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Issue #3259, Saturday, August 16, 2008, Editor: Mark
Ask a Three-Year-Old
It's your ordinary, obvious awareness. This.
It's not your ordinary awareness in some another dimension, or on a
higher level that you have not reached. It's not your ordinary
awareness when you're spiritually clear enough to see it. It's THIS
that you can't miss right now, nor can anyone miss right now. The
dullest dullard can't miss it. Even crazy people can't miss it.
Are you missing it? No, you're not. You just think you're looking for
Imagine yourself to be a child of three. As that child, are you
aware? You don't know what to call it at three, and you don't know
what "aware" means, and you wouldn't know what to make of a silly
question like that. But you would know, without words for it, without
attaching importance to it, that you were aware. Without any doubt at
Imagine yourself with an IQ of 85. You go about your daily business
with very little ability to think things through. Are you aware?
Without any analysis, without any sophistication, are you aware? As
you go about your mundane affairs, as much as you can handle with low
intelligence, are you aware?
Imagine yourself with mental illness, perhaps after a stroke, when
part of your brain is not working, and your sense of "I" is
unrecognizable; you may have seen a popular video recently that
described this scenario exactly. In this situation, are you aware? As
you look through your business cards and can't figure out which one
of them refers to you, are you aware?
So you can see that what is being pointed to is not dependent on
cleverness, determination, or spiritual advancement. It is not
dependent on getting the words, being smart enough to figure it out,
or even having an intact sense of self. Think of the child again - it
is so obvious to him that he is aware that he would never even
consider asking about it!
Even if you lost your history completely, and all your memories of
who you are were wiped out, would you be aware? Isn't that
essentially what every new moment is? Awareness, with no history, no
memories. Just this moment, the first one, unborn, empty, spacious.
This is who you are, at three, or when ignorant, or when crazy, or
when no one at all. Just this present-time, ever-fresh consciousness.
And there is no doubt about it!
We've been working at this enlightenment project for so long, and
we've read so many books, and we've achieved a highly sophisticated
level of spirituality, compared to the rest of the world. And perhaps
this is part of the reluctance to see the simplicity of what is being
pointed to. We have to swallow our spiritual pride and realize we've
been duped. How embarrassing to realize that all of our unspiritual
friends know they are aware!
All the spiritual advancements were interesting, in the story, and
made us feel good - and even superior - but they had nothing to do
with this simple awareness that is being pointed to. The pre-verbal
child knows better than we do, with all our fancy experiences of
total melding with oneness. We have to just let it be this simple,
this obvious. The spiritual work we did may come in handy, but not
here, not for what is being pointed to, your true nature.
So just drop the "spiritual" fašade, drop the superiority, and just
notice what is, with childlike innocence. It is this simple. It is
shocking, and it is humbling.
- Annette Nibley
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