Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of February 27, 2017

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One Body

(Opening to Oneness 4)

Oneness is not limited to some ethereal realm inhabited by angels: it inherently includes all things, living and inanimate. In particular, it includes our body. This appears to be a problem for our experience of oneness, because our body is OUR body and we usually experience it as being separate from all other bodies and things. When our body is ill, we feel the pain; when we taste some delicious food, we feel the pleasure. We do not experience the pain or pleasure of our neighbor's body, at least not as vividly. We do not experience what it's like to be a wall or a tree. So here is my body and there is yours, not one, but two.

Reality, though, has levels and each level is consistent within itself, staying true to its own framework and constraints. At the material level, within the framework and constraints of space and time, things and bodies are separate. That makes the universe appear and function the way it does. However, consciousness is not subject to space and time. Consciousness transcends space and time. Indeed, space and time are within consciousness, rather than consciousness being within space and time. Higher levels are inclusive of the lower levels.

At the material level, we live in our separate body. But at the level of consciousness, we live in the seamless, boundless plenum of consciousness. Our body, along with everything else, is in this one, all-pervasive consciousness. To the extent we live in consciousness, our body appears within our seamless global perception, no longer separate. Our body in consciousness is an element of the One Body that includes everything. We no longer stop at our skin, we are in it all, we are it all. Our center is nowhere and everywhere. In consciousness, the tree is as much a part of us as our body, which serves as an organ of perception, through which the universe perceives and knows itself.

To clarify a point of confusion and imagination: in the oneness of consciousness things appear to be separate on the surface just as they do in the material level in space and time. When in the oneness of consciousness, the material world we perceive does not lose its own inherent character. If everything merged into one inchoate mass, we could not function. The difference comes in being able to perceive that just behind these surface appearances, there is unity, oneness of all. We live in both worlds simultaneously, so that we can function normally in space and time and still not be separate.

Between the material level of separate bodies in space and time, and the conscious level transcending space and time, there is an intermediate level. That is the level of the sensitive energy, which mediates and enables perception between consciousness and the material world. This intermediate level is an arena for inner work. Toward living in oneness, two of the most relevant types of inner work are sensing and relaxing or letting go.

By sensing we mean being in contact with our body, in particular with the sensitive energy in our body. By focusing our attention on and in a hand or a foot, and holding our attention there, vibrating particles of sensitive energy begin to accumulate there. We work at that, and increases. We come to be able to sense our whole body, which is an important transitional milestone. Sensing our whole body, which by this point we can call being in our energy body, we support our ability to open to pure awareness, to consciousness, at the level above the sensitive energy. The wholeness of our energy body attracts the wholeness of consciousness. The energy body opens out into the oneness of the unbroken field of consciousness.

Relaxing and letting go also support our transition into living in and as pure awareness. Relaxing our body, relaxing muscular tensions not needed for whatever we happen to be doing, allows the sensitive energy to build up more rapidly and not be wasted. Relaxing more deeply, we relax ourselves. We let go of the inner knots, the contractions that emanate from, create, and embody our ego, our self-centeredness. When we let go of being somebody, even for a moment, we reveal the truth that we are nobody and everything.

For this week, sense, relax, and open into the One Body that includes everything.


     

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