by Michael Maciel
You’ve heard the story. The young fish asks the wise old fish, “What is water?” It’s meant to make us ask the same question: in what do we live, move, and have our being?”
The Bible tells us that it’s God.
But what is THAT?
Whatever it is, it is IN us and all around us. Even in the cells of our bodies. It sustains us at our deepest level of being.
Here’s a way to access the FEELING of this.
Imagine you’re staring into a giant eye, one like ours with an iris and a pupil, and you approach it, as though in a dream, and you go into the pupil until you are surrounded by its awareness, suffused by it until there is nothing left but that awareness.
No thought, no judgment, just pure awareness.
(I like to picture the Eye (I) behind me. I don’t move “into” it as much as I back into it.)
Until it becomes ALL THERE IS.
And like a wind (perhaps a hurricane?) it sweeps us clean. No thought, no beliefs, no identity. Just pure awareness.
The mind rebels. How can I function in such a place???
The answer is to function FROM that place, not in it. The world needs you. You have to be able to do what you do HERE.
But your spirit draws its beingness from there, not here. It’s like fuel. It’s like the place behind your forehead, the driver’s seat we all imagine ourselves to be in. Only IT is powering the car. All we do is tell it when to go, when to stop, and in which direction.
Since we can’t meditate while we drive, we have to “go into our closet” to do this. Alone. In a safe environment. No distractions. Completely surrendering to it. After a while, it replaces our sense of self. We begin to realize that what/who we are is way bigger than anything we can comprehend.
Like the ocean for the young fish.
The “self” is replaced with the Self. We begin to realize that we are at once insignificant and hugely significant, depending on whether we identify with an eye or the act of SEEING.
Reality is not a thing. Reality is a LIVING BEING. Reality is nothing if not alive.
Whatever the Self—the Eye (I)—looks at grows. It emerges into reality, becomes more real. It manifests. It drops out of the ideational into the physical. Mind becomes matter. It doesn’t create new matter, it just re-forms what’s already there. It pushes it in the direction of the idea that captures our attention.
But the idea always presents itself as a story. We are storytellers. Facts aren’t enough. They only have meaning within a story. That’s how we role…uh, roll.
The raw awareness of the Eye (I) gets translated into a story. That’s what we are—translators. Storytellers. We create stories out of the wholecloth of awareness. Awareness guided by attention.
Creative storytelling. That’s what we DO. What we ARE is pure awareness. And the best stories come from that place. They don’t get bogged down in the plot. Or the grammar. Or the names of the characters.
Stories come to life when the characters come alive. And a good writer knows when to listen to her characters.
They have a story, too.