A: Thank you for writing. Every time you stop and notice that you are aware, you are noticing your essential nature. We, including me, have been taught to believe that it will look like something—bliss, god, energy, silence, ecstasy, magic powers, or whatever else. No wonder it is so hard for us to accept the utter simplicity and obviousness of what we are, since we are looking for something so grand, when in fact, it just looks like whatever is in this moment.
That simple recognition is not only the doorway to the kingdom, it is the kingdom. You will come to know that more and more. That is why the suggestion is to just keep coming back to that simple recognition again and again. All true teachers offer this same recommendation. No need to worry about having opinions. I have opinions too. That is just what mind does. It's a total relief to not have to care about what this crazy mind is going to come up with next.
Do you know what freedom is? It is not a state. It is just a doubtless knowing that you are free. That's all. And that will come about naturally by continuing to abide as your aware nature, even when opinions arise. If it was a state then it couldn't be freedom, or your eternal nature, because all states change and all states arise and disappear. So, how can we depend on those and why should we give them undo importance? As long as you are looking for a state, even if it is very subtle, like silence or peace, you overlook that you are already free. And you are always present, through all states. Check that out for yourself and see that you are always present, no matter what appears. That is how you will come to know that you are free.
Q: Wow! What a great response.
There is so much in your email that I see now that I was doing that I really didn't realize. I forgot that I don't have to worry or give any thought to opinions...
I have searched for many years (20+) for a teaching that would deliver me from fear. I have been looking for something that would banish fear from my life. Only THEN would I feel free. Only then would I know real freedom. I want to walk the earth completely fearless and help others. It seems now that goal is not possible. Maybe it is about not fearing fear. I don't know. As I sit here writing this I notice that I am aware and that awareness is not afraid. But something seems to be. Well, I feel that things will take care of themselves as I keep coming back to recognizing that I am aware.
A: It sounds to me that you are doing fine. I completely understand when you say, "I have been looking for something that would banish fear from my life. Only THEN would I feel free. Only then would I know real freedom." We have all been taught to believe that certain conditions indicate that we are not free, and that the ultimate set of never-ending-perfect-conditions will make us feel that we are free. But as I know you know, those conditions will never come. But you are always here, eternally, through all conditions. As you noticed, there is something that seems to be afraid, but you are aware of that. I think you can definitely trust that by continuing just as you are doing, with full commitment to your essential aware nature, all is and will be fine.
Here is a very small investigation to try. Just remember back to when you were young—seven, five, twelve—just in a very relaxed way remember yourself back then and see yourself looking out of those young eyes. Try to remember a scene from your childhood from your perspective. Place yourself there. Try it now. It was you looking, exactly as it is you looking now. But, every cell of your body has died and been replaced by new ones. So, that means that this must be a completely different body from the one back then. How can that be? You must not be this body. So who are you then? You are here then and you are here now and you are here many years from now when your body is eighty. You have been enjoying the show the whole time. But the show is so convincing that we come to believe that we are in the show, not just in the audience. That is all you need to trust in, that you are eternal, aware, that which has been watching your whole life's events, including the growing and changing of your body. This is where your perfect health and fearlessness lie.