Suzanne Segal on the One Life

Enlightenment Part 11

Tony Crisp

I had always believed that the presence of fear—which I experienced often, and for no apparent reason— meant that, despite years of practice and numerous insights into the nature of being, I must be doing something wrong that prevented me from integrating my insights into my moment-to-moment existence. If only I could get rid of the fear, I reasoned, then I would be free. But the more I struggled with it, trying to breathe or cathart or love it away, the more seemingly solid and entrenched it became.

What Suzanne helped me to realize was that fear doesn’t mean anything except that fear is present. It does not obscure our true nature unless we believe the story it tells us or take it to mean something it does not. In fact, the infinite awareness that is our true identity contains everything within it, including all mental and emotional states. Fear, anger, jealousy, sadness, and other seemingly “negative” emotions are there too, like seaweed floating in the limitless ocean of ourselves. There just doesn’t happen to be a separate self to whom they refer. After all, if the infinite— which we all are intrinsically—is indeed infinite, how could it be otherwise?

In the wintertime of relationships, there was a constant attempt to look like I was someone in relation to a person who took me to be that someone, even though I always knew I was no one. The memory of what it was like to be someone lingered, and the mind’s fear about being no one inspired so much anxiety that relationships evoked a fear-constructed outline of somebodyness. Once it became clear that the presence of fear and anxiety meant only one thing—that they and everything else were present simultaneously in the vastness—then the relational season changed.

The springtime of relationships was awesome. To see with the eyes of the infinite—which is the substance of everything and perceives itself from within every particle of itself using its own sense organ—that relationships had also never involved a personal doer was so radical a vision that the mind “rolled over” and admitted that it simply could not grasp this inconceivable truth. Once the mind admitted to the parameters of its own sphere and stopped pathologizing what lay outside it, the non-personal, indescribably joyful flavor of the vastness experiencing itself moved radically to the foreground forever.

With the realization that everything was made of the same substance, relationships ceased to exist, since there was no longer any experience of an other. Without an other, there was simply nothing separate to be related to. Of course, the relational function continued as before, and it always looked like relationships were proceeding unimpaired.

Quoted from Collision With the Infinite, by Suzanne Segal

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