If I am to be my Self in the world, I must be for others as well as myself. There is no other.
I am willing to be receptive to the Infinite Love of All. I am willing to understand how I must rise above the struggles and pains of the world. I am willing to rise again and again with each call for help, each outstretched hand. I am willing to be the one to choose to change. I offer my pain, suffering, guilt, and blame up for transformation, into the light of Love that I may see and give only the light of Love always.
Sometimes people use the term “lower consciousness” or “unconscious” to refer to worldly centered thinking. Worldly thinking is most often characterized by its dualistic nature (“better-worse”, “right-wrong”, “inner-outer”), which arises from the sense perceptions that constantly filter and compare all of the data we receive then sift into known categories. The term “higher-consciousness” refers to thinking that revolves around Love, Unity, Divine Will, etc.
Notice, that even the terms “lower consciousness” and “higher consciousness” fit the characterization of worldly thinking, as they are characterized by duality: lower opposed to higher. The goal is ultimately to transcend the dualistic nature. This has been a perpetual conundrum for seekers of the Divine: how does one use words to explain or describe the inexplicable and indefinable? But I digress.
Until we return to the Unity which we are (and have never really left), there are tools that help us remember that which we are. Words, despite their limiting nature, are one of those tools.
The point of these Consciousness Journeys is to use words to take the consciousness (my consciousness, your consciousness) from a “lower” state—one that dwells in a barrage of sense-data—to a “higher” state—one that dwells in Oneness and Love. “Journey” of course is metaphor that plays on the need to take steps to arrive at a destination; our destination is Awakening to our Oneness, and our steps are the Guiding Thoughts.
Having been a hiker for many years in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I picture my Consciousness Journey as a long hike through the mountains. On a hike, walking—one step at a time—is the method of propulsion. On the Consciousness Journeys, the Guiding Thoughts are the method of propulsion. A literal step can be small or large, and this is like spending 5 minutes or 15 minutes with the Guiding Thought. The more effort exerted the more progress on the journey.
But then there is the terrain. On a hike there can be flat, rocky, hilly, grassy, brushy, dense forest, steep-sloped, wet, or dry terrain—and more! There can be any combination of all of these. The terrain on a hike, in addition to the weather, the time of day, the time of year all contribute to the progress on the journey. You have an inner terrain that influences your progress on the journeys. Your inner terrain consists of the obstacles and barriers you have built to Knowing Love, your emotions, your patterns, and habits of thought, your choices, your preferences, your memories. Like the terrain on a hike, these things are neither good nor bad; they are just things you experience on the journey. You may not enjoy the steep climb, but you take a deep breath, strengthen your resolve and do it to get to the top; you may not enjoy flushing out anger, but you prepare yourself, be receptive to change, and encourage yourself along the way to get through it.
Sometimes the terrain is flat and easy to walk. Sometimes your inner terrain is even, calm, and balanced, with easy contemplation of the Guiding Thoughts and easy writing. Sometimes the hike takes you up a scree hill—where, on the slippery, deep shale pieces, you literally take two steps forward, one step back (or slide down). Sometimes in your inner terrain it feels like you are going slowly, not making any progress, not doing any good.
It’s all part of the journey.
Sometimes the consciousness is not ready to move forward. Sometimes it likes the comfort and predictability of worldly thinking—what it is familiar with, where it feels safe. Change can frighten your consciousness, just like a near vertical rock-face can frighten a hiker. Every movement can be frightening, especially if you are afraid of heights (of the consciousness kind, or off-the-ground kind).
My consciousness has been frightened much of this journey. The vertical rock face is a pretty good metaphor. I like climbing, but there have been times when I have been paralyzed by not knowing quite where to put a foot or a hand, or which direction will be the safest in 3 or 4 moves. That is how it has felt a lot on this journey. I have felt paralyzed, afraid to move, afraid to make a decision, afraid to go higher, not knowing where I am safe, or where I will be safe. It has left me feeling hopeless and helpless, defeated and despairing. But when you are on a rock face, it is just as dangerous to go back down, as it is to keep moving forward. So what do you do? You breathe. You rest. You wait until the fear passes…then you move a little bit.
That is how I have been doing this journey. Just breathing, resting, waiting, and moving in small, small bits. I have had to remind myself of my own advice: “every bit matters, every drop counts”. So I have been going through the journey drop by drop.
And this is why the Guiding Thought today has been so very refreshing. I realized I am willing to be receptive; I am willing to understand how I must rise above the struggles and pains of the world; I am willing to rise again and again with each call for help, each outstretched hand. The neat thing about this today is it’s not saying I have to actually DO anything. I don’t have to be there—be receptive, be understanding; I don’t have to actually rise above…. I just have to be willing to. And I am.