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Mastery of the Expanded Self

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To truly realise the depth and majesty of our expanded self, we have to master the direct confrontation of the moment. It's all about performing inner alchemy. There's essentially two forms of consciousness that make up our existential being: the separation consciousness that forms the bodymind, and the unity consciousness that forms the soul. If you include various disruptive energies of society's matrix, everything we experience from thoughts, to emotions and feelings are caused by the interaction of these various flows of consciousness. How might 'we' - as presence - be able to positively influence the internal dynamic?...

Creating your own reality?

Some speak of shaping the thoughts in order to master beingness, but to me, this is simply a case of the tail wagging the dog. The same goes for 'creating your own reality'. Sure, we do create our own reality, but what do we mean exactly by 'our'? In most cases the identity doing the manifestation is just a more subtle form of ego - a spiritual identity - that wants to control the situation in some particular way because it cannot accept what is already unfolding.

    We are already shaping and creating everything we experience. Either the true self - the soul - is shining through and creating harmonious experiences or else the false self is influencing the show, by resistance to what's currently happening, denial or just plain insensitivity. We might feel a creative impulse for something to happen, only for the flow to get derailed by internal eddy currents of life's conditioning.

In which case you can't simply 'paper over the cracks', by manipulating the outer pieces on the game board without first uncovering and unwinding what's really happening inside. To do so, is simply to perpetuate the disharmony through our lives. Even though the circumstances may change - our jobs, relationships or location - the patterns remain the same. Instead, we need to look deeply into the outer mirror we're already creating. This includes our most intense and intimate feelings towards it, no matter how challenging or painful. Then there's a requirement to notice the blind spots, the grey areas in these points of attachment where presence closes down and gets drawn into the fray through identification.

Grasping the hot coals

The only way out is through. We have to feel the fullness of these retractions from the moment. You have to grasp the hot coals and feel the heat before you drop them. If you retract in the face of the heat or the pain or the heartache, be it emotional, physical or mental, then in that moment, you have reconfirmed your identification with the heat and with that your separation from the all that is. You have made yourself a victim of the sense of separation and crystalised that as your reality.

    The key is transcendence: feeling through the heat of the moment until the coals define you no longer. You become the heat, the pain, the tension, the discomfort and soften into it. You become so totally at-one with it, that you no longer build internal references, structures and judgments around the situations. It is in these totally lucid moments you become absolutely authentic and free. You have transcended the limitation of identification and dropped into the void of infinite potential. From here, anything can happen. The authentic flow of the soul ignites, fueled by the unstoppable force of the universe.

To master such transcendence is to increase our inner intimacy - to bring absolute attention into our bodily field, to know when we retract, resist and deny. Bringing presence into these blind spots automatically begins to unwind them, liberating the soul as a free flowing spontaneity through the moment. There is nothing that feels better, more harmonious or complete. This is truly living.

The path to Bodhidharma

It is the Openhand Approach to life and I've found it very aligned with some of the ancient eastern teachings such as that of the monk Bodhidharma. I came across his work some years ago through a lovely synchronicity and felt to share a glimpse here...

    In the old days in China there was a priest called Master Tozan. A monk asked him "how can we escape from this severe heat and cold?" This is not just a question about severe heat and cold. It is a question about the reality we are always facing - a melancholy and difficult reality, a reality that is full of suffering. People are sick and in pain: people have lost their homes in disasters and wars and have nothing in which to believe any longer and are suffering in their despair. For those whose belongings have all been destroyed, their refuge in the material world has been shown to be empty and meaningless. This kind of pain is always occurring all around us.

    Master Tozan answered the monk, "You have to go where there is no hot and no cold!"

    The monk continued, "Where is that place where there is no hot or cold? Where is that true place of refuge for the mind?"

    The priest answered, "When it is hot, become that heat completely! When it is cold, become one with that cold completely and totally! When it is painful, become that pain completely and totally, and when you are miserable, become that misery totally and completely! In the very midst of that, go beyond all the thoughts you hold in your mind, let go of all the ideas of good or bad or gain or loss - let go of all of these thoughts - and from there grasp that place of your very own vivid life energy! That which directly experienes that 'ouch' - feel that life energy directly, grasp that life energy that feels that pain and sorrow." More important than finding a place out of pain and suffering, or trying to find a place where there is no pain or suffering, is to go directly to that place where the pain and suffering are being experienced, to go where you feel that pain and sadness directly and totally. Touch that life energy directly and with your own experience. Use that actual direct experience which you have grasped as your base, and stand up strong and firm. This is how the master answered the monk.

Phoenix from the ashes

Of course this advice is not just for the metaphoric physical feeling of hot and cold. We may apply it to every aspect of our lives. Especially in relationships for example where we might suffer emotional or psychological trauma.

    As it's happening, we must not deny it, but rather go into the very heart of the contraction and become as one with it - to soften into it - in the way described above. Then the bubble of identification bursts, the void of silence is touched, the soul rises like a pheonix from the ashes and a new, more harmonious reality takes shape.

Finally, the majesty of the expanded self is realised.

Open
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Comments

.Jen's picture

Thank you for this article today...been having several physical pains in my back over the last month and after a few times of going for massage only to have the pain dissappear and reappear somewhere else, I finally am looking at what I am really feeling right now...that has drawn me into the place I keep returning...emptiness, nothingness, a feeling of being on the sidelines of life of not being engaged fully and actually being supported in staying there - feel no urge to do anything at all and have been waiting to feel where that will go - when will it open up and bring me to a place where I can go deeper - bring me to engage more fully with life so that I can release and let go of more of the places that I am holding. I realized this morning (again) that being with the feeling of nothingness of emptiness is exactly where I am being invited to explore. There is also a deep sense of isolation and separation...which feels self imposed...and from I gather here there is a re-creation of past feeling via present life situation to facilitate our feeling through it and transmuting it. I feel like I keep having the same post on here from different entry points...listening and maybe hopping off this cycle!

Thank you!!
Jenny

erica r's picture

Another blessing in the form of an article that sings softly. Amazes me how you are able to dissect it and shine your light so that others that have the eyes to see, will receive. For me it has been an organic process that unfolds precisely through time propelled in part with the sense of yearning and longing to move through without any expectation to how or when. It brings to mind the concept of the choice of consciousness then a sense of knowing there is no need to choose or apply one's will in the moment. The conditioned responses to the labels of "words" that arise instills a preconceived need to express or attach actions with thoughts with feelings with emotions that adhere to the physical realm. I just love it all, it all gives, as received. Feeling the fork in the road before actually arriving, allowed much to unwind as the realization that the restrictive pattern of conditioned responses created black walls that blinded from truly seeing in that moment the gift that came in whatever form was to be. Moving through and beyond any attachment to emotions, for me was freeing. Recognizing, feeling the energy being absorbed, generated, expelled allowed the currents or frequencies to be through presence.
Again, very gracious as I continue to jump through the hoops at this point in time, hoping to touch those along the way with lightness of ease.

ChristiEl's picture

This touched me deeply - gave me an internal tremble when I read it: "You become so totally at-one with it, that you no longer build internal references, structures and judgments around the situations. It is in these totally lucid moments you become absolutely authentic and free."

Lately I have recognized how I stop the emotion (experience, heat, whatever it is) before experiencing it. When I get to actually experiencing the heat, I'm fine (maybe uncomfortable or disoriented, but fine), but there is a pattern of resistance that sets in before I even know what the heat is, or more accurately, before I even know there is heat! The resistance feels two-fold: My "past" taught me that it isn't ok to feel what I feel, and my mind thinks that if I "understand" the feeling first, I will somehow manage it and perhaps control an outcome (avoidance of the heat). So this article is timely for me, as well as I've been committing to simply being present to what is, even when I'm either very slow or unable to perceive it. I find that dealing with whatever it is in the moment isn't a way of living supported by the matrix, but it is fully and beautifully supported by my soul. And that is what I choose. Smile

Open's picture

I'm so touched. Thanks for sharing Christine, Erica and Jen.

You know for so long I though I was in a minority of one! So many teachings out there which cause avoidance of the experience and therefore denial and therefore identity with the denial. So many teachings talking about 'manifesting your own reality' or that 'love is all there is'. Love is not all there is - how can it be? To know one, there has to be the presence of the other. And who is manifesting? Just another, more subtle level of ego.

When you really delve deep, you begin to experience the layers that many are still sweeping under the carpet. The inner world is one of countless fine inner veils; each to be peeled off only through the intimacy of softness, of total acceptance by feeling through and becoming one with.

What this actually does, is not just take you into the infinite void of presence - the only lasting reality - but also the sublime taste of that. When there's no avoidance, then you can truly flow totally at one with life. It becomes a dance with the divine!

Openhanders I take my hat off to you!

Open Ok

You got it Chris!
Holding strong with this, your truth, is inspirational.
I think its courageous what you did to bring this to light for us.
This is like the final step in relinquishing control.
This is why we are here.
Who dares know how important such truths are to our future.
Your rewards certainly are multidimensional.
I know of no other soul (in my experience) walking the planet who radiates such clear higher dimensional truths. I can't detect ego ever and I've read a lot of your work.
When you explain it, its common sense and other teachings cant stand up.

For me once I realised your right, I had to be aware of my enjoyment experiencing such energies. I haven't raised my vibrations or cleared my blocks to align enough. I just cant feel the intuition so I try all the ways then intuit which direction. I've attracted some dense energies alright. My ego or I feel for my soul at times and how much we put it thru.
The feeling of this "alchemy" is so seductive to me.
Its what tells me IM ALIVE.
I bow deepest to uni sep for without them it wouldn't be possible. And there time here may be coming to an end.
The deeper they drag me back the higher the elation when I feel my true self again.

I do have one question. If I'm observing say "a ruminating thought from the day which triggers an emotion of fear" how do I know weither to observe it or to integrate it.
Is there always a retraction/denial/pull back from it, because that's the only times I go in and the times did reveal a hidden belief. I feel a fear of engaging with internal stimuli and losing myself within.

Nyway thankyou for your time.

Open's picture

Thanks for the kind feedback Zac - most appreciated.

In arriving at pure presence, when all the lights go on and the separated self initially completely disappears, then surely nothing will surpass the perpetuation of that state? In which case, surely it would be best to surrender into whatever dissipates that state? In order that you may work through it.

Full Enlightenment is the Enlightenment by all things.

So seek out and dive into those areas where there isn't Enlightenment. Because this is the sole purpose of the soul, there isn't anything else the soul is requiring to do anyway - absolute empowerment, by absolutely everything!

So fear is always an alarm bell - but not what to avoid - instead what to dive into.

Always dive into the fear of "what's the worst that could happen in this situation now?" In which case, you'll keep exploding the myth of reality and thus the myth of the small "I". Ultimately you're left with presence, as a continual state, which nothing can take away.

Blessings

Open

Yes!
There it is. In your words.
My re-found partner agrees.
The time has come to surrender the whole bundle of goodies I've been carrying along.
It's too .. .. .. me.
Fear is now a phone call answered with a megaphone. I shall be the megaphone my partner does the speaking.
"Forward March" is what it speaks.

Nancy Wait's picture

I agree, great timing for this post, Open! So synchronous too, with the way I'm currently telling my story in memoir #2. Events that happened back in the late 70s and 80s when I went dashing in to relive 'misery' and 'pain' and thus overcome hurts from the past. Yet only now, in 2013, do I have the insight and distance to be clear that what I was doing was becoming One with the emotional pain, thus taking away its power. I need to make this clear, otherwise my readers will think I'm a masochist! Smile
When we are abducted by Hades, we may as well eat those pomegranate seeds with relish. Only then will we experience Pluto's Horn of Plenty.

Ma Elena's picture

You expressed with words my feelings. Completly agree. Thanks.

Brightwater Julia's picture

Hello Openhanders! Its been a while. I want to share my experience of the past few months. Posting in this thread because it feels expanded I think... Smile
The clearing I have been gifted with in my personal life ( divorce, uprooted) has offered me the opportunity to release fear of insecurity, has asked me to trust, to be as a lily of the field. And my own mortality has linked arms with the grief for the desolation of Gaia, echoing the Sirian grief of long ago in my memory. I think many of us are experiencing this. So we might die in this evolutionary spasm! We are no longer afraid. What amazing grace and freedom and eternity lie on the other side of fear.
Dissolving this fear program has been painstaking, holding the light and wave upon wave of fears coming out of the shadows to be held and released -like liberating incarcerated birds. The parasite is dying now. No more lies. We know we are the source of love in our lives.

Recently, I have become aware that there is a deeper program embedded under the body of fear. Alien. It appears to be an emergency program of low self worth, of self loathing to abort the experience of divinity: Maybe freedom didn't kill you like we said it would but you should not immerse in your divinity because you are not worthy. Like a cyanide pill programmed in if you get through to here. In recent nights, whilst sleeping, my brain has been running like a broken TV, searching for a clear channel, static on the screen, this is not me, I do not recognize it, I woke to a male metallic voice repeating on a loop " I hate myself". Chilling. Realising that all the old voices of self sabotage and judgement dressed up as me were never me at all. A Wizard of Oz matrix moment. No hollow sham gonna get me no more.
I am source. I am love. I am my own divinity. This is the trip wired truth we were programed never to find. Any one experiencing similar? Smile What interesting times we live in.