A New Way of Life
Dear friends and family,
I have taken some time to reflect inwardly and to hopefully share these reflections in a way that is meaningful and has positive impact on you. What I have to share comes as important to me at this time especially for humanity and that is to participate with each other in a way that includes the more subtle aspects of our human existence. My reflections as of late have lead me to realize that we as a culture are suffering the consequences of a way of life that has directly influenced the manifestation of a virus that has caused us to now have to ‘stay at home.’ Staying at home to me has meant cause for deeper inner reflection, but reflection into the real reason as to why this situation has emerged for humanity.
We are living in a time where from my experience, our connection to each other, to life around us, and to the Earth are completely severed. In all of this, we experience heightened rates of depression, anxiety, worry of all sorts, isolation, social unrest and an environmental crisis. I can not help to ignore, let alone keep silent that this is a symptom of what ultimately has been ignored by humanity, and that is our relationship to a more subtle level of existence inside each of us, a relationship that when cut off, leads us to experience what we are presently going through. I perceive our problem now is we want to solve our worldly issues from the very consciousness that has lead to our present state of affairs. This to me is very frightening and is a notification that a different approach is needed. As opposed to our one-dimensional view and way of handling problems, we are desperately in need of a new way to relate to each other and the Earth, one that in my opinions brings us back to our roots.
When I graduated college in 2008, I felt there was a more subtle answer waiting for me, this entanglement with reality that felt so non-rational. I knew there were limitations to our minds current ways of understanding reality, especially with our object-to-object way of measuring and drawing conclusions. After many years of struggle to understand, I eventually journeyed inside my body to explore and open myself to this more subtle level of existence I felt was there. Through this process I realized that inside each of us is access to a more non-linear experience of life, a way that engages our inner perception, connection and relationship to each other, the Earth, and ourselves. Like all physical events that we are used to observing from the rational mind, that we understand through our measurement of physical reality about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ they occur, all manifestations also have a more subtle reason for their occurrence.
There is a bridge that is no longer present between our present way of perceiving and interacting with reality and this more subtle nature and reason for events, a reason that is inseparable from us. In other words, like science, which admits to its limitations in its object-to-object way of measuring reality, we are starting to recognize our ‘entanglement’ with the very reality we measure. This object-to-object and causal way of measuring is not wrong, as it has it’s place, but from my experience is only a small fragment of what is there to experience and engage with. Through the more subtle levels inside of us, we can reach what we have not been able to touch that is there all around us, within the Earth and each other, that which has remained perhaps a figment of our imagination.
As of late, when I connected to this more subtle layer of life inside of me, to experience what the virus means for humanity, it showed me the need to start to understand the nature of our reality in a new way; a way that requires our active participation with reality as opposed to the unconscious assumption that we are separate. This requires something of each of us, because if we are active participants and inseparable from the event’s we see manifesting outside of us, that means we are also contributors, that we have responsibility.
How is this possible? How am I actually supporting the manifestation of something outside of me?
When we live the way we do. When we uphold our collective ways of living that currently have zero relationship with the inner research and understanding of these more subtle layers of our existence, that connect us to the Earth and each other. We now live in a reality that is a reflection of our level of consciousness, where the physical world is all there is, that we are to learn about this physical world with the rational mind, and this is how we will learn to survive. That is how we form our concept of self and interact. I feel we are missing an enormous piece of reality through this limited interaction. At present, we fight the outside world and uphold what we think reality should or should not be without deeper understanding of ourselves. That is upholding a way of life that ultimately from my experience ignores our true inner nature, a way that keeps us separated from live engagement with life, with each other, with the Earth. As long as we uphold that separation inside of us, as a separate participant in a causal mechanical world, then the reality we see will continue to crumble, because the bridge between this true nature that exists inside each of us will continue to remain separated. Without engaging this more subtle research of our inner world it’s like we all contribute to a holding pattern, which expresses differently inside each of us.
This virus is a teacher, just like all events are teachers; the virus is showing us the adjustment we need to make. The tough part is it is easy to make adjustments under the old paradigm, that operates under the assumption and experience that we are separate, that we are not active participants in the manifestation of our outside world. But now, I feel there is a clear message that we need a new approach, an approach that will require us to start to understand ourselves in a new way, to recognize our non-linear relationship to life around us, to feel our deeper relationship from inside the body. That can then help us understand the non linear relationship between us and our outside world that we see manifest, a relationship that holds the core reason for the unrest we experience inside and outside of ourselves. If we can begin to feel this new relationship, to step into our unique experience of this inner conscious dance that is possible, we can loosen the grip that is suffocating life from each of us, and instead open the doorway to new ways of living and being.
What is this more subtle reality? And how do you experience it?
This more subtle layer of life is from my experience the spiritual dimension of reality that lies within the Earth, that flows through all beings, a reality that is alive, moving, and breathing. To understand it rationally has not helped me experience it; rather the important thing for me was to start to exercise the inner movement of my conscious attention inside of my body to start to reach the experience of it. That was always met with inner challenges, challenges that I was always aware of, that kept me cornered and unable to open up, that kept me from forming the relationship I always yearned for with family, friends and the world around. Upon graduating college I saw this other world, this subtle layer of my inner body, this gateway to the unknown. Then, much later, I was aware of its presence all around me, in the air, the trees, the rocks, the rivers, the Earth, in all living beings…but I was aware that it was mostly inaccessible.
Instead, anxiety was all I found, my reflection of our surrounding world that does not participate in these more subtle layers of life. I could feel it buzzing, this perpetual itch to fix things or else my world would fall apart. At the same time, I felt there was this space to move into within me, that I could consciously climb to if I moved past my anxiety, to perceive and experience another world connected to the Earth, connected to all living beings. So, I consciously began entering inside my body to ‘explore,’ to observe what is going on within, without judgment, without quick conclusions of the mind to interfere. That was challenging at first, I could remember my mind wanting to halt the experience, to think thoughts, to piece reality together. That kept me from deeper understanding though, from reaching into the experience of what I knew was there inside, behind the anxiety. Beyond the thoughts, the pain, the emotional turmoil, I knew there was another world, a new inner relationship with the Earth, with us, and each other that was possible. A world where life is not put on hold by anxious urges to fix things in the surrounding world. I continued to work on it, until I started to move more fully inside my body to experience this spiritual reality within me, within the Earth, a place where life streams effortlessly, a place we can not experience if we drag the confines of our present reality with us.
The more I worked to reach this place within, the more I noticed how when I was consciously in the space of my body, free of the mind, free of my anxious urges, I was able to find the ‘doorway’ to this spiritual reality within me and the Earth. A doorway that allows the ‘energy’ of that reality to then move through my body, energy that has its own consciousness, identity, and purpose. I had to be fully centered in myself, and conscious to do this. That is the hard part; the fact that it requires this balanced attention, that it requires me to come face to face with my inner challenges, but that is also what taught me this was real! It was this relationship that put into context my experience of reality, of the things that created suffering for me, because in mastering those things I had the opportunity to experience something greater, to open the doorway to a world that we keep closed off. It was a doorway that led me to experience who I truly was, my soul, to experience my soul’s greater relationship with the Earth, with everyone around me!
I guess the hard part is that it is not a rational experience, nor is it irrational, rather it just ‘is,’ it is entering into a sort of beingness with yourself and your surroundings. Fact is, it was an experience that broadened my relationship with reality, with what is possible, a relationship that was previously based only on the mind’s understanding. As it helps me to solve the issues of my anxiety in a more non-linear way. When I was about 10 years old, I started to engage in behaviors in an effort to alleviate anxiety. I figured that if I am under control of my things, my surroundings, then I can be free, at peace, I can then feel comfortable to share who I was. The problem is, in this process, I was adapting to our surrounding world, I was finding a way to deal with my anxiety in a manner that reflected the way our culture solves issues. I perceived we are not addressing the core of the problem, and because of that we find ourselves in a world where we do not feel engaged and at peace with each other. Fact is my personal issue was merely a reflection of the world we live in, an issue I carry that contributes and upholds the world we live in.
Now, I know the challenge here is I have no ‘rational’ proof for this. That is the hard part, but now I personally experience our world as sterile, devoid of life, and devoid of deeper understanding. An understanding that comes for me through releasing myself from the experience of reality I know, to find the courage to grab onto the unknown within, to experience a new way to live.
I feel my responsibility at this time is to start to share and bring this to the collective consciousness of humanity so we can start to take our own responsibility, to exercise our own connection with the Earth, with ourselves and each other in this way. We have ignored the more subtle layers, the learning that comes with this, and in doing this we have created distance, a distance that now speaks to us in different ways, distance that we are currently experiencing the consequences of. Now we find ourselves at home with only ourselves to deal with, as the virus is pushing us to learn how to enter and access these more subtle layers that previously were left to the fringes of daily life back when things were ‘normal.’
All I ask is to stay open, to stay open that there may be other channels of life that we can start to tune into, channels that science has scraped the edge of, but because limitations in how we perceive and measure reality have remained closed to our conscious experience.
As long as we operate in a reality where we ‘experience’ ourselves as separate, as just fighting for survival, we will not make the inner steps needed, rather we will stay closed off to the life that is all around us that we can not see with the physical eye. But if we open ourselves to that reality within, that would then change how we make decisions and navigate life while here on Earth.
Written by Lief Hollowell