Underneath the clothing of human identityFollowing from Shakespeare's famous quote from Hamlet, "To be or not to be, that is the question," let's consider what it means to be, to exist, to be alive, and whether we can ever not be. Being is the core of our nature. I say 'the core' because that helps us to understand it better, but truly it is the whole of our nature. It is what we are, but it seems that it is at the heart of who we are. The reason for this is that Being becomes clothed with identity.

That needs some explanation. Say we start off as just Being. Our primordial self is Pure Being. We are just what is, without any objective qualities. Without form. Without beginning or end. Imagine then that from Being, or as it's sometimes termed, Isness, there developed the sense 'I'. This 'I' is linked with Being, so the sense 'I am' appears. Next the 'I am' sense reaches out and attaches to form. To cut a long story short, we reach the point where we identify with dense forms, such as the human body, and we feel that I am a man or I am a mother, or I am a doctor, or I am an insecure office worker and I have lots of problems in my life. This is the human experience of identity and how it can tangle us up into all sorts of problems, beliefs and associations. The identity develops and attaches to the things of the world. However, the source of Beingness is always here. Underneath the clothing of human identity and association is the pure naked Beingness that is our true nature.

Our Beingness is never lost. It only seems to be hidden because of the focus of attention away from our being to the changing forms of the world. Our being is unchanging and imperceivable. It is imperceivable in the same way that we cannot see our eyes. We may look at them in a mirror, but that is only a reflection of where we are looking from. Our being is self aware. We are self aware. But we cannot see our formless nature. Instead the world appears as a reflection of our formless nature. The unchanging stillness of our being perceives the changing world of motion.

Is it possible to not be? Well, Being is what we are. It is formless and boundless, so it is a shared Being. We are the same Being, the Infinite One Being. So we cannot not be. But there is a sense of our nature being emptiness, a full emptiness, a complete emptiness. Our Being can be called Nothingness, because it has no objective qualities. Yet we can understand its 'qualities' through the reflection of the world. You see, the world is a play of opposites that reflects the singular nature of Being. Where we experience love and hate in the world it reflects our true nature of Pure Love. Where we experience gain and loss in the world it reflects our true nature of Content Completeness. Where we experience alive and not alive in the world it reflects our true nature of Pure Unending Life.

What this means is that although our nature can be described as Nothingness, where it could be said that we do not exist, what we know as the highest qualities in the world point to the unmanifest nature of our being. We are Pure Love, Pure Life, Pure Clarity, Pure Consciousness, Pure Stillness, Pure Being. Yet this is imperceivable until the mirror of the world appears before us and reflects back aspects of our unmanifest nature. The world is always less than what we are, because we are complete in our unmanifest state. Call it Being or Not Being, Completeness or Emptiness, we are as we are.