The greatest illusion is that humankind has limitations.
Note: By clicking on the above audio link, you can listen to the recorded version of this post.
The past several years have been a profound act of letting go. Letting go of conditioning, habituation and old beliefs: about myself, the world, reality, and most recently, what it means to be human. The more I let go, the more I discover. The more I discover, the more I expand. The more I expand, the more I recognize how little I know about “reality”, existence and Life. And therein lies the magic. Freedom from the confines of certainty allows space for endless possibilities. In the infinite realm of this space, everything I’ve ever been taught about “reality” disintegrates and I’m free to ponder, explore and experience so much more of the vast mystery of consciousness.
Exploring Inner Space
The year 2012 was a significant marker for me. Fresh out of the profound personal discoveries that my 2011 studies of NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) revealed, I knew there was still so much more to explore and understand. My hunger for evolutionary expansion had been activated, yet despite the immense personal growth that followed, I’d barely been satiated. With a solid taste of the limitless nature of possibility, I knew that what I hungered for defied the rules, rigidity and dogma of the paths already known. I wanted to know, intimately, the Essence at the core of my Being. An intense exploration of consciousness was about to begin.
Before discovering the brilliant, life-changing, paradigm-altering work of Louise LeBrun in 2013, I spent a great deal of time at the Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia discovering the expansive nature of what I am, experientially. In those ineffable experiences, I experienced, first-hand, the infinite nature of my Self. I realized then that I am so much more than my physical body. In these provocative explorations of consciousness, I experienced profound healing, massive insights, and a deeper, more intimate connection to the Universal energy of Life.
I realized then that consciousness is so much more than a state of awareness of myself and my world, it is the unifying energy of Life. It is non-local, non-physical and ever expansive. Unlike the puny worldview of consciousness residing within the confines of our mortal brains, it is eternal and deathless. It is the creative force of Life: physical and beyond. It cannot be created or destroyed and is constantly moving in the direction of expansion. What this means is that we are limitless in our capacity to evolve in consciousness and connect more deeply with Life, allowing for infinite expressions of magnificent creativity. Having said that, we are equally limitless in our capacity to suppress our consciousness and disconnect from Life, allowing for infinite expressions of mindless brutality. Quoting Sufi author, Idries Shah, “Man (and woman) has an infinite capacity for self-development. Equally, (s)he has an infinite capacity for self-destruction. A human being may be clinically alive and yet, despite all appearances, spiritually dead.” Tragically, this is our suppressed consciousness reality; immense creators with infinite potential designing dysfunctional lives, civilizations and worlds.
While our beliefs/conditioning/behaviors/habituation can throttle the flow of expansion, the power of consciousness inevitably prevails. The need for perpetual growth persists, even if it means dis-ease, illness and death to eliminate barriers for expansion. This applies personally and collectively in both the human and more-than-human worlds. The most pertinent metaphor in our world today is that of our conscious, organic, living planet. It’s not lost on me that the transformative powers of fire and water are accelerating the cleansing of Earth, allowing space for the evolving consciousness of the planet itself. Personally, I see biosphere collapse as a massive provocation for accelerated evolution in consciousness for everyone. Failing that, intense suffering will increasingly be the norm as the density of planetary crises intensify.
Evolution for its Own Sake
As I continue to let go of what once defined “reality” in a world that holds little meaning for me, the wise words of Louise LeBrun pass through my mind: “Evolution for its own sake”. Not for any outcome, but simply to honor the expansive nature of perpetually evolving consciousness. Louise’s potent words also remind me that meaningful expression at the environment/behavior level (using NLP terminology) is unnecessary; that living fully as the miraculous expression of consciousness that I am, is enough. When I imagine a world of humans living the simplicity of this deep authenticity, I see a world of unity. In this beautiful world of my imagination, there is no room for division, hostility, brutality, and disconnection from any living being. The only requirement for living this way is intimacy with one’s Self. When consciously connected to one’s Self, the external voices of separation, aka, the collective herd, disappear. The expanded consciousness of Self-intimacy brings with it great clarity expressed through intuition, insight and inspiration. In that clarity, the inner “voice” of Self becomes the voice most worthy of Trust. In the intimacy of that Self-trust, we more easily make choices aligned with Life. When we begin to feel the dissonance within ourselves from consuming the flesh and secretions of animals, for instance, we trust the internal prompt imploring us to stop and choose differently, regardless of what the masses continue to say or do. This applies to every impulse leading us in the direction of non-separation—with our Selves and with others.
Without Self-intimacy we are only capable of following the herd; thinking, behaving, and choosing like everyone else, no matter how insane it may all be. This “misery of commonality” reinforces a global culture of sameness and the dehumanizing pattern of Self-separation. Lacking Self-intimacy, we are powerless to choose meaningfully and instead, commit ourselves to the numbness of our culture, mindlessly projecting our sense of separation onto each other, onto animals and the natural world, and onto the planet that sustains us. The repercussions of this Self-separation are reflected back to us through physical and mental illness, intolerance for each other, mass extinctions, and a planet in ruin.
While we continue to distract ourselves with our outward focus, railing against, fighting against, and blaming everyone else for the devastation of the planet, our predicament rapidly worsens. Our inner abandonment ensures only one possible outcome: our collective demise. The destructive power of consciousness suppressed cannot be underestimated.
The transformative power of consciousness engaged, however, can change our world in a single breath.
Wanderings and Ponderings…
As the world burns and turns around me, a blank canvas of potential invites consideration of unexplored possibilities. While I continue to let go of the illusion of a delusional reality, I find myself standing in a place of peaceful detachment; a place that reveals to me more of the true nature of Life. There is a surreal quality to this state of Being, especially in a world that once destabilized me with perpetual grief. As planetary collapse crescendoes on innumerable interconnected fronts, my indifference for the madness of the external world is overshadowed only by the pull to explore more of the Force within. What used to once interest me “out there” (activism, athletic competitions, exploring new locations, podcasting, writing, etc.) has faded into the background of a life well-lived. The absence of interest in what used to pull me outward, and the absence of interest in seeking anything new to fill that space is my provocation to simply be … and allow. To paraphrase the brilliant words of Louise LeBrun, “the creation of space becomes the attractor for the emergence of something entirely new”. The simplicity of this authentic way of Being is not lost on me.
With the expansion of this newly created space, a powerful impulse to explore inner space more deeply is leading me in directions still unknown. While the haze of this uncertainty may not provide the “hit” of excitement that the great “out there” once provided, it is where I am most drawn to be. On the rare occasions when my mind feels “bored” with the monotony of expression at the level of the corporeal, or when I wonder why I’m still here in a world that no longer holds meaning, faded memories of a once exciting “hit” will sometimes still try to hook me. A simple Self-check-in brings me back to the realization that I’m in exactly the right place: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
At the environment/behavior level of expression of corporeal existence, my life feels complete. Personal discoveries are about so much more now. Perhaps it is the lack of familiarity with these expanded discoveries that makes me question why I’m still here. It’s only recently that I’m realizing the possibility that there is more to providing meaning for myself than just environment/behavior expression. Environment/behavior expression is certainly habituated, but what lies beyond? What else is possible? I don’t know? I’m more than willing to discover.
The beginnings of … who knows …
In what feels like a preliminary exploration with so much yet to emerge, I’ve managed to put some language to what’s been coming up for me lately. I also know that I’m barely scratching the surface of this exploration. It feels so much bigger than what the limitations of language can convey. Regardless, I still feel compelled to share, out loud, for mySelf, what I’ve been able to grasp from the passing threads of my unfolding awareness.
Metaphorically, it’s like discovering that I’m so much more than the terrestrial being I’ve been taught to believe I am. Despite knowing there was always something more, my entire life was one of learning how to become adept at being a creature of land. Meaning, purpose, everything taught to me about human existence was always through the perspective that I, like all other human beings, was a creature of land only. I was conditioned to believe that anything meaningful, interesting, fun, enjoyable, worthy, etc. could only be found on land. I went along with the story for a while and made it work for me. I traveled to wonderful locations, lived in amazing places, created great meaning in my life, did work that aligned with my Soul, manifested incredible relationships, created beautiful experiences, made choices that deepened my connection with Life, changed my world, over and over and over again, and discovered the Essence of my Being so I could expand my manifestations, creations and corporeal experiences that much more.
Over the past few years, however, I’ve lost interest in the story of being a creature of land. What used to be meaningful, interesting, fun, enjoyable, worthy, etc. now feels mundane, dense, old, uninteresting, and boring. In fact, I’m not even interested in land anymore. And I’m discovering that I don’t know how to continue living on land in a story I no longer subscribe to with little that captures my interest anymore, especially when surrounded by billions of others who hold an absolute belief that nothing exists beyond the “reality” of being a creature of land.
I know there is so much more for me beyond the land-dwelling story, however. What is it? Am I moving into another dimension of consciousness while still animating a human body habituated to an old way of being? Am I discovering that I can be and do so much more within what I’ve always perceived to be corporeal limitations?
I know that I can “fly” to infinite universes and “swim” to unfathomable depths without having to leave the comfort of my own home. Meditative and dream states have repeatedly shown me endless possibilities. Can I consciously live this way as a new “reality”? Can I discover what it means to be human from an unknown perspective, freed from the dogma of old stories, without compass, map, or guide? I’ve always believed that I’m either an embodied land-dweller animated by Spirit or a disembodied Spirit liberated from the confines of the corporeal. I’ve never considered the possibility of something entirely different. What could that be?
Can I retrain my externally focused corporeal expression to discover as much meaning, joy and satisfaction when turned inward in an outwardly driven world? I’ve always felt like I’ve lived an inside, out existence. What lies beyond?
As the creator, projector and the perceiver of “reality”, can I consciously expand into unknown realms of consciousness? Can I allow myself to perceive other, more expansive dimensions in an external sensing device attuned to a reality that radically differs from where I’m curious to go? Can I attune my corporeal expression to accept other dimensions without feeling fear or disorientation? Can I live a multi-dimensional existence with corporeal awareness without being pulled back into the habituation and limitations of the three-dimensional reality that has become so familiar?
Can I allow myself to “see” what more exists beyond what I perceive as “empty space”? Can I allow myself to hear what more exists beyond what I perceive as “silence”? Can I allow myself to touch what more exists beyond what I perceive as physicality?
Can I truly be in the world and not of it?
In this more expansive line of personal inquiry, I no longer feel the need to evolve into wholeness. I recognize a sense of scarcity in the belief that I’m not already that which I claim to seek. In recognizing my already present wholeness, can I now experience more of my Self in my current dimension of reality? Can I also experience the multi-dimensional expression of what I am in the infinite dimensions of consciousness once hidden to me?
Can I allow myself to discover even bigger questions than what has already emerged?
Because the path of exploration within the uncharted waters of consciousness is so personal, I’m uninterested in the footsteps of those who have preceded me. I am my own pioneer, allowing emergence to show me the way. There is no uniform recipe for Self-discovery, and I trust the mystery of the immensity of what lies before me. I don’t yet have the answers, and there are no guarantees that I ever will, yet I trust all that continues to unfold from within mySelf.
The truth of what I am lives beyond the corporeal. I know that. Long before I had the language to describe the Essence of my Being, I’d tasted other realms of consciousness. This has been a constant throughout my life. My 2012 Monroe Institute explorations revealed infinitely more possibilities for me. I’ve never looked back.
As I expand into more of my Self, I recognize so much more of the multi-dimensional Being that I am. There is great freedom in this. Even in the face of biosphere collapse, and even in the face of the mundane, nothing can prevent me from claiming the immensity of the magical and the mystical.
More than ever before I feel grateful for every moment of life. More than ever before I’m compelled to savor every moment and leave nothing behind. I take great delight in the magic of Life, regardless of its offering: the magnificent, the painful and everything in between. There is no longer room for taking anything for granted. More than ever before, every moment counts. And more than ever before, I’m compelled to live fully now.
Even if I never discover the answers to my questions and the whole point of this exercise is simply to expand my thinking beyond the realm of what I don’t know that I don’t know, I’m at peace. In the vastness of this mysterious space lies the greatest freedom of all.