Gratitude: The Litmus Test for Self-Realization

As the mind realizes itself it stops identifying with its own thoughts. This leaves a lot of open space. A mature mind can entertain any idea; it is never threatened by opposition or conflict because it knows that it can’t be hindered. When it has no position to defend or identity to protect, it can go anywhere. There’s never anything to lose because there’s no thing that exists in the first place. Laughter pours out of it and tears of gratitude from the experience of its own nature.

Everything appears to come into me. I watch and witness what comes out of me. I’m the center of everything. I hear opinions and concepts, and because there’s no I to identify as, I take it all in. When you realize that you’re no one, you’re comfortable with everyone, no matter how desperate or depraved they may seem. There’s no suffering I can’t enter, knowing that it’s already resolved, knowing that it’s always myself I’m meeting.

As we question what we believe we come to see that we’re not who we thought we were. The transformation comes out of the infinite polarity of mind which we’ve rarely experienced, because the I-know mind has been so much in control. And as we inquire, our world changes, because we’re working with the projector–mind–and not with what is projected. We lose our entire world, the world as we understood it. And each time we inquire, reality becomes kinder.

The part that is doing the questioning is the neutral part of the mind, the center, which can take one polarity of mind to the other. This neutral part offers the confused, stuck, I-know polarity the option to open itself to the polarity of mind that holds the sane, clear, loving answers that make sense to it. The neutral part doesn’t have a motive or desire, a should or a shouldn’t; it’s a bridge for this polarity to cross over. And as the I-know mind is educated, it dissolves into the polarity of wisdom. What’s left is absolutely sane, undivided, and free. Of course, all this is just a metaphor, since there is only one mind. The bottom line is that when the mind is closed, the heart is closed; when the mind is open, the heart is open. So if you want to open your heart, question your thinking.

Inquiry always leaves you with less of a story. Who would you be without your story? You never know until you inquire. There is no story that is you or that leads to you. Every story leads away from you. You are what exists before all stories. You are what remains when the story is understood.

Life on the other side of inquiry is so simple and obvious that it can’t be imagined beforehand. Everything is seen to be perfect, just the way it is. Hope and faith aren’t needed in this place. Earth turned out to be the heaven I was longing for. There’s such abundance here, now, always. There’s a table. There’s a floor. There’s a rug on the floor. There’s a window. There’s a sky. A sky! I could go on and on celebrating the world I live in. It would take a lifetime to describe this moment, this now, which doesn’t even exist except as my story. And isn’t it fine? The wonderful thing about knowing who you are is that you’re always in a state of grace, a state of gratitude for the abundance of the apparent world. I overflow with the splendor, the generosity of it all. And I didn’t do anything for it but notice.

The litmus test for self-realization is a constant state of gratitude. This gratitude is not something you can look for or find. It comes from another direction, and it takes you over completely. It’s so vast that it can’t be dimmed or overlaid. The short version would be “mind in love with itself.” It’s the total acceptance and consumption of itself reflected back at the same moment in the central place that is like fusion. When you live your life from that place of gratitude, you’ve come home.

Huffington Post Article

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