HAPPINESS IS HERE
No matter what the appearance, there is perfection, tranquility, harmony and happiness wherever one is, wherever he goes, whatever he is doing or not doing. Perfection is no more present in one spot than another. Tranquility does not reside more in one place than another. One does not have to seek out the quiet places—mountain trails, meadows and mill ponds—to find the "peace that passeth understanding."
While the world rushes to other places for recreation, we have a place right where we are—a secret refuge wherein we find the end of sorrow and tribulation, where there is rest from every effort. Where is this wondrous place? Within the Self-within-within. What is it called? The Heart, the Shekinah, the Holy of Holies, the Bridal Chamber, the Identity-I-am. Why has it taken us so long to find it? For walking to and fro in the land, looking for happiness out there; for going other places for better viewing.
All the while, peace has been closer than breathing, closer than fingers and toes, here and now within us, not out there at all. All the while, Peace has been the Identity we are.
THE SECRET PLACE
Much has been written about the secret place within. Here is where one goes when something seems wrong in his affairs—because nothing ever appears wrong until this secret Identity has been forgotten, leaving us to wander in a dream world of pseudo-values. When something appears awry in our daily experience, we need only return to the within—to the rightful Identity—to experience perfect comfort and find peace. This Tranquility is our veritable Identity.
Everything we could ever wish to know is, here and now, included within Identity. The pure Heart finds it. "Secrets" are confirmed in no other place.
Hasn't this always been the case? Even the student who is learning the multiplication tables only seems to be going outside to books and teachers. When the tables are learned, it is an inside job, a very personal and intimate action within. When this happens, the Heart knows and says, "Now I understand."
The secrets of Life, Reality, Truth and Love—the pearls of great price—are not bits of information that can be passed from one to another. Secrets come from the inside out, never from the outside in. Their meanings are never confirmed outside the immaculate confines of the Heart. No matter how well one defines a secret and paints a picture of it in striking words, the actual import—the honest meaning—comes from the Self alone. A secret for one is gibberish to another until a pure and simple Heart responds to declare, "It is true! It is so! Now I understand! Now I know!"
Books, leaders, teachers and all else are objects of perception within conscious Awareness. There is not one particle of value, power or importance in them. The value is always the Single Selfhood, the Heart, doing the seeing and listening.
The value is the Isness being the Awareness that includes them.
QUESTION: Does this mean we are not to enjoy the books of others or that we cannot be inspired by personal visits to those who steadfastly live their rightful Identity?
ANSWER: Not at all. It is wonderful to enjoy the conversation of one who has manifestly discovered the Self (the Heart says who is honest in this regard); yet, we come to see and understand that those we call "enlightened" are not outside this single Awareness-being-I; they are not another beside this very consciousness of Being the reader is!
PEARLS OF GREAT PRICE
More often than not, the gems of the Heart are diametrically opposed to the world's proud common sense. Mankind argues loudly about matters it does not understand. Man is ruthless with whatever points out the nothingness of his personal ego. Those still satisfied with their misidentification as great judges of Life are not bubbling over at the prospect of losing their dearest possession, the intellect. Truth is the absolute destruction of all that goes to make up the personal belief and dream of a world filled with intelligent, mind possessing mortals. It marks the end of the old nature, "man with breath in his nostrils," the "old man" to be put off.
The belief of a separate personality capable of possessing this Now-Awareness is exploded and ended in the Heart. Here in the Heart one finds Truth, the Eternal Flame, the all-consuming fire destined to overcome the world of fictitious separateness.
First, mankind looked for Truth to come as something from out the sky in the future. Then, it was determined to be from within that it would be found, but the "within" was thought to be within a personal mind, contained and controlled by man. Man has been looking for Truth within his intellect, within his reasoning and calculating mind; but no Wisdom, no Truth, no Reality will ever come from the thinking, reasoning, planning, evaluating, judging, opinion-holding intellect. It comes forth from the Self-Identity.
How close is the Christ-Truth? Can anything be closer than the Self you are? "The place whereon thou standest is Holy Ground!" Right now! Already! Now is all we are faced with!