I wanted it so badly, even desperately. I’m sure it started at the beginning, but it seems that I first consciously noticed it around the age of 12 or 13. I wanted something, and it was so vague I couldn’t describe or define it, couldn’t capture it in words, and yet it persisted as a mysterious ache in my heart.
It became even stronger as I moved into my teenage years and early 20’s. It had to do with other people. I wanted something from other people. I wanted to be liked; I wanted to be loved; I wanted to be accepted; I wanted to be appreciated; I wanted to be noticed and recognized; I wanted to be respected; I wanted others to want me to be their friend. I could go on and on, but you get the point.
This desire, this inexplicable craving, continued for a long time. At some point in my 20’s I remember talking to an older friend, who was a spiritual teacher in the lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda, and I told him that sometimes I had this strange emotionally painful feeling of wanting something from someone.
He replied, very wisely I always thought, “Sounds like growing pains to me.”
When he said that, something fell into perspective that actually eliminated that particular pain from my life. I could understand that it was only growing pains. This friend and teacher also encouraged me to see a meditation Master from India who would be visiting Manhattan, where I lived at the time. I did and ended up being with him for the rest of his life.
From this Teacher I learned that our own inner Self is the true source of all that we seek from others. If we want more respect, we need to be more respectful. We especially need to respect our own Self. Respect from others is worthless if we don’t have our own respect.
I also discovered that the source of love is within, and could not possibly lie outside or in another. If we want to be loved, we need to love ourselves. Being loved by others is very unsatisfying and mediocre compared to the fullness of loving ourselves, of being the one to love instead of being the one hoping to be loved by another.
The Buddha once said: You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.
Within the heart exists a great central sun that illuminates the inner and outer world. We can rejuvenate ourselves at any point by visualizing this resplendent sun in our own heart to the degree that we actually see and feel the light.
See the light radiated, feel the warmth emanated, allow yourself to flow into the current of bliss—the pulsations of the divine exaltation within you. Feel the bliss in the heart right now. It is always present. Even when we forget about it, even though we remain unconscious of it, bliss remains. Bliss is an aspect of our eternal nature.
Everything in the outer world is a reflection of the inner world. There is no exception to this whatsoever. There is no reality outside of the one Consciousness we all share simultaneously. This is an essential principle that one day will be so obvious to us we’ll be amazed that maya could be so powerful as to cause us to think there is an outer reality independent from our inner reality.
Our true nature is Light. This physical body is animated and enlivened by a body of Light, which is much more substantial and long-lasting than the physical body. The identification with the body is an aspect of ego, which is an aspect of maya—the 6th tattva where there is a split between subject and object, where the perceiver sees the perceived as different from itself.
Recognizing and appreciating Light to be our true nature, we live in the Truth.
Inner Light is reflected outwardly. It is the Light of Being. This Light has a feeling, and the feeling of Light is love. Light and love pervade and permeate the observable universe, and the unobservable universe as well. Don’t get lost in the darkness of this world.
Live in light. Be one to carry a torch through the darkness, so as to be a light for others as well.
We all share the same inner Light. There is only one Light, and not two or more. Individuals are like beams of the one Light. In one sense they are different from each other, yet in a greater sense they are the same. When we become fully aware of the inner Light that illumines the entire cosmos, we finally experience our unity as well.
At this point we experience oneness on a whole other level. The idea of oneness gradually becomes the experience of Oneness. A wise person lives in the awareness of the Oneness of all things.
However we see or treat someone else, we are actually seeing or treating our own selves that way. After all, the same one, the same Awareness of Being, exists in all other bodies as well as our own. Therefore, however we treat others, we experience the consequences accordingly. All actions and intentions return to us like boomerangs. This is how karma works.
If we do what is possible to help others to be happy and free, we will experience great happiness and freedom ourselves. If we love others, we will experience great love. When we put out our best, the universe returns its best to us. If we give importance and priority to petty matters, petty matters will consume us, and we will lose sight of the inner light and lose touch with our inner love.
More than anything else, the Truth of the present moment is love. Love is the underlying feeling of the inner Self. When we experience God, when we experience pure Consciousness, when we experience the fullness of our own inner Self, our primary experience is that of that most profound love. And that love is felt within the radiance of the inner light. Relaxing into this love and light is the most profound bliss.
When we understand that the true Beloved is our own inner Self, the Light of Consciousness within, which is also the Light of the world, then we stop searching for love and become what we were looking for. The transformation is well worth the journey.
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