The outer surface of our being is always changing and fluctuating. This includes how we feel physically, emotionally, and mentally, meaning that sometimes we can feel on top of the world and full of energy and focus, and other times we may feel insecure, tired, and overwhelmed. These fluctuations are definitely more extreme in some people than others, but continual change is inevitable in everyone.
Beneath these fluctuations of the outer surface, however, there is a part of us deep within that never changes. It is grounded in stillness, and if we wish we can retreat there and be completely impervious to the changes of the outer world. I call this part of us the ‘true self’, and perceive it as our eternal essence. The more we identify with this part of ourselves, and the less we identify with our outer being – the ego personality – the more grounded we become in our lives no matter what is happening externally.
On our outer surface being we may experience anxiety, fear, insecurity, exhaustion, or relationship, business, and other challenges (who knows, a pandemic may even hit!), and yet none of this will affect the true self. Deep within we remain calm, balanced, and unmoved. We can simply observe all of this happening from this place of inner stillness and non-judgement. This is even the case if things we deem as extremely positive occur that bring us huge bouts of excitement, adrenaline, joy, and happiness. The true self still does not identify with these states. even if they feel great, and simply observes them from its place of stillness and peace. It is not interested in riding the highs and lows of life, that is for the ego to do instead.
A wrong assumption many people make when they consider surrendering themselves to a place of such inner tranquility, is that it will make them passive, weak, an unable to meet the challenges of life. Or they may even think that it will cause them to lose their humanness by dissociating from their outer surface emotions and feelings.
The reality is the exact opposite.
Identifying with our true self and grounding ourselves in its peace and stillness does not mean that we disconnect from our emotions or responsibilities in the world. In truth, it means that we embrace them even more because they no longer fear or overwhelm us. We know that from this inner reservoir of stillness and peace arises an immense strength and power that we can draw upon at any time. This fills us with focus, energy, determination, and resilience. We also know that this part of us is eternal and lives on beyond the departure of the physical body, and therefore our fear of death gradually evaporates. A great deal of power and control are obtained by exploiting the fear of death in humans, and when we lose this fear we are no longer vulnerable to this exploitation.
We also do not dissociate from our emotions, drives, thoughts, and impulses, but as mentioned, we do not identify with them either, which means we are no longer controlled by them. Someone may cross our boundaries and a wave of anger will flood over us. From our place of inner stillness, we will observe this and either let it wash over us, or we may allow it to be expressed in some way. When expressing anger from our place of inner stillness, however, it doesn’t explode out in a fit of rage or violent aggression. It instead expresses itself with firmness and strength, but in a calm and grounded way, which allows us to set healthy boundaries to those who otherwise would attempt to cross them.
Many other similar things will hit the surface level of our being, such as negative thoughts, unhealthy cravings and impulses, fatigue, anxiety, fear, sadness, and insecurity, but from our place of inner stillness, none of this will affect us. We will wisely choose which of these surface level effects we will express, and which we will choose to reject and allow to fade away. This gives us a power that the world can never take away, and a power that scares the controllers of this Earth like crazy.
On the other hand, those who are identified with their surface level being – which is the great majority – are influenced by nearly everything that occurs on the surface. Their lives are dictated to by their constant surface changes, including their thoughts, emotions, drives, cravings, etc, and without realising it they are enslaved within their ego construct.
Coming home to our true inner essence and stillness is what I perceive as being true freedom. This is what I feel Jesus was referring to when he talked about the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (I do not follow any religion, but I do appreciate the wisdom in Jesus’s teachings). I do not believe that he was referring to some place above or external from us, which we are told that we can only access after death (as long as we follow the rules of a church of course). I believe he was referring to an inner realm available to us whilst we are alive, in human form. When we access this realm, fear is replaced by love, anxiety is replaced by joy, insecurity is replaced by peace, and distraction is replaced by presence. It is truly a heavenly place, and when we live our lives grounded there, it does not matter what oppression or tyranny occurs in the external world, as nothing can take this inner freedom away from us.
Meditation has been the traditional way to access this realm for many thousands of years, and it is extremely important to take time out each day in stillness and quiet to reconnect this way. In saying that, we can even access this place whilst being active and moving about in our everyday life. In fact, we can anchor our awareness there, but to achieve this takes many years (some would argue lifetimes) of committed work, as time and time again we will find ourselves once again caught in the trap of identifying with our surface level being.
If this occurs, and it will, it does not mean that we have failed; it just means we still have a great deal of work to do in order to clear the many obstacles and blockages that lie in between our surface level awareness, and our inner stillness. Many of these blockages include traumas, societal programming and conditioning, negative and toxic family and friends, and a lack of spiritual knowledge. These blockages are like big planks of wood that have been nailed over the entrance gate to our inner Kingdom, and it is only through sincere self-work can they be removed. This self-work requires a great deal of courage and determination as we must confront all of our fears and wounds, and we must do this within a society that rarely if ever offers a nurturing place to do so.
This is why only those who are truly worthy get to access this inner heavenly Kingdom, and our worthiness will be tested time and time again through various trials as we pursue the path of inner freedom. These trials will challenge and even threaten to defeat us, but if our desire and intentions are sincere and pure, and we keep persevering, the gates to the Kingdom will open for us.
Now I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not talking about this as someone who operates permanently within this Kingdom. That is not the case at all, for someone who lives there and has closed the gates behind him for good is an enlightened being. I am not enlightened and do not claim to be. I do, however, feel like I have passed through a number of trials and that the gate of the Kingdom has opened for me. I operate from my inner peace and stillness quite regularly and am less and less affected by the chaos of the outer world. However, I still find myself losing touch with my true self at times, particularly when something on the surface triggers me and draws me back out of the Kingdom. I also still have a number of habits and tendencies that take me away from my inner stillness and peace.
Until one is enlightened, which I believe takes many lifetimes of work, there is always a chance of a fall from grace, and the gates to the Kingdom may even completely close themselves to us once again if we refuse to do the work to be worthy of being there. If we begin overestimating ourselves then the chances of this occurring increases dramatically, and we will be taught harsh lessons in humility.
There are also many traps along the path, with one major trap known as ‘spiritual bypassing’.
This is where we begin deluding ourselves that our spiritual growth and insights make us “superior beings”, and that we are above the worldly responsibilities that other “lowly beings” must attend to. People trapped in this spiritual superiority complex begin convincing themselves that their worldly responsibilities (like getting a job, paying bills, looking after those around them, doing self-work etc) are below them because they believe themselves to be more “spiritually evolved” or “enlightened”.
This is a sure sign that the ego has hijacked their development, and if they did manage to enter the Kingdom, then they will be thrown out immediately. Or their ego will deceive them that they are in the Kingdom, but it will be a false Kingdom that is nothing more than an illusion. Humility is the ultimate key to ensure that we do not fall into this trap, for humility is the golden key that allows us to open the gates of the Kingdom. When we lose this key the gate will not budge an inch.
For this reason, we must be constantly vigilant in order to remain humble and to not fall for the tricks and traps of the ego. The answer always lies in coming back to our inner stillness, and not identifying with anything that occurs on the outer surface of our being. Neither the tyrants of this world and their systems of control, not the highly deceptive and subtle tricks of the ego cannot reach us there.
- The Label that Confine and Control us
- A Fork in the Road – to Break Free from the Spell or go Deeper into the Illusion
- Isolation… Dealing with anxiety, fear, stress, and anger
- The coronavirus lockdown – An opportunity to confront the shadow
- Coronavirus mania – A message of hope and a call to action in this time of crises
I also explore this and many other related topics in much more depth in my newly released book ‘Free Range Humans‘, please subscribe below to receive the first 3 chapters for free.