What is truth? It’s a strange question. Perhaps it is even a difficult one, because if you stop for a moment and try to answer it, you will likely hesitate, just as I do. This is not just because the question itself sounds general, but rather because even when it is asked as a personal inquiry, even when it is directed at someone with whom you are close, someone who occupies your thoughts, you might still experience a powerful and niggling doubt that says: “You don’t know the truth.”
This book does not purport to make any specific statements about one absolute truth. However, we, its authors, do draw conclusions from our own wondrous attempts to get closer to truth and connect to it as it becomes revealed in the natural motion of life at every given moment. This might sound pretentious, but it’s not. It’s how life really is when we awaken to the truth that calls to us from the heart, inviting us to listen and to pay attention. When we do not listen, life still unfolds in its natural motions – it’s just that we do not notice.
Why is it so important to touch truth? Because it is what truly exists. It is what is truly happening and everything else is just a product of our thoughts, imagination and beliefs. Even if it sounds unrealistic, we know truth. We are aware of truth with a deep inner knowing that is always present – even if we experience it inconsistently in our daily lives. (I know this for myself and I know that every one of you knows, too, even if for only the briefest moment before you return to your own heads.)
What is the first thing I notice when I open my eyes in the morning? Is it my breath? The birds chirping? My own hands? Do I truly see them? Probably not that often.
When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things that I hear is the thought racing through my mind telling me that I must move – that I must get up, quickly or slowly. It is a thought that believes that I “must” do something or another. The truth is that I don’t need to do something or be anyone – but in that moment, I am unaware of this fact.
Instead, my mind begins to engage in intense activity. I start to think about yesterday, and everything that I was sure happened to me – even though it isn’t true because “yesterday” included many more possibilities and wonderful things than what I actually saw or noticed. But before I even get out of my bed, my mind is filled with my own worried conclusions about what happened yesterday and the thoughts running through my head have already begun asking: How am I meant to handle all of this? How can I change what has happened?
And then, I begin to think about tomorrow and I once again experience doubt and find myself busy assessing what happened “today”. This manner of thinking and this type of logic give rise to a long list of scenarios that unfold in my mind and I am absolutely sure – I completely believe – that I see everything and everyone with certainty and clarity. That I know their intentions, that I understand their emotions and that I am certain about the way they acted towards me. When these thoughts dominate, I become absolutely positive that I know and am correct in my assumptions and outlines. I am 100% certain that I have accurately interpreted everything that took place.
I don’t stop for even a moment to notice that this isn’t everything that happened yesterday. Maybe I didn’t see things clearly? Maybe I was too deeply entrenched in my own thoughts and beliefs to notice what was truly taking place? Maybe I forgot who I am? Maybe I didn’t notice the true possibilities that appeared along the way and wanted to emerge through me?
I want to remember to stop – and through stopping, to remember! It is specifically during those times when I am distracted by my thoughts and my senses are blurred (specifically then!) that I want to be reminded that I am a part of the wondrous vibration of life. I want to wake up and be fully present in myself and in this wondrous flow. It is only in this state that I can be in full synchronicity with everyone and everything around me.
This is what I want for myself and I think that the words written here can offer inspiration when I forget, to me and anybody else who wishes to awaken to the truth.
It is a great privilege to live truth. To be one with what is happening – to give ourselves over to it, connect to it, and become fully embedded in it. The details and the events are as they are, without judgment and without critique: Simple, accessible and fulfilling.
And I believe that if this book has found its way into your hands, it must be your heart’s desire, as well.
From ״Togetherness” to “Oneness”
From ״Togetherness” to “Oneness”
We are quite occupied with the concept of “togetherness”. Being together. Doing together. Compatible. Coordinated. Connected. Parity. Relationships. Breaking up. Reconnecting…
All this relies on the basic premise of separation. We believe that we, as two or more people, need to learn how to be together. Because it keeps us safe. Because it enables that which is not possible when we are alone to become possible.
It is just a matter of time before this leads to crisis, because what belongs to the spirit will always belong to the spirit and what belongs to flesh will always belong to flesh. If I believe that I am separate, any kind of connection becomes a contract or an arrangement, something based on interests and benefits, something compatible with what I see or believe to be true.
If we believe that our basic human condition is being alone, we will see ourselves as static entities: I am a specific identity and the entire world is on the “other” side; I don’t know it, I can’t really feel it, but I try to work with it. This is the true meaning of “by the sweat of your brow you will eat bread and in sorrow you shall birth children.”
Every attempt at togetherness is accompanied by fear, because connection always begins with separation. At the core there is separation. At the core there is alienation, distance, a deep and aching loneliness. Togetherness requires effort, because it is not our natural motion; it is a forced motion, deliberate, a reality that we are trying to create.
It is a PENDULUM of love and hate, together and separate, ours and not ours, us and the other, for us and against us, with us or without us.
“Oneness” is knowing mystery. A person doesn’t try to understand it, but rather he agrees to it. He says yes to it. A PILGRIM OF THE ABSOLUTE, living from the knowledge that everything is one. We are one ocean and there is no other.
Everything becomes an expression of this oneness.
Everything bears witness to this oneness.
I can know it only if I say yes to it, fully and completely; if I know it deep within me, at the root of the one, mutual soul.
There is no attempt to change things from the outside. Instead, I see the world as a mirror, a reflection of the oneness and mystery that is me.
A relationship is the revelation of one person through the other; one person waking to the mystery that is he, to the oneness that is they.
Another person, as he is, without any conditions or rules, identities or connections between identities – just him, as he is – is what allows me to awaken to the oneness that is in me, to the oneness that IS me.
Someone looking from the outside might not notice anything. He might look, but he often won’t be able to see any changes. There is no plan here, no purpose or deliberate motion.
Rather, there is a fountain of white light, whiter than anything we could ever imagine or ourselves do.
Any attempt to connect or fix, to bring someone to a specific place or circumstance or prevent another from having something, only intensifies the fear and separation.
The quiet knowledge knows that only divine grace with a human step can bring about metanoia, transformation, alchemy, metamorphosis, TRANSFIGURATION.
Only when there is willingness to awaken to the fact that there is no “I” and thus truly die-to-self can a person experience and know resurrection. This is the only way a person can touch the eternal and embody it in this moment, realize it in the here and now, on this earth, in this body.
A Direct Encounter with Helplessness: Being My Word
I think that one of the most powerful gifts that I received growing up is that one’s word is a strong expression of love.
This is not just about my ability to rely on another person, that if he says he will truly be there he will be there and that if he says he will do something, he will truly do it.
Another aspect of being my word is that I don’t stop. Even if it means seeing things that are difficult for me to see, even if it means that I will look silly, even if it means asking for help in an unfamiliar way.
It is continuing even if I don’t know how to do something and, most of all, walking on ground that I have not previously walked upon, even if I do not know whether or not I will succeed.
My promise to another person, my word that I have given him, his knowing that this is how things will be – these are the winds at my back reminding me that I can allow my feet to leave the ground, that I can fly.
A man very dear to me smiled when he saw this beauty in a coaching session and said: “Ahh! So not all who wander are lost!” That moment in which I’m in the air with nothing to hold onto – without any trapezes flying towards me or others showing me the way or assuring me that everything will be fine – is not only not a moment of dissolution or destruction, it is one of living and vibrant vitality.
Thus, the moment that my word obligates me to leave the ground is the moment that I learn anew who I am. And then, the rules of the game, the limitations and the laws all dissipate, leaving strength and a smile – and it quickly becomes difficult to remember how I could have ever thought otherwise.
When I committed, when I responded, when I agreed – I created motion. Energy began to flow and propel other particles. Like with a kinetic statue, motion prompts motion and everything is motion. From there, people do things that they have never done. Possibilities appear that did not previously exist. Questions arise. Perhaps there is pain or fear. Life.
Everything and every being is transcended into a new dimension. Everything and every being knows that it is not only that which it thought it was. And everything and every being becomes nourished by the beauty and wisdom that are revealed through this simple allowance, through just one person allowing himself to commit to something and be his word.
Helplessness is something that is extremely frightening to us. It is that moment in which we understand that we have no way of changing a situation that is bad for us, that we have spent our entire lives attempting to prevent, that we fear its effects or what it might do to us. We call this situation a nightmare. We generally do everything we can to avoid reaching such a situation, and if we do find ourselves in it, we become overwhelmed by a great fear and a belief that our well-being is being threatened. We find ourselves in survival mode.
Many of us have learned in different ways and from different people that a responsible person will not find himself in a helpless situation and that if he does, it’s a sign of failure, or that something is wrong with him.
Within the noise, the whirlwind and the intensifying fear, we do not stop to ask: Wait, what’s really going to happen? What will happen if I’m onstage and I perform poorly? What will this do to me? What does it say about me and my life if I do not succeed? What will really happen? And what will happen if I cause misfortune to another and have no way of fixing things right now? What if I was mediocre today? What if I broke my word? What if I caused damage?
The very thought that I am in survival mode prevents me from stopping. It’s like I’m being chased by a tiger, like if I stop, I will die. It threatens me, causes me to move quickly and most of all forbids me from stopping. And I thus enter into a cycle of fear → noise → act quickly → reinforce fear → repeat.
Or, the mind might create a situation of paralysis, a blurring of emotions. When the mind believes that the situation I’m about to find myself in will be too difficult for me to bear, that I cannot experience it without falling apart or becoming insane, it sends me an anesthetic.
What thought makes me believe that I’d be better off if I existed in void?
What thought convinces me that I’d be better off if I didn’t feel?
That I’d be better off if I didn’t see the other person?
That’s it’s dangerous for me?
That the price is too high?
That I won’t be able to take a step back later?
What is the thought that tempts me to inject anesthesia into my veins and shut myself down?
These are questions that are worth asking over and over again. They touch at the heart of the prevention strategy, which wants us to blur our emotions in order to avoid feeling pain. This strategy forces us to distance ourselves, to create distance from us or, in situations where neither of the above is possible, to blur our emotions. The mind tells us that this is how we can weaken the power of the pain.
Any time we do this, we are like a person who would rather be swallowed by quicksand instead of asking for help in identifying where there is quicksand on the path that he is walking. One could basically say that this person is depriving himself of the possibility of waking up and learning because he is too busy maintaining a false dignity and perpetuating a false image of himself.
The paralysis that the mind creates, the anesthetic that it dispenses, is done with the help of thoughts that create a false picture. It is strong and it speaks a language that is very familiar and yet completely untrue.
In order to leave this paralysis and return to my natural motion, I must say yes. I must give myself over to what at this moment I think that I cannot do. If I want to understand first, I am making things complicated. If I ask for guarantees, I am making things complicated. And then silence → helplessness → silence → listening → action.
At this point, the most responsible thing that I can do in order to call to myself from outside of myself, and the most precise action that I can take in order to know my true nature and not give myself over to a situation of the mind, is to be my word.
To do what I promised – and to do it in a way that is wholehearted, wise, thorough and beautiful – means discovering my true nature, going beyond that arbitrary place that I thought was my edge, and then knowing forever that that edge never truly existed.
It’s the way of looking at things. In my opinion, that’s what makes all the difference. It’s a viewpoint I know well, one that says: “I want to learn something but I already know who I am.” “I’ll check it out and see if I agree.” “I’m not sure that approach is for me, I don’t think I can do it.” “I want to know the truth and live through it, but don’t expect me to give myself over.” “Don’t ask me to do something I don’t think I can do.” Don’t.
Spirit isn’t something that can be given or received. It can’t be acquired. It can’t be chosen. It just can’t. It’s like attempting to grasp the breeze in your closed fist. It’s like attempting to put wind in a box.
I often encounter those looking for spirit. They travel far and wide and meet wise and knowledgeable people. They become committed to a practice and sometimes even live like monks, abstaining from physical pleasures. They build communities and even schools. And then, the fear begins to rise and they distance themselves. With time, they become angry, sad and defeated.
I think that the distinction can be found in the particular angle of the spiritual encounter – the source of the individual’s desire to engage with the spirit.
There are those who walk a path to find beauty. Who want to remember their natural selves, the love that is them, and the oneness that is everything and everybody. They want to meet others who want the same thing and through them to observe themselves, to see the difference between who they really are and how they have become accustomed to seeing themselves, that image created by their minds.
They want to be destabilized. They want to be confused. They want to see. They submit themselves in order to see that thing which was always there but their perspective had prevented them from seeing. They love for no reason. They serve others without limits and there is no noise preventing them from listening to their soul. They seek a teacher because they know that a true teacher will know them better than they know themselves; that if they say yes to him, fully and completely, they too will know.
And then there are those who are angry at the world. Who even hate it. Who blame the world and don’t believe in its goodness. They search for the spirit in order to create a barrier between themselves and the world, in order to protect themselves so that they will not feel any pain. They use spirit so that its truths can serve as a nullifying force and a bill of indictment, filling the space and making such a loud noise that they do not have to feel. They don’t have to be.
They might say the right words but their soul is in hiding. They use their wisdom to bolster their feelings of self-righteousness, isolating them from those whom they deem wrong, controlling, polluting. They seek connection but then use the other person before tossing him aside.
They speak of love but live in separation and fear. In their mouths, spirit becomes a weapon, a tool for fools. They hug and they betray. They sing to God but believe only for themselves. Unless they wake up and seek beauty and love, those for whom this is the starting point of their desired encounter with the spirit will, in time, become bitter and quietly withdraw from life.
It’s confusing. One might even say it is misleading.
It looks like responsible speech when it’s really escapism and aggression.
It looks like closeness and intimacy when it’s really trickery and slickness.
It looks like a search for truth, when it’s really convincing others to see things as I do.
It looks like self-awareness when it’s really exclusion, distancing and outcasting.
It looks like conviction when it’s really concealment, revenge and arrogance.
Destructive and even violent behaviors take place, undisturbed, hidden behind methods whose names are long and backed by famous teachers who wave flags of legitimacy and authority and the sword of relativism (“that’s your opinion and this is his”). The self-oppression, intimidation and silencing come at a heavy cost and play games with sanity. Many people who wish to know spirit and live it encounter pain, nullification, detachment, justification of anger and emotional outbursts, and sometimes even emotional abuse.
What looks like spirituality but stems from anger and a deep lack of trust in the world will never lead to love. It will instead lead to separation, struggle and a heavy price that must be paid.
This belief that it is an individual’s right to choose how they act and how they live their lives is similar to the golden calf. Devoid of soul, it comes not from a true interest in spirit, but rather in the benefits and possibilities that might become available to me, the way in which my needs might be fulfilled and my fears calmed.
This is the same game as always, one that is all about control. I am the gatekeeper. I am the one who decides the standards. I am the one who can degrade or expel, humiliate or enslave whomever I choose. Me!
This is not freedom. This is slavery and submission.
The truth wants to be seen. It wants to enable us to inhale the world and to know.
The truth knows a person’s soul and will not join him in a dance of war. This is not its nature.
It is through and because of this confusion that we can remember.
There is no beauty or compassion in joining this dance of confusion and calling it freedom or declaring it my right.
The spirit of man is very much alive and I never cease to feel awed by it, by its appearance, by its strength. The source of our desire to meet spirit is the starting point of the journey, much like the opening notes of a song.
Breaking Down Misleading Thoughts:
- The thought: “It’s not right for me”. This doesn’t suit my needs right now. This doesn’t calm my fears. It’s my right to tell you that I don’t want it. The only thing that I see here is a means to something else. An obstacle. A danger.
The truth of the spirit: I am not my needs and I am not my fears. What I think I have and what I think I can do – these are all just thoughts. Another person is wondrous, a life energy. An encounter with him will wake me up, shake me up and remind me who I am. It is always right for me. Exactly as it is. Exactly as you are.
The lesson: I will meet. I will talk. I will be. Whatever awakens in me, in whatever shade or manner, is exactly what is meant to happen so that I can learn to listen to my soul and know the difference between it and the story that my fearful mind is telling me.
- The thought: “I need space”. I need quiet in order to connect to myself. I don’t want to be so exposed to you, to be vulnerable, to lose control, to be so close. It’s dangerous.
The truth of the spirit: All thoughts about “space” subscribe to a belief that only under certain conditions can I truly feel myself, can I observe my thoughts and speak from my soul, from a place of inner knowing and not from the interpreting mind, the world of fear.
The lesson: I will not move. I will not change anything. I will stand quietly and breathe deeply. And then, I can look at the thoughts as they rise and fall and know that I am the sky and they are the clouds.
- The thought: “It doesn’t feel precise”. I believe that if my emotions tell me something, if my very organized thoughts explain something in a thorough manner, it is a sign that I see things deeply and correctly.
The truth of the spirit: Everything is precise. Everything perfectly reflects my fundamental beliefs, what lies beneath who I think I am and how I see the world. Since I want to awaken and stop operating from those same beliefs, I want to know that everything is precise. I want to get closer and see. And then leave, not because it is too painful or too difficult, but because the lesson is over and it’s time to move forward in truth. When? When it happens on its own. When I allow it to happen. How I will I know? By living.
The lesson: If what my emotions are telling me is basically what the thought that my mind is projecting to me is telling me, then what can I see if I do not believe it?
- The thought: “It’s not flowing for me”. I believe that if things don’t seem to be going the way that I am used to understanding things, if they don’t seem to match what I want to believe about myself, if they bring me to face parts of myself that I don’t want to face, they must not be good for me – or not good, period.
The truth of the spirit: Anything that doesn’t suit me or doesn’t fit like a puzzle piece is something that will show me new light. It will introduce me to new motions that I do not yet know. It will bring me to feel more abundance and experience more freedom.
The lesson: To allow space for the unfamiliar to emerge. And when it does, to see what the mind says about it. How it judges it. And then to ask: If it’s not true, then what am I actually seeing right now? What happens to me when I see this?
- The thought: “I don’t connect to what you are saying”. What you are saying has no basis. You are imagining. There is no way that you are right. There is no way that what you are saying has any value.
The truth of the spirit: There is no such thing as not being connected. We are one and beauty is found in everything. Everything I say bears witness to these motions of beauty and wisdom, even when it comes from confusion. When I truly listen, I allow the music to naturally strum according to its own vibrations. I will see what I haven’t seen until now.
The lesson: To know that there is no such thing as being off-tune. To know that if I think I hear something that sounds out-of-tune, it is because I am only listening to specific scales whose range is too small or too narrow to really hear. I want to get to know the infinite scales that are me. I want to agree to let go of the need for only that which is familiar. This is how I will meet the boundlessness that is me.
- The thought: “I’m putting up boundaries”. I am building a wall between us. Because otherwise, you will invade my space. You will take me. You will force me to face something that I don’t want to face. You will not let me be me.
The truth of the spirit: There are no boundaries. I do not have a defined edge and there are no standards of success. Nothing can take away from who I am and nothing will empty me or close me in. The only thing that can happen is that I will believe I need something to happen or that I must prevent something else from happening lest I be susceptible to the control of another and taken by force. This is something that I can control. This is something I can see more clearly.
The lesson: To identify how I use boundaries and to recognize how I employ intimidation when it seems like these boundaries are being crossed. To see how I do all of this in an attempt to avoid being shaken, in an effort to avoid allowing that person who I think I am to be dismantled and fall apart. And then to ask: If there is no such thing as boundaries, because there is no limit to light or to what is possible, what can my life be like now?
On Men and Women – One Tender Touch
At some point, the friction stops. Our inner struggles, and those we carry on against the world, come to an end. Something inside of us knows. And then, it’s over. Our attempts to change things are no longer fueled by fear. We stop hoping that if we just say the right thing, “they” will understand and things will fall into place. Body, heart, money and time have been exhausted and sometimes even depleted.
A great deal of frustration and disillusionment arises in the relationships between men and women.
So many women find themselves focusing on the pain that has been caused to them by the men in their lives and by the disappointment they feel regarding their man’s inability to be a partner. To be love . To seek growth.
And so many men feel trapped and unappreciated in their relationships. They feel criticized, as though they are never good enough – and they don’t see any possibility or hope.
Communication between partners becomes blunt and harsh. An acute feeling of loneliness and fear intensifies. Many relationships fall apart. Others are maintained with force, through self-suppression or suppression of the other. This is followed by pain, fear, and a shaken trust in love and the commitment to be there for one another. And the question arises: Is it possible for us to continue living together? Being together? Flourishing together?
Women remain alone, caring for their children, unprepared to single-handedly bear the financial burden of their homes, struggling to develop new love interests. Men face great difficulty creating new lives. They dwell in pain and anger, between their alimony payments and their fear about entering new relationships that will also end in suffering.
The sense that they have reached an impasse, a dead-end, repeats itself often and in many shapes and forms.
Numerous attempts are made to prevent dissolution of the relationship, from couples’ therapy to workshops about domestic harmony to open relationships to sometimes even accepting adultery and broken trust. And the list goes on.
Common amongst each of these attempts is a deep sense of sacrifice, of a cost having been paid, of compromise, of a void, of sadness. So many relationships look more like arrangements made to calm the fears of those involved, especially those fears about being alone or looking like a failure or damaged goods. And so many relationships are based on the promise that various needs will be met, needs that are perceived by the couple as necessary and unlikely to be otherwise fulfilled..
At the root of all of this is fear. The thought that says: If I am not in a relationship, if I do not pay the accompanying price, I will not be OK. My fears will become reality and will determine how my life looks.
“Yes, you are so honest and so very fair
And you can’t cheat
If you don’t love, you can’t,
And that is something that cannot be changed,
But when you passed me by
And I was screaming from every fiber of my being
You didn’t place your hand on my shoulder
For a single tender touch.”
Ali Mohar. With a Single Tender Touch. Inspired by Nurit Galron’s performance.
Being with a man because that is what I’m meant to deal with right now. Because this is what he is capable of at this moment. Because every person has a certain vibration that is needed by the world, in order to be, in order to wake up.
But what if we never existed in oneness? If it is, and has always been, just me seeing myself in the mirror and him coming for a short time, staying for only as long as he thinks he is capable of staying?
If it always comes from separateness, if it never was any other way – what can we do?
I feel like someone who is learning to crawl because I certainly can’t walk yet. It’s like starting over from scratch.
Yes, it’s true: Even if he himself isn’t blossoming, even if he isn’t doing the work to discover himself, even if he acts as though he is just along for the ride – I myself can still operate from the soul. I can be a “soul actor”. I can be that person whose heart is completely open, who wants to breathe him in, to give him my all, to be totally there and to wake up, when necessary, from beliefs and habits, fears and needs. From thoughts.
I know that I can be a soul actor even if the other person is not.
But really? It is true that I can fly with someone who has never flown and doesn’t know how to fly? With someone who thinks that he is closed, finished, done? With someone who doesn’t know that he actually has the power of choice, that he is not the effect of external rules and fears?
How can I be with someone who doesn’t know that he is a wonder waiting to be discovered? That he is so much more than what he thinks or knows?
When I want a partner or when I want advice, I don’t go to him. His language is so different than my own. His movements come from a foreign place. He lives in a dimension where wonder doesn’t exist. He thinks that he himself is God.
There is so much turmoil in being with a man.
The anger, the expectations, the friction and the arguments are numerous and difficult. Exhausting. Scary.
If this is so, then is waking up through him really the best way?
Or maybe this question is what’s making me experience even greater suffering?
And maybe, if I allow the argument to end,
If I take a break from the efforts and the attempts,
If I stay until the dust settles and the quiet prevails,
I will see what is true,
And maybe if I don’t ask for what cannot be,
But I don’t end things just because I don’t see a reason to stay,
If I see what is not there but I don’t insist on getting it,
But I also don’t close my heart in an effort to protect myself from pain,
I can truly be.
This is how I will know that it is how it has always been.
That if I allow it to do everything to me
To shake me up, to undermine me, to break me apart, to destroy me –
That if I allow it and do not try to protect myself or others from me,
I will know.
That through this man, from him and with him,
I can truly know myself.
And when I know, I will be.
And when I am love, he will be loved.
And when he is truly loved,
He may know, allow and be.
And if not, I return to myself, remember and love.