“The expansive energy that is there in everyone, was, in that moment, free, and in the stillness of the mind I felt that expansive energy as it flowed through me. ”
Presence of Mind and Body
Presence is where we find the deeper self, or authentic self, the one who is aware of the thoughts and emotions. Some refer to it as the witness. When we are the witness of our thoughts and emotions we are free to act independent of them. In a sense, this is what is meant by liberation, as we become liberated from the past/future thinking mind, which tends to regret past mistakes, and/or worry about future possibilities, both of which bring emotional suffering into the now. When we are in this particular frame of mind, we are actually not present. Instead, we are living in the past, which doesn’t exist, or living in the future, which has yet to take place. Many of the past philosophical teachings, by Confucius, Socrates, Buddha, Christ, and more, are centered on escaping the limiting beliefs of the ego and living in the present moment, which is all there really is. This is what is meant by Christ Intelligence, or Buddha nature.
Presence was Taught by Jesus
According to Paramahansa Yogananda, one who is believing in the Christ Intelligence, or the embodied spirit that knows of its divine nature and connection to all that is, and able to make contact with it on occasion, loses his desires for materialistic fulfillment. Moreover, one who is in constant contact with Christ Consciousness has all of his material and spiritual desires fulfilled. This certainly seems to be the case in my experience. The more I gain deeper understanding of the Absolute, or the Ultimate Reality, the more desires are fulfilled, and in a shorter clock time. According to Yogananda, this is what Jesus meant when he said, “He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” We are not being told to believe in the person of Jesus. We are being instructed to come from the place of pure consciousness, or “Christ Consciousness,” and believe in the Christ Intelligence which is natural to us all.
To take it a step further, when Jesus taught “Everyone which seeth the Son,” he meant that one who “seeth” is coming from the place of intuition. Furthermore, when we believe we are the “son of man,” we are coming from the place of ego, whereas, when we believe we are the “Son of God,” we are coming from the authentic self. When I first read this idea, presented by Yogananda, I felt expansive, and I immediately “knew” what it means to follow one’s intuition by feeling. It is simply a slight shift of attention from thinking to feeling, and the more adept one becomes at shifting one’s attention in this way the keener becomes one’s intuition. This is, no doubt, part of the inspiration behind the phrase, “a woman’s intuition,” as typically, women are more in touch with feelings than men.
Our Body and Spirit are One With God
“You must realize that no one who is identified with his earthly body can be one with me, the Christ Intelligence which is present beyond the state of human consciousness, subconsciousness, and superconsciousness.” This is Yogananda’s interpretation of Jesus’s teachings, which seems to suggest that “Christ” and “super” consciousness are not the same thing, as I had come to believe. Upon reflection, this fits better into my current view of the authentic self, which is pure awareness with temperament, which is the personality or karmic energy the soul brings with it as it becomes embodied in earthly form, whereas, Christ Consciousness is unadulterated, perfect consciousness and not tainted even with temperament.
Yogananda wrote, “So Jesus Christ, when he was foretelling that he would give up his flesh in crucifixion as a symbol of sacrifice of material happiness of the body for spiritual bliss of the soul, realized that the Christ Consciousness [or Expanded Consciousness] within his body and the body both were everlasting, being nothing but the emanations of one God Consciousness.” According to Yogananda, the “Father” is Cosmic Consciousness, the “Son” is Christ Consciousness vibrating through all creation, and the “Holy Ghost” is Cosmic Energy. He wrote, “As a son cannot be born without the dual instrumentality of the father and the mother, so Christ Intelligence could not exist without the instrumentality of God the Father [Cosmic Consciousness] and Cosmic Energy.” He went on to declare that Christ Intelligence is synonymous with “bread” or “flesh,” while Cosmic Energy is the same as “blood,” and is present in Christ Consciousness.
Yogananda suggests that when Jesus said that not what goes into one’s mouth but what comes out of it defiles the man he meant, “out of the evil tendencies stored up in the heart of men (chitwa or feeling) through their past stored-up bad karma, all evil thoughts and actions spring.” This is what we must cleanse from our soul while incarnate on earth.
The Oneness of All Life
In order to explain some of the above thoughts in more practical terms, I would like to share a personal story. Once, not long ago, I was gazing upon the clouds when the phrase, learn it to unlearn it came to mind. As I was considering it along with the phrase, drop it, which I have been using of late as a reminder to let go of the story and live in the present moment, I realized the true simplicity of it all, and I thanked the Universe for the message. However, it then occurred to me, given that my attention was going outward toward the sky, who did I just thank? Next, I consciously pulled part of the attention back to the body, and then into the body, and then beyond the body, into infinity. Suddenly, I realized I truly am one with all there is, physically (every molecule in our body is of the earth), energetically (which is expressed in the emotions), and spiritually (which is expressed in the unspoken, such as the spark in another’s eyes, or the energy we feel emanating from others).
At times it can be quite difficult to pull away from the experience when I am in that expansive state of complete presence because it feels so good. However, I also want to share the experience with others so they can experience it as well. And I like to practice going back, so I can learn to return to the expansive feeling at will. Most of the time I do that now.
In the experience described above, when I included myself with the whole, the Absolute, I felt at total ease, and at the same time, joyous. And I now know why. The expansive energy that is there in everyone, was, in that moment, free, and in the stillness of the mind I felt that expansive energy as it flowed through me. Mediation can put us there, or a slow mindful walk, or sitting and gazing at nature.
So Within, So Without
Later that day I was on a walk and stopped to gaze upon a large redwood tree and a tremendous feeling of oneness came upon me, similar to the one described above. It occurred to me that both inside and outside felt infinite. Then I remembered that is what space inside an atom is like, infinite. Furthermore, space outside is infinite as well. Perhaps that is because, has has been taught by the most influential teachers since time immemorial, and as science teaches us today, everything is energy. Moreover, I am an intimate, inseparable part of that energy, as is everyone. This is what it means that each of us is the center of the universe. But it doesn’t mean anything until we drop the stories created in the mind, drop the feelings that arise from them, and then move on. How does one come from this place of consciousness? Simple. Be here now.