I find myself sometimes – and particularly when I go simply into a situation where I know I give my true self, or… My ego comes up, quite strongly, and then… It’s a situation with a certain character of person that is quite forceful and kind of… I would describe as a bully. And I immediately go into “There is something wrong with this person”, I immediately go into the person…
Something wrong with you…
… or something wrong with the other person?
Ahm, both! Haha
And in the moment, I completely respond from that ego. Ahm… And I completely believe the story that there is something wrong with me.
And this has been a pattern in my life because I had it similarly when I was a kid, with my brother who was quite older than me, and there was… I can see it coming back, and… So this particular situation that I’m in the middle of right now, I actually then invite it in, because I recognized, there is something in there for me to see that I’m not. It almost… It’s like shining the light into the creatures on the bottom of the well, and so I felt that it was time to deal with this creature, which now looks like a monster when it comes up.
And, so my question is… It’s kind of twofold; I would really like to know how to stay in that true self; and what is it that I’m not seeing here? There is something that’s escaping me… ahm… which I guess is the reason why the pattern keeps coming back. Ahm… And I keep dealing with it in the same way, which is not very productive at all.
When you say, “How can I stay in the true self”, you give the sense that staying in the true self is something that needs to be maintained, with effort, and you want to know what effort you need to make and how much effort you need to make in order to stay there. And it’s because you think like that by yourself, that you feel you have to make an effort, to stay there.
You can’t… It’s what you are; there’s no question of staying there, or not; it’s what you are. It’s what you are now, it’s what you always, are.
Yes, and I…
Yeah. I say that I lose sight of that.
As you walk around here during the day, or during your life, how much effort do you have to make, relatively speaking, to stay located in your body?
No effort. It doesn’t matter what clothes you dress up in, each morning; it doesn’t matter what activities you undertake; it doesn’t matter what you encounter, in the world; you never have to make an effort to be yourself, by yourself, in this… as “I am in…” relatively speaking, your body.
You may forget, from time to time, that you are yourself. So if you do forget that you are yourself, all you need to do is remember yourself.
But you don’t have to make any effort to stay there.
You just keep reminding yourself, and each time you remind yourself, each time you go back to yourself, you… you erode the old pattern of forgetting yourself, or allowing your experience to veil yourself.
And after a while, you just begin to feel yourself at peace, in your self.
Doesn’t mean to say you always have a broad smile on your face, or you always go around singing and dancing. Your life circumstances may be difficult, you may have to deal with them, they may be challenging, they…
But, behind that, or, in the heart of that, you feel your essential self, and its innate peace.
Although on the surface of your life, there may be disturbances, there may be difficult situations, there may be conflicting relationships, there may be grief, or loss… I’m not suggesting that all of that just goes away. But, but… All of that continues, more or less; it diminishes gradually, but it continues.
But underneath all of that, you feel just this, the quiet presence of your own being.
When I answered Steward’s question, “I feel this ninety-five percent of the time”, I don’t mean to imply that I live in a bed of roses and I go around singing and dancing all the time. No. I meant that this… just this quiet presence of my own being, is eclipsed by fewer and fewer experiences in my life. I still have challenging situations to deal with, as does anybody. But they, increasingly, situations increasingly lose their capacity to veil this innate peace. Sometimes this innate peace bubbles over, as laughter and dancing, and then it’s more expressed. As Yvan Amar once said, “Happiness is peace in motion. Peace is happiness at rest.” So, sometimes this peace bubbles over in the form of happiness and joy. But when it’s not bubbling, it’s just felt as peace in the background, or at the heart of experience.
Yes. So, ahm… So what I’m understanding is, ahm… It is like this, that I will forget… It will; it will very likely still happen, and, just this, as soon as I remember…
And do whatever you need to remind yourself, often. And each time you walk yourself back to yourself, you erode the old habit of forgetting. Until you begin to feel that you live in yourself, you don’t just visit yourself from time to time. You begin to feel you’ve moved in;
and then you begin to feel that fewer and fewer situations and circumstances have the capacity to pull you out, or pull you away, or take you away from yourself.
Yes. I was also…
So, for instance –sorry to interrupt– just going back to this recurring theme in your life of being dominated or bullied by a forceful character which in the past has kind of overwhelmed you; it’s caused you to collapse. So, at some point, this… you may still encounter these experiences, you may still attract these kinds of experiences, but you begin to feel that there is something in your self that is no longer able to be manipulated; no longer able to be overwhelmed, or bullied. So even in the face of this behaviour, you feel that something in you remains intact; unscathed; undisturbed.
And that, if you feel that, you will be surprised what a powerful message it will send to the one who is treating you in this forceful way. Something of the peace of your being will communicate itself subliminally, to this person, and it will have an effect on their behaviour; to a degree; depending on the person.
Yes, I’m very glad you say that, because I had not realized or remembered that it’s starting to happen, in a very small scale. And… and it confirms for me that it’s… this is… even though it is something painful to invite it back, because I know… If I didn’t know, that there’s something in m… in here… that who I really am is… cannot be harmed, I would not invite it; I would not invite this person back in my life.
I see, yes. Well, you also have to be careful. Don’t… You shouldn’t feel that, “Because there is something in me that is unharmable, therefore I should be able to tolerate any kind of behaviour.”
Be careful that you don’t… ahm… use this understanding to allow yourself to remain in an abusive relationship. Even with this understanding, there is a case for saying to someone, “This behaviour is not acceptable. I am no longer willing to live in a relationship that is abusive, in this way.” And it’s reasonable to walk away from it.
Yeah. It is…
I’m sure many of you here, or some of you anyway, have heard that story I sometimes tell, Francis’s… the story of Francis, used to tell him of… ahm… It was a question he was asked, by a woman who was… an elderly woman who was sitting on a bench on Hampstead Heath, in North London; and there was some youths playing around her, being obnoxious and using foul language and… She was sitting there, thinking that there is… feeling that there was something in herself that is untouched by all this obnoxious behaviour and this foul language, and really that she should be able to sit there in perfect peace and unmoved or unconcerned with any of it. And eventually, after twenty minutes or so, she couldn’t bear it any longer and she got up and left. And she said to Francis, “What would have been the enlightened response?” And Francis said, “To have moved sooner.”
So, it’s good that your primary intention is to remain in touch with the imperturbable peace of your own being, but this does not mean that you cannot take appropriate actions in your life. And if you are in a… –I’m not suggesting you’re in an abusive relationship– but if you’re in a relationship that was in some ways abusive, and you do everything you can, to, to, to… ehm… to work with that, to bring your relationship more in line with love and understanding…
But at a certain point, there is the time for saying,
“I’m sorry, I’ve tried everything. And I’ve tried everything once, I’ve tried everything twice, I’ve tried everything three times… It’s not working. That’s it. I’m off. I’m not willing to… This is beneath the dignity of myself. Not myself a person, but it is beneath the dignity of my Self, the divine being that I know I am, and beneath the dignity of you, your Self, to behave in this way, and I’m no longer willing to tolerate it.”
Yes. And, it’s a business relationship, and the… Yeah. If that happens, that I need to say “This is it”, I would like to do it from a place of love,
[simultaneously; emphatically] Of course!
not to come from a reactive…
Yes. OK; still… Do it –you’re quite right– do it from a place of love, not from a place of reaction, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll do it with a sweet smile on your face. You may, depending on the person; you may have to say it firmly. A sweet smile may not be enough to get the message across: “Your behaviour is not in line with love, justice, integrity, honesty, truth… And I’m no longer willing to tolerate it.”
Ahm… And of course if it’s a business relationship, then it has implications. And it’s also absolutely legitimate to take into account the consequences of your actions, and so… you have to… I’m not suggesting you just go back to work and walk out the next day… You have to… to tailor this understanding to your situation. But yes, whether it’s an intimate relationship, a business relationship… whatever kind of relationship… Obviously you do your very best to bring love and understanding to bear on the situation. But when you’ve done your very best, and… if it’s a close relationship, we have to do our very best not just once, but twice, and three times…
But when we’ve really done our very best, there comes a time when we say,
[so beautifully] “I’ve done everything. It’s time to separate.”
[with sweet gratitude] Thank you.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros