Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the weeks of June 18 & 25, 2018

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No Boundaries

(Living in Oneness: 1)

We can readily understand that oneness has no boundaries within it. If it did, it would split into two or more, and no longer be one. Can we learn to cultivate a way of living and experiencing with no boundaries?

Clearly, there are boundaries in life: the separation between objects, between you and me, between me and not-me. That certainly holds true and necessary on our everyday, material level of living, with our usual worldview. Without negating the reality of ordinary boundaries and the necessity of respecting them, we look for a deeper way of living, a way without all those boundaries. Can we live on more than one level simultaneously? Can we respect all the separations, even as we see beyond them?

Inspecting our senses, we find some surprises with regard to oneness. Take vision, for example. Our sight does not inherently distinguish between me and not me, between my body and what is outside my body. When we see parts of our body, or even an image of our whole body in a mirror, that seeing is the same as seeing anything else. It is all just visual.

However, ordinary vision does have the perspective of our eyes, or somewhere close behind our eyes. It is possible, though, to open to a more global perspective, a vision of oneness that does not put ourselves at the center.

Our sense of smell simply detects odors and aromas, and does not necessarily distinguish between me and not-me with regard to smell. We hear sounds, usually from outside our body and sometimes from inside it. Again, though, the sounds are sounds, neither my sounds nor not-my sounds. The same holds for taste.

It is only when we come to the sense of touch, and its related interoceptive and proprioceptive senses, which inform of us of the state of our body, that we have a direct and fundamental sensory distinction between body and not-body, with the boundary being our skin.

When we invest our touch senses with the quality of the sensitive energy, which is higher than the usual energies on which those senses operate, a change occurs concerning boundaries. When our body is full of the sensitive energy, that energy overflows our skin, blurring the distinction between body and not-body.

Our thoughts, though, keep us convinced that I am in this body, and everything outside this body is not me. Part of this comes from the inherently private nature of our thoughts. No one else hears the thoughts in my head the way I do. By this absolute privacy, my thoughts entice me to bind my reality to them. On top of that, we build an intricate edifice out of our thoughts and memories, an edifice that takes our name and calls itself "I." In meditation, we learn to relax and let our thoughts settle down, as we enter the quiet behind them. Here, the endless, though sometimes only implied, chorus of "me, me, me" slows down enough that gaps open up and let us see beyond the thought stream.

This enables us to take another step higher on the scale of energies. When we open to the silence behind thoughts, we touch the conscious energy. Boundaries grow porous to the point of vanishing altogether. This is the vast cognitive stillness, our fundamental awareness prior to any specific perceptions of our senses, prior to and behind all thoughts, mental images, and emotions, including the thought "I." Here we can just be. And in just being, even the boundaries between past, present, and future grow fuzzier, as our consciousness embraces more and our present moment enlarges. We just are. Time passes through us and we remain.

We enter the field of consciousness, which extends in all directions, into the past and future, without boundaries. In that state, we begin to operate in the domain of oneness. No longer held to a separate center by our thoughts or our body, we open to the direct, boundless perception of oneness. Here we all are.

For this week, please notice the boundaries within your attitudes and perceptions, and step beyond them.


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