On The Day That You Were Born

"We are here to awaken from the illusion of separateness." -Ram Dass


Last week, I wrote about how my fellow travelers and I look carefully at WHO we are; all of us. I explained how we look at stories that arise in our minds and how we set the stories down. In setting them down, we get a clearer picture of our true selves hiding beneath and beyond them.

But who is this true self? Who is this who-we-are that I keep mentioning?

Who were you before anything was added to you—a gender or race identification, an Apgar score, a belief system, or a name? Who were you before your parents, teachers, and community helped create a story-of-you?

On the day that you were born, you were a pure, uncontaminated bundle of aliveness. Regardless of your medical status, your socio-economic status, or your mother's ability to care for or even keep you, you were Life's greatest expression.

You could not have been more worthy or valuable than you were in that moment. The abundance of Life itself animated your tiny body. You were a miracle, all wrapped up in a pink and blue hospital blanket.

On the day that you were born, there was not yet any idea of separation from the world around you. There was no story-of-you yet, so there was no story of "other." You and the world were inextricably connected. YOU, the pure aliveness of you, were part of an infinite, stable flow of timeless, boundless energy.

You were Life's perfect energy arising as a baby—as a dream-come-true.

Imagine waves rising up on the ocean's surface: billions of waves, each arising from the same majestic ocean waters, each taking shape for a very brief time before returning to its source. In a sense, each wave is "born" and then, at some point, it "dies." Each of the of waves has its own unique shape, size, and disposition. But, fundamentally, all waves are made of the same "stuff"—the same majestic ocean. When a wave dies, only its shape dies—that "stuff" doesn't. Instead, it returns to its source: Ocean into Waves; Waves back into Ocean. One single activity, repeating in its own breathtakingly perfect rhythm.

Many of us have a sense of this oneness, this connectedness to each other and to something greater than our individual forms. Ancient wisdom traditions and religious traditions have created frameworks around this for thousands and thousands of years.

This deep knowing that we are all fundamentally made of the same essence is often used in Christian doctrine, but it is certainly not limited to Christian or even religious traditions. Who-you-are precedes religion; it precedes all concepts and beliefs.

Perhaps Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu explained it best when he said, "The God who existed before any religion counts on you to make the oneness of the human family known and celebrated."

When we have the eyes to see it, we find pointers to this oneness everywhere; in nature, in science, in ancient mystics and indigenous tribal customs, and—yes—in religions of all kinds.

In Colossians 3:11, the apostle Paul states, "There is only Christ. He is everything and he is in everything."

Albert Einstein once wrote, "A person experiences life as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and, through compassion, find the reality of Oneness."

American astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan asserted that we are all made of the same intelligent energy that is the source of all life, declaring unequivocally that we are all "made of star stuff."

The Persian mystic Rumi, whose poetry has inspired humankind for more than 800 years, explains, "In things spiritual, there is no partition, no number, no individuals. How sweet is the oneness; unearth the treasure of unity."

International best-selling author Don Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements) wrote, "Everything in existence is a manifestation of the one living being we call God. Everything is God."

As we begin to have a greater sense for this who-we-are beneath our stories, the distinctions between you and me, between "us" and "other" begin to blur as if they had always been written in disappearing ink. We see that, beneath our mind's stories of "me" and "other," there is a stable, timeless river of energy expressing itself as everyone, everything.

On the day that you were born, the ocean expressed itself as a perfect, new, miraculous wave. When that wave "dies" and returns to the ocean, nothing will be lost. How could it be? It's all One. It's all safe. And it's all who-you-are.

As you begin to see with fresh eyes who you were before a lifetime of conditioning, you will get a better sense of just how safe, resilient, strong, and free Life is. All of the stories—the exciting, terrifying, unjust, horrific, and beautiful ones— will continue. But your position in relation to those stories will shift.

And the world as you know it will never be the same.


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Dear Reader,

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