Society. We forget that we are a part of it. It’s not an invisible collective separate from ourselves. It’s us. So it makes sense that we can, as individuals, assist in moulding this conception of society into something that we believe in.
The innate problem though, for the individuals who have chosen to delve beyond the depths of unconscious living, is the knowing that a sizable fragment of society does not think or feel in the same way. This can lead to a feeling of being unaccepted by the world at large, a feeling of separateness and struggle. It can be challenging to trust in a truth and reality that is largely unseen and unable to be proven within our current constructs of how the world works.
So how can we help unravel the rigid seams of our society, without turning life into a battle of them against us? How can we maintain integrity and continue to open ourselves to the world, instead of continuously isolating ourselves or trying to prove our worth against a perpetual tide of societal disapproval?
Well, we can forcefully plead for others to change before we feel safe to give credence to our perspectives. Or, we can gently disentangle the threads of existence by repeatedly becoming stronger in our internal perceptions of truth. We are used to working ceaselessly to change the external to bring us evidence of our truth. But what if we instead began with the internal and worked our way out, becoming committed to a way of being that starts with a tender commitment to accessing our inner wisdom.
Socrates suggested ‘Let him that would move the world, first move himself’, imploring us to challenge the societal status quo through our internal journeys towards self-understanding. Here are five simple ways that we can maintain and grow our inner selves, even amidst the challenges of the external world.
Maintain faith in something greater than ourselves
We often have an innate understanding that there is more to the world than meets the eye. While the encompassing rationality of our modern world can undermine this view, there nevertheless exists a subtle and intrinsic knowledge of the interconnected and limitless nature of life beyond the rational and scientific mind. On the one hand, we exist as matter within the three-dimensional world that we are familiar with. However, we are also connected to the quantum realm, an unseen reality where everything is intricately connected. If we expand our perspective to look at the universe as one living, breathing organism, we can observe that the many different elements (including each individual human) make up the one whole- much like the cells in our bodies make up the whole human.
To remember this, even in the face of a comparative society that teaches us to strive towards competing with others in order to successfully live in the world, is an act of exquisite grace.
One of the most challenging parts of life is letting go of the need to control every aspect of our outer world. Seeking to let go in every moment, paves the way for fresh experiences that hold no residual energies from the past. It can be easy within our modern world to let the demands of the conditioned ego insist that we hold on to things that only serve to lead us further from our innate natures. Although painful, the expectations and fixed ‘shoulds’ of life, are able to freely abscond when we take the time to consciously release the iron grip we often have on Life.
Having a belief in something larger than ourselves serves as a benevolent friend to letting go- if we feel supported by the interwoven energies of the cosmos, we find it easier to let go of things not meant for us.
Accept the present moment
A reverence for what exists in the current moment, exactly as it is, is the sacred locus that allows our tension and resistance towards Life to dissipate. The inability to accept each moment in its totality is what causes us inexhaustible levels of pain. Revelling in every experience, regardless of how we might initially judge it, offers a mystical beauty of unfoldment, making life a dance, rather than a relentless grind.
If we understand at a core level, the inability of external desires to appease our true nature, we can recognise that each moment is the perfect one, requiring no future projection or past ruminations in order for it to exist in wholeness. Eckhart Tolle asserts the perfection of each of our experiences, asking us ‘How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having in the moment.’
We have been taught as a society to hone our intellect, basing decisions and understandings on the rational mind. This often means our natural intuitive abilities are deeply under-utilised. Scientific researchhas now shown that the heart contains its own intrinsic nervous system that neuro cardiologist Dr. J. Andrew Armour termed the ‘heart brain’. The heart actually operates as a key avenue of communication, sending signals to the brain and the rest of the body to help us make decisions and perceive the world around us with greater coherence and harmony.
Listening to the heart is akin to following your intuition and it has been shown that the way to develop this ability is to be consistently aware of the messages that the heart is trying to send you. Appreciating the heart’s guidance and regularly tuning into this more subtle intelligence, helps to expand intuition and live a life that is in true resonance with the harmonising energies of the universe.
David Deida, author of Blue Truth,suggests that ‘what you want is who you are,’ imploring us to ‘Open as you are without hesitation.’ Who we are in each moment, regardless of perceived imperfections, is in actuality, the sublime expression of the universe. While our conditioning teaches us to close when we feel uncomfortable within an experience, there also exists a less traversed path of receptivity that we can follow if we choose.
Remaining open can happen in the midst of pain, sadness or sickness, even though it is much harder to do it within these circumstances. But the pay-off is a strengthened connection and reverence for Life in its many expressions. In this way, we can exist in the world but not of it; while physically present in the world, we can also reconcile the concurrent understanding that one’s true nature rests beyond the physical constraints of what is perceived to be the real world. There is unremitting opportunity to open to every experience and while choosing to close may feel like protection, repeated closure can diminish the connection to the heart and the intertwining energies that make up the universe.
Conscious experience is what strengthens our ability to create change.
Intangible truths of existence cannot be explained or understood without experience and the conscious revelations that experience offers us. By seeking to experience what at first seems physically imperceptible, we can come closer to knowing the often elusive, yet true nature of our being. And as a result of this, we can begin to share ourselves more wholly with others, consequently altering the very reality of the society that we exist in.