Best Friends

By Anthony Gold

When I was growing up, my best friend was a kid named Bob. He and I were inseparable – we did everything together. After school we’d hang out and do homework, and on the weekends we’d be involved in some sort of various intramural sports. And when we were old enough to date, we’d often go on double-dates.

We helped each other in school, in sports, and in life. When one of us was suffering (either through some sports injury or a sad breakup) the other felt some of the pain.

Then college came along and we drifted apart – that friendship of youth a forgotten memory. The times we did reconnect over the years never contained that same spark of brotherhood and bond from our youth. Where we once could count on each other to help through a difficult situation, the other was no longer there.

And such is the experience with many people in our lives. There for a bit, but ultimately diminishing in connection as life and circumstance intervene.

Imagine, though, if we could have a friend who was always there for us. And not just any friend – but one who had very special powers. The power to instantly bring a huge, genuine smile to our face. The power to transform any negative situation into an immediate positive. The power to lighten our load and fill us with an overwhelming sense of incredible peace.

And imagine if no amount of time or circumstance could ever diminish the strength and connection of that friendship.

Such a best friend is already there, awaiting but our acceptance of the ever-present invitation. That friend doesn’t have a proper name. That friend doesn’t have a gender or a religion. That friend isn’t even human. You can call that friend Awareness.

Awareness can be thought of like a living, best friend. As humans, it’s very hard for us not to anthropomorphize such a concept. But Awareness is not limited by any laws of the universe and, in fact, is unlimited in power.

“Hanging out” with this friend leads to remarkable experiences.

Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time? (T-15.1.1)

That’s what it’s like every moment we choose to spend time with Awareness.

How do we access such a friend? By simply rejecting the other friend we spend nearly all our time with – known as the ego.

The ego is the friend that tells us, “I know what’s best for you. I know what will make you happy.” And the ego shows us all the things in the world that could make us happy as well as everything responsible for our suffering.

And the problem is that we believe the ego. We buy-in to everything it teaches us. We’ve made the ego into our closest friend and ally – allowing it to guide our lives, day-in and day-out. The reason that is such a big problem is this: the ego is wrong. It always lies. It’s like that nefarious friend that makes us believe they have our best interests at heart, but in reality want nothing for us but suffering.

So, if we want a more joyful life all we need to do is drop that selfish, self-centered, untrustworthy friend of the ego, and instead choose the hand of Awareness. Awareness will never let us down.

Join us in Monday’s class where we’ll explore the nature of friendship, and how we can have a relationship with the best friend in the world. I look forward to seeing you then.

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