“Wisdom says I am nothing. Love says I am everything. Between the two my life flows.”
– Nisargadatta Maharaj
Wisdom, or clarity, is the recognition that you are the ocean, the vast, open space of awareness, or consciousness (or whatever word you want to use, for words are not important in this place) prior to form, and that is a beautiful, profound realisation.
But it doesn’t stop there. For there is always love – which is the recognition that this wide open space is actually inseparable from everything that appears, that emptiness is none other than form.
Awareness is radically inseparable from everything that arises in awareness. And so, it’s not awareness OF thoughts – awareness IS thoughts. It’s not awareness OF pain, pain is saturated with awareness, it is made of awareness, it is awareness. Every wave is made of the ocean, and so in the end you can’t even speak about the waves and the ocean. You can’t even speak about awareness and “everything that appears in awareness”. But perhaps it’s a useful, temporary metaphor, to point to the deeper understanding that the recognition of wisdom, of clarity, is somehow totally incomplete without the recognition of love. Really they’re the same thing. Heart and mind, nonduality and duality, the human and the divine, the absolute and the relative – however you want to say it – it points to the inescapable fact that every thought, every sensation, every feeling, however uncomfortable, however intense, however unexpected, is welcome in you. You are the capacity for it all. You are the room for the unloved ones. You are the home for the homeless.
It is this radical embrace which we have always sought, beyond all our ideas about awakening and enlightenment and trying to be free. It is what I call the Deepest Acceptance – not the acceptance that you ‘do’, but the acceptance that you already are.