Essence as Light

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Question #5
Negativity is invading me.  Suddenly I can see no light
in anything.  What is it I built, but a paper castle? I feel
disconnected. Should I start over, using positive affirmations?

Perhaps it is helpful to begin by remembering that at a deep, essential and fundamental level we are much larger than what we imagine ourselves to be....The best clue to this fundamental and essential identity lies not within affirmations, but within your own immediate experience: within the Perceptual Center which manifests "internally" in the present moment as an undisturbed witnessing Awareness. This witness is not ever invaded by negativity -- it merely observes the activity of apparent "negativity" at the level of the personality.

At the same time, while the personality may at times be (or feel) overwhelmed by what it judges to be negative, there is, nonetheless, a much deeper and larger part of who we are that is simply watching all the activity and movement within our experience, without judging, accepting or rejecting any of it. This perceptual center is such a basic and fundamental part of who we are, that we often do not recognize it.

As soon as negativity or frustration appear within our field of perception, we immediately identify with it, rather than recognizing it simply as the movement of energy within the field of our experience.

My experience is that all our frustrations, confusion and suffering arise from an identification with the smaller aspects of who we are (the personality, body, emotions, thoughts, etc.) rather than with this larger, fundamental Essence. This vast expanse of spacious Awareness is the light and Source out of which all the smaller aspects of who we are arise. Even as they arise, and then eventually disappear again, this Awareness remains undisturbed.

The disconnection we experience occurs only at the level of the personality, mind and emotions. No disconnection occurs at the level of Essence. The key to our satisfaction lies within our recognition of this vast field of unbroken continuity which manifests within the intimacy, immediacy and Presence of this witnessing Awareness.

When our identification shifts from the personality to this witnessing Awareness, the "negativity" within our experience loses its ability to dominate and overwhelm us.

Therefore, recognizing the personality as simply a finite extension of this infinite and undisturbed Essence is of the utmost importance -- if we want to discover a deeper level of stability beneath all the personality's paper castles....

Affirmations may be helpful, but if they feel or seem to be a contradiction of your own direct and immediate experience, I believe it is often more helpful simply to witness your experience, without judgement or condemnation of your own reactions. See where your suffering is located. Watch how it arises and changes over time. Then begin to recognize the larger background against which all of this suffering appears and disappears. You will discover that it is deep within the background of this witnessing Awareness -- this vast Essence and spacious Presence -- that we finally find our greatest satisfaction and fulfillment.

See also:

  • Question #15
        On Confusion and Understanding....
  • Question #16
        On Understanding Nothing....

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