When we begin to observe ourselves and our behaviour - our thoughts our feelings and our emotions - then we begin to know ourselves as more than the small "I". We begin to open the heart and feel our connection to the divine; sensed as joy, timelessness, expansiveness, interconnectivity, unconditional love. Many approaches in the Spiritual Mainstream would concur with this. But the question is, what happens next? What goes on internally as the soul infuses through our being; what will be encountered? And most importantly, how best can we work to integrate soul for the benefit of our lives...
How do you define love?
The problem the spiritual mainstream often faces, is that it tends to be seeking and intentionally embodying feelings such as love, joy and bliss. There's often a view that this is 'who we are'. This often leads to the formation of an identity around the experience and a continual seeking of it. You'll often hear people saying "love is all there is" or "I am love". But how can that be? How do you define love? It's always - and only can be - defined in relation to something else. Love is not fear for example. Now you've defined love in relation to fear (and paradoxically you've defined fear as well). So in seeking love, the risk is you become attached to love, which renders you an identity, which is much smaller than what you truly are.
Who are You?
I put it to you, that what you are is nothing; where nothing is everything. It's infinite potential. The unmanifest. Presence before beingness, before anything even arises (like love for example). The challenge with words though is, I can't say you 'are' that, because then you are being something. And if the True Self is something, where did it come from? (who created the creator?).
A reasonable way I've found of understanding this perennial dilemma in spirituality, is to consider that existence happens as the result of a dynamic equilibrium: there is infinite potential (which is not being) continually arising into relativistic flows of consciousness (like a soul for example, which is being). There's a continual arising and dissolving from, and into, the source. Then you have the condition of being/not being simultaneously. Which helps define where we originally came from, how we came from nothing, and yet still get the sense of existence.
On the journey to this sense of emptiness, this expansive nothingness, this crystal clear clarity, we'll have to overcome many hurdles, many attachments - the attachment to identity for example. Jumping into this limitless potential often feels like a death - it's the death of everything you thought you were; everything you defined yourself as... like "I am love" for example. It can be terrifying. And so it could be that for many lifetimes, people turn away from it, because they can't deal with the consequences of such unbounded liberation - such emptiness, such vastness....
How could you possibly continue to live like this? How can you continue to make decisions and connect to the world from this place? How can you continue to be in relationship with someone? How do you possibly define yourself from this place? How could you live with no sense of identity at all? These are the fears that often materialise in that open state.
Or else we love the freedom of it so much, that the soul goes into bliss. But bliss is not this place of infinite potential. It is merely the relativistic experience of infinite potential. Nevertheless, people attach to it. It prevents them dropping into the Void of 'who' they truly are.
The Void of Emptiness
I put it to you that the purpose of the soul is to reacquaint you with this place - the Void of Emptiness - The Void of Silence - as an experience. Actually I call it a 'purpose', but that presupposes an intention by the 'creator' - in this sense I mean the infinite potential. How can that have intention?
What you can have, is an 'emergence' - a flow - from this potential. And if that flow is continually arising and then pulling back into the source, you do get the sense of purpose: like it's 'Ascension' for example. And the moving back to wholeness from separation feels like unifying, which feels like love. Which is probably why a soul identifying with this state (thus forming an ego) would say "I am Love".
The soul emerges from this vast potential as a stream of consciousness - a stream of awareness. It's what makes 'you' unique - a wave on the ocean of potential. Many people will attach to this experience of the soul; but I put it to you, that you are not that, you are what precedes it.
To me, the soul contains the memory of the original condition of oneness - it is the expression of it. That's its purpose. When we can align with this purpose in a particular moment, then we ride the journey back into the source, inside of ourselves. When we can ride the journey of the soul - all the time - then this is Enlightenment.
How can you ride the journey of the soul all the time?
What defines our work at Openhand - is to recognise the purpose of the soul; to understand how it works; then to align with it. You can't intentionally 'take aim' for the presence of the True Self - the One. Because in so doing, you already establish the foundation of separation - you are an identity trying to do something. But what you can do (where 'you' is a separated aspect of the One - an identity or ego), is continually surrender on the 'altar of the divine'. The ego could chose to let go and dissolve itself back into presence. But how does the ego truly let go? What it can do, is to continually align with the soul. In so doing, we'll feel the pull - of love - back into the source; but we'll have to continually confront the obstacles that get in the way - the hooks that attach an unrealised soul (unrealised as the One) - into the illusion of separation.
To me, this is truly 'letting go': it's the continual confrontation of what causes the sense of separation - the continual exploding of the myth of separation (which is how our process Openway works).
Since the soul contains the memory of the original condition of Oneness, since it is the expression of the One, then like the polarity of a magnet, by the Law of Attraction, it will draw you into circumstances - it will manifest circumstances to help you (as a being) experience letting go into aspects of the One - the potential made manifest.
So it will conjure circumstances that you need, in order to have this continual experience. To be unbounded, to be liberated, is to know yourself - to know the One - where you would be confined and restricted.
To know yourself as the limitless power of the One, the soul will take you into circumstances where you lose your power, where you feel powerless. To know trust, the soul will conjure circumstances where you lose trust. To know courage, it will conjure challenging circumstances where you need to find courage. To truly know love, it will take you into circumstances that cause you to fear. In other words, the soul takes you into all the places where you get 'stuck'; where you get identified with the illusion of the separation - the illusion of relativity: "this" in relation to "that".
You are Limitless Potential
It might for example take you into love and bliss, in order that at some point, you'll realise these are simply dancing veils that must fall on the path to the naked limitless. So the soul takes you into these contractions - into this 'pain'. It is only by being confronted with your pain, that you can possibly realise yourself as beyond that; by not needing the pain to go away. And I put it to you that this is a key problem with a lot of mainstream spiritual healing that goes on out there. It's so often about taking the pain away so 'you' can feel good. But who is the 'you' in this case? All too often it becomes a limited identity - a small "I" - that needs the pain to go away. You've made yourself smaller - much smaller - than 'who' you really are.
You are Limitless Potential. But to be that, there must be no identification with any relativistic experience: either love, fear, or anything in between. Otherwise, you establish the case of separation within - you separate yourself from the limitless potential of the One.
You must know your Pain
So you must know your pain. To the extent that you no longer even define it as such a judgment inside of you; to the extent that you don't need it to go away. Then you become as one with it; then it no longer defines you. Then you can soften and expand into it; then you open into the One - you ride the path back into the source; then you are truly liberated from it and it no longer defines you.
This is the crucial difference with the Openhand Work; we use emotive, guided meditation to take people into these illusions, help them experience the contractions of the pain, become as one with it, then expand and break through it.
It's what we know as the true meaning of "Transcendence"...
(Publishers - please publish with links intact and the Openhand brief biog. Thankyou <3)
About Openhand Openhand is a unique approach to spiritual evolution: integrating enlightened wisdom of spiritual masters through the ages, it is a way of tapping into the Benevolent Guiding Consciousness of the Universe and aligning with it in your life. It helps you unveil your True Self, remove karmic blockages and unfold your Divine Destiny. It leads to authentic, resilient and truly successful living. Join us...Openhandweb, Openhand fb, Openhand TV