This article from Sharlih appeared in ‘InZicht’, a Dutch magazine for non-duality and self-investigation, in two parts in february and may 2017.

The complete article follows below.

“The Silence can never leave us and is the radiant Heart in all things. Whether you are drunk or in bliss, knowing or ignorant, it is the consciouss, ever-present Clarity that gives every phenomenon or experience its right to exist”.  


After the peaceful silence of the night, there is nothing waiting for something. Yet a mystery unfolds that is unprecedented. It wakes up in a body, not knowing where it is located and who or what it is. When the eyes open, there is the seeing, but the first thought that emerges makes the bedroom quickly recognizable. Thoughts, along with the sensory perceptions in the body, are appropriated by the current ‘I-thought’, aided by memory. That is  the story in which the mystery seems to lose it’s unlimited identity. Once It has been identified with the body, in which thoughts and feelings seem to appear, the illusion of limitation is a fact. That is the cause of much misery. That's how we talk about 'my thoughts', 'my body', but when we say 'my bedroom' we don't mean that we are the bedroom too. The room, bed and walls are separate from that body with the power of thought and therefore seem to be outside. For at the same time as thinking, that now has become a temporary localization- a limitation of Consciousness- in that limitless Consciousness, a world appears that seems to be on its own, but in which certain things  are appropriated: ‘my house’, ‘my function’, ‘my partner’. Everything we seem to possess enhances our identity and gives us a sense of security.


Because of that one thought, that wafer-thin belief, that you are a seperate, secluded, single figure, you’re missing out on the deeper Reality, that you are that One Life that knows no boundaries or duality. That quiet, living Reality, which is undividedly present during the deep sleep, is always there - whatever form she takes. Whether you’re sleeping, dreaming or awake. That conscious Presence is always awake. But because thinking is not active when Consciousness is turned into itself, there is no memory during the deep sleep. Though thinking is silent, this doesn’t mean we are not aware. Something in us knows that we have slept well and even while waking up we often experience the peaceful silence that seems to leave us during the day. But it is the other way round.

The Silence can never leave us and is the radiant Heart in all things. Whether you are drunk or in bliss, knowing or ignorant: it is the conscious, ever-present Clarity that gives every phenomenon or experience its right to exist. She can never detach herself from any experience, because everything consists of that Clarity and is always one and the same. The thought ‘I am the thinker of my thoughts’ originates from that same Light. But ironically, however, it is precisely the same thinking that, assisted by the senses, removes uncreated clarity from your attention and divides everything into pieces. The so-called waking state is the most narrowed, the most restrictive state Consciousness seems to be adopting. During the sleep dream we are much freer and can take all kinds of forms.


Not aware of our true Nature, which is naturally whole, free and complete, the time passes by year and day and we experience a lack, an emptiness. As long as the Consciousness is entangled with the thinking mind we are only aware of the energy directed outwardly – towards the objects. She seemingly goes away from herself and imagines all kinds of things to fill that emptiness, that feeling of incompleteness. But in that imaginary, seperate fragment, sooner or later that feeling of emptiness and lack will resurface again. As soon as a desire comes to an end temporarily because it is obtained, happiness comes to the surface. This happiness has nothing to do with the object obtained, the substance or a relationship, but everything with being satisfied - being in peace - with the moment. For a while you are left without wishes and therefore you stopped striving, longing and wanting. You are in contact with the Self, which is already fulfilled and content by nature. Each desire is profoundly the longing for Unity, for the completeness that we seem to have lost. But even though the objects we desire always change, it is always the same happiness that we experience when the desire comes to a temporary end. Fear and desire are two sides of the same coin. If you see through one of them, the other will automatically fall away.

“In that imaginary, seperate fragment, the feeling of lack will resurface again”


As you see yourself, you also see an ‘other’ and the world. As long as we don’t see through the illusion of what we think we are, and as long as we continue to believe in the delusion of a ‘private driver’, the longing for happiness will continue. Simultaneously with the fear of losing what we have already obtained. How can an illusion - something that is not real - ever know Reality? That does not exist! What we call ego is the activity of fear and desire.                                                                 

Desire always goes out to something - an object, a state or a state of mind. Or you just want to get rid of something that you don’t like, such as fear or other unappreciated emotions. But what you are has no form, so no boundary either. It is not something, no thing, no body or state of mind. You are the Uncreated, the timeless, that is always already Here Now. Not as a moment in time, or as a location in space (that is what thinking wants us to believe), but as eternal, unlimited Presence. If you keep searching for something or trying to get rid of something, you as it were get away from yourself and you will never recognize yourself. In reality, you can never get away from yourself, but because you don’t know what you are, because you don’t know the absolute Truth, you have become a time traveler and you just keep traveling back and forth. From the past to the future. Always busy and unaware of the most precious: the eternal Now, the only Reality there is, the Reality you are yourself. It is not hidden, but open and naked she looks you straight into the face. You can’t get out!  Never has anyone ever made a step in the past or in the future. Try it if you think it is possible. It is only your imagination that creates that timed self-image with a limited vision. That is why you miss this unlimited, timeless Eternity, that gives the concepts of time, space and all phenomena their reality. The Self is recognised in and as the always present Now, but is realized in time. That is the paradox. It cannot be achieved in the future, because it is always already here, because you already are it. It is the confusion that you have to see through. Then you break through the structure of the psyche. It usually takes time to break that ego structure down and to see that you are not that, but you know that. The thinking mind is too coarse to fathom the subtle Being that you are.


Yet even an thought that is observed can reveal its origin, its Source, when we discover where it comes from and where it dissolves in again. The thought itself is the proof that you are conscious, because a thought is not self-conscious and cannot think itself. A feeling is also not aware of itself and cannot feel itself. The body has no self-consciousness; no phenomenon in the entire universe has Consciousness. Only You as that open, bright Presence are always aware of everything that temporarily colours this Openness. Only You as Consciousness are self-aware. At this moment you can recognise this directly by knowing the objects that appear in You as an experience. You are the living proof of that knowing Clarity. But Consciousness does not need objects to be Himself, to recognise Himself. His (Your) nature is self- aware. If you withdraw your attention from phenomena, do nothing, expect nothing, prevent nothing, but relax in the moment and rest in not-knowing, then it gets the chance to reveal Itself as the undivided, silent, objectless Awareness. If it has freed itself from the exclusive identification with thinking and the body shape, as it temporarily happens in the deep dreamless sleep, it now also recognizes itself in every temporary creation. As the unconditional Love that loves itself, it remains living untouched in everything.

“You as Consciousness not only precede creation, but you are also the Nature of all things, the creation itself. All you have to do is turn around, be open to it.”


So the self-recognition, being aware of this Consciousness, is actually a reversal. You turn away from all knowledge you have learned and everything you are attached to. Not literally - you don’t have to get rid of anything - but you stop identifying with it. In stead of focusing all your energy, your consciousness on objects (thoughts and feelings also have objective qualities), you don’t pay attention to  the phenomena any more. Actually, it is not an action. You do nothing; you fall silent. She then comes to rest in her Source, where she recognises herself again as undivided objectless Consciousness. Actually, every moment is an invitation to recognize yourself as that conscious Clarity. Not as a thought, a belief or an assumption, but as an embodied, sensible Reality. For the defense mechanism of the ego is not only mental, but also sustains itself through palpable resistance, even long after we kno wand have seen we are the light of Consciousness, in which everything appears. When this resistance arises, that conscious Clarity is no longer experienced as such, because most of our sense-of-self is in the body.


Every thought, experience or event has left its imprint on our body down to the cellular level. Even though we mentally know that there is no one and that we are not the body, that knowledge does not help - or only temporarily -  if we feel angry, scared or lonely again. Because the true nature of Consciousness has not yet been recognized. As long as it has not been recognized, there is no point in  saying that everything is Consciousness, or that we are only Consciousness, or that the body, emotions and even the whole world are just an illusion. This is a pitfall, because then you deny the dynamic side of Awareness and you just keep the duality in place. You then use your non-dual knowledge as a trick to indulce, to behave aggressive or to be arrogant (thinking that you are free is the biggest prison), which in turn leads to maintaining the ego structure. Or you can use the knowledge ‘that you are only Consciousness’ to deny an unpleasant situation and thus avoid nasty feelings. That avoidance behaviour is no different from avoiding a situation by another form of distraction, such as grabbing alcohol or burying yourself in work. What is your strategy? Just take a look at yourself what you’re doing or what you’re avoiding, to escape such a situation. Whether you choose one method or another, it is at most a temporary solution. If you had been really open to a situation, you hadn’t recognized and labeled fear, anger or any other feeling. Irritation, anxiety/fear or anger is ego activity, and therefore contraction. It is not about never showing an emotion again, because they all have a function. In themselves, they are neutral energies in the Life force. Fear protects, sadness releases and anger has a defensive function. They are supposed to serve us and there is certainly room for a firm ‘no’ if the situation demands it. I am talking here about psychological pain, which is part of the ego structure and thus maintains our self-image.


For a complete realization, liberation of the Consciousness is not only necessary on a mental level, but certainly also on a physical, sensory, emotional and energetic level. That is not difficult, because every moment is an invitation to recognize yourself as that open, clear, conscious Being. It requires a different approach, a different way of looking: looking as such – without remembrance. Whether you look at an object, or consciously stay with the energy of an an emotion- for example fear- you will be amazed at the miracle that happens then! Look at it in an open, curious way and investigate what fear exactly is. Do not turn away from it. Allow the energy of fear - not the thoughts about it- in its entirety, without wanting to change anything about it. Then something that is very quiet and peaceful comes loose from it. You are not your fear, it is the fear that disappears! Now it is your own experience. You are the living proof yourself, and that proof coincides with the discovery that there has never been a ‘someone’ who was afraid. But fed by false beliefs, you have never dared to face unpleasant feelings your life long, which made them go subcutaneous. In this way, they are maintained and kept at a distance. That has happened with every unfinished experience and so we carry many with us.


Only by descending into the core of the experience, the energy that is responsible for the charge can free itself forever. Because it is that charge, that retained energy, that makes us feel unfree and that we are bothered by all kinds of things, because the energy is looking for a way out - but often in a negative way (depression, emotional pain, irritation, etc.). Once you know that you don’t have to suppress an emotion or express it in an inappropriate way to get rid of it, but that you can transmute it in peace, freedom and silence, you can apply this principle to all feelings (a feeling is no more then a physical sensation that we have given a name to). When you realise that a physical sensation is only energy that wants to flow, you can surrender to it more easily. This means: being vulnerable, not turning away from it. Not with the intention of getting rid of her this way, that is ego energy. No, with a sincere openness, as if you are on the verge of finding your most precious, lost treasure back. It is your own oppressed and therefore limited Life force. The dynamic side of Consciousness. If you, as imaginary ego, don’t get in the way, all unprocessed energetic blockages free themselves naturally and you become more and more transparant, open and radiant.


Let the Light of your Consciousness shine on the feeling – the energy pole – in your body. Then the knowing, masculine principle – that is the static side of Consciousness – meets the intuitive feminine, the dynamic principle. The polarity dissapears and the light keeps burning when the blocked charges are dissolved and the plus and minus poles have found each other. They have never really been seperated. The false, dualistic beliefs and feelings have dimmed the clarity of that Conscious Being seemingly. But the only certainty there is, is already in you. She had always been Present unconcealed. It is the instinctive knowledge that you exist, your most intimate experience. No experience of something, but the experiencing of your own conscious Being and there is nothing personal about it. Because even the chair which you sit on is your own experience of that Presence and a temporary vibration in that eternally self-aware Presence. Whether that unlimited Presence is coloured by objects or experiences, she never knows anything other then Herself, because everything is created from Herself. The limited vision of Conciousness as a body with an ability to think evaporates, when Wisdom and Love have found each other. It is that Marriage between heaven and earth in which the Self as an unlimited, silent Peace – which was never really concealed – is recognized in everything and everyone.

So pure and absolutely untouched,

it was never born;

it knows no death.

No beginning, no end.

Was always here already.

So open, so exposed.

Love, Sharlih

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Dark sky above the WaddenSea near the Frisian coast, The Netherlands. -  Photo: Paul 2017