I was on a train some time ago, reading a book and waiting to depart the station. Next to my train, quite close, was another train. The other train was so close that you could only see the side of the other train but no other point of reference- no sky, ground etc. After some time, being engrossed in the book I was reading, I looked up to see if there was a delay as it seemed like we had been sitting for some time. Just as I looked up, I noticed the other train beginning to leave in the opposite direction. The windows of the other train floated by, faster and faster until it felt as though it was buffeting our train as it left. Being already tired from my trip thus far, I was mesmerized by the moving windows until they stopped. I immediately realized that, now having a frame of reference, IT WAS I WHO WAS MOVING- our train had been moving all along.
On another occasion, I found myself in the ocean, on my surfboard, beyond the break of the waves. Being a total novice at actually surfing, I found myself enjoying the moment more than trying to catch a wave. Being able to just be there in the water was enough. I soon noticed, only when I looked back to shore, and then back to the other surfers, that I had been taken quite far from my original point. I had no sense of movement whatsoever. To me, there was just stillness.
It is often said that as a person gets older, they become wiser. Wisdom is related to experience, knowledge, learning. From a relative sense, I suppose this is true in many cases. What I mean by that is that, within our own frame of reference, the life and skills we have chosen for ourselves, we do learn things as we go.
From a spiritual sense, this does not hold true.
In Genesis, we are told of the creation of humankind (I won’t get into the debate of literal versus symbolic meaning as none of that kind of false conception has any importance to your ultimate freedom and salvation). We were created as perfect ‘being’. We remained as such until we became conscious of our ‘self’ as a separate entity, in a separate world, apart from God, with a totally new frame of reference created by our sense of ourselves.
We are, in fact, one with God, perfect, in our true nature. It was the way we were created, and it is our natural way of being. Anything added to this fact, anything we perceive as knowledge, wisdom, learning, something to gain, is, in fact, imperfection, ignorance, and a totally made up (by us) frame of reference. Nothing we gain from birth, through life, and then unto death, lasts- except our true nature.
We can see, just from a couple simple examples I described in the beginning, how easily we can be deceived by simple changes in our relative frames of reference. How much more so, then, can we be fooled by an existence we have taken as real, that is ultimately only something we have conjured up?
This might seem deeply disturbing to some, or incredibly liberating to others. Someone who is deeply attached to themselves, their life, might find this frightening and threatening. A person in deep pain, maybe with a disease and near death, however, might find that seeing that this reality is not the end, when it goes, is comforting. Both reactions are merely dependent on our frame of reference, happy in life or in pain and about to lose life.
Can you imagine how wonderful life would be without any anxiety, worry, self interest, concerns of any kind?
True liberation, salvation and freedom from ignorance and suffering, is beyond any reaction based on a self made frame of reference that caters to our ego and sense of self. Christ tells us this when he comes to shatter our frames of reference, our self based worlds we have created.
Christ has come to shatter your frames of reference, to offer a way to see through the illusory world we’ve created and find our way back to God. It is not so much that He has come to save ‘you’, the you that you think you are, but to have the accumulation of the world that has covered your true nature, drop away. This is alluded to in the ‘eye of the needle’ scripture. It is not a judgment of wealth so much as it is a description of your nature- you cannot bring the world with you to heaven.
Whether it is material or monetary wealth, intellectual wealth, wisdom, personality, whatever worldly thing that we might take as part of our reality, Christ is telling us that these are a hindrance to salvation, not the way to it. Reality itself gives us this clue when we are born, and when we die. We come with nothing, and we leave with nothing. Genesis also shows us the truth of who we really are, before we were “born” into the world as we know it. We were created as perfection, and we will return to it.
So, the idea that we become wiser as we get older is really a myth. True wisdom, ultimate wisdom, is your birthright. Who you really are is beyond your individual life and experience. If you can allow your frames of reference to fall away, you will need not do anything else to find freedom- it will find you.