“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
The first time I went to La Conner, WA on a four day intensive with Linda Pransky, I had an insight that hit me like a ton of bricks. When I arrived, I believed the way for me to have a deeper experience and connection with my true Self was to fix every belief in my thought system that was distorted. I thought the path to God was to get rid of all my human frailties by eradicating misunderstandings in my consciousness.
I knew that insecurity came from my distorted thoughts. Therefore, I believed I needed to not have insecure thinking. When I became successful in eradicating my misunderstandings and limited thinking, I thought I would finally experience my true nature. I wanted that. I yearned for that. However, what I understood after the intensive was trying to get rid of, and clean up, all of the misunderstandings in my thinking was a fool’s errand. It was an impossible task that would never end, and the never-ending quality of it was making me miserable.
I recognized I could stop trying to fix myself and be okay with my imperfections and human frailty.
This felt like such a relief! I felt so much better from simply not focusing on and trying to change the distortions in my thinking. I immediately experienced more peace and equanimity when I wasn’t thinking about myself and was less self-absorbed.
This left me with the question, “How do I have more of the experience of peace and equanimity?” I could see when I identified less with my negative thinking, I felt better. What I didn’t realize was, I had simply switched my allegiance. Rather than identifying with my negative thinking, I was now stuck on my positive thinking. I was creating pressure for myself by trying to maintain positive thoughts.
I thought I was looking in the direction of not identifying with my thoughts, but really I was still glued to them. I kept myself stuck by looking for the answer to the question of, “How do I get outside of the limitations of my thought system?” This, of course, was simply another fool’s errand. I was basically asking myself, “How do I think my way out of my thought system?” This is an oxymoron if ever I heard one, and left me feeling like quite the moron when I saw it.
What I see now after attending the latest Pransky and Associates Professional Training is that the human experience is to go in and out of our thought system. That is a dance that is part of the natural design. As Teilhard de Chardin says, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” From this, I understand it is normal, innate, and effortless to dance between our form and formless nature. The challenge, however, is that my ego wants to know the formless, to experience it, and it can’t.
The very nature of being outside of my thought system means that I can’t be aware of it. As soon as I have awareness, I am back in the world of form. To intellectually know my true Self – my formless nature – is impossible, and that is what I have been trying to do! I have been expending energy, yet again, in the direction of the impossible. It felt subtler this time, but was exhausting nonetheless.
I have been thinking that my peak experiences of bliss, peace, and equanimity are me knowing my formless nature — the truth of who I AM, and I have been seeking more of that. However, they are simply experiences in the world of form made up from the same stuff of all of my experiences including despair and distress. They result from thought!
I may have a preference for one experience over another, but they are all the effect of my thinking. I might like the flavor of strawberry water over lemon water, but the medium for the flavor is still water. I may prefer the experience of bliss to the experience of sadness, but the medium of delivery is the same – thought. My experiences are all the result of thought, and thought is part the world of form. Thought is an expression of the formless energy coming into form.
Understanding this is freeing. I can see that I don’t need to chase after or resist any experience when they all come from the same thing. I can’t do anything to know my formless nature because it is formless so I can stop trying.
However, just because it is impossible to know my Authentic Self intellectually, doesn’t mean it is not there. The dance between formless and form is innate even if I can only see the form. I cannot think myself into the dance, nor can I think myself out of the dance. It is beyond my personal thinking. It is beyond me, knowing that is what allows me to let go.
I don’t need to fix my self, my experience, or my thinking. My thought system with all its misunderstandings is self-healing. I get the insights I need from the formless intelligence behind life. Fresh thought that allows me to see more clearly arrives when it does. I don’t control it, nor do I need to. The intelligence that knows how to grow a baby, how to heal a cut, and how to grow an acorn into an oak tree, is the same formless essence that provides me with wisdom.
The intelligence behind life is for me. It guides the unfolding of my highest potential. I don’t need to figure that out, or even know what my highest potential looks like. I can rest in the present moment, being with what is, grateful for whatever level of consciousness I have, knowing that it is not on me to change or manage my thoughts so I have a different experience. The miracle is never in the content of my thinking, it is in the capacity I have, as we all do, to create my experience moment to moment via thought from the sacred to the profane. In that I can trust.