only a survival mechanism and not the “me”—that there IS no “me”), the understanding and experience of the unbearable pain of the small self transmutes. The pain of the small self is experienced, welcomed and cherished, enfolded (JUST IS) into the conscious awareness of the state of the unlimited Infinite Self. It’s not that the pain disappears. It’s that this pain, the pain of incompletion, of not-measuring-upness, of loss, of the knowledge of death, of the enormity of the emotions of the small mind-self—is no longer a problem. It just is, within and not delineated or separate in any way from what is not not itself: the wholeness of the Truth. Pain is merely the truth of the Infinite expressing through finite; it is always loved and Love itself. This is how the experience of all pain transmutes instantly into an experience of Love—the Love that is All That Is.
*OR, as Amir Zoghi puts it so much more simply than I have here, “the ego recognizes itself as the One.” Simple…hahahaa…the sound of cosmic laughter :)