Our Silent Eye Explorations group meets online via Zoom on the third Sunday of the month at 8 pm UK time. For April, our topic is Presence.
We live in an age that takes a lot of ideas lightly, professing a working familiarity with such things as meditation, mindfulness and the idea of presence.
Are these separate, or do they overlap and even interact? Perhaps, at some deeper level, they are the same thing?
What is presence? A friend defines it as ‘the unmistakable proximity of a deep, knowing and loving home-full-ness…‘
For me, that’s a wonderful way to orientate ourselves to this magnificent ‘gift of (our) nature’.
A few years ago, I had a deep spiritual experience which transformed and aligned all the esoteric ideas I had to that point.
It was early morning. I was sitting, fully awake in a quiet room. The sunlight was streaming through the window behind me. I was suddenly ‘invested’ with what I can only call a higher version of myself which stared out through my eyes, and knew the world with a depth that my personality had never managed to achieve – in retrospect, could never achieve.
The ‘presence’ of this loving intelligence removed any uncertainly that might have existed at that point about the real nature of spirituality. After perhaps an hour, it gently faded. But I knew the experience had changed me. I never wanted to go back to the former state. The seed and memory of that day has never left me, though I have so far been unable to repeat the experience in its fullness.
But elements of it… yes.
Later, I learned that it was quite common for such intense experiences to be ‘gifted by grace’ but then depart, leaving the recipient to seek that ‘lost horizon’ by their own efforts, and, perhaps, thereby earn them.
During that hour, I was able to impress on my ordinary mind the nature of the experience – not to a depth where I could repeat it at will, but enough to be able to assemble the elements of its ‘being’.
A few days after this experience, I realised -with a flash – that I had entered this state of consciousness on two previous occasions; I just hadn’t connected them. In both cases I was driving a car, in a state of complete relaxation, the day after an important event. The difference between the prior and the latest was that I knew what I was experiencing…
These elements then became the basis of a search for its reconstruction. I share them here in the heart-felt hope that they may serve to assist others in their own search for that ‘higher Self’ of which we so often speak… but do not know in a personal way.
That knowing is our birthright, and it will, one day, change our world.
Element 1: Personalness
Like many of these qualities of Being, the sense of personalness is relatively meaningless until you experience it. When it happens, you realise that there is a space inside you that is more personal than you knew you had.
Element 2: Companionship
There is an intense sense of oneness; a gradient of companionship to love. The Sufis have a saying that ‘the friend returns’.
Element 3: Competence.
The idea that there are problems simply vaporises. This level of Being looks out and sees ways forward from which it chooses.
Element 4: Quietude
As though the whole word is listening. An intense silence that is totally harmonic.
Element 5: Timeless Harmony
There is the sense that ‘this place’ where ‘I am’ is more powerful than time; that time exists to serve processes initiated here. Perhaps this contains the gnosis that time never really existed, at all.
Element 6: Ordinary thought ceases…
These elements of the state of presence will be discussed at our SE-Explore meeting on Sunday 16th April. They will be expanded on in this blog and the Silent Eye in posts to follow.
If you would like an invitation to the SE-Explore Zoom meetings, which are held on the third Sunday of the month, at 8:00 pm, contact us at:
©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