By Frank M. Wanderer Ph.D
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
On the ordinary days of our life, you work, educate your children, have some fun, build and sustain connections with others, that is, you live an ordinary life. The question is, whether you are mindful during all these things, or you just perform these activities mechanically, automatically.
What is the evidence for me that you are not mindful? First, that you are not present. To be present means that you are fully alert, attentive, and conscious in the present moment. Whatever you do, you do that fully consciously, you focus your entire attention on that particular activity. Or, do you feel free to declare that you are present in every moment of your life?
You are careless most of the time, as a large segment of your attention is bound by dealing with events of your thoughts, events of past and plans for future and your own self. Psychological time therefore displaces the moment of the present, or subordinates it to past or future.
You therefore perform the overwhelming majority of your daily activities mechanically. Your attention only becomes more intensive when you meet someone or deal with something who or that you find interesting, or useful in some way. Or the opposite: the person or thing may do harm to you in some way.
If you are mindful, only the Here and Now exist for you. This state of consciousness is often characterized by deep silence and tranquility.
You could ask, how could you access this state of consciousness? I would answer you, that in your life you have already lived through this mind state, more than once.
On the grey veil of ordinary consciousness, there are gaps every now and then, and the bright light of the Consciousness shines through the gaps. The gaps are too small for you to get through, but have a glimpse to the reality behind the wall. Such moments are rare in the life of a man, but they are still there for all those who pay attention and want to see them. The toys of your daily life, however, occupy all your attention so much that you do not even notice the opportunity that opens up for you, your attention slips away from the Miracle.
When you submerge in your ordinary consciousness, your attention keeps wandering from past to future. The moments of insight are, however, only available in the Present, only if you leave behind the psychological time, the memories of the past and the expectations of the future all vanish, and you are able to focus your attention to the Miracle that unfolds in front of your eyes in the Present.
It has happened to you that you came under the spell of a moment some time during your life. A beautiful landscape, a sunset, a beautiful piece of art, the rhythm of music enchanted you. It may even happen that you are just lost in the silence of a peaceful moment.
The common feature of these moments is the mind stops working, the reckless stream of thoughts is suspended. Ego disappears, the telling of personal history stops, and the line of your accustomed identity is broken. Only the spell of the moment, the mysterious shine of the Consciousness remains.
Why is this moment so enchanting, what is its secret? The secret is that when thoughts disappear, so do your problems and conflicts, and you almost forget about all your sufferings. You virtually step out of the psychological time frame, you stop mulling over injuries of the past, and do not build your identity for the future.
You are mindful, only the present moment exists for you. Your soul is permeated by the quiet of the Consciousness and the Joy of the Existence. The world is alive, pulsating around you, and you are amazed to realize, how wonderful it is to be alive. You believe that you are only alive now.
Both past and future are far away from you, only the present moment matters. As if a heavy curtain would have been drawn away in front of your eyes; now everything is more vivid and brighter around you. You feel that you are alive, and it is good to be alive. The Miracle almost completely fills your soul. Why could not it stay that way for ever?
Unfortunately, these moments do not last long, because the mind starts working again very soon, and begins to control the moment by categorizing it and giving it a name. ”Ah, yes, how beautiful is this sunset” and the tumbleweed of thinking starts tumbling again:”It reminds me of last summer, when…”.
Your alert attention will then turn away from the Miracle, back to the mind, and your ordinary identity is rebuilt in a matter of a few second. You return to the psychological time and, embedded into it, you experience your problems and sufferings again. The memory of the moments of spell is just a transient impression, the unconscious feeling that some miraculous thing happened to you, but you unfortunately missed a chance. Indeed, you missed the chance of entering through the gate opening in the magic moment and finding your real Self there.
Can you do something in order not to let this happen anymore? What is able to put an end to that Vicious Circle?
You are only able to escape if you are able to proceed beyond the mind, if you terminate your unconscious identification with it, so you are able get out of the vicious circle. In that case you are able to observe the functions of the mind and realize that you are by no means identical with your mind and its functions. You are identical with the pure space, the Consciousness, in which the functions of the mind take place.
If you are able to leave behind all the scenarios of your identity built up by the mind, even that of the Spiritual Seeker, you may experience that this Consciousness is really you. You are the pure space of the Consciousness, the existence, which is your real Self.
Your real Self is beyond every thought, every social program instilled into you. This Miracle cannot be described by thoughts, it is only possible to experience it by direct experience.
But not even the word ”to experience” expresses the essence of the process very well, as experiencing is just a thought, too. This experience is the experience of the awakening Consciousness, and words are only able to point at it like fingers, but are unable to express its essence.
The Miracle may perhaps be best described in words in the following way: You will be united with the Consciousness living in you, and you will recognize the forms and shapes appearing in the space of the Consciousness as part of that Singularity.
Previous articles by Frank M. Wanderer:
- The Secret Of Silence
- The Effortless Presence – Active Meditation vs. True Meditation
- The Unconscious Conditionings of the Mind
- Identity and The Online Personality
- Are You Awake? The Dimensions Of Alertness
- De-Conditioning the Conditioned Mind
- How is Your Emotional Pain-Body? Take the Pain-Body Quiz
About the author:
Frank M. Wanderer Ph.D is a professor of psychology, a consciousness researcher and writer, and publisher of several books on consciousness. With a lifelong interest in the mystery of human existence and the work of the human mind, Frank’s work is to help others wake up from identification with our personal history and the illusory world of the forms and shapes, and to find our identity in what he calls “the Miracle”, the mystery of the Consciousness.
You can also follow his blog at powerofconsciousness.blogspot.hu.
Top image: seascape by JustinGaffrey.com