Before I start my day each day, I settle into a period of sacred introspection. For the most part, the sacred is missing in our lives, and my intention is to reenlist in my experience. I then proceed to generate within me a feeling of possibility, not because the odds are in favour, but in spite of them.
I do this practically by reminding myself that tricks and slight of hand are for the weak, and that I’m all about embracing quality and building on what I’m good at.
Throughout my life I have been interested in personal development. Around the age of 16, I was home one day watching TV when a documentary about the first man to climb mount Everest came on. I guess I was impressed by the sheer resilience of the climber, and how in his bid to climb the mountain he was unwittingly realising his greater possibility. For some reason I started to have the thoughts, that another victory is not an indication of our own defeat, but, rather, a celebration of human possibility.
Suddenly the urge to realise and celebrate my own possibility was born in me. It was quite literally born that day, or at least it was then that I became aware of it. Ever since I tell myself to keep steering forward, or, in my case, inward, since soon after I fell under the spell of spirituality and begin to understand personal development in the context of Self realisation.
Daily I also remind myself to keep focused on the vision of my becoming, that is my own arising. To clarify, there’s a wonderful story that I once read about Michael Angelo. He was asked by someone how he had managed to achieve such a seemingly impossible feat in sculpting his statue of Davide out of a single pice of marble.
Michael Angelo, explained something that has since become etched in my mind:
I looked and saw Davide in the marble struggling to get out. I grabbed my chisels and worked to liberate him. One can turn this simple glimpse into the mind of a master into a way by which to conduct one’s life. Likewise, I was inspired to start thinking about life as the hand of some master sculptor trying to fashion a Davide out of me. So I remind myself to never complain, and to be patient.
Messi, being interviewed, was asked how he felt about being continuously kicked on the field. “Is it too much?” the interviewer enquired. “No, it’s not too much” Messi said quietly in his infinite wisdom. “It’s just enough!”
Indeed, it’s never too much.
I may think that life has dealt me with a bad hand, but with sufficient awareness and the right mindset, I can remind myself that’s it’s just enough. Life nudging me inward to a more intimate realisation of who I am.
I’m reminded here, of an experience I had some 7 years ago while holidaying in Bali. I had just finished delivering a retreat and while I felt gratified, I woke up one morning feeling alone. The following words echoed in my mind:
Your vision has always known about you, and has been patiently grooming you to become its worthy recipient. To say that I was fascinated by the notion that our vision knows us before we know about it, and that our whole life is its attempt to ready us for it, is an understatement.
My life vision is enlightenment, and becoming useful in this world. Life may not be what I had expected when I had signed up for it, so to speak, but the way I see it is that I’m here now, and may as well make of it something that counts. What’s needed here, in this physical plane, that within my capacity that I can do, importantly, I must enjoy.
Towards that end I have spent the past 10 years consciously thinking about questions that were bigger then me, in a bid to be in service in a way that honours my human life. Practically speaking, striving to build a service oriented consultancy to share of the learning my life.
I have this idea that, by the time one reaches their third phase of life, around 57, ideally one has worked to pave the way forward to applying themselves to, either, deepening their connection with the inner-Divine, or else to share what of the lessons that life has taught them. If one is of neither of these persuasions, then perhaps they have built a loving family with children who can now begin to bless them with grand children, providing them with the chance to learn to love more freely then they may have done. If non of the above applies to you have no regret, for in learning to pray, life is such that by default you are immediately moved forward to the first ideal.
You may have already gathered that my predispositions are to deepen to share. Since I’m in the mood for telling personal stories, I’ve been so inclined since the day, 23 years ago, in a deeply distressed state I cried out, why do I have to keep experiencing so such turmoil in my life? I was camping in what is today the site for the music festival Splendour in the grass, at the time, just outside Byron Bay, which, by the way, I like to call “Splinter in the ass”. The answer that echoed within me, was “So that you may know, so that you may share, so that you may serve.” Today I might add, so that I may learn to love.
To me, enlightenment, isn’t an experience that can be perceived with the five senses. Rather, it is a journey of self realisation that begins with self cognition, and leads to self discernment, self acknowledgment, self re-acquaintance, and ultimately enlightenment, that is to say, the knowing of self as the I Am, and the I Am as consciousness, and consciousness as the Divine spark of God.
Looking out we see the world, looking in we see God.
Identified with our body-mind reality we do not recognise our essential and formless nature. The Sufis cheekily compare our human condition to a man or woman picking fruit from the shadow of a tree, never finding solace or satisfaction. At some point in our experience life’s adversities and disappointments compel us one nudge at a time to turn and face the real.
The Human Condition
From newborns we are encouraged to focus our five physical senses, vis a vis, our attention, outside of our ourselves. Over time, and through childhood conditioning, and schooling, at which time we are trained to think of life a series of problems to solve, our attention becomes outwardly centric. We become one-directional, cease to be able to cognise our inner reality, and lead intuitive lives, that is to say, lives guided by our true inner impulses. Instead we lead compromised lives according to the dictates and promptings of our conditioned minds.
Subscribing to antiquated models of truth and experience we feel trapped in the mundane, addicted to outer stimulus, seldom thinking to question the ideals that motivate our activity.
I have spent the past 30 years healing and correcting my condition with meditation, initiating myself along the way into a deeper knowing of self as consciousness, and of consciousness as the inner consolidation of my once outwardly displaced energies, including my 5 physical senses and attention. In short, the orientation of my perceptual function. Consequently, today I understand that the only standard that can be trusted by which one and all can live is one that promotes inner a connection, so that we may begin to lead inwardly guided lives as nature intended it.
It is safe to say that as long as our attention is outwardly attuned, we shall go on feeling lost to ourselves. Consciousness is not something that “we” become aware of. Consciousness is what we are. It is the guiding light that animates the body-mind and guides its activity, much as electricity animates a fridge or a toaster, enabling their machinations according to their type and potential.
As we begin to reorient our attention inwards, from outside inside, we will reconnect with our intuition and begin to lead inwardly guided authentic lives.