THE POWERLESSNESS OF THINGS
William Samuel (written 1970)
Whenever we are about the business of determining
what things are, why images of perception appear as they do; or trying to find
answers to our questions, there is just one place one can start, and that is with
We begin with this awareness that is reading these words, that
looks out the window at the pine trees swaying in the wind that sees the slanting
rain blow across the dark green of the trees. We begin with this awareness because
Awareness, Life, is the only place we can begin.
If we begin with the thing
itself; the tree, the business, or the "claim," we are beginning with an image
within Awareness, and we will never find the answer there. If we begin with the
image itself, we can go no higher than the perception of image. If, for example
we begin with a mistake on an arithmetic paper, and we are confused and confounded
by the mistake, we will never get at the answer by lingering there; will we? Can
No, we gird up our loins and look away from the mistake long enough
to go back to the principle of arithmetic, wherein there is not the least possibility
of any mistake. There, carefully observing the principle, we soon find out what
caused the mistake, and what to do about it. No, we do not begin with the problem.
We do not begin with the image within awareness. Even though that very often triggers
the determination to go and find the answer, we must nonetheless turn away from
the image, from the thing, to come back to the principle which is being the thing.
We come home to the starting point, and the starting point, without doubt, is
always this awareness, this consciousness that is conscious right here, right
now. We come home to this life to find that Life Itself is our identity. And as
we come home to Life Itself, That which is being Life discloses Itself. That which
is being this Awareness discloses itself. That which is being the wind, the bending
trees and falling pinecones; that which is being this monumental motion discloses
Itself, and we find ourself coming up with the answers.
Let us talk about
things for a moment. When we look at a thing, what do we see? Let us use an illustration.
Suppose right here, right now, we have a lump of gold. What do you see? You see
form. But is there any gold itself in form? No, you can say that gold itself is
being all there is to form, but there is no gold itself in what we call form.
If you touch it you feel something that is solid. You can say that you see and
feel solidness. Is there any gold itself in solidness? We can put the lump of
gold on a scale and see a measurable amount of weight. But is there any gold itself,
any of the essence itself in weight? No. Because it is a lump of gold, we see
yellow; don't we? But is there any gold itself in what we call yellow? No. But
gold, the essence, is being all there is to what we call yellow. Yellow lives
and moves and has its being because gold is. And instead of there being any gold
in yellow, yellow is in gold. We might use Biblical language here, and say that
yellow lives and moves and has its being because gold is. You see, yellow will
exist just as long as gold is. And it is as perfect, in every way, as gold is
being gold. Gold might very well say, if it could speak, "yellow is my color in
which I am well pleased."
And speaking as yellow, gold might say, "I, yellow,
and my basis in being gold, are one; yet gold is greater than I." Gold is the
substance and the being of all of the qualities and attributes of gold. Gold doeth
the work, gold is the value.
All that we can see with the eye, here with
the ear, touch with the hand, or taste with the tongue are just qualities and
attributes, and all of them together are not what gold is. They are what gold
is being, but they are not gold itself.
Do you see this? Once again now,
look at anything---over there is my old beat-up typewriter. We see form, we see
color, we see shape; and yet there is no Isness Itself in form, color or shape.
All that is seen with the eye is a grouping of qualities and attributes that we
Every object that is seen with the eye or heard with
ear, everything that is included with what we call awareness, is always only a
grouping of qualities and attributes. There is no power in them. The power is
inevitably in That which is being the image.
I tell you that there is no
value, there is no power, there is no importance in any object that is perceived
with awareness. There is no need to fear or be concerned about anything that you
see with your eye or hear with your ear. I'm quite aware that humanity is very
reluctant to acknowledge this fact, because it is contrary to all that humanity
believes is real, and all that humanity thinks is important.
This is the way it is that Awareness, this very conscious Awareness that
right now listens to the thunder, that sees trees and leaves and little boys and
with dirty knees, never sees primordial Isness, but sees the qualities and attributes
thereof. One never sees the principle of arithmetic. Rather, one sees the signs
and symbols that are the principle of arithmetic made manifest, but not that principle,
itself. There is no audible sound in the principle of music, and yet we hear its
melody through the application of its laws.
The melody is not the principle
itself, yet the melody exists because there is a principle of music. Principle
is first, is all; it is one, alone, single, pure.
Obviously, so long as
world science is concerned with the tangible thing, it is not concerned with Being,
Itself. And so long as we are concerned with the thing, with the wife, the daughter,
the grandson, the storm, the threatened business, the bank account---so long as
that is our primary concern, then we are not being concerned with Being Itself,
but only with the measurable qualities and attributes of Being. But Being, God,
Isness, is the Reality, the fact. It is The Alone One besides which there is no
other, outside of which nothing exists, and because of which all its qualities
and attributes have their being.
It is really very simple.
use another illustration. Suppose an actor playing the part of Macbeth comes to
believe that role to be his own actually identity. On the stage as Macbeth, he
could no more understand the powerlessness of things than he could rise and fly,
and to rise and fly was not written in the script, so he could not. There would
be no way to tell Macbeth there is no value in the sword, in the castle or in
the soldier. There is no logic, no reason, that will ever heal Macbeth's troubles.
All things, be they objects of sight, sound, touch or smell; be they thoughts,
idea, intuitions, or dreams are within---within this awareness that is aware right
here, right now.The value and importance are not out there with the thing, but
right here where Awareness Itself is being aware.
The value and the importance
and the power are That, the Deific Isness, the Godhead, which is being Awareness.
Let us say it again. Whenever we are about the business of determining
what anything is, we begin with the only place we can begin, right here with Awareness.
We come to perceive that Awareness Itself is who and what we are and that we are
not the custodian of Awareness. That is, we are not a container that includes
Awareness with itself. We are not the one who is a manipulator of Awareness. We
are not the one who says, "This Awareness is mine." Rather, we are Awareness Itself.
Right here, right now, this consciousness, this awareness that is aware, that
reads these words, is the Identity we are. The body, the trees, the wind, the
leaves, the wife, the children are images within Awareness: qualities and attributes
of Isness, just being qualitative and attributes of Isness.
The one who
identifies himself as an ego containing life, the one who believes that he is
the grand custodian of life, the one to whom God has given life; that one is the
great walking, talking, miserable "Macbeth." That one will never be convinced
of the truth of what we are saying here, because that one reasons from things
back to himself. He looks out at an external universe that he holds to be "out
there," separate and apart from himself. He sees himself in one place and he sees
things in another. He sees multiplicity and duality.
The one who is the
custodian of Awareness will never understand what we are saying here; but the
heart, that which is open, listening, feeling, recognizes the truth.
must determine whether we choose to be life, or whether we simply want to use
it. That is, do we want to just be this Awareness which is God's Awareness of
being, already viewing perfection; or do we want to live on and on as an ego,
as an identity who simply wants this awareness to show him a house full of happiness
and a bank full of dollars? The temptation, for all of us, is to use Awareness.
As we become aware of the all-inclusiveness of Awareness, we still want to maintain
ourselves as the great possessor of It, the grand custodian of It. Yet, it would
seem that we must use the words of the custodian's vocabulary. That is, we must
use Macbeth's words, a Macbeth who wants to use Awareness to suit his own aims.
Macbeth wants very much to have all of his trials and tribulations ended. He wants
Lady Macbeth to stop worrying about the blood on her hands. Macbeth wants his
calculations to go according to plan. He wants to know some great truth that will
correct all of his trials and tribulations, but he wants to remain Macbeth. He
wants to just be a very happy Macbeth, a happy container of awareness. He wants
this container to have no problems. He wants only the happy things of a grand
personal experience maintained; or of an unhappy personal experience changed,
helped, rectified, or overcome. He wants to continue as a happy, healthy, prosperous,
acclaimed Macbeth. He is not willing to let go Macbeth, to just be Life, Itself.
The surrender that the Bible and all of the religions of the world speak
of, the ego that we are to let go of, is just this one that says, "Life is mine,
I am the receiver of life; my awareness, my life, my consciousness, my affairs,
my experience." This doesn't mean that we never say "my." We are not going to
fight that battle---trying to exclude certain words that appear to imply certain
things in our experience. We simple understand that Awareness, right here, right
now, is the Identity we are; that never, never have we been a custodian of It.
Never, never have we been the recipient of It. We have played the role of the
recipient of Awareness. We have played the role of the custodian of It, the director
of It, the would-be slave-master of It; but that one was the "old man" the Bible
speaks of; "put down the old man."
Can you see that all of the problems
of Macbeth are entirely the result of his two identities, the real Identity, which
is Awareness Itself, and the belief that he is a Macbeth who is the container
of life? You see he cannot be both. He cannot hang on to just the "good" aspects
of Macbeth's life and carry those within him into the proper Identity. We cannot
take all of the aspects of human erudition that we love, and all the "good" that
we have come to perceive as human good, into the recognition of Identity as Identity
is. Identity as Identity is requires the sacrifice of the old man entire. We must
let go the old man; but the intellect will never let us do this. Macbeth, himself,
will never let us do it, because the minute we consider the possibility, the great
intellect tells us, "Well, my goodness, this will be the end of me, I'll lose
my identity, I'll be nothing." This is certainly true, because the old man and
all of his problems will be gone. That one will have been relegated to the position
that it rightfully holds---just a part in a play.
Ah, but you see Awareness
goes right on. It is the same Awareness. It still sees the same sights, still
sees the same tress and bees and pretty girls' knees. It still sees the beauty
that Isness is, because this Awareness, right here, right now, is the perception
of God. It is God's Awareness being aware. It is God's Life, living. Oh, indeed,
Awareness will be here yet! We let go the container that worries about the things
that he sees. We let that one go, and find that Awareness is here yet, unconfined,
beholding things as they are. Awareness Itself will still be the Identity I am,
unencumbered now, free now, and not limited to the dark glass purview of an ailing
ass by the name of Macbeth.
What harm can come to us as the result of things?
Consider our lump of gold illustration again. What can yellow do to harm Isness,
Itself? What can form do to hurt Isness, or Reality? No matter what we are faced
with or how threatening it is, the Light that illumination is ultimately allows
us to see that things, the images of perception, cannot do us in. I tell you that
should the roof fall in, should there appear to be the disintegration of a world
in some sort of cosmic bath of radiation, Awareness would go right on being aware.
Awareness is not confined nor bound by any laws. It is not bound nor confined
by the body that it appears to see out from. Awareness is God's Self-Perception.
Before anything can happen to this Awareness, some thing would have to happen
We stop seeing ourselves as a great personal ego containing life
within himself, to see that this life, right here, that we are, is Deity's life.
And, what is life for, but to perceive and see? It is Deity's perceiving, Deity's
seeing. Seeing what? What can Deity, being all, see but Itself? Is sees Its own
infinite qualities and attributes. The trees we see there, the mountain in the
distance, are but qualities and attributes containing no power nor importance,
of themselves, any more than numerals contain power and importance in themselves.
The numerals show forth the principle. So it is that all of the things that we
see are qualities and attributes showing forth Isness. Isness is the value, the
power and importance. I can tell you, because I know, that Isness transcends the
finite tangible appearing of the thing itself, just as surely as the television
picture tube transcends the measurable images that move about on the screen. Yes,
the screen is being all there is to all the images that appear there. But there
is something that is vast and over-riding; it is that which we call the television
set, which, in the process of functioning, is being all there is to all that the
tube is and all that the images are.
We have the television set functioning
as images; by the same token, we have Isness perceiving Itself. The perceiving
is this very Life, this very Awareness we are. And the Itself is the qualities
and attributes that Isness knows Isness to be. Consider this. Run with this. Look
on the images that you see as the qualities, characteristics, attributes of the
very self you are. See yourself as the seeing of God!
A FINAL WORD
There is a saying in the
East that nothing has been read once until it has been read twelve times. May
I suggest that you begin to reread this booklet at once. Do not put it aside until
you have captured its message. There is a simple and gentle Light within these
pages that will change your life and make all things new. It can! But it is a
message only the Heart can find. Search with the Heart and you will find it.
note: The ideas outlined in these pages are explained in detail in the author's
major works, A GUIDE TO AWARENESS AND TRANQUILLITY and THE AWARENESS