“What you are is prior to your idea of you.”
What is sound before hearing, world before language, being before the idea of it? A baby, who has yet to develop a conceptual framework or ego, sees the world solely as spirit without words or ideas. That conscious spirit, that pure awareness, exists within us all beneath the layers of egoic stories and beliefs that we have gathered over a lifetime. The soul, or spirit, is our inner home: the Great Mystery silently witnessing life through our eyes.
A few months ago, I was on my way to a silent retreat in Florida and was reading one of Adyashanti’s books, Emptiness Dancing, on the plane. As I sat absorbing what I read in an almost-meditative state, I grew sleepy and gradually dozed off. After a short time, I opened my eyes and looked down at my hands resting on the book in my lap. “Whose hands are these?” passed through my not-fully-awake consciousness. This question was not “mine”; it came from that place before “I.” For a second, there was only the mystery, prior to my idea of me. Then “I” returned and recognized “my” hands. It was a moment of deep connection with that conscious spirit within, a step beyond anything I had experienced previously.
Occasionally, when I am in deep meditation for a prolonged period of time, I slip silently into a space without boundaries, infinity opening infinitely. I perceive my physical body as a temporary container for this eternal beingness without form. It is an exceptionally peaceful state that I always long to return to, but it is not reached by an act of will, of course—only by completely relaxing and letting go. That kind of letting go is an ongoing evolutionary process for human beings now, and we all need almost daily reminders to release the reins of control. Meditation definitely helps, and certain books do as well. Although on the surface meant for the mind, books like Emptiness Dancing slide between the cracks and reach our soul without our realizing it at first. My own experience on the plane awakened the “I” of me to that place of conscious spirit before and beyond form, if only momentarily. A new and more profound level than I had reached through meditation alone.
We are all heading in this direction, I believe. The Divine is always patiently waiting for opportunities to show us our divinity, our presence within infinite consciousness beyond the parameters of body and mind. During these extraordinary times of increasing awareness and awakening on our planet, the moments of passing effortlessly between form and formlessness may become more and more prevalent. After all, it is not alien to us. We were formless before birth, and we will be formless again after death. Perhaps this time on Earth is tutoring us in eternal fluidity and flow, which is the heart of divine consciousness in the cosmos. We are gradually learning not to be afraid of that mysterious unknown realm but instead to embrace the magnificent wonder of it.