Life At Sea

This sharing of our Wednesday morning Coffee Time admittedly rambles. Such is Life at Sea, the Sea of the Unknown. The Sea beyond the shore of the familiar, beyond the “known” from which Pat and I seemed to have launched. Join us if you wish to ride along…

Pat: I wish I could be more fluid and agile in my awareness of my soul movements – this changing of the energies moment by moment. I listen to my AIP teaching CD over and over again. I share some of these ideas with others, but it draws a blank stare in response, polite, but clearly not understood, clearly not material that others outside my AIP circle relate to. Clearly this material has to be worked up to if one is going to understand. One needs previous training to understand and absorb what these teachings are saying. There is a gradation, like growing in school grade by grade, but this gradation is not about being superior but rather simply having moved to the next grade in the school of life.

Gary: Yes, finally, perhaps, we are leaving the shore of the familiar and seeing just how radical this new space really is. More than ever, we are jumping into the abyss that we have feared our entire life. And it really does take time to get to this point because of the magnitude of the change required, or rather, the change that seems to happen in us organically as we do our spiritual work over time, over our entire life. It is an experientially felt sense that changes one’s fundamental stance toward life.

Pat: What changes is one’s perception of Life, perception of reality. Gary: One’s core attitude opens up to take in all that is, like waking from a dream, or perhaps like fully entering into a dream, so different from the familiar day-to-day life we have each led for over six decades. This awareness in each moment (awareness of motivations, feelings, sensations, and the like) does not mean more or deeper thinking in every moment. Rather it is fully being in each moment, fully embodied in each moment.

Pat: Who we are makes our lives. And there is no separate anything. Oh the importance of doing our spiritual practices so that we can experience these Truths. Concentration and focusing practices. All of this just to experience being present. On this planet, the earth, we are slowed down, our mind lumbers along. Awareness, on the other hand, is very quick.

Gary: And it is all good in the sense that there is perfection even in the lumbering mind too, not just in the higher levels of awareness. The effects that result from our lumbering along allow us to see and experience the effects more clearly and from there work on our inner causes that brought them into being.

Pat: Perhaps I’m talking about the perceiving of the underlying being as Source – whereas the externals, the manifestations, are our material to work on. Opening to the reality of that deeper awareness changes how we live our lives – moment to moment. Spiritual maturity brings us the capacity to experience all that is more than and beyond what we once knew. Instead of thinking what I’m living in each moment I am being in life in each moment. In Ken Wilber’s Grace and Grit he explains how he lived his life – he had more fluidity in experiencing what was his true nature AND at the same time he could experience himself as embodied here on the planet. If you see everything that arises as energy, energy that arises out of your emptiness, then nothing can rock your boat!

Gary: Including not being rocked by not yet being there. Coming to Know that our dualistic state, with its limitations, has a purpose – in this dualistic state we do our work of purification, clearing up all the patterns and distortions that keep us from Union. The root distortion since the Fall (whatever what is named “The Fall” really means, but knowing that we were somehow a part of whatever it is or was) is that we are separate – separate from God, from the Cosmos, and from each other, even from ourselves. From this root distortion of thinking we are separate, all other distortions, images, misconceptions, wrong conclusions, and the like emerge. This is where we are called to the work of purification by whatever spiritual path we are on.

Pat: May I open to the fluidity of alignment with Truth. My morning is impressing symbols into my soul substance. It takes me into the unknown. Gary: In entering the unknown we come to trust the goodness of the Cosmos. Pat: Stepping into the unknown IS trusting the Cosmos. Gary: It is, again, pushing further out to sea from the shore of the familiar. Pat: Leaping into the abyss, into the current of the Life Stream.

Gary: As we move out into the Sea of Life, how others react to us becomes unimportant to our own sense of wellbeing. We can experience a space where we no longer depend upon others’ “getting us,” or on our being somehow “right” in all of this. Pat: However, from that stance each of us can see the pattern in us that wants to jump up and be accepted and loved. From here, from this observer place, we can work on our own material.  My AIP path and your Pathwork path focus on this, giving us the techniques to see our distortions, enabling us to cut through the patterns and ultimately to reside in our own true nature.

Pat: Being aware of body, speech and mind. I’m clueless about being aware of speech and mind. Gary: Interestingly, I am working on my recording of Pathwork Lecture 80 Cooperation, Communication, Union and it speaks to the awareness of speech. The lecture suggests that the only way for us humans to communicate with each other is from a place of independence.  Not interdependence, but independence. Healthy interdependence comes after true independence. Before independence I would think there would be codependence between two people – each consciously or unconsciously wanting to get something from or influence the other for the purpose of feeling safe, happy, or fulfilled. This codependence can be pervasive in our patterned living, even as, or perhaps, especially as, a couple. This codependence can be totally unconscious and may even appear as harmony. But in fact it could be pseudo-harmony with one or both parties wanting to keep the peace or not rock the boat. These patterns of codependency preclude true communications between two people, the lecture suggests.

Pat: Sometimes in our coffee time I find I am practicing my spiritual practice. In fact I would say absolutely that our coffee time is our practice, practice for life. It is our pushing off from shore. Do you get that? Gary: I am more aware of this being a pushing off for us. Pat: How do you know that? What in your sensory apparatus informs you of that?

Gary: First I feel a tinge of fear arise at the question. But let me drop below that for now and come back to the fear later. How do I experience this pushing off? It is a sensation in my chest first of all. Then I would say I experience an intuitive sense in my mind, perhaps, and this intuitive sense in my mind comes with some excitement. I feel more alive. Yes, more alive with this intuitive Knowing that I am now at Sea and no longer on the shore of the familiar. This experience of intuition and excitement is familiar, but I had not named it until now, or perhaps I could say my knowing was not cognitive knowing but a deeper Knowing, a Knowing that was not recognized by my intellect cognitively, or, say, by my ego, whatever that might mean.

Gary: Back to the fear. I think my separate ego (the separateness of course being an illusion) has a need for cognitive understanding as a defense, understanding that can be explained in words, in concepts and ideas. When the intuitive Knowing that is deeper than the cognitive intellect has capacity for grasping, then the ego feels endangered. “How can I explain this Knowing?” “Is this Knowing trustworthy?” “Will this intuitive Knowing make me look stupid?”  All this comes up. How interesting. It is good to slow down and consider what has arisen here right now. Can I be open to trusting a deeper intuitive experience of Knowing?

Pat: Sometimes in our morning coffee time, when I say I’m practicing for life, I am more the awareness. The movement, the breath.  Then, after coffee time, when I am getting into the externals I’m so quickly caught in pattern. I need to practice in our coffee time so that I have an entrée into the everyday world – our coffee time is like on-the-job training for life – learning how awareness feels.

Sometimes in our morning time when you are talking, writing, sharing what Pathwork says – those are the pointings, and I’m already practicing where the pointings are pointing. I’m in the practicing of what the words are pointing to. I just notice it this morning – the words and the writing are the pointings. I am noticing that in the moment I’m practicing. OK, that’s fine.

At the same time some alarm or concern arises – and there need not be alarm, because it’s all here, it can all be here. No need for alarm. That’s what I mean about practicing. Practicing to develop the fluidity of what is, connecting to the soul currents as we take the steps in our embodied life. A way to be with how we, in this year of 2012, will evolve. We don’t know how we shall evolve this year. We are stepping into choices and decisions without holding concrete ideas of what the year will be. We are entering the unknown, but more attuned to our Essence. So this morning I am practicing the feel of that. Gary: So radical, this space is so radical from where we have been.

Pat/Gary: If we pay attention to the pointings and move in that direction, well that’s the way we decide. It’s not like an evaluation in your mind at all. But it is a choice your healthy ego makes, a choice to surrender to the unknown, trusting the goodness of the Cosmos. Somehow in our embodiment, with the work we have been doing and continue to do, we begin to experience the felt sense of the letting go and surrendering, the felt sense of trusting the goodness of the flow of Life, recognizing the Truth of what is.

Our mind paints the Truth as something “out there” and “fixed,” when in fact it is a dynamic, alive, flow of energy – spontaneously arising moment to moment.

Pat: Wow! Now that was absolutely worth hanging in there for this morning. We must never see our coffee time as somehow less than the jobs in life that we have. Pat/Gary: We recognize our coffee time as most sacred. “MOST” is absolutely appropriate. Pat: Your relationship with the Pathwork Lectures is hugely important, as is AIP for me. But what is MOST SACRED is our relationship and everything we do to cultivate that relationship. The path within the path. Gary: And realizing that we know nothing about what real relationship feels like. Pat: Your mind may say that, but your Essence, your Core, your Real Self Knows what a real relationship feels like and that Knowing wants to be revealed. Gary: Yes, you are right. Our mind does not, and really cannot Know what a real relationship feels like. The Knowing leading to surrender is deeper than our mind’s capacity to experience cognitively. And from that place of surrender we shall Know what a real relationship feels like.

Pat: What can you say after a morning like this?! May we awaken for the benefit of all beings. May our lives be an offering. Gary: Amen! Pat: Pretty miraculous.

With love, Gary