Restoration of Divine Awareness
Part II – Identity: from Confusion, Conflict & Crisis to Correction
“Who are you?” On its surface, this question is simple and straight-forward. Our response to it, however, is most often a deep and complex web of thoughts, beliefs and imaginings; layers upon layers of interwoven self-concepts. When we stop to fully contemplate the concept of “self,” we become aware that it is solely by the content of our thoughts,or, we could say by our preferred internal dialog in response to ‘who am I?’ that the whole of our present, personified or “personal” human experience is both decided upon, and ultimately formed. So, too, is life – as we presently are programmed to perceive and comprehend it – also the result and the sum total of these preferred thoughts valued, upheld and stored in that mysterious part of the mind we call memory.
It is from these core thoughts, ideas and imaginings of “self” that we each go on to construct our preferred mental self-image – a.k.a. our ego – an abstract, cumulative imagining of self. From the basic idea of ‘my thoughts,’ I imagine, invent and project the world as I personally, privately perceive it to be, built upon those chosen thoughts I value and uphold about ‘me.’ And thus, I subsequently go on to experience ‘my life’ and the world, albeit through filters of the body, the physical senses, all functioning in support of the persona that I have mentally chosen and constructed to represent ‘my-self.’ Keywords here are ‘preferred,’ ‘chosen’ and the most significant concept, ‘my thoughts’ – all key because they reflect that which can bechanged or releasedthrough employing the use (we could say the proper or healthy use) of the power of will.
Now, because so often there is no unified thought system cohesively supporting most people’s mental, conceptual response to the question, “who are you,” their sense of self, their core believed identities, shift and change from one day to the next. For many people, in fact, we can observe identities fluctuating from one situation, sometimes even one minute to the next. This can include our own, if we are honest and observant enough, depending on who happens to walk into a room with us. Human identities are like an oceanic mix of generally adopted, constantly fluctuating, always dualistic, disconnected and often conflicting self-concepts that form our ideas and imaginings of ‘self.’ Most people, when absent awareness, are character-chameleons or, by nature, actors. Some are better at acting than others, however, this usually depends on how self-focused people are, if not lost altogether, in their own characters. “All the world is a stage,” as Shakespeare famously put it.
Without ever even becoming aware of it on a conscious level, the vast majority of us are actors playing the character(s) we design and desire to play, as well as those occasional bit-parts that we believe serve us in some way during our lives, or rather, our perceived time here. And yet, the only thing binding us to these characters – to our personas (Latin for ‘mask’) – are the internal, self-directed thoughts we choose to value and uphold about our ‘selves,’ solidified, expressed and projected in physical form as a human body with a personality ‘inside’.
Let’s now take a good look at where human identity has gone completely astray from the “norm” in these modern times. The world has gone mad, some would say, with new and certainly special identities – special genders, special pronouns, special or ‘chosen’ religious ideologies and elitist belief systems. Humanity’s salvation (or not), however, is dependent on our transcending all special ego-based identifications so that we may come, finally, to identify with our true spiritual Self. And yes, that includes transcending the dualistic concept of gender altogether. Spirit is genderless, after all. That we are coming up with new, special gender identifiers in these times merely reflects our ever-deepening collective delusions of ‘self.’ The human ego is ingenious in its methods and attempts at dividing, sub-dividing and further diversifying what is one, has always been one and can only be one, in truth – one Spirit.
We usually do not see it this way, but every one of the self-identifying thoughts we value (negative or positive) is a limit; a proverbial chain we place upon our Self. We so limit ourselves in this way, absent Self-awareness. Even in cases like preferred pronouns or non-binary genders where someone might personally believe s/he is expanding her/his/their own awareness and self-image(s) by asserting themselves to be different and unique are actually just more limitations. “Different” and “unique” are simply other forms of ‘special’… other forms of separation. Gender confusion does, however, reflect an innate Awareness (i.e. spiritual awareness or Self-awareness) that we are all, in fact, beyond both gender and beyond identification in form. Still, illusion is illusion. We’ve already used the mind to make the conceptual idea and image of self ‘real’ for ourselves, turning away from our unified spiritual Self to instead imagine ourselves as separate, divided, endlessly diverse, constrained and localized ‘within’ physical form. Further specializing that self-image ultimately serves only to maintain and strengthen the ego thought system and its delusions.
In the very same way we limit ourselves, so, too, we limit our understanding of Life Itself. People believe and go on to endlessly teach the erroneous idea that our “life-time” is represented by the dash mark between dates on a tombstone, as if that is the extent of Life! We could not be more mistaken about Life, which is spiritual in nature and only eternal. Relating to Life as being only a mere spec of seeming physical, human experience, which actually is more a temporary mental experience than anything else, reflects a grave misunderstanding of the majesty and treasures we are gifted with. So, too, do we misunderstand time, another mental concept, perceiving it as linear rather than simultaneous – a perpetual ‘now’ – time being just another clever construct conceived under the influence of an ego thought system.
Who We Are Under the Mask of Personhood
In the simplest of terms, beyond the characters and masks we conjure up for ourselves, behind the veil of time, space form and our ego-personas, we are very simply the natural expression and extension of our Creator – being Spirit, God, Love – whatever Name one prefers to use. Within and as this extension then, or, by our genuine, true nature, we too are holy, just like our Creator. It is not arrogant to be aware of such a thought… it is reasserting who we are in Truth; it is true humility. We are pure, innocent and unchanged from how and who we were created to be by our Creator, created “in the likeness” of our Creator.
The actors, characters and ego-personas we make-believe ourselves to be, however, are something else entirely; something unholy, something separate, and something loveless, having perceived ourselves as separate and different not only from each other, but from God, the one true Source of Love and Power. It is only in forgetting our Self, our true spiritual Identity, that we seem to lose both Awareness and the experience of our perfectly natural, unassailable purity and holiness.
Awareness, or we could say “cultivating an awake, aware mind,” looks on everything, everywhere, anywhere, including what our senses perceive as this physical, energy- or quantum-based universe, a reflective universe, and sees, recognizes and knows only unity – the divine, holy relationship between Self and Source. It also is aware of the holy relationship we share with each other, together as one. The awake, aware mind both carries and cherishes the divine Awareness that we, together as one, are God’s beloved extension, God’s reflection;that we, too, are limitless, divine Spirit, created in the likeness of our Creator and Source; and that we have never, nor could we ever, depart from nor exist apart from that Source.
The belief that we can exist apart from our Source, the desire to value and uphold such a false belief has, prior to Awareness, resulted in a deep, fundamental sense of separation. The belief in separation from our Source is the root cause of all fear, guilt, shame, unworthiness and remorse inherent in the human experience. Separation is the sole underlying problem in all the problems we perceive to have in life.Not one of us escapes its resulting guilt, nor its effects, though its torment may remain completely unconscious, below of our present level of awareness. For most of us this unconscious guilt festers and haunts us from the darkened parts of the mind we’ve closed off to the Light of Spirit. Salvation, however – being the restoration of Self-awareness – is the cure to separation. With this comes the Awareness that the only seemingly real problem we have has already been solved.
Conversely, a sleeping, dreaming mind looks out upon this quantum-mirror, reflective universe and sees something altogether different than what Awareness envisions. The sleeping mind, dreaming and thus imagining, projecting, sees only its imagination reflected back. Therefore, it sees not the extension of God in its reflection, but rather “its own” imaginings; illusory images that lead the dreamer to see and perceive a distinct, unique, dissociated, separate “self.” It looks at ‘its own’ reflection in the quantum mirror, so to speak, and does not think, but rather imagines “me, my-self” instead of recognizing a holy, unified We. It has blinded itself to the holy relationship behind the veil – a veil produced by focus on ‘its own’ preferred dreams and imaginings, blocking its vision of Truth. The sleeping, dreaming mind perceives itself as separate only because it believes itself separate, and upholds and values that fundamentally flawed belief. Thus, it will suffer all the fear and guilt of upholding its belief in separation. Self-reliance cannot but fail the dreamer, because a mind that believes itself somehow separate from spirit, separate from its source, is closed off to intuition and true, authentic inspiration… a.k.a. Guidance.
Understand well this thought of “separation.” It is an imagining, an erroneous thought, one that makes ‘me’ special and makes God – the infinite, divine, unified Source and Content of All That Is – to be perceived as something else – something “other than.” That is, of course, if one’s imaginings even welcome the Thought of God at all, being so often unable to see past ‘its own’ narrow, narcissistic view of self. That separation thought, cultivated and nurtured with and through the infinitely potent, infinitely creative faculties of Mind, gave rise to the human ego. That separation thought, resulting from a perceptual error, perceived by a dreaming, imagining ‘part’ of the mind, is the root cause of the identity crisis we all suffer from as human beings. With it, perception is accepted as a substitute for both Self-awareness and for our natural, inherent knowledge of Truth. It is the loveless source andcausal thought behind our imagining and projection of the human condition. It is the cause of our severely limited, time-bound existence in a 3-D physical world, along with everything that seems to appear and occur within it, where Life is diminished down to being nothing more than a blip, a temporary dream – usually one that includes great suffering.
Our salvation, being freedom from a self-imposed prison of separation, can best be described as identifying simply, presently, as spiritual Awareness. As such, one is free of the desire or need for any character attributes. I am. Directed toward the goal of our salvation, the book A Course in Miracles says this: “Salvation is our only need. There is no other purpose here, and no other function to fulfill. Learning salvation is our only goal.”1
“Salvation is our only need. There is no other purpose here,
and no other function to fulfill. Learning salvation is our only goal.”
The Thought of God
All authentic meaning and purpose – the reason for “why we are here” – is found in Self-awareness; Awareness of who we are as spiritual beings. We learn to chase for meaning and purpose to life instead, however, in countless forms other than our natural spirituality, all of which tend to distract and lead us away from Self-awareness. That is what these “forms” are conceived of and designed to do, after all. On the other hand, the Thought of God – pure, holy, and limitless – welcomed, cherished and upheld in the mind is the means for attaining, sustaining and/or ever-deepening our Awareness. The reason is simple: complete within the Thought of God, being our Source, is also the thought of our true Self as God created us. One’s Self is rediscovered naturally by acknowledging and recognizing one’s Source. After all, is it not true, even in this world, that to identify with a parent is to identify oneself also, as child to said parent? Our true Identity rests in, and only in, God. All our imagining and make-believe to be something else is just that – imagining and make-believe. And it is an utterly empty and fruitless pursuit.
Contrary to most religious doctrines, it also matters not what idea, image or concept of God we have chosen to hold in the mind, because the Thought of God naturally is beyond all human concepts. This is, in part, why groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are so successful simply suggesting, early in a person’s steps to recovery, that each person look to connect with a “Higher Power” of their own personal understanding – “God as we understand Him” (which, of course, can also imply ‘Her’). This idea of a Higher Power is merely a loose, if not wholly undefined idea used for introducing genuine devotion. God is beyond all concepts and symbols, so the form simply doesn’t matter. This way, too, one is not delaying or blocking oneself from being open to the Thought of God because of some past, preconceived form, concept or ‘brand’ of religious deity preached to them as a child. Just the idea of something greater, something higher, even if only a teeny-weeny bit more than ‘me,’ is enough to lead a person beyond his or her own self-concept.
Another amazing and very natural side-effect of embracing and cherishing the Thought of God is the expansion of the mind that it naturally produces. The mind that opens itself up to the Thought of God becomes open to potentially limitless expansion for problem solving and creative inspiration. How so? Because the Thought of God takes the “human” mind beyond its own present, ego-established limitations; and in time, far, far beyond. Intuition and inspiration become a working part of the mind until eventually life simply becomes an intuitive, inspired flow. One who has accepted, or rather, restored the Thought of God in the mind is no longer limited by his or her “own” imagination, because now there is conscious contact with, and an ever-deepening trust in, the Mind of God. Awareness delights in thoughts like, “I have no thoughts apart from God, because I have no mind apart from God.”
The Thought of God remains safe and unassailable within every mind. It may be hidden under pomp, distraction thoughts and worship of worldly things, but it is there. It protects us, cares for us and makes smooth our way, illuminating the mind with joy, peace, happiness, devotion and true, unconditional Love. Eternity and everlasting life forever shine in our minds, because of the Thought of God.
“There are only two parts of your mind. One is ruled by the ego,
and is made up of illusions. The other is the home of the Holy Spirit,
where truth abides. There are no other guides but these to choose between,
and no other outcomes possible as a result of your choice”2
but love or fear. “You will listen to madness or hear the truth.”3
The Illusion of Progress (or Illusions of Grandeur)
The sense of continuous change that human beings tend to perceive within themselves and in the world around them provides the deceptive, yet comforting illusion that human life, both individually and collectively, is constantly maturing or advancing to a better, more evolved, or somehow higher state of being. Usually “progress” is perceived as shifting from some form or state of surviving to some better state of thriving, believed and thus perceived as a more prosperous state. Under the influence of the ego, people like to imagine and claim that, for example, because they are making more money, or because they are given a more impressive, more prestigious job title or now can afford to pay a higher mortgage on larger home than they previously occupied, that they are evolving or progressing in some linear fashion. They perceive they are bettering themselves in some way, gaining in stature, prosperity, prestige, influence or power, etc.
A far more accurate term for the human experience, however, if we all were to get completely honest with ourselves, is much more one of lingering rather than of ‘progressing toward’ anything better or higher, either for oneself or for humanity. The changing symbols in the world around us do not correspond to inner, “spiritual growth,” though people like to believe they do, especially in regard to the contemporary (yet ancient) concept of manifesting or, as some websites put it, “forcing the universe to give you what you want.” We’ve merely learned how to better play, manipulate or submit to the ‘game’ of human life. But our spiritual Self hasn’t changed or evolved through any of this manipulation of the physical world. Our Self remains either suppressed out of awareness, or It is embraced in Awareness, regardless of perceived ‘outside’ events.
This may seem a cynical and rather dismal perspective on the concept of “human progress,” and so it often is here where arguments arise. Surely one could debate that there are gray areas where humanity has collectively progressed, having outgrown old, harmful or negative human behaviors – slavery perhaps being one clearer example. But hiding it or morphing it into a different form is neither progress nor real emancipation. It cannot be denied that forms of slavery and human trafficking are every bit as prevalent today as they ever were, operating everywhere around the world including the most progressed, ‘advanced’ nations. We need only be willing to look and not turn away nor deny what is there for all to see. Only the form(s) that slavery shows up in have changed, many of which primarily target women and young boys and girls for sex trade and even organ trade, not to leave out domestic servitude, forced labor and forced marriages on children. And for adult men and some women, too, there is also the “prison- industrial complex” which in recent decades has become essentially privatized, institutionalized slavery.
The population growth coupled with dramatic advances in industry, science, medicine and technology may provide the appearance and the illusion of forward progress, but under the covers, human nature is human nature. And human nature, at its very core, is ego nature. Ego cannot cease to be ego. If anything, modern technology and clearly modern geopolitics as well are only demonstrating that fact more clearly and blatantly every day as we, a modern civilization in this “progressive” age, seem to be all but welcoming if not embracing the dawn of a global “new world order.” And with this new world order comes the prophetic rise of a tyrannous “big-brother” surveillance state. The “evolved” and “progressive” age we appear to live in, perhaps more so than any other time in history, reflects the inherent corruption, decay and entropy of ego-based constructs, no matter what forms they seem to take on. It cannot but fall apart over time.
The Voice of Awareness: “I have no thoughts apart from God, because I have no mind apart from God.”
Lingering in a Dream
Disconnected from our spiritual Identity, we are rudderless; mindlessly, robotically marching onward, seemingly unable even to pause our collective course, to slow our momentum enough to consider if what we are doing – if how we are “progressing” – is even remotely in our true best interests. We all get the occasional sense that humanity is just ‘lingering’ day to day, millennia to millennia, but the thought is quickly suppressed once again out of awareness, into oblivion, lest depression set in.
The inescapable truth is that human beings, guided and driven by the ego thought system, are wholly incapable of perceiving what is in their own genuine best interests.
Why is that? Well, actually it makes perfect, logical sense that we cannot perceive our own best interests. It is because we are fundamentally confused about who and what we are, having lost awareness of our true Identity; having lost sight of our Self out of preference for our imaginings, believing that we really are the persona-selves we’ve conjured up, misguided by a self-absorbed ego thought system. We’ve lost our Self in the morass of mental self-images, characters and personas we’ve conjured; all substitutes for Self. Most of us are completely lost in the roles we play as actors. And so, we are endlessly chasing after what we perceive as being in the best interests of those actor-personas, having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what is truly in our genuine best interests. What is in our best interest is Self-awareness. To know our Self is to know our Source; to know our Source is to know our Self.
Alas, humanity is lingering in a dream – “maya” as the ancestors of our brothers and sisters in the east once called it, a Sanskrit term for “illusion,” “magic” or “unreality.” We all have known this in the back of our minds since the dawn of humankind. We have known, too, that we are doing all this to ourselves. How many of us have NOT had that strange, nagging sensation as a child that we ‘don’t seem to fit in’ here? In time, we all come to learn and subsequently choose to exist, however, under the influence of the ego in a constant state of Self-denial; a state of perpetual cognitive dissonance, as is so blatantly clear in today’s seeming mad, mad world.
The idea that our physical world is merely an illusion may seem easy to toss aside because it certainly does feel real and solid to us. But quantum physics and even traditional Newtonian physics both fully support the idea that nothing here is as it seems; that everything is made up not of matter, but fundamentally of energy. Something feeling real and solid is wholly dependent on the mind’s use of the body’s physical senses, which act in collusion with their maker, the ‘ego part’ of the mind. Spend an extended period of time in a sensory deprivation tank or simply deep in meditation and you will experience for yourself how the world is far more of a mental construct than most of us would be comfortable discussing in public.
The Voice of Awareness: “I have not left my eternal Source to enter into a body and die in time.”
Some people consider spirituality (not talking religion here, but it fits as well) to be a form of denial. They believe either firmly or to some degree that spirituality is escapism from the world, standing by the idea “if you’re not engaged and entrenched in the world, in its ways and its conflicts, then you’re denying and/or avoiding ‘what is’.” Yet conversely, as a matter of fact it is the physical world, with all its dramas and all its conflicts, all its aspects and attributes of maya, that reflects our deep, hidden desire to escape. The physical world is theultimate symbol of our wish to escape. It is our preferred form of entertainment. Rather than the “Kingdom of Heaven,” a persistent, perpetual state of Awareness, a state of being that words cannot possibly convey, one of Awareness of our spiritual Source and thus of our true spiritual Self within that Source, our focus is entirely redirected away to a physical world, being the ultimate symbol of our choice for illusion instead of God. The world is ultimately a reflection, a symbol or representation in form; a manifestation of the thought of, as well as our attempt to, escape from the Truth of who we are as spiritual beings.
One might think, “Why concern myself with all this spiritual mumbo-jumbo, when I’ve got a real physical experience of life right in front of me to figure out, to live and to ‘earn a living,’ here and now.” The only alternative to Self-awareness, to knowing oneSelf (to “Know Thyself”), however, is to lose oneSelf in an oblivion of illusions. Lacking the intuitive Vision that comes naturally with spiritual Self-awareness, we are sure to find ourselves constantly picking sides in a fixed game – the ego’s game – a game of distraction, manipulation, separation, specialness, division, duality and of polarities, where the “winning” of any side is utterly illusory, without meaning and ultimately purposeless. The ego’s script is one of ‘wash, rinse, repeat,’ over and over in countless forms; a never-ending story-line built on a reoccurring theme of problem-reaction-solution.
“Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream…
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream.”
In this dreamworld, where everything seems to constantly shift and change in order to provide the illusion of progress, nothing is really changing or progressing at all. The scenery and the sets move around perhaps, but the underlying narrative, the script, does not change. It’s as if humanity is stuck in a perpetual loop, a conundrum, a paradox of the past, endlessly recycling itself. The surface-level narratives appear to shift and change to carry on the appearance of an evolving story, as if to serve only to move the script along. But underneath the narratives are just reoccurring, cookie-cutter, archetypical themes. Just like on the walls of Plato’s Cave, the forms and symbols shift and change, but the content, the substance, the elements and core archetypes all remain the same… “the song remains the same.”
Without a unified thought system that is sane, sound, ordered (we could say “divinely ordered”) and rooted firmly in our eternal, unchanging spiritual Identity, most of us cannot help but occasionally reach a ‘level’ of “wokeness” only to fall back to mis-identifying once again, again and again, with the ego. We seemingly default and constantly fall back to its shifting, surface-level persona attributes based on the roles we value and play in relation to skills, family, career, status, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, etc. These are all, however, just concepts. We grasp to identify as something that, fundamentally speaking, we are not. These roles and attributes reflect but a mask, a mental self-image that we have made up for ourselves. They have nothing whatsoever to do with our true spiritual Self, which we did not and cannot create. Self-concepts, or thoughts valued and upheld about oneself, are highly distorted and skewed. When these are filtered through uncontrolled, shifting emotional states, they tend to become blown out of proportion, serving only to contribute that much more to a loss of connection to our true Self.
“It is the very energy of thought which keeps thee from thy God.”
~ Cardinal Newman, Came to Believe
A Foreign Occupation
As it is with most if not all of us, generally by the age of just 7 to 8 years old, our minds and our general state of Awareness) have become ‘occupied’ by, if not completely overtaken by, the ego. We have become the personas we’ve developed thus far in our physical experience, having formed these personas, our characters, with little-to-no understanding whatsoever of the awesome power of mind in make-believing thoughts to appear as “true” or “real” for us. The majority of our time by this age is now spent either distracted with or thinking primarily, if not exclusively, about ourselves; preoccupied with pacifying our mind-made personas. By whatever age puberty kicks in, little mind-space remains open, available or dedicated to simple, present, identity-free Awareness. By the time most of us reach young adulthood, the majority of our waking hours are saturated with “me” thoughts; ‘it’s all about me.’
We could say both in a literal and figurative sense that each of us eventually succumbs to a foreign occupation of our minds by the egos we have made up with it. The social system, the human programming, our education and indoctrination into this world are all set up in such a way as to strengthen egos while suppressing authentic Self-awareness. There’s no getting around it in the human experience because it is the human experience. And in these modern high-tech times, with society seeming to be in a more rapid rate of systemic corruption and decay, with people obsessed with if not completely addicted to screens, gadgets, games and a near infinite supply of apps, the minds of adults and children alike are kept occupied and distracted, full-time, to the point where even a brief opportunity for Self-awareness is all but obliterated.
Stillness, human connection and pure, simple Awareness are oftentimes perceived as valueless and ‘boring’ by those under the influence of the ego. Much like rats in a conditioning experiment, people are manipulated by and heavily dependent on the ego’s constant supply of dopamine hits. By the time most of us reach adulthood, we have become so persona-focused, so self-absorbed and entitled, to the point where the world, as each separately perceives it, revolves entirely around “me.” All things are perceived and valued based on ‘how this relates to me;’ how it affects, benefits or harms our persona, our image, our mental concept of ‘self.’ Whatever clarity and authentic spiritual Awareness we started out this human experience with has either all but faded or has gradually been pushed aside, de-valued, blotted out, suppressed, substituted and ultimately usurped by the ego-based personas we had conjured up, pursued and by now, heavily fortified as our personal, preferred sense of self; how we desire and wish to fit into the physical world and universe that we perceive ourselves to be in.
The world, even its religions, seems customized for every generation to become more and more distracted away from valuing and choosing simple, natural spiritual Awareness. For many of us too, depending on the families and cultures we are born into, natural child-like curiosity, wonder and spiritual Awareness are often replaced or overwritten with religious dogma, educational indoctrination and certainly today, media programming. All of these in the ego’s hands are forged to become major distractive devices used to keep us from choosing and restoring Awareness, lest we become Self-aware and the whole ego narrative and all its illusions completely unravel.
Most of us go even further, constructing custom versions of our personas. One version is formed from the ‘inside-out,’ a process which begins from day one of the human journey, and another version often follows. This subsequent version is designed and made up from the outside-in. It is conceived of and begins to form as we start to imagine and come to believe in what the world wants and/or expects from us. We could say, one version of our persona is internal-facing and the other is external facing; very much like how others physically see us versus how we see ourselves in a mirror, flipped horizontally 180 degrees. We end up crafting our persona-masks both for an inward facing and an outward facing experience of ‘human life.’ These two (or more) versions can often become quite divergent, representing both how we choose to perceive our ourselves and, equally as important yet often quite different, how we wish to be perceived by “others;” by the ‘outside’ world. The two images over time can become polarized, or bipolar, where a person can end up in a seemingly perpetual state of conflict, something like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This is exemplified in people in many forms, but for example, it can become apparent when a substantial amount of alcohol is consumed and a person seems to change into a significantly different character.
“Idle wishes and grievances are partners or co-makers in picturing the world you see.”5
Form & Formlessness
The mind that clings to personas, to bodies, to physical form and the physical world – to ‘maya’ – as being the end-all, be-all “reality” may consider it insane to value a formless, spiritual Reality and by Its nature, a formless, spiritual Source. But it is the ego that is insane. The ego literally is insane, having completely severed and separated itself off from the one true, transcendent, spiritual Reality. The ego believes only in what can be perceived by physical senses (its physical senses) – a three-dimensional physical world or form. Its world is ‘formed’ by atoms, which even Newtonian physics tells us are not at all what they appear to be, being 99.9999% empty space, or essentially… formless. We could describe the phenomenon of atomic formation by saying that atoms dance between form and form potential reflecting the consciousness of the observer. A perceivable physical world is the only “reality” the ego trusts and believes in because it MUST; it has to in order to maintain not only its 3-D world, but also its own quasi existence (see Salvation Part I for clarification). The ego relies on magic, quite literally on make-believe, to both develop and hold its world of form in place.
“Complexity of form does not imply complexity of content.”6
The awakening mind, disengaging from ego-based scripts, designs, deceptions and distractions, welcomes a deep, intuitive Awareness of the formless, quantum, reflective nature of the physical universe. It is aware of the knowledge that matter, or form, is projected and made manifest by the mind. The awakening mind becomes aware that Reality is spiritual in nature; that as such it is eternal, beyond time, space and form. It is aware that it is cause, while this world and everything in it, everything of physical form, including the body, is effect; a reflection in symbolic form of the content of consciousness. Ego’s focus is always on form, while Awareness is always aware of content. Love is content. Joy is content. Peace and serenity are content.
Spiritually Aware, we come to see the genuine cause-effect relationship of consciousness and the ‘outside’ world, as well as the cause-effect relationship of our Self and our Source, in proper order. Do we not openly accept ourselves, even in this world of form, as the extension of our earthly parents and ultimately, of our ancestral lineage before them? Do we not carry on and extend and our family names, our lineage and heritage? Do we not consider our children to be the expression of the love between parents? Underlying all that physical, worldly narrative, if “God created us in His image,” then in truth are we not Spirit, first and foremost, just like our Creator? Are we not spiritual rather than these physical constructs that we, not God, have used the creative faculties of mind to make and project onto the quantum screen, reflecting separate bodies and a 3-D world of separate things, all set against a backdrop of space, time and form? Would we really choose to perceive ourselves as so limited, as somehow contained or imprisoned ‘within’ form, rather than being wholly free as formless, timeless, limitless beings, discerning and seeing finally that all form originates and ‘exists’ within us… within the mind?
At its roots, here lies the “human condition,” where all people suffer, searching endlessly for meaning and purpose ‘out there’ in a world capable only of reflecting our inner state of mind; a world capable of having only the meaning and purpose we assign it. The hard truth of the matter is that people suffer until they choose to end their suffering, which incidentally does not and cannot come through “death,” being ultimately just another illusion; another part of the ego’s script. Rather, it comes only through embracing Life and Reality, both of which are eternal, and only eternal. It comes through restoring to Awareness our true will and then exercising it. And in Reality, in Truth, our will is one and can only be one with God’s Will, of and through which we are created as the beloved extension and expression. We must choose the inevitable return of Truth, the restoration of our one true Identity to Awareness, in place of the universe of illusions we’ve conjured up as substitutes for It; that is, if we would finally and fully re-awaken to the authentic, lasting, unshakable Peace, Joy and Love that is our true and natural inheritance.
This is our salvation. This is our enlightenment. In this, we are all together, unified and ego-less as one, created wholly free of this “human condition” and all the suffering we have conjured up for ourselves. We need not bother with trying to mentally imagine a form for this salvation to take because it is entirely beyond form. Our salvation is beyond all narratives, beyond perception and beyond all human concepts and ideas. And it is already here, already our own.
The Voice of Awareness: “My mistakes about myself are just dreams. I can choose to let go of dreams, being my substitute for God’s Reality.”
All of This Begs the Question…
Who Would You Be Host to NOW?
Ultimately, all comes down to this one question: would you be host to unadulterated Truth – free of all persona-centered concepts, ego-less and thus, simply present Awareness? Or, would you choose rather to be something ‘else,’ something of your own making, something special, unique, host to illusions, mental distortions and self-delusions? Put more simply, would you rather be host to Spirit, the Source of Love – limitless, unshakable and eternal – or, host to ego, limited, unstable, ever-changing, uncertain, temporal and the source of all fear?
True humility (i.e. a state of genuine humbleness, not ‘humiliation’ as many tend to confuse the term with) or, becoming ego-free in this world, is not always but often is preceded by some form of significant life crisis – an intensive and/or extended period of sometimes severe ego deflation. “Pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization”7 is how countless alcoholics and addicts have experienced and come to describe it in the rooms of Twelve-Step programs. In other words, genuine humility often follows an extensive, sometimes severe period of humiliation.
Still, few of those people who experience such a crisis of ego remain ego-free for long after such an event. To remain ego-free requires commitment, persistence and constant vigilance, because the ego thought system has countless ways, even seemingly quite ‘spiritual’ ways, to sneak back in, becoming valued again by its host until once again it has resumed control over one’s mental faculties. Its deepest roots in the mind must be extracted and purged through an innermost willingness and a total surrender of one’s false self, allowing the ego to be wholly uprooted and dissolved back into the formless thought energy from which it seemed to originate. Our true spiritual Self is revealed through abandoning the mental self-images we’ve made, valued and upheld.
When the ego has fallen away, we cease to identify as a mentally constructed idea of self, supported by an extensive backstory with an excess of roles portrayed; there is no personal, private narrative running in the background. Rather now, both within and without, we identify as something far less complex, yet completely natural; something wholly authentic and impersonal. We have a wonderful Awareness and sense of inter-connectedness with ‘all that is;’ with God’s creation. There is a period of reunification and reintegration of oneself with, and as, spirit. Free now of any self-image, free of specific identifiers even if only temporarily so, ego-less ones will intuitively identify simply as spiritual- or Self-awareness – simple, present Awareness. There is no attachment to thoughts of self, no ‘me’ or ‘my’ thoughts occupying the mind, nor are there any attachments to a perceived physical body, certainly not as being a limit or outer edge of oneself.
These self-less ones no longer make themselves serve as host to a tyrannous, self-centered ego thought system, but have instead allowed the mind be emptied of such thoughts, ideas, desires and perceived needs. Their minds are quiet, peaceful and serene. No longer is there an impulse or need to be someone unique, someone special; no need to be a separate, isolated, walled-off self. There is no sense of self to have to defend against scrutiny or criticism from ‘others.’ Now there is only a deep sense and a natural desire for unity –to be ‘one among the Fellowship;’ to no longer remain apart from, but instead to be “a part of.” Expectations on other people to be this way or that way similarly fall away. The center of their sense of self is no longer an autonomous, individualized, personified mental image. One is not limited to a physical body nor to a persona or any form of ego. The center of one’s Awareness of ‘self’ becomes image-less and formless, beyond all description or definition; limitless Spirit – with a deep sense of oneness with a “Higher Power.”
Truly free now, these ones have made both the decision and commitment to offer themselves up as host, no longer to an ego, but now to Spirit. They have become a willing host to Love and thus, host to God. They are no longer self-absorbed, self-centered or selfish in the multitude of ways most human beings are to some degree. However, ‘others’ may still perceive them as such, misinterpreting Self-love as being selfish and/or arrogant. Free of ego, they are simply Self-aware and Self-interested; not as the mental images they once valued and upheld in their thoughts, but now as having found (or, restored to Awareness) their true identity – indeed their holy identity – as extensions and expressions of a Divine Creator. Ego would judge them as arrogant, even blasphemous, to recognize and claim holiness. It is not arrogance, but true humility to recognize their natural holiness as spirit; as created by God.
Naturally their values shift away from what the world once taught them to value. There is no longer any persona-self or self-image being upheld in Awareness to get in the way of the divine relationship between Self and Source. These ones do not even identify within themselves as being “human” anymore, but rather know themselves simply as a spiritual being. They seem to arrive ‘here’ in the world, or develop after enough experience here, with a deep innate understanding that something about the physical world is off, and it has always been off. Their childhoods, no matter how secure their families and environments may outwardly seem, are disturbed with a nagging, abstract sense that something, something indescribable about the world, is unreal. They have (we all have) and make use of a natural intuition to see what is false as false and eventually come to trust this intuition; sensing that, in fact, something is very ‘off’ about this world. As human beings they could neither see nor perceive beyond their five physical senses. But as spirit, as extensions of their Creator, they now can intuitively ‘see’ – with Vision – behind the curtain; behind the veil of illusions of this 3-D world. They see the Matrix; they see maya for what it is.
Finally, pausing, contemplating all of the above, considering everything we have talked about up to this point in regard to the seeming choice we each must make between two opposing thought systems – ego or Spirit – only one being real, yet both seemingly having the capacity to occupy our Awareness, let us now honestly and humbly ask ourselves, “Which would I choose in this moment to host in my Awareness? Would I be host to a limited, separate ego, or would I be host to limitless, omnipresent Spirit? Would I be apart from, or a part of?” Clearly peace, joy and authentic Love, each beyond form, words or definitions, all feel far better, freer and wholly natural in comparison to anything the ego or this world can offer. To have these persistently in our experience, all we need ‘do’ is simply allow – to allow our Awareness be filled with Spirit, with Love, with God. There is nothing in this or any world more natural, purer or more satisfying than being host to Spirit. Having re-become what we already are and always were, the thought of “my” present awareness then falls away to become simply… Awareness… something we all together share in the present moment with God and with each other beyond all the noise, dramas and chaos of this world; its billions of separate bodies with separate minds all busily off doing separate things. Salvation is Self-awareness, aware that Self and Source – Cause and Effect – are one, with no beginning and no end. Salvation is that simple.
Many of those seduced, deceived and occupied by ego would believe it to be a form of denial of “reality,” even perhaps a form of insanity, for people not to identify as being human. So too, many of those seduced by ego-based religions would consider it blasphemous to claim oneself an extension of God. Jesus, as the story goes, was crucified, literally murdered simply for claiming as his one true Identity, his/our unified, spiritual Sonship to God; he was crucified for attempting to educate and share with us this very natural connection that we all have, together as one, being the extension and expression of our divine Creator. He was simply showing us, through demonstration, the way of Salvation and that Life is spiritual and eternal.
Salvation is rooted not in form, nor in any version of an “after-life,” but is rooted in how one presently chooses to identify within him or herself, right here, right now, in the perpetual present moment. “Would I be host to an ego, a mental, personal image of myself which I have made – or – am I host to Spirit, which I did not create?” In acknowledging the latter, I am automatically acknowledging both my true Self and my true Source, as well as our inseparable union, our holy relationship, and thus, I am allowing a healing of the separation I once imagined and mistakenly believed ‘real.’ This is the cure for the human condition.
~ o 0 o ~
“A sleeping mind must waken, as it sees its own perfection mirroring
the Lord of Life so perfectly it fades into what is reflected there.
And now it is no more a mere reflection. It becomes the thing reflected,
and the light which makes reflection possible. No vision now is needed.
For the wakened mind is one that knows its Source, its Self, its Holiness.”8
~ End, Part II ~
1 A Course in Miracles W-69.3.2-4
2 A Course in Miracles W-66-7.2-5
3 A Course in Miracles W-66-10.1
4 A Course in Miracles W-72.2.1-2
5 A Course in Miracles W-73.2.1
6 A Course in Miracles W-64.5.7
7 Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 30
8 A Course in Miracles W-167.12.3-7