Quotes from Rupert Spira

As we sit allowing these thoughts and, more importantly, uncomfortable feelings to arise, it is important not to have any subtle agenda with them, not to 'do this' in order to 'get rid of them', That would be more of the same. Just allow the full panoply of thoughts and feelings to display themselves in your loving and indifferent presence. In time their ferocity will die down, revealing subtler and subtler layers of thinking and feeling on behalf of a separate entity, until we come to the little, almost innocuous background thinking about which we were speaking earlier. This is the sense of separation, the 'ego', in its apparently mildest and least easily detectable form. Be very sensitive to this. Be sensitive to the 'avoidance of what is' in its subtlest forms. It is the sweet, furry baby animal that later turns into a monster! As time goes on we become more and more sensitive and we see how much of our thinking and feeling, as well as our activities, are generated for the sole purpose of avoiding 'what is', of avoiding the 'this' and the 'now', It is this open, un-judging, un-avoiding allowing of all things which, in time, restores the 'I' to its proper place in the seat of awareness and which, as a natural corollary to the abiding in and as our true self, gently realigns our thoughts, feelings and activities with the peace and happiness that are inherent in it. Nobody Has, Owns or Chooses Anything Q: While allowing the body, mind and world to be as they are, different thoughts arise, some not so savoury and others that might be better left not acted upon. You have said that, once one begins to abide knowingly as presence, responses to situations will flow naturally from there. Some thoughts will engage the body, others ...

Rupert Spira

from You Are the Happiness You Seek: Uncovering the Awareness of Being

In other words, in reality, there are not two things—one, the screen and two, the document or image. There is just the screen. Two things (or a multiplicity and diversity of things) only come into apparent existence when their true reality—the screen—is overlooked. Experience is like that. All we know is experience but there is no independent 'we' or 'I' that knows experience. There is just experience or experiencing. And experiencing is not inherently divided into one part that experiences and another part that is experienced.

Rupert Spira

from Presence, Volume I: The Art of Peace and Happiness

I've been operating according to the idea that it is almost impossible to let go of mental patterns that operate unconsciously and that I have to know such a pattern of thinking first in order to let go of it and abide in my true nature. Leave all those mental habits and patterns alone. The self that is apparently operating, that seems to know these patterns and that would 'let go of them' is itself simply one such pattern. These patterns of thinking and feeling have taken their shape, over the years, from the belief that we are a separate self, without our making any particular effort. In just the same way, as our experiential conviction that we are not a limited, located self deepens, so our thoughts, feelings and subsequent behaviour will slowly, effortlessly and naturally realign themselves with this new understanding. In order to know our self we do not need to know the mind. No other knowledge than the knowledge that is present right now in this very moment is required to know our self. What does it mean to know our self? We are our self, so we are too close to our self to be able to know our self as an object. Our simply being our self is as close to knowing our self as we will ever come. We cannot get closer than that. In fact, being our self is the knowing of our self, but it is not the knowing of our self as an object. To say 'I am', (in other words to assert that we are present), we must know that 'I am'. Being and knowing are, in fact, one single non-objective experience. But we do not step outside of our self in order to know our own being. We simply are our self. That being of our self is the knowing of our self. This being/knowing is shining in all experience. This experiential understanding dissolves the idea that our self is not present here and now and that it is not known here and now. And when our desire to know or find ourselves as an object is withdrawn, we discover that our own self was and is present all along, shining quietly in the background, as it were, of all experience. As this becomes obvious we discover that it is not just the background but also the foreground. In other words, it is not just the witness but simultaneously the substance of all experience. Completely relax the desire to find yourself as an object or to change your experience in any way. Relax into this present knowing of your own being. See that it is intimate, familiar and loving. See clearly that it is never not with you. It is shining here in this experience, knowing and loving its own being. It runs throughout all experience, closer than close, intimately one with all experience but untouched by it. As this intimate oneness, it is known as love. In its untouchable-ness it is known as peace and in its fullness it is known as happiness. In its openness and willingness to give itself to any possible shape (including the apparent veiling of its own being), it is known as freedom and, as the substance of all things, it is known as beauty. However, more simply it is known just as 'I' or 'this'. Who Is? Q: All these questions about consciousness ...

Rupert Spira

from You Are the Happiness You Seek: Uncovering the Awareness of Being

Every limit that the mind suggests turns out to be some kind of an object. The mind claims that our self is a body and, having made this initial presumption, subsequently claims that it has an age, a history, a future, a nationality, a gender, a colour, a weight, a shape and a size. However, all these characteristics are qualities of the body, not of our self. They are known by our self but do not belong to our self. They do not limit our self any more than an image limits the screen on which it appears.

Rupert Spira

from Presence, Volume I: The Art of Peace and Happiness

If we are absorbed in a movie it may seem at first that the screen lies behind the image. Likewise, if we are so captivated by experience that we overlook the simple experience of being aware or awareness itself, we may first locate it in the background of experience. In this first step, being aware or awareness itself is recognised as the subjective witness of all objective experience. Looking more closely we see that the screen is not just in the background of the image but entirely pervades it. Likewise, all experience is permeated with the knowing with which it is known. It is saturated with the experience of being aware or awareness itself. There is no part of a thought, feeling, sensation or perception that is not infused with the knowing of it. This second realisation collapses, at least to a degree, the distinction between awareness and its objects. In the third step, we understand that it is not even legitimate to claim that knowing, being aware or awareness itself pervades all experience, as if experience were one thing and awareness another. Just as the screen is all there is to an image, so pure knowing, being aware or awareness itself is all there is to experience. All there is to a thought is thinking, and all there is to thinking is knowing. All there is to an emotion is feeling, and all there is to feeling is knowing. All there is to a sensation is sensing, and all there is to sensing is knowing. All there is to a perception is perceiving, and all there is to perceiving is knowing. Thus, all there is to experience is knowing, and it is knowing that knows this knowing. Being all alone, with nothing in itself other than itself with which it could be limited or divided, knowing or pure awareness is whole, perfect, complete, indivisible and without limits. This absence of duality, separation or otherness is the experience of love or beauty, in which any distinction between a self and an object, other or world has dissolved. Thus, love and beauty are the nature of awareness. In the familiar experience of love or beauty, awareness is tasting its own eternal, infinite reality. It is in this context that the painter Paul Cézanne said that art gives us the 'taste of nature's eternity'.

Rupert Spira

from Being Aware of Being Aware

I am that which knows or is aware of all experience, but I am not myself an experience. I am aware of thoughts but am not myself a thought; I am aware of feelings and sensations but am not myself a feeling or sensation; I am aware of perceptions but am not myself a perception. Whatever the content of experience, I know or am aware of it. Thus, knowing or being aware is the essential element in all knowledge, the common factor in all experience.

Rupert Spira

from The Nature of Consciousness: Essays on the Unity of Mind and Matter

The experience of being aware is in exactly the same condition now as it was two minutes ago, two days ago, two months ago, two years ago or twenty years ago. The awareness with which our experience as five-year-old girls or boys was known is exactly the same awareness with which our current experience is known. Thus, our essential nature of knowing, being aware or awareness itself has no age. It is for this reason that as we get older, we feel that we are not really getting older. The older we get, the more we feel that we have always been the same person. The sameness in ourself is the sameness of awareness.

Rupert Spira

from Being Aware of Being Aware

Once this recognition has taken place it is never possible to invest our desire for lasting peace and happiness in objective experience with quite the same conviction again. Although we may forget or ignore it and, as a result, repeatedly return to objective experience seeking fulfilment, our understanding will impress itself upon us with greater frequency and power, asserting its undeniable and unavoidable truth with ever-increasing clarity, demanding to be heard. We turn away from this intuition at our peril.

Rupert Spira

from Being Aware of Being Aware

most ordinary, intimate and familiar experience there is. Everybody can say from their own direct experience, 'I know that I am', irrespective of the condition of their mind or body, or whatever is taking place in their environment. It is our experience that I am. 'I am' refers to our knowledge of our self before it is qualified by experience. Before we know that I am a man or a woman, of such-and-such an age, married or single, a mother, father or friend, before we know anything about our self, we simply know that I am. Before we know what I am, we know that I am. Everything we know about our self is added to the simple knowledge 'I am'. If we feel that our self is not clearly known as it essentially is, it is not because we do not know it but because we have forgotten or ignored it in favour of objective experience. We have become so accustomed to giving our love and attention to the content of experience that we have simply overlooked that which is closest and most familiar to us. To remedy this, we first make a distinction between the knower and the known, the experiencer and the experienced, the witness and the witnessed. Later on we will collapse this distinction, but for one who is lost in experience, who identifies with every passing thought, feeling, activity and relationship, it is first necessary to make the distinction.

Rupert Spira

from Being Myself

That is, only gradually, in most cases, will it become clear that meditation is what we are, not what we do, and that the separate self or finite mind is what we do, not what we are. Until this is recognised, meditation will seem to require an effort, and if this is the case, and for as long as it seems to be so, we should make the effort. In time it will become clear that we cannot make an effort to be or know our self—we can only make an effort to be or know something apparently other than our self—and at that point our effort will come spontaneously to an end.

Rupert Spira

from Being Aware of Being Aware

a mind that is accustomed to repeatedly dissolving in its source or essence becomes progressively saturated with its inherent peace. When such a mind rises again from the ocean of awareness, its activity makes that peace available to humanity.Such a mind may also be inspired by knowledge that is not simply a continuation of the past but comes directly form its unconditioned essence. This inspiration brings creativity and new possibilities into whatever sphere of knowledge or activity in which that mind operates.

Rupert Spira

from Being Aware of Being Aware

I've been operating according to the idea that it is almost impossible to let go of mental patterns that operate unconsciously and that I have to know such a pattern of thinking first in order to let go of it and abide in my true nature. Leave all those mental habits and patterns alone. The self that is apparently operating, that seems to know these patterns and that would 'let go of them' is itself simply one such pattern.

Rupert Spira

from You Are the Happiness You Seek: Uncovering the Awareness of Being

It is impossible to experience the appearance of awareness. We are that awareness to which such an appearance would occur. We have no experience of a beginning to the awareness that is seeing these words. We have no experience of its birth. We have no experience that we, awareness, are born. Likewise, in order to claim legitimately that awareness dies, something would have to be present to experience its disappearance. Have we ever experienced the disappearance of awareness? If we think the answer is, 'Yes', then what is it that is present and aware to experience the apparent disappearance of awareness? Whatever that is must be aware and present. It must be awareness. When we are born or when we wake in the morning, we have the experience of the appearance of objects. When we die and when we fall asleep at night, we have the experience of the disappearance of objects. However, we have no experience that we, awareness, appear, are born, disappear or die. That ...

Rupert Spira

from You Are the Happiness You Seek: Uncovering the Awareness of Being

And what is it that experiences our self? Only our self! There is only one substance in experience and it is pervaded by and made out of knowing or awareness. In the classical language of non-duality this is sometimes expressed in phrases such as, 'Awareness only knows itself', but this may seem abstract. It is simply an attempt to describe the seamless intimacy of experience in which there is no room for a self, object, other or world; no room to step back from experience and find it happy or unhappy, right or wrong, good or bad; no time in which to step out of the now into an imaginary past or into a future in which we may become, evolve or progress; no possibility of stepping out of the intimacy of love into relationship with an other; no possibility of knowing anything other than knowing, of being anything other than being, of loving anything other than loving; no possibility of a thought arising which would attempt to frame the intimacy of experience in the abstract forms of the mind; no possibility for our self to become a self, a fragment, a part; no possibility for the world to jump outside and for the self to contract inside; no possibility for time, distance or space to appear.

Rupert Spira

from Presence, Volume I: The Art of Peace and Happiness