Outlook just asked me if I wanted to add myself as a contact.
Well, wait a minute. Maybe that’s not such a bad idea.
The awareness path is about making contact with ourselves – with our Self. Let’s look at some features of it.
I’m the only contact I have, the only mechanism through which I encounter and experience the world. I reach the conclusions and make the decisions that make life show up for me the way it does.
And I’m the one responsible for how it turned out – at least for my interpretation of it. John Enright used to say: “Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am master of my fate and captain of my soul.” (1) Ahhh, way beyond my control. Thank you, Divine Mother.
John would have been aware to the end. Once he quipped: “When the avalanche is coming down on you, you can say, ‘Oh my God! It’s going to hit me!’ or you can say, ‘Far out! What a way to go!'” (2)
John used to call his workshops Awareness, Responsibility and Communication. I don’t think I’ve seen a better formula for a well-rounded life. Without a sense of personal responsibility, all I tend to be aware of is my neighbor’s business. And my interpretations are often not kindly but judgmental. And if I don’t communicate what I’m aware of, much of what I observe becomes lost to me. Somehow communication “fixes” it.
Archangel Michael used to say “stand back and observe” when in conflict. I used to think that he meant ceasing contact, isolating one’s self, and seeing what happens. But more recently he corrected that impression.
I now think he means to step back into the heart, the main seat of awareness, from the peripheries of awareness where the excited emotions express themselves. Always, the movement is back into awareness, plain, bare awareness. Or what Eckhart calls “presence.”
Decades ago, in following the awareness path, we’d do it individually, obviously, but we also did it in groups. The group experience at that time was rich and unforgettable. There isn’t anything that I’m aware of today that matches it. It’s one ember I’m blowing on mightily, as we expand the meaning of humanness. It’s one fire I’d like to see blaze.
It all starts with being aware of ourselves, moment by moment, continuously. While we don’t cease interaction with the outside world, our interest in what’s going on with our neighbors does gradually subside.
We’d generally try to stay with ourselves, as a meditation. And after a time the act of staying with one’s self, awaredly, brought many satisfactions and benefits: freedom from stress, a feeling of congruency, multidimensional experiences (I mean that in the old sense of the word).
As tension increases, awareness decreases and we as a world have just been through decades of tension, exploitation and oppression. I consider that the treatment we’ve been through has left widespread, unconscious social trauma. As we now bring more peace and harmony into our world, so far slowly, gradually, it’s awareness of ourselves that will assist and allow us to pull out of those buried memories.
(1) Cold Mountain Institute, April 15, 1976.
(2) Awareness, Responsibility, Communication Course, January 20, 1979.