Everything I can control from my mental laptop, complete with radar, heat sensors, attitude detectors, intuition, etc., is part of that “field of awareness.” Collectively I refer to it as “I.”
Keep in mind that I’ve been outside my body in 1977 so I know my body is operated by a spirit, which, like everything else associated with me, I crudely designate as “I.” So I, the perennial observer, have more than one “I,” just as we have more than one set of clothes.
This spirit that I am literally looks out through these eyes. I watched myself transition from “me” inside my body to “me” outside. It took less than a second, as if I was sucked into position.
Like Jim Carrey in The Mask, once I had the body mask on I couldn’t get it off.
So here “I” am, walking around in a body and wanting to live a good life. What’s most important, now that we’ve gotten the mechanics out of the way?
The way I feel. The way I feel may not determine what I say, but it sure determines how I say it. So much of my day is spent responding to the way I feel, doing something to improve it or enjoy it. Or run from feelings that I don’t like. (1)
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Earlier in the day, I heard in my inner ear: “You can’t become a knower of God until you become a knower of the Self.” This of course is an ancient proverb, common to a number of religions.
Meister Eckhart best captures the sense of us as Babushka dolls – bodies, spirit, soul, God:
“There is a spirit in the soul, untouched by time and flesh, flowing from the Spirit, remaining in the Spirit, itself wholly spiritual.
“In this principle is God, ever verdant, ever flowering in all the joy and glory of His actual Self. Sometimes I have called this principle the Tabernacle of the soul, sometimes a spiritual Light, anon I say it is a Spark.
“But now I say that it is more exalted over this and that than the heavens are exalted above the earth. … It is free of all names and void of all forms. It is one and simple, and no man can in any wise behold it.” (2)
No one can any wise behold the Father perhaps, but not the Self.
We have to burrow down, with our loving awareness, through all these layers of manifested consciousness to find it.
All of that which I described earlier – the environment, the field of awareness, the “I” – is at its center what we’re looking for (Self, God) and at its peripheries (self), not at all what we’re looking for.
At the periphery, all is hubbub. The Self is refined. You can’t hear it or see it in the midst of chaos – well, not usually, anyways.
We have to journey past those surface layers of the busy “self” to know “the Self.” And then, I hypothesize, we have to burrow into that same Self, in the heart, in the center, to know God.
That’s my hypothesis, having travelled only a small distance on this route this lifetime. That portal is the next place to go for me.
Progressively-deeper Self-Disclosure, Self-Revelation. It’s that way with love as well: We go into deeper and deeper experiences of love.
The heart is in the center. The Self resides in the seat of the soul, the very deepest reach of the heart – also in the center. We’re always directed (A) inwards and (B) into the center.
My next explorations will be to see if the Self is a portal. (3)
I’d observe in passing that, for the ordinary, normal, average person (if there is one among this generation), consideration be paid to how to improve the emotional state. That seems to bring the biggest dividends.
But for the flat-out spiritual seeker, which I’m not this lifetime (and often wish I were), I highly recommend burrowing straight into the heart, into the center, and never stopping.
Everything I’ve seen about the discovery of the Self indicates movement from gross to subtle, from busy to still, from loud to silent, from worry to relief, from sorrow to joy. Every time we make that transition from one state to the other, I like to think we’re creating a new neural pathway in the journey to awaken the God within.
(1) OK, OK. I process the feelings I don’t like. See “How to Handle Unwanted Feelings: The Upset Clearing Process,” December 29, 2018, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2018/12/29/how-to-handle-unwanted-feelings-the-upset-clearing-process-2/
(2) Meister Eckhart in Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy. New York, etc.: Harper and Row, 1970; c1944, 15-6.
(5) Kidding aside, I have to watch out that I don’t end up in a spiritual coma from seeing too much. Spiritual teacher is someone else’s job; spiritual reporter, with occasional visits and explorations, is mine. You, however!!!