The more I consider it, the more powerful is the statement by Ibn ‘Arabi, “Thou are not thou, thou art He without thou”. (To read an extended excerpt from Ibn ‘Arabi’s “Whoso Knoweth Himself”, please direct your browser to TZF’s Ampers&nd here.) The line has taken residence in my head, where it insists on being part of every consideration I undertake, every thought I entertain, every reaction I generate. It has parked inside me, and it will not be silenced. No matter where my head wanders, Ibn 'Arabi's words are there, reminding me, "thou are not thou, thou art He without thou".
Here, the words of Nisargadatta ring loudly and truely: “The gospel of self-realization, once heard, will never be forgotten”.
Since the day I became conscious of having embarked upon the spiritual path (by which I mean that I honestly cannot say when it began -- for there was not to my knowledge a moment in which I said to myself “From this day forward, I am a spiritual seeker”, rather I can only say when I became aware of its having begun), my strong preference has been for Teachings which are at once clear, concise, and riveting. That is, I have read, and I continue to read, the tomes, with their elaborate cosmologies and tangential reveries, but it is the one-liners that seem for me in my journey to say it best, to elicit continuing allegiance, and to produce meaningful results.
Among these, a particular favorite is what is in my opinion one of the most powerful Teaching statements in the Gospels (or anywhere else): “Call no man father”. As I have written elsewhere on TZF, those words alone, along with their self-evident implications and ramifications, if thoroughly, enthusiastically, and consistently adopted by a seeker, offer in themselves practice, posture, and path enough.
Others in this happy category include Ramakrishna’s “God alone is the Guru” and Ramana’s “Simply enquire Who am I?” and Lao Tzu’s “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao”.
Anyway, to get back to Ibn ‘Arabi’s “Thou art not thou, thou art He without thou” -- The other day, reading from the Text volume of A Course in Miracles, I came across the idea that the egoic errors I perceive in others are a product of (are identical to) the same illusion as my perceiving myself as me (“I am me, and you aren’t me”). By affirming any aspects of the egoic nature of others, I affirm my own.
So, with Ibn ‘Arabi, to know that I am He without me, I must know others as He without them. If “thou are not thou, thou art He without thou” is true at all, it must be true universally, and therefore it must be freely and enthusiastically applied universally, to one and all (whether I like them or not!). I am He without me. You are He without you. They are He without they. We are He without we.
There is no me. There is no you. There is no they. There is no we.
Again, Ibn ‘Arabi: “There is no other, and there is no existence to other, than He. … If thou know thine existence thus, then thou knowest God; and if not, then not”.
Almost anything, from alpha to omega.
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