Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For weeks of May 16 and 23, 2016

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Whole Presence

(Modes of Presence 7)

Having worked with the six Personal modes of presence, we now come to the six Essential modes. The personal modes concerned our own action within the domain we can influence, whereas in the essential modes the higher or Sacred acts on us. Our work is to prepare ourselves for this higher action on us, open ourselves to that, recognize it when it comes, and transition to a personal mode of presence as the higher one fades.

We begin with Whole Presence. As the name implies, this gives us a sense of wholeness, not just wholeness of body, which itself is a wonder, but a greater wholeness that incorporates our body, mind and heart, our senses, our will, and consciousness itself. And because consciousness is all-pervasive, this greater wholeness includes all that is within our immediate environment and perception, the world around us at this moment.

This is a wholeness that we enter or that comes over us. We are not able to manufacture it, but we can open to it. How? We start by opening all our perceptions to let everything in, through a broad and choiceless awareness that includes ourselves and all our immediate surroundings.

There is a close affinity between consciousness and space. All that we see and hear is in space and in consciousness. Space is the framework, the field of our experience. Everything occupies space. All events happen in space. Although physics teaches that space is malleable, we experience it as all-pervasive, timeless, and constant. In this direct and all-inclusive way, space gives the unity of wholeness to our experience. By opening to space we open to consciousness, and vice versa.

This notion is not meant to be taken in a theoretical way. It is not meant for thinking about. It is meant for direct perception, for practice. By opening our mind and senses to the field of space around us, within, beneath, and behind everything, we open to the unity and wholeness of all we experience in this moment. We are wrapped in the free embrace of space. Space is in us and in everything we see. And behind everything we see, there is more space. That perception is key, because it shows us directly that space envelops everything and connects everything in its vast and immediate wholeness. As we open our perception to space, as if we were opening our inner arms wide, we open ourselves to the great unity of all.

But there is even more to this. Consciousness occupies that same boundless field. And being in that, we find our heart touched by the Great Heart of the World, in an upwelling of love from our very roots. We feel embraced by the Sacred, in Whom we live and move and have our being [1]. Again, we do not need to try to manufacture this feeling. It comes naturally when we open to the vast and spacious freedom that surrounds us.

This boundless presence is our presence. But at the same time, it is greater than us. We extend to the limits of the whole because the wholeness is indivisible. We are also just a particle embedded within that Greatness, but a particle with the special qualities of consciousness, intelligence, heart, and uniqueness.

For this week, please practice opening to this essential Whole Presence.

[1] Acts 17:28


     

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