As Beneath, So Above: The Power of Perspective
Please share if it resonates, although I may submit this one to Elephant Journal. I like my subscribers to get first crack at feedback sometimes. :)
I am convinced that there are no idle thoughts.
"As above, so below" has reference to the idea that that which we manifest here is first created in the ethereal. Put another way, all we see was created in thought, first. This implies that we have great power to construct our reality. We can do this creating from within our current realities, certainly, but to do so is often to create without the benefit of perspective. We end up using old answers for new challenges. The saying, "to the man with a hammer, every problem is a nail," comes to mind.
To find new tools, to create from outside the paradigm, it's incumbent upon us to cease identification with the paradigm.
What does it mean to identify with the paradigm? It means to take it seriously, to see it as “Reality.” When we choose to see the paradigm as the Rule, the Law, the Way Things Have To Be, we are choosing to take it seriously. We need to stop this.
Well, we might ask, is there not a reality?
Yes, here in the present there is a Reality (kind of… turns out it’s pretty malleable), but this is so only here in the present. In this one tiny moment, within one brief instant, is found the apex of all we experience. This is all that can be termed, “real.” And, it is to be accepted, even treasured.
And it’s also to be released.
It’s this "releasing" that we Western humans struggle with the most. We are a graspy, clingy culture, protecting and defending what’s “ours” at any cost, with only a cursory acknowledgement of seen and unseen assistance in the attainment of our precious “stuff,” or accomplishments, titles and honors. The idea that any of these are of lasting value in and of themselves, we all know is laughable - in our quiet or serious moments, anyway. At a funeral. In a personal health crisis. While experiencing a loved one's passing.
Instead, consider a meditation practice. Isn’t "letting go" one of the defining characteristics of this ancient form? A thought arises, we see it, and let it go. This is the practice. What we realize over time is that we have a habitual pronoun problem; we realize that the “I”, the “see-er,” is not the same as the thought / opinion / belief in our minds, yet we've often acted as if it were. Rather, the One Who Sees observes the thought, separate from the idea itself. Where we once were unable to see the forest for the trees, a perspective begins to awaken. We can see that we’ve been acting in many instances like a three-year old who identifies his stuffed lion with his very being. Take away the toy and he goes ballistic, right? Can you blame him? He believes his soul is being removed! Is this any different than the way we unconsciously act towards one another? Someone feels threatened, and it’s war; sometimes literally.
The “See-er,” on the other hand, has perspective that takes it outside the individual trees of the forest so the topography can be viewed from above. Individual trees make up a forest, but from within it, it just looks like a bunch of trees. Only with perspective does the vast nature of the forest come into view. The trees in this example are our thoughts. When unconscious, we go from thought to thought to thought, from desire to desire to desire, and we act on them, never gaining perspective. Moving in this manner within a dark forest without knowing the lay of the land is our lot - until we train our wandering minds to lift above these things and see the greater picture.
This is what meditation brings, this ability to “get above.” Only then can we see a deeper and overarching Reality. And, once, seen, we are then able to begin to train ourselves to comprehend what it is that wants to be created, what kind of world it is that Creator would have us bring into being. We become co-creators on a soulful level, with our colorful individual talents as our palette and our lives as the easel.
Creating in this manner, we bring more honor to the easel; we honor Life. Inspiration occurs, coming simultaneously from outside and inside ourSelves, and what is born, is born of comprehension and insight. It doesn’t come from the small “you,” it comes from the “see-er” (or, if you like, the seer) - that which is connected to and is from All That Is, the One or, God.
Our identification with “reality” also applies to our individual egos. “I am this,” we say. “I am that.” It’s all so serious. It’s all so unwavering. We’ve identified with some labels and made them into something inexorable and enduring. The masterful book, "Steppenwolf" addresses this subject at length.
But where in this is growth? Where in this is the flexibility and creativity needed in times such as these, where violence rules our collective experience? Flexibility and creativity are limited for us if we're already identified with what we “are” and with “the way things have to be.” Sure, we can still create, but our creation all has a familiar flavor. It’s bland. We’ve eaten the same meal a million times before.
Similarly, have you ever had a friend with a recurring problem? They come to you for advice and the answer is so obvious that you can’t believe they can’t see it? They're looking for perspective, but even after you tell them what you’re seeing they may not be convinced. Many of us have the same feeling when looking at the political landscape.
Again, the only way to create a different reality is to get enough perspective to be able to do so.
This is where we are in the world today. Look at the upheaval, the horror and bloodshed, the solid and unwavering “rules” to which we give our unthinking obedience.
The time for many of these rules, these stern mores and accepted ideals... has passed.
The answers to our personal and collective trials are not found inside our beliefs or long-held, "sacred cow" opinions. Those are passe’ and stale. They may have held merit at one time for us, but this “grasping,” this constipated retaining of “sacred” concepts is making the world a bloodbath. The time has come to release these and allow perspective to flow again.
This can be scary, this releasing. “Who am I if I am not this or that?” The answer is we were never “this” or “that.” We were always greater (Kierkegaard: "If you name me, you negate me."). Are we ready to accept this truth and move forward to meet our souls and create from there, or are we going to continue to attempt to use the same tired tools and toys to meet new challenges?
As I stated before, I am convinced there are no idle thoughts. The way to change our thoughts is to change our perspective. I know of no other way. So, how do we do that?
Again, meditation is a powerful way to shift "the view". With a consistent practice, we learn to identify ourselves more with the Seer than our thoughts throughout the day…and then we get to look at that identification, and the work continues. But it’s the work of evolution, of consistent change and, if we are inspired, of conscious growth.
Aside from meditation, there are many other ways to get your shift together. Try a sweat lodge, vipassana, fasting or a "vision quest" in any number of ancient, well-established and authentic disciplines. After all, this identification with "reality" is not a new human issue... it's just that we're at a critical point in our evolution, where the margin for misstep has shrunk, alarmingly.
No matter your modality, the time has come to change our thoughts, our creative vanguard. May we experience the power of our own beautiful dreams. May we continue the painful, beautiful process of getting on the same page with one another, of gaining perspective and compassionately changing our thoughts.
May we become able Seers, so that what we create with our thoughts is worthy of our souls.