In a recent talk, you said that you dedicated your book to your son, to whom you are truly and deeply connected to. My question is: “what did you mean by truly and deeply connected to”? Can you say more about it? I feel that it could be about a true, simple pure beam of light that is in us, in everyone, and when you let it shine it creates bridges between the unbridgeable; a light that heats up your chest and then your whole body, and then everything you touch and set your eyes on. If it’s about that light, how do you nurture it? How do you not cover it with all the noise? How can we allow ourselves being connected to people in such a beautiful way? Does this inner light help us to find true happiness?
Nothing of what I am going to write bellow, is actually the Truth, but is only a way to express something that cannot be truly be expressed. It is like asking me to describe the taste of an apple. I can write whole books about it, but whatever I say, it will never be even near to the actual experience of tasting an apple.
So, having said that…
Yes, there is a light in ourselves which transforms into love anything it touches. This light is at the very depth, at the very essence of what we are. This light IS the essence of what we are. (To give it a name, we can call it ‘the light of pure awareness’ but, as the very first verse in the Tao Te Ching explains: the Tao that can be named, is not the Tao…)
For most people, this light is ‘hidden’ underneath our many thoughts and emotions and worries and anxieties and problems and wishes and fears… our busy mind. This light is like the Sun, which is always there, but sometimes ‘apparently’ hidden by the clouds (the busy mind). I say apparently because even if it is hidden, the reason why we can see the clouds IS the Sun. So, it is never hidden for real, but it appears to be. It is the same with this ‘inner light’. It is always there, but ‘apparently’ hidden by our busy mind.
Now, any love that we feel or experience, is a partial expression of this inner light. The love that we feel for a cookie, for a pet, for a man, for a woman, for our kids, for our parents, etc. it is nothing else, but an expression (at different levels, obviously) of this inner light. But the very interesting fact is that this inner light does not only love these ‘things’, but it loves ‘all and everything’; empathy being one of the ways this inner light is expressed. But when it is hidden (apparently hidden) by our busy mind, all we can see is the busy mind and not the light…which means that this love is missing from our experience.
The way to nurture that light is by realizing that it is there, by noticing it, by paying attention to it. And the more direct way to reach that light is by paying attention to our ‘naked sense of I Am’, to our sense of presence, of existence, of being…right here and now.
However, attention, the main power of our mind, is a limited asset, and it depends on the state of the mind. We could say that attention is like money. We don’t have an unlimited amount of money (that would be nice wouldn’t it :)), we only have what we have. More important is the choice that we have on where to spend that money. And that choice will make our life look one way or another way. One can choose to spend money on security or pleasure or education, for example. Of course, usually it is a combination of these, but what is truly important to a person, is where most money is going to be spent. It is the same with attention. Where is our attention going in our everyday life? Not where one think that attention should go, but where is attention ACTUALLY going in the little moments of our everyday life? The sum of those little moments creates our day, our month, our year, our life.
All we do in our life, we do it because we want to find happiness, fulfillment, peace, meaning.
If a person believes that happiness is going to be found outside, in the world (in money, power, relationships, fame, etc), then most of its attention is going to be directed there.
But if a person understand that true happiness can only be found in the recognition of this inner light, then most of the attention is going to be directed there. And so, the way we nurture this inner light, is by bringing attention to it. And the only way to bring attention to it, is by valuing that light, by seeing that as much happiness as the world can bring me, nothing compares to the love that exists right inside myself.
Now, it is true that because of my conditioning, the love I feel for my son is going to be there even if my mind is very busy with many other things; and feeling that love makes me happy, content, fulfilled, satisfied. But how often do I allow myself to actually be immersed in that love? It will really depend on how busy my mind is.
But even when I allow myself to be immersed in that love, I am not REALLY immersing myself in my son’s love, but I am immersing on this inner light expressing itself as the love for my son.
As I said, because of my conditioning, that possibility of feeling love for my son is always going to be there. But what about everything else? This inner light does not only love my son, but it loves ‘all and everything’. And the recognition of this love for ‘all and everything’ – of this inner light – is actually the true happiness we all long for…knowingly or unknowingly.
And so, what is important in my life? Or, in other words, where do I believe my happiness is coming from?
If I believe it is in the world, outside of myself, then my attention will be directed there and I will always be struggling to get what I want and getting away from what I don’t, and as a consequence, I will only feel happiness during the few moments when I experience this inner love/inner light… as expressed for my love of a cookie, a pet, a person, or a particular situation.
But If I believe that my happiness comes from inside myself, then most of my attention will be directed there, and the main aim of my life will be to nurture that inner light. And that inner light will express itself as love for ‘all and everything’ or love for ‘what is’.
The discovery of this love for ‘all and everything’, at its very essence, is exactly the discovery of the true meaning of our lives. Or as it is written in the Bible: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven; and all things shall be added unto you.’