While I do hope to avoid arguing the merits or validity of seeing ourselves as primarily and essentially wounded and on a lifelong quest for wholeness via healing, I would like to offer another perspective on wholeness that may disagree with and/or upset some.
This perspective is informed by the Mystical Traditions of the East and West, and one in which we begin with the understanding of our innate and eternal perfection.
What follows is an alternative to the plethora of approaches that focus on woundedness, broken-ness, and healing towards wholeness, and instead offers a way of seeing ourselves as Beings beyond the ravaging hands of Life, always already whole and perfect.
Right now I see little offered regarding this way of seeing/being, and feel a call to voice another “approach” to wholeness.
What is Spirit?
Is Spirit really about strengthening, solidifying, and then fortifying the notions of “I,” “me” and “mine?”
Is Spirit really about getting what we want, about feeling good, and about creating comfort in our own personal identities?
To my way of seeing, while often times a certain amount of stability and comfort is desired prior to risking a move into the deeper waters of Life, “I,” “me,” and “mine,” as well as “getting what we want,” “feeling good,” and “creating comfort in our own personal identity” what about the realm of ego, which itself is but a ripple on the Great Ocean of Spirit?
We all seek to be happy, but happiness based on the fleeting “feel good” moments of Life, is a precarious form of happiness indeed.
I, Me, and Mine
Happiness based on “I,” “me,” and “mine” is ego-based happiness, and is always the prelude to unhappiness.
Happiness based on comfort in our own personal or “self” identity is based on an infra-structure made of fleeting ideas, memories, and moments, and one that is always about to crumble under the weight of it’s own in-authenticity.
Trying to find wholeness based on the false presupposition (prior assumption) of the “self,” only unknowingly promotes and perpetuates the very idea of fragmentation one is trying to overcome, and is akin to trying to find the experience of wholeness by groping the word “wholeness.”
This is because the “self,” by its very nature, is merely a contraction within the whole, and can never itself be whole. What’s worse, this contraction is based on the false idea that we are merely individuals, and an “individual” by definition can not be a whole.
Chasing the fantasy of wholeness is to project an ideal into time, and thereby miss the only moment Wholeness will ever be found. Now! Trying to construct a whole individual out of the “stuff of Life” is like trying to shore up and protect a flimsy sandcastle, in hopes that the oncoming and inevitable tides of time will not wash them away. Sandcastles are always washed away you know. Always!
The continued obsessive attempt to find happiness by fixing the “stuff of Life” is to be forever hypnotized by the fantasy of a sanitary and hygienic Life.
But Life will never sit still long enough for us to get it “just right” and stuffed into a tidy box. Life is a process and therefore a flow and a motion. Trying to construct an identity out of the “stuff of Life” is like trying to catch a river in a bucket.
We will only ever catch lifeless water. Any attempt to find happiness in any place other than where we are, or in any moment other than the one we are flowing in and as, is to move away from the only place happiness is. Here and Now.
Happiness is what we are by Nature. Always Here and Now.
I hear many catch phrases such as “nurture YOUR Spirit self” and “cultivate YOUR sacred Spirit” and “heal YOUR Spirit,” as if Spirit belongs to the personal self and the realm of healing. As if Spirit is some quality or possession to be manipulated by the personal self to make one feel good.
Actually, upon close inspection and sustained scrutiny (i.e. meditation, contemplation, introspection), this self that we presuppose owns Spirit, is really nothing more than a gesture OF Spirit, a contraction IN Spirit, or an expression OF Spirit.
To say Spirit belongs to “you” or “me,” is like saying the ocean belongs to the wave, or the sun belongs to it’s rays, or the sky belongs to the clouds.
We Can’t Heal Our Life
With all due respect to what Louise Hay says, we can’t heal our Life. Why? Simply because Life is not a symptom or illness to be healed. Life is not a problem to be solved or fixed.
Our idea that it is a problem, IS the problem. Our fantasy of a sanitary and hygienic Life is itself a problem, and only serves to obscure and distract us from our True Nature, which is ours by birthright.
Life is meant to be lived in ALL it’s expressions, forms, and gestures. What we are by Nature, is also beyond the continuous need to heal.
Compassion and Suffering
Now with all that said, allow me to say that I have immense compassion for those that are suffering
I work on an acute psychiatric unit and am surrounded by tremendous suffering.
Yes, there is NECSESSARY healing to be done. I too have suffered deeply in the personal/interpersonal realms, and will continue to do so until the day I die. That in itself is one of the truths of Life: there is suffering, and that will never be avoided.
But another truth of Life is that we create much of our own suffering through the misidentification with limited and partial aspects of what we truly are.
We fool ourselves in believing Life is a continuous and unending healing journey, thereby healing our way to wholeness rather than seeing our always already present wholeness Here and Now.
We become distracted from our perfection by the illusion of imperfection.
Could We Be Perfect and Whole, Here and Now?
So then, what are we if not eternally wounded and shipwrecked on the shores of Life? Let me try to direct you to that answer by asking some questions. What is THAT, that is Aware of the idea of the minds need or desire to heal?
What is THAT, that is Aware of suffering? What is THAT, that is the silent empty space from which all thoughts, emotions, sensations, and experiences arise and fall?
Look into Awareness right now, and try to find a boundary that defines your “self,” your “me” or your “I.” Let me guarantee you, you will never find one.
You will only ever find more ideas and fleeting experiences arising and falling in the limitless expanse of what we truly are. What we truly are IS freedom, IS peace, IS silence, IS wholeness, IS Boundless Limitless Awareness by Nature.
What we truly are is what we have been looking for all along, but have been missing because it is so close and we look for THAT in the world of “things.”
We are no-“thing”, to be assured.
One of the first steps to this kind of understanding is to loosen our death-grip on the idea that we are wounded, imperfect, and need to continuously heal our Life.
We might start by seeing through the delusion of “perfect tomorrows” where we believe the “stuff of Life” will finally be in order. The “stuff of Life” is what it is, but who is Aware of that?
When we fall into the silent answer to this question, we will realize our always already perfection. Life is what it is. We are that Life and also the boundless open space that it all arises and sets within… perfect and whole, here and now.
May these words help you to be what you are, and allow you to see your innate and always already wholeness and giftedness to share with the world.
By Aaron McNaught