We are light emitters. Now, from a scientific point of view, all matter emits light, even stones, but ours is an extraordinary radiance, rapturously described in The Tibetan Book of the Dead as “the luminous splendour of the colourless light of Emptiness.” We think we are bodies going about the business of the body, but that’s vyakti, the outer self. The inner self, the vyakta, is pure light. I occasionally have the experience of seeing a soft white glow around the head of the man I am counselling. On those occasions I know again that all is well. There’s nothing he needs to do.
No one says, “I am a body. This is me!” And yet this is precisely what most of us hold to be true. Herein lies our suffering. All our problems are body problems.
The door to the heart opens on the realization that the ground of our being, the essence of who we are, is formless. All else is congealed energy. “Our bodies are like prisons,” said Einstein, “and I look forward to be free, but I don’t speculate on what will happen to me. I live here now, and my responsibility is in this world now.”
If I am full of fear, I do not know myself. Not knowing myself, I become identified with my body, focussed on how to protect it, pleasure it and prolong its existence. So deep is my ignorance that I don’t even know I’m afraid.