Living in the Now – Part 1 of 3: Introduction

I myself looked for some larger branches and put them on top of the kindling. So it was in life. In order for the more substantial  pieces of wood to catch fire, the kindling must burn first. In order for us to liberate the energy of our strength, our weakness must first have a chance to reveal itself.

~The Witch of Portobello, Paulo Coelho

“I cannot live with myself any longer!”

Have you ever said this to yourself in the privacy of your own lunacy? If you have, perhaps you’ve made yourself miserable enough to want to wake up now and acknowledge that you’ve just made a fundamental discovery! You’ve identified two of you – there is the “I”, and then there is the self with which “I” cannot live. If you assume that this is true, then is it possible that only one of these “I’s” is real and the other is artificial? An interesting thought…

So, why bring this up? Well, what I’d like to do during this three part this ‘Living in the Now’ series is to discuss the difference between our ‘real self’ (you as a part of the Oneness) and our ‘false self’ (our physical body as identification with the ego).

How can we challenge ourselves to step beyond this limited view of ourselves and step into the greater expanse of who we really are? How can we free ourselves from the intense grip of our egos, which is currently controlling our thoughts, our emotions and our mental image of what we project into the world we perceive? How can we step out of our ‘minds’ – these minds to which we surrender so much control? How can we learn to live in the present moment and let go of past baggage and fears of the future?

These sound like impossible tasks to some, but hopefully with greater understanding of how to apply the principle of living in the Now to our lives, we can attain a deeper grasp of how we can transform ourselves into ‘Beings of Now’.

Enlightenment, transformation and living in the present moment can only truly begin when we honestly look at ourselves and ask questions like, “Who am I?”, “Am I listening to my soul?”, “Is there a ‘real’ self and a ‘false’ self? And if I believe that there is, can I make a distinction between the two and believe in myself enough to take the necessary steps for transformation?”

During this period of major realignment on our planet, there are many coined phrases and terms that are flowing as freely as our out-of-control minds. Words like evolution, vibrations, false self, ego, consciousness, superconsciousness, unconscious, inner body, unmanifested, authentic self, soul, spirit – the list goes on and on. It’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to determine the meaning of each word and how it fits into our own interpretation of how things work. But remember, these are just words – words that can both confuse and words that can excite, words that make us feel empowered and words that make us feel unworthy. But remember that the most basic job of words is to help us TRY to communicate.

As an example, there are words whose meaning we don’t question, such as the word ‘dog’. When we hear that word, we can assume that most people immediately envision a furry, friendly, cuddly pet who wants to lick us and be our friend forever. Pretty simple: mental image = definition of the word. But…what about other words a bit more tricky to envision? How about a word like ‘enlightenment’? What immediately comes to mind? Is this a harder picture to conjure up? I would guess if we asked each person reading this what he or she saw in the mind’s eye, each person would have a different mental picture and thus a different explanation of what ‘enlightenment’ means.

Our minds are very important to this process, but we must know how and when to use them and when to step out of our minds! Our intellect is also very important in our human expansion, yet our intellect can also get in the way of transformation. We have to learn how to understand the difference between our mind and our intellect in order to really make significant changes in our lives. The journey is challenging, yet it is tremendously important in our own personal path back to Source.

Can we release our falsely-created self, the ego, behind? Can we truly breathe the lighter air of the spiritual on a regular basis? Through the wisdom of various spiritual teachers, a variety of different lessons and also, with the study of the powerful book of Eckhart Tolle called ‘The Power of Now’, let us bring to light the importance of living in the present so that we can face this existence in a state of true inner peace. Eckhart Tolle shares so beautifully his deep understanding of the power of our own minds. In this book he speaks of ways in which to understand how the mind works, of obstacles that we are confronted with daily that have the power to challenge our ability to stay on the path, of the importance of undersatnding relationships that we share in our lives, and of how to discover, through communion within ourselves as well as with others, how to truly live in the present moment.

As we work through this process, it’s important to define a few terms that we will be discussing as they relate to the material given here. Each person, each religion, each teaching that we have all been exposed to over the years can have a different definition or understanding of a specific term – that is both the beauty and the confusion of trying to use words for spiritual understanding. I by no means am giving the ‘right’ definition of the following terms but I am attempting, within our limited vocabulary, to share one possibility, one variation of an xplanation of some of these important terms so that clarity may have a chance to assist us in the understanding of what it means to live in the Now.

The first word I would like to discuss is the word ‘being’. I am sure there are various definitions of this word but in this context here, the following definition is offered:

BEING: ‘Being’ is the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the many forms of life that are subject to birth and death. ‘Being’ is not only beyond but also deep within every form as its innermost invisible and indestructible essence.

This means that it is accessible to us now as our own deepest self, our true nature. ‘Being’ is used by many people because it is an open concept – it does not reduce the infinitely invisible to a finite entity since it is difficult to form a mental image of ‘Being’.

Many people identify the word ‘being’ with a physical expression and label it ‘God’, where they can envision a very large man-like character who knows all things, sees all things and judges how we live our lives. Other people think of ‘Being’ as life-force energy or Sprit of pure love and light that vibrates at a very high rate of frequency. No interpretation of ‘Being’ is right or wrong. For every living creature, it is their very presence, and it is immediately accessible to us as the feeling of this presence. It is only a small step from the word ‘Being’ to the experience of Being! How incredible is that!?

Next, what is enlightenment? Simply:

ENLIGHTENMENT: means to regain our awareness of ‘Being’ and to abide by that state of ‘feeling-realization’. It is simply our natural state of ‘felt oneness with Being’ that keeps us in the state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible – something that IS essentially us and yet is much greater than us. It is the discovering of our true nature, beyond name and form and identification with our physical body. The word ‘enlightenment’ conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way!

The inability to feel this connectedness gives rise to the illusion of seperation, from ourself and from the world around us. We then can perceive ourselves, whether consciously or unconsciously, as an isolated fragment, separate from everything else. When this happens, fear arises and conflicts deep within ourselves can become fueled.

The greatest obstacle to experiencing the reality of our connectedness to All There IS is the identification with our mind, which then can cause thought to become compulsive. Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadul afflication, but we don’t realize this because almost everybody is suffering from it so it is considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents us from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being. This can help to explain why so many people have difficulty meditating. Their inability to establish stillness within and of having a mind empty of thoughts seems an insurmountable task. After several failed attempts, our minds declare victory and meditation becomes an imposibility. However, if we can learn to understand the power of our minds and begin to have power over them, the results are peace, happiness and stillness within.

Leave a Reply