The Romans believed everyone was born with a god to guide them called “Genius.” Science says that matter, as we refer to it, does not exist. Everything is a form of energy, which is the substance of our universe. So it would be safe to assume each of us is a unique energy form in the web of life, which expands beyond the light years of our imagination. Additionally, and most startling is, that science has discovered that everything is connected by a force outside of time and space. If all this is true, which I believe it is, then to know ourselves we would have to experience our true nature or essence, which the Romans thought to be a god given to each of us.
As children we are a pure expression of our essence. Children, before the loss of innocence, are present, curious, innovative, quick learners, and just a joy to be around. This is because they have not developed cognitive frameworks. They are not worrying about tomorrow, they are engaged in the present. As children we had no protective shields, no fears generated by our egos, complex beliefs systems generated overtime to protect us from additional hurt. People often say children are Angels. In a sense, they are a pure expression of their unique essence. A pure expression of life.
Loss of Innocence
At the loss of innocence we lose touch with our essence, or as some would say, our soul. The bad news is everyone has a dark night of the soul, or multiple dark nights, and lose touch with their natural essence. The good news is, if this is our essence, then we cannot lose it. We just mistakenly place our consciousness on our fears and desires. Over time the frameworks of thought we developed to protect and guide us block our experience of our essence. We no longer know our essential self, which is enlightened by the force that brings everything to life each moment. When we do not feel this force, life loses its joy and our consciousness narrows. Our essence is covered by an avalanche of fears.
As we have bad experiences our natural essence is trapped inside the cognitive frameworks we have adopted to protect ourselves. These frameworks, at best are, approximations of reality. Yet, we use them to protect ourselves from something we fear. Our consciousness becomes focused on these protective frameworks, and the energy and joy of the life force which generates our essence can barely be felt.
The very essence of our life, and the force that feeds it, is trapped, but always waits to be released. We get glimpses, but often deny them as unreal. We think it is all “too good to be true.” We become cynical and angry with ourselves and the struggle of life. The more we probe into the dark hallways we have created in our minds, the more distant the ringing of our essence. Just know, it will not stop calling to us to resonate with our essence. As I implied with the title of my new Poetry Book, It Waits For You.
The first and most important step is to realize our thoughts are useful to plan, but can drive us crazy. The definition of insanity is repeating the same patterns of thought and action while getting the same unsatisfactory experiences. Then being angry at someone else, or life itself. Knowing the usefulness of thought without letting it take over or define us is the first key understanding.
Second, we have to practice expanding our glimpses into our essence. Moments when we feel time has stopped and we are filled with a deep loving energy … spending time laughing with friends … when we are amazed with light catching the edges of the waves reflected from the Sun into our eyes … falling in love forever with a person … a journey or a turn in a our path we know is ours. When our hearts are full of grace it is best to expand with it’s rhythm and flow. Dive into the river of life, as John O’Donahue, poet and priest, once said,
“I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”
There Is No Substitute For Practice
It is beneficial to create a practice that teaches us to expand into the flow of our essence, like a surfer riding the sweet spot of a wave. We all have a sweet spot inside, which is our essence, or as some had said, our soul. A good practice is a combination of experience and insight. In this manner each experience creates an opportunity for insight and expanded consciousness. In the end it is living like this day to day.