Kristin’s talk brought thoughts about the way “finding the outside within” can evolve.
During our voyage of self-discovery, this process can be a key theme in our subjective experience of reality.
We often start out experiencing only the outside as real. This is one reason that we look for answers, needs, and solutions outside of ourselves – that’s where it seems real. There’s a very distinct boundary between that and our inner experiences. For many, the inner experience is unpredictable, foggy, and painful. And blamed on things outside of us.
After we take up a spiritual practice or through an awe-inspiring experience, we can do some healing and get tastes of expanded inner states. This can shift our sense of real. The outer world may seem less real or less gripping.
As the inner becomes a more pleasant experience, we can favour its exploration and discovery.
The tide may shift slowly or quickly, depending on many factors. A young family or demanding job may slow the process down or it may help to ground and integrate expansive states.
As we recognize ourselves as consciousness or being, we see the expansive nature of I Am and develop presence in the larger inside world. At some point, we shift from a sense of me experiencing these states to being the observer itself, noticing the experiencing.
In time, that lived stage becomes integrated and embodied. We have woken to our deeper nature within. Then we can notice what is underlying our outer experiences has some of the same qualities as what is inside. Rather than being separate, we come to recognize the container of the world is the same container as our inner experience.
With a distinctive recognition, the division of inside and outside falls away and we recognize all is contained in and arises from consciousness itself. I am That, Thou art That, all this is That, That alone is, all is One.
Some describe this as everything within, I contain all of it. But the shift also ends the distinction between inner silence and the liveliness of the world. Silence dies to expression and expression dies to silence and they’re united in lively flow.
Parallel to this process can be an inner progressive recognition that the entire world is inside our body. As this is the process of growing clarity or sattva, it may begin prior to awakening or well after. How and what is experienced will also depend on our own laws of nature and inclinations. Are we healing inclined? Fascinated by the structure of creation? Or more interested in service? Are we visual or more somatic? There is a lot more variability in the subjective experience of this progression.
One common recognition is “I am the Universe” bodily. We see the galaxies and stars laid out within our body. This is not an earth-centric perspective but rather arises from outside the universe looking in. We may also experience the body as the golden egg, the seed form of the universe. Or hear it’s unfolding as Pranava. Or feel the sense of containing the whole. It’s a very different experience than using a telescope as we can move the attention around the container with no physical limitations.
More subtly, we can discover the “devata body“, a body composed of cosmic devata (points of intelligence) who are managing all the bodies in all the universes in all time.
And more subtly still, the cosmic body or body of all bodies. Then our universe is but a gonad, with the torso being the container of creation in consciousness and the head as godhead.
Then we can go beyond consciousness and creation to discover pure Divinity. There we can discover the totality of knowing and the cause of the cause, the ultimate source, pure grace.
And all of it is none other than this body of yours, going about its day.