Prayer and the indwelling God

 

My prayers have been quite different since the alive presence in the heart area came up around Christmas. This alive presence which is infinitely loving, intelligent, intimate, personal, receptive, and responsive. A fragment of God right here, for this individual. The indwelling God.

My old prayers were directed outward in space, and had a yang quality, as talking. Now, these forms of prayer seem a little noisy. Instead, there is just a very quiet and simple going to the alive presence in the heart, and an equally quiet and simple intention, more like a whisper.

The content of the prayers is maybe not so different, but their quality is. Going to the alive presence in the heart area. Quiet, still, like an intimate whisper.

Praying for knots to unravel, for a deepening into humanity and awakening, for living a life benefiting all beings, for all beings being freed from suffering, for all beings awakening and blossoming deeply, fully and richly.

Big Mind and indwelling God

 

Since the shift into a more alive presence of the indwelling God around Christmas, I have been interested in the relationship between Big Mind and the indwelling God. They seem to be mirror images of each other, and two ends of the same polarity.

Big Mind

Big Mind awakening to itself reveals itself as a field of awake emptiness and form (allowing any content, including what arises here and now), and the realization that there is no separate I anywhere in all of this. There is just the one I of the field as a whole, and no separate I, no Other. Big Mind is impersonal, and emphasized and in the foreground in nontheistic traditions (as far as I can tell.)

Indwelling God

The indwelling God is on the other hand very personal. In my experience, an alive presence, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive, a guide, teacher and healer, and present in the heart region. And this seems to fit with how others describe it, including among diksha folks where this indwelling God, Antaryamin, is sometimes talked about.

It seems that the indwelling God is emphasized and often in the foreground in theistic traditions, such as Christianity (and probably Islam… the Sufis certainly seem to emphasize the personal quality in our relationship with God.)

Impersonal and personal

So where Big Mind is impersonal and everywhere, the indwelling God is personal and right here, in the heart space of the physical body. The experience of it, at least for me right now, is of a fragment of God for this particular individual soul and human self, and a fragment that includes and reflects the whole of God. It is not diminished in any way, yet also right here and for this particular individual.

Theocentric and Christocentric

I sat at a coffee shop for lunch and made a couple of notes about this, before reading a little further in the intro to Mystics of the Church by Evelyn Underhill. And a little further down the page, she wrote about just this (I can’t remember having read anything about it before, but I also may not have paid attention before, especially since the indwelling God has not been in the foreground much before.)

In a Christian terminology, a Theocentric orientation is a focus on God as Big Mind, and a Christocentric orientation is a focus on God as the indwelling God. She describes the two in very similar ways to what I have found, especially in terms of the impersonal and personal qualities, and the indwelling God as an alive presence, infinitely loving and intelligent, infinitely receptive… infinitely active when invited, and functioning as a guide and master.

Both are equally important, and one tends to be in the foreground for some people and during some periods, then the other, or they can both be very much alive and present at the same time.

Selfless individual

As a point of clarification, it is probably good to mention that even if there is an individual soul and human self here, and an aspect of God for and placed within this individual, there is still no I here. This individual, as all individuals and everything else, is inherently selfless. And that is exactly what Big Mind, and the Theocentric orientation, reminds us of – and make abundantly clear when it awakens to itself.

2nd, 3rd and 1st person relationships

With both Big Mind and the indwelling God, the three forms of relationship – second, third and first person – are each very much possible, and there is often a fluid shift among the three (and sometimes two or all three present at the same time.) Big Mind can be experienced as Other or You, and then as I, and then as It when we talk about it. And the same is true for the indwelling God… it can be You, then I, then It, and maybe two of those or all three at the same time.

Embracing both ends of the polarity

There is a very clear difference between Big Mind and the indwelling God, although they share – and are of – the same essence. To use some metaphors, we can maybe say that the indwelling God is a holographic fragment of the totality of God (Big Mind), or that the indwelling God is the drop and the totality the ocean.

And it is also clear how perfectly the two complement each other. Big Mind is impersonal, everywhere, all revealed as Spirit. The indwelling God, a very tangible alive personal presence, for this (inherently selfless) individual, a guide, receptive, active when invited.

One without the other leaves us only with half of what is possible, and half of what is already there… since they are both already there, waiting to be discovered, to awake consciously to itself.

Already here, and evolving

Both are already there, waiting to be noticed, but also evolving… in different yet related ways.

Big Mind is always already awake emptiness and form, independent of the particulars of form. At the same time, it evolves as form… in all the ways described by science and probably many more.

The indwelling God is similarly already here, as a fragment of God in and as this individual. And at the same time, this indwelling God seems to evolve as it is invited into our lives more consciously. More and more aspects of it is revealed. The dual relationship of the indwelling God as You and I is revealed in increasingly more depth. It evolves and changes as it is invited in, and as our individual soul and human self develops, matures and evolves. (At least, that is how it seems now.)

Simplicity of connection, and cycles

 

I notice that there is an immediacy, simplicity and sense of deep quietness in the connection (and communication) with the alive presence, which is everywhere yet also centered right here in the heart. And also how there are the usual shifts between 2nd, 3rd and 1st person relationships with it, from You to describing it to I. Often nowadays, there is the sense of doubleness, of being both the familiar personality and this alive presence, of both as 1st person (and 2nd, and 3rd) at the same time.

I assume this doubleness is characteristic of one phase of the process. First, there is a center of gravity in our familiar identity, usually connected with the personality, and the alive presence is experienced as You. Then, the doubleness, being both at once. Then, the alive presence comes into the foreground, as a new sense of identity, and the personality goes into the background and is transmuted in this process, becoming more and more in service to the presence.

Throughout this overall process, there is also the shifts between 2nd, 3rd and 1st person relationships with the presence, as cycles within cycles.

Spheres of blue light

 

Since the dream last night, the small spheres of blue light seem very tangible, placed in each vertebrae close to the spinal cord. It is like a cool quiet awakening happening there, an awakening of the intelligence of the vertebrae as the guide in the dream told me. A quiet cool intelligence coming alive, at 24 (or so) different points along the spine. (And the quality of the brilliant cool blue intelligent light is really quite similar to the cool blue of the stars in the Pleiades.)

Antaryamin and the three centers

 

From the past, I am familiar with God as the field of awake emptiness and form, always and everywhere. This seems to be Spirit filtered through the head center, showing up in its impersonal, transcendent, yang aspect.

More recently, filtered through the belly center, it showed up as fertile darkness, and also as the alive luminosity, and now as alive luminous blackness. Intimate, deep, fertile, alive, infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive and responsive. Spirit filtered through the belly center, showing up in its personal, embodied, yin aspect.

And what happened last night may have to do with Spirit filtered through the heart center, as alive presence, as an aspect of God awakened and present in the heart region. The experience of it is really of an aspect of God right here, alive, present, right here in the heart region. Responsive, infinitely loving and intelligent. And something to communicate with in a very direct, simple, quiet way. After being with this for a while last night, I mentioned it to my partner, and then realized that this may be the Antaryamin, the indwelling God, mentioned frequently by Bhagavan.

When I first heard him speak about it last fall (in a video interview), I couldn’t quite connect with it. I have been familiar with the impersonal head center awakening of everything as awake emptiness and form. But here, there is no inside or outside, and it is all Spirit, so the term “indwelling God” does not make so much sense.

But what I noticed in my heart region last night is experienced very much as an aspect of God right there, in the heart center, as an indwelling God.

Dream: awakening of the vertebrae

 

A spiritual guide, in the form of a young man, tells me that this is an awakening of the vertebrae intelligence, not the usual awakening of the spine intelligence. A bright cool blue light is placed, or awakened, in each vertebrae, by the spinal cord. I see swirling light around the whole spine, and especially in the hara and solar plexus area. It has blue and light green colors, mixed in with golden, red and the other colors of the rainbow.

This dream happened after I spent some time before falling asleep connecting with the alive infinitely loving, intelligent, receptive luminosity. (It seems to be most present in the heart region right now.)

Earlier last night, I realized that this must be the Antaryamin, the indwelling God, Bhagavan mentions.

The young man in the dream is a guide, an awakened one, and reminds me of the young Buddha Sakyamuni or Bhagavan’s senior male dasa. He is a more mature version of the person who, in a previous dream, helped me climb up the final few feet up a tall building He was very clear that this awakening of the intelligence of each vertebrae is more specific than the awakening of the general spine intelligence.

The small sphere of brilliant, cool blue light placed, or awakened, in each vertebrae, by the spinal cord, has the same quality as the brilliant blue of another dream, and it has come up in waking life through photos of the Pleiades showing up in different contexts (for instance a few days ago when some friends of ours showed us a photo of the Pleiades they have hanging in their bedroom).