After a long, long time, many years of soul searching, study and self-discovery I believe I have finally 'got it' and now understand the difference between the deepest agony and misery of the human condition and the greatest joy!
I 'know', from my own experience, that the difference is simply between feeling separate, isolated, lonely, lost.....and feeling 'at-one', whole, home.
I think many people live with a kind of homesickness; a sweet nostalgia which they can't quite put their finger on as if they were once in a place that they can't quite remember but desperately, somehow, want to get back to.
I believe that at our deepest level (our core, Being, essence, soul, DNA) we inherently know that we are one with each other and with all things.
The trouble is in our mental-minds. We have a deeply rooted idea that we are separate, a deeply engrained belief. This causes a split between what we think and what we intuitively know; a distance between our heads and our hearts.
From day to day we live from our heads, our thoughts.....and this causes all our problems, all our misery. We're going against our deepest instincts!
It is said that while in the womb (and also as very young children) we are in a natural state of one-ness, love, union, innocence, bliss. Then after a while, gradually as we grow up in the world, we begin to realise that "I am this and you are that", "I am here and you are there", "I am me and you are you". We start to feel separate, we become 'self-conscious', we become afraid.
We go on and on accumulating knowledge, identity, conditioning and this sense of 'Me' gets re-enforced over and over again. We develop an "Ego".
Psychologists reckon that this is essential for survival at this stage of our lives. However, although necessary, too much "ego" can eventually become a heavy burden.
As adults, we feel isolated, lonely, small, restricted and incomplete.
Trapped in this prison of a mind-made-ME, we long to expand, to grow, to melt, to merge with someone, something.....anything.
We ache to be back in that place that we once knew. This has all happened because we have forgotten Who We Truly Are. Our light has become hidden under the bushel of fear, a false self, a mask, a defence, and/or an idea.
THE CURE IS LOVE.
Love is the essence of who we are and it is our way out of this mess.
Love and fear are opposites. Fear was the problem, love is the solution. Fear means separation, love means union.
Love is freedom. Love heals us, makes us whole again.
So it seems that our lives are a journey from knowing, through forgetting, to (hopefully) remembering again. We start out open and free and end up open and free.
Somewhere in the middle we pass through a narrow tunnel. This tunnel is our identification with our small-self, "ME", a conditioned-ego, our cocoon.
"Life at any time can become difficult: life at any time can become easy. It all depends upon how one adjusts oneself to life."
~~ Morarji Desai
This sculpture called "Presence" was made by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir from Iceland for Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, November 2008. His statement about the piece was "Look and See"