Awareness, the Secret to Life
Humans have a soul and are capable of awareness. An animal is only awake or asleep. Humans can be both awake and aware.
When we are aware, we are able to stand back and see the big picture. When we are aware, we can make meaningful distinctions.
To be fully human we must do everything with awareness. It is when we are unaware that we err and do things under other influence. We say someone is "under the influence" of drugs, medicine, emotion, alcohol, or the influence of some person. When we say someone is under the influence, it is almost always with a negative connotation. We seem to intuitively know that being under the influence is not a positive thing.
Yet, without realizing it, most of us are under the influence much of the day. When you are upset or impatient, you are under the influence of those emotions. When you are angry, you are under the influence. When you are rushing for some goal, and in your haste stumble and get hurt--you are under the influence of that goal, which someone else gave you. Listen to Roland's 15 minute radio program about awareness.
For example, as a child, your mom may have yelled at you for not getting something done. You became upset, and in that upset became programmed by what she said. Now when you are late at getting something done, you become upset and the old tapes play in your mind. So in essence you are under the influence of three things: the goal, the emotion, and the old tape from your mother's words.
Because it is becoming so commonly reported, I have to address this issue, though some will scoff: People who take certain psychotropic drugs (which the drug companies readily admit in their side effects information) may become subject to hearing voices. Some people are said to have done something under the influence of such voices. This just another example of being under the influence.
There has to be a better way. Living by intuition, common sense, and reason--which bring freedom, independence and self control--is much better than being subject to influence or pressure.
To be aware is to be close to intuition, the inner Light of Conscience. In this light, we can know in a wordless way. In a sense, when we realize things, when we heed a wordless hunch or submit to our conscience, we are also under the influence. But this is a positive thing. And we are close to this intuition when we are aware.
For example, a child can see that one plus one equals two. The child can see the principle. So when the child is asked what 2001 plus 1 is, the child easily knows in is 2002. Why? Because he or she can see the principle. But an animal cannot see the principle. A parrot can say one plus one equals two. But it does not understand or see the principle. Ask the animal what 3000 plus 1 equals, and it will be unable to answer. But the child can.
Likewise, in this inner light, an aware person effortlessly scans everything. He sees deceit, for example, and does not follow. The aware person stands back and observes calmly from the neutral space. He or she does not react and does not come under the influence. By calm observation, the aware person is able to intuitively see the meaning of the moment. And any action or word (sometimes nothing needs to be done or said) will flow from intuition.
It is the Light itself that makes things clear, the aware person is the observer in that light. And it is the Light which has the beneficial effect--again, with the aware person as the medium through which that light comes. Just as the sunlight will somehow almost magically make a dirty towel smell fresh and clean, so the light has a beneficial effect on everything it touches.
Thus you can see that the aware person is more like an observer in life. Perusing and watching calmly in the light. It relieves the person of having to struggle, decide, worry, choose, and use effort to solve problems. Mostly problems don't begin because they are avoided in the first place. Just like a person who sees a hole in the sidewalk can effortlessly just walk around it. And problems from the past will be dealt with by the light. Life becomes effortless.
To be truly aware is to see things in the Light from eternity. The truly aware soul is just outside of time, standing in God's Light. Standing back, we get the big picture. Who was it who said I can't see the forest for the trees?" When you get the big picture, you see the meaning of the moment, you see the end result of some selfish action, so you shrink from error.
When you have the big picture, you have understanding. In the light, your words and actions are tempered by love.
Unfortunately, we humans tend to fall away from this higher awareness. Whoever or whatever wants to take advantage, does not want you to see what they are up to. That is why they don't want you aware. They want you excited, angry, pressing toward some goal, or resentful. When you thus fall away from awareness, you come under their influence. Moreover, in this lower state of consciousness, you do not even see that you are under another's influence. You act and then claim it was your idea.
Drugs, excitement, anger, and the misuse of food, music or ritual tend to pull us from awareness. We fall and then become subject to both the influence that seduced us away and the earthy element, object, substance or person that was involved. We become subject to the flesh.
Return to the higher state of awareness requires a change in attitude. We must change the polarity of our soul from wanting to be proud to being willing to admit error and wrong. This change of attitude permits us to reconcile with the God of conscience and then to abide in the aware state forevermore.
The prize is Repentance and return to God and conscience, so as to live in a blessed present, wherein we are perfected in the Light.
But until we wonderfully and happily should be blessed to find this process which begins with repentance, we remain at lower levels of consciousness. Fortunately, we have our moments when we are touched by the light. It protects us from making the fatal mistake. It still continues to guide us, though we keep straying. Until such time as we finally are willing to give up our willfulness and capitulate to God.
To the extent that we are closer to the Light, the better. And leading a decent life, not harming others, letting go of grudges, honoring our parents, and working at decent work and not indulging anger or other excesses, we remain closer to the Light. that makes the reconciliation less painful because there is less grievous error to see.
But amazingly, it is sometimes the ones (who deep down love God) who become very resentful, angry and rebellious, who sometimes stray very far. Though they will have much to mourn and be repented of, yet for them the finding of peace through at-one-ment with the God of conscience brings extra joy. As Christ said of one lady: she who is forgiven much, loves much.
True scientists, inventors, and statesman, such as Einstein or Washington, are to some extent a bit closer to the inner font called intuition. They are close to the inner light, the source of inspiration and creativity because of their love of truth and love for others. They love truth, but it remains to be seen if they will give up pride to know God.
It is better to be closer to the light than farther. But the prize of salvation is reserved for those who go ALL THE WAY.
To the extent that the mathematician loves truth, he is closer to God than the one who doesn't. To the extent that a person remains in touch with inspiration from within, he or she will bring forth some new variation of truth.
To the extent that a naturalist, botanist, or zoologist loves some aspect of nature, he or she is closer to God (if that love also awakens to a sense of awe and wonder for the Creator of nature). Just as with knowledge, any endeavor or discovery is good as long as it includes an awareness of God. Knowledge alone is dangerous and lop sided, without understanding. Incidentally, conscience means “with knowing.”
There are two ways to do anything. One way is like an animal: without awareness, without really seeing the meaning of the moment. We have all had the experience of standing before some authority who applied some rule arbitrarily. It pained us because they did not have heart, conscience, understanding.
as kids, most of us have had the occasion of trying to make mom or teacher aware that they didn't really understand what we were trying to tell them.
But most of us have been rude without realizing it, or thoughtless without realizing it. We were so caught up with something that we ignored or were curt with another. The other person may have been offended or hurt by our rudeness, but we did not mean to be rude. We were unaware.
Those moments in life when we made some big mistake were usually moments where we set aside knowing, conscience, and awareness. We were either all caught up in emotion, or we set conscience aside because we made something else too important.
Two scientists might be doing research. One is working without awareness, and is busy creating bio weapons. The other has awareness and sees the meaning of what he is doing. His research is finding a way to help people live longer.
One researcher thinks his GMO food is helping humanity, but he is deceived. Another researcher has awareness and discovers a natural gift of nature that truly helps people. One helper thinks that we have to do something to solve some issue. Another sees that meddling might cause more harm than good.
One employee is just going through the motions of repairing a car in order to make a buck and is anxious to finish fast and go home. The other employee sees the big picture, and is working with awareness of what it all means. He sees a serious safety issue and tells the car owner so it can be fixed, even though it means he has to work a little longer. His thoughtful and selfless attentiveness save a life.
To the extent that we reject the truth, we fall away from intuition. To the extent that someone on the outside seduces or pressures us to pursue another calling than the one prepared for us by God, we fall away from God.
To the extent that we listen to external experts instead of what we know within, we fall away from God. This does not mean that we should not listen to what they say, but we must accept or reject what is said not based on their authority but on intuition.
To the extent that we doubt what we know in our heart, we become separated from intuition. Belief is the proper response to what we realize in our heart is right; and faith is the bond that keeps us close to what we know in our heart.
But when we make anything more important than our attentiveness to inner life, we become separated from the inner way.
St. Augustine said it well. He said: "love God and do what thou wilst." In other words, love God (with all your heart, mind, strength and soul) and you can’t do anything wrong or out of step.
Some persecuted Chinese Christians who were imprisoned for their Christian faith said it this way: "Before prison we knew about God. After we were imprisoned, we experienced God." Other thoughtful spiritual people have said the same thing. The great Russian freedom fighter Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who was imprisoned for his truth speaking for many years in Siberia, said: thank God for prison.
Why is it that so many have found God in prison? It is because their imprisonment (especially the austere, solitary confinement type) strips everything away. And when everything is gone, there is nothing left to fill us with distraction. And so in sheer simplicity, the person may discover the still small voice.
Finally, Christ said it best: "Put first the Kingdom of God and all other things will be added unto you." In other words, first check with intuition, first check with what you know in your heart is right, and make your moment by moment walk with God more important than anything else.
He also said: "the love of the world makes for enmity with God."
There is a state of awareness, a state of consciousness where one is closer to the inner source of intuition and guidance, and a little distant from the world. The true Christian mystics down through the ages have tried to communicate this to us, but not very successfully. They found it for themselves, but are hard pressed to teach others how to find it.
That is why the awareness meditation that we offer here at the Center For Common Sense Counseling is so helpful to the sincere seeker who really and truly is sick and tired of being sick and tired. The sincere person really and truly wants to be a better parent, spouse or neighbor; but anger and upset keep getting in the way.
You can download or listen to the meditation for free, no strings attached.