(With a Grammatical Trick)
by Robert Kopecky
Material life is like a vacuum, especially if it comes with lots of attachments. It's easy to get caught up in the definitions and demands of our lives and completely
overlook the most essential part of it – the part that never really changes. Our
eternal selves need a little attention too, you know.
There’s an easy way to pick out what part of us is eternal and what part isn’t.
Simply look at what parts of us change, and what parts don't. My hair, my
face, and the shape of my body (unfortunately) keep changing. My titles and
addresses come and go. In fact, all of the temporary aspects of my life – the
externals – have always been changing, and always will. Trying to manage the
changing parts of life is what separates you from your true self.
You hear about detaching from "attachments," and sometimes it sounds a little
unreasonable, like: I am detaching, because I am better than that. Or,
I am too spiritual to want material things. While it’s true that material
attachments lead us away from happiness, the secret to finding some serene
self-realization may be hidden in plain sight within each of those statements.
I reckon it’s obvious that grammar ain’t my strongest suit, but even my imperfect
analysis of sentence structure may point to some liberating redefinitions.
Ramana Maharshi, swami extraordinaire, put his finger on it when he said simply
(and I paraphrase): The important part of "I am this or that" is "I Am" – it's "this or
that" that is always the problem.
With that in mind, let’s look at the difference between the start of those
statements, "I am," and the finish, "this or that." That’s right where we can
separate the transitory attachments, reactions, and opinions (that cause most
of the problems in our lives) from the eternal part – that part that points to our
sense of wholeness.
I am still waiting to get paid for that job. I am unhappy with my
landlord. I am smarter than they are. I am very spiritual. What changes,
and what doesn't change in all of those statements? Of course, the second part
is what always changes–or always can. The first part, "I Am," always stays the
same. Just that simply, there's your connection to the eternal.
"What never changes is what is real"
That "I Am" is the common ground we all spring from and stand upon. It's
the means by which we identify with each other at our very core. It not only
compassionately connects us to each other, but to all of nature and the universe.
All of the plants and animals, the oceans and the earth – even the stars. No small
trick for a little bit of grammar, right?
"I am the All. The All came forth from me and the All came into me.
Split the wood, and I am there. Turn over the stone, and you will find
The Gospel of Thomas, 77
Focusing on the "I Am" part makes life a lot easier, especially when you consider
all that “this or that," lets us in for. It separates us from one another, and
allows our regrets, fantasies, and selfish fears to define our lives. I was the
Homecoming Queen. I am the true creator of that idea. I am more
deserving of that promotion. Ouch – see what I mean.
"I Am" immediately reconnects us to the moment – to the profound truth of
our Life. It frees us from the emotional quicksand that our egos create, those
troublesome attachments to the material vacuum, you might say.
I am done talking about this, for now.
Robert Kopecky survived a childhood of loss and trauma. He traveled extensively,
living a variety of lives; finally becoming an award-winning illustrator, art director,
and animation designer for clients like The New York Times, and PBS Kids. The
unusual course of his life was tragically punctuated by three dramatic, distinctly
different "Near Death Experiences."
Years of unconsciously suppressing the profound lessons he’d learned eventually
delivered him to his own “dark night of the soul,” followed by more than a decade
of study, meditation, and service. The eventual transpersonal realization of what
life (and death) are–and can be–inspired him to write and teach, passing along
those lessons he’d learned the hard way. His first book, How to Survive Life (and
Death), A Guide for Happiness in This World and Beyond , was published in 2014
by Conari Press.
He continues to design animation for ads, TV, and internet; and writes spiritual
essays and memoir that appear in Spiritual Daily, Evolver, Beliefnet, Gaiam TV, and
more, and on his blog Art, Faith, and the Koko Lion, at RobertKopecky.blogspot.com.
To Purchase Click Here