Glimpses of Spirit

The oneness we are can experience itself in innumerable ways.

Here are two ends of a typical spectrum.

(a) The oneness we are takes itself to be this human self. It takes itself to be something within its field of experience, as a separate self, and in our case this human self. This is what’s most common in the world today.

(b) The oneness we are recognizes itself as oneness. It recognizes that any experience happens within and as itself. To ourselves, the world happens within and as what we are. It happens within and as the consciousness we are.

In between those two is a field of almost endless possibilities.

I’ll mention a few common experiences on that spectrum. What they all have in common is that they are a mix of direct perception and an overlay of interpretation, and that overlay is not quite recognized for what it is.

GLIMPSES OF SPIRIT

I’ll first mention a particular experience and then write a few words about the essence of what’s going on, the more fundamental reality of it, and the filters that make it appear the way it does. I’ll also mention the invitation or opportunity in it.

A sense of the divine. Or that we are more than “just” a human self in the world

The oneness we are takes itself as a separate self, as something in particular within its field of experience. At the same time, it senses or intuits what it more fundamentally is. And it interprets this as a sense of the divine somewhere, and that we are more than this limited human self. Both of those are accurate. The invitation is to explore this sense of the divine and that we may be more than this human self.

A sense of a tree (or anything) looking back at me

The oneness we are takes itself to fundamentally be a separate self looking out at the world.

In reality, the world to us happens within and as what we are. To us, the world – including trees and anything else – happens within and as the consciousness we are. It’s then easy to have an experience of a tree or anything else being sentient and even looking back at us.

It is, in a sense, accurate. Although it’s more accurate that all of it happens within and as the consciousness we are.

A sense of Spirit in nature

We may have a sense of Spirit in nature, of nature as divine. This is a variation of the previous one.

In reality, the world to us happens within and as what we are. To us, it happens with and as the consciousness we are. To us, the world and any experience is more fundamentally consciousness. The consciousness we are takes the form of any and all content of our experience.

When the oneness we are takes itself to fundamentally be a separate self (not quite true), and it also senses its field of experience as happening within and as consciousness, it can interpret it as “Spirit in nature”.

The invitation here is to find a bit more clarity about what’s happening and notice that our whole field of experience happens within and as the consciousness we are.

A sense of being a self that’s one with all

The oneness we are takes itself to fundamentally be something within its content of experience, a separate self. (Not accurate.)

In reality, the consciousness we are is inherently one. Our field of experience – that the world to us happens within and as – is inherently one.

Because of the assumption of separation, and the habit of taking itself as a separate self, this is interpreted as “this self is one with all”. The noticing of oneness is accurate but it gets “hijacked” by the assumption of most fundamentally being a separate self.

The invitation here is to take a closer look and notice that any experience of a self or separate self also happens within the field of consciousness. It comes and goes as any other content of experience. It happens within and as the consciousness we more fundamentally are.

A sense of having had it and then lost it

The oneness we are may notice itself as oneness, or it may notice its whole field of experience as consciousness. It may tell itself that all is consciousness, or that all is Spirit or God.

It may then lose sight of this. It gets caught up in old habits of separation consciousness.

And it tells itself “I had it and then lost it”.

That’s both accurate and not accurate. It’s accurate in that the conscious noticing may be gone. And it’s not accurate in that what we are is always here. In reality, it’s all we have ever known.

The invitation here too is to take a closer look. We may get caught up in some of the experiential side-effect of the initial noticing and take that as the substance of what it’s about. That’s an approach that will fail since any content of experience, any state, comes and goes. So what is it that doesn’t come and go? What’s the real essence in the initial noticing?

A sense of all of existence as the divine

This is a bit different from the other ones. This one is more about dialing back than expanding.

We are, more fundamentally, what the world to us happens within and as. We are what our field of experience happens within and as. To us, the world happens within and as the consciousness we are.

That means that it’s easy to assume that our nature (consciousness) is the nature of all of existence.

After, it inevitably appears that way to us. It’s our direct experience.

And yet, it is an assumption. I cannot know for certain.

It’s good to be honest about this. It’s good to notice and acknowledge that what I find about my own nature doesn’t necessarily apply to all of existence. It’s good to see that what I find may be compatible with a wide range of worldviews – from atheism and materialism to more “spiritual” worldviews.

THE PLAY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

This is all the play of consciousness. It’s the consciousness we are experiencing itself in always new ways.

It’s the oneness we are taking itself as something within its field of experience, and then finding itself as oneness again. And in the process, it may have a sense of the divine in nature, or a tree looking back at itself, or of being a self one with all, and so on.

WHO AND WHAT WE ARE

I’ll say a few words about who and what we are, although I often mention it in these articles.

In one sense, we are a human self in the world. That’s not wrong and it’s an assumption that works quite well.

And yet, if we look in our own first-person experience, we may find something else.

I find I more fundamentally am capacity for the word, I am capacity for my field of experience, for the world as it appears to me.

I am what the world, to me, happens within and as. I am the consciousness the world, to me, happens within and as. I am the oneness the world, to me, happens within and as.

This is the essence of what mystics across times and cultures have described.


INITIAL OUTLINE

  • Glimpses of spirit 
    • a sense of the divine or that there is more
    • the tree looking back at me 
    • A sense of spirit in nature 
    • All of existence is the divine
    • A self being one with all 
    • And so on 
  • All a mix of real noticing and a particular interpretation, assumptions, elements of blind projections.
  • Instead of noticing what’s here now 
  • Noticing what’s going on 

The oneness we are can experience itself in innumerable ways.

Two general ones are: (a) Taking itself as something within its field of experience, as a separate self. And (b) noticing itself as oneness and that any experience happens within itself.

And in between those two is a field of almost endless possibilities.

I’ll mention a few here relating to what we typically call spirituality. What they all have in common is that they are a mix of direct perception and an overlay of interpretation, and that overlay is not quite recognized for what it is.

…..

A sense of the divine or that there is more than “just” being a human self in the world. -> The oneness we are is intuiting itself as oneness, consciousness, and as rich as the world.

A sense of a tree (or anything) looking back at me. -> We are our field of experience. To us, the world happens within and as our field of experience, it’s happening within and as consciousness. So to ourselves we are, literally, all of it. When the oneness we are is starting to notice this, it can seem as if a tree is looking back at us. It’s the consciousness we are, taking the form of a tree, looking back at itself in the form of an imagined separate self.

A sense of Spirit in nature. -> To us, the world happens within and as what we are. It’s happening within and as consciousness. To us, it’s all consciousness. And we can easily take that consciousness as Spirit. Nature happens within and as the consciousness we are, so it will appear as Spirit, or it will seem that Spirit is in nature.

A sense of being a self one with all. -> The oneness we are may have a sense of glimpse of itself as oneness, while still taking itself to be a separate self. This can give a sense of being a separate self that’s one with all.

A sense of having had it and then lost it.

A sense of all of existence as the divine.

…..

A sense of all of existence as the divine.

  • Essence: The consciousness we are experiences itself as all there is. To us, that is quite literally true. To us, the world happens within and as what we are.
  • Reality:
  • Overlay:
  • Invitation:

….

The oneness we are can experience itself in innumerable ways.

Here are two general ones, and – in some ways – two ends of a typical spectrum:

  • (a) The oneness we are takes itself to be something within its field of experience, as a separate self, and typically this human self. This is how most onenesses experience themselves in the world today.
  • (b) The oneness we are recognizes itself as oneness and that any experience happens within and as itself. To ourselves, the world happens within and as what we are. It happens within and as the consciousness we are.

GLIMPSES OF SPIRIT

I’ll first mention a particular experience and then write a few words about the essence of what’s going on, the more fundamental reality of it, and the filters that make it appear the way it does. I’ll also mention the invitation or opportunity in it.

A sense of the divine. Or that we are more than “just” a human self in the world.

The oneness we are takes itself as a separate self, as something in particular within its field of experience. At the same time, it senses or intuits what it more fundamentally is. And it interprets this as a sense of the divine somewhere, and that we are more than this limited human self. Both of those are accurate. The invitation is to explore this sense of the divine and that we may be more than this human self.

  • Essence: The oneness we are is intuiting itself as oneness, consciousness, and as rich as the world.
  • The reality: The oneness we are is vastly more than any idea of being a limited human self with a certain identity. It’s as rich as the world. The world, to us, is happening within and as what we are.
  • The overlay: The oneness we are is perceiving or intuiting itself and its nature through an overlay of taking itself to be a separate self with a certain identity.
  • The invitation: To explore our richness, for instance by using the world as a mirror. And by finding what we more fundamentally are.

A sense of a tree (or anything) looking back at me.

The oneness we are takes itself to fundamentally be a separate self looking out at the world. In reality, the world to us happens within and as what we are. To us, the world – including trees and anything else – happens within and as the consciousness we are. It’s then easy to have an experience of a tree or anything else being sentient and even looking back at us. It is, in a sense, accurate. Although it’s more accurate that all of it happens within and as the consciousness we are.

  • Essence: To us, the world happens within and as our sense fields, and within and as the consciousness we are. The consciousness we are, taking the form of a tree, is looking back at itself, in the form of an imagined separate self.
  • Reality: To us, the world happens within and as our field of experience. To us, the world is happening within and as the consciousness we are. We are literally all of it.
  • Overlay: The idea of being, most fundamentally, this human self. And that the tree is looking back at us.
  • Invitation: To notice that it’s all happening within and as what we are. To us, it’s all happening within and as the consciousness we are.

A sense of Spirit in nature.

  • Essence: To the consciousness we are, the world happens within and as itself, within and as consciousness. When we intuit that, it can seem that Spirit is in nature. We sense consciousness in nature and interpret it as Spirit in nature.
  • Reality: The world, to us, happens within and as the consciousness we are. (We cannot say anything for certain about the nature of all of existence, just our own nature.)
  • Filter: An idea that we most fundamentally are something within the field of consciousness, a separate self, this human self.
  • Invitation: To find our nature, and notice that to us nature happens within and as what we are. It happens within and as consciousness.

A sense of being a self that’s one with all.

  • Essence: The oneness we are notices or intuits itself, and still holds onto an overlay of being something within the content of experience – a self.
  • Reality: We are the oneness. The consciousness we are, and that the world to us happens within and as, is by its nature one.
  • Overlay: An idea of being a separate self, something in particular within the field of experience.
  • Invitation: To notice our more fundamental nature.

A sense of having had it and then lost it.

  • Essence: The oneness we are recognizes itself and then goes back to taking its old overlays as true. The recognition is perceived as an experience in time and something that was lost.
  • Reality: We are what we are no matter the content of experience. Our nature can’t be lost or go anywhere. In reality, it’s all we have ever known.
  • Overlay: An idea of what we had and lost, which is often focused on something that happened within the content of experience. If we think that what we are, or what the divine is, is most fundamentally something within the content of experience, then we will have a perception of it coming and going, of getting it and losing it.
  • Invitation: To find the essence of what was recognized here and now. What we are is always here so it can always notice itself, independent of the always changing content of experience.

A sense of all of existence as the divine.

  • Essence: To us, the world happens within and as the consciousness we are. And an overlay tells us that this is the nature of all there is. All is consciousness, all is the divine.
  • Reality: We can only know our own nature, not the nature of all of existence. To us, all of reality will inevitably appear as consciousness since it’s happening within and as the consciousness we are. But we cannot know for certain.
  • Overlay: A projection that tells us that our nature (consciousness) is the nature of all of existence.
  • Invitation: To recognize this overlay and be more honest with ourselves.

EXPERIENCE VS RECOGNITION

When the oneness we are takes itself to most fundamentally be something within its field of experience, it takes itself to be something within time and space. That means that any spiritual experience will be just that, an experience. And as any experience, it will come and go.

When the oneness we are recognizes itself, it also finds that any ideas of time and space happen within and as itself. And that allows for the opportunity to the oneness we are to keep noticing itself through situations and the changing content of experience.

Of course, this may still require some intention to become a new habit, especially if the old habit was to operate from separation consciousness.

HOW THIS IS WRITTEN

I chose to write this mostly from the view of oneness, and that means it can seem unfamiliar and difficult to understand. I am sure I could have found much more direct and simple ways to express this even when writing from this view.

THE PLAY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

This is all the play of consciousness. It’s the consciousness we are experiencing itself in always new ways. Nothing stays the same. Even a thought that seems the same as a thought a moment ago is new and fresh.

It’s the oneness we are experiencing itself as an I with an Other. It’s the no-thing we are experiencing itself as a thing. It’s the seamlessness we are experiencing itself through differentiations. It’s the capacity we are experiencing itself as what it’s capacity for. It’s the love we are experiencing itself as what doesn’t look like love.

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