(Photo by the author)

We all have moments when we experience that inner sense of ‘glow and wellbeing’ – often quite unexpectedly…

This usually happens when we are carrying out a task or thinking out a situation and become absorbed to a depth that assists us to resolve something complex. That eventual sense of a breakthrough is indicative! As is the deep breath that usually accompanies the triumph…

We seldom stop to examine the parts – the mental and emotional components of what has come to our aid. The feeling of ‘calmer waters’ is often present; and that carries us along as a good canoe would after shooting a set of rapids – which isn’t a bad analogy to some of the problems we face in ‘modern life’.

In truth, life – taken as a whole – has probably always been much the same. There are just different ‘theatre stages’ on which we play out the same human interactions – like Greek plays – giving us slightly more to worry about in the techno-age, but faster methods of writing it down and sharing it… often part of the problem, itself.

In those glowing moments our sense of self is enhanced. We’ve never been taught to notice it, so we don’t look for anything unusual at that level – even in the calm euphoria of the self-moment. But it’s a core element of what we are.

It’s not an egoic feeling – we don’t feel blown up with pride or a sense of ‘showed you!’. There is a quiet flow that is more like a higher mental and emotional ‘current of doing’. Problems just drop away, swept aside by a quiet mind that has far more capability and an expectation of carrying out the task, once our egoic self gets out of the way.

That flow is powerful, and belongs to a deeper level of our selves. The flow is how the deeper Self does things… only we interfere with it, all the time. The flow is how our lives would be if we didn’t…react.

Reacting is part of our inherited response system. Reacting is a big part of what the brain and nervous system does. It’s there to protect us; a vital part of the survival mechanisms that looks after us so well.

The problem is the reactions we commonly experience – particularly those that take a lot of our energy, like worry and fear, are those belonging to the ‘fight or flight’ level of our brain. We’re not familiar with the art and science of governing the reaction. We are familiar with its use in other things, though – like driving a car.

We’re not familiar with the art and science of governing the reaction. We are familiar with its use in other things, though – like driving a car.

When we learn to drive, we have to go through a similar ‘mental engineering’ process to intelligently suppress some of the survival instincts. Imagine being the first person ever to drive! What is now a natural part of growing up, at least in the developed West, would have felt very experimental and uncertain.

So it is when we begin to engineer our reactions. As humans we are designed to be a vast ‘system’ of response to the universe – a universe that is all around us and within us. There is no real separation, save that which we decide is ‘us’, and that which is not.

Our five senses provide a harmonic spectrum of what the universe is. We may think that our real appreciation is only close-range – the world immediately around us. But what would be the point of us being aware of galaxies distant in time and space, and spread to infinity in the night sky, if we couldn’t participate in their lives, too?

Our bodies are fashioned from what we ingest of the planet. Our minds are a response to what we experience though the senses. Both of these are in the world of opposites: light and dark, hot and cold, for example. But what lies beyond them is not polarised in this way.

What lies beyond the body and the mind is the truth about us: our inner Self, which exists at the heart of what we are. It is our real existence and its actions are those that flow from the glow.

Under the guidance of that inner Self, we learn to respond much more proactively to the Universe and enter a relationship with it that ends our sense of separation.

©Stephen Tanham 2023

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

3 Comments on “The Glowing Ascent of Reaction

  1. Your opening photo is awesome, and then your words and the significance of what I felt when I saw the photo fit perfectly. There is something beautiful about being fully absorbed into what it is you are doing; it could be many things, and from the photo, I can relate to it is going out on a hike… a very simple thing, and with the beauty around it is easy to sink into the depths where unconsciously and effortlessly we can resolve something complex. These are the moments that bring a feeling of inner peace, happiness, and, yes, pride 🙂 Fantastic post and I hope the final month of winter treats you well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely to read that, Dalo. Reaction carried out as response – mindfully and not unconsciously – bestows a great lift of the ‘non-egoic self’ and a power within one’s life that is not otherwise available. Your words are warming… thank you 🙏


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