Research: Personality Paradox

Tolle - Paradox of Personality

Welcome back to a live event. Also welcome to other people joining us in different parts of the world. (sighing) It's good to start with stillness, and it's even better not to lose stillness even when speaking happens. So that stillness remains in the background. And when there's no speaking, stillness can be in the foreground. (sighing) Another reason why it's good to start with stillness is that usually I haven't prepared anything and I don't know what to say. (audience laughing) Which could be a very uncomfortable thing if I thought that I needed to know what I'm going to say. If I'm comfortable, however, with not knowing what to say, it's quite a pleasant state. (sighing) But it implies a trust, a trust in something deeper than the personal mind. And the trust is that the words will come from the deeper dimension out of the present moment. (sighing) So we are here to access or deepen that transcendent dimension of consciousness. It begins when the mind ceases to create thought if only for a moment. And yet you haven't fallen asleep. (audience laughing) I will make allowances for people who have only just got here from other parts of the planet and are suffering from dead lag. The mind stops just for a moment. (sighing) But there's no decrease in consciousness. In fact, there's an increase in consciousness. A certain alertness, a gentle alert presence. A gentle alert presence. And one could say you sense that presence both within and without. (sighing) Although ultimately, although I'm not going to go into that right now, I'll just throw it out there. Ultimately, there isn't within and without, there's only within, it's all within. (sighing) This entire space is within you. Not let's try to work that out by thinking about it. (audience laughing) And of course you notice the moment you start trying to figure it out by thinking about it, it's gone. (audience laughing) So the essence of our retreat is no different from the essence of your life, your so-called life. There is no your life, we just use those words. Until you awakened to this dimension or into this dimension, which we may call stillness, your mind is full of clutter. Some of it may be useful, a lot of it is useless, and a lot of it is actually harmful, destroys your happiness. A lot of what goes on in your mind is the mind is full of clutter, the clutter of one thought after another, plus the emotions that reflect thoughts and also amplify the thoughts. Most people only know their own life consists of that clutter of thought. The entire sense of identity is derived from the clutter of thought, me. Not a pleasant sense of identity. And everybody's looking, everybody feels in the background or sometimes in the foreground, a sense of insufficiency or dissatisfaction with who they are. No matter what they have achieved, there's always in the back of a sense of something missing, a dissatisfaction, an unease, sometimes more pronounced than is not just unease, anxieties, heaviness of regrets and feelings of guilt and... (coughing) Undoubtedly, the person, if you derive your sense of identity from the continuous movement of thought, and then some kind of narrative emerges out of that continuous movement of thought. And this narrative that emerges out, a repetitive narrative that emerges out of this movement of thought, thoughts which consist of memories and so on, reactions to past events and so on, out of this clutter emerges a more, a persistent, repetitive narrative. And this becomes the main, the core of the person or personality, the narrative of me, so people call it, me and my life, my life. (coughing) And of course, I don't know any life that's not problematic. You're not the only one. That can become as a surprise if you spend a lot of time on Facebook. (crowd laughing) Because everybody else's life seems to be so perfect. (crowd laughing) They even look perfect. Through the infinite power of technology, they all look perfect. Even I, they did it to me a few times. (crowd laughing) Even I can look perfect. (crowd laughing) If you apply the right filters. (crowd laughing) But every person is a problem, a walking problem. (crowd laughing) Seeking for a solution. But of course, as every therapist knows, there is an identification with the mind created entity, the self, the problematic self. Yes, I want to be free of it, but also there's a feeling that's me. I don't want to let go of that. It's an unconscious reluctance to let go of this thing that is so problematic that is me. And then when moments arrive, when there's a possibility of transcendence appears suddenly on the horizon, so to speak. And immediately say, oh no, I don't want to go there. I want to hang on to this because what is too uncertain. I don't want to step into the unknown. I'd rather be with my problematic self. And so every therapist has experienced that many times that people, there's a point where people don't want to, they want to hang on to that problematic identity. (chuckles) And then, okay, then you suffer a bit more and perhaps a few years pass and then perhaps you just can't stand it anymore. And then finally there's a readiness. (silence) Now, since we are talking about the clutter of thought, this may be a good moment to just introduce very briefly a few things that may be helpful while you're here. It's mostly about things that I recommend, that you refrain from doing rather than recommend that you're doing something, that you do something. First of all, there's a television in your room. Please don't turn it on because the moment you turn it on, it amplifies and adds to the clutter of your mind. It's uncertain that you will miss anything. It is very unlikely that you will miss anything important. It's very unlikely. (audience laughs) Okay, it's a recommendation. There's no built-in camera in your room just to control that you're actually done. Now, the next recommendation may be a little bit more problematic for some people because of the addictive nature of this thing you hold in your hand. My recommendation is to use it as little as possible while you're here and only use it if there's a specific purpose. Perhaps there is an important message, but not to randomly go there as, that's very normal. Whenever there's a moment of you waiting for something, automatically the hand goes into your pocket or your handbag. Everybody seems to be doing that and you get that thing out. You don't know why, but everybody else is doing it. And then it appears that you engage in some important activity. (audience laughs) And you feel it's clutter. What it prevents is the arising of even the slightest glimpse of inner spaciousness. At least before the clever human mind invented these things, when you were waiting for something, there was nothing to do. And you just had to stand or sit there unless that's, well, if you were in a waiting room somewhere, they had magazines. But in other cases, you were waiting somewhere, there wasn't much to do if you didn't have any book or magazine and so you were just left with yourself. And there was a possibility of at least having a glimpse of, briefly emerging out of this sea of thought and briefly coming into the present moment and you go, (sighs) that happens very rarely because the moment you stop, you get this thing out. So it's addictive. My recommendation is then to, if you can not use it at all while you're here, it's not that long. But if you have to, once a day or twice a day, you have to check it, okay, for... Because we are here in order to access, this is another way of putting it, we called it stillness, to access the dimension of inner spaciousness, which is an enormous step forward in the evolution of human consciousness, the transcendent dimension. This is why we're here. So it's good to refrain from doing things that prevent that. Another thing that is to be recommended is not to indulge in the consumption of substances. Okay, if you cannot enjoy your dinner without a glass of wine, that's fine. But if you know yourself and you know that if you drink one glass of wine, your determination to only drink one glass of wine after you finished drinking it, one glass of wine, the original determination to only have one glass of wine goes out of the window and then it's in the second and the third and the fourth. Or be... So alcohol can... lower your consciousness and prevent the rising of presence. Although I myself enjoy a glass of wine occasionally, it doesn't... Or a nice cool beer in this hot weather is actually quite nice. (audience laughing) But beyond that, you have to be careful, especially if you know yourself. You can refrain altogether, that's great when you're here. And one last thing, not to indulge in excessive intake of food, especially before our sessions. So, it in moderation. So these are just some very basic practical, but they are important. Oh, another one is wear a hat if you go out during the daytime. (audience laughing) Because if you... through excessive heat, you could suddenly become unconscious, not just in a spiritual sense. (audience laughing) Oh, and now I will add something else to this. (audience laughing) This is a wonderful spiritual practice, especially while you're here and you might even want to extend it when you leave here, you might want to also practice that in your daily life. Now, self-observation is very important, which requires some awareness. And awareness is presence, and presence is the dimension of stillness, that arises awareness, stillness, presence, all different pointers pointing to the one reality. So, a certain amount of awareness is needed for self-observation. Self-observation means to know what's going on in your mind and in your emotional field, rather than being what's going on in your mind and your emotional field, rather than being the thought and the emotion that takes a hold of you, being able to be the presence behind it, whether it's anxiety, anger, whatever it may be, be the presence behind the emotion, rather than being totally in the grip of the emotion, or the narrative, the story that you're telling yourself in any particular moment. And so, my recommendation is that while you're here, to be so aligned with the present moment that you don't complain about it. (audience member coughs) Of course, if there's something wrong, really wrong, and not just in your mind, if something is wrong and you need to tell somebody about it because this person may be able to rectify it, it's not complaining, it's you conveying information. But I'm talking about the very, one of the favorite activities of the ego, actually that for many, many people, they don't even know it, is to continuously argue with reality, with what is. Some people are so deeply trapped in this mind pattern that they could be described as, "Greevency is looking for a cause." (audience laughs) And of course, easy to find. So if you refrain from complaining internally, first of all, it means you have to become more aligned with the present moment, the is-ness of whatever is. And the mind might say, "It's so hot here. "Why, I just can't stand it anymore. "I can't stand this awful. "How can we do a retreat here in this heat? "Don't you agree?" (audience laughs) The more people you can talk to, the better about it. And if you're lucky, find one or two that totally agree, and then the thing gets amplified. Now, of course, there's always something wrong, wherever you go, you will find certain things that are not right according to what the mind expects. Only in your imagination could you think of a retreat place where there's absolutely nothing wrong, nothing. Everything is perfect for your spiritual practice, 100% perfect. Even if that existed, it would not be very helpful. The strange thing is, spiritual, the potential for spiritual awakening arises the moment something goes wrong. Of course, it's not wrong at all, but it's just a mental interpretation. This shouldn't be happening, but it is, but it shouldn't. They shouldn't do that, but they do. They should have done that, well, they didn't. (audience laughs) But you can have continuous narratives running through your mind of that kind. And the more you can argue with reality, the stronger the egoic sense of self, the delusion, the delusional self, the fiction, the fictional entity, the stronger it gets. So the letting go of any kind of complaining, unless something can be done and you talk to somebody about it, and again, then not in a complaining way, but in a factual way, that's already a huge shift. And then continuous self-observation is part of that also. What are the thoughts that go through your mind and be the awareness of what is happening in your emotional field? Are you, as you're sitting here, are you carrying something in your emotional field that is a residue of something that happened an hour ago? This morning while you were traveling here? Yesterday? Some imaginary situation your mind is creating and the emotion reflects that as if it were reality. And again, without the awareness, it takes you over. You don't need to get rid of anything. You don't need to get rid of the emotion. Without the awareness, you don't have an emotion. The emotion has you. And the emotion is an energy form, an energy field. A thought is an energy formation. Everything is energy. And this is emotion and thought are non-physical energy formations. So the thought then has you, you don't have it. You're not even there. You are, spiritually speaking, asleep. And you're being run by the conditioned emotions, the mental, you're run by the mentally emotional conditioning. The mentally emotional conditioning says I. And it refers to all that stuff, that accumulated stuff. I, everybody says I continuously. Everybody's favorite pronoun is I. And what they refer to usually is that entity, the problematic entity, the ego, that's the word. The egoic self, I. There's a deeper I that is not the egoic self. (silence) And the deeper I, this is why we're here. To access that, to deepen that, most of you already have access to it, but it may periodically become obscured in this world, not surprisingly. (silence) When things go wrong, that's a moment of becoming more conscious. It's every, even the smallest things. If you don't react out of the conditioning, and mental emotional conditioning, but be the awareness, and then, oh. And you observe, if emotions arise, you are there, and you can say, oh, there's the anxiety again. And then you know that there's anxiety without calling it anything. That is a huge difference to know that anxiety is in you. Anger is in you right now, for example, or anxiety, whatever else it may be, or some mood that suddenly gets ahold of you, and then you're suddenly in a bad mood. Don't talk to me, don't think. I'm grumpy. Well, to say I'm grumpy is already a little bit step forward, because at least you know that you're grumpy. (audience laughs) If you're totally self-conscious, the grumpiness is you, and you don't even know that you're grumpy. To say, don't talk to me, I'm grumpy, that's already, there's a little bit of awareness there. It's great. So there's a huge difference between saying, I'm angry, and, slightly, I feel angry, or there's anger in me. I feel that there's anger in me. I feel angry. There's somewhat a difference between I am angry, because then you equate identity with emotion. So it's not, I am angry, that's a huge, you've fallen into a huge trap. If you equate emotion with your identity, or if you equate a thought with your identity, or a story in your mind, you equate that with your identity, or an opinion which is thought, the world is full of people who don't know the difference between their opinion and their identity. Their opinion becomes their identity. And then they have lots of fights with other people, because they are totally confused about who they are. They derive their identity from a set of opinions, politics, for example. You derive, it doesn't mean you cannot have opinions, everybody has opinions. But where does your sense of identity come from? Does it come from the opinions, or do you realize that you have certain opinions which may be valid or not? You're on a human level, you have opinions, or viewpoints, or perspective, mental positions, you have them, they are there. But do these give you your sense of self? Or if they do, then you're continuously arguing with other people, making other people into enemies, because when you contradict somebody who equates opinion with identity, unconsciously they believe that you are attacking their very self, because there's a confusion about who they are, they don't know who they are. So you attack the opinion of somebody who's totally identified with their opinion, and you become their mortal enemy. They might even try to kill you in an extreme form of unconsciousness. So this is why it's so important to transcend that. Transcend doesn't mean you exclude it, it doesn't mean no more opinions. I'm now, I have no opinion about anything or anyone. No, that's not going to work. What do you think of the Republican Party, the Democratic Party? Nothing. (audience laughing) But there is a deeper level, if you can go to a deeper level, and your sense of I does not come from the movement of thought, it comes from a deeper place, your identity, who you feel or sense you are, does not come from the emotional field or from the mental formations. And that is the awakening, that is to be awakened is to discover, first of all, it is to discover that dimension. For some people at first, it comes in little glimpses, perhaps sometimes in protected settings, environments like here, and I say, are you able to, this moment, are you able to let go of thinking without falling asleep, but remaining alert? In a gentle way, not through willpower, just relinquish conceptualization, no need to interpret compulsively this moment. What could you add to it? Interpreter, you like it, you say, I like this, I don't like that. Yes, likes and dislikes still exist on the surface of your being, but as you become rooted in the deeper presence, the being of you, then, you're suddenly free, and you can sense, that in that stillness, if we want to call it that, stillness just means the absence of thought, and what remains when thought goes, but you don't fall asleep, is conscious presence. Pure consciousness remains. And that is the deeper I, the deeper I am. (silence) So a moment of presence or stillness, in that moment, you have transcended the person, the personal self. Of course, you go back into it after a while, and the question is, are you going to lose yourself in it again, perhaps? And then you come out of it again, and after a while, this is your, the aim of spiritual practice, that your connectedness with the deeper dimension is not lost, even when you're engaged in daily activities, or discussions, or whatever it may be, there is a, that connectedness remains in the background, which may be the case with you now, as you listen to this, and it's not, there's something in you recognizes what the words are pointing to, and that's not the conceptual mind, that which recognizes it as true, is the immediate realization of it, of it, of the truth of it. You don't have to think about it, you can't think about it. So it's, you know immediately, yes, I know there's a direct knowing, not conceptual knowing, conceptual means knowing through thinking. Most people live through a conceptual reality, their identity is a conceptual identity, and they conceptualize everybody else, they meet, they immediately form judgments, they come very quickly, and you form a conceptual identity for the other, you trap the other person in this mental concept, but you do that because you've already done it to yourself, so you live through a conceptual identity, me, and so we step, we go to a deeper place, or you could call it higher or deeper, it doesn't matter, I prefer deeper, you go to a deeper place where the movement of thought ceases, and you immediately you have transcended the self, the egoic self, if only for a few seconds, or a minute, and everybody is longing to be free of this problematic entity, unconsciously they want to be free, but they don't want to let go, there's a paradox here, they don't want to let go, and yet they can't stand it, they want to be free, so much drug taking in this world, is they want to transcend this heaviness of life, experiencing life as this heavy burden, and their identity is very unsatisfying, so they're longing to be free, but they're going below thinking, the road that takes you below, you fall below thought, and to some extent, yes, you have become free of the self, before you go to sleep, there's a transitional moment when you're in bed, and you're halfway to sleep already, and that moment feels really good, you feel, ah, it feels, you can feel the pull of sleep, and you can feel, you can't think about your problems anymore, your entire sense of identity isn't there because, you're too tired, and then you're pulled into sleep, same with many substances that you take, they pull you below thought, at first it feels liberating, at least even the smoking of this dried leaf that people like, they smoke and it slows you down, it slows down the mind, I tried it once, I tried another thing too, but this was, I tried it in a hotel room in Amsterdam, (audience laughing) it's true, it's not that great, but I can see what it does, it's kind of creates a fogginess in your mind, kind of fog, and you go, ah. And it, you fall below thought, and that is why for many people, that's so liberating, they for want to experience a kind of freedom, ah, I can let go, ah, I need a bit more, right, as an, okay, for some people that gives them a glimpse of something, it's fine, it's not a permanent solution at all to a human problem, it's not a permanent solution at all, because it takes you below thought, here, it's rising above thought, transcending thought by rising above thought, that is the most fundamental thing in human life, because that's the next step in human evolution, the evolution of consciousness for humanity, which has been trapped in thought, ego, egoic thought, complete identification with thought for thousands of years, and now we've reached a crisis point, where we have created a world that is, that amplifies the dysfunction of the egoic mind, through technology and science, the dysfunctions which before, already there, a thousand, two thousand, five thousand years ago, the technology amplifies the dysfunction, and then there is the possibility of destruction. So our entire gathering here, the retreat, is only really about one thing, well, it's not a thing, but that is discover in yourself this possibility of shifting from being a person to being the awareness, then you can, in some situations you may find you have completely the person again, you might lose the awareness, eventually you won't lose it, but you have a person you prefer, especially when you talk to others with you. You can see when people talk, how they are in the grip of a mind stream, they are not talking, their mind is talking through them, the conditioned mind is talking through them, they can't stop it, they don't even know they're there, basically they are asleep while the mind is talking, and the talking mind says, "Aye, aye, aye." It's easier to observe this state of being lost in the mind, it's easier to observe it in others than in yourself, by the way. (silence) Because the moment you observe it, you're no longer lost. The moment you know that the light of awareness is suddenly there, that's the light, which I believe is in the title of our retreat. This light is the light of consciousness, is the light of awareness. It's the light that in the mythological account of creation, which is actually quite inspired and quite deep in the beginning of the Bible, the entire thing starts with, the entire thing's creation starts with the words, let there be light. And that is uttered by God, we may explore what that means later. This is uttered before God creates even the sun and the stars. So it's more than that, so it points to something else, there'll be light, that's a very foundation, the light of the consciousness that underlies the phenomenal existence, phenomenal means consisting of phenomena, everything that happens, everything that manifested, are phenomenons, they come and go, they are all ripples on the surface of the ocean, as you are, and I am as this physical form and the psychological form. So, thank you. (silence) So you experience the world, either through the conditioned mind or through the awareness behind it. And this is what I need to mention another important spiritual practice, especially while you're here, but hopefully also when you leave here, after the retreat for the rest of your life, the spiritual practice of perceiving the world around you, directly through awareness, instead of through the mental faculty of compulsive naming, interpreting, and so on, which is quite normal for many people. The moment they perceive something, they call it something, classify it, name it. But the spiritual practice is to perceive something visually, through visual perception, auditory perception, or other perceptions, and be so present as that the perception arises in the space of awareness, the light of consciousness, the light, in the light of consciousness, whatever it is that you see or hear or feel or touch or taste or smell, that you are the awareness for the perception. For example, you look at a flower, let go of needing to name it, relate it to something, wanting something from it, remembering something that reminds you of something, this or that, what is it called? I must know all these things can be helpful and are sometimes necessary, of course, to be able to manipulate concepts. It's necessary in this world, but I'm not teaching the manipulation of concepts because you already, everyone is master of manipulation of concepts already. That's not what I need to teach about here. The teaching is, we want to even call it that, is not to be trapped in conceptualization. To transcend also means you no longer use it. The ability to use it is actually enhanced when there is a deeper dimension. So you're not trapped in conceptualization and when you don't want it, you let it go and there's a deeper connectedness to whatever it is that you are perceiving. For example, the flower or many other beautiful things in nature, it's the kind of desert, but the desert is intensely alive. And so you're looking at something and you hold the perception, let go of the compulsive naming and then there's a deeper knowing you can know this flower without calling it anything, but at a deep non-conceptual level, that's awareness. You become the light of consciousness rather than a person. There's a shift. So you can either look at or listen one thing like a flower, a tree, a cactus, incredible formations here. Or you can take in the totality of wherever you are and take it all in and be the aware presence behind the perception. Stillness again, we can use that word, become you're still. Then whatever it is being perceived arises in the light of consciousness. You are the light of the world. That's a quote from Jesus in the New Testament. You are the light of the world. In other words, you are the consciousness in which this world appears. You're not really a person. You're not really a person. You are consciousness. A manifestation of the one consciousness. (audio cuts out) That's an incredible liberation, the liberation from yourself. But you can still operate as a person. All these things still happen. Even as I said before, your opinions, everything, you still have your opinions, et cetera, et cetera. You're not entrapped in them anymore. You even have likes and dislikes, but you're not all consuming. You're not trapped in them. They don't have a hold on you. You're not the prisoner of your mind anymore. So as a practice here, come to your senses. (audio cuts out) Perceive through the light of consciousness. Let go of the naming. If a name arises, don't give it any importance as you drop it and you bring your attention back to the perception. Something lovely you can do here at nighttime. The temperature goes down a bit, not a lot. (audience laughs) And you sit outside and the warm air surrounds your body like velvet. You can feel it like velvet on your skin. Sometimes there's a slight warm breeze. There's a wonderful opportunity for sense perception through tactile sense perception. Feel that air without, and be the presence for it. Or certain noises that you might hear at the same time in the night. There's an alert presence. You are there as an alert presence, not as a person. The person is still there somewhere in the background, but has receded. The person has receded and something else has arisen. And that is another of my favorite ways of describing it is to say when you are only a person, the conditioned self, the conditioned entity, you operate exclusively on the human level. You are a human. They are all you, of course you are human. They're all humans, but you're not a human being. The being is the transcendent dimension that needs to awaken. When the human has suffered enough, the being begins to awaken through the human. Your destiny is to become a human being. And you're already, you are here because the beingness, the transcendent presence that says, "I am," without attaching anything to it, the bare naked beingness, you can sense that, that is the fulfillment of your life here, which is brief for everyone, the realization of being. (silence) The connectedness with the being dimension that humans most likely had before the arising of thinking was there, but not in a fully conscious way. When you are, when you, when something is your natural state and has always been your natural state, then you have nothing to compare it to, but it was probably the natural state of humans. And then the thinking began to happen. It was necessary, a necessary stage in the evolution. Our destiny though is not to continue to think, to be trapped in thinking, but to transcend thinking and then actually be able to use thought as a helpful, wonderful creative tool, but it doesn't give you your identity anymore. So the observation of phenomena without naming, sense perception without naming, it's a wonderful practice. You can do it when you're, whether you're in your room or outside, be an alert presence. So what happens then, let's again do it here. You perceive the totality of this room without naming. Now, what is there? You perceive the totality of this room, people in it, lights. But you're also aware, you're not just aware of what's arising in the light of consciousness, what manifests in the light of consciousness. You're aware of yourself as the consciousness that is perceiving. And that you cannot define it. It's very hard to describe it. We can use, I'm trying to use words as pointers, silent presence. So there's not only what you perceive, there's also awareness of the awareness that is perceiving, the consciousness that is perceiving. So you have these two worlds, the manifested world of things and the world of no thing. (silence) And I sometimes call that, space consciousness is the awareness itself, awareness of awareness. I am, that's another way of saying, all you know is there is a beingness there, there is a presence there. At first it may seem like little and not important, what is there something? At first it may seem just like an absence of something. But then you begin to realize this absence, in this absence, there is a presence. And there's a power, there's a silent power that is in you that far transcends who or what you are as a person. And when you sense that silent power that underlies everything, then you suddenly have what is conventionally called self-confidence. Self-confidence. Now conventionally that means you have confidence in your person that your person is good enough or knows enough or is beautiful enough or is strong enough, whatever it is, you have that self, I am self-confident. No, this is something, this is the Buddha would say, that's the no self-confidence, the confidence in the no self or the confidence in the transcendent self. So when you sense as habitual thinking subsides for a moment, and what's left is at first an absence. And some people become uncomfortable because at first they notice it as an absence and then they immediately say, oh, I don't want that. Then immediately they go back into thinking. But if you stay with that, what seems like an absence, it seems like you have disappeared. It seems like you don't know anything anymore because when you're not naming anything, what do you know? When there's no concept in your mind, what do you know on the level of concept that you don't know anything? And so the habitual egoic mind is afraid of that. And so many people immediately jump back into the habitual mind. And yet you stay with that, what seems like an absence, there's a subtleness to it. It takes a while to notice that fully, for the awareness to fully arise. Whenever one talks about it, one creates a duality. And then you begin to notice, it's not just what the Buddha described as emptiness, this is one way of looking at it, but which is the very secret of life is that the emptiness that underlies everything. But emptiness really, a better translation would be spaciousness. And Jesus talked about it as, he called it fullness, the fullness of life. I want you to have the fullness of life. Same thing, seems the opposite, but that is life prior to manifestation. (gentle music) (gentle music) You can become still, it's not really becoming still, it's discovering the stillness that's always already there. So it's nothing to achieve. It's not an achievement, it's a discovery. And somehow, the state transmits itself to some extent. And that is why it's helpful to be here. There's a transmission of that consciousness beyond words, especially in between the words. And it arises in many of you. And that is very helpful in this, as an energy field of arising presence. And we don't even need to call it meditation because meditation is fine if you have a meditation practice, it's a good thing. But this is the arising of a natural state without necessarily going to say, okay, now let's meditate, let's do a meditation. But meditation can be very helpful as long as you do not have in your mind the thought that is something that you're doing because the moment you believe meditation is something that you do, you've created time because all doing requires time. So if you're doing a meditation, you require time, you require a future, you will have a state that you want to achieve through time in future. (chuckles) And that's the obstacle to the realization. So there's nothing to achieve, there's only a discovery of what already is there within you. So the realization of being cannot really come with doing because it's already there. (mouse clicks) This wonderful liberation from the person that you thought you were, this is why the word liberation is, many spiritual traditions, they use that word liberation. And it's inherently even joyful to know yourself as consciousness is joyful. It does not depend on your life circumstances. If your happiness depends on life circumstances, then you're dependent on what is happening around you. You're at the mercy of what happens or fails to happen. (mouse clicks) So we have the floor. While you're here, the practice of as much as possible, not naming sense perceptions, but just be the awareness, one practice. Refrain from complaining internally and externally. And externally. And another I would add, notice that you're breathing. The very, breathing is always a very powerful portal into awakening. Just notice that you're breathing as much as possible, no matter where you are. Why is that important? You cannot notice that you're breathing and think at the same time. The Buddha never said, "Stop thinking." He said, "Be aware of your breath." That's a cunning way of saying, "Stop thinking," but it's an easy approach. (mouse clicks) So there's only one thing that's the essence of this retreat, well, the essence of everything. There's only one secret. It's more, it can't be a secret, I'm talking about it. (audience laughs) And that is the arising of awareness, cessation of thinking, arising of awareness. Then you drift back into thinking, and then you notice, now, if you are able, voluntarily to step out of thinking, that's an enormous achievement. The achievement is to stop thinking. The realization in itself is not an achievement. People sometimes, I have been asked, "What's your greatest achievement in life?" And I said, "I don't have to think "when I don't want to think." Is that all? (audience laughs) That would be, now, fortunately, I will never have to apply for another job again. (audience laughs) Not that anybody would, somebody who says, "I don't need to think." (audience laughs) You could add, though, if you add, it would be true, I'm quite good at thinking, but I don't need to think. Maybe then you would get a job, I don't know. (audience laughs) But that is the transcendence of compulsive thinking. And only then can thinking become a wonderful tool, but you have to free yourself from your mind and discover who, or what could say, what you are beyond the mind. In some meditations, people ask the question, who am I? It's a, some recommend this as a meditation to ask yourself, who am I? But then not look for an answer on the level of concepts. It might even be better to ask yourself, what am I? Because who probably implies that you're still a person. Who is the inquiry after a person? Now what, you might say, well, what would be a thing? Well, it's not a thing, but it's not a person either. What am I? Who or what am I? (audience laughs) The answer is in the silence after the question. So there's no conceptual answer to the question, who or what am I? (audience laughs) So that's all the, if you, maybe some of you get it completely now, what the secret is. (audience laughs) Now it's only a question of living it. The everything changes with that. The way in which you deal with things, with situations changes when you're no longer trapped in the egoic self. It's a reactive mode of the egoic self that amplifies every problem that arises, gets amplified through the reactivity of the egoic self. This is why the world is full of drama continuously in people's personal lives and collectively. Every challenge, every reaction to the rising challenge just usually makes it worse. You amplify it. And then drama arises which the ego loves, it loves its drama and talks about it. So the way in which you deal with situations changes because you no longer oppose reality, you no longer internally and externally oppose the isness of things. You're aligned with what is. That's why this practice of not complaining is also very important to become aligned with the experience of this moment. The way in which you experience this moment, you're aligned with that. Even if it's far too hot during the daytime, it's just so hard. Well, that's your experience of this moment. You don't need to just be with it, go in the shade or in the air conditioned environment until nighttime and then you go out and, your experience of this moment, you don't resist your experience of this moment. So the way in which you deal with things becomes more effective, but the key word here is what arises is wisdom, which is different from intelligence. Wisdom arises from awareness. Intelligence can be, the conceptual mind has been trained to classify, to memorize, to dissect and to talk about things. This is the intelligence, this thing you perhaps you can measure in IQ tests, whatever. But the much more important, a deeper faculty is the wisdom that arises can only arise in those humans who have become human beings and thereby have accessed the dimension of awareness. That's where wisdom arises. Wisdom doesn't attack one problem, it sees the totality of the situation. Then whatever solution it comes up with will take into account the totality. Intelligence is a focus, it attacks the problem here, this is what we need to do, but it disregards all the things around it that will be affected by whatever action you take. Wisdom always sees the totality of things and wisdom is inseparable from presence or awareness. It's not conditioned. We don't need to, the world is not going to be saved by humans becoming more knowledgeable in more information. You're not, aren't you drowning in information? So it's not, we don't need to become more intelligent. What is full of intelligent people who are creating havoc? They have all, they're probably of all university degrees and they're crazy. (audience laughing) But what is needed is the arising of wisdom and it's inseparable from the awakening to who or what you are beyond the person, the conditioned entity. And because that is where intuition arises, where insights arise, where creativity arises, all from that deeper level. Every creative person has some access to it, usually only in the area of their creativity, they have some access to that transcendent dimension. And usually most of them in the rest of their lives, they are just as crazy as everybody else and sometimes even more crazy. So there, for any creative thing to arise in need, you have some access whether it doesn't matter what your activity is, whether you're an artist or a musician or even a scientist to have a creative insight, a really creative insight that comes from a deeper place, as a realization, you go, ah, that's how Einstein's theory of relativity came to him. Yes, he was thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, but he also had the ability to be still. He was famous for kind of drifting off into stillness. He already did it as a child. He was always very slow, but there was stillness. Nowadays at schools, they want a quick reaction. The people will say, I know, I know, yeah, yeah. What's the, I know the answer here. And Einstein was not like that. He was always, well, any creative endeavor comes from there. So, the important thing, what you use this time, you're here, not just the sessions that we're having, but every moment make it part of the retreat practice. Every moment, bring awareness into whatever it is that goes on within you and around you. Be the step out as much as you can, out of the habitual mind, be the alert presence. And when you go to sleep tonight, hopefully you're not going to look at your, and then you drift off from there. And then you wake up in the morning and you still have it in your hands. (audience laughing) And then you need to know what's the latest thing that's happened. So when you go to sleep, let go of your devices, line bed, freeze, bring consciousness into the body, which begins with your breath, and then inhabit the body with your consciousness. This is what I call, as you may know, inner body awareness takes attention away from thinking. And every cell is becomes, feel is filled with life and aliveness. But what you sense is inner body is beyond the physical body. That's a good practice of going into sleep without thinking. You're going to, and if you wake up in the night, which is problematic for many people because that's where often despair rises and fear rises, anxiety rises. You wake up at three or four in the morning, oh my God, what am I doing here? What's going to happen to me? What was going to happen when I get home? All that's, all the bad things that happened last month and the last two years, that was horrible. It's all going to end, are we going to have a nuclear Holocaust? It's already happening. It may happen, but it's not happening right now. (audience laughing) It's not happening now, okay. In my problematic situation, am I going to get another job, a lost mind? Is that a problem now? Or do I really need to think about this now? Is there anything I can solve now by thinking about it? No, but I can't stop thinking about it, because you can. Don't believe your mind when it says you cannot stop thinking about it. Just choose to take your attention away from thinking. Become aware of your breathing, then the inner body. Hold your attention in the totality of the inner body. Many years ago, this inner body, I liked it so much, I don't recommend it, I'm just saying what I did. Before in the past, when I woke up in bed, it was all, some of those terrible depressions and feelings of alienation arose whenever I woke up in the middle of the night and I could see the surrounding room and it all seemed alien to me. It's this horrible feeling described by the way in not very well known novel anymore by the famous French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and the novel is called "Norsere" and it's about how you experience life in an alienated, from an alienated consciousness. So you feel the alien nature, everything is horrible alien. And that was, many years until one night I woke up, I mean, really. And then, it was so lovely to feel the inner body, it was new to me to feel the inner body instead of thinking. I wanted to feel it longer, so I had two cups of coffee before going to bed. (audience laughing) So that I could stay in this beautiful inner body for longer, not to be recommended. (audience laughing) So this is our first evening, but I have already conveyed to you the secret of life. So if you want to go home, that's okay. (audience laughing) Or we go again into it in tomorrow, which doesn't exist, but we just call it that. (audience laughing) And so we return to it in the present moment tomorrow. That's a contradiction. (audience laughing) But it is true, of course, that tomorrow does not exist, that future does not exist, obviously. It only exists as thought in your mind. If it existed, you would have experienced it at some point, but nobody has ever experienced the future because it becomes the present. It's a mental protection, necessary for our practical purposes, but ultimately illusory, there's only the present moment. It's only this ever, only this, only this, only this. Oh. That's not so bad. If this is only this, I thought there was so much, what there's all that stuff. No, but there's only this. The only ever was this. Only ever will be this. And usually this is not problematic. Occasionally an emergency may happen, yes, but it's not an emergency, it's not a problem. If it's an emergency, you do something, you deal with it. But life is not as heavy when you are present. You realize it's actually not that bad at all because it's this moment. ( audience member speaks off mic) Wow. And then there's a book, I think it's a novel called "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." (laughs) So it's only unbearable to the ego, but so the lightness of being suddenly is there. You can enjoy life without the heaviness of being just the person, the heaviness of this personality, the burden of yourself. You can enjoy life without that. That's the secret. The rest, now of course, this is not, it needs to be lived. And before we finish, just one more thing. It seems that life is full of obstacles to this realization. Life is full of hindrances and limitations that suddenly arise, problems of one kind or another, losses, difficult people. That's one of the worst. They're everywhere, they're everywhere. Difficult. And it seems that life is kind of sabotaging. It seems some people have this feeling that life is attempting to sabotage your life or God, maybe God isn't doing it. ( And you feel if only life left me alone and I could really practice, no, it doesn't work like that. (audience laughs) But the thing is, you need the obstacles through that which seems to prevent its awakening. A sudden loss, an accident, an illness, a breakup in a mental problem. Mental problems, whatever it may be. Pandemic. Why is life doing this to me? Consciousness evolves when confronted with difficulties. (coughing) Even the simple thing of wanting a stronger body, you need to practice weightlifting and jogging, et cetera, which is very difficult for the body. I haven't done this in a long time. (audience laughs) You might've guessed, but. (audience laughs) Weightlifting is hard. What are you doing to your body? You're making life difficult for your body. Yes, but it's only when life gets difficult for the body, there is a need for an influx of energy. On a physical, that kind of energy, different vibration of frequencies, not necessarily consciousness itself, well, consciousness in a lower vibration of frequency, which is physical energy. The body cries out, says, "I need more." And then suddenly, energy comes, muscles develop, and suddenly, feel what before was hard and difficult. It's now wonderful. But life had to become difficult first for the body. If you had stayed on this, on this sofa, watching Netflix, with a beer, (audience laughs) nothing would have happened. The body would not have become stronger, but it would have been your comfort zone, great. (audience laughs) So if little things, this is a final thought for tonight. If little things here take you out of your comfort zone, welcome them. Welcome them. They're all important. But know the difference between little things that arises externally and other things arise only internally. So often, your mind takes you out of your comfort zone, but it's nothing much happening, but it's thinking that something might be happening. So be the awareness, know what's going on in your mind, and in your emotional field. It's all... What else could be the purpose of your life, but this evolution, this awakening? People are looking for their life purpose. This is it. (audience laughs) Everything else is secondary, what you do, but how conscious are you in the doing? That's the question. Doesn't matter so much what you do, how conscious are you while you do what you do? Only this matters. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing presence. Some of you are having a session movement tomorrow morning with Kim, and I will see you again in the present moment, when the present moment is two o'clock or something like that. (audience laughs) (audience applauds) [APPLAUSE]