“Several letters ago, you gave me three suggestions for living through the Great Storm. Can you give me any more?”
Yes. That’s what I was just preparing to do. We are synchronizing more and more. Have you noticed? This is what I anticipated from the beginning. You are learning to read between the lines. Here are three more suggestions, which are follow-ups to each of the three I started with:
1) As you improve your capacity to actively notice what you are feeling and thinking, and what is happening around you, turn that noticing into the expansion of awareness. Invite into your being a new openness and allowing that will begin to dissolve barriers around the little self. The focus of this is the release of your identity with form, and that which is separate from the Cosmos.
You may use noticing as a technique within your meditations. Observe, for instance as you sit still, that there are holes within the fabric of your thinking. There are occasional brief pauses in the streams of thought. There are openings between all the streams as well, loopholes if you will.
Use your imagination to zoom down to microscopic levels in these holes. There, if you are patient, you will recognize what we call points of peace. Now apply your awareness to these points. Center in on them. Relax into their spaciousness. They feel enormously peaceful. When you enter their orbits, you feel blanketed by the most refreshing and calming influence. If you do this, you will find that they are not only supremely serene, but they are also internal power generators of great abundance.
Peace points are always within your reach; they are built into every conscious inner being. Normally, in humans, they’re layered over by the jumble of thoughts, emotions and physical vibrations. The belief that you are an isolated individuality reinforces these distractions in your head. The point here is to make conscious what already exists. You do not have to go searching for peace. That would be a mental activity, and it would only cover the points over with another layer of mind stuff. This is what spiritual seeking does, by the way. It layers over the very thing you think you are looking for, and leaves it perpetually hidden. Seeking does not reveal what is sought; only that which is sought can reveal itself. Instead of seeking, allow yourself to be patient, and notice.
“But that sounds like it would take an eternity. And besides, I have found many things in my life by searching for them.”
What you have found is not what you sought, my friend. It is a mental facsimile of that. Searching for things only creates more things in your life. If you are seeking the spirit, the soul, you will never find it in the mind.
“Hmm. I guess I always knew that somehow.”
To resume: The loopholes in thought will inevitably slide by, entirely unnoticed by the mind. As strange as it might sound to your ears, noticing is not a mental function; it is actually the way out of mind. It does not take long for the openings to appear. A few minutes is often enough to observe one of these peace points. Most likely you will feel it rather than see it, but every person senses them in a unique way. You know when you’ve found one because it feels like you are being drawn into a vacuum of stillness. Bear in mind, this is subtle. Many humans have trained themselves to enter these points without knowing exactly what they are. People who meditate regularly are bound to be acquainted with the feeling of them.
What I recommend is to not let them pass out of your awareness. This is difficult to express in words and thoughts, so please bear with me. There is an essential paradox here. You are focusing your awareness indeed. But awareness also is focusing you! Awareness actually arises out of these points; it arises out of peace and bliss, and so do you. It is the background oneness for all activity in the physical universe. Even the word ‘arise’ is misleading. Nothing arises really, because this peace already exists. It has forever existed within the within.
“How can there be more than one peace point if they represent the state of oneness?”
Don’t take me too literally. I speak in metaphor when I refer to the formless. There will be seeming contradictions and paradoxes. When you feel such a reaction, instead of following your mind into doubt and skepticism, I recommend using your inner senses to track the paradox down to its own point of oneness. There you will always find a portal into Source.
Since there are no forms within this space, there are no numbers. You are correct, there cannot be more than one point. But this ‘one’ is not the number one. It is the undifferentiated Absolute. What introduces quantity is your mind, your sense of time and your perspective, from the realm of duality and multiplicity. If you prefer, you might simply look at one peace point appearing and reappearing in your space. Yet, there is also a benefit to seeing these points as many: It is the notion of pure abundance of opportunity for reaching into Source.
From your individuated perspective, these seem to be arising; they seem to be something new. There are two reasons for this: One, you have been cut off from the knowing of your oneness by virtue of the human stage of evolution, and the veil of forgetfulness; so you seem to be encountering a phenomenon that you’ve never seen before. Innately, however, you will recognize this experience of peace as a return to the authenticity of being. It feels like coming home, simultaneous with moving into new territory.
Two, the quality of newness is the hallmark of the living Now. As you reacquaint yourself with your true nature, with this livingness, you are tapping into its perpetual creative force. It is always new, always beginning, without end; this is another paradox. It is eternally moving into greater expression and consciousness in the essence of stillness. This is the sublime stimulus for all the passions of Life.
As your awareness rises and simultaneously moves deeper, you enter the peace or bliss state. You feel invigorated and renewed instantly. You feel the silent power radiating from the dimensionless point. This changes everything! The more often you can enter these points, the more changed you will be. It will transform your feelings about the world, about what to do in the world, and about who you are. This is ultimate empowerment. It all starts with simple noticing, bringing out the known from the unknown.
“You make it sound so easy. Yet for most humans, sitting that still and feeling that peace is beyond the ability to achieve.”
Remember, this is not about achieving. You cannot accomplish what I’m talking about. To achieve it would be to make it a thing. It is not a thing at all, this peace. It is formless essence, without boundary, definition or structure. Notice this. If you would know your true reality, your formless identity beyond form, consider my second suggestion:
2) Turn not-resisting into active acceptance of the moment; accept Now as your true identity. It is only logical. If there is only one Now and no other, then everything is within the Now, in the same space. Everything belongs to it. We are all simultaneous, as I’ve already asserted. We are all one, both in essence and in substance. All the boundaries in the world, in nature, in the Cosmos, are just permeable membranes; we are literally liquid beings, flowing into and through one another. We all flow continuously through our environments.
There are many examples of this fluidity. Look at breathing for one. It is the most fundamental life-sustaining action we can take. Stop eating and you live a few weeks; stop drinking water and you live a few days. Without breathing, the body and brain die within minutes.
The breath we breathe sustains our life in the physical body more essentially than any other function. Yet we are giving it away in great exhalations several times a minute. We draw in and breathe out. Where is the boundary between our bodies and the air, the room, the person beside us, the sky? Our skin is highly porous, especially at microscopic and subatomic levels. Our minds are continuously receiving and digesting the ideas of others, and in turn giving them away again. The heat and cold outside invade our bodies without hesitation. We take in food and give off waste products. We touch each other and feel comfort, irritation, or excitement.
Our boundaries are, in truth, arbitrary. We construct them and use them for good and understandable reasons, but that does not make them real. We could just as easily see that there are no permanent boundaries, and no one would be the worse for it. In fact, with awakening, we are a lot better off. It is our knowing of oneness, integration and sharing of the fabric of existence with all else, that gives vigilans health and abundance. We see boundaries as elements of functionality, not identity.
“What does this have to do with non-resistance though?”
It is all about using the energy humans have been putting into resisting reality, and instead putting it into accepting reality. Oneness itself is a profound acceptance if you can imagine it—the simultaneity of the atom and the Cosmos, the tree and the bird, the human and the vigilan being, indeed all forms of creation. We are one consciousness that experiences and expresses itself through infinite forms, through infinite degrees of realization.
To accept this in your body and your being is to identify with all, and to release the illusion of resistance and separation. These forms can seem separate indeed to the thinking aspect of limited awareness, but these forms can also be known as intimately integrated and interwoven, physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. They are one vast organism, the only one in reality! There is no organism but us, all together!
And again, there is no other Now. The oneness inherent in the organism is identical to the oneness in the Now. There cannot be two onenesses. Therefore, who we really are is the Now! We are the spaciousness, the stillness, the peace, the Life! Christ said, “I am the way, the truth and the Life. No man comes to the father but by me.” He was telling us of his identity with the oneness, the Now, the Source. Awakened, we can each truthfully say these same words. No man comes to the Source who first does not identify with oneness. Mohammed taught the ‘Oneness of Allah’; there is no other One but this. When Buddha explained his Four Noble Truths—for moving out of suffering into freedom—he referred to this same way into the formless Source.
The religions of your day formed elaborate belief systems to explain the situation. But the reality is much more profound and simple than those beliefs. It isn’t just holding the idea of a heroic figure or ideal in your mind and emotional memory. It is about interposing your awareness, seated in the deepest integrity of your being, upon the being of All That Is. This means fully identifying with that being as your Self. This is the Allah That Is.
The winds and thunder of the Great Storm gather the greatest resistance that the world has ever seen. It is around you and upon you. You will weather this tempest well if you accept in your heart that you are at one with the Storm. It cannot be avoided or dismissed. It is a manifestation of your own deep being, collectively and individually. Welcome it! Knowing, in the space of Now, that there is no future or past or present time, you will look through the turbulent events before you, into the power of your own creative peace. Acceptance and living without resistance, if followed to their logical conclusion, lead inexorably to oneness.
“All right. Yes, non-resistance sounds great, but is it really something we can use in our daily lives? It seems so abstract sometimes. Where can it lead?”
It leads right here: 3) You can turn your acceptance into authenticity and thence into appreciative action. You can translate the formless into form in the manifested world. You can look and move in the other direction as well. That is, you can move from form into the formless space. Action is necessary to be physically alive. But not all actions are healthy. Many actions are cut off from Source, and are not inspired by beneficial motives or outcomes. For actions to be healthy and beneficial to the actor and to the acted-upon, they must be generated from the Life Source. The clearer and cleaner the connection, the healthier will be the outcome.
Authenticity is the health-giving connection. It is more than just a buzzword or synonym for spirit-seeking. It is an avenue for practical efficiency in all you do. Authenticity equals simplicity. Actions, like thoughts, tend toward complexity, and hence away from the authentic awareness; they tend toward dense formations and loss of connection unless they are consistently guided from Source. Source and simplicity are the basic tenets of the vigilan appreciative faculty; these were also available embryonically to homo sapiens. So, it is not beyond your capacity to begin exploring this primal core of your being. To facilitate your transition into the new species, you will want to know the way this works.
“Yes. I do want to know.”
This is the way. The still, small voice is speaking. Stop shouting within yourself, within your mind, long enough to imagine that voice. Stop rustling the papers of your impatience, and careening through your daily life in avoidance of what’s real. The way authenticity comes to us is by stopping. How do you stop? Do so by not resisting what is. Anything that is not real—in the moment—has been added by your mind, as a form of distraction and defense. Notice this phenomenon in yourself, and continue to drop your resistance. Call that energy back into your matrix.
The way appreciation works is by being what it is not. I say these words of paradox again, to intentionally confuse your mind. Not resisting opens the way into the not-self; that is, into all that you feel separated from. Walk that way! Enter that which you have rejected and denied. The not-self is in fact your self in disguise. Remember paradox always points to the truth. In order to practice deep appreciation, you must first disidentify from the form of yourself in the world. Identify, rather, with the formless stillness. Accepting what seems to be not you breaks down conditioned attachments to form and dissolves the fortifications of the ego.
Accepting ‘what is’ is the easiest, most direct way to know the Self. When you look at the world around you and call it ‘what is’, you may at first see it as other than yourself. There is you; and then there is your environment. The environment seems to be generating ‘what is’. Humans generally presume the self and the surroundings are independent and exclusive of each other. Vigilans recognize the oneness in them. We feel the underlying substrate at all times. Because we have removed the separation between self and not-self, we enjoy open-ended appreciation. We and our environment are one.
“So let me catch my breath for a moment. You’re saying we can appreciate more, and be more authentic, if we stop seeing distinct objects, or even opposites, as separate?”
Precisely. Humanity suffered long and hard through all its lifetimes and millennia on Earth because of the basic misunderstandings around separation. You did not know the truth. But you wanted to know. This wanting provoked endless searches. Through it all, you were striving desperately to be what you were not, even though you did not realize it. You looked everywhere for the not-ness of your being. This turned to conflict at times. But that very conflict, when seen with fresh eyes, was a prelude to understanding the oneness. What you are, and what you are not, can come together in battle or in harmony, a simple revelatory choice determines which. In order to know ‘who’ you are, you must first embrace ‘what’ you think you are not.
Humans took great pains, believe it or not, to become what they were not. This often took the form of self-abuse, on a species level. You created horrors unimaginable for your peoples to endure—wars, persecutions, terrors, torture. You became beasts to yourselves at times, saints and servants at other times. You humans journeyed into every corner of conceptual nature and the physical world as well, looking for your complete being. Through your mind, you placed your identity within every form imaginable. In the end, and here is where we vigilans applaud you, humanity persisted to its ultimate realization. Humanity simultaneously identified with and separated from every form. In so doing, you rendered your great service to the Earth’s creatures; humanity guaranteed our awakening by virtue of your being so asleep!
“You mean that we pushed the envelope off the edge of the cliff?”
I like your mixed metaphor. Yes, that is about it.
“Well, excuse me, but I think this conversation is becoming what it is not! Can we return to the topic of making it easier for us humans to get through this Great Storm?”
You are quite right, my friend. Though I will point out that authenticity only comes about through realizing there are no opposites. Who you are embraces who or what you seem not to be. This is what the Great Storm was all about.
“OK. So, how do we use our authenticity to make a better path for ourselves? How does it work?”
This is how it works: You simply know what you know. I don’t mean to be glib. But these two words explain it all, ‘simply’ and ‘know’. You are the conscious being, the center point of knowing, behind the curtain of incarnate unconsciousness. This point is also the center of simplicity in the midst of endless complexity. Allow that center point to be revealed through bare acceptance that it exists. This is your authentic being, where all knowing abides. Though you seem not to know, your deepest awareness does know! Knowing is a process of discovering, and making aware what is already alive within you. The paradox is that consciousness is driving and governing unconsciousness; and simplicity is driving complexity.
“What the heck are you talking about? You totally confused me again!”
Just wait. Ponder. The reason it sounds confusing is that you are living in complexity and not-knowing; and, therefore, you are living in unconsciousness. But it is deceptively straightforward, so uncomplicated that your greatest thinkers have missed it for thousands of years. Only the ones who wandered out-of-their-minds found it. They wandered out into the mountain depths, and discovered the power of pure, simple knowing, without mental encumbrance. They knew; they awakened; and then they returned.
Authenticity must be brought out from within, to the surface, if it is to be realized in your life and put into action. It cannot be left as just a gut feeling. It will only be of minor use to you in that form. It might feel good to be in touch with it, but if you don’t activate it, you will remain untouched and unmoved.
“How do I bring it to the surface then? How do I activate it? Let’s make it really clear.”
By knowing it as yourself—and as your not-self.
“Oh no. Here we go again.”
Just hear me out. This is all about embracing your wholeness, in your body and in your being. You will invoke both sides of your core duality, the light and the dark, within you and without, body and being. Embrace them as one. This is entirely about the interplay of oneness and duality. You will become the agent for this, the bridge. Ego could never be such an agent; ego could only do the opposite. It was the great separator.
“O, you’re slipping back into abstraction. You’re still not telling me how to do this.”
I’m coming to it. Be patient, young man! Look at yourself. Look at any problem you may be facing: say, the global economic crisis or a wine glass falling off your table. Don’t let it pass unnoticed, in both sides of its nature. What you encounter globally or locally is you. Everything in your what-is is you. Normal human thinking would be to accept some of what you encounter around you, and reject the rest. The dark side, you generally turn away from and you think it is not you. But if it’s there, it’s you! You are what you encounter! Some have called this the environmental self.
In the face of either the global economy or the broken glass, you may be annoyed or anxious or afraid. You may not know what to do, or you may rush hastily into some impulsive action. Stop! Look at yourself and at what is. Feel any emotion that is in you. Don’t attempt to stop it. Stop yourself instead. Let the emotion flow out; its nature is this—to be moving outward. If you allow it to run its course naturally, it will flow out of you and dissolve, returning its raw energy back to your essence. This flow, taken in the context of your authentic being, will lead you to appropriate action. If, on the other hand, you attach yourself to the emotion, through either dwelling on it or resisting it, it will not flow out. Instead, it will bounce around in your head and body and find no exit. It will become like a caged animal. It will take up residence in your body somewhere.
“All right. That makes sense.”
If you see this happening, locate where you feel it in your body. Use your imagination; go to that place and feel it as honestly as you can; bring it back up to the surface. Then let it slide right out the door. It is the form you are releasing, bear in mind. You will then be free to reclaim the energy it was consuming within you. You will be manifesting your presence, your authenticity. From this platform of motivation and freedom, any action you decide to take will be in alignment with the flow from your deepest Source—simplicity and knowing. This is the kind of action that changes people and changes the world.
As you begin to hear and see the world falling apart around you in various ways, be alert to inner depth. What is happening on the surface is not the real reality, not the whole you. Notice it. Do not reject or dismiss it. Do not get absorbed by it, or terrified by it. Absorb it into your being with the highest-deepest awareness you have. Allow the shadow and the light to dance together, to spin and whirl together. See them spinning faster and faster until there is only a blur, a blur of oneness. Allow the surface chaos in the world to dance with the silent peace in your heart. Blur all the edges and boundaries with your heart.
Your serenity will be tested, I promise you. Enormous doubts and fears will assail you without warning. Everything will seem out of balance at times, and overwhelming. Let the feelings pass; guide these forms out the door. Empower your Self. Reclaim your energy. Then invoke the dance of oneness. Practicing what I’m telling you here, you will have the tools to generate and maintain the flow—from Source to environment and back to Source. You will have the tools of right action, when you need them most. These tools, again, are noticing, resisting not, and authenticity. They lead to awareness, acceptance and appreciative action.
“Well, I guess that about says it all. You brought me through quite a tangle of mental confusion into some clarity. I’ll try to put it into practice. Thank you. Now, I’d like to give you a little feedback on what you suggested to me before. This morning, when I was feeling resistance, I tried to follow your suggestion about adding resistance to the situation. The incident was trivial, I admit, but it gave me some insight. I was meditating outdoors when a jet plane flew over; I got annoyed. Then I noticed the annoyance, realizing it was resistance. It dawned on me that I was pouring my own negative presence into the situation.”
Yes. And did you add more resistance, as an experiment?
“I tried for a moment to do that, like you suggested. But I couldn’t. It just felt so wrong. It would have been like intentionally putting my hand in fire to feel the pain.”
I’m not surprised. You see, this is what sincere noticing does for you. It connects you directly to your authentic presence. From that perspective, adding resistance is impossible. You can only add resistance from a place of unconsciousness. The three suggestions I gave you are essentially circular. Practice one of them consciously, and you automatically practice all three. Here is a hint: Resistance is the opposite of appreciation.
“I get it. I feel that totally. And another thing, in that moment I realized my ownership of resistance. I saw I was feeling my own energy and presence, as you said. It was a negative form of my presence that I was pouring out into my immediate moment. By cutting off that flow of resistant energy, I sucked the life right out of it. It was suddenly dead in the water!”
Insight indeed! And that immediate moment is always Now. Pouring resistance into your world is, in fact, sending your presence out to do harm, right now. Also, as I said, you can only allow that from unconsciousness. And humans did it all the time, you know, in the form of judgment, defensiveness, and habitual resistance to what-is. This is why judging people and things, and especially yourself, is so destructive. It animates the unconscious and pushes harm into your experience all around. It is unconsciousness masquerading as awareness.