Suffering versus Essence by A. H. Almass
“Suffering always arises when you are out of contact with Essence [True Self/God/the Divine Self] or seeking something other than Essence. If you value anything—husbands, wives, children, girlfriends, parents, jobs, money, sports, cars, anything at all—over what is true in you, there is suffering.
Automatically, that movement outwards (seeking satisfaction from external reality) wounds you. It is a wound to your heart. It is not that the factors of our external lives or our human desires are antithetical to our Work. Like everything else, they can be respected and understood for what they are. But if they come before Essence, there will be suffering, pain, frustration, and anger.
Most people don’t understand this. They think they can achieve contentment, love, and happiness by getting this or that. They want the right kind of body, the right kind of lover, the right house. When you see what you can experience in the realm of Essence, you see that these things are peanuts.
Absolutely nothing. It’s a degradation of human life to prefer these things over what is possible for Essence. When you align yourself with the truth, then beauty, majesty, nobility, fullness, pleasure, joy, and love are all available to you. The more you see your essence, the more you see that what you wanted before was nothing.
When you get deeper and deeper into your essence, you enter into the universal levels of essential reality where the beauty, fulfillment, and possibility are beyond human imagination. There is no way for the mind to grasp it. As you actualize your Personal Essence, you can bring that fullness into your life. Then everything in your life— your work, your job, your relationship with your lover, children, friends—can become filled with Essence rather than substituting for Essence.
The point is to realize Essence in your life; that’s why we’re here. We’re not here to suffer. We’re not here just to work or raise children. We’re here to completely fulfill our potential. We are here to learn what it’s like to be really human. It is very rare to know what it’s like to be a complete, mature human being.”
- A.H. Almaas