This is something I have been curious about for a while…
I have seen, and hear about, settings where somebody talks about Spirit as 1st person, the listeners get confused, and then they continue to just talk about it – only making people even more confused and up in their heads.
Jen is taking the foundations course at Center for Sacred Sciences, and last time, they talked about the First Fundamental:
- Consciousness alone is absolutely real
The appearance of an objective world distinguishable from a subjective self is but the imaginary form in which Consciousness Perfectly Realizes Itself.
If we don’t have an immediate taste of it, it won’t make sense. And then it just goes into the realm of ideas and spins around and around, as it apparently did in the discussion about this principle.
And something similar is happening at the Breema Center. The head teacher talks about the Ocean (Spirit, Big Mind) while people sit and listen. But it is difficult to see that it does much for the listeners. I know it does just about nothing for me, because it is just somebody talking about it, and in a relatively abstract and removed way, using words that does not invite it to come alive in immediate awareness.
So why not use one of the many ways to help people find it for themselves, to notice that it is already alive in immediate awareness? There is no shortage of methods that really work out there, and also anyone for whom it is alive can without too much trouble find words that are fresh, alive, immediate, and invite a fresh, alive and immediate realization in the listener.
There are pointing out instructions in many traditions. And maybe even more helpful, there are many forms of inquiry which, in a step-by-step fashion, allows people to discover it for themselves right there and then.
We can ask when you close your eyes and try to find yourself, here in this moment, who or what do you discover yourself to be?
Or we can guide through an exploration of the seen, the seeing, and then both absent of any I. (Notice sights, sounds, tastes, sensations, thoughts. Notice how they all come and go. Can you find an “I” anywhere in this changing world of form? What is it that does not change? What is this awareness that all of this unfolds within and to? Is this awareness within time or is time within it? Is it within space, or is space within it? Can you find any color, form, extent, beginning, end to this awareness? Where does the seen end and the seeing begin? Can you find a boundary between the seen and the seeing? Can you find an I anywhere in all of this?)
Another, very similar and more systematized approach, is the Big Mind process which also allows it to come to the foreground of awareness within just a few minutes.
Instead of talking about it first, and then expect people to find it, why not allow people to have a taste first, and then explore it through language. First, going to Spirit as 1st person, then include Spirit as third person.
If we want people to know about apples, it makes sense to first allow them to have a taste, and then we can explore it through language as much as we want – exploring its texture, sweetness, crunchiness, biology, how to grow them, the history of apples in the human civilization, and so on.
To be fair, both CSS and the Breema Center do allow people the taste as well, in other settings. And that is actually their focus. But it just seems odd to me in the particular situations where it all goes to the head, and stays there, going around and around in the realm of ideas, when it could be grounded in a real taste right there and then.