Recently, in a personal reading. Archangel Michael used a phrase that was either intended to inspire or raise a smile in me. He talked about “comparing notes.” He was probably reading my mind because I was thinking about that subject at the time (before setting my ideas down in this article).
Comparing notes was a phrase we used in workshops some time ago. It meant to share our discoveries in the hopes that they might prove helpful or inspiring to others who might be looking at the same matter.
Sharing ourselves meant to reveal ourselves, be transparent, give the other person the information they needed to know who we are in the matter.
Both reminded us that each of us playing the awareness game was primarily interested in learning about ourselves.
Yes, we listened to others. Not saying we didn’t. And we “got” them. But we didn’t listen to judge or evaluate them. We listened for what we could discover about them and about ourselves – about the human condition, generally.
Why is that so important? Because we’re all here to plumb this mystery called “Self,” a mystery that leads all the way back to God.
Sharing ourselves and comparing notes keeps us on the trajectory that leads us home. It brings increasing self-knowledge, until it becomes Self-knowledge one day.
It sharpens the vital power of discrimination (what the Mother called “clarity”) so it contributes to the purpose that we incarnated for.
We came into life to become aware of our true Self. We came into life to learn to discriminate between the Real (the Self) and the unreal (the self, the mind, the ego).
What was it Krishna said? “Lose discrimination, and you miss life’s only purpose.” (1) The only purpose of incarnating in life is to help us discriminate between the unreal and the Real, between the illusion and God, between our temporary self and our permanent Self.
Once a person gets familiar with this way of communicating, things get very real very quickly – very intimate and interesting.
Instead of superficial discussions or the continual, self-serving polishing of our image that takes place in “howdido” conversations, (2) we’re revealing aspects of ourselves which, once communicated, empower us or, if they were withholds (secrets), lose all power over us. Our truth is setting us free.
Most people create an image of themselves and then endlessly polish that image instead of intensifying their inner light through self-revelation.
When any event occurs – say we’re boasting about how we got back at the boss, a frequent topic of “howdido” conversations – we tell and retell the story, watch its effect upon our listener, and modify it here and there with each retelling until the way we’re telling it brings the desired result.
Our partner’s reaction tells us that we’ve successfully raised ourself in their estimation and lowered the boss. Now we lock in our story and it becomes the “final and official version.”
Now we “have our ducks in a row.” We have our story where we want it. We have the winning ticket. Not as much truth there as wish fulfilment, but this is how many of us communicate. Or did.
People sharing themselves and comparing notes find they’re no longer interested in getting into the kind of mischief that we commonly call “drama.” The satisfactions that come with speaking in ways that nourish us causes the appetite for drama to diminish.
They tell the truth harmlessly at as deep a level as possible and the truth sets them free. It sets them free from vasanas, issues, and fears.
They put aside gossip. They don’t mind another’s business. They don’t put others down and themselves up. They don’t withhold what one group leader called our “dirty little secrets” – dirty only because they’re withheld.
They aren’t running a racket or a number and they aren’t selling a bill of goods. People sharing this way tend to be sincere, open, and honest. Believe it or not, that’s what an encounter group produces, despite the stereotypes of them being a pit of vipers.
Of course a person cannot share in this way or compare notes without a listener committed to the same type of communication.
So if you ask me, how do we speak as the New You? I’d say by sharing ourselves and comparing notes.
(1) Sri Krishna in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 42.
(2) Conversations in which we discussed how we did. We got even with the boss. we put Sally in her place. We were acknowledged as the savior of the office. We scaled the Himalayas and brought back the truth that would set humanity free. Etc. etc. We tell the story of getting even with the boss again and again, rehearse it, get rid of the rough edges, and then that story stands in for the truth. On and on we go creating a self-image which we think is real, when it’s not.