As paradoxical as it seems, our journey to reach the undiscovered territory within our own consciousness -- this distant High Country above and beyond thought whose Promised Land lies yet hidden within us -- begins with a strange and often shocking discovery: What needs to be escaped are the constraints of our own conditioned consciousness. In other words, the freedom we long for is from our present level of self that thinks the life it knows is the only life there is. We are, in effect, the unwilling captives of this level of self-consciousness, virtual prisoners of its unconscious conclusions. Our only hope of getting beyond its limiting influences is to outgrow it. This is why our search for freedom from our present level of self must include an expanded understanding of the entire cosmos that constitutes our individual physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual universes.
The new and higher self-knowledge that is required if we wish to transcend ourselves cannot be realized through a process of thought. The freedom we seek from ourselves is not an achievement of reconfigured ideas or any other refinement of our past experience, imagined or otherwise.
The true liberation of self comes to us in direct proportion to our awakening to a new and Higher Mind. This conscious level of Self dwells within a realm of understanding that no longer sees (or experiences) life along the habitual horizontal lines of time -- with its endless chain of recurring opposites -- but within the vertical dimensions of scale that intersect these lines of time and that contain them.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, our thoughts -- like all energetic life forms in scale -- attract to themselves natures like themselves. It is through the pervasive energies of varying mental and emotional states arriving and departing from us that we derive our sense of self. For example, when gazing upon the beauty of a golden sun setting upon still waters, the serenity we feel is born of our momentary relationship with this timeless quality of tranquility.
Through our awareness of the lake, we are effectively "practicing" the presence of the tranquil forces expressed there and are becalmed within by the bright waters. This principle of higher consciousness at work within us makes it possible to share in the nature of whatever presence we "practice" because our true, higher body is Consciousness itself. Our innermost nature is Awareness. We already are the realm above and beyond thought.
Our Real Self is a ceaseless, ever-changing and vital expression of eternal energies, even though this timeless nature remains veiled from us because of our present level of consciousness. But we need not remain unwilling captives of this lower cosmos. We may choose Higher. Our unrealized heritage is that we are entitled to choose what level of life in which we will live, and our as yet unrealized power is that we may share this same life through conscious self-awareness. Or, viewed the other way around, we may decide what presence we agree to allow within us. In either case, think what this grand discovery means to those of us who wish to be free.
We are empowered to choose whether to give ourselves over to what hurts us, or to what heals us. We may practice the presence of those states of being that are, in themselves, the source of our unconscious suffering, or we may work to practice, consciously, the presence of what is inherently filled with light -- those elevated states associated with the Divine.
The key here is that everything depends upon how willing we are to be aware of the relationship between where our attention is and what we are becoming in that moment as a result of its placement. The unattended mind, by the very nature of the low level of thoughts such a mind permits, dwells in one unseen relationship after another with whatever punishing presence permeates this unconscious accord. If we will do the inner work to be conscious of ourselves in the present moment -- to increase our awareness of all that moves within us in these times -- we make it possible to give ourselves the greatest gift of life there is. We will share the presence of what is true, light-filled, timeless and love-bestowing. We will reach the awakened life and enter our true home beyond the realm of thought.