After thought #17

Radical Spirituality is the process of taking our attention off the foreground of our life experience, where everything appears to happen and reversing it; to re-orientate that attention from the outside to the inside. 

When we turn it inwardly, we initially discover a subjective world: it appears as joy and sadness, memories and imaginations, fears and desires, confusion and clarity.  It’s an inner world of beliefs, ideas, notions and perceptions, it’s a world of memories and feelings : some pleasant and some not so pleasant.  Sometimes, there is silence. 

All of this is can be called the “I”.  It’s the person we imagine ourselves to be.  It’s the person we identify ourselves with and as, but are not. All of these qualities and impulses are relevant on some level, but of all of them it is the silence that is the most precious.

For those who “do this”; for those who decide to turn their attention inward, it can often be terrifying and magical at the same time.  Things can change.  Fears can be faced, life can improve, clarity and perceived freedom can occur in the relationship we have to our subjective experience and the “I”, this thing we presently understand to be self.  

Life still happens with all its dichotomies, but with consistent regular attention and a pinch of understanding, resilience can arise out of that silence; simply because our attention is no longer just focused on the foreground distraction and noise of our life experience.  “Our” attention is now inward and outward.  No longer fixated; our attention has now been captured by the background of Being. 

Sometimes “miracles” can occur simply by turning attention towards Being.  Sometimes our life can fall apart.  This is a small taste of the journey, but it is not the end, and it is not the goal. There is a greater promise here.  A greater gift inherently lies within this journey we call life and the realization of radical Spirituality. 

As “we” spend more time noticing with attention the background of Being, we begin to notice; we begin to realize naturally, spontaneously, intuitively, that there is much more to our existence than the perception or understanding of the “I” which we imagine ourselves to be.  We begin to sense the “I” which appears to exist out there in the world of form, with its preferences and choices, needs and desires, wants and purposes, sorrows and joys; the “I” we had assumed ourselves to be, is actually not who we are.  It is an illusion and representation.  It is only a shadow self, an “I”dentity, a sliver of potential that lies on a full colour spectrum of possibility.

Most go no further than this initial, prepatory step of simply looking at, or trying to understand, change, transform or placate this “I” and its fleeting needs and wants, desires and fears.  There is in fact NO rule that one must go any further; there is in fact NO rule that there needs to be an orientation of attention too the background of Being at all. Everything is as it is. 

If however, there is a need; if there is a desire to move beyond sufferings of our day to day life; beyond a superficial, conceptual understanding of conventional spirituality, then “you” might want to continue.  “You” might want to examine the validity of that “I”, and all that it imagines itself to be.  “You” might want to discover the essence of your true existence that lies just beyond the “I”.

For some, there comes a time when this crossroads appears.  A junction occurs where one can remain standing in an improved “I” that seemingly knows itself; that seems to engage in the lifestyle of a so called spiritual orientation.  Scratch the surface though, and it can be seen for what it is, that “you” are actually stuck, deceived by the polarity of up and down, right and wrong, good and bad, spiritual and not so spiritual and the suffering that inherently and inevitably lies in the duality of that perception.

There appears to be a time where “we” can hold onto that “I” and all that it appears to be: the fears, the joys, the memories, the desires, the preferences; all of the entertaining and not so entertaining stories.  All the conceptual understandings that provide the appearance of a lifestyle of perceived comfort to that “I”, based on belief, philosophy and archetype, or we can continue on that perceived journey.  We can penetrate that “I” and all its erroneous thinking, allowing it to fade to the background from whence it came.  Creating the space for the background of Being to become the foreground of awareness that delicately overshadows all the thinking, the being, the having and the doing…

2 Responses

  1. My problem is that I am more often then not so preoccupied with the feelings and life of others that I don’t have the energy or time to focus on “I”. Isn’t that sad?

    • …the fact that you know this; the fact that you have observed this behaviour, watched it in action, witnessed the feelings come and go, is the part of “you” that is already aware, awake, present…

      stay there!

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