How is the understanding that we are spiritual beings having a human experience helpful within the practical context of living the human experience? How does understanding there is no self, and we are living in an illusion help when the form of our experience requires food, water, shelter, and air, and when there are activities to do and agreements to keep. There is never a problem with our formless nature that is just bliss, but the actual human experience can feel very removed from the understanding that we are living in the illusion of our individuality and the world of form.
When I reflect on this, the image that comes to mind is a power source. This is a metaphor. I am not describing truth. I am sharing a picture that comes to mind for me. You will most likely have a different metaphor and description since there is no way to directly describe the formless, but hopefully, my attempt is relatable. I see my human experience and reality as powered by a universal source. We are all animated by the same source, but we do have the experience of being separate and navigating a very real feeling world of form. That is incredibly fascinating and interesting. My family just did the 23andMe ancestry test today, and I am curious about what the form of our genes will reveal to us. Even though our genes are not all of who we are.
When I think of the value of having an understanding about the dance between the personal and impersonal, it is the feeling experience that is most powerful. When I connect with a sense of oneness and universality, it is so comforting and reassuring, and from that experience, I show up in the world in an open-hearted and kind way as opposed to the days that I am crazed and maniacal. Feeling into the mystery that lies beyond what I can see, I experience a natural exhale. I am reminded that I am okay and that my okayness has nothing to do with the circumstances I am in.
One of the most profound experiences I had with this was encountering an experience of bliss while being locked up in a US border jail thinking I was going to be deported the following day and not knowing when I would see my husband, Angus again. All because of an overzealous and perhaps racially profiling customs agent who made a mistake. Fortunately, this was rectified in the morning, but more importantly, my encounter with a profound sense of well-being happened in the middle of the night long before I knew that things were going to work out according to my preferences.
I felt a surrender into what is and let go of my personal preferences. I didn’t actively try to do this. It was a knowing that came over me and allowed me to come into a deep acceptance of the present moment. I felt safe and secure in the most uncertain and potentially dangerous of circumstances. But I knew in the deepest way that I was okay. This encounter with my formless nature, my spiritual essence, was profoundly helpful to me at that time. It did not just reduce my suffering, it eliminated it and replaced it with an experience of bliss.
This example is not an ordinary example from day to day life, but when I look at it, my functioning on a daily basis is still miraculous. The fact that any of us exist is extraordinary. Dr. Ali Binazir had some fun with math calculations in his blog post What are the chances of your Coming Into Being? and suggests that each one of us is a miracle by the definition that a miracle is an event so unlikely as to be almost impossible.
He says the probability of any one of us existing at all is 1 in 10 to the exponent of 2,685,000 ( I couldn’t figure out how to write this with the superscript.)
He describes this as the equivalent of 2 million people getting together to play a game of dice with trillion-sided dice. Each person rolls the dice, and they all come up the exact same number. That sounds pretty extraordinary!
Navigating the world of form requires much more than my constructed self and what my limited intellect can do. Thank goodness there is another dimension to who we all are that is infinite. It is that unlimited potential that is condensed temporarily into the world of form with all of the intelligence within it. I may feel like I am driving my bus, but my bus and I are part of a bigger picture that I cannot even comprehend.
I am reassured by the ordinary and practical quality the intelligence behind life expresses through each one of us, each moment, of each day. There is no getting it wrong. Our best is good enough. We are resilient and bounce back. The source that animates us and lights us up has wisdom in it and it comes with an amazing feeling so we can recognize it and also recognize when we are creating an experience that has us feel separate from it.
Looking toward the formless essence of who we all are is what is needed to navigate this world of form with the most grace and joy available. Of course, there are plenty of times when my world feels messy and difficult, but knowing my experience of messy and difficult is subjective and transitory, helps me to remember that I am part of something greater, unchanging, and impersonal that is the mystery behind it all. I find looking in the direction of my/our spiritual nature decidedly practical and makes all things “form” more enjoyable and at worst more bearable. Hope you see and experience the practical side of your spiritual nature too.
Rohini Ross is excited to present The Soul-Centered Series in Santa Monica starting October 2018. She is passionate about helping people wake up to their true nature. She is a transformative coach and trainer, and author of Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1). She has an international coaching practice helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, watch her Vlogs with her husband, Angus Ross, and subscribe to her weekly blog on her website, rohiniross.com.