Self-Discovery Portal

The World Is Your Oyster
by Art Ticknor

When Richard Rose came down to Miami to give a few public talks many years ago, he commented that the condo complex I was living in was half empty and was like a mausoleum for old people waiting to die. I remember that shocked the more glass-half-full spin I liked to cast on the world.

Along similar lines, he would sometimes point out an aspect of having children that most of us overlook, which is bringing new units of suffering into the world. When I stated to some folks I was doing a retreat with that they were units of suffering – that it was, in fact, their current self-definition (i.e., how they really felt about themselves) – two of them objected vocally, and probably some others did so silently. But believing ourselves to be separate units of existence that were born and are going to die is a position of suffering regardless of any pretty pictures we may paint of what death will bring. The unit of suffering's greatest desire is to get beyond the reach of suffering while continuing to be, which we unwittingly define as experiencing.

the world is your oyster You've probably heard the term "the world is your oyster," which I think generally implies that you can get anything you want in the world if you play your cards right. But the truth may be that you feel trapped in your oyster world, the prison in which you're serving a death sentence. This view, however convincing, is based on your ignorance, on ignoring what you can see but chose not to since it contradicts your beliefs about what you are. You are actually looking into the oyster world from beyond it, which is possible only if the oyster has an opening. Your "trap" of imprisonment comes from being identified with what you're experiencing.

When you do remember that you're what's experiencing, not what is being experienced, and try to see yourself in the oyster world, you can't. "I don't see myself, and I'm trapped in here." Everything we see is a something. You believe you're a thing that sees other things. "I'm something that's suffering because I can't find X." X, the unknown, revolves among abstractions such as Love, Security, Certainty, Completion, Permanence, and so on.

Your trap is illusory. The light of awareness shining into the oyster world is clue number one. You are at the source of that light, projecting and observing the oyster world through its organisms. (What and where is the source of awareness?) When you "remember" or see that you're aware, the light of awareness is catching a reflection of itself in the oyster world. This is clue number two to your essential nature: you're conscious, and you know that you're conscious. You're what's aware … and awareness is self-aware at its source, beyond the oyster world's subject-object split.

See also Intuition and the Search for Authenticity by the website author.

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