A pure white light of consciousness hits the prism of self and splits outward to become the universe as we experience it. If the prism of self is gray and murky with ignorance, choked with fear, contaminated with ego, then so becomes the universe that radiates out from it. It’s that simple. As the prism becomes free of such flaws, then the whole universe changes with it. It resolves into clarity, becomes brighter, more playful and magical. Because we are the lens through which it is projected, we are participants in its shape and motion; co-creators of our own universe.
– Jed McKenna
This quote (and many others like it) has had a prominent place in my awareness. If only I could clear the prism of self, I reasoned, the world would then appear differently. Maybe there would be no more wars, no more starvation, no more endless bickering about whose belief is right, and killing those who don’t share that belief. No more greed, no more torture, no more manipulation, etc. etc. I resolved to do whatever I could to clear this particular prism of any murkiness, so that the outer projection would more reflect the purity I intuitively feel is our true nature.
Recently, I was facilitated in the Unfindable Inquiry during a particularly difficult time. My mother had just had an operation on a broken hip, and the doctors hadn’t yet found the proper pain meds. She had to return to the hospital in excruciating pain. At the same time, I read about the upcoming war in Syria. These two events both brought up the same utterly helpless feeling, and with the help of a wonderful facilitator, I went looking for the one who felt helpless.
While looking inside, the helpless feeling was coming up most strongly around the situation with my mother. After some time looking for the one who felt helpless, and not being able to find him in any of the words, images or energies that arose, the facilitator had me look outside the body. It was at that point that the whole Syria situation came up, along with a flood of words and images, more than I could possibly keep track of. But the feeling was the same. The same helplessness was present and alive as I allowed myself to move right into the center of it, feel it fully, and notice as it eventually faded away.
Two things became apparent to me in that moment. One, there is no separation between inside and outside – those are just two concepts which really have no practical meaning; and two, if I truly want to be accountable for the projection of the world that I am experiencing, my role is to simply feel whatever there is to feel in any particular moment. That is where my accountability begins and ends, in being present, noticing whatever is coming up in my present experience, and allow whatever that is without wishing it was different and pushing it away.
I have used many methods over the years for not feeling so-called negative or difficult feelings, all of which spell resistance and contraction. This is what clouds over the prism of self, and not the fact that my mind doesn’t understand how this mechanism works. There is no end to what my mind doesn’t understand, and indeed can’t understand! If my particular projection of the world depended on what my mind understood, things would undoubtedly be even murkier that they already are.
This particular inquiry didn’t put an end to the out picturing in these two circumstances. It still took several days for my mother’s pain to abate enough for her to be released back to her care facility, and the drums of war in Syria continue to beat. I still feel helpless to do much about either, and I have strong feelings about both situations. However, having seen the so-called boundary between inner and outer vanish, and knowing that there is really no “I” here somehow being responsible for how the world looks, a sense of peace has assumed a more prominent place in my present state of consciousness.
There is a poetry in how we each are moving uniquely through this life, and how the words and images and sensations pass through our awareness like the wind. Noticing all of it, even my resistances, brings a freedom, and especially an authenticity, previously unknown to me in this life. Maybe one day I will have a deeper understanding of this prism thing, but for right now, I am grateful and appreciative for my particular out-picturing.
That’s Human Adulthood. Spiritual Enlightenment is just the same, except you take the final step in purifying the prism of self: you remove it.
– Jed McKenna