This phrase “the world is inside you” is often repeated in spiritual circles. But what does it mean? How can we take this profoundly powerful statement from mere words to direct experience?
First, let’s take a look around. What do we see? What can we hear – touch – feel?
We can notice that our sense impressions are recorded by our brain. We can also realize that our brain is also “inside us”. Everything we experience can be experienced as “inside us”.
But there is a deeper realization here. I have noticed three discrete levels to experience. We can call our experience of our senses as Level One.
For each sense impression there is also a “me” that is sensing. That “me” occupies the center-point of our immediate experience.
So far, so good.
Now let’s take a careful look at this center-point; me. Can’t we also see that this oh so personal me, with its countless thoughts and experiences is also inside us? As we quietly observe this personal me, we realize that it too is an object of awareness. What we have taken as the center point of our experience is, like everything else, on the periphery of the world.
What is this “me” that attracts all of this attention, that seems to anchor our experience? Is it not the body with its drives – this conditioned mind with its fears and hopes – is it not this thoughtfulness that assesses many moments for their value or irrelevance? This me is a compelling zone of energy molded by our physical self and our personal psychology.
From the perspective of Liberation from the Lie, this me is, primarily, one of several “fear-selves” each of which possesses its own cluster of fears and desires. Each is rooted in the underlying stratum of inadequacy and, deeper still, the Wound which gives birth and life to all our Fear-Selves. This rather complex cluster of beliefs, needs, ideas, and all the rest constitute our personal sense of self. But, if we carefully read this book, we can see that they are really an adaptive construct designed to keep us at a very safe distance from the much more feared darkness of the Wound. We can really see all of this – both as an intellectual concept and, more importantly, as a way that predicts and describes our immediate experience perfectly. We see all of this as we might see it all acted out in a play or movie.
When we feel depressed, trapped, or hopeless, we know that our primary Fear-Selves have been unable to adapt to life, as they have in the past. There are chinks in the armor. Our life-long commitment to transcendence, to figuring this “thing” out, to just getting over our own bullshit is now in the very process of collapse. Now the dark essence of the primal Wound enters our immediate consciousness. As our Fear-Selves deteriorate, our positive beliefs about our psychological self morph back into the negative self-images that we birthed by the Wound many, many years ago. We come to believe that we truly are losers, we are unattractive, unworthy of love, stupid, we are insufficient to the demands of our own Fear-Self based beliefs. The pores of our Fear-Selves have expanded and the dark heat of the Wound pierces our once happy life. This is the crisis we both feared and pained for.
This is a gift – for now, we don’t have to flee to some belief system or to something that has “worked” for us in the past. Instead we can abandon the struggle to escape through thought and face what is truly real – our most compelling internal fear. So we turn around and face the immense goblin that resides in the very center of our sense of self and see what happens next. This is something that is explored in great detail in my book and I suggest that if your want to start a path based on reality and direct experience instead of second-half beliefs handed down by everyone that is not you, then you would do yourself a favor to examine this path.
This too is inside us. All of it is inside us.
Once this personal self is seen as another object, not really much different from any other object, what we have taken as our center point dissolves.
If we have followed all of this, we see that we are really that which is aware of this ceaselessly unfolding world. What can we say about this field of awareness? First know that not many people inhabit this world of awareness. Sure, we are all aware, but we are really expericning is the quality of attention and not awareness. Attention is an activity of the mind and often at the service of a Fear-Self. Our identification with the “I/me” blocks this deeper field of life. We confuse attention with awareness. Everything we say and do – everything – including the words of this post, come from Level 2 – the personal me, for Level 3 is silent, seeing, and unchanging. Everything we say and do, is a consequence of attention.
The field of awareness has absolutely no inherent quality that we can ever objectify. It is utterly serene. It is open to the light that is everywhere in and as everything.
At first we just have brief touches from this underlying world and over-girding world. But the more we see the psychological self as just another object among millions of objects, the more space we will allow for the emergence of this underlying field of being. The less said about this field, the better. But the more it is realized that everything and everyone is inside us as a briefly objective truth, the more potential we will enable to arouse the emergence of this very subtle beingness.
Awareness is different from everything else because it is utterly characterless. It is the nothingness that holds the everythingness.
Note: it’s essential that you understand that this post is not you to overcome any fear or concern in your life. It is only to see it as a passing element in your life. The source of this seeing is the vast field of awareness that is your fundamental, unborn nature.