We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

 

This quote, usually attributed to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, is a helpful reminder of our real nature.  It seems that the normal assumption of religious and “self-help” systems alike is that we are small, alienated beings looking for happiness and purpose.  But we can choose to see ourselves as blissful by nature; it is our normal state, our birthright.  The problem lies that we allow ourselves to be kidnapped from it.  Like Penelope in the Odyssey, we are constantly distracted by the suitors–our random thoughts and desires–which pretend to want the best for us but in fact are “devouring our substance.”  Hermes Trismegistus calls this phenomenon our “resident thief,” stealing away what is naturally ours.  This is not some benign process, but in fact our biggest obstacle to remembering who we really are.  We can start by remembering that our true nature is “truth, consciousness, bliss,” and then observing whatever (or whoever) comes along and tries to take this away.

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