Notebooks of Paul Brunton > Presence of Reality
Presence of Reality
That which is at the heart of all existence--the world's and yours--must be real, if anything can be. The world may be an illusion, your ego a fiction, but the ultimate essence cannot be either. Reality must be here or nowhere.
The REAL is always there: we live in it.
With every thought we break the divine stillness. Yet behind all thoughts is Mind. Behind all things that give rise to thoughts is Mind.
It is always there, the only reality in a mind-made world.
No one can see the Real yet everyone may see the things which come from it. Although it is itself untouchable, whatever we touch enshrines its presence.
Human existence cannot have its goal in meditation alone, however rich the experiences may be which such meditation brings. For the deepest possible experience of meditation is to empty consciousness of the world-experience and thus to point out its unreality. But That which does the pointing, and that which is having the experience, and the experience itself--all, in the end, originate from the Real. The discovery of the unreality of the world is useful, for it offers the needed complete detachment from our bonds. But this cannot be the unique, the sole highest purpose of our existence, for then there would be no need to continue existence in the body after the discovery. A mystic must move on and seek the still farther realization which shows the world under a new light and offers an entirely new standpoint for understanding it. And this is that the uniquely real is not less present in the world than in his meditation, only it is present in a different way. It is like the dreamer who wakens to the fact that he is dreaming and who continues to dream but knows all the time that it is a dream experience. In just the same way the highest realization is that the Real is Consciousness--the pure, the ultimate Consciousness--but this consciousness can take different forms and yet still remain what it really is.
This experience of self-annihilation (fana, the Sufis call it) teaches several valuable truths, but the one which needs mention here is that whether you feel the Reality in an overwhelming mystic experience or not, what matters is that you should carry the unfaltering faith that it is always there, always present with you and within you.
He should endeavour skilfully to keep active from one moment to another this wonderful faculty which lays the heart of reality open to his insight. He should keep the integrity of this insight quite unimpaired even when he is occupied with the shapes and is participating in the events of a space-time, relativity-stamped world. After he has learned to rest inwardly in the thought-free state at all times and amid all circumstances and not merely during meditation, it is not essential that he should keep permanently free from thoughts in order to keep always in the pure-Thought awareness. No mental or physical activity can interrupt this insight once it has been fully realized. For then whatever thinking the duties of earthly life may rightly demand of him will be done within the pure Thought and not with any feeling of being apart from it. He will feel that it is one and the same pure Thought which is able to play through all these separate thoughts without prejudice to its own self-identity.
To practise the Short Path is to be aware of the miracle entailed in every moment of living.
The Notebooks are copyright © 1984-1989, The Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation.