Be still and know that I am God
As simple as it seems to be here now, anyone who tries it knows how difficult it can be.
Distractions take us out of the present into uninvited ideas that so quickly crowd the mind.
But my own experience is that the more I practice it, the easier it is to dodge those mental intruders.
And here is encouraging news.
After a period of time practicing the presence of each moment it is possible to move into another realm of consciousness.
Passing Beyond the Sticky Wicket
When I first heard about the “work” as spiritual adepts call it, I couldn’t understand what was being talked about.
A spiritual philosopher, Ouspensky, said that it is all about Self-remembering.
If that doesn’t compute with you, then you know what I’m talking about.
It didn’t make sense to me either.
And for years I simply put it aside on a shelf in the back of my mind, just in case it might someday come in handy.
But I still didn’t get it
Not until one day when I was hiking.
It was a walk in the woods on a lazy afternoon.
I was doing my spiritual walking practice, as the insight came to mind.
There came a point, not a big deal, when I noticed that something had come over me and it was as if I were looking over my shoulder from behind.
It was really just a glimpse.
But when I tried to examine it closer, it went away and I was left just plain walking.
It happened again on another walk a week or so later.
Mind you, it was nothing to write home about. It was just like seeing something from a different perspective, like say a tree from another side.
I mentioned it to a more spiritually developed friend, who did not find it remarkable.
So, I’ve not said anything more about it to others.
Except, after years of getting these glimpses, I did say something in a class at The School of Practical Philosophy. I said this experience, “was just plain vanilla.”
The tutor just passed it off. But one of my class-mates said, “Keep practicing. It will get better.”
So after that, I no longer spoke about it to anyone.
I do think that it actually is something.
I am able to do it now several times a day. I bring my senses to focus upon a single thing — usually my feet as they are walking.
And the best I can say, in describing it, is that it is as if I were observing my shadow.
Of course, it’s not my shadow. I am observing Bill walking. Bill’s body doing the walking.
I’m choosing my words carefully, for it is difficult to describe. And I do not want to give an incorrect picture of it.
I have come to believe that at those times I am probably experiencing what the philosopher, P.D. Ouspensky called Self-remembering.
For after over thirty years of spiritual practices I’ve discovered that “I,” my true Self is —
A. not my body
B. not my mind
C. not what I know
D. not my vital signs — pulse, blood pressure, breathing
E. not even the happiness I experience
I am none of these.
The Eastern philosophers have Sanskrit terms about making this observation — neti, neti (not this, not that)
So if not this, not that, what am I then?
What is it I can call my Self? (cap “S” Self)
Not knowing, I am aware.
But it is just simple awareness — beyond sense consciousness.
It is an undramatic awareness that is beyond even those wonderful blissful transcendences of listening to great inspiring music, like Handel’s Messiah.
Kovalenko’s Spiritual Principle
I know. The more I try to put it into words, the farther from the experience I am getting.
Still, words are all I have. So I will continue.
The difference now, from what I first experienced, is that today I can have this experience whenever I choose.
Sometimes it is more difficult to shift into it, than other times. But, still possible.
I can shift into it best after a period of going very deep while meditating
But I can also shift into it while on my hikes.
I believe that this ability comes about after practicing single-mindedness for several years.
But there may be other ways of achieving it as well.
The Running High
I had a National Park Ranger friend who said he found it possible to get a backpacking “high” that was similar to a running “high.”
I’ve never experienced that backpacking “high,” though I have experienced the running “high.”
And yes, there is a similarity to that shift I am describing now.
Possibly they are the same.
It would be difficult to compare them, since the running “high” is difficult for me to reproduce.
I’m posting this to see if viewers have had similar experiences and may be able to enlighten me a bit more.
For now, I’m sticking to calling it spiritually Self-remembering.