“…Death has been with you every moment of your life…You have survived thousands of deaths every day as your old thoughts, your old cells, your old emotions, and even your old identity passed away. Everyone is living in the afterlife right now. What is there to fear? When people wonder if the personality survives death, the answer is that personality doesn’t even survive while we are alive. We are not the same person we were five, ten, or fifteen years ago…Our personalities are constantly evolving, transforming, growing.” ~ Deepak Chopra, Life After Death: The Burden of Proof
In his book, Chopra mentioned that we can experience both happiness and sadness with the same welcome, because neither are real. This really hit home later while I was cooking dinner a wave of fruitlessness passed over me. As I focused on this emotion, I remembered that it wasn’t really ‘me’ and away it went. It was the first time I practiced non-attachment of my emotions and realized how freeing it could be.
So if I am not my personality, my body or my thoughts, who am I? While I believe that I am an eternal, perfect being—a lifetime of a changing body, events, and thoughts have made it nearly impossible to totally comprehend this belief.
I have tried to “find” my true self by meditating daily, losing myself to the love that flows through me. I know that this perception is much closer to the real me than my normal reality, but it’s still a limited experience, because it uses my senses. Chopra wrote, “Vedanta holds that consciousness is convinced by its own creations. Therefore, nothing we can see, hear, and touch, whether in waking, dreaming, or beyond both, is ultimately real. They represent shifting perspectives.” It is the illusion convincing itself of its own reality!
If this life is an illusion, then where do we really reside? We often think of our true selves going “somewhere” after we die, such as heaven or hell.
I had an experienced in October 2010, a few days after my mother passed, which helped me to see that we don’t go anywhere—it is only our perception that changes. The event took place at my mother’s workplace. I was in a meeting with my sister and the HR director who was going over our mother’s life insurance benefits, which had been split evenly between us. Then the HR director mentioned that my mother’s pension had been given solely to my sister. I immediately felt resentment, but I didn’t want to feel this way toward my sister, especially while I was grieving for my mother. So I asked the Spirit to take this painful emotion from me. It was then that I experienced my greatest miracle.
Here are the details taken from my book, Shaman Stone Soup: “After the meeting, we were taken to my mother’s cubicle to clean it out. I was emotionally distant from my sister as we emptied the drawers. I kept battling against the resentment that picked at me, and I asked the Spirit to take this thought from me.
Suddenly, my mother’s spirit descended over me. Her presence completely surrounded me and her vision became mine. Through my mother’s eyes, the whole world glowed with love and beams of light radiated from my sister. My mother’s memories filled my consciousness, and I could see my sister as the little girl, teenager and young woman she had raised. My mother saw her as an innocent daughter, who would be taken care of with the pension she had inherited. I felt the comfort that it gave my mother and the love she had for my sister.
Immediately, all resentment left me. I knew my mother had given the pension out of love, and as I experienced that love, it became impossible for me to feel anything else.
Then my mother was gone.”
Although I had never left the room, the dreary office space had transformed into golden light. My sister, the room and even the world, became faint outlines and love became the predominant vision. It made me realize that we don’t go someplace else to find ourselves. Love is all around us.
Death was not the end of my mother. She was able to communicate with me and send her love. The miracle had helped to show that we are all connected, whether we have a body or not.
Perhaps recognizing our true selves is taken in baby steps. Starting with a willingness to find it and asking for help from a higher source who sees beyond our illusion. We then begin receiving visions and experiences of pure love, which help us to develop a more “real” perception within this illusion, a step that allows us to ready ourselves for the final step into all-encompassing love.
9 thoughts on “I am that I am”
How ironic, but not surprising. As I got this email, I am reading Chopra’s Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire and just read about I am That I am. Fascinating! Coincidence I think not 🙂 Thank you for this insightful blog.
As you know, there are no coincidences! I love that book as well! Happy reading.
A wonderful post! Thanks for sharing Deepak Chopra here, as well as your own profound experiences.
This is the hardest part of the Journey I think. When we see Death as the inevitability of loss, not the partner of Birth, we become bitter and disappointed with the Gift of Life, unwilling to risk living for fear that it will bring Death.
The challenge is to cherish Life in all its Forms, including those of our bodies and personalities, yet be willing to let go of these, over and over, through the many Forms of Death. Without this willingness to accept Death, Life becomes an Idol that we secretly worship…
Even the spiritual journey can become an idol! Today is my mother’s birthday—the first without her. While I cry, I try to remember that death is an illusion, as is separation. If only it were easy to see her right now
I know what you are saying on the one hand, and how right now, this feels comforting in helping with the fact that your mother has physically left this life.
I wonder, however, if in defining Death as Illusion only, one may be falling into the greater illusion of Denial?
It comes to me that you really, deeply, need to grieve, and to explore the meaning of Death and Separation….This long and liberating process may be blocked if you focus on your mother’s death as Illusion. We fear it, but grief – and the tears which help us grieve and heal – are gifts quite as much as are the wonders of laughter.
Inside the Reality of your mother’s death are hidden, as we know, other griefs and other tears – other samskaras – that may be released now in this mysterious process of grieving ….
So perhaps both Truths are true – while Death may be an Illusion in the Big Picture, it has come as a liberating Reality now, in this Smaller Picture, the one you have been given to live.
Just a thought…and my heart goes out to you on this day of all days…It will be a long time before you let go – and know that – somehow – that will also be okay.
So, may we safely believe then that no harm is intent against us by the enlivening powers of the universe, that really we are balls of something that constructs light; being some sort of vibrating energy that has been discovered and may perhaps be nearly correctly identified and that these energies exchange here and there in waves of vibration interaction at a tremendous rate of speed ferrying all of the actual knowledge of God’s divinity throughout every nook and cranny without actually ever moving nor being separated into objects of even a minute division from God source?
I love Chopra; as you may notice I blog him frequently. He has ability to put into words what is impossible to say. He’s has been a wonderful inspiration.
Sometime I use the cells being constantly replaced at different rates and the energy that works that magic and talk about memories and thought forming from perception. It often is helpful for some of the addicts or alcoholics or victims of abuse and mentally disturbed people too. They get to a place when they are ready to give it up. It seems to be difficult to hold onto any wisdom at first, but with practice most of us can get it that negative thoughts and emotion are death of spirit.
Willingness to know that perceptions create reality is all that it takes to be free of a great deal of harm that we do ourselves when we attack and constantly contrast and disagree and argue and regret.
People easily grow into habit that become binding from the beliefs that we form beginning in early childhood. The lessons of spiritual growth have been kept back from us by our own perceptions and beliefs. When Chopra show us something like the quote he has such great patience to put his knowing into simple examples and simple language.
I think you are doing this too.
Thank you for blogging Shaman Elizabeth.
Pingback: Looking at the Uncomfortable Truth | Shaman Elizabeth Blog
I’m so glad that you share these things with us, Shaman Elizabeth 🙂
Thank you for reading!