Tonight I would like to talk to you a little bit about spiritual metamorphosis or transformation.
Self-discovery is a process of dissolution and creation. We're dissolving what we know to create what we don't know. Dissolution means envelopment in eternity. Creation is bringing into focus new awareness.
In self-discovery, as in life itself, we believe that we know who we are. This knowledge changes as we change and develop. One day we think that we're one type of person with certain tendencies, feelings, very emotional perhaps. Another day we feel that we're very cold and aloof. But as we meditate and we go within and still the mind, stop the subterfuge of thought, we become aware of awareness. We see that we're really not one component being, but we're really composed of bodies of awareness, distinct selves. The surface personality, in other words, is only the beginning of what we are. So as we meditate and we still that surface personality, we can see beyond it, and we see that we encompass multitudes.
Initially we'll see different selves, perhaps selves that we've had in past lives. Then later we'll see aspects of consciousness that these selves are made from. Just as there are primary colors from which all of the other colors come forth when they're combined, so there are primary vibratory qualities of energy and light within us and these combine and recombine to produce a picturesque variety of selves. We adopt these selves in different situations, in different lifetimes. We come to see, in other words, that we embody everything that there is. Everything that's good is within us. Everything that's bad is within us. Everything that's helpful is within us. Everything that's harmful is within us. There is nothing that we're not.
What you need to remember, as you pass through the samsara, as you go down the river of life, is that you can enjoy but not own.
As we trace our spirit further down, we pass beyond duality. Remember, we label things through value systems that we've developed through learning, through cultural indoctrination. But nothing is or is not unless we feel it is that way. We give ground to reality by creating it. Not in the sense that reality will not exist without us. It does. Or, to look at it another way, we can't separate ourselves from reality. Reality can't exist without us, since we are reality. The premise is false; we can never be separated from reality in life or in death. We are eternal awareness in variant forms.
We believe that we decide, and in a surface sense we do and we don't. We do make decisions. But the deeper decisions come from another part of our being that we're not particularly aware of yet. The surface personality thinks, "Ah, I'm deciding. I'm deciding to buy the bananas because they look good today in the supermarket. I'm deciding to go to this school because it offers the courses I want, I like its physical location. I'm deciding to study with this teacher of meditation because I feel comfortable or challenged. I'm deciding to marry this person because I love them. I'm deciding to follow this career because it seems fulfilling or it will take care of my economic needs" - never realizing that we don't decide these things at all. You might say they're all decided for us by that great unknown. When we wake up in the morning and we make decisions, these decisions came from the night, the night of eternity, our other side.
Most people are fragile. They're fragile in the sense that they're afraid of the unknown, so they cling to each other. They cling to families, traditions, ways of seeing life that protect them from the immensity of the unknown. Very few individuals have the tenacity and the love to propel them beyond everything that they know and can trust and to face the unknown, let alone to be absorbed in it. The process of self-discovery is learning to turn your back on everything and everyone and to face that immensity. Only after you've done that can you then turn around and face everyone again with new, clear eyes.