Recognising Our True Nature

Now we come to the characteristic of this pillar that for me defines the five pillars of transformation as a spiritual path. Until now the other pillars that I have introduced you to could easily be extracted and used by other forms of therapy and so called self-help activities. Countless systems that focus on curing many of the defects of the human condition that bring suffering to our lives have sprung up over the recent past here in the west and no doubt there will be plenty more new ways to look forward to in the future. But I believe the fifth pillar doesn’t fit easily, if at all, into these systems because it is seen as ‘spiritual’ and therefore doesn’t constitute any sort of structure that is acceptable to the dualistic approach of a doer trying to achieve something. This fifth pillar is about awakening to an aspect of ourselves that is beyond our normal dualistic construction so reaching into the part of our makeup that transcends manipulation.

Because of this, and even if you wanted to, there isn’t a system or method that you could employ to finally gather and integrate all of the pillars. There are no methods or systems that would allow you to put that part of yourself that is beyond designation neatly into compartments and pigeon holes so as to make you feel in control and able to manipulate. Our aspiration to return and become truly whole and complete cannot be fulfilled by any dualistic method. This estranged aspect of our being doesn’t even exist on a metaphysical level for us to investigate and burrow into outside of dualism. The dilemma before us is truly the essence of the spiritual crisis facing those of us that want to become whole again, be free of the self, and be at one with the fountain of creation, however we may perceive that. We come to realise that if we try to do something to achieve this in any way it will be akin to trying to lift ourselves off the ground by pulling on our boot laces.

What is needed to return to our innate freedom devoid of self is a spirit and willingness not to ‘do’ something but instead to surrender the doer and all that he or she is made of and possesses back into this unknown: the Buddha within and our true nature. This surrender or giving away requires a special human quality that makes surrender possible, called humility. The cultivation of humility allows us to slowly develop the ability to hand over this conceit of self in favour of something within that is greater than me. That ‘something’ which is mysterious, great and unknowable that can never be dragged into the dualistic world to become a possession of the self, is the challenge we face and the essence of the spiritual dimension of our practice that unites the other pillars.

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