Just as our bodies grow healthy or not, according to what we take into our mouths, so too do we grow into wisdom, strength, or grace according to what we attend to with our mind.
Our thoughts, like all energetic life forms, attract to themselves natures like themselves. The thoughts of a fellow not only flock together, but seek and are sought out by similar invisible creatures. The implications of this discovery all point to one imperative: Our first action, our first choice in life -- regardless of the circumstances life has put us in -- must be to come awake within ourselves. We must work to be conscious of the nature of whatever thoughts and feelings are running through us... and for good reason. Here is why such self-watchfulness is so vital to our spiritual well-being.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, our prevailing sense of self is largely determined by the nature of our invisible interior relationship with these widely varying mental and emotional states. For upon whatever our attention is given, it is there that we stand inwardly, and whatever the actual nature of this ground may be -- for the strength or shakiness of it -- we share in that level of life.
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. To the unconscious observer, it may seem his condition of contentment is an effect of a cause outside of himself, but the truth is, our experience of this deeper serenity is a derivative of our awareness and where we hold it; in other words, our attention. In essence, our awareness of any presence is that presence we are aware of. Those forms we behold with our eyes - such as shimmering light upon a golden lake - merely manifest this tranquil presence we experience. In this instance, through our awareness of the lake, we are effectively "practicing" the presence of these 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.
It is given to us to choose whether we dwell within the temporary or the permanent -- whether we run with the stream that pours itself into the desert and disappears, or actively abide within the ocean that feeds all such passing pools. We are empowered to choose whether to give ourselves over to what hurts us, or to what heals us. In short, 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.