|Sent on:||Sunday, January 17, 2010 5:57 AM|
Being Still ��� Being Powerful
In the first of our series on ���power��� we defined power as the ability to influence future change.�� In the context of the world around us we see this kind of power taking various forms.�� Financial power, the power of money, can radically change anything from the number of objects in your home to the way a country may function.�� Political power has the ability to alter such laws that may influence the changing behaviours of millions.�� And scientific power has the capacity to change almost anything from our physical health to the ways in which we travel the world.�� However it has become clear that the use of all these, and other external manifestations of ���power���, are not quite in harmony with the natural world around us.�� Neither does their use always express our true nature as human beings nor carry the welfare of others at their heart.
Changing the people who are responsible for the ���application and use of power��� in these arenas also seems to make little difference.�� We have seen the most recent mistakes and machinations of those with financial power are not new.�� We know that the spin and obfuscation of those with political power are not exactly on the wane.�� And the games of ���vested interest��� being played by those with scientific power, especially in the context of health and technology, continue to surface in the public arena.�� Nothing new.�� And it���s not all bad.�� However, any and all misuses of power, in any and all contexts, usually have one thing in common, our old friend greed.�� Yet even greed is not to be condemned, for it is just a disease (dis-ease) of consciousness much like a disease of the body.�� And it can be cured.�� But it necessitates a deeper understanding and realisation of the origins of power, simply because all greed is driven by an ignorance about the true nature of power.�� It is an ignorance, as in ���unawareness���, about how ���real power��� really works.
In what is sometimes referred to as the ���manifest world��� or what we sometimes call the ���real world���, power creates change in the way things happen and in the way things are ���out there���.�� However if we define ���reality��� as that which never changes it means that which is always changing is at best a secondary reality, if not a kind of unreality.���� This is probably why down through the ages the spiritual understanding of power was quite different to our modern definitions.�� To the sages and saints, the spiritual masters and the gurus, real power is only found in the ���unmanifest world��� of spirit, of consciousness, of the self.�� In this reality ���real power��� is only known when absolutely nothing changes.��
Nothing changing within our consciousness is almost unimaginable.�� It even seems to be contrary to the very purpose of being, which is to change and keep changing, to think and keep thinking new thoughts, to feel and keep feeling new feelings, to emote and keep emoting, to process and keep processing.�� That���s exactly what consciousness seems to be designed to do.�� And it can, but not in such vast quantities and at such uncontrolled speeds at which so many of us now ���operate���.���� Only recently a study by the University of California calculated the speed of modern life as 2.3 words per second, or 100,000 words per day.�� This they say is the verbiage bombarding the average person in the 12 hours they are awake and ���consuming���.�� Although we may not actively read 100,000 words a day that is the approximate number reaching our eyes and ears.�� Add images such as videos and computer games, and apparently we are faced with 34 gigabytes of information each day ��� enough to overload the typical laptop in a week!��
Some say that both the increased speed and quantity of change within the expanding processing capacity of our consciousness is a sign of progress, a kind of evolution of consciousness, an expansion of our capability, an ascension to greater heights of complexity.�� While others say it is a regression, a descent into mental and emotional mania, and a rabid addiction to change that drives us to seek more effective ways of self-stimulation.�� The data deluge of the 21st century seems to have made us dependent on information streams that require almost infinite and unending processing power within human consciousness.���� Whichever side of that fence you choose to sit you can���t escape the reality that when consciousness is at its most powerful it is not ���whirring��� away like computer circuitry, it is absolutely still.�� It is just that this reality, this inner state, is so seldom ���insperienced��� as it���s not something many of us learn to practice
If you keep a car engine going at highest revs and never switch it off it won���t be too long before mechanical exhaustion will set in.�� While comparisons between engines and consciousness are misleading beyond the simplest analogy, we all know that when we ���think��� too much we simply confuse and tire our self.�� If we ���emote��� too much we either drain our energy or become addicted to the emotions, usually both.�� If we ���remember��� too much we lose focus and find it hard to live in the present.�� If we ���worry��� at all we generate fear and that is what stress is within the unmanifest world of consciousness.�� All these movements in consciousness, all these changes within the self, are what diminishes our power.���� We all know this to be true from our own experience.
In other words the winds of change always seem to be blowing through our consciousness as our thoughts and feelings, speculations and imaginations keep changing.�� And more often than not we seem to feel powerless to control any of them.�� The evidence of the increase in the number of people who seem to lose their power to incessant mental and emotional activity lies in both the rising number and younger age of those who experience some form of burnout.��
Power then, at the level of consciousness, is not creating more change, it���s not even about changing the direction of the inner winds of our thoughts and feelings.�� It���s the ability to STOP all change, the capability to be still at will.�� It is the ability to silence the noise of thoughts, emotions, memories etc.�� It���s the capability to STOP DOING and simply BE.�� Even if only for a few moments.�� And only a few moments is probably all we can expect to begin with, after a lifetime of incessant mental and emotional activity.
But the idea of stopping thinking, of ending feelings, stilling all emotion seems���frightening to many.�� The idea of clearing the mind and emptying the mental and emotional inner space seems counter productive to the very purpose of life.�� Won���t I lose my self in nothingness?�� Won���t the practice of stopping thoughts paralyse my ability to respond effectively to the world?�� Will I not be like a doormat in the face of other���s demands?�� What will happen to me in the void?
In fact the opposite happens.�� The practice of being quiet begins to reveal how often and in how many ways we already lose our self in our thoughts, in images, in memories, within our minds.�� It���s because we believe we ���need��� to be thinking things through, because we learn we ���should��� always be feeling something, that we don���t realise this is what is taking and draining our energy thereby diminishing our peacefulness and clouding our clarity.��
By all accounts being still, being silent, being quietness itself, is not an abdication of life, it is a restoration of power in our life.�� It is not an avoidance of living; it is a restoring of the wholeness of the self that was previously attempting to fragment its self with all that mental and emotional activity.�� It is through this wholeness that the power of life itself is attempting to pour outwards into the world.�� Our life energy cannot emerge from our being if we are busy jumping hear and there in a jungle of thoughts and emotions, attachments and speculations.�� Being utterly tranquil as we meet whoever and whatever comes to us allows us to see with greater clarity exactly what it is that life is asking of us.�� It allows us to create with greater care and accuracy the most appropriate response.�� And ���create��� is what we are here to do.�� It is what we are designed to do.�� It is the primary impulse of all life.�� Both our day and our life are part of the ���creative process��� that living is.�� But the quality of our creativity, the power of our creative capacity, is diminished by mental and emotional chaos, by incessant change, change, change within our consciousness.
Imagine you have decided to build a Do It Yourself extension to your home.�� You realise when you lift some bricks and bags of cement that you simply don���t have the physical strength to do such tasks.�� So either you give up, get help or go to the gym and build your physical muscles.�� Similarly, when you recognise you are thinking too much, thinking too negatively, and that you seem to have no control over your thoughts and feelings, it means your consciousness is weak.�� So you have choices.�� Well perhaps you have choices.�� You obviously can���t get anyone else to do your thinking and feeling for you.�� And you can���t just give up as that would be a form of suicide.�� So you acknowledge you have to build the power of your consciousness so that your mental muscles have some real strength.�� Only now you don���t ���go out��� somewhere to build your inner strength, you ���go in���.��
And the first exercise in the gymnasium of your consciousness is to end all negative and stressful thoughts.�� Not in a battle against them, that only makes them stronger.�� Not in a struggle to suppress them, that only makes them spring back with greater frequency.�� But simply by learning to observe them.�� To observe them is to ���pull away��� from your thoughts and emotions, and that is what denies them the energy to live!�� Without that energy they fade and dissolve.�� And as they die it���s not that you die, in fact you become much more aware of YOU, the self-aware self, the still and silent always present self.�� The one who is the true source of power ���here��� within consciousness?�� And when thoughts and feelings become still, just as when a lake becomes still, you can see into its depths. In stillness there is an end to thinking and the beginning of ���seeing��� into the depths of you.�� Only then can you call on the power of your wisdom, the power of your loving heart, the power of your truth, to create the way you will live your life.�� Only then can you empower the quality of your ���liveliness��� as you co-create with others
In the quiet depths of every being there is a wisdom that waits to shape and guide you in your life.�� In the silent, unchanging heart of every being there is the power to face and embrace any and every event that may come.�� In the still and unmoving depths of the spirit that is the self there is an eternal, unchanging, undying state, without which there would be no such thing as life and living, being and doing, creating and co-creating.
Rediscovering this, your inner power, begins with restoring peace to your mind and memories.�� The kind of peace where nothing moves, no thing changes, in the universe of your consciousness.
Question:�� Why do you think you have come to allow your self to get caught in so many mental and emotion games within your consciousness?
Reflection:�� Only when nothing changes within your consciousness, within your being can you know ���real power���.
Action:�� Practice being quiet and still in the most unlikely situations during this coming week.
This the final of the series of the recent CTs on Power
1�� Re-Empowering Your Self
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