What You Are Is Happiness

by Jac O'Keeffe

JacThe idea that you are separate in any way arises only from your mind. When you seek to find the real nature of mind, you will discover that there is no mind. When you abide in Self, mind is nowhere. Therefore to be concerned about that which is only a thought is totally pointless.

Once the mind accepts the fact that it has no power of its own, but is enabled to function by a higher power called Self, it will yield and dissolve in Self. All that is involved is a subtle movement of attention to exam­ine where in you does the thought “I” originate—then drop that question.

There is no bridge between who you think you are and who you really are. There is no bridge to the Self, because there is no gap be­tween the Self and anything else that can exist. You are the Self. Believing that you are otherwise brings suffering and pain. There is no place to go and nothing to do to make you more of what you already are. How you experience yourself is up to you. To make self-enquiry another spiritual exercise creates another habit of mind. It is best to relax, stay quiet and stop engaging with thoughts. All unfolds naturally, revealing the truth by a power that takes care of all arising in consciousness, together with consciousness itself. All things come and go—let them. That within which all things come and go is unaffected. Remove your attention from all that is transient. That which remains never came from anywhere. It cannot be experienced by a second. It is Absolute Self.

With the direct experience of Self, is it viable to play small and identify with the petty stories of likes and dislikes, desires and judgments of your personal mind? Concepts are part of all that is. They are part of consciousness and entertaining them as truth creates difficulties. In the inevitable dropping of every concept you have about yourself, you will find that the most rigid of beliefs is the belief that you are your body. Drop every­thing and rest in what you are. Phrases such as “I am that I am” or “I am not that” can be useful, but they will not point your at­tention beyond conceptual thought. For many who undertake self-enquiry, the ques­tion “Who am I?” directs one to a wonderful treasure. Looking to the source of the primary thought—the “I” thought—reveals the core. Self-enquiry is not a process or a practice. There are no steps. It cannot take you some place. It simply points you in a direction that enables you to look and see from where the ques­tion “Who am “I?” arises. Without thinking, without effort, the root of your mind is challenged.

 In the absence of any concept of what you are and are not, Self is. That which says “I” in you is found to be nothing more than a thought itself. You are prior to this original thought of “I.” Find out who is watching this “I” and who is the Ulti­mate Seer of that? When you can observe something or point to something, it is clear that that cannot be you. So, to that end, you cannot observe the Self either. There is no recognising the Self. Experience it directly. To abide in the Self is a signpost to be used and discarded, because nobody can abide in it. You cannot stay in it. How can you stay in what you are? You are what you are. Exactly what that is awaits your discovery again and again. When there is direct experience, there is no you ex­periencing; only the experience is, in pure form. So you cannot stay in it, and it follows that you just have to be it. This is what the phrase “abiding in the Self” points towards. You cannot become it. It is already what you are and Self can never become more or less of what it is. So be what you are, for there is no “how” question to any of this. “How” always stems from mind. The Self cannot know Self: it is even beyond oneness, and one­ness is said to be beyond separation and unity. Self can only be Self, and so be what you cannot not be. To be what you are is totally fulfilling. It is not that you, as a person, can feel fulfilled, but Absolute fulfillment arises in the transcending of all ideas of who you thought you were. It is not that you shift identity from being an individual to Absolute. Look and see for your­self. There is only Absolute and your imagination. Which are you in your essence? Satisfaction that arises from the Self is so complete that there is no interest in anything else, in anything phenomenal. There is no dependency on your body, your life events or on anything that can be experienced. This is because no individual “I” exists who needs to be fulfilled. What you are is happiness, total complete freedom beyond the concept of freedom. The physical body becomes totally relaxed, enjoying a great ease that flows as a consequence of abiding in your natural state.

If this resonates as truth for you, if these signposts lead you to that which you are, then where lies the purpose in spiritual healing or religion? If you are in the grip of believing thoughts about being broken, about needing to be healed, fixed, under­stood, witnessed, are these not thoughts laden with identifica­tion? Does it serve you to continue such gross identification? Any experience that life can present to you, beyond the event of experiencing, can only become a thought in a past that does not exist. Dissolving it, letting it go, cutting the ties with it, are all simply concepts within consciousness and have nothing to do with spiritual knowledge. The healing industry, angels and chakra work, churches, religions and rituals are not routes that lead to truth. They offer experiences only. All that exists is the play of activity within consciousness, bring­ing experiences to those who seek experiences. Spiritual and therapeutic work can help in shifting limited thinking about how things work. It can, at best, replace one set of thoughts for another. Spiritual knowledge is instantly attainable. There is no money to be spent, no place to go, no standards to reach. All experiences exist solely for your enjoyment. In spite of all these mind constructs, experiences and happenings in consciousness, the Self remains unchanged.

The traditional order of evolution of mind from spiritual­ity to deeper questioning begins with focusing on an external object such as an image of God/guru or repeating a mantra. All the while, a dualistic perspective prevails. There is a subject and an object. Therefore a relationship between both necessitates a belief in separation. However, this can prove a useful methodology to train the mind to be singularly focused. When concentrating on one thought, all others disappear. As this honing down of mind takes place, simultaneously you will find yourself gradually withdrawing from external objects in all aspects of life, with the realisation that nothing external satisfies and atten­tion stays on the subject. Finding out who the subject is, who this “I” is, becomes central. Desires are understood as the play of mind. Questioning from where does this “I” notion arise, and in the subsequent merging with what is found, it is revealed that there is only the subject. There is no second, no object, and this resonates as truth even beyond the concepts of sub­ject and object. Thus, it becomes clear that to consider God as something external to oneself is a mental image, a mere play of mind.

Jac O’Keeffe was raised in rural Ireland. Longing to know about God, she studied theology and music. Her studies left her disillusioned and a non-believer, which led her to focus upon social inequality, adult and community education, thus starting a career that interwove community development with the arts. In 1997 her life changed dramatically when her sixth sense awakened, quite spontaneously. She developed a healing practice offering private sessions and residential retreats, and her work had the primary focus of raising consciousness. She stopped this work in 2006 and left Ireland to deepen her own spiritual awareness. Her quest led to That, which is beyond the mind, and transcends dualistic thought. Jac now spends her time between Ireland and India, facilitating spiritual meetings and dialogues. Jac is the author of Born to be Free.

www.jackieokeeffe.com

 Excerpts from Born to be Free: the freedom you look for is where you look from, by Jac O’Keeffe. Copyright © 2009, 2011 by Jac O’Keeffe. All rights reserved. Reprinted by arrangement with FliHi Media, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

Jac O’Keeffe was raised in rural Ireland. Longing to know about God, she studied theology and music. Her studies left her disillusioned and a non-believer, which led her to focus upon social inequality, adult and community education, thus starting a career that interwove community development with the arts. In 1997 her life changed dramatically when her sixth sense awakened, quite spontaneously. She developed a healing practice offering private sessions and residential retreats, and her work had the primary focus of raising consciousness. She stopped this work in 2006 and left Ireland to deepen her own spiritual awareness. Her quest led to That, which is beyond the mind, and transcends dualistic thought. Jac now spends her time between Ireland and India, facilitating spiritual meetings and dialogues. Jac is the author of Born to be Free.