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Realize Your True Self in Stillness

Guy Finley 12-17

Key Lesson: “Fearless comes with the birth of this new understanding:  the only reason that life changes as it does is to reveal the secret Goodness underlying those changes.” 

To see a great mountain is to see the physical expression of a great principle. To see the expressed form of any such greatness is to stir in us the corresponding principle that already lives within us. This means that part of our pleasure as we gaze at a great mountain, or stand rapt watching an eagle in flight, is a momentary realization of our oneness with that great character we see before us. That power, that purity, such beauty had always been there, living within us, only we had been asleep to its indwelling presence. In this way, nature reminds us that we have forgotten ourselves; each time we see and are touched by the expression of some eternal principle, we catch a sweet glimpse of some aspect of our True Self. How nice.

Within each of us live nobility, kindness, gentleness, and the love that gives rise to all things timelessly good and true. The world exists as it does to help us realize that within us live the eternal principles that give rise to all the forms that we see and to remind us of this immeasurable truth: we are the Ground of all that we see. The world we see with our eyes is secondary to the world within us that recognizes what it does, else we couldn’t recognize it--we couldn’t “know” it as we do when seeing it. The truth is, as modern physics now affirms, we never “see” anything--that is, we never have any feeling pass through our body, we never see a form of light, we never know a form of psychological darkness--whose existence isn’t already a part of our consciousness, else we wouldn’t be able to know it as we do in this moment.

This finding speaks of a world beyond anything we can imagine with thought, a higher realm within us that we’re meant to be conscious of, but that we just don’t know anything about. This amounts to a prince, a princess, living out their lives in the castle dungeon because they “forgot” they’re entitled to live as royalty do. This kind of forgetfulness is a timeless theme running through all classic spiritual literature. Whether it is the sleeping masses depicted in Eastern traditions, or the wakefulness or the watchfulness asked for by the Christ and Buddha, the case remains the same: perhaps we walk by a beautiful cherry blossom with its delicate fragrance budding on a tree, but we have no awareness of it. Its fleeting sweetness--meant to stir and awaken within us our interior counterpart of an everlasting sweetness--is lost to us.

Why? We aren’t there in the moment to receive the message. We have lost the relationship between what we see with our eyes and the registration of it as an aspect of our own True Nature because we don’t see what we see; instead we think about what we see. And when we think about what we see, what we receive is the content of thought that has stored that experience. We don’t receive what is real, alive, changing, creative, and forceful. Instead, we dine upon ourselves, and it is a fool’s feast. There is one great principle that underpins a common thread found running through all world religions, because within it we find the secret foundation of all true religious experience. In Psalms 46:10 we are told, “Be still and know that I am God.” Allow me to paraphrase this Divine invitation and ultimate spiritual instruction.  

Be still: Cease from thinking about what you see, and know--without thinking about it--that no real distance exists between the seer and the seen. The beauty or ugliness you see, near or far, is none other than Self. and know: Realize that there is no real distinction between what you perceive about something and what you receive from it in the same moment. Life is a reflection of the consciousness that reveals it. Nothing else exists outside of this. that I am God: I am not just the life source of all that has been or ever will be seen, but I am the seer as well that dwells within you. Your True Self is seer and seen at once and “that” . . . am I, and more.

What this teaches us is that a direct relationship exists between our potential to be still and what is possible for us to receive and realize about ourselves in that stillness. And there is no limit to these interior discoveries, because the depth and breadth of our True Self is without boundaries of any kind. Ours is the gift to know that the universe we gaze at--the star-studded sky with its infinite galaxies--lives within us. Its ceaseless creation--still taking place in a continual genesis--is ours to midwife, nourish, and help see to its endless perfection.

To be made “in the image of God” isn’t just a sentimental idea; it is a Divine duty. Whenever we quietly look up at a night sky and love the timeless feeling of it, what we really love is being our timeless Self for that moment. We couldn’t love what was eternal unless something of that eternity was already living within us. We receive the love we give in that moment, and our world is made anew. When we stand on the ocean shore, silently seeing the expansive waters spread out before us, we enter into their depths. Where is the true deep if not within the consciousness that reflects it? What is timeless, what is unfathomable does not reside outside of us. It dwells in the center of us; it is our True Self. We plumb the unknown worlds within ourselves, and the lands we explore are reclaimed by the Light that reveals them. Stillness is the path of revelation; no other path to the truth of yourself exists, because the freedom you long to be is found only in one place: within your awareness of the flowering of God’s life endlessly releasing itself through rebirth. True self-realization is the unending revelation of God’s life as your own.  

Be still and be free.

(Excerpted from The Essential Laws of Fearless Living by Guy Finley, 2008)



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