Since our earliest days, we have stared up at the stars, and wondered, “What is it all, what does it all mean? What is it’s purpose, why am I here? Where and how do I fit in here?”
In nearly every philosophy, theology and spiritual teaching, lies the fundamental truth that there exists, as parts of each of us, manifestations of two realities, the relative and the absolute. Over the past twenty-five plus centuries, the innumerable disciplines of man have strived to understand and bridge the simple, yet unfathomable gap between these realities, the physical and metaphysical. Christ refers to them as the body & the soul, Krishna, the personal self & the Real self. Scientific thought attempts to organize and categorize the form and the formless with various theories, from general to special relativity, quantum physics to metaphysics, in an attempt to understand the relationships between the relative and the absolute.
It seems like such a wild at thought at first… two realities?? What does that even mean? From birth, all I’ve ever known is what I’ve seen and experienced, this reality; the sun comes up, then goes down, days follow nights, everything is constantly being pulled to the ground, rocks are hard, dirt is dirt, plants are plants, and air is air… How is there room for anything else?
We only know what little we know, that is the relative reality each of us were born into; into this place with time & gravity, speed & distance, light & dark, it’s all we know, unless we drastically change our perspective. This is only accomplished by first accepting the fact that there is more out there than our tiny pebble of a planet, floating in an ocean of space, larger than the most brilliant minds can even imagine. Equally wild, things right here on our tiny planet that seem microscopic to us in our every day experience, divide into unfathomably small parts. Inside a single drop of water lies another universe, from atoms, to particles, to vibrations of energy. This is where form becomes formless, and constitutes the fabric of another reality that we were born from, and will return to, the absolute, where the timeless Real self resides…
The Buddha offers more of a bottoms up approach to consoling the differences between the personal and the Real self, focusing on the byproducts of each, transcending the ego of the mind, to an elevated state beyond sad and happy, content. The ego is said to be a wild untamed stallion, without the self awareness and discipline of the rider, he will be taken off through the far away hills. This is what separates our lower nature from our higher, to not be enslaved by our emotions, to be selfless in all transactions, be it thought word or action… this is mastery of the self and the way of higher consciousness, to be the watcher behind the thinker.
“We can begin at the bottom, with practice and morality; or at the top, with a consideration of metaphysical truths; or, finally, in the middle, at a focal point where mind and matter, action and thought have their meeting place in human psychology”. ~ Aldous Huxley
Higher conscious is the shedding of the personal self, and realizing the true self that is seated behind the mind, thus expanding our perspective from one set of eyes, our own, to many. The more we identify with or are aligned with the true self, the less we are controlled by ego, habits and emotions. The less we identify with and are aligned with the personal self, the more we see ourselves not as individuals, but as a part of something infinitely greater; greater than mankind, grander than our physical realm.. The sum of the all
Interpret that any way that you want
Within the general framework of the discipline, spiritual practice or theology we identify with, each of us have our own unique relationship and connection with our God, be him defined as our creator, as our sustainer, an omnipotent omnipresent entity, energy or force. Some view their higher power as an external, with whom they serve, some feel their connection as an internal, serving right action. Our relationship can be one of love & gratitude, awe & inspiration, contentment & balance, or any myriad of ways of being; but they all do one common thing, they reveal and guide us to a higher path. Christ speaks of walking the selfless path impeccably “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, love your neighbor as yourself”. Krishna urges us to “regard this earth as but a finite and transitory abode, and know and worship Me, Fix upon Me, without distraction thy earnest mind, and thou shall come into me”. “Me”, “I”, the “Real self”, this is what’s on the other side of the bridge, across from the relative truth, the absolute.
The path of the Real self goes against our lower nature, where we are enslaved by the mind, attaching our self-ness to everything. Here, we christen all we see and hear with judgment, comparison and emotion, lost in our head somewhere playing a story much like an impromptu movie of our past or our future, attaching more judgment, comparison and emotion. In this path of the personal self there is but one view, a hallway with ten-thousand mirrors. If by chance we happen to pass a window, it is but the brief unexpected moments in our lives; be it a glimpse of profound beauty or a life threatening experience, before our mind captures it, labels it, pulls us back into the house of mirrors, and lulls us back to sleep.
Be the Buddha, or in other words, be “the awakened one” to your true, Real self; know this, and keep this awareness with you always. Walk the higher path by maintaining a “one-pointed mind”, by being the rider of the wild stallion, with self awareness and discipline.
The tip of the spear of power lies in the present ~ Elizebeth Louise Hayes
“Every moment of our human life is a moment of crisis; for at every moment we are called upon to make an all important decision – to choose between the way that leads to death and spiritual darkness and the way that leads towards life; between interests exclusively between temporal and the eternal order; between our personal will, or the will of some projection of our personality, and the will of God” ~ Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy