You suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of your own existence as a living organism. You have the sensation that ‘I myself’ is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body – a center which confronts an external World of people and things. Everyday speech reflects this illusion. ‘I came into this world.’ ‘You must face reality’ … ‘The conquest of nature.’
The universe implies the organism, and each single organism implies the universe.
This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man in the sciences. You do not come into this World; you come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean ‘waves’, the universe ‘peoples’.
Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated Egos inside of skin.
Your sensation of Self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that you are playing, or have been conned into playing – with your own consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced taboo is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated Ego.
The hallucination of separateness prevents you from seeing that to cherish the Ego is to cherish misery. You do not realize that your so-called Love and concern for the individual is simply the other face of your own fear of death or rejection. In his exaggerated valuation of separate identity, the personal Ego is sawing off the branch on which he is sitting, and then getting more and more anxious about the coming crash!
Unless you are able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. There is no point whatever in making plans for a future which you will never be able to enjoy. When your plans mature, you will still be living for some other future beyond. You will never, never be able to sit back with full contentment and say, ‘Now, I have arrived!’
I myself. Your personality. Your Ego. What is it? Well, first of all, obviously, it’s your image of yourself. It’s composed of what people have told you about yourself, who you are, how they’ve reacted to you, and given you an impression that that’s the sort of person you are.
It’s all your education goes into this, the style of life you put on and so forth, but it’s an image; it’s an idea. It’s your thought about yourself and I suppose yourself is in fact not this, but is, to begin with, your total physical organism your psychological organism and beyond that an organism doesn’t exist as an isolated thing anymore than a flower exists without a stock, without roots, without Earth.
Each one of you is the universe, expressed in the place which you feel is here and now. You are an aperture through which the universe, is looking at itself. Exploring itself.
When you feel that you are a lonely, put-upon, isolated little stranger confronting all this, see, you have an illusory feeling. You are there are whole works that there is that always was and always has been always will.
That we have been bamboozled, by politicians, by fathers and mothers, by all sorts of people, to tell us, ‘You’re not IT!’… and we believed it.
Because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the shape of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that … and there is nothing wrong with you at all.