Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of August 25, 2014

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Sacred Light Energy

(Energy Practice: Part 7)

The deeper our search, the more spiritual it becomes. Working with the sensitive energy is not so different than practicing a musical instrument, playing a sport, doing our chores or performing a job. It is work. After an initial familiarization, the necessary effort is fairly clear and within our power. At the level of the conscious energy, an element of receptivity enters, as well as a more subtle perception. We need to allow ourselves to enter the realm of cognizant stillness. The effort is more indirect and not as readily at our command.

With the energy of the Sacred Light, we enter fully into the realm of the spirit. Here we are supplicants. We can represent the effort as comprising three stages, from more active to more receptive. The first stage concerns finding the direction of the sacred, a direction deeper into our inner world. The second stage concerns pointing ourselves in that direction. And the third stage concerns opening to that sacred realm.

Finding the direction toward the Sacred Light is akin to finding the direction toward the conscious energy. The latter search required us to learn how to look deeper, how to look beyond all our ongoing experience, how to recognize something that at first appeared to be nothing, to be insubstantial, which later we found to be more substantial, to be the background of all experience. That search for the conscious energy refined our perceptions and taught us to look in new ways and new categories.

Moving toward the Sacred Light is similar. Only this time we need to go beyond consciousness itself. How can that be? Consciousness surrounds us inwardly and outwardly. It seems to define the totality of our experience in every moment. Yet there is more. And it can be a major purpose, indeed the purpose, of a life well-lived to find the direction toward the Sacred Light, to open to it, to become a vessel for the energy of the Sacred Light, and thus enable that energy to flow into this natural world of our life together on this planet. Lord knows we need it.

So how do we find our inner way beyond consciousness? Prayer can help. But it needs to be prayer that touches us, touches our soul, consuming our mind and heart. Perhaps there is a phrase of prayer or a sacred name that touches us in that way. We can repeat that inwardly or in a chant and let it carry us deeper.

The way beyond consciousness is the way of depth. Because consciousness is the source of all our ordinary perceptions, we cannot look beyond it by looking in any outer direction. We look deeper into ourselves, behind our thoughts, behind our mind, behind our very awareness itself.

Is there a compass that shows us when we are nearer the right direction? For consciousness that compass was peace. For the energy of the Sacred Light, that compass consists of the light energy that streams through the cracks in our wall of separation from the sacred. We can be touched by this in prayer, in supplication to the Spirit. But many other moments also offer a taste: the grandeur of nature, a special moment of music, the eyes of someone we love, a transcendent work of art, literature, or speech, or whatever else may touch us in that way. The point is to recognize such moments for what they are, an opening to the spirit, and to realize that we need not wait for such moments to arise haphazardly but rather we can work toward opening to the sacred intentionally.

Once we begin to have an inkling of the inner direction toward the Sacred, we sit down in meditation or contemplative prayer and point ourselves, our soul toward that direction. Our will is not bound by consciousness or any other energy. So our will, our intention, our attention, our heartfelt longing, can point us toward the depth within, the depth beyond consciousness.

Having pointed our inner face beyond consciousness, we then open ourselves, our will, our soul, our heart, to the Sacred. That opening takes place at our very core. We relax back into ourselves, turn toward the Sacred, and empty our heart in a gesture of supplication. Then something unmistakable may flow down to us: cascades of the energy of Sacred Light.

Though it is sublime, sacred, and in the neighborhood of the Divine, the energy of the Sacred Light is not in itself Divine. There is More.

For this week, please practice finding the direction beyond consciousness, pointing your inner face toward the Sacred, and opening to the energy of the Sacred Light.


     

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