Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of February 10, 2020

Open Presence

(Relationship Presence: 7)

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Something special happens when we are able to open our essential core to another person, especially if that person reciprocates. At that moment, we transcend ourselves and enter a domain where there is no separation between us and the other person. At that moment, it is not me and you, it is us. This, of course, is Love.

This is easiest with babies and toddlers, who live in a state of pure openness. With someone that open and so utterly harmless, we may more readily drop our own defenses and open ourselves. With infants we may enter that silent, fully-cognizant, timeless stillness that embraces us both.

When two people feel a fundamental connection, it is a reconnection of the sameness that they already share. On the simplest level, this can be based on our mutual facts that here we both are, in these human bodies, with their inherent frailties, strengths, and uncertainties, with their inevitable wearing down and out. We both face all that, and much besides, as part of our common human condition. Such recognition of our shared humanity can help us open to each other.

But the connection goes beyond that. At a deeper level, we share the same consciousness. We both belong to the one, seamless, universal, unbounded field of pure awareness.

And deeper than that, there is the source within each of us, our source, the source of who we are. Each of us is an emanation of the one sacred source. So the connection we feel with each other is our mutual source reconnecting with itself, the source that was never disconnected, the source that is one. This, our source, is not remote, not in the past. It is right now and here in our very core. It is who we are.

In these ways we move beyond the relationship between two separate people, into a single, indivisible, shared presence.

Now what if the other person is not open to that unity. Can the unity happen from one side, our side? This depends on how we come at it. If we are even partially ensconced in our shell, then another person, who is wide open to us, coming to us, can feel fundamentally threatening. It can feel like an invasion of our private and very personal inner space.

So if we are the one who is temporarily open, we cannot expect others to reciprocate or be ready for us to "target" them for connection. In such a case, we may want to stay within our own inner space, open as we are, and not venture forward into someone else's inner space. Indeed, in the deeper domains of connection, we are no longer a separate entity who would venture forward like that. We are just here and open.

Even that, however, could feel threatening to someone. In front of purity, in front of a person who is even temporarily non-egoistic, non-defensive, and harmless, we may recoil from our own lack of those qualities. So a person who is that open, may need to mask it in many situations. Purity though, is not totally hidden, and its positive effects do ripple out, for example by awakening trust.

Being touched by love, revives the same in us.

For this week, please practice open presence in the way you relate with people.


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