In the teachings of Vedanta we sometimes speak
of 'the end of becoming.' What does the phrase,
'the end of becoming' mean?
The thing is, one cannot become what one already
is. And what one already is, is what one wants
to become. (So that's the good news.)
But one does not know that as yet. (The not
so good news.)
However, that ‘not knowing’ can
end. (The very good news!)
Let's say right now I don't know what I am.
I know that I am. I know that I exist. I know
that I am a conscious being. So, I know that
I am a conscious/existent being.
But I don't know what that existence/consciousness,
truly is. So, I take myself as limited. The mind,
being the great labeler (as that is its job)
takes whatever is handy (in this case the body/mind)
to be me.
The mind takes my existent conscious self to
be limited, and a product of, the body/mind and
sense organs. What are the implications of taking
my self to be the limited mind and body? (Not
I 'as though' (and it really is only 'as though')
become subject to birth/death, disease, pain,
old age, unhappiness, you name it! Not a pretty
Even though it is only 'as though', that doesn't
matter in terms of the effect this has on the
mind. It's the scariest thing there is. Like
even if I'm walking along a path on a dark night,
and I take a crack in the road to be a deadly
cobra, it doesn't matter to my mind what the
reality is of what I'm seeing, if I don't know
what the reality of it is. If my mind projects
'deadly cobra' onto the crack in the earth, and
has no doubt about it, trauma will ensue.
And then, even when some kind friend, noticing
my distress, shows me what is really there, and
I see, "Oh, it is only a crack in the road," my
heart may still be beating fast from the residual
effects of the mental trauma caused by my totally
Taking my existence/conscious self to be the
body/mind is the most traumatic experience there
is. There is nothing worse, and it is completely
But if someone walks up to you and says those
words, I'm not sure that they would help. You
would have to feel the person knew what they
were talking about, and that they were not crazy
or deluded, and be open to hearing and wanting
to know what they had to say.
If all of the above criteria were met you might
ask that person: "If you know that I am
not the body/mind, and if you know that you are
not the body/mind; if that is your direct experiential
knowledge, is it possible that I can know the
same thing? And, if so, how I can I know it?
Can you actually prove to me and show me that
what you are saying is true?"
Although there is nothing you can do to become
who you are (because you are already that), there
is something you can do to know who you really
Although you don't know it now, you can know
it, because you are here to be known. The truth
is here to be known. It is only a matter of having
someone, whom you trust and who is skillful,
logically point out to you certain incontrovertible
facts about yourself and the nature of your experience,
and then giving your mind time to assimilate
those facts. Then you yourself will recognize
The end of becoming is knowing that you never
could, and never have, become anything in the
first place other than what you already are.
And what you already are has never been subject
to becoming ever.
When the Gordian knot of ignorance (taking my
self to be the body/mind) slips apart, then I
see, Wow! This existence consciousness which
I am, never becomes, never changes, is ever the
same, and it is the most wonderful constant 'me'
that I have always loved in every changing moment.
It is what I always wanted to be! And what I
always wanted to be, I am! Amazing!
There is nothing that I can do to become my
self, because I am already my self, and the recognition
of that is called freedom!
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