from The ATMA Institute

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Dear Friend, Once a week we send this Spiritual Sharing out to all who ask.

I am not I

It is my intention to permanently uncover the direct awareness that I am not I.

This is a phrase that we have been using in our weekly satsangs. Logically, it appears to make little sense. And initially, what sense it makes negates the possibility of there being someone who can have a desire for enlightenment. But the horrible truth is that very few want enlightenment. They don't really want freedom or happiness. What they want is a stronger position in the world, and when all else fails to fully satisfy their cravings, then enlightenment becomes the next rung up the ladder of success. Certainly, that enlightened, wakeful, blissful state will finally fulfill all MY desires! If I attain enlightenment then I will have achieved perfection.

I have only one thing to say to that. It will never, ever happen! Even the most rudimentary knowledge of what enlightenment is tells us that this so called state will not fulfill desires, but rather is itself beyond all desires. That is, until all desires - big ones, little ones, gross ones, subtle ones - are no longer given power, are no longer identified with, the already existing state of pure awareness will never be recognized. This is in part because the sense of being an individual who has desires is itself the illusion that maintains the bondage to the illusion. By inquiring into the 'I' that apparently has desires, one finds that there is no specific thing called 'I'. By discovering that 'I' am not 'I', there is then nothing for the desires to be identified with. How can something that doesn't exist be ruled by desires? How can something that doesn't exist want to be bigger, better, richer, stronger, healthier, more famous, more humble, more spiritual, more enlightened, more anything. It doesn't equate.

Another word for enlightenment, nirvana, says it all. The word literally means 'blown out'. That is the individuality is extinguished into the Absolute. No more 'me'. What is left is exactly what was there before, but without an 'I' to identify with it. Everything is exactly as it was, but now it is all simply one beautiful thing arising in awareness. No more need to be anything other than what is already happening. No need to be anything at all. Only the perfection of the Absolute dancing its awesome dance.

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