How does God see us?

We believe that God sees us from above. But he actually sees us from the inside.

– Shams Tabrizi

If we have adopted a sky-god view of God, then we may imagine that he sees us from above.

If we have a more immanent view of God, we may say that God sees us from the inside.

GOD SEES THROUGH OUR EYES

We can say that…

God sees through our eyes. Hears through our ears. Senses through our body.

God thinks through our thoughts. Feels through our emotions.

God lives through our life.

If we say that reality or existence as a whole is God, then this is clearly true.

A MORE IMMEDIATE NOTICING

And it’s also accurate in a more immediate sense.

If I explore what I am in my own first-person experience, what do I find?

I find I am capacity for the world as it appears to me. My nature allows any and all experiences that are here.

I am what my experience of the world happens within and as. To me, the world happens within and as what I am. It happens within and as what a thought can call consciousness. To me, the world is like a dream since both happen within and as what I am, within and as consciousness.

If I use a big or spiritual interpretation of awakening, I can say that this is all Spirit or God.

And that means that God, quite literally, sees through my eyes. Hears through my ears. Lives through my life. And so on.

FINDING IT ON OUR OWN

It’s something we can explore and find on our own.

If we haven’t noticed it for ourselves yet, it may seem abstract, distant, a philosophy, a fantasy, unrelated to my life, without any practical use, and so on.

If we noticed it sometime in the past, it becomes a kind of reference. A pointer inviting us to notice it again here and now. Our nature is always here, so it’s always here to be noticed. It’s always here to notice itself as all it is in its own experience. It’s always here to find itself as what the world, to itself, happens within and as.

And we can find it on our own. We can explore what we are in our own first-person experience.

How? If we are not familiar with this terrain, we may not even know where to start.

That’s where more structured pointers come in. For instance, Headless experiments and the Big Mind process.

That’s where being guided by an experienced guide comes in. Someone we trust, to some extent, and who is familiar with this terrain and in guiding others.

And that’s where any number of supporting practices come in, for instance, basic meditation, sense field explorations, heart-centered practices, training a stable attention, body-centered practices, ethical guidelines, and so on.

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Shams Tabrizi: A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given

A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also for all that he has been denied.

– Shams Tabrizi

How is it possible to be thankful for what we have been denied?

I am far from always and immediately grateful for what I have been denied, especially if I have – understandably and unwisely – invested an idea of future happiness in it and assumed it would happen.

When I look at it for myself, I find three angles into exploring this:

Aligning with reality, finding trust, and making it my own.

ALIGNING WITH REALITY

Do I know that what I want is what I need or what is good for me?

Not really. I cannot know anything for certain. I cannot know how my life would have been different.

I have several examples of where I got something I wanted, and it came with a big shadow side. And I also have several examples where I didn’t get what I wanted, and something else came in that perhaps was better.

This is what the story of the Chinese farmer points to. And it’s undeniably true, even if some parts of us don’t like to admit it.

Who decides what’s better or worse?

On the same topic, we see that our ideas of what’s better and worse are our ideas. It’s not something we can find outside of our ideas. It’s not inherent in reality.

Our ideas come from our conditioning – as a human being, as a child in a family, as a member of a culture, and so on. This conditioning is not the final word, and although it may reflect conventional wisdom, it does not reflect deeper wisdom.

Focus on what we have and not what we don’t have

If we are denied something we didn’t already have, it just means we are where we were. In reality, not much has happened.

In general, a part of good mental hygiene is to focus on what we have and not what we don’t have, and see that what we have – life, food, shelter, family, friends etc. – is a blessing and not a given.

What’s the upside of the loss?

This is partly dependent of the situation. In most or any situation, and with a more open mind and heart, we can find genuine examples of the upsides of what happened.

There is also something universal here. When we don’t get what we (thought we) wanted, we get to see what’s unhealed and unexamined in us. We get to see what emotional issues are triggered, what beliefs and identifications the loss rubs up against, and so on.

If we take it as an opportunity to befriend these parts of us, it’s an obvious blessing. We can listen to these parts of us. Be a good friend to them and ourselves. Examine the stressful stories behind them. Find love for them.

Finding what we are

When we find what we are, we see that all our experiences happen within and as what we are. Although we have our very human preferences, it all also has one taste. The more we recognize this, the more we’ll meet situations with some equanimity. And the more our center of gravity is in what we are, and not only who we are, we’ll easier find not only peace with what is but appreciation.

FINDING TRUST

Another side to this is trusting the divine or life.

How do we find this trust?

We can inquire generally into some of the topics mentioned here. Can I know anything for certain? Do I really know what’s best for me? Do I know that getting what I wanted would have been best for me?

We can inquire into our most fearful beliefs and identities, see what’s already more true for us, and support these in softening and healing.

We can befriend and find love for our fears and hangups.

We can reorient to life in general through heart-centered practices, and find love for life as it is and ourselves as we are.

We can find trust of the divine through devotional practices.

We can find a sense of centeredness, grounding, and trust through body-centered practices – tai chi, chigong, yoga, TRE, Breema, and so on.

It helps a lot to heal central emotional issues and traumas in our system. The fear that’s stored in our system makes it more difficult to trust life.

We can see perfection in all as it is through discovering and becoming more familiar with what we are.

Over time, we may also find trust in that life and the divine always gives us exactly what we need – to heal, grown, and continue exploring the divine.

MAKING IT MY OWN

It’s not enough to read about this or understand it in a conventional sense. And what I have written about here is very incomplete and from my own bias and limited experience.

We have to investigate it for ourselves. We have to test it out. See what we find. See what approaches work for us. See what’s honest for us, and have the courage to follow truth rather than our conditioning and unloved fears.

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