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Be Here Now

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(The following is an excerpt from the book, Nothing Personal, Seeing Beyond the Illusion of a Separate Self by Nirmala.)

“Be here now” is a classic spiritual instruction, which essentially means to be in the present moment. It points towards something that is already true, towards something that is unavoidable. It’s like me telling you to sit the way you’re sitting. You’re already doing it. You’re already being here now. No one has ever successfully left the now. If I told you to be somewhere else now or to be here some other time, you can’t do it. It’s too late to be somewhere else than here. When you just stop and look, you see how ridiculous it is that you could be anywhere else than here or that you have to do anything to be present in the now. Then, why do we even talk about it?

We talk about it because there are two kinds of nows: There’s the real now, the now that is happening, and what you could call a fake now, a made-up now, one that doesn’t really exist. Instead of experiencing the real now, we’re often experiencing our fantasies about the now. We experience something that’s not really happening. It’s like we go to sleep and have a little dream in the now, an experience of a non-existent now. Anytime thought is occurring, you’re experiencing something that’s not really happening. Even if I talk about something wonderful, like Liberation, what happens is you go inside and have a fantasy about Liberation, which is not what’s happening right now. It’s a made-up now.

We narrow our attention onto an idea about something that’s not here in an attempt to make it be here. We think that if we fantasize enough about something, it will happen; as if, for instance, fantasizing about a spouse or roommate picking up after him or herself will actually make that happen. We live in an internal, magical world, like the world of a young child, where we believe our wishes have the power to change reality.

Death and Dying

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(The following is an excerpt from the book, Nothing Personal, Seeing Beyond the Illusion of a Separate Self by Nirmala.)

“Death” most often refers to the death of the form, but the experience of dying doesn’t just happen when the body dies. Every experience you’ve ever had has died, and everything you’re experiencing now is in its death throws. Of course, in every moment, there’s also a birth—a new moment is being born. It’s tricky to see this in the moment, but if you reflect back, you can see that everything that has come before is now dead and something new has taken its place.

This is a profoundly different view of how things happen than we’re used to. Our concept of change is a misunderstanding: Reality isn’t actually capable of change. Nothing ever changes; it can’t. All it can do is die and be reborn. We think that something changes into something else. So, we go back and look at what happened before something changed to try to find the cause.

But that’s not the way it happens. What really happens is that an old experience dies and a new one is born. There’s no connection between what was and what is now, no cause and effect. In every instant, the universe that you know dies and a new one is born. Once you see this, time doesn’t make sense anymore. There is no past that causes the present that causes the future. Life comes fresh each moment, completely unlimited by what came before. There’s no telling what will be born in the next moment.

The Soul Is the Sum Total of All of Our Experiences

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I shared my favorite definition of the soul this past weekend in the Q&A session that was part of our four-day Christ Consciousness Transmissions retreat: The soul is the sum total of all of our experiences throughout all time. I like this definition, as it implies that every experience adds to our soul, and conversely, no experience can diminish or reduce our soul. In simpler terms, we learn from and therefore benefit from every experience, even the difficult or painful ones.

Q: Someone emailed their perspectives: I really liked your definition of the soul being the compilation of all one's experiences through many lifetimes. It made sense to me as a function of the Intelligence that designs the next life experience to balance karma, etc. However, back in the 80's I was part of a study group from a channel/medium. Their definition of the soul was a bit different than yours in that all the Good, learning, and expansion experienced on the earth was accumulated into the soul experience at death, while the negative stuff (fear-based) was left on the earth plane to be healed and released at a later time. Meaning, we, or someone else, had to come back and take it on to experience it and let it go. I actually came across a sentence in ACIM this morning that said something like this: "there is only Good in heaven," which goes along with that concept. As Jesus, through Gina says, the earth plane is dense and contracted, maybe because of all the fear stuff that gets generated and left behind for us to eventually heal.  Given the state of affairs these days, there's lots to heal, although I do recognize the importance of the power of the Good increasing in "light" of the negative that gets focused on and reported in the media. 

A: Thanks for sharing your perspective. I approach the idea of good and bad a little differently. My sense is that all there is, is good. But not everything is equally good, and some things have so little goodness that they can be dangerous and even harmful. But even the murderer is trying to take care of something (usually trying to protect themselves or their loved ones). But when someone acts from a horribly narrow and contracted idea of what is good, then again it is harmful and often also not even very effective at accomplishing the desired outcome.

The Endless Satsang advaita blog by Nirmala is a place for occasional musings and also answers to questions via the contact form on here.
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