Transforming from Separation to Unity

The conditioning of the fear-based consciousness and culture results in an ego consciousness of conflict and separation. This ego consciousness is encoded in the earliest years of life in the physical body through the energy and information of prior generations, the consciousness of the family system, and the overall culture.

Because of the nature of our early awareness of the world and our true being of relationship and connection, the mind cannot prevent the identification with sensory, emotional, and intellectual attachments that form the restricting ego consciousness of separation. As a result we forget our heart-based consciousness that is our true self of multidimensional unity. Because we are no longer aware of our unity consciousness, we develop a feeling of lack which the ego consciousness is a defensive adaptation.

The ego attempts to fill this feeling of something missing from the outside-in. Unfortunately, by its very nature the ego is doomed to continue to receive separation and disunity. To the awareness of the fear-based ego, it is caught in a paradox in which it cannot see.

When the ego tries to fill the negative feeling by seeking to cause relationships and material possessions to feel unity, it is actually reinforcing its feeling of separation. Its very efforts to try to control the outside world in order to feel connected is an expression of its fear and conflict. In order to awaken to our true unity, we need to enter the heart within. Our heart-based consciousness in Divine unity is our wholeness. From this awareness, we can intend, create, and allow relationships from a world in which we are already connected.

The blindness of the ego consciousness perceives the seeking of unity within as an isolation or alienation from the connection and unity we desire. In truth, when we seek unity from without, we experience separation from others, and when we open to our unity within, we experience unity with others. The difference is that the ego consciousness feels fearful, negative, and empty, whereas the true self heart-based consciousness feels peace, joy, and love.

We must experience our unity consciousness in order to be effective creators of our destiny in the world. If we continue to live from the ego consciousness that feels lack, then that is what we will see reflected in our world and reinforced in our awareness and feeling.

The transformative journey of transcending the ego consciousness to realize the heart-based consciousness and being is a process of awakening to our true self in Divine unity. Our true self works from wholeness and love to create abundance, further healing, and mutually self-giving relationships. The path of transforming is growing awareness through becoming aware of the thoughts, emotions, and actions of the ego. This awareness is cultivated through meditation, self-observation, and practice in the activities and relationships of daily life. As we awaken, remember, and shift to our unitary consciousness of the heart, we understand and experience that our desire and longing for real unity only arises from our awareness and feeling from within our consciousness and being.

Letting Go of the Fear-Based Ego Consciousness

Along the journey of healing and transformation, we reach a point where we become aware that our ego personality has been, and continues to be, an ever-present lens of our experience in the world. While we may have intellectually understood the fear-based ego or felt its restriction for some time, we now see through and feel the totality of its illusion.

Because we have identified with the false illusion of lack, the ego consciousness becomes a reality of experience in the physical dimension. Even though we came into this world open to our true being of the consciousness of the heart, we became conditioned by the current fear-based consciousness and culture. All of the fear, control, conflict, and separation that is experienced from the family and our cultural environment is downloaded into our consciousness.

Because our early childhood consciousness cannot disindentify with the outside conditioning, we forget who we are–a multidimensional being of wholeness. Within our true self of the heart-based consciousness there is no lack. Our experience is love, intention, and creativity. We live from the abundance of the inside in unity, peace, partnership, participation, and cooperation. We are fully connected to everything because there is nothing missing that must be filled up by controlling the outside world.

When we are ready to see the totality of the false consciousness of the ego, we have reached a point where we accept that the ego consciousness does not work in our life. This is a stage where our consciousness begins to come home to the heart. The true self in unity with Divine energy is embraced within the heart through the Spirit. The ego’s attachment to control by seeking approval, acceptance, and validation from others no longer satisfies.

During our life in the ego consciousness, many of the strategies of the ego have remained unconscious. Part of the false fear-based consciousness conditions us to be unaware of the ego’s misguided attempts to fill a perceived lack. At the core of the fear-based consciousness is a darkness of separation and isolation. It is the absence of unity, love, and creativity. The ego forms its most intense strategies to avoid the experience of this dark emptiness. Here, we find our greatest fears and addictive behaviors. If these defenses become fully uncontrolled, the experience of life can be debilitating. Therefore, another part of the ego is a defensive adaptation to the core fear-based wound. Here, the ego takes the underlying true desires of the heart and filters them through its need to fill its identity from the outside acceptance of others. Because we feel that we are expressing the true intentions of our heart, the ego’s ways of subtle attachment to approval are some of our deepest blindspots. The ego controls from all directions–on one side it controls through self-centered narcissism in pursuing one’s objectives, or on the other side it can control by being compliant to the ego needs of others.

When we can see that our ego consciousness is always in operation, even when it recedes to the background during moments of authentic love, we are ready to begin relinquishing its need. We now strongly desire to live from the heart-based consciousness all the time, not from just sporadic moments when our heart opens. The ego’s defenses no longer work for us. We understand them for what they are–a misguided attempt for love and acceptance. We recognize that the ways of the ego consciousness will not bring what we are looking for. Our true being of love, acceptance, and support has always been within our heart in unity with the Divine. From this awareness our heart is expressed through our mind and body, and through our intention and creativity into our experience of the world.

Once we understand the ego’s all encompassing ways of being in the world, we can let it go with compassion and love. If we are still fighting it and judging it for its negativity, we are still using it. When we see through the fullness of the fear and false self of the ego, our heart-based consciousness can now view its misguided attempts with compassion. As our conciousness transforms to love the whole self, the role of the ego will fade. The ego’s fear-based conflict of control and judgment is no longer necessary. It ways of struggling for love, acceptance, approval, and achievement are not needed–and most of all our use of the ego to struggle against itself dissolves. It is healed by the awakening of the heart-based consciousness of love, intention, and creativity. From the unity of the heart-based consciousness, we are free to intend and create in the love of our true being of infinite potential and connection.

Nonduality and Community of Being

The heart-based consciousness is nondual and nonlocal. This infinite and eternal consciousness is the perfect unity of being–no conflict or separation. The unity consciousness of the heart is our true self in Divine unity. In this awareness, we live our transcendent consciousness from the heart through the dimensions of mind, feeling, emotion, and physical body. Thus, we are an infinite unity expressing throughout a multiplicity of vibrations whithin the physical dimension and higher energy spiritual dimensions.

As we transform to our true mystical consciousness, we go beyond the fear-based consciousness of the ego personality which has been conditioned in lack, control, conflict, and separation. We open to an awareness where we are one with other human persons, all creation in the cosmos, and the uncreated Divine energy.

At this depth and height of nondual awareness, do we maintain a unique experience and expression of being? Some say that the awareness of self drops away entirely in the nondual consciousness of pure being. I believe that the ego and any human conception of self is transcended. In the Christian mystical tradition, these stages of consciousness begin to be expressed in Teresa of Avila’s seventh interior castle of spiritual marriage, John of the Cross’ highest stages of mystical unity, and Meister Eckhart’s breakthrough to the Godhead. The mystic way of being of Eckhart, John Tauler, and John Ruysbroek relate to the understanding and experience of nonduality in the Hindu and Buddhist mystic way.

In order to restore and transform to our true being of infinite unity, we need to live in the nondual and nonlocal consciousness of the heart. However, the ultimate reality of the true self in Divine unity is not an experience of no-self–it is a radical change of condition of self. Swami Abhishiktananda, in his book Saccidananda: A Christian Approach to Advaitic Experience, points toward this complete change of condition of the self. When one truly lets go and opens to the nondual experience, we are on the path to entering the true relational community of being.

Within nondual unity, there is no separation with Divine Being, and the being of others. However, in pure nonseparation, being and consciousness is revealed as participation and community in being. When all human known concepts of ego and self are relinquished, the pure mutually self-giving “I” is a “We.” But in this “we,” which is nondual unity, a new experience of unique self (“I”) is revealed. In the advaita Vedanta of the Hindu tradition, this “I” is experienced as being, consciousness, and bliss. Christ reveals the Divine Being as Father, Son, and Spirit. This awareness is that the oneness of being is relational–infinite unity is the coessence of unique gift. This is the unitary consciousness of the heart that is love and creativity. The true self is a unity, identity, and communion in Divine Being. Consciousness and being is a unique relation in identity.

The higher stages of mystical consciousness can be understood as 1. spiritual marriage of union, 2. nonduality in identity, and 3. community in Being. This last stage of identity in participatory community is a dynamic restful action beyond time and space of the mutual self-giving of love and creativity–it is a nonlocal infinite and eternal participatory exchange of the dynamic energy and light of the never ending Being of love.

Human Support Beyond Ego

In our ordinary fear-based consciousness, there is a persistent conflict, control, and separation in human relationships. Even when we cooperate in personal, business, and social relationships, there is always some level of self-centered interest as long as we remain in this dualistic consciousness.

The fear-based dualism becomes our ego personality that is drawn into and participates in a perpetual conflict to satisfy needs from a perception of lack. The reality of this consciousness is anxiety, fear, worry, inefficiency, inequality, and alienation. At present, human culture conditions a certain level of cooperation that agrees to maintain the fear-based ego consciousness of self, culture, and society.

Therefore, our relationships, participation, and cooperation are never fully supportive because of the self-centered interest of the ego personality. By transforming to a heart-based consciousness of unity, we open to a true participatory, cooperative, and partnership relationship. Within this consciousness, relationships are no longer under conflict, control, and separation. They experience peace, love, and creativity.

The unitary consciousness of the heart supports the other in a way that the others interest, goals, and desires are not separate from one’s own awareness. The self-giving affirming support of the other is the same as one’s personal self-interest. Here, the self does not take pride or attach to the gifts or accomplishments of the other, but rests in the joy of our inseparable connection with each other.

The mutual self-giving of the unitary consciousness of the heart is love. If we were to shift from a conciousness of conflict to the freedom of love, we could create infinite abundance for each other. Jesus says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Our own self-interest is served by being one with the self-interest of others. We all form a single nondual unity as a multiplicity of unique persons. When the Dalai Lama was asked what persons had inspired him, he responded by saying he is inspired by every human person he meets.

It is time that we learn from and support the gifts of all persons that we have the opportunity to connect with in our daily lives. As our consciousness is transformed, we must no longer allow the conditioning of fame, wealth, attention, and status to impede our openness to support and learn from the gifts of all our relationships. We communicate as a community of being with others through the senses, emotions, feeling, intellect, and nonlocality of the heart. Thus, we will realize our inseparable unity, participation, and communion with all human beings.

Living from our Creativity

The fear-based consciousness of our ordinary dualistic mind lives from the memory of the past. Because we are conditioned in a fear-based consciousness and culture that is the inertia of the knowledge of good and evil, the mind gravitates toward the negative. In this way, when we place our attention on a problem, we are continuing the mind’s focus on the past. Under a dualistic mind, we live from the past and thus fear the future.

The ego personality represents the dualistic mind and all the defenses and adaptations that we use to lessen the anxiety of fear and doubt. However, the ego only uses conflict to overcome conflict. The result is continuing conflict. How do we break outside of the fear-based cycle of conflict and separation? We must shift to a unitary heart-based consciousness. In the unity of the heart, our consciousness is transcendent. Only here do we go beyond past and future and into presence.

As human beings, we create from unity. From a consciousness beyond conflict, we have the freedom to allow change to emanate into our physical reality. Intention, creation and change always begins with the vision of the answer or solution. This vision is not reduced to a thought, feeling, or physical sense. Intention uses these processes, but from a transcendent consciousness that is nonlocal nondual, and centered in the heart.

This is the heart-based consciousness that is beyond time and space, and past and future. In this consciousness, the intention “is.” Therefore, there is no conflict, separation, or doubt. Here, we are living from creation. From the heart, our love and creativity is infinite in the Divine energy. Intention through a transcendent consciousness is a vision of the heart that sees persons healed, loving relationships, successful businesses, etc. Anything that furthers the loving abundance of humanity.

Quantum physics has understood the effect of the observer in the creation of experience and reality within our physical universe. This science says that the observer collapses the wave of infinite possibility into the particles of physical reality when we look. This looking is not seeing with the physical senses or the mind, but a transcendent seeing from the heart. When we look from this dimension, we allow the infinite intelligence of Divine action to collapse the wave into the physical dimension.

As we continue to let go of the ego’s need to control, our attention will be focused on our intentions within the transcendent consciousness of the heart. We will go about our activities in the unity of the present and not in the conflict of attaching to the duality of the past and future. We will allow the translation of the nondual intention to manifest in our physical universe according to the wisdom of its time and place. We will live from our creativity.

Transcendent Consciousness and Intention

Over the last several months, I have been drawn to write about the process of intention. Thoughts and intuitions have arisen from my meditation, study, spiritual experience, and work on a new book. I am finding that the understanding of our ability to intend, heal, and create takes place by learning the qualities of many parts that become a unified whole through practice.

In order to use our gift of intention, we must shift from our ordinary dualistic consciousness that separates subjects and objects in space and time to a unitary consciousness. Since we have all been conditioned by the limits of space and time, it is difficult for us to open to our unitary consciousness that is transcendent. Our transcendent dimension must be felt or experienced directly. There really is no “how to” manual to live from this consciousness. However, we can support its opening by practices such as meditation, the reading and study of mystical writings, and the scientific study of consciousness.

I refer to our unified self in transcendent consciousness as our heart-based consciousness. The awareness of our heart center can be described as the true self, mystic self, quantum self, or singularity, etc. Its essential quality is a being and awareness that is beyond space-time. The heart in the Spirit is nonlocal and nondual. Beyond space and time means that there is–no doubt, no attachment, no conflict, and no separation. Everything “already is.” There is only love. Jesus says, “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).

When we learn to live from the transcendence of the heart, our intentions will be accompanied by the feelings of joy, peace, and freedom. A non space-time dimension is without resistance and a past and future. It just is. If we transform our consciousness to open to the heart, what must we do to translate our intention into the physical dimension of time and space?

If we actively try to do something to bring a transcendent reality into the physical universe, we are not really in the heart dimension. We are still in the relative consciousness of our ordinary mind that operates in past and future. Therefore, when we are truly in the heart dimension with our intention, we must do nothing. Only the Divine action of grace transforms the intention into the physical dimension of time and space. The infinite organizing power of the Divine energy translates the nonlocal information and light into material frequencies of time and space events in our world.

God Within

Knowing that God is infinite and eternal beyond time and space, and that Divine Being, Divine energy, and Spirit is a transcendent ominpresence across all dimensions including our physical universe, why is it a challenge to find and experience the Divine which is everywhere?

Our ordinary consciousness is relative. Through the five physical senses and the rational mind, this consciousness separates subjects and objects. We are always measuring our experience and thoughts into parts using time and distance. While observing the relative nature of physical creation can assist us in understanding the system as a whole, it cannot lead us to unity.

Unity is not relative. Therefore, if we look for unity in relativity, we will always miss it. Thus, in a relative fear-based consciousness that continually separates, we miss omnipresence by looking, but not seeing, listening, but not hearing. Jesus points us to the way of living in the awareness and experience of God in saying, “the kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is! For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:20-21).

Therefore, in order to find God, we must transcend our ordinary relative conciousness. We can only do this by looking within. By entering our awareness within the heart, we open to a transcendent consciousness that is the unitary omnipresence of the Divine energy. It is our inward gate to multidimensions beyond space and time, but immanently present in our being in this physical dimension. The omnipresence of God within the heart is our experience and knowing of love. The outside relative consciousness cannot make the awareness or experience of love. Separation always misses the mark. Love is Divine and God is love, a unitary Being not separated into subjects and objects in a time and space manner.

The awareness of the trancendent is always within. There is nowhere to look or search. It just is. No separation into distance or duration. As we develop our consciousness of our true self in unity with God from within the heart, our transcendent heart-based consciousness works in harmony with our sensory and rational dimensions to experience Divine unity throughout the entire outside world. We must first find God inside in order to be aware of and to experience the Divine outside. Uniting with God is neither an inward retreat nor an outward escape. The movement of finding God within the heart is how we transcend the ordinary fear-based relative consciousness of resistance and conflict that separates us from infinite love and creativity. By living from the heart, we experience the presence of God throughout the physical universe–we are connected in human relationships and to nature through the unity of Divine energy.

Thus, we are called to see and experience the unity of the Divine in a transcendent consciousness as expressed within our embodied life in the world. By developing our spiritual senses that transcend time and space within the heart dimension of love, we open to a higher consciousness that operates with our physical senses and rational mind to experience the world in a new way. We no longer just look with our physical senses and conceptual minds to find an ominpresence that cannot be separated. From the heart, we now truly see the inseparable omnipresence both beyond and within time and space. The way to truth and love is within the heart. Jesus says that the kingdom of God is within. We go within to see without. When we trust in the truth that we only find love within our heart, the inside and the outside become one. Through the eyes and ears of the heart, God is everywhere.

Intention–Directed or Nondirected?

Human intention is a blend of directed and nondirected attention and action. It is often difficult to put into practice because our ordinary relative conciousness divides intention as either a human directed effort or a nondirected surrender to Divine action without human input. In addition, the ordinary fear-based consciousness cannot effectively intend because of unconscious negative emotions and thought patterns.

In truth, human intention is both directed and nondirected. In order to fully express our intention, our awareness must be united with our heart dimension in the Spirit. Intention is not of the ego personality, it is of the soul in the Spirit of Divine energy.

At the soul level, we move beyond fear and into a consciousness of love. Here, there is no opposition between directed human attention and Divine action. They both play a synchronous role in the creation that is intention. Human intention from the true self directs human desire and intention in love, and through nonattachment allows the Divine action to create the intention into the experience of reality. Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). Thus, intention is both a directed and a nondirected action from the consciousness of the true self in Divine unity.

A Spirituality of the Heart

The mystical way of transformation as a spirituality of the heart is the understanding of our true self as a unified spirit, soul, and body. The heart dimension is the center of our spiritual/psychological/physical unity. A shift to the heart is necessary if we are to move beyond the inertia of fear that has infected consciousness and culture.

I will briefly discuss how the heart-centered way of mystical transformation is found across many spiritual and scientific ways of human transformation. This is not intended to be comprehensive of all heart centered spirituality, but to be a short example of the breadth of this knowledge. My model of mystical anthropology and transformation focuses on the heart spirituality of Pseudo-Macarius, Symeon the New Theologian, and Gregory Palamas. These Eastern Christian mystics developed a way of opening to the transformation of our whole person within the heart.

I integrate this mystic way of the heart with the contributions of western mystics Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross. Again, we see the emphasis of living within the heart and soul dimension as the way to transform to our true self in divine union. In contemporary science, we find the important contribution of the Institute of HeartMath to understanding the higher heart dimension and its syncrony with the mind and brain. From this type of scientific approach, we gain perspective on how our true self of love and creativity in the heart expresses itself through mind and body.

In the heart centered spiritual tradition of Kasmir Saivism, we find some similarities with the spirituality of the heart of the Christian mystics. Thomas Matus, in his book “Yoga and the Jesus Prayer Tradition” correlates the experience and thought of tenth century mystics Symeon the New Theologian and Abhinavagupta. Paul E. Murphy in “Triadic Mysticism: The Mystical Theology of Saivism of Kasmir” also relates this non-dual tradition to several schools within the Western Christian tradition.

When we open to the heart, we will become more aware of the universal true self and the various expressions of heart centered mystical transformation that have been lived throughout many spiritual and scientific traditions. The heart is both the unifying center and highest dimension of the human person where our true self of spirit, soul, and body unites with transcendent divinity.

Observing, Feeling, and Detaching from Negative Emotions

Today’s insights into emotions and the transformative journey continue from the previous post, “Emotions and Healing.” With the understanding of the important place of the emotional life in opening to mystical transformation, we turn our attention to how this awareness of emotion can help us progressively shift to our heart dimension.

If we observe negative emotions, we will also be able to observe negative thoughts. The genuine awareness of emotion lets us either fully express the emotion in consciousness or diminish its power and necessity through detachment. By changing the circuitry of negative emotion that anchors our fear based ego self, we can more easily open to and remain in the heart through the Spirit. In the heart, beyond the fear and doubt of the mind, we are free to love and create in joy.

If we put our attention on observing and changing our thoughts first, it is more difficult to become aware of the underlying emotions that support negative conditioning. As we become more aware of the subtle changes and shifts in our emotional state throughout our day, it will become easier to recognize negative thoughts and self-talk.

The observation of emotions and thoughts becomes a way of life in the mystical journey. Supporting the effort of continual observation are daily meditative practices, ie. detachment from the contents of the mind (mindfulness meditation, centering prayer), both directed and non-directed prayer, and inner self practices such as Heart Math’s “Freeze Frame.” In the freeze frame practice, we learn to shift attention to our heart dimension as soon as we recognize a negative reaction.

As we begin to understand our emotional wounds, we open to the grace of healing our being from the negative inertia of fear. We will open to our true self by living from the heart in the infinite love and creativity of the Spirit. When operating from the fullness of the heart, we will put our mind, emotions, and body in the service of self-giving love and creative work.