From the contemplative point of view, being lost in thoughts of any kind, pleasant or unpleasant, is analogous to being asleep and dreaming. It’s a mode of not knowing what is actually happening in the present moment. It is essentially a form of psychosis. Thoughts themselves are not a problem, but being identified with thought is. Taking oneself to be the thinker of one’s thoughts—that is, not recognizing the present thought to be a transitory appearance in consciousness—is a delusion that produces nearly every species of human conflict and unhappiness. It doesn’t matter if your mind is wandering over current problems in set theory or cancer research; if you are thinking without knowing you are thinking, you are confused about who and what you are. “Waking Up” Sam Harris
If you are a “spiritual” blogger, you have to write a Christmas post, right? If life has reached a critical stage, then there must be an event, right? If the pressure gets too high in the nuclear reactor cooling system, then “it’s gonna blow!” (Cue the dramatic music and images of a frantic control room trying to turn the correct dial in the right order to avoid disaster).
Jesus used a few different words that are translated as "knowing" or "to know" in the Christian bible. In the original language the Greek words can be translated as other than "knowing" or colors of knowing. Sometimes Jesus "knew" something as an observation or an understanding or a perceiving. Sometimes his "knowing" was like our modern expression of how we would describe our relationship with form. He "knew" concepts just like we do. But sometimes he used a special word. This word (translated as "to know") is a word that implied intimate experiencing. As an example: "Adam knew Eve and they had a child."
This kind of intimate knowing is why the formless manifests as form to know the formless.
And they said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven
When we think of the Thanksgiving holiday maybe we think of turkey and dressing and pies and pilgrims. Maybe we think of historical traditions and sharing meals with Native Americans on a cold day when food was scarce. Maybe our minds have those mindful thoughts, but deeper down we have a connection to the formless that bubbles up into our form. The structure of life is a manifestation of eternal life. The formless takes form so the formless can know the formless through form. Take our families as an example.
The "warm feelings" of "graciousness" and "thanksgiving" are really the formless manifesting as form as a result of how the "world works" for the human form. We have parents and siblings and extended families. The warm feelings of the season are really something that we sense from beyond form. We have "blood connections" to our families. This may seem like a physical, scientific fact of human procreation but on a deeper level it is a sharing of like energies that take the form of procreation.
The mind attempts to go deeper and deeper looking for the indivisible root cause. It believes there is always a singular truth to any circumstance. It creates an absolute paradigm of "good" and "bad" so it can manipulate the next moment to bring only "good" and exclude the "bad." Seeking truth from this perspective will bring us to truth but it is an indirect path. We look through our electron microscopes to discover the indivisible and the root cause that we believe will allow us to predict every moment, but what we find is randomness. The indivisible doesn't exist. Cause and effect don't work. We even create concepts to describe what we can't understand like quantum and relativity. The indirect path brings us to paradox.
The direct path is paradox. When we follow the pointers to truth, we find the end of our minds. Paradox takes us beyond our minds where truth can be experienced for what it IS. We can take the long way around the mountain by the path of the mind or take the shortcut through paradox.
Life reveals contrast. Life brings us conflict. Life can be a struggle that we resist or an eternal life we live. We can flow with the river or be a rock eroded over time. Life is like our body when it is trying fight a virus, there is an internal struggle, a war really, that is taking place to bring harmony back to the body. The way of life is as it is so that consciousness can experience perceived separateness to know oneness. When we are presented with opportunities to flow with life we get to choose which path we will take. The path of resistance is struggle but eventually leads to surrender. Life can be a fire that burns away what is temporal, revealing what is eternal. The path of eternal life is living as a human form in harmony with life to enjoy the miracle of life. As eternal consciousness, we manifested as form to experience the formless.
Years ago I was flying an event as a test pilot evaluating and measuring the response of a new aircraft under adverse conditions. The aircraft was a F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (the Navy's newest fighter jet at the time) and the test was to simulate loosing an engine while launching off the aircraft carrier. As I slowed down in airspeed, loosing an engine was more difficult to control. On the last test point I couldn't control the aircraft anymore. The aircraft departed i.e. the aircraft rolled upside down and I wasn't in control. My starting altitude for the test maneuver was 2000 ft (pretty low). Upside down, out of control and that close to the water, my first instinct was to eject. A lot happened in just a few seconds. The details are pretty boring and technical (unless you are pilot). In the end I didn't eject but I did miss hitting the water by only a few feet. That was an extremely intense day sprinkled with moments of sheer terror. Almost crashing a jet is a pretty serious life event. Today many of the details of that day are a little foggy but the intensity of that moment is still with me.
The still small voice. The still small voice… of silence. Awareness does not speak, there is no form to speak. Awareness is formless. In consciousness there is only consciousness. “We” discover what “we” are the awareness aware of awareness. We are like an eyeball that can’t see itself but is very aware of the presence…
As the ego, we are telling ourselves a story. We are believing we are the story. We are most often asleep to the truth that we are not the story but the awareness that is experiencing the story. I know this kind of language is difficult to process and can actually create more confusion. As the ego, we want to plan and control. The ego's purpose is to plan and control. It is a survival mechanism that is ultimately trying to avoid death. When we begin to wake up, the ego will want to take ownership of the awakening and try to "do" something to awaken (or at least take credit for the awakening). But we are not the ego. The awakening is leaving the ego behind. An ego can't wake up. The absence of a false identity is the waking up experience. It is like something leaves that has always been there and the space that remains is our true self, the divine awareness "we" are. The "am-ness" of the I am.
In these posts I often refer to consciousness or awareness as the divine presence or the divine itself. And there we are again. When I use the word "itself" I've reduced the infinite to something finite. The mind will attempt to make concepts of the formless. It must. It is a manifestation of the formless that categorizes forms as a survival mechanism for the manifested form to interact with the world of forms.
And there we are again trying to create another form to describe the indescribable.
Still, you are not form. Your form is a manifestation of your formless essence. Why? So you might experience forms to know the formless. How? How is it that we can experience and know the formless in the world of forms? Awareness. Awareness is what we are. We are like a singular eye that sees and experiences the world as a perceived seer. When we look as this singular eye to see ourself...we can't. The eye cannot see itself but it is aware that it is. In the absolute, there is no eye to see. There is just the act of seeing. This is the awareness that you are, the "I am" that reduces to just the "am" or beingness.