I have been doing the ‘Compassion Walk’ meditation that is in our subscriber section, and am finding that it offers a profound change of energy. For those of you who are not subscribers, it’s quite simple. You do it by directing your attention to your physical sensations and away from your mind while walking among other people, say in a mall or along a sidewalk. (Don’t run into anybody or fall over anything, and certainly don’t do it while driving.) It causes you to turn off, however briefly, the ‘judge’ that is in us all and dominates our functioning when we are among others.
What happens to me are two things. First, what is usually a vaguely uneasy experience becomes rich and joyous. I have to work to keep my attention on my body, so much pleasure comes from seeing the way people and animals and plants simply ARE. Everything is dancing with life and being in it is just plain fun. Second, I begin to see myself from the outside. I find myself as a smaller part of a larger world. It’s the opposite of the usual perspective. Usually, we see from ourselves as the center of our reality. The Compassion Walk enables one to see oneself in a more realistic perspective, as a small part of a large reality.
Which has led me to the question: who are we and where are we? Ever since I started having close encounter experiences, these have obviously been burning questions for me.
I think, now, that I can express my ideas on the question clearly and succinctly. First, we are injected into bodies that are themselves embedded in physical reality and set to flowing along a time stream. Where we are in terms of the physical universe isn’t of primary importance. We are on a planet somewhere. What is crucial to understand is that we are in a configuration that causes is to receive the vast majority of our impressions from our physical senses. Where we are is in the physical.
We weren’t always this way and we won’t always be this way. But the combination of the intensity of physical impressions and our knowledge of the eventual end of the body causes us to prefer to live as if we will never die. But it is possible to live another way entirely, to move through time with awareness, not blindly. It’s a change of perspective, and an important one. It leads to one becoming much more objective about one’s existence. There’s no breast beating involved, in the sense of feeling despair over the reality of death. To the contrary, its very freeing to include one’s whole life in one’s self-image. Frankly, it is so freeing to embrace the reality of death that it gives meaning to the ancient idea that the Sphinx–a human being in a balanced, or conscious, state–rises above life on eagle’s wings. This means that the adept becomes objectively conscious, and the key to doing this is not by embracing death or imagining it, but by taking it for granted rather than ignoring it.
We may be a natural development or we may be an outcome of technology, or both, but to me it is clear that we came from somewhere and are going somewhere. I cannot agree that physical life is the beginning and end of being, for the simple reason that I have had too much personal experience of other levels of consciousness. This includes meditating for years with a man who identified himself as somebody who was between physical lives. (I describe this relationship in detail in Solving the Communion Enigma.)
Physical life opens us up to the rich impressions of this world, but also swamps our ability to perceive things that are not associated with taste, touch, smell and sight. We become soul blind, and the richer our material lives become, the more soul blind we get.
I think that we are supposed to be soul blind. Indeed, I think that we enter physical life so that this will happen. Most of us, probably all of us, have been in being a very long time, and quite possibly forever. What we do in the physical is flood ourselves with impressions that overwhelm what are probably very long and vastly experienced memories, and rather clear knowledge of probable futures. In effect, we become children again, and live as children do, unaware of a larger perspective that would make us too wise to act from our core essence.
In other words, we abandon wisdom for innocence so that we can discover our deepest truth. Doing life, for better or for worse, will reveal us to ourselves. Physical life is a breathing in of impressions. Afterward, spiritual life is an exhaling or letting go. Physical life is the active side of a triad, afterlife the passive or contemplative side.
There is hidden between them a level of being that we hardly ever address at all, let alone directly. This is the part of us that finds balance between the two opposing energies of life and afterlife. It is this part that one can taste on a Compassion Walk, when for a brief time the judge that is in us all falls silent, and we taste instead of the joy of being.
Where are we? Somewhere in the physical. What are we? Travelers on the road to joy.