You could stop right there with no need to go further. It’s all you really need to know.
But being as you are continuing, there is the possibility you’d like a little more validation or explanation, and so a proof of sorts is what follows, with a couple trails to finding the guru that is you. And if you are a self-proclaimed guru of others, or a self-appointed leader in an organized religion of some kind, I’m not sure if what follows will resonate. Perhaps it will be threatening. Or then again, you might love it. It might be what you have been saying all along. After all, it isn’t new. It isn’t original. It’s just something that needs to be occasionally said.
Imagine you are a treasure hunter. Imagine you’ve become aware of the greatest treasure of all. Imagine you spend your whole life searching every corner of the earth for it. Imagine you don’t find it, and finally give up. In exasperation, you bend down to get a drink from a pool of water, and for the first time see your own reflection, and for the first time see that in you is the treasure you’ve spent your whole life searching for. Always has been, always will be.
The single greatest cause for human unhappiness is a simple misinterpretation of reality: that what will make us happy lies outside of ourselves. That we are, in essence, incomplete. That we are a question in need of an answer. That we are the lost in need of a guru. That we need to do something to find our peace, bliss, and contentment.
It would be impossible for that to be true. How can I say that so emphatically? Let’s take a walk.
Whether your context is science or spirituality, Inflation Theory or Creation Theory, it seems there is basic alignment that everything sprang from one thing. Call that a singularity, call it god, call it energy, call it source — what your reference or belief is doesn’t matter at all in terms of the proof set forward here.
If everything sprang from one thing, then that one thing must be in everything. Everything that exists must simply be a different permutation of that one thing. Every form, every question, and every answer. Everything you can think, everything you can see, everything you can experience. Every star, every mustard seed, every human, every tree. They must all be comprised of that one thing. Just like the DNA of the acorn inhabits every part of the oak tree, so every part of the universe has the origin of the universe in it. Which means the answers to everything lie inside everything and that every form is unequivocally itself containing all there is — the wholeness of the beginning. The wholeness of everything.
And so to go outside of ourselves looking for the answer is like a bucket looking outside of its own well for water. It’s like sailing across the ocean looking for the ocean.
The ironic thing is, that at the starting block of every great spiritual belief system, from Christianity, to Buddhism, to Islam, to Hinduism, and beyond, was a being who came upon the profound epiphany that ultimate truth is inside each of us and sought to share this amazing discovery with a world maniacally chasing the delusion that it must be elsewhere.
Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is within.” A famous islamic hadith proclaims: “Whosoever knows himself, knows his lord”. From the Hindu Rigveda: “The goal of life is to know the soul.” The Buddha didn’t find enlightenment inside an enlightenment workshop, he sat under a bodhi tree and found it inside himself.
How did this truth get lost when these spiritualities became religions, and in our modern culture at large? Why did religions change it from “it’s in us” to “its with the cleric, at the church, in the rituals”. And why did culture change “it’s in us” to “it’s in this thing you can buy, it’s in this thing you can achieve, it’s in this way you can look, it’s in this place you can go to”. Well, religions and culture at large are simply the human ego’s limited interpretation of truth. By its nature, a temporary notional structure of thoughts and feelings generated by the finiteness of the brain, the ego is born with a fundamental misinterpretation that it is incomplete and separate. It’s kind of like a copy of a copy — a sense of “less than” will be inevitable. And so there isn’t some grand conspiracy by the religious leaders or cultural leaders of the world to divert us from the our own innate and infinite truth and power — it’s simply their egos doing the best they can do with the level of awareness they have. Which is why our egos so easily buy into it. No one has done anything wrong here — it’s simply the best we can do when we work with the limited tools of our ego and our thoughts. And no one is exempt — even as I write this I recognize a part of myself buying into thoughts that my completeness, worth, truth, and happiness is dependent upon your validation and approval of what I’ve written. And there is also a part of myself that knows this is a total lie, utterly impossible, and giggles at the idea— the part that is in touch with truth and therefore always whole and at peace, in bliss, and in love. The part that I recognize is who I am before thought — my natural state of being.
So how do I spend more time in my natural state of being, and less in my ego and my thinking about everything? How do I meet the guru that is in me, or more accurately, the guru that is me.
The first is a daily intention and practice of looking inward and underneath those things I may have misinterpreted as who I am or my reality: my thoughts, my beliefs, my judgments, my feelings. I won’t suggest what that practice might be for you — there are so many powerful tools and inner technologies available — I simply trust the guru that is you to find the one that is right for you for now. The starting place though is whenever you utter the words “my thoughts” or “my feelings” — what does that tell you? It has to tell you that there is a “me” that is separate from your thoughts and your feelings. That there is a “me” that is independent of them, the birthplace of them, and utterly undiminished or impacted by them. The peace and bliss of that place is no more impacted by thoughts than the trunk or roots of a tree can be impacted by one of its leaves falling to the ground and turning to dust.
The second is to look around you for reflections of the guru that is you to remind you of this truth. Great truths are true on all levels of reality — from the physical to the spiritual. In this life, you will never, ever, see directly into your face or eyes. It is impossible. You can only do that through a reflection or projection. And so there may be some spiritual truth to that as well — at times it is helpful to see who we really are through our reflection in others and our projection on others. There are people, places and things that can create accurate reflections of the guru that is you. We feel inspired and connected in nature because in its pure state it is so accurately reflecting the perfection, beauty, and peace that is us. We wouldn’t be able to see the beauty and peace around us in nature if it wasn’t true about us in the first place. People can be powerful reflections as well. If a person says “I have the answers for you”. Run away. If a person says, “I don’t have your answers, but I suspect you do — whenever it works for you, can I be helpful by being a reflection for you?” this may be a potent place to spend time.
In my own work with people in these areas, my final metrics for success are ascertained by asking these questions to myself:
Do they see the same divine power in themselves that I see in them?
Do they recognize the limitless creator in themselves that I recognize in them?
Do they trust what is in their heart as much as I trust it?
Will they act of behalf of themselves as much as I would act on their behalf?
Are they holding themselves with as much unconditionally positive regard as I am holding for them?
Are they able to acknowledge the guru that is them as I am able to acknowledge that guru?
Yesterday at dawn, while working with someone under a couple cajeput trees within sight of Santa Monica’s breaking waves, we had a moment. In a sudden insight of awareness into the events that had been transpiring around him, his eyes gleamed as if seeing something hugely present, but not physically see-able. He said quite breathlessly and with a smile, “Wow. I see now that I have been creating all of this — a deeper, more real me beyond what I could have thought. I am kind of a bad-ass.”
I felt the rapture of his finally seeing his bad-ass-ness as much as I had been seeing it.
He had finally seen that the guru is him.
Just as the guru is you.