Dancing On the Edge of Thought
by JAREK CZECHOWICZ
The many shapes that your body takes from cradle to grave are all expressions of you across time. The many other beings and things that you perceive are all expressions of you across space.
Its quite easy to accept the opening sentence, because you experience a sense of continuity through time. Yet, it's just as valid to experience a sense of continuity through space. For some it occurs suddenly, for others it begins with compassion, transforming gradually into a feeling of oneness, and ending in non-duality where time and space appear as projections of the present moment.
No matter how you rationalise reality, your theory or belief system remains one of many perspectives. The question is whether you consider your particular point of view as the only correct one. Is it as valid as any one else's perspective? Or do you see all perspectives as transient and ephemeral?
These three attitudes broadly represent a movement from fear to knowledge to love. They also reflect your view of yourself and your relationship to others. After all your sense of self only has meaning in relation to something or someone else.
For many people the most familiar attitude in life is one of fear, expressed as I'm right and you're wrong. From this position cooperation occurs primarily for gain, or to avoid conflict and loss. In this state of consciousness you see yourself as being separate from everything and always prepared for fight or flight. Yet increasing numbers of humans are realising a higher consciousness, one of greater insight that allows them to accept, if not adopt, the views of others. It is accompanied by a deepening respect and care for the natural environment, signifying a more selfless attitude as being the preferred way of interacting with the world. In other words the link between self and other is begins to unveil itself. A further unveiling occurs with the presence of love, where theres an open, light-hearted and compassionate quality to your experience of life, or an inner peace and equanimity when things are chaotic.
If someone hurts you and you're acting from fear then you will resent that person. Acting out of knowledge and wisdom you might try to understand their behaviour, or even try to see it from their perspective. With love you also see the blessings, and positive opportunities, in what is ultimately a changing condition.
Situations and actions are endless. The important thing is the relationship between you and the other, between you and the task, between you and the object, between the aspects of your own self. Until you discover your true nature you will continue to find yourself in relationship with a mysterious world. As you discover your real identity things lighten up.
If someone argues with you then you can have an inner sense of lightness and playfulness. You can criticise without needing to embarrass or resent anyone, and you can accept criticism without feeling attacked. You don't have to accept bad behaviour, but you are more capable of understanding it, forgiving it, and having compassion for the transgressor. At the same time it could be best to stay away, like caring for a wound, and then leaving it alone to heal.
When your stomach aches you don't claim that it's attacking you because you see it as part of yourself. Likewise when interacting with the world you can take the perspective that it's all a part of you. The world causes you pleasure and pain just as the body does. It all becomes clearer as the link between self and other is unveiled through compassion and higher consciousness. This is what leads to a sense of continuity across space. Call it Love, that eternal state where time has no place.
Ultimately it doesn't matter how you rationalise the universe. It can be a unity, a duality, a trinity, or an illusion, and it can be interesting to explore all those possibilities, and to build bridges of understanding between those who adhere to one or another theoretical or religious perspective. Nevertheless there is no mind-made bridge that can span all the expressions of consciousness. In the end it's the intuitive leap of an open heart that completes the crossing. Then you find that there was never the need for a bridge because everything was already supported in stillness, in love, in awareness. The small self wants to push its way to perfection through power, through knowledge, through spiritual practices, not realising that all its efforts, all its achievements, and all its complaints, are arising out of perfection.