The Search: Bringing It All Back Home

Written by Philip Walter on Feb 24 at 12:34 am in iSPIRITself, meditation, The Search

This is the last of a 5-part series of articles called The Search. Start from the beginning here.

Photo courtesy of Bryan Clifton.

Alright, now I am going to ask you to do something for me. I want you to try to do something spontaneous. Go ahead. Try it.

The truth is, it can’t be done. Spontaneity has nothing to do with trying. Spontaneity is only about doing. One of the definitions of spontaneous is to be “said or done without having been planned or written in advance.” To be spontaneous is to be without forethought, and trying implies forethought. You can do something spontaneous, you can even spontaneously try to do something spontaneous, but you cannot simply and intentionally try to do something spontaneous.

Now you’re probably thinking I make no sense. You might be saying, since the spontaneous, moment by moment expression of God through one’s life is what we’re talking about here, it seems like nothing I’ve said so far makes any difference. All I’m doing here is teaching you how to try to do something spontaneous, and we just established that was impossible. And you’d be absolutely right.

But that’s only half the story. This is the paradox of awareness. See, each and every moment you are aware of consists of two elements: consciousness and light. Consciousness being this vast empty canvas, and light being infinite textures and colors of paint soaking in, and together they make up the piece of art we call existence. Without one or the other, this thing that we are aware of, every thing we are aware of, ceases to be. This is the same old dichotomy between agency and communion, male and female, depth and resonance.

And I will now introduce this as the ultimate and most fundamental paradox of existence: one cannot wholly sit back, observing existence as pure consciousness, as transparent witness and expect to get anywhere, and at the same time, one cannot grow through complete participation, existing as pure light. These are ideals, concepts set at extreme poles where nothing can exist.

This is leading us, of course, back to seeing yearning as, in Gafni’s words, “the essential formula of the universe.” And that essential formula, which I believe is truly the desire to unite, to be whole, is what God is, and vice versa. God, the glue that binds consciousness and light together in existence, is seeking to unite the two. His desire is to find a way to be pure consciousness, and this only comes about when there is also pure light. One cannot exist with out the presence of the other, but if they can somehow be united, if one can become fully aware of both simultaneously, to be completely taken by the witness of pure light, these are moments of closeness to God. This is the kingdom of heaven and the spontaneous presence of God in every moment.

So while it seems like I’ve been merely teaching you how to try to do something spontaneous, the other half of the story is that I’ve really been trying to show you one way to increase your awareness. See for God, your true Self, to shine through you, filling you with joy, hope, and faith, you’ve got to align yourself with God. Only then will you become aware of your true Self. In this way, you are simultaneously paralyzed by the awe of total awareness, and still being wholly absorbed in the act of being.

To bring us back home, in the process of developing what I call generous understanding, one is consciously attempting to balance, to find a harmony between, and ultimately to create unison between depth and resonance, agency and communion, differentiation and integration, consciousness and light. This then aligns oneself with God, with one’s true Self. And this brings about Heaven on Earth, and makes one feel he is always where he ought to be.

But the fundamental paradox of existence enters into the picture here because each self, unable to experience one or the other independently, experiences different mixtures of consciousness and light. Even though the one true Self (God) seeks to unify the two, to become whole, each self experiences different degrees of both. And the God-experience, is going to be different for each self as God works through that self to balance consciousness and light.

So in this sense God is a process, always evolving and folding in upon itself, enveloping all that exists, trying to ease the turmoil, trying to make itself whole. And generous understanding is about trying to get yourself behind this process, so that it spontaneously manifests its Self in you. To be this way is profoundly simple.

Godfrey Devereaux likes to say, “Enquire [he’s British, you know] into the possibility of doing just what you feel, knowing it is always and only God.” Well, it’s as simple as that.

What’s difficult is being fully aware of every little emotion you feel, while at the same time knowing precisely where each fits into the whole of all you feel. This again is the paradox: no consciousness without light and no light without consciousness. And what generous understanding has done for me is increase my awareness of the God-process, of the presence of both consciousness and light in my life, and how the two might one day, every day fit together in a perfect and resplendent whole.

Know God.

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