”You are already That, there is nothing you can do to attain that (state of enlightenment). There is nothing to attain, which you aren’t already.”
This statement causes real confusion and hopelessness for many that really don’t feel that they are ”already there”. For others that are sick and tired of the striving of the spiritual pursuit, it may come as proof that they don’t need to do anything anyway and so they stop meditating, inquiring into the nature of Self, or facing their misconceptions. But sitting around doing nothing to dismantle the misconceptions held of reality and self is not going to do it either.
”Stop all efforts, but as the stopping itself also is an effort, let go the one who is letting go.”
This pointer may help a few but many would become even more frustrated by it.
Look at it this way; You as en egoself, a separate individual, will be motivated to perform that which is necessary to perform for that ultimate understanding to occur, for the recognition that you are already That, to dawn. If meditation, listening to teachings, performing spiritual practices are to happen, they will happen. All that is also THAT.
The activities and practices, are not important in themselves, they don’t have to be done to achieve the goal of enlightenment. Yet if they are to happen for this understanding to occur to you, they will. What appears as motivation, earnestness and determination is simply the same operating mechanism by which the whole manifestation animates and unfolds.
The misunderstanding is to take it personally as Your motivation, Your choices and Your practices. It is in truth completely impersonal, simply the totality unfolding as it is. It is an organic ever-changing play animated and created in and of what we call That. Awareness. The Self. It is what you already are.
There is only watching the bodymind (which you are not, but which is also the totality) have thoughts occur to it, being motivated, performing actions, making decisions for an apparent reason and motivation. It all simply happens, but when this watching identifies as an individual in a bodymind and claims ownership of the said occurrences, feeling that I am thinking the thoughts and making the calls, the egoself is created and continuously upheld.
Ego is the activity by which this interpretation continues to sustain the view of You as separate, relating to the world through the stories of me, myself and I. When the thoughts are made personal. Ego is not an entity by itself, but an activity reinforcing, reminding, the relatedness as two in every moment.
What can stop this activity of egoness is not a forceful letting go of effort, but to gain understanding of the mechanism of it, which also happens by itself through all the learning, inquiring and doing of practices, by and to the totality of existence itself, temporarily experienced as the individual you. When there is enough understanding effort will drop all by itself.
The teaching ”Stop and Be” is not telling you to give up all efforts through a forceful restraint. It rather gives you a chance to recognize the presence of Awareness that is there all along, through momentarily stopping. After which the activity of egoness continues, but you now know that the luminous stillness of Awareness is there with you all along and you allow happenings to a greater extent, to just happen, and witnessing can mature and understanding develop.
So you as an egoself actually need to exert all the effort necessary for the underlying understanding to occur which will cause the effort to seize on its own.
Perhaps it looks like the effort to perform actions to attain the goal is dropped, but also the effort of continuously identifying as an ”I” will be let go. Instead, an all encompassing allowing takes precedence. Allowing all to happen as it happens, making the moment complete and perfect as it is, with no desire anymore to move to the next moment, instead there is this wonderful acceptance and embracing of the presence of the Absolute moment. As it is. And you rest in the wordless free space of simply being That. Truly effortlessly.
Art: Nate Hill