V’s words make me stop and reflect. “I like the idea of a ‘solar heart’. That is the name for the merged chakras, I take it.”
“Yes. This alchemical process is the underlying energetic movement from ‘life’ into ‘Life’.
“And just what’s the difference between the little ‘life’ and the capital-L ‘Life’?”
V replies with a question, “This is another opportunity to use your intuitive awareness. What do you think?”
I ponder. “The first thing is right out of my own question. Life with a large ‘L’ seems to put an emphasis on the largeness of living; little ‘l’ means lower vitality. Is that correct?”
“You’re close. Ordinary life—the experience of the vast majority of humans throughout history—is missing a key ingredient. Without that ingredient, experience is flat and empty. Experience moves forward, but at a very slow pace.”
“What’s the ‘missing ingredient’?”
“Obviously, it is consciousness. Your species has always possessed awareness and varying degrees of alertness. But until you match that with the deeper presence—synonymous with consciousness—your view will be flat and two-dimensional. Life, in the larger expression, brings with it the matching power and depth. It brings the opportunity for you to become ‘aware of being conscious’.”
“All right,” I register. “How does Life bring this power to us? What do we need to do to take advantage of the opportunity?”
“You need only listen to your own breathing, and your own heartbeat. The connection between heart and breath is a magical, alchemical one. Listen to the Life within you. Feel the inner vibration and sensation of Life. It has never not been there. However, when you face away from it, resist or deny it, you refuse the key ingredient that elevates your sensibility. You remain in the lower levels of awareness. Humans have been prisoners in the basement of wakefulness for millennia.
“Once you take notice of the hum of cosmic presence in you—in your genes and cells—you are turning toward the Source. Let me give you a short exercise to help with your sensitivity to Life.”
“Please do,” I urge.
“Sit or lie quietly, in a calm space. Once you get the hang of it you will be able to register the vibration—the key ingredient—in any circumstance of your life. For starters though, be in a quiet place, lights dimmed. Be comfortable, and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing—softly in and out and in. Follow the swelling of your chest and belly. Go into this breathing movement of your body. Feel it bringing oxygen and vital energy—prana—into you. Take your awareness into the dynamic movement of prana within the tissues in your body.
“Feel into the feeling of what it is like to be here. Go deeper than the feeling now. Use your imagination for this. Allow it to take you into the space within the spaces. Continue registering the vibration. Place it intentionally into your awareness. The vibration is the Life of the Cosmos. It is not just in you; it is in all matter, energy and space. With it, you will feel beyond yourself.
“The sensation within you now is the connection your unit of awareness has with universal consciousness. The vibration—oscillation—is in fact the duality dance between you and the universe, between your particular awareness and the vast, sea of consciousness. This oscillation and frequency is an artifact of alignment between these two forms of Oneness. You are one—of the Oneness. Back and forth, swiftly, smoothly, courses your deepest energy pulsation.
“Lie or sit silently in the vibration—the hum of Life within you—for a period of timeless momentum. Let time slip to the side. Let thought slip away and float above you to the surface of the world. Here you are in the deep; you are profound. The essence of you is the wellspring of healing and awakening for the entire world and for every creature in it—for your whole species and all others. Rest in this knowing and be at peace!”
I follow V’s directions and simply sit for a long time, floating and indifferent to the world outside. I can indeed sense the purring drone in me. It is both there and not there, bridging between existence and not; if I consciously choose to feel it, I can feel it; conversely, if I choose not to, it vanishes. I remember the Void in it. This is the portal I’ve passed through many times. Yet each time is new, ever fresh, beginning again. It is the newness, I realize, that makes it feel so comfortable to me. It is like the taste of pure, cool water after a long thirst; like a deep breath of fresh air after swimming underwater. Newness is a quality we require; it is always rising up out of what is, from presence.
At last I return to the surface with a sense of smiling gratitude. “Thank you, V. I know that’s the feeling of Life. It’s what I’ve been recognizing lately as ‘presence’.”
“It makes no difference what you call it. Recognizing its authentic being in and around you is the only matter; it needs no verbal description or label. Life comes to you in the realization. And yet it is already that which creates you from the beginning. You would not be here, aware, alive, without it. Still, it comes to you as fresh and new, like something you’ve never known before—even though it is intimately familiar. It is the crux of a joyous paradox.”
I smile again. “I get it. Paradox can be joyous. Why is that?”
“Oneness is pure joy and peace and beauty. Paradox connects us to Oneness. It is also truth and love and the divine nature. You humans all crave this delightful essence. All the pain and suffering in the world of men is a simple lack of knowing this essence in you. The lack of it produces fear, anger and bitterness. That generates in turn the cruelty, rage and violence that spread out like a pandemic across the nations of the Earth. It does not have to be like that.
“The lack of knowing is an unnatural state that has naturally evolved in your bodies and minds. Paradox again. Nature produces the unnatural. The evolution of consciousness produces unconsciousness. Then, after a time, the unconsciousness turns around to produce an expansion of awareness. This is the path of return. And nature reverses all the unnatural states. The time is ripe for return, for beginning again. You’ve all had quite enough lack of conscious presence in your lives.”
“It feels good to be returning,” I sigh. “But it is such an unstable path. It feels like I’m continually stumbling and wobbling, tripping back into unconsciousness and struggle. Must we continue to vacillate like this?”
“For a time, yes. Not for long. Once you have the true desire to rise above struggle, you will. Once you register the awareness of unconsciousness in yourself, you are already awakening to true desire, by the grace of contrast. Consciousness is streaming into your presence; presence is streaming into your awareness. Some of the discomfort you feel derives from wanting more than you can channel in your current set of vehicles—mind, emotions and body.
“When you feel this distress or disappointment, I advise that you simply simplify. That is, go into yourself and sense the vibration of peace and Life. The simplicity and sensation will work on your incarnate bodies to ready them for expansion. This is the core of our message here. Noticing without, sensation within—living fully in response to what you find and know to be your Oneness with Source.”
I reflect for a moment. “I noticed, during my recent experience of presence, that it was so easy to be there. I didn’t have to make any effort. That surprised me, and yet not really. It made sense that it should be easy and comfortable to be ‘in the Now’. Thinking about it later, when I returned to normal, is when I became surprised. Out here in ‘normal’ it seems hard to get to presence! My mind and ego want me to believe it’s difficult, not easy.”
V speaks softly in my ears, “This is only illusion—false evidence appearing real. I want to tell you, it is completely natural to be in the moment, even for humans. Your ego seeks out problems; it looks for ways to make life challenging. This is because it wants to be the ‘problem-solver’, the protector and comforter in the face of confrontation; it wants to be important in your life.
“Ego wants you to turn to the ‘separated self’ whenever you’re in difficulty. Of course, the mind and ego are generally the sources of these difficulties in the first place. They create the perception of problems in order to solve them; they generate resistance in order to maneuver and manipulate your defenses against it; they want to keep your attention trapped in the scenarios they know and create.
“Ego is just an old habit that you are gradually outgrowing. Once you can let go and sink away from these mental and emotional influences, it does become ‘easy’. It is all peaceful and spacious and benign. This is the truly natural way to live. That doesn’t mean that all challenges will immaculately be removed from your lives. Earth life is designed to be challenging, to generate growth in awareness. It continually presents you with the next step ahead—whatever you have not yet mastered. There are two ways of looking at challenge—the ego way and the soul way.
“The ego way is to react and fuss, to worry and project ideas of harm that may befall you at some time in the future because of something that happened in the past. The soul way is to stay present and conscious of the moment, accepting it as it is, regardless of past or future. The soul does not ignore what might happen or what has already happened. But it puts its focus and energy on the dynamic fulcrum of living, rather than casting it out over shadow lands of transient, worrisome thought.
“From this fulcrum of Now, all balance is found and represented. Peace rests here, even in the midst of turmoil, even in the flow of action. Now is the only moment of actuality. Any other ‘time’ possesses no authenticity. ‘What has been and done’ and ‘what yet may come’ are not actionable. Only this moment is actual. Without the power to act, there is no power at all, no motive force to produce real effects. There is nothing to worry about or distress over. Never has worry produced actualization. All needs resolve down to the point of simple sensation in the moment.”
I find these words strangely soothing, undeniably resonant with my own sensibilities. “It is perfectly clear then that when we can be in the presence—the present moment—we can feel at ease and empowered at the same time. We have the ‘presence of mind’ to notice what’s really going on and what kind of action, if any, is appropriate.”
She continues, “The Life of Source is easy, yes. But let’s not be too casual about it. What’s easy is the direct relationship you have with your own energies. The presence allows you to tap those resources to the fullest, as needed in the moment. The challenges of life will come, but they will never be insurmountable or incomprehensible. They will be known as they really are, in their simple, direct nature; they will be known as opportunities and blessings.
“As you live in the presence, facing challenges becomes a dance, an exercise in grace. Authenticity flows in your veins and all around. You come to know what revelations are conjured within the challenge. All becomes much clearer. The Life of Source is the simple and pure approach to living. What I would like to address, in the remainder of this short treatise, is how useful the Life can be for you. Living from Source is a clear and direct course of movement. It is, as I’ve said, an opportunity for grace to enter and flow through your every action, thought and feeling. Let us begin.”
ⓒ 2014 Robert Lee Potter