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Apr 02

Prior to everything, I Am

static1.squarespace.com by Brian Thompson

“It’s important to make time for yourself,” she said.

I overheard this in a coffee shop the other day from a woman who was telling a friend how busy she was. It’s a common thought, “I need more time for me!”, but it’s a rather bizarre statement once you contemplate it.

All that we truly have is our Self, which is this sense of intimate knowingness in which all of ‘our’ experiences appear.

Everything we perceive is nothing but an appearance of impermanent phenomena arising within this infinite space of consciousness that is the Self. Even the concept of time is something that appears to us—it appears to us, within us.

Prior to everything, I Am.

If we investigate into our personal experience of what it means to exist or “to be”, we find there is nothing experienced outside of our Self. Our Self is all there is.

Even our personal dreams of success, happiness, peace, wealth and health are nothing but thoughts appearing within the aware presence that we are. We cannot escape our Self, as our Self is the unchanging foundation of consciousness in which all perceptions become known.

We are a knowing presence, through which all phenomena flows—spiritual, philosophical, physical, psychological and emotional—and yet, we are free of it all.

The truth of Self is prior to every sensation, prior to every perception, and prior to every experience.

We have a habit, however, of not seeing reality as it is, and as we are. We believe things happen to us, rather than through us. We believe that almost everything is separate from us—including time, space, people, and the universe in which they all appear. When we align our sense of a personal self with these feelings of separation, we become consumed by overwhelming feelings of lack. We believe we don’t have enough time, money, love, friends, success, talent, and on and on. The lack never ends since the mind is always busy looking for some ‘thing’ else that we don’t have—which, in the world of things, is an infinite list.

In such a state of confused emotions, we believe the entire world is a distraction that keeps us from ourselves. We believe that our goals and responsibilities and busyness keeps us from finding our true self, and ultimately, from finding lasting happiness.

However, we cannot find happiness since it is the very essence of our ever-present Self. We’ve only been distracted from this realization by identifying with the mind’s sense of perceived lack, rather than with the unlimited awareness in which its thoughts appear.

How can you possibly make time for yourself when you are the very source of time itself?

Time is an appearance within you, not you within it. Time is nothing but a concept, one created by the mind which only perceives duality through its continual process of analysis, discernment, comparisons, and personal judgements.

If you believe time limits you in some way then every moment will be conditioned by its looming presence and you will be in a perpetual state of lack. Lack, however, just like time itself, is only a thought—the reality is, neither time nor lack actually exists.

So relax into awareness and just be your timeless, abundant and infinite Self—go beyond time. The mind is limited, but you are not.

You cannot possibly be more with yourself than you presently are. Your Self is everything. After all, you can only ever experience your Self, so how can you possibly need more of it? It is everything, and yet, it is nothing. It is in the nothingness of Self that the fullness of life becomes known.

You need not try to find any more time for the imagined ‘you’ that dreams itself to be lacking. Let that one go. It’s already had more than enough time in your life. The personal self will never be satisfied; it always wants more of this and less of that.

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