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Seeing Clearly

Blessed Self

There’s a beautiful poem by Emily Dickinson that points to what I’d like to discuss today:

Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —

Those last two lines: “The Truth must dazzle gradually, Or every man be blind,” for me, at least, point to how the power of very high teachings can be lost in the realm of the intellect rather than evoking true seeing, true realisation. Knowing what the Truth is, is entirely different to the freedom that comes from the direct realisation of it. The example that I see that’s often given is that we can know sugar is sweet, but we don’t realise its sweetness until we have tasted it.

And yet, the very effort to see through the belief of identity is in itself based on reaffirming the belief in identity. For how can you see through identity without first believing it to be there to be seen through? So we need to get at it slant. We need to circle around and around and see if we can find a loop-hole that the Truth can get through. Hence the repetition in these chapters. You’ll find I circle the same topic from numerous angles. Some of them speak more to you than others, this is all a function of your particular make-up, your particular conditioning and assemblage. 

The common denominator of it all is in not taking in this writing on the level of mind, at least not on the level of the rational mind, as one would read a normal book. I’ve heard from people who have reported that they don’t even know some days what my writing was about but somehow they ‘got it’, or they felt what it was conveying. Its payload. Of course, I’m not consciously imbuing this with a payload, but because I write from my realisation, as the realisation, the words are almost superfluous as the Truth is carried somehow. The words are merely a window to the eternity that lies behind them.

Put another way, I’m not engaging you on the level of the ‘unreal’, your level of identity or personality, so in that way, for the moments that you read this something in you gets to relax. Even for those brief moments of relaxation there is a sense of what this writing points to, a sense of something that has ordinarily been at work that is eased, and the curiosity is stirred. The experience of another way of being is lived and is as inviting as it is familiar. 

In this way relaxation is similar to Truth. You can’t get at relaxation directly, relaxing comes as a result of the absence of something, the absence of stress and tension. So to get at relaxation we need to reduce stress and tension, so we aim at those. In realising Truth we don’t aim directly at Truth, we aim at the coverings of it, what’s preventing it from being seen. So seeing clearly is our goal. 

The difficulty here is that we have always seen in a particular way and what’s being called for is to see in a completely new way; to challenge a belief, an underlying assumption that our entire world is based on. That’s why it’s called a shift in perception, a real shift actually occurs, and for those of us lucky enough, this shift is permanent. 

I’ve also discovered, surprisingly, that this shift is also very real physiologically.  I used to get very ungrounded if I used the swings at the playground with my son, but since the shift this is completely gone. I also tried the merry-go-round, something I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing before as it always left my head spinning afterwards. But when I used it I didn’t have any spinning in my head, it was actually very enjoyable. So a structure has definitely dissolved that I had identified with, the core identity structure, and now that it’s gone, there is an added personal freedom to do things physically that definitely wasn’t there before. With the life force or awareness hooked into identity it got ungrounded and dizzy, and now without that I just experience the joy of these activities, just like little kids do. This was a real eye-opener for me and probably explains why nearly all adults stand by when the kids do the crazy stuff on the swings and merry-go-rounds! 

In the wake of being freed of the cage of identity, a belief cage, is a softening, a relaxation into a more fluid realm of being and connecting. Most, however, are blind to the fact that they live in service of this false construction. But for those with that inner yearning for Truth, those who prioritise it in their lives, ah, then the Truth dazzles gradually and the promise of its superb surprise is truly within our reach.


This post is an excerpt from my book Waking Up To One Self, available as an e-book only on this site. It contains 83 reflections on and pointers to Awakening.