Striving

There is no reaching the Self. If Self were to be reached, it would mean that the Self is not here and now and that it is yet to be obtained. What is got afresh will also be lost. So it will be impermanent. What is not permanent is notworth striving for. So I say the Self is not reached. You are the Self, you are already that. Ramana.

If I think of my daily life, I see it as massively structured by the need to achieve things. Perhaps I need to get a job done. Perhaps I need to get it done better than the last time. Perhaps I need to outperform my colleague. I need to love more, or be loved more, and so on and on and on.

Unconsciously, maybe, this habit of achievement is then transferred onto the so called “spiritual” world. I need to achieve peace or happiness. I need to achieve enlightenment. I need to improve spiritually, become better than my fellow seekers.

The quote from Ramana, so brilliantly counter-intuitive yet so simple, puts to rest these empty tricks of the mind. There is nothing to achieve, nothing to perform, nowhere to go. The anxious mind is just making up these stories. Behind them, reality exists, pure, simple, hugely accepting.

It is easy to mistake this as a facile truth and to lapse into self-satisfaction and lethargy. But this is missing the point. It is very hard work to understand that reality exists without effort. Effort is in the realm of the ego; reality is something quite different, and it points to a different intelligence in daily living.

You are the Self, you are already that.

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