Dissolving the Beast of Burden through Realizing the Powers of the Sphinx
As one finds oneself in this great Dream we all share called Existence, to whatever degree of intensity or mediocrity, one is involved in an unveiling of the possibilities of Power/Shakti through an ever-widening structure. One’s honest relationship with Mystery is always outside the grasp of any conceptual reflection or well-polished act, no matter how stable a routine of ordinary life one is graced to experience. The limitless power/light of existence appearing as Nature in all its dimensions, is, in itself, the form of the very divinity that is Being individuated as each one that appears in the midst of a seemingly impenetrable limitation. In the face of such a maddening position, how can one begin to undo the illusion of being conditioned by responding out of ignorance to countless encounters with the contained world that is witnessed as one’s condition? Realization of Truth, Waking Up, does not stand as an answer to the chaos or order that one suffers or enjoys in the Dream, and as such ‘the work’ is missed through its lack of usefulness in attaining the goals giving apparent support to separative existence within the theatre of usual life. For all this, however, there exists genuine transformation that occurs through encountering the force of REALITY through waking to one’s actual Nature. This is the journey I wish to share through the process of conscious awakening experienced by this one, AHA, and it takes the form of the four powers of the Sphinx: To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Be Silent.
The instinct to unveil the Truth of one’s nature arises from an inherent basic confusion. BEING, as it is continuous with the totality of existence as the Light unborn and undying of Nature, appears in an individual vehicle created through encounters of fragmentary awareness and cycles of increasing and/or diminishing energy. One’s ability to move with one’s environment as energy is replaced by a procession of survival identities, each with its own ego-mask, a set of beliefs and desires that cling or avoid in any given relational environment. These patterns that dictate one’s involvement with a circumstance prevent the truth from being intuited and felt and replace direct experience with inherited past survival boundaries. One may be relatively fortunate to have a secure social structure which nourishes these identities. However, quickening current times are making this more impossible, and as one begins to seek out intelligent strategies for coping with survival, grace may enter in, and enquiry into one’s actual Being can set hold, assisting an energetic orientation grounded in Truth of being present rather than avoiding feeling Reality. Initially, feeling exhausted and undernourished by the breakdown of the structure brought about by one’s search for identity, ideas, and agreeable modes of release, one finds energy of contact from spiritual practices, group activity, or charismatic therapists or teachers. However, the energy released from direct relationship is ensnared by the network of past imprints, and new forms of attention cover up any insight into the peace of being Oneself in Truth. That is why anyone may begin to know The Truth in the midst of highs and lows both, by enquiring into Who is having this experience.
Undermining each reflection, high and low, that is presented to one in the ongoing encounter with the Truth of Life as it is, is essential because each such experience serves as a buffer to feeling/knowing the actual illumination of the heart of each event-act, and prevents one’s form from being able to sustain a wider range of non-separative, undifferentiated and strategically free energy that is one’s BEING.
Whenever one notices any level of so-called inner activity, one simply takes a breath in and expels the content along with any expectations about the next moment. Then with the next inhalation, one opens one’s senses to the facticity of the Room Here and Now, allowing the breath to be held as one assimilates the energy just taken in. At this point one enquires, ‘Who Am I’, realizing with the question that all reflection is an act of superimposed SELF-Restriction. Enquiring ‘Avoiding Relationship’ reveals reflection to be an act of withdrawal from the field of universal love and interconnectedness. The affirmation ‘Just This’ reveals that behind any abstraction in the moment is the empowerment of infinity that gives its sense of reality. In addition to the negation of ‘Neti, Neti’ (Not This, Not That) one can realize the equality of all directions of one’s radiance of Being without any one having dominance over any other by contemplating ‘Does Not Matter, Need Not Be’. All these forms of enquiry liberate the attention back into the Now, allowing one to conduct the force of reality As It Is. Any sense of fear or otherness begins to vanish and is replaced by an expansion of the sense of one’s own form. Behind every appearance one can witness the energy of existence concentrated through the nexus of the bodily systems and centres.
Further enquiry reveals a field of relational activity beyond one’s personal bodily shape, that includes all ancestors, places, and earthly power centres which influence what is arising to consciousness. The entire field that empowers one’s intelligence may concentrate itself as one feels life as a bright point of space in contact with other centres, and one is revealed through every symbolic unfolding of event through number, language, and geometric form.
Next one can surrender or go beyond the need to pay any attention at all to the ‘form’ of life, realizing the True Will unfolding moment to moment. The Light of attention itself is realized as the fullness of cosmic activity concentrated into the patterning of a given moment or point in time entering into the whole surrounding. Any fear gives way to a clarity of Will that is continuous, as the breathing and feeling-attention at the heart of all experience. It is seen at this point that whatever event one experiences is shaped fundamentally by one’s own activity of consciousness and the next phase has come into effect as one has entered into consecrating the body and mind into a divine talisman capable of revealing reality to those one appears with. The aspiring Bodhisattva now must face the troubling discovery that one is still tending to dramatize limitation, moment to moment being hoodwinked by the great insights encountered in the Light brought about by the headlong quest into Knowing.
The forms of Self restriction/definition that one can encounter in the theatre of life are as numerous as the possibilities of any individual extending towards one’s universe. Rooted as one is in the awareness of the energetic movement in one’s field of awareness, each event is seen to be a restriction on the free taking, in any given moment, of the life force, giving rise to Ego/Mind/Desire in all its dramatized forms. The absorption and radiance of the force of existence is the flame that animates each individual and moves every cell to unite with existence through being just What It Is, performing its function. Conditioning us into survival identities is what the roles, beliefs, and desires that people around us maintain, except in ritualized moments where direct self expression is allowed. This atmosphere of limitation on the BEING often provides impetus for isolating oneself into a cave of controlled environments where one faces no disturbance to an ‘enlightened’ way of life with all the disciplines and games that have been created since the dawn of individual consciousness. Yet the Truth of each one will integrate widened possibilities that even allow perfect rest.
As one concentrates on the disciplines of living Free Attention and communicating as one will, some categories of restriction are encountered. Mistaking the cosmic light that is one’s very Self as being external to What One Is, one relegates oneself to the shadow or double who seeks to regain substance or salvation through the right type of activity. One may animate one side of conscious activity (masculine/feminine, giving/receiving) while making the other unconscious, projecting one’s completion outside as an opposite needing to be won over and conquered. The power of one’s communication to transform one’s environment is a reflection of the degree of feeling awareness that one is capable of absorbing/radiating. The energy released in communication can thus either widen or limit one’s sense of identity, whaler giving meaning to either merely locks one into limitation. One can feel perfect delight/doubt as to whether one fits in to the space one finds oneself, and can find oneself dominated by the sense of others being higher or lower than oneself. Just so, one may feel a constant sense of Fight or Flight and encounter anger when one waits for permission to be the Power that one is. Frequently one does not live from a place of feeling the movement of energy within and all surrounding, instead feeling emotionally dead and locked in the head. At the most basic survival level one often isn’t giving oneself even basic self-acknowledgement of the right to exist, and so one fails to feel one’s self existence with all its virtues and vices as actually already in perfect balance with the Truth as one’s unique form that one appears as.
There is no limit to the profundity of this kind of self-awareness as every subtle and dense layer of conscious activity is revealed to be a limitation on one’s True Nature as it unfolds. Clarity of recognition gives way to Power and continual Daring to radiate one’s Truth and self-actualization as one’s personal awareness dissolves into the Universal form. Reflection dies as one Actualizes without hesitation the gifts to serve each situation united within consciousness. The Place of Power as Existence is the very Ground one’s feet rest on, the place of all one’s ancestors and allies responsible for weaving one’s form and creating the vision of each one as a vehicle of medicine that unites the divided world from which one emerges. Every unfolding display of speech, act, and deed one shows up through in life is a release of a medicine triggered by the relational activity of those energies around one, and one must consciously take in and give out through breath and feeling-sense in order to truly rest in the truth of one’s Going, which never ceases from the beginning to the end of one’s life as form. One allows oneself to feel the world as the Beloved where every moment of yielding reveals a new sensation, and every moment of outward extension brings change that allows one to further unveil the Mystery created, preserved, and transformed as each moment.
Coincident with one’s self-existence, with the disappearance of sorrow, comes the free expression of power through the awakened Will. Anger disappears as it is realized that individual freedom to move and radiate power creates changes in the universe that shift events to meet the Truth of one’s form with all its inner and outer qualities being just what they are. A shift at the heart takes place as it is realized that one’s individual form and self expression is actually the result of all efforts and accomplishments of survival as lived by one’s ancestors and set of relations unveiled in the course of life’s theatre. Each conscious moment is an opportunity to share the gifts needed to balance any environment one moves through, and truly all beings are felt to be part of the same family. One’s communication stems from a deepening Silence as the wideness of space is intuited and one’s presence includes the stars and spaces beyond the atmosphere of one’s world. This gap between the thoughts is the home of existence, and every communication opens the space, rather than enclosing one in a limited role.
Living as illumined consciousness means being free to communicate any role appropriate to the moment, whether it be receptive or active, whether it nourishes the boundary of the moment or extends the moment into the unknown. One realizes that one is the entire Universe, extending to a point that is being ecstatically unfurled and re-absorbed into the Absolute with every unfolding scene. Waking up through this radical letting go amounts to a radical intuition that each moment is created as the perfect event, with every inner and outer event commingling to reveal the SELF as the prior condition of all times and spaces.
An eternal BEING appearing as an eternal PROCESS is what one is left with as life goes on without a care. Awake and in the grip of the snake (symbolic of the wild dance of existence) one rests in Silence, in perfect flowering of Awakening. What can life be expected to be Now?
THAT SILENCE allows one to live free of any interference as every moment reveals reflection to be merely a vehicle for balanced ongoingness in the world, as one’s appearance is merely the perfect balance to the conditions within one’s awareness. All paradoxes of personality are resolved by transformation through encountering the force of life as it is, and grace replaces effort as the momentum of the entire universe is realized to support one’s unfolding existence in the Going of Silence. The reality felt of the pressure of one’s structure and the need to have an appropriate ego mask of self-expression is transformed by the explosion of heart-awakening relationship in which one’s natural expression of openness towards an ‘Other’ is received and shed in the inclusiveness of sharing and appearing in the same light. One realizes that the Other is one’s Truth over ‘There’. The difference of being is only an illusion generated by the comparisons of mind. The recognition of oneness is realized in Silence beyond the receptive intuition of the wider world and active communication of the thinking mind. This Light is the entire communication of existence uniting into wholes and dividing into parts within the ecstatic process of life in which one’s individual tendencies are recognized to be fragments from the explosion of honestly encountering the ‘Otherness’ of one’s condition.
Beyond the activity of desire where one is nourished emotionally by the events surrounding one and extending out through Will to unite with wider environments is the awakening to the Bliss that is the entire Universe vibrating at once, and moving all seeds within to grow. SAT-CHITANANDA is thus realized to be the True Condition behind one’s enclosed life of tendencies. One overcomes any difficulties of age due to the rhythms of openness and closure that a well-lived life has yielded; yet despite the Bliss, there is no escape from the pleasure/pain game. When one understands, things are as they are; when one doesn’t understand, things are as they are. This leads to one no longer living as the Beast of Burden whose past survival conditions and imprints cause one to be suspended apart from the force of REALITY through the veil of Personality. One instead lives each moment As It Is without imposing hope and fear onto the Light of relational existence, and one is no longer bewitched into believing any of the implications of separateness mirrored back.
Out of the chrysalis of the illusion of private experience of each one of us are countless opportunities to enter into that Silence of unhindered unfolding as one takes a breath and enquires until it becomes unnecessary for any technique to be appealed to further. At any moment one may find oneself free of being pushed around by one’s habits and reflections. One discovers that in letting oneself go without judgment, any situation is appropriately dealt with by one’s apparent excesses and restrictions, yet one is let go into the Wider Truth. This space is gradually extended out and one’s True Form can be known as that Openness that is always on the ‘other side’ of any script one plays out, high or low.
The momentum of Things As They Are is the very power that activates this unveiling, and every accomplishment or accident of one’s life gives opportunity to merge intimately with that Greater Mystery. One needs only courage of aspiration to realize that Mystery as One’s own.