I have temporarily removed all my blog posts until I find the time to read through them with an open mind. I am not sure whether some or all of those posts came from my ego and I only wish to write from the non thinking part of me, without agenda.
During the last few weeks I have had a shift in my consciousness, to put it simply, I woke up.
15 years ago I read a book by Eckhart Tolle called The Power of Now. It was too much for me to cope with at the time, it scared me because it suggested that every idea or story we have about ourselves isn’t real and I found it depressing.
A few years later I read it again and understood it more fully ‘I got it’ but only felt a glimpse of what he was describing and it was short lived. I wasn’t ready the first time or the second time either. I also read A New Earth by the same author I found it enlightening but it didn’t last, I tried to read it again but I never managed it. This book talks mainly about how we are ruled by the ego and that often all conflict, personal or between individuals and nations, comes from here.
Recently I downloaded an audio book which was recorded a year before A New Earth was written. I had decided to spend the period of Lent off social media and this seemed like an opportune time to do a type of retreat. The book, Freedom from the world, is a recording of a retreat where Eckhart talks to an audience about presence and the stillness within. This, he says is possible in any environment and it is not necessary to remove oneself from life but to merely realise when we are not present in daily activity and we are stuck in the roles our life seemingly takes and in our thoughts. I leave the present moment frequently to think. He also suggests that all we do and see is not being alive, it is a thing to play with and it is only for a very brief time we are actually here as the named person we are, and even that name is not the essence of our true being. But within ourselves is the formless, an inner peace which isn’t dependent on anything like thinking or materialistic possessions or the roles we play out but it is the presence of life itself. You could be anywhere, doing anything and you would still feel the same life within. This has been described in many ways: as God, as life, as enlightenment, as presence or as consciousness.
Since understanding this I realise death is not to be feared, time is infinite and life is a play between form and the formless.
This life is accessible to everyone but not everyone wants to access it, not everyone will believe it or is ready for it. But Eckhart does say it comes to everyone at some point in their life, to some at the point of death, this realisation whether they name it or not, a sense of the nothingness and a sense of being without being or thinking anything.
Whilst listening to this book I found a heightened sense of being and a strong realisation that many of the things I have done or said I have done so unconsciously or from the ego. I have spent hours in my head thinking, naming, wondering or doing whatever and not staying present.
This isn’t about non doing either but it is about non thinking and asking for life to use you.
I feel a sense of peace and presence, I believe this to be life energy, and it is the place where depression and anxiety can’t exist. I feel as if my load got lighter, because there is no right and wrong and no prescription for what is a good or a bad existence. I feel an acceptance in everything I do. I seem to be understanding things on a much deeper level than I ever did before.
I recalled a moment yesterday from my very first teaching practice in January 1994 that I now feel I understand. We were studying seeds and the conditions needed for a seed to grow. We split an apple and looked at the seeds inside, some questions arose: How did the seeds get inside? How did the first apple get its seeds and then one of the little boys in the class asked …
I know a seed needs water and light and a place to grow but what makes it grow?
I have never forgotten that question, I knew what he meant, but I didn’t know the answer, the nearest I could have perhaps said may have been God. I now feel I understand what that is inside the seed, what that is that makes it grow and what it is inside a flower to make it open. It is indescribable, undefinable and unnamable but it is there and it is beautiful.
And that is who and what we are, an inner life force that exists within us all. But we and others have surrounded ourselves with names, roles, labels, ideas, stereotypes, objects, views and those things only exist in the world of form and all that isn’t real at all.
My Instagram gallery now contains only photographs that could be from anywhere in the world, I feel they are the photographs that came through me, not taken by me as such, no ego attachment no sense of me and mine. Timeless, natural, truthful photographs with no agenda. I kept the photographs that show in the world of form what it feels like to just be, without having to name it as being anything.
A life without labels.