By Cindy Teevens
Ever have the feeling that something’s missing? Something is not quite right? I’ve had that feeling off and on since a child. Just a vague, faint, sometimes fleeting…”something… is… missing.” In 2009, I would not let it go, I had to know, and as a result, in 2010, I realized this feeling was real, why I had it, and what was missing.
It was not a mental idea (“Oh, this is what I need,”) and not a finding of what was missing, but rather a recognition that nothing was missing in the first place.
That recognition was like the ancient story of the ten foolish men, where ten men set out on a journey together and came to a dangerous river they had to cross. It was so dangerous that when they got to the other side, they did a head-count, to make sure no one was missing.
One man stepped forward and began to count all the men. He got to the end, and only counted nine. “Oh no, we’ve lost a man!” They exclaimed. “Wait! Said one, let me count again.” He also got to the end, and counted only nine. One by one, each man counted only nine men. They became distraught, running up and down the river, yelling, looking for the tenth man.
Until a stranger came along, who said “Wait, let me count!” And so he did, and to their relief, he counted ten men! The foolish men had forgotten to count themselves while counting.
Was there ever a man lost? Or was an idea gained? That was like my childhood experience of missing something. It wasn’t that anything was lost, but rather, something had been gained. That thing was the idea of myself as a separate, autonomous individual.
Once that idea sets in, an undivided existence becomes psychologically fractured, split into numberless separate pieces. Of course this is only mentally, and not actually fractured into pieces. As a separate piece, one would certainly feel like something is missing–everything else!
When you look up at the stars as a separate piece, you feel tiny, insignificant, and maybe even scared. When you look up at the stars without this illusory sense of your separate self, you feel vast, safe, and at home.
Why is the feeling of “it” missing so vague? Because “it’s” not real. There is nothing missing. What’s been added unto, and veils, is like a fog–translucent, something unreal that you can see slightly through–and therefore being unreal 1) you can’t fully buy into it, and 2) it is something that is possible to question.
Many people have these glimpses, but then quickly dismiss, rationalize, minimize and mentalize themselves back into their little idea of who they are. ~ Cindy Teevens
What happens when you realize “it” was never missing? You see what is for what it always has been, instead of what you wrongly imagined it to be. So you see the world as not separate from you, thus you see it as yourself. There’s an “OH! Of course. How funny!” and an explosion of love and laughter–and tremendous relief. The cosmic joke revealed. Tens of years of false self-baggage can suddenly fall away.
When you realize the truth of who and what you are, one of the most astounding things about it is–it can’t be questioned. The veil drops, the false falls away, and Truth is revealed. It’s so utterly obvious that you wonder how you missed it before.
How can this veiling happen? How is it possible that “it” wasn’t missing, and this fact can be recognized? It’s because it’s an illusion. Much like the illusion of thinking you see a man in a shadow. For a while he appears to exist–but did he ever exist? When you see the false (there is no man), and the truth (it’s just a just a shadow), you stop authorizing the existence of a man, and you stop experiencing as if there is one (fear).
In this identity illusion the sense of “I” is mis-identified. It’s a case of mistaken identity. You think your “I” is something it’s not (thoughts, feelings, social role, body, soul, spirit, personality). When you look at the sun setting from earth, it really seems to be going down. But from the perspective of the moon, you can see that what’s actually happening is that the earth is turning.
When you are so absorbed in the things you mistake for yourself (thoughts, feelings, social role, body, soul, spirit, personality), that is your point of perspective. When you authorize something other than yourself to be who you are, it appears appear real and true. That is mis-identification.
When you stop doing that, your perspective returns to its natural state, and you can glimpse what’s actually going on, and the Truth of who and what you and the world are. Many people have these glimpses, but then quickly dismiss, rationalize, minimize and mentalize themselves back into their little idea of who they are.
This happens because the historical storage drive of thoughts is what people reference for their identity. Something stored from the past. Don’t ask the mind who you are; you will get a story about who you are, and are not. And whether or not that story is good or bad doesn’t matter. It’s still just a story. You are not a story; you are not a thought.
If you have this sense that something is missing, well, good. It is working to wake you up from the dream of separate, individual identity, or ego, which is the cause of our individual and global messes. The sense of something being off is an opportunity to question who and what you think you are, to question that which you have historically stamped as true and stored in the mind for future reference–so that it can be corrected with the actual and direct living Truth.
It’s quite astounding to have everything you thought you were fall away in an instant. As Byron Katie says, “Who would you be without your story?” Usually she’s talking about your story about your relationship to people or the world. But, who would you be without your story (identity) of you?
Are you ready to give that up? Have you had enough? Do you pine for the Truth? You can’t see what’s real and true until you give up the false, and only those with a true and sincere desire for Truth will be willing to give up themselves.
While you look for something else as yourself, like the ten foolish men, have you forgotten to count yourself?
Here’s a shortcut in this case; stop counting others: there are none. In perpetually pointing to everything other than yourself, you overlook the obvious: yourself. Turn away from viewing a separate world, stay only with your sense of self, and you will find that nothing is other than yourself. If you can’t do this immediately, then at least start questioning the illusion of separation, because if you don’t, then you are perpetuating the illusion of separation, and something will always seem to be missing.
Cindy Teevens is an international author and speaker. Her suffering was suddenly transformed by and into love and joy. Months later, an explosion of love ended separation of self and other, followed by uproarious laughter at the cosmic joke. All there is, is love. Ego is a battle that can’t be won, so now she shows spiritual seekers how to stop the struggle with ego, and make mind your friend, without controlling thoughts or healing the past. You can read more about her and her story in the three free chapters of Alchemy by clicking here.