We All Shine On

“Why in the world are we here? Surely not to live in pain and fear.” These are lyrics from John Lennon’s song, “Instant Karma.”

Lennon used intuitive powers to reach this metaphysical point. He knew about pain and fear and knew those emotions couldn’t possibly be the point of life. In the chorus of the song he repeats, “We all shine on.”

When you strip away the pain and the fear, we do all shine on.

In Ana Karenina, Leo Tolstoy said, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” He was right. Our pain and fear differentiates us. We’ve all heard someone say, “You don’t understand what I’ve been through.” They’re talking about their pain and fear. We never hear anyone say, “You just don’t understand how happy I am.”

We identify with our pain and our fear. We are not as quick to identify with our happiness or peace. We tend to see those as temporal.

When you strip away all our ego identification, our roles, our childhood pain, our adult trails, the addictions and compulsions, the obsessions and betrayals, when you take all of that away, there is something that remains that’s powerful, something that remains that we share alike. We all shine on.

It’s the presence. In the presence we are one. Our truest self lies beyond the particulars of our lives, beyond our likes and dislikes, beyond our promises and failures, beyond the short-lived triumphs, beyond illness, beyond our pain and fear. While our truest self may sometimes seem far beyond our reach, it’s actually right here. It’s here in the now.

When we strip away those things that are not our truest self, the pain and fear, we release our suffering.

What’s left when we let go of our pain and fear? The here and now, the happiness and peace, the love and acceptance.

To be here now is to demonstrate the awareness that is the same in all of us. All that’s left when we take away the pain and the fear is love and acceptance. In that we’re all the same, in that we all shine on.


13 thoughts on “We All Shine On

  1. Beautiful,Robert,
    It all points to our abiding in our true nature that shines on, which IS, always and forever has been— Lets call it LOVE, I don’t know what else to call it..
    Your suggestion bellow, of how to be free of the coverings and obstructions also makes sense. Let me quote:
    “When we strip away those things that are not our truest self”
    “What’s left when we let go of our pain and fear? The here and now, the happiness and peace, the love and acceptance”
    Great promises for a conceptually, beautiful and comfortable life.
    Question, WHO exactly is this entity, who is able to DO this uncovering. Plus, HOW is all of this done?
    I ask the questions because it is important to know, and the answers and comments makes your post more meaningful and valuable.Some would simply want to know the HOW and WHO.

    • Thanks for your comment, Hshmzaki7. The answers are simple. The “who” is the self behind the self — if we let it out. The how is anyway we can. It starts will the simple realization that our pain and fear do not constitute who we are. We take it from there.

  2. Beautiful post, (with)in(as) through the Presence we all shine on. And great insight, “We identify with our pain and our fear. We are not as quick to identify with our happiness or peace. We tend to see those as temporal.” I had not thought of it that way before.

  3. Hi Rob,

    Another beautifully observed post. I hope such insight reflects a continuation in your life-long spiritual journey as much as it does in promoting the idea of learning to differentiate our nihilistic thoughts from those that are more healthy and inspiring and in the process finding an understanding in the reason why such fears and pain come about in the first place.

    On many occasions when one reflects more rationally upon negative thoughts, we find no clearly defined reason and little substance to their meaning. What we do find however is a tendency to repeatedly live out the same habitual processes in our lives and it is these that often give rise to the personal suffering we endure. I have read numerous books that suggest that Fear and Laziness are the primary culprits that keep us bound to our habits: Fear of change, of transformation, of acceptance, and Laziness in our desires and motivations to achieve happiness within ourselves and hence for ourselves without necessitating a reliance on the convenient and conventional ideals so readily packaged and served up by our respective cultures. Man was not born to be led but to lead themselves. The Spirit demands a mechanism for its own expression not a reliance on the energies of another. It is a wonderful thing to have role models in life who we look up to and admire, but we will never be like them, we can only ever be ourselves. And until one accepts that they can achieve self-determination through self-realisation and activation of their true potential independently of another, man will always suffer at the hand of oppression.

    A great summation of this might be: Faith, Hope, and Love are the most aspirational virtues of man, but are nothing in themselves without the Motivation to achieve all three.

    We live in a world where our independence and our freedoms are slowly being removed more and more readily by minorities hell bent on capitalising on their agendas and there is little room for people to manoeuvre and breathe. We all fall foul to the political corruption of our free world, to the disfiguring of our one Earth, to the lies, deceits and perfidy of self appointed religious leaders, to the insistent drive to capitalism, and the falsehoods that constitute a facsimile of what true democracy is all about. And out of this cauldron of burning ambitions, false prophets, and mismanagement of our lives, we take our nourishment. Is it little wonder then that in ingesting such god-forsaken ideas, notions and philosophies our lives come to be seen in such negative ways. I mean, against what markers are we measuring the value of our lives? When a man’s salary becomes a statement to others of his worth, when profiteers and global companies pay for changes to legislation to promote their own profits, when commercialisation places demands above and beyond social enterprise, when religions entice children to sign the warheads of rockets and bombs that will fall on other children, then it is time to step away from beneath the darkened vale, and step forward without Fear and without Apathy and demand change. If a man can see beyond the lies and find a vision of a better world emerging, then that man has truly found something worth celebrating in himself and making manifest for the betterment of our world.

    We as a species have become so immersed and indoctrinated within this framework of contemporary living, that we have forgotten how to think independently, we have forgotten how to feel the freedom so hoped for by our individual spirit. So how does one escape the ravages of a supressed world…we do it through the Imagination, we do it through Belief, we do it through Self-Determination, and we do it all with Truth, Love, Compassion, Empathy and Acceptance for our fellow man. The imagination is such a remarkable entity, it’s what I have seen described as God’s mind within man. It is where the creative impulse resides, where thought takes it counsel, and where often as not, truth resides. The imagination is the last bastion of Freedom, and once the powers that be in this world take that away from every free-thinking and independently minded man then all that is left is gravity and the air that we breathe…and I am certain it won’t be long before both are taxable or made to be paid-by-the-hour either.

    So realistically, what is there to fear in change? What exactly are we letting go of if not simply an impoverished way of life, a suppression of our minds, a burden on our souls, and the divisions and differences that are enforced by others between us all. Are we not all born from the one amazing cosmic event billions of years ago? Do we not all share the same physiology? Do we not all breathe air, eat food, take in water, stand erect and remain subject to the same physical laws that keep us attached to this planet? And if so, why do we prejudice the happiness in our lives by creating divisions between us? Why do we invest time, effort, energy in following notions, ideas and philosophies that were never present in our lives when we were born, but which we take on board without questioning their legitimacy and then set about freely utilising them as building blocks in our lives. Why has man become so lazy in their thinking and so accepting without discernment of these ideas. And more importantly still where has the Spiritual dimension of man gone, and why did we ever let that happen in the first place?

    There is a world of wonder to be seen each and every time we take an aeroplane flight and climb above the clouds. High above the world we look down on a jewel in God’s crown and we see it for what it is: nothing more than beautifully undivided home. High above this world, elevated from our daily striving we feel so liberated, so free of doubt, fear, so unburdened by lust, greed, wealth, power, and so far away from the faithless world of man. High above the clouds we are touched by the expanse of it all: we look out of the window and upwards into infinity and sometimes we realise that our earthbound vision is so myopic, so short-sighted and so veiled by a false ceiling of clouds. From Earth we may not always be able to see the curving of the horizon nor the stars that melt in the cosmos, and yet having witnessed them from high above the clouds we can sometimes be touched by the wonder of our universe, its grandeur, its allure, its majesty, its might, and that feeling is overwhelming and humbling. It is only when we return to the bondage of our earthbound lives that once again we are consumed by the fears, doubts and uncertainties of life again.

    So when I am asked How we go about relinquishing such thoughts, my reply is simply, ‘Why not climb above the clouds and see your world, your planet, your life from a distance of 40,000 feet? It will help put everything you do and feel into perspective.’ Man doesn’t need to subsist on the margins of freedom. Man doesn’t need to resist the urge to change themselves or his world. Man only needs to persist with their innovative, creative and imaginative ideas to enable us all to exist in a wondrous world. Fear and Doubt find no home in the imagination. They only exist in when all Hope is gone.

    DN – 30/03/14

  4. A wonderfully written post Rob. It leads one to the ultimate realisation that once fear is corralled and overcome then love can reign unfettered and supreme.
    Although I have to say I was concerned I might have been misdirected when I found myself enmeshed in what appeared to be a totally different post. 😉
    #IMHO. You have the ‘problem’ and the ‘answer ‘ beautifully encapsulated.
    Blessings. Susan ❤

  5. Good stuff here.

    Ironically, even though the expression of our suffering might differ, perhaps universality might be found in the fact that at some point in time, we ALL experience suffering at some level. Though it might only be a place along the journey, it’s undoubtedly one into which many a foot has fallen.

    Just a thought.

    Thanks for bringing the light…

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