The end of suffering may be closer than you think.
Why is it so difficult to surrender and let go? Why are there so many people who understand the principles of spirituality, even have great insights, but still continue to suffer?
As a sufferer I have several options:
a) I stubbornly stick to the illusion and continue to suffer
b) I seek out the advise of a conscious individual
c) I take responsibility for myself, surrender and let go
A) Sticking to the illusion is what the Buddhists call samsara or the continuing cycle of life and death, the miserable same-same of many re-incarnations, until we realise, there may be another way to live our life: acceptance instead of struggle. The issue here is ignorance and all that can be done, is to point the individual in the right direction. Not by power, but by grace will they understand, because there is no way to teach anyone, who is not ready to hear the Truth. At this stage all that can be done is to assist the sufferer to accept their burden in the present moment and show them, that in our world ebb follows flood and joy follows tears.
B) I suffer, so I seek advise from a conscious individual. It is true, what they say – if the student is ready, the teacher will appear. The „teacher“ might not turn up in the form of a traditional spiritual director – it could very well be a conscious individual from the immediate environment, providing guidance from a place of Truth. And this advice may sound very unusual, even completely contrary to what one would expect. At first it may be met with disbelief, still something will ring true, even if only for a moment. The question is, will the seeker follow through with the advice and the issue at hand is pride. Pride is he sense of my identity and personal status, the foundation of society and judgement. Pride is the glue that keeps me safely attached to the rules and laws of my tribe – my family, my status, my country , my duty, my role, my achievements etc. Pride is what keeps separation alive and it is important to recognise, that humiliation is just the other side of pride.
In fact it is fear of humiliation that keeps so many of us from following through on solid advice to end suffering – we are simply terrified by the idea to drop the belief system that keeps us accepted in the cultural and social requirements of society. In this context, it is worthwhile to reflect on humility, which basically means to de-emphasise the ego and recognise identification with systems as what they are – illusions. This is where the idea of “ending up poor and ostracized” is coming from, that keeps so many people in the cycle of life. The end of my world is a necessary stage to end suffering, but it does not mean that everything will be taken from me. It just won’t be important anymore, and it won’t define who I am.
C) Eventually I will have to take responsibility for myself and let go of my attachments. This is the path to liberation – let go of my ideas, concepts, conditioning and identifications. Many old beliefs will fall away and it can be both at the same time – liberating and scary. It is the stage that has us consciously wanting to see it all. We are longing to see and recognise all our lies, our illusions, our identifications and the attachment to it, so we can let go. We will ask Life herself to show us all we need to see and this is a very scary thing to do, because it is by “thy will, not mine”, the surrender to Life itself. We leave it to Life to present us with the people, situations or events that will teach us where our barriers are and by accepting Life, they will dissolve. Once the barriers of our conditioned mind are removed, all that remains is an openness to everybody and everything that crosses our path. This openness is called Love.
Those are 3 stages of the journey to transformation. Insight, Realisation of our true nature and transcendence. Each stage has it’s unique challenges and issues. Oh, by the way – there is no predetermined path or a set process for awakening. The three stages I have described are just metaphors for what may be happening to us when we have a real insight into the true nature of Being. If it is real, it won’t let us go.