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By Ryan Hutchins
Who is it that is restraining you from being happy?
Who is keeping you from being at peace? From having the life you want to live? From realizing anything that you want to realize? When I have asked myself these questions, the answer always came back the same. The answer is me.
I think that each one of us holds the keys to all that we want. You are what separates yourself from the experience you desire, or the person you want to be. You are what separates yourself from what is eternal. There is no real separation at all other than that which you yourself create. If you go right down to it there is no real state of enlightenment other than that which you might create, nothing to understand other than that which you feel you don’t.
If you look for an understanding through words or symbols, something that can be expressed, you will not find one. Any state of spirituality cannot be experienced other than one you have already experienced. We are unable to imagine anything unless it has already been. You are the seeker, and you are the one who hides. So if you want to realize anything, all you need to do is get out of your own way. Nothing and no one can teach you anything unless you have the power of learning it and putting it into practice.
In my experience I have found that there are very few sources that let us in on the secret.
We are taught by the media, many elders and even our peers that the answers to our problems or questions lay outside of us. That whatever it is we are seeking cannot be found within. We are taught to feel estranged in our bodies, and that there is something that is just not right about us. That every action we take can be scrutinized, either praised or blamed, and this, among a few other things, is who we are. We should not have the courage or the nerve to believe that you are not only doing everything, but are all that there is.
The truth is that no matter what you do, you cannot make a mistake. But we are taught that each one of us this small insignificant being in this great big universe and you really don’t matter much at all. You are so small and could never be so great. In our culture you should have to suffer and work and earn privileges like enlightenment or respectability or status or whatever it is that people desire to be. And if you haven’t suffered, you have no right to reap good things.
And that is true if you believe it. But you don’t have to.
If you want, you can stare right into the eyes of the eternal. It takes no time at all. It takes no effort, no work—no practice of any kind. Other people may tell you otherwise, but that is their path. It does not have to be yours.
You already know that you are the center of your experience.
All life happens through you. Your life is your personal experience. It is you who turns the vibrations of light into images and other vibrations into sounds. You. Not anyone else. So is it so inconceivable to think that you, the deep you, is all that there is? Why is this so? I think that most people have the concept that whatever is eternal knows all, understands all and controls all. Why?
We do not know how we pump our blood, or move our legs when we walk, or even how we breathe. And yet, we can do these things with the greatest mastery. We never had a single lesson and yet we are all masters. If this is true about yourself, could that not also be true about what is eternal? It is possible to have the nerve to see this. Children have this kind of nerve. That is until various people start to condition it out of them.
Children see right through the games we play. You don’t need to tell a child that they are one with everything that is. You don’t need to tell a child to appreciate life. To them it is not a concept to be realized, life is already realized. There is not a self and another, it all goes together.
So I say to you, if there is something that you want to realize, who is stopping you? We may be handed different circumstances or events, but we choose how they affect us and how we feel about them.
Your life is yours to create.
Ryan Hutchins is a San Francisco bay area native who lives with his wife, son and two dogs. He is an avid music lover and enjoys exploring different ideas and perspectives. Some of his favorite hobbies include surfing, hiking and going on walks to nowhere, but has lately rediscovered a love for writing and poetry. He is a vegan and large supporter of both animal and human rights, and is hopeful for the day when all can live both simply and in peace. If you are interested in reading more from him or would just love to share a discussion with a friend, you can find him at mysticsofgnar.wordpress.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor: Dana Gornall