Friday, June 13, 2008

Is it higher or deeper?

Spiritual teachers and personal growth advocates have a dizzying fondness for up and down metaphors. Some talk about digging down into your inner experience like a miner, or having profound insights, or feeling or knowing things deeply. Others talk about higher consciousness or transcending the mundane or having a mind like the sky. (I make the best of both worlds by using the two directions more or less interchangeably.) To some degree, the difference lies in the personal preferences of the particular writer or teacher. But it can also refer to an attitude toward inner experience: If you believe that the wellspring of being lies deep inside you, beneath the personal, then you talk about down. If you believe that it exists in the upper echelons of your being or comes down like grace or spirit from above, then you talk about up. In my humble opinion, if you dive deep enough, you find yourself at the top of the mountain —and if you rise high enough, you find yourself at the bottom of the sea. In the end, it’s the same place anyway. Ultimately, in fact, pure being has no location — it’s everywhere in every one of us all the time.

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