Cultivating Awareness

The degree to which you can expand your awareness will determine how you experience time. Think of a river or the ocean. Both involve the movement of large amounts of energy and matter across space and time. But, the body of water, as an interconnected whole can only experience the single moment. Only now exists. The illusion is that certain parts of the water, temporary groupings of molecules, are experiencing different states. This is also true from a different perspective, from that of the molecule. However, the river is more than a collection of individual molecules, and these are in a constant state of flux anyway. What remains is the idea, the greater self. Can you see where this is going? Sort of? That’s great.

A river is a useful analogy because what we witness are changes of state. The great Nile moves through mountains, gorges, and green pastures, sometimes becoming very deep, very wide, very fast or slow, etc. From the perspective of the river, all these states are happening at once, all the time. Is this becoming clearer? Excellent!

Can you imagine if the river had a mind? Sometimes it might be aware of its speed. Other times it will only be aware of its depth or breadth. Now can you imagine if it became fixed on identifying itself as only one of these states? How confusing and how unnatural would this be? The river would be resisting its own multi-faceted nature.

Now someone might say, “But what if the river dries up?”

When a river dries up, does it cease to exist? In Australia, there are many vast river systems that are completely dry for large parts of the year. Some are dry for many years. Do we say, “that river no longer exists, we better remove it from all our maps”? Of course not. For the river, even the absence of water is just another state of being. It is the state of “no-water.”

Now, the molecules that form the river are constantly connecting with other forms, feeding the earth, flowing in to the oceans, and evaporating into the air to feed the clouds. Molecules that used to be part of the river move into different states constantly. This is flux, and this is also happening constantly right now with everything in the universe. There is not a moment when this does not happen. This would be against all the known laws of nature.

When those molecules of the water join the earth do we identify them now as river, or earth, or something else? Can you see the difficulties that arise from basing identity on state? State is constantly changing. But what we also see is that these states all exist right now. You might not see the cells, molecules, and atoms, and sub-atomic particles changing but they are. They are constantly dying and becoming in a never-ending cycle.

Let’s bring this home now.

Like the river, like everything around us in the universe in fact, we are constantly experiencing different states in the moment. Our own bodies are constantly in flux, as we take on food and drink, as we grow, and as we die. The cells in our bodies are constantly dying and being reborn. We are only really aware of the exterior, the hair, nails, and skin, and these all become dust literally.

Moving through life though, we experience profound changes in state – moving through infancy, childhood, adolescence etc. Which state is more you? Can you imagine the kinds of difficulties that might arise if your identity becomes attached, or too closely identified with only one of these states? How do you imagine this would feel? Confusing? Disorienting. It would be like a part of the river that once existed in peaceful waters attaching itself to that identity in spite of the fact that it had become a rapid. Can you also see how this individual experience, as the child or the rapid, is also just one facet of an interconnected whole?

The trick here, like with the river, is to expand awareness. You are not your body. How can you be? It is a completely different body to the one that was there only a few months ago. By expanding awareness, you will cease to identify solely with your limited identity, (name, age, nationality, profession etc.). Rather, you will begin to recognise that what you know as your self is just a constantly changing facet of the universe. You can begin just by seeing your interconnectedness with the immediate environment. Pretty soon, with practice, you can awaken to the fact that there are no boundaries to existence. Even our planet Earth is constantly changing. It was born, is transforming now, and one day like all planets and stars it will die and that matter will take another form. Earth itself is just a minute facet of the universe and this is the infinite to which we belong. We really are all part of the one. Don’t let your mind fool you. You are not your mind. Your mind cannot know the infinite. That’s why you can’t know this in an intellectual sense. It must be experienced directly. Only the infinite can know itself, and you are that. I am that. Everything, and everyone that ever existed is that.

When have you experienced being ‘at one’ with something outside your self? What were you doing? Who were you with? How did it feel?

What aspect of your self are you fighting against or resisting now? What facets of yourself are you holding on to? Are these relevant to now, is this you right now? Do they help or hinder you right now?

What can you do to expand your awareness of yourself, your environment, your world? Once you are aware, how do you think this will change your attitude toward yourself, your environment and your world? What effect will this have?

If you would like to take your awareness to a new level, join me at SHINE, a fantastic new program which runs over two days in Melbourne in May, and Ibiza in June. I’m delivering with Nivedita Mehta from Blissful Mantra.  To make sure everyone can attend one of these programs we are offering the Day One of the Melbourne program for free. The program in Spain will cost a mere 80 euros, this covers membership and full catering at the beautiful Casita Verde.

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