The Changeless Backdrop to the Ever-Changing World
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Finding Your True Self
When this conversation with Cali Alpert, for her podcast Dropping In, took place, it had been a while since Rupert had been to the Omega Institute, in upstate New York. Cali is an Emmy-award winning producer and the digital media director for Omega, an organization ‘committed to helping people build their capacity to effect change in an interconnected world’.
Rupert reflects that as he drove up and recognised the buildings and landscape, it gave him pleasure to see that ‘so little has changed in a rapidly changing world’. Then, to reconcile constant change and fundamental changelessness, he summarises the essence of the non-dual understanding as drawing ‘attention to that which never changes as the backdrop to everything that is always in flux’. The recognition of this is also to see that ‘peace and happiness are the nature of our being; and we share our being with everyone and everything’.
Cali asks, ‘If that is so, why does it elude so many of us?’ That, replies Rupert, is the essential question. The answer is simple. We focus on the content of experience rather than what lies behind, or that which experiences. That is like a blank canvas or movie screen. He adds that it requires both courage and a love for the truth to override the normal concerns of ego.
Rupert, like so many others, initially viewed enlightenment as a remote and romantic ultimate attainment, an exotic experience. Eventually, he realised it wasn’t an experience at all, simply the recognition of the nature of being. Even drinking a cup of tea is more exotic!
Cali says another teacher who was recently at Omega described it thus: “it’s all so simple that we don’t trust it”.
As the conversation draws to a close, Cali asks Rupert for a wish that could be granted to their listeners and viewers, and another wish for himself. For the audience: “I wish they would discover that place in themselves already and inherently free from sorrow.” And himself: “That I’m able to spend the rest of my life sharing and communicating this understanding”.
She also asks what he hoped the one takeaway would be for the audience, which is ‘that what you’ve been seeking all your lives is available in the core of your essential being’.