In full awareness
You’ve probably experienced the following: you’re on vacation and in a city or village, you visit a church or chapel as a moment of rest. You’re enjoying yourself, feeling good and active. Or you might be a bit tired from all the walking and seeing so many new things. So, you seek a cool refuge.
As soon as we step into the relatively quiet and cool space, we too internally quieten down a bit. Our gaze widens, going upwards, around us, feeling more intensely, and we perceive ourselves in a space that invites us to speak softly, move calmly, see more clearly. As a result, we feel our presence in this space much more ‘sensitively’ than we did outside. Our senses are more alert, and there’s a certain self-recollection because we’re aware of ourselves within a larger stature (which, of course, was the original intention of the church builders). Silent icons or statues can further enhance this quiet, sensitive awareness.
What causes us to naturally come to ourselves in such spaces? What reminds us of ourselves?
It’s the Sattvic atmosphere in this space, the silence of Consciousness. For most people, it’s strong enough to resonate with. Because our mind resonates and thus adapts to the surrounding energy. Similarly, in a noisy and chaotic energy, we adopt it internally if we’re unaware of it.
Now the question is: why, when entering a supermarket or a station, do we settle for a much lower mental state? Why do we let our minds resonate with the motions there? Why settle for the limited awareness that results from it? Why not have our sensing awareness fully open in every situation? Is there really a good reason to restrict this open awareness? Is there a single reason why we couldn’t always face our world in self-remembrance, other than due to a drowsy resonance?
Yes. There’s one reason: sleep… This causes us to shut down.
Our minds resonate when we’re closed off with noisy and chaotic energy, as we inherently adopt unrest when we’re in a waking sleep. When we enter a noisy carnival, things inside us get a bit chaotic, and we can internally be swept up in the noisy, chaotic atmosphere.
Supermarkets appeal to a different kind of identification: buy-buy-buy – and quickly at that. The station is perhaps busy-busy-busy, full of ‘waiting’ – a mental state where we actually go on stand-by – leading to inner dullness, boredom, and daydreaming. In such situations, we’re only partially present. Mentally and emotionally, a large part of us is absent.
Extraordinary situations, like the aforementioned visit to a chapel, naturally awaken us. It provides a brief oasis experience amidst the daily hustle; a short moment of awakening that takes us out of our mechanical routine. A resonance with a much finer energy.
But we don’t really need such exceptional situations. What’s necessary is self-remembrance, because then we naturally open up. And then, a sense of unity is just there by default! An experience of ‘unity and consciousness of myself in the world’. Autonomously, fully present, and thus internally ‘in charge’. What a difference it makes to shop or wait for a train in this state!