Thought divides knowing into a knower and the known, loving into a lover and the beloved, and perceiving into a perceiver and the perceived. As such, it is thought alone that abstracts a subject and an object from the seamless, unnamable intimacy of pure Knowing or Experiencing.

Why Does It Take So Long?

How come just knowing this is not enough and it takes so long?

Dear Keith,

Keith: When I have the lightening quick thought to choose the suffering then I am defining who and what I am all about by my own authority not the universes.

Rupert: ‘You’ as an entity do not choose the lightning quick thought to have suffering, any more than you choose the lightening quick appearance of that siren outside, or the itch on your leg or the bird that just passed the window.

There are no separate entities or objects anywhere to be found in experience. Even from a materialistic point of view the universe is one vast web or interconnectedness. ‘Stir but a wing and you stir a star.’

The separate entity and its corollary, the separate world, are concepts not experiences. If we provisionally admit the existence of cause and effect (that is, if we are talking at the relative rather than the absolute level) we have to admit that the totality chooses every minute appearance, such as the breath you just took, the thought that you or anyone else just had and my cat stretching on the floor.

In other words, the non-existent entity has no authority. It is simply a thought and a feeling that appears from time to time.


Keith: The “I/ego” gets its way by creating in real time a scenario of suffering and then “I/ego” suffers because of it.

Rupert; The “I/ego” is simply a thought that appears to be substantiated by feelings in the body. It has no other substance other than the thought that thinks it. It neither creates suffering nor itself suffers. It IS suffering. If we consider it to be real, then our suffering seems very real. If we have the experiential understanding that it is non-existent, then suffering is non-existent.

However, it is misleading to associate ‘I’ and the ‘ego.’ ‘I’ is the name we give to what we intimately know ourselves to be - the knowingness or experiencingness that runs through all experience - whilst the ‘ego’ is simply a thought that appears from time to time.


Keith: Consciousness just gets way backed out somewhere and loses it’s being until the “I/ego” has it’s way with you.

Consciousness seems to get backed out somewhere, that is, the thought that exclusively associates Consciousness with a body, seems to veil the true nature of Consciousness from itself. This is the experience known as suffering.

However, it is not the “I/ego” that decides when to cease ‘having its way with you.’ The “I/ego” decides, chooses, does, thinks, creates, enjoys and suffers nothing.

What is it that decides this? In order to answer this question we have to first believe that ignorance has a cause and can therefore be terminated. But when we look for this ignorance, we do not find it. How can something that is non-existent have a cause or be terminated?

However, we can only legitimately say this if we know that there is no separate self and therefore no ignorance or suffering.

If we feel we are suffering, then we very much feel that we are a separate self and that separate self, by definition, seems to be doing, choosing, thinking etc. If this is the case for us then, as that apparent entity, the very best thing we can do is to investigate the nature of this entity that we belief and more importantly feel ourselves to be.


Keith: How come just knowing this is not enough and it takes so long?

Rupert: If we truly know this in an experiential way and not just an intellectual way, it is enough.

Why does it take so long? Because of that very question.

With that question we create the very time that we then lament. And with the creation of time comes the separate entity with its entourage of objects, others, the world, cause and effect etc.

See that the separate entity and its entourage are non-existent and the idea that this takes so long will vanish.

That is the short and direct answer. If you think and feel however, that you are a separate entity (and there is no judgement in that) then an answer that is tailored to that belief is given below:

Knowing this (if by knowing you refer to an intellectual knowing) is not enough because we don’t just think, we also feel and perceive. Our experience doesn’t just consist of mind, but the body and the world also.

If our experience only consisted of thinking, then, as long as all the thoughts were in line with the true nature of our experience, we would always be happy.

However, if all our thoughts were in line with the non-dual nature of experience and yet we continued to feel in terms of being a separate entity,  then whenever feelings or bodily sensations were present, there would be a conflict.

Likewise if we continued to consider that objects, others and the world (ie. perceptions) were outside of our self and made out of something other than our self, then our intellectual knowing would be of little value whenever perceiving was present.

Your question is pertinent. It pin points a situation that is true for many of us, “I know that I am not separate but I feel that I am.”

And this is often the reason why it seems to ‘take so long.’ Many teachings address the belief of being limited and located, but few address the feeling of being such.

In fact the larger part of ignorance is the feeling of separation, not the belief in separation, and therefore ignorance, and the suffering that attends it, persists long after we seem to have a good intellectual knowledge of the non-dual teaching.

So to the apparent one who thinks that he is not present as an entity and yet feels that he is located in or as the body, I would say, explore your feelings; look there for any evidence of separation.


Keith: ACIM says purification is necessary? Is the purification the suffering, then it says that you can be a happy learner or a suffering learner….....

Rupert: I have never heard of ACIM, but purification is not necessary. Purification of what? Only an object could be purified and Knowing Presence is not an object.

Likewise there is nothing purifying about suffering. The idea that suffering purifies is the same as saying that suffering leads to happiness. This is absurd. Suffering is simply another name for the apparent presence of the separate entity. This apparent entity, by definition, veils the happiness that is inherent in the knowing of our being. Suffering is the veiling of the happiness that is innate within us, not the way to it.

Suffering at best is a warning signal that we have forgotten our true nature and are mistaking ourselves for a limited, located entity. That is its function, if it can be said to have a function. Once it has signalled this mistake, it has done its job.

If we don’t take the message, suffering continues until at last, sometimes, we turn round, that is, we hear the call from our innermost self, “Come back, my love, come back to me, your Beloved.”  

That call is, for some of us, the beginning of the end.

It is the call of the Beloved, not the efforts of an apparent person, that is both the original impulse, the journey and the destination.

With love,