Our modern world appears very much different than it was even fifty years ago. Go back further and the differences become even more noticeable. The differences one finds are not inherently good or bad, though arguably the shift in our ability to insulate ourselves from nature and many of the ailments that plagued us has been a good thing. We live longer, eat better, have better medical care and have created all manner of gadgets to make life easier for ourselves.
One would think that as our knowledge of the physical world grew so to should our opportunities to express ourselves. This has happened to a certain extent, however, what we have done is actually narrow our vision to that of our physical creations and what we can do with them. This has not helped us as a whole to be happier, more balanced or in tune with the world around us. One would think that this should happen but it has not. If our modern technologies is all it takes to make us happier we should be living in a utopia, we are not. This begs the question why are we not?
The short answer is that we are not living in a utopia because virtually all of our focus has been external and related solely to our physical self. However; we are not just creatures of flesh and bone who can think and act only because we have a brain as our brain is not the source of our consciousness. I have stated this before, we are consciousness first and physicality second. We have resolved many of the physical challenges we faced but few of the internal ones, those related to our consciousness rather than our physicality.
We are still dealing with the same issues we have for millenia. People remain focused on themselves, the "I" if you will and while we can do marvellous things with our technology we are still beings of thought and feeling and we struggle with both. We still fight over "things", we seek to control, we want and seek attention and affection and we become hurt and angry or worse when we do not get these "things". These issues arise out of the nature of our existence and what appears to be the duality of it.
We all appear to be separate and distinct physically yet this is only one aspect of us. We are beings of consciousness who have taken on a vehicle of of flesh and bone to exist in the physically manifest world. Our physical aspect takes the bulk of our attention hence the other aspects of the self are left under developed and mostly unexplored. We are not separate, we are connected in ways that one cannot see when only looking at our physical selves.
The physical reality is a distracting one that keeps our attention focused externally. We base too much on our physical self and attach value to owning things, to building things, to being liked, admired or cared about. We want approval, we want a job so we can afford food and shelter, we want more money, more things and believe that if we continue to pursue them we will find the happiness we seek. We want.... that is our "mind" has us wanting. The problem with this is that it ignores our true inner self. If we wants to find happiness, balance, peace or whatever term we use we must turn their attention away from their physicality and explore the uncharted wilderness within. This does not mean we ignore our physicality, just that we ought not make it the sole source of our attention.
Once one accepts the idea that we should not solely focus on the external the question becomes how do we explore that wilderness within? How do we take our eyes off the glamour of the physical world and put it on something we know nothing about? We know that we use thinking and reasoning to solve problems in the "real world" and we rely on these tools almost exclusively. When one tries to use them to explore themselves they find them ineffective. Why? Well, fundamentally the external world is a world of doing and the internal one is one of being. We know how to do, we just have few ideas how to simply be. It is learning to be that is our challenge.
In mathematics there is a term "degrees of freedom" which is basically as follows:
"The number of degrees of freedom in a situation basically tells you how many independent equations you'll need to completely understand the situation from a mathematical point of view."
If we apply this to us, the complete human equation includes those based on both our physical and non-physical aspects. If you consider this this simple definition you can see that while we have worked hard to understand certain aspects of the "human equation", the external ones, we have ignored the inner ones related to our core self or consciousness. Given that we have not transcended the laws of physics or chemistry, our focus on the external has not added to our degrees of freedom. When you multiply a fraction with another fraction you get a smaller fraction, and this is what we have been doing. We have not been expanding our awareness, we have allowed it to contract. This has trapped us in an external focus. We try to do more to find happiness but unless this is driven from within, rather than without using our thoughts and emotions, it only serves to take us further away from ourselves.
The challenge is that no one can explain it to you, no one can show you how to be, only how to do. We must show ourselves, teach ourselves how to be. To do this we must turn our attention away from the physical, the question being...how?
Consider our rational or conscious mind and how we use it. We use our powers of observation, our thinking and reasoning skills along with our imagination to find ways to resolve issues and create new things. We use these skills towards making us comfortable based on what our rational minds have experienced. But our rational mind is based on thoughts hence it cannot see beyond the physical external world so that is where we focus. To get our focus off the physical world we must first want to. We must see that putting all our attention there is not helping us be happier. Only then can we start to shift away from only being focused externally.
Once we decide we want to turn our attention elsewhere we begin by learning to take time out from our busy world and our "me" focus. We can do this through giving, loving and showing our compassion and empathy by aiding and assisting others as they need and could benefit from, not based on what we think they or we need. We can also start to do this through meditation and other techniques that force us to rely on our inner knowing rather than our thinking mind. Of these two the former requires less explanation than the later, and it is the later that I would like to talk about.
Meditation in itself is not the answer, it is the means by which one can attain it.
In order to find happiness we must reconnect with ourselves, to find that place that we knew (to a certain extent) as children. The skills we need to use, the non-consious aspects of our awareness, will not be found by doing what we have been doing, or we would have found them already. No, these skills require the stilling of our relentless thinking mind so that we can begin to explore what requires no thinking, our inner self. The skills I am referring may not seem like skills at all however, they are necessary if one is to explore their non-rational awareness. The skills I am referring to are those such as intuition, sensitivity to energy, transparency, objectivity, and being in the now.
We do not acquire these skills by thinking about them, we acquire them by not thinking about them. One cannot think their way to becoming intuitive, quite the opposite. One cannot become sensitive to energy, transparent or be in the now when they are always thinking and doing. It is these skills that will open us up to aspects of our awareness that we need in order to find more balance and peace in our lives, to become whole people versus people living in one corner of one room of that mansion that is our consciousness.
All my past thoughts of the day have been focused on trying to share ideas about our minds and our spirit that can help one to find themselves amid the noise of our everyday lives. Without them we become robots merely acting out what we have learned and rarely stepping outside the apparent comfort and trap of our illusions about ourselves and our reality. If you are one who seeks to become more intuitive, to being freed of the emotional traps that so dominate our lives you start by accepting that your view of the world has skewed your thinking and allowed the illusion to take firm hold. I urge all who seek to step outside their comfort zones, to look within by working to let go of the never ending stream of thoughts that dominate your consciousness.
Our inner self is immensely powerful, but without exploring and getting to know it we remain trapped by an outer self that is dominated and controlled by our thoughts and emotions. I will continue to write about ideas and even techniques that we can use to do this, but doing so is up to the individual. Only through opening up from within, by allowing our light to shine and to feel the connections we have with all of creation can we break free of the issues that plague us.
© 2011 Allan Beveridge