KNOW THYSELF XXI
Knowing when to step aside requires social maturity. Knowing how to step aside from oneself requires development of Consciousness. It’s not about pushing someone or something aside. It’s not about distancing, adjusting a focus, or imposing artificial neutrality. It entails putting aside all references in order to “see” and “know”.
We use verbal language to think and to evaluate what and how we feel. We compare and remember through images that convey thoughts qualified with feelings. Everything passes through the conscious process of the concrete mind. Even abstraction is based on conceptual units of thought. Observation of every sort goes through the coding and decoding process of the linear mind that uses vocabulary, perpetually seeking fixity and definition.
Our identity is based on impressions and evaluations, as are our relationships, our values, our ideals and our code of ethics. Everything we do goes through this filtering process to be catalogued on a scale. From light to dark, from 0 to 100, from good to bad, there are infinite “relatives”.
Personality is a relative value floating on a sea of imbedded impressions and beliefs. We “see” only that which we are capable of digesting within this framework, always balancing a probability. To step aside from ourselves would entail falling into a chasm of the unknown.
We’ve spent a lifetime building an identity around beliefs and sensory impressions in order to be relevant. To step aside from this implies drastic change that nobody “in their right mind” does willingly. Most people are convinced of “being” their identity, their senses, their opinions and attitudes. They find it inconceivable to function otherwise, almost like setting aside one’s skin. They are not ready to confront the continuously desperate patchwork they believe themselves to be. Opinions are tightly linked to judgments conforming to codes and measures that constitute the fiber of the meaning of personal life. A person is never quite ready to step aside from an identity without having assured some convenient equivalent. And all identities function around the inflexible concept of being someone or something.
Personality is an eternally temporary solution to a haunting feeling of uncertainty. At best, the thinking-identity is embellished by a spiritual addendum, one that continues to surround the self. To such a person, “higher” Self is merely an imagined bettered self.
We don’t see; we “think” that we see. We simply don’t know another other way of being. Feeling, seeing, and using our senses is invariably linked to mental evaluation, images, and more words. We honestly believe that we are, if not the brain, then certainly the entity that uses it. It would be preposterous to perceive thoughts being “thought” by something greater than our identity, even if it proved to be our Real Self. Anything outside of the control of the personality is the stuff of terror films.
Perception is doomed to be tainted by a bias of some sort… unless something in us shifts radically and we learn to live and function from another very different vantage point. This is why discovering and defining an alternate experience of self must precede genuine perception. Another center for Consciousness is needed.
Authentic discovery demands availability to encountering the unprecedented. “Knowing” as is normally conceived refers to information and relies on vocabulary, but “seeing” and “knowing” in the deeper sense cannot be understood or proven. They require a state of acceptance akin to love. Standing aside from oneself might equate to seeing oneself from the other perspective that Consciousness offers us, as a quality, beyond delimitations or value judgment, as pure Quality. Like a mystery, it is lived through heightened sensibility beyond the mind.
Meditation teaches people to step out of the safe harbor of the personality by transferring the focus from concrete thought to a provisional abstract experience that safely terminates at some point. In certain schools the transfer is to sensation, or to aesthetic or emotional sensibility. The purpose is to trigger a momentarily bearable state of suspension that induces relaxation of the mind. This, in turn relaxes the body. So, life goes on and our identity, temporarily relieved, returns to the same conditions with better control, if not understanding.
Through the Alchemical Alignment, training in Inner Alchemy is different.
Rather than produce a state of temporary dislocation or No Mind, this alignment triggers a state of intelligent perception that flexibly embraces the thinking-evaluating concrete mind, and fully grasps the suspended experience of the All. It allows perception and integration, sympathetic understanding of the dynamics and basic elements involved in the authentic restructuring of self. It allows for “inner” Alchemy and the emergence of “inner” woman and “inner” man.
Alignment demands visualisation and an extension of the usual focus of attention from point A (the usual self), to point B (the I AM). This creates a bridge between the two and brings greater understanding of levels of Being.
At this first level, people extend the usual perception of self directionally upward, and in the case of activating the Figure of Light, also below. Most remain here in the usual “self” with greater energetic possibilities and better grounding.
Example “I feel good, centered, relaxed.”
There is hope and possibility, more balanced and realistic perception, and certain neutrality.
The next step is impossible for an unstable or rigid personality. Here, state A and state B are experienced separately and under special conditions, such as during meditation. In this stage B is more of an unreachable concept than an immediate reality. To embrace it requires willingness to step aside from the usual set of sensory and psychological responses, and to open oneself to a spirit of transcendence where “God”, divinity or perfection is possible as direct experience. If achieved, the person starts to see the world from a different vantage point without nonetheless forfeiting its own. This stage offers contrasts that explore wider panoramas, yet also sustains a state of duality. Some people remain here, happy with the play of perspectives that provide a finer level of understanding and coping in the world.
Example “I know that I am loved and protected…by God/Love.”
There remains a certain conditionality and separation from the divine.
A further step in depth and experience of the Alignment involves a relationship between the two, as we often do when we connect with and sense divine protection.
Here B is perceived not only as inspiration, as in the previous stage, but as Source of all, divinity encapsulated in the eternal and infinite Presence I AM, conceived as nucleus of the personality in the center of the heart. We understand that if we collaborate with Consciousness, this Light is capable of directing all energies that we use in the world. Maybe it is not yet lived fully, but the contact is strong enough to influence the automatism of the personality and any tendency towards negativity or fatalism. The experience begins to transform us, leading to the possibility of independence and authenticity.
This experience not only releases a tremendous amount of power that is available to the personality as joy, it increases creativity.
Example “I realise that am a Being and exert direct influence in my world”.
There is recognition of Being that offers the hope of transforming the personal world.
An energetic flow, as guide, begins to be established. However, there lingers a lack of trust
in the person regarding its own worth and capacity.
Next, instead of extending into or alternating between energetic states, the Alignment develops ability to transmit and receive energy.
In this next stage the person as A, is able to receive the energy input of B. Equally it will be enabled to see and understand itself through the vaster outlook of Being. The Presence becomes an intimate reality and the person is able to explore its own power.
The individual now incorporates Truth as a part of itself and understands how he or she is responsible for what/how it feels and for the effects of its actions. It sees the world of cause and effects clearly. This is the beginning of genuine perception and recreation of the personal world.
Example “I recognise the essential qualities of my Being and value my personality as
This person lives as Consciousness, and also as personality, without conflict.
Sometimes judgments and justifications reemerge to cloud perception. With a still-distorted lens, a person might try to “fix” or deny certain aspects of itself. This is how people imagine living among “angels” or avidly construct “spiritual egos”, unable to step aside from their own labels and expectations.
The process of shifting from A to B accesses different rhythms or frequencies. A is not B. They are entirely different energy configurations, and yet both are aspects of Self.
The person learns to access different energies directly, without the intermediation of vocabulary and emotional memory, without having to traverse a universe of infinite varieties and modulations outside of its control. The student of Inner Alchemy is urged to step aside and allow life to flow, not just as a theory, but also as experience, collaborating with multidimensional forces. It recognizes itself living in a multidimensional world that takes place here-now.
Understanding “descends” and awakens the individual to the magnitude of life in a tangible, constructive way, now allowed to truly “see” its body and its personality as is, without being disturbed by the shadows of its own creation and the interpretative filters of thought. It sees what is and also what appears; this includes the world and others, beginning to live in Consciousness rather than under the accidental laws of cause and effect. This person not only steps aside from its arbitrary conditioned identity, but also from the slavery of language and others, living in Consciousness through a flexible, reconstructed model of itself.
The purpose of the Alchemical Alignment is the fusion of state A and state B. This comes as a result of sustaining the relationship perceived in the last step. Authenticity is a reflection of a balanced energetic viewpoint lived in the world.
Stepping aside then becomes our way of knowing and managing energy qualities at all levels. Stepping aside amounts to shifting from being the important center of the universe, to discovering oneself as a conscious instrument of the universe.