As you read this page other individuals are networking at Internet cafes. Some are jogging through a park where homeless persons lie asleep under the sheltering generosity of a tree. Parents are driving their children to school; others remain at home searching through classified ads. While our outer activities vary, the same questions press against the heart: ‘How can I have a sense of well- being when life as I know it is dissolving right in front of me? How can I find happiness in such an unpredictable world? Where, oh where, can I find some peace of mind? Is there any solid ground on which to stand?’
Despite seeming obstacles and detours, an inner impulse urges you on, as though you are following a reliable map to that place which holds the answers to these courageous and profound questions. A place that ultimately reveals that because the answer is within you, the answer is You! Your relationship with yourself is so multi-layered that it requires a wholehearted commitment to cut through to the core of your being, to the transcendental Self that you are. Some call this the Higher Self, made in the image and likeness of godliness.
Empowered to transcend
The image and likeness of Spirit is both within and beyond its creation. This faculty is also an aspect of our birthright. We are both imminent and transcendent beings: imminent in the world of matter as evidenced through our physical senses, emotions, and thoughts, and transcendent as the non-material Self that simply witnesses. We are empowered to transcend our human characteristics, thus reflecting the image and likeness of the Spirit in which we are made. When we consciously make use of this powerful faculty we become fully franchised co-creators of our individual and collective human destiny.
Whatever actions you perform, whatever thoughts you think, whatever emotions you feel, the You of you is the impersonal, nonattached Witness of them. Any habitual behaviour pattern, personality trait or neurosis that you release from your life is possible because it is not an aspect of your true nature. Only what is Real cannot fall away from you because it is you. Just as the Spirit remains changeless, so does your Higher Self remain changeless, a constant amidst the vicissitudes of your life experiences. The You of you is a formless, changeless Reality.
We have a body but we are not the body. We have a mind, but we are not the mind. Body and mind are vehicles through which the Self expresses. Each of us is That which is conscious of having a body and mind. As we abide more and more in our true Self we become empowered to make wisdom-guided choices. Choice is a function of awareness.
When we choose to evolve our mindsets and heart-sets then self-empowerment, love, abundance, joy, freed – all that seems just beyond our grasp or that seems to slip between our fingers – are tapped from within and released into our experience. We do not exist to aggressively get; we are here to tenderly let that which is within us to harmoniously flow into our outer life.
Will you give your consent to making a deeper commitment to discover That which has been implanted within you, That which awaits the ripe conditions to leap into full expression as you? This is a courageous and vital commitment, because when the proper conditions are met, who you are fully expresses beyond the ego’s to-do list and purposes designed for its glorification. When you wake up it no longer matters who your parents are, how many who’s who volumes you appear in, if you’ve been born into abject poverty or if you are physically challenged. All of that pales into comparison to the emergence of the Perfect Idea that is latent within you.
To make this more visceral, let’s say that right now you have in your pocket a rosebush seed that you’ve forgotten about. Then one day while doing your laundry it falls out of your pocket onto the floor. Out of curiosity you plant it in a small container. After it grows roots and sprouts, you transplant it into your garden. With the proper conditions of sunlight, water, and plant food, what started out as a tiny seed, then a sprout, matures into a rosebush with exquisite blossoms. Obviously, within that seed the perfect pattern of a rosebush existed all along.
A seed of enlightenment
Within all beings there is also a seed of enlightenment, a perfect pattern of self-realization awaiting the proper conditions to emerge. Ralph Waldo Emerson, when describing the nature of the human being, was fond of using the word endogenous. ‘Man is that noble endogenous plant,’ he would say, ‘which grows, like the palm, from within outward.’ Endogenous means ‘originating internally.’ (It is the opposite of exogenous, which means ‘originating externally.’) As human beings, we cultivate our consciousness from within and project it outwardly into the world of effects.
Everything about us – how we pick up a pen, how we drive, how we eat, how we maintain our environment, our posture, clothing, voice – is an outer reflection, and advertisement of our inner state of consciousness. This means that as an endogenous being you forge your own identity and destiny. Time comes to you in the form of experiences, as opportunities to make new choices and thus burn old seeds of karmic tendencies in the bonfire of self-actualization. It’s up to you, and only you, because you are the answer to the question of when you will wake up to your true nature.
From The Answer is You, © 2011 by Michael Bernard Beckwith, published by Agape.