Life is a rich experience filled with the play of opposites. For much of my life I sought or at times even waited for the good and shrunk from the undesirable. I was thinking if I can just get through this then everything will be alright. Look at that word. All right. What a myth that life could always be all right. For without dark there would be no light, without sad there would be no joy, for there would be nothing to compare it with.
These are thoughts we know or most likely have heard as points of discussions. They are an interesting debate for the mind to have and they are certainly easy to say. Yet we are forgetting the reality of the physical, emotional, mental, even spiritual meaning or feelings associated with the experience of the play of opposites that come unbidden into our lives despite how hard we may try to “do the right thing”, make the best choice, try to be good as if that opens the way for only good to come.
Agreed? These are the eternal inner struggle we all touch at some point. In what frontier of your life do you sense the greatest turbulence? Finances? Relationships/ Bosses? Friends? Health? Mood?
My brilliant friend and teacher Victoria Merkle, Founder of the School for Core Energetic Healing reminds us “that the frontier where we struggle is where our essence, our core self, is seeking to be revealed.”
For a moment let’s just assume that we are indeed all spiritual beings here to have a human experience. Imagine for a moment that original spark of the divine essence of you bursting forth into the dense vibration of human experience.
Our soul or essence enters this mass of protoplasm we call the human form as a spark of consciousness all-knowing and connected to all that is.
Yet to enter this mass of evolving cells there are reflex programs operating to keep the spark of knowing safe until it learns to drive the vehicle of the human form through this world without starving or dying. These reptilian urges to cry, to suck, to be still, to move, help us survive as our unique and complex structure of the brain matures and the powerful alert and vigilant mind begins to observe and learn through it’s response to the impulses arising around it. This leads our minds to choose an action and hence we have the cycle of cause and effect that is ever churning in our lives.
It is the cause and effect of our movement through impulse that creates learning and behavior as we become more aware. The spark of knowing peers out through the senses on multiple planes of observation and processes the inputs to shape reaction and action.
We bounce Self, the essence of us, off the world and watch the response the world sends back. The experiences we have through this process shape patterns of reflex thoughts, behaviors, and responses as we mature into adulthood. Not only do we shape our outward behaviors but also we develop complex reflex biochemical dances as well. These behaviors and biochemical responses develop as our systems are exposed to environmental inputs, foods, antibiotics, kindness, punishment, safety, danger, injury, love, hot, cold, containment, exploration, and so on…
It’s a complex process many of us may have never considered. When we touch these concepts of our diverse experiences and allow ourselves to open to the “feeling” of the richness of the human experience; it frees our mind, the tool of our spirit, to open to evolutionary changes in our actions and reactions on all planes in order for our true purpose and essence to emerge.
The dance of the body’s reactions, the consequences of cause and effect, have been observed and reacted to by the mind both consciously and unconsciously. The more we allow our deep knowingness to observe the patterns of the mind and the reflex dance of the body with conscious awareness the more we move ourselves along the road of mastery.
It’s hard to embrace everything you face in life as part of divine order and allow yourself to feel the experience of the thing, whatever that thing is, and allow it to move you deeper into the watching place without allowing the reflex acquired patterns of response to rule you.
I think of the body and the mind as two naughty children warring with each other at times or they may be well behaved and harmonious. It seems our happiness at times may depend on whether these 2 are friends or fighting.
I say that mastery is resting in the watching place and untangling Self from the reflex patterns of the mind and the body. It helpful to allow oneself to feel whatever is occurring inside and just observe the endless commentary of the mind offering us its reflex solution, action or observation.
These reflex patterns and commentaries come from all ages of experience and some even suggest DNA imprinted hereditary responses programmed through the lineage influences in our family line. If the age of the reflex response is acquired early in life it becomes a sensory pattern oftentimes beyond the minds ability to even fathom. In those instances, we may feel like a victim of circumstances beyond our control. We may have unexplained or uncontrollable responses or feelings that make no sense to the mind. These infant programmed reflexes can be very difficult to unwind. The key is to be with the sensation without trying to name it, blame it, or fix it.
Let me give you an example or 2.
Let’s say your grandparents lived in a time where food was scarce. The epigenetic effects, i.e. the evolutionary adjustments in your gene expression program would be made for the offspring to survive in starvation. But what if the conditions of starvation had passed by the time the grandchild was born and they were born into the land of plenty? Their genetic program to store efficiently would invite their body to store the excess calories and obesity would develop.
Living in the world doing what the masses do i.e. consuming the standard American diet would cause your genes to do the right thing in the wrong environment.
Mastery is about stepping back, checking in, watching the frontiers of our life that feel like we are out of control or a victim. Sit with the discomfort of that feeling without trying to name it, blame it, or fix it. For it is at that place of discomfort, the one we want to move away from into a reflex action or solution successful or unsuccessful, that we find the key to unravelling the mystery behind the feeling.
How do we as spiritual beings having a human experience learn? It is by cultivating a relationship with our essence, the pure spark that has come in to animate this human form which has all its basic operating machinery and patterned programs written by the environment gene interactions and hereditary imprints of the DNA. Our rational and logical mind instinctively wants to figure it out for us. As though there is a rational and logical solution for what we face.
To me the process of touching the feeling is a rational and logical technique. However, what happens next is a mystery.
Descartes thought he did us a favor all those years ago when he introduced the concept of deduction, observation and reasoning for problem solving.
Our minds hungry to make sense of the chaos of our complex world rapidly embraced the scientific method of observing, analyzing, categorizing the life experience into neat facts and explanations. The deeper we go the more we learn and the more complexity we observe.
Modern medicine is a classic example. When I go to research a physical process or disease, it starts with an explanation of the endpoint. What is observed in the disease. The signs and symptoms. Then there are the latest treatments born out of scientific study of the pathophysiology operating behind the scenes.
Each year as Basic Science evolves we go deeper and deeper into the biochemistry and even into the dance of our genes. Then we even try to manipulate the expression of those genetic patterns by using drugs to block their action as in the latest cancer medications or biologic drugs for inflammatory conditions.
There comes a point as you use the rational mind to go deeper and deeper into the knowledge that you hit quantum physics. That’s where we find that at the core of all that is, underneath all form and expression, we are just the movement of energy in and out of existence.
Carolyn Myss reminded me in her salon:
That God is not rational and logical. The world is a mystery we are a mystery. Healing is a mystery. It is the choice to open ourselves to mystery that allows that indescribable dance of energy that is the world, that is us; to evolve and transform into its highest expression.
We must allow ourselves to touch the place within each of us from which the mystery arises.
Resting with the wonder and mystery that is you and allowing yourself to just feel is the secret to finding the doorway to the mystery. The frontiers in your life where you struggle; where you have frustration, where you feel yourself ride round and round recreating the same outcome. That is the path of watching that you want to follow; that leads to the doorway of your mystery.
The hard part is; we can talk about it as a method as if it would be easy. If it was easy we would not have split away from it in the first place or have developed our reactions and defenses and coping behaviors.
Sitting with the feeling requires great courage. It requires support and external validation that you are on the path to self- transformation. Feelings are powerful. They are intimately connected to a cascade of chemicals released into our system that once released puppet the body into a variety of actions. Pain, excitement, fear, frustration, depression, anxiety, these are deep thought grooves that can be negative and unrelenting, and they are the many flavors of our biopsychosocial responses.
It is certainly not for the faint of heart.
However, just allowing your mind to touch the possibility that the way out of the Chinese finger trap is to embrace it not pull away. That opens the door to infinite possibility, infinite outcome. It allows the mystery of healing to come through upwelling from the Essence that is truly You.
Cultivate a relationship with that possibility. The sages have taught us, meditate, recite the rosary, sing sacred words, follow your breath, tame the mind, invite it to be your friend, offer your body and mind compassion and grace as if it were a child.
I have had the good fortune of knowing many masters in my
life’s journey. Their message has always been the same.
Know your own Self, God, the divine spark of all that is, dwells within you as You.
Not You the personality; You the energetic being, that divine spark that animates the human form and expresses through our unique genetic programs.
Rest in the place where that original spark of You that is connected to All That Is arises. The frontiers where you struggle are the covering right there. If you sit at the door knowing on the other side is the mystery. If you let go of the need to look back into the stories, reactions and feelings and all the thoughts and solutions that your mind tries to offer to you, then that very act of resting in the sensate or the feeling allows the door to open and your deepest essence to up-well.
The experience is not unlike the momentary sensation we feel as we witness a glorious sunrise, or experience a heartfelt act of kindness. Or the way our heart feels when we gaze into the innocence of a newborn’s smile.
The experience is ours. It is a momentary Knowing that comes from deep within, not from the mind. In that moment You Know that there is more. You Know that you are in touch with All That Is. It may only be for a fleeting second. Yet the impulse that upwells from that deep momentary reset as you extinguish mind, the thoughts and the reflex patterns in the silence of your soul will move you toward your next action leading to the next cycle of cause and effect.
In my world there is no wrong choice. Every action we make takes us to the next place. Of course, we do not want violent or harsh actions. They do occur in life as impulses move through wounded and distorted misconceptions programmed in by life and lineage experiences in some individuals. The experiences they generate in those who are exposed to these things are powerful transformative energies that send shockwaves through families, societies and cultures inviting us to stop look and feel and find new ways to bring grace and harmony to the world.
The contemplation we seek in this writing is for you to strip down the diverse stories of the play of consciousness in life to the essence underneath it all. To the place from which All arises. How do we find that place?
It is through observing where we are struggling and rather than allowing our mind to ramble on and on with a thousand reasons and stories. We pause take a deep breath we turn within to the experience in our form and watch the noise whether it be from the mind or the body. We watch and wait dropping deeper and deeper into the sensation we are experiencing without trying to name it blame it or fix it.
Only then will the stillness arise.