Inner  Frontier
Cultivating Spiritual Presence

 

Inner Work


For the week of January 8, 2018

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Transcending the Personal

(Personal Unity: 11)

From a spiritual viewpoint, the whole purpose of becoming centered, present, free, compassionate, unified, and living in and from our I is to then be able to open our I to our Sacred Source, the Divine Will that creates and sustains this amazing universe and everything in it. As always, our challenge is to make such a high ideal into a practical action, into direct, ongoing experience. A mental belief in the Divine is not necessary to this, but a recognition of will is.

Who we are, our I, is will. So we are of the same nature as the Divine Will. That means that we need not become something other than what we are. What we seek is to make the connection between our I and the greater will more explicit. This does not mean some pretense whereby we act as if we were connected with God, and certainly we do not presume to act on behalf of God. We have all heard of too many people who do just that with tragic results. We cannot beneficially take our self-centered ego and put God at its core, because our understanding of the Divine can only be extremely limited, and because any kind of ego is by its very nature partial to its own insular reference frame. For example, God is not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew.

So what do we do? Simply put, we practice allowing the force of will to flow through us, rather than originating from us. For example, when we actively engage, actively focus our attention on something, we also open a back door at the source of our attention to allow the force within attention to enter from beyond us. We are simultaneously active toward the outside and receptive toward the inside. In the process, we transcend our I.

This practice helps us step out of our self-centered ego, out of our self-referential stream of thoughts and emotions. The lesson of no-self helps set the stage. Our familiar and unfamiliar thought patterns are not who we are; they are just thoughts passing through our mind. The thought I is not who we are; it is just a thought passing through our mind. We are not our thoughts. We are not this assumed self, constructed by and from our thoughts. Similarly, our emotions, no matter how strong or persistent, are not who we are; they are just emotions passing through us. Our body, though we depend on it utterly, is just flesh and blood; it is not who are. We deconstruct the self that we believe ourselves to be and find it does not exist. After absorbing this shock, we look again and find ourselves in our attention, in the one who directs our attention, in the one who sees what we see and does what we do.

But we do not stop there. The next step is to open the back door of our innermost self, to reconnect with the higher will, which connects us all. In so doing, we enter a larger world than the one we lived in before: a world not centered only on me, a world of beauty and love.

Please take this as a practice and move it from idea to experience.


        

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