Where Is Within?
by Michael Maciel
The problem with the word within is that it refers to a direction in space. Whenever we discuss spiritual realities, we leave the domain of time and space and enter into the eternal. This presents us with a problem: if we cant "go" anywhere, but we dont like where we are now, how do we get to the "place" we want to be? Well...we go within. So where is this place we cant "get" to?
Some forms of plants, like the palm, are endogenous, which means that they unfold from within themselves. Spiritually speaking, we are endogenous, in that our infinite potential unfolds from within us. There is no place that we can go, and nothing that we can get, that can add to the divinity of our being. "Within", therefore, is not a place, but a happening - a transformation of being from one state to another. Awakening to the spiritual nature of our being happens when we let go of our concepts of who we are and allow the outer illusion of our personal identity to dissolve, revealing that which was there all the time.
Energizing the process of letting go, and thereby making "within" easier to find, is accomplished by detaching awareness from that which it is aware of and turning it back upon itself. This is what advanced yogis practice, and have practiced for thousands of years. It is an arduous task, however, that takes many years (if not lifetimes) to master. It is a direct frontal attack on the ego, which can be harrowing. Most of us are not willing to walk into that kind of fiery furnace - we need an easier method. How do we do it?
What does this tell us about our relationship to the flow of the eternal Life of God when we are in this state of consciousness? It tells us that we are not the flow itself, neither are we "in the flow", but that we are the source of the flow. This is what it is to be alive. This is what it means to be spiritually endogenous, to unfold from within the infinite part of ourselves. This is being at one with Being, where the Infinite says through us, "I am that I am".
When awareness is turned back upon itself, it comes face to face with Being, which is the source of awareness. Therefore, Being is "within" awareness. Coming to this realization is called "standing in the holy place", the immovable spot, the axis mundi of Buddhism. Isnt this what were really seeking when we "go within"?
Of course, the energy within the nerves of your muscles is not the only type of energy that you can experience. You can also feel the love radiating outward from your heart, and you can ask, "What is at the center of this feeling? From where is this feeling radiating?" Is the muscle of your heart tingling with the feeling of love the way the muscles of your arm are tingling with the exertion of movement? Theres something else in there, isnt there - some invisible organ. Isnt it wonderful? Some part of you that cannot be dissected or removed is vibrating with the distinctive sensation called love. By placing your attention on it, you have moved one level of consciousness above your physical body. The energy moving through your invisible heart is producing the sensation called love. You feel the sensation in your invisible heart, but not the energy. The energy is "within" the sensation. Put all of your attention on that energy. You are now two levels of consciousness above your physical body, and you have entered into the Grand Heart Chakra.
See how easy this is?
The questions you ask about the "source" of these energies might not produce intellectual answers, but they will take you even farther within. Relax, and lean back into the openings that your questions will provide. Dont worry if you find it hard to put what happens into words. These things cannot be describedthey can only be experienced.
In actuality, we see nothing "out there". All of our experiences, both inner and outer, are reproduced onto the holographic "screen" of our consciousness in much the same way that a computer program or the images of a digital camera are reproduced onto a computers monitor screen. Just as its easy to think that our edits are occurring directly on the screen of the monitor, instead of in the computers micro-circuitry, so do we think that were interacting with the world "out there". Does this mean that the screen of the monitor is unreal or that the world doesnt exist? Of course not. It just means that the real action is taking place somewhere other than where it seems to be. It also means that there is much more going on than meets the eye. Therefore, no matter which direction we project the spotlight of our awareness, either out there or in here, it is always shining on an object that is "external" to awareness. Being is the source of our awareness. After all, there has to be "someone" who is being aware. Being, therefore, is "within" awareness. In order to go within, we must "become" Being.
Imagine a column of light running right up your spine - a beautiful and gentle column of glowing, white light. Lean into this column of light, the way you would lean against the trunk of a large, perfectly straight pine tree pointing directly at the sun overhead. Let it support you. Feel its life and vitality, and see it softly radiating its vibrant glow outward through your upper torso and head.
As you begin to see this light, time and space will become irrelevant. Personal issues will no longer concern you, as your awareness easily and naturally rises to the level of Being.
One of the meanings of the prefix "meta" is "in the background of". Sometimes we say the same thing when we ask, "What's behind this?" or, "What's the underlying principle of the thing?"
The word "metaphysics" describes the enormous, spiritual vibrancy within all of matter. Matter is a projection of something that is absolutely intangible, but very much alive. We know how unsolid matter is - it seems little more than froth, some kind of crystallized matrix that assembles and disassembles as the life within it moves. Within that life is perfect intelligence. Within the perfect intelligence is perfect love. Within the perfect love is...