We Are Humans Having a Spiritual Experience
When Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience,” he was trying to ensure the fact that spirit is alive in us at all times. It’s a beautiful notion, but it needs to be turned on its head. Once we are in human form, our filter system is designed to lose all connection to the divine and our path is to reclaim it. We need to acknowledge the spirit within us to evolve our species. It’s inevitable.
If you haven’t had a spiritual experience, ask to have it. The universe conspires to meet our needs. It’s like the ultimate test of God: If there’s really a God, show me a sign. What if that true sign isn’t seen in the outer world, but rather seen in the inner world? What if the realization of God and spirit is actually that awakening into the awareness that we are having a spiritual experience? Once you know it, you know it, and there’s no turning back. The challenge is to stay in it, in spite of your family, your job, your need to feed yourself, exercise, have friends, have places to go and things to do, movies to see, etc. All of these things distract us from the simple fact that our subjective experiences are constant distractions from the objective truth about our spiritual experience as a human.
The Ocean of Our Awareness
The surface of the ocean is like the surface of our everyday awareness. We watch birds light upon it, just like thoughts come and go from our minds. Flocks of birds are like collective thoughts from crowds of people, like the focused attention at a sporting event. If we’re lucky, we may see a mammal like a whale or dolphin breach, just like those rare and beloved “aha” moments that sometimes fill our awareness and bring great insight. We might travel by boat across a great body of water just like we may make great leaps of consciousness during a silent meditation retreat or a great sermon that shakes our faith or belief. We experience storms on the surface that wreak havoc on our homes and beaches, driving our ships off course, in the same way that life distributes the loss of a job, an accident, and feelings of melancholy for us to overcome. We have beautiful days with clear skies where we lay out and absorb the sun, just like we have a vacation or weekend getaway for respite from the “day to day.” Sometimes it’s cloudy and foreboding, like financial uncertainty or relationship stress. When it’s hurricane season, it can be like great change in our life like the end of a relationship or a great illness.
Beneath the surface of the ocean, it’s far more complex. The biodiversity and seasonal cycles have a systemic richness that scientists are just starting to comprehend. This vast and mostly uncharted territory is similar to the subconscious mind, which needs to adapt to organizational changes in our work and home lives. The Earth herself is constantly changing thru tectonic activity, temperature fluctuation, and seasonal ocean current alteration. The creatures, some traveling thousands of miles following these currents use different habitats for different parts of their biological cycles. Notice that the food we may eat throughout the day will have differing effects upon our stamina, mental clarity and general well-being. We may even be affected by temperature changes, increasing or decreasing our level of comfort, thus altering our ability to feel easy and harmonize with our environment. We feel distress, triggering anxiety and chemical changes that cause us to react to preserve ourselves. We seek to know more about ourselves because it enables us as a species to survive. Most of our actions and reactions are happening outside of our conscious volition. We may even put on a suit and oxygen tank, and plumb the depths of our psyche with the help of a psychotherapist or other self-awareness guide, to seek the source of some hidden motivation or root cause of a self defeating behaviour.
I stress this metaphor because it activates something primal in us. It’s the unknown; the mighty ocean within. It’s our unconscious behaviours; the learned beliefs informing our judgements; directions we choose while walking life’s path; associations we make; truths we may ignore. It’s a tiny voice calling to us from deep within that we may or may not choose to listen to. It’s asking us to pay attention. It’s telling us to ask why… Why are we who we think we are? Why do we do what we do? This is staying in awareness, to simply ask “why” instead of blindly going about your day doing what you do because someone told you to do it that way. It’s to have the curiosity and inquisitiveness of a child; to keep your eyes and heart open; to question your motivations every step of the way; to ask what is beneath the surface and get to know it.
Masked balls have been around for hundreds of years. Part of the allure of some of those parties was to dress in mask and costume and pretend to be someone else. The truth is that much of our lives are spent masquerading as something or someone that isn’t our authentic self. We use these masks as coping mechanisms to deal with situations that we find emotionally difficult. For instance, if you’re working at a job where your boss has tyrannical tendencies; instead of confronting him, you’ll wear the mask of obedience to not engage with his wrath. Or, you may wear the mask of defiance and do things that exacerbate the situation. If you notice, these very may well be the same ways you dealt with a father figure, your mother, teacher, or older brother that acted the same way when you were a child. The reason for this is that our masks are generally created during the first 10 years of our lives, and we carry them through adulthood. They become our modus operandi. They are developed in the ocean of the subconscious mind and direct our habits, beliefs, and reactions. The problem is that they can greatly interfere with our authenticity as people, inevitably creating unstable emotions that can lead us into depression, dissatisfaction, and other less harmonious states.
This is not who we’re designed to be, but you wouldn’t know it based on the number of people on antidepressants and living lives wrought with addiction. We’re designed to be so much more. Being in the state of awareness of the spirit within is part of that design. If only we could live our lives authentically, taking off our masks, being who we’re meant to be instead of who we’re expected to be. We can clean out those old patterns and beliefs of the subconscious mind and bring our awareness to the moment, allowing our conscious mind and spiritual self to have a say in our interaction with the world. Acknowledging the spirit within us actually helps us with this realization. When we’re guided by our inner knowing, the masks begin to dissolve because they’re no longer needed.
Looking up at the stars and perceiving the enormity of the galaxy can be enough to drop us back into awe. Awe is the place of spirit. Awe opens our minds from the mundane to the profane. Awe is the starting place for the spiritual experience. Now, try shifting that same focus from the stars to the complexity of the human body. Be in awe of the quadrillions of chemical processes each second in our bodies. Shift that same focus from the stars to the complexity of consciousness that compels each city person to create the unified experience of being the human species that happens in every moment. Just the fact that we’re able to cooperate and manage thousands of cars during any rush hour segment is a miracle, but we take these moments for granted. We need to stay at a high level view, to retain our objectivity of all processes if we’re to avoid the myopia of our everyday lives which distract us from what spirit is always trying to tell us about our human experience. For instance:
- Why did we come here in the first place?
- How can we help others with their experience?
- How can we make our lives better and live to our fullest potential?
- What do I not know that I need to know?
- What is my life’s purpose?
Tools We Can Use
So, how do we stay in awareness? I think that ultimately, asking spirit through prayer to provide you with the best answer for you is the way to go. Establishing your relationship with the inner awareness can take some time. In the meantime, here are some ideas:
- Wear a ring or bracelet to simply remind you when you look at it that you’re not simply the situation you’re in, but the spirit observing the situation. Rotate between two items so you don’t become too used to one or the other.
- Use hypnosis and install a trigger to retain the sense of awe. This is a little more involved but there are books on self hypnosis, or you could hire me or another hypnotherapist to do this for you.
- Daily meditation and mindfulness can be anything that rejuvenates your objectivity and centeredness. Walking can be a great meditation if you keep your focus on emptying your mind and being in tune with the moment.
- Get your shoes off and get into nature. She always reminds us of just how immense creation can be.
- A handful of dirt has more microbes than an entire human. Just pondering on a complex association can take you into a state of observation which enhances your objective experience.
- Being in awe is anything that enhances your realization of the vastness of life. Observing any act of creation as a miracle can put you there.
- Affirmations can be really good before bed and when you wake up. Try something like: I am deeply appreciative for the awareness of spirit inside me. I acknowledge that all of my everyday experiences and their outcomes are designed to bring out the best in me, and I’m an active participant in creating those experiences.
We’re in the Chaos of Evolution at Every Moment
Staying in awareness is a big challenge as we’re faced with obstacles at every turn. They say that if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Even with 7 billion people on this planet, it’s still a tiny fraction of the brave souls that would choose to have a human experience, to help evolve a tiny planet and her children through the dimensions. It’s exciting because it’s not easy to be born here, and once we are, it’s not easy to live here. If you’re reading this, you’re a fortunate person. Consider what it’s like to be starving or growing up in a war torn, poverty stricken country. These are experiences that all of us have in some life or another, because that’s our path. The truth is that we all have to do this together. As a species, we either evolve together or we die together. Being human is a group effort.