What Are We? Be All That You Can Be
Childhood: Learning to be a limited body-mind personality
We are One, we are many. We just cannot be explained.
We were born living as a number of paradoxes, which are
impossible for the logical mind to comprehend. The most basic is the paradox
of being both the finite and the infinite simultaneously. Because most of us
were not greeted into this world by parents who recognized their own
infinite nature, we were never fully welcomed in a way that acknowledged all
of us. This has led us to deny parts of ourselves by either dismissing our
own experience or interpreting one dimension of experience in terms of the
other, thus "explaining away" things that pointed us to a fuller experience
When we were small children many of us had access to
these aspects of ourselves. Many children experience themselves as being
something completely other than what their parents see them as. I can
remember looking into the mirror as a child and thinking, "Who is that? Oh!
So that's who mommy is talking to."
Our parents understandably believed that it was their job
to pull our heads out of wonderment into the very real and limited human
reality that they were experiencing. They told us who we were and drew our
attention into identification with a body-mind personality.
The fact that we were also infinite, unfindable
consciousness was usually ignored. The result was a feeling as a child that
only our limits were being acknowledged and that we were not seen in our
pure potentiality, which of course was true.
For many of us as children there seemed to be a sense
that we were vast, indestructible, magical, beyond the limits of gravity,
time and other so-called laws of the universe. It seems to shock some
children that when they test the limits of their own powers their parents
end up "being right" about reality. For many children this is quite a
surprise, because they intuit that they are more than what they appear to
be. The feeling that there is something wrong with our picture of ourselves
gets to be too much, so eventually we "sober up" and trade in our sense of
freedom and power for our parent's version of reality. It was too
uncomfortable so we began to discount our sense of our unlimited nature and
pushed our feeling of being misunderstood deep down as far as possible.
Nevertheless something always remains feeling like there's something not
quite seen in our identity.
Because we are so much more than can be said and because
we are such a Mystery no one could have possibly conveyed what we are in
Our parents may have been very loving people and yet for
most of us, at birth we are not given This Welcoming ( but rather mad )
"Welcome! You are The Divinely Human Mystery of both
Emptiness and Form. You are an absolutely unique Incarnation of the Soul of
the Universe. You are The Heart, The Divine Person, Beyond all You see and
feel! You are also Living Spirit, The Divine Pulse, Flowing in all You see
and Feel! You are also Flesh and Blood, Living Earth reduced to all you see
and feel! You are somehow both The Vast Infinite Empty Space of
Consciousness as well as finite limited phenomenal matter. Amazingly even
your phenomenal nature can also be experienced as a multidimensional field
of energy! All the many experiences and realms are available for you here!
You are here to explore all and be all that you can be. Welcome to life,
welcome to life as a human being!!"
The internal sense of identity in the child is confused
because of being in denial of these other intuited dimensions. Children are
very adaptive and take on their new roles, often with great enthusiasm. And
yet there can also be a feeling of something not quite all there. For many
of us this developed into feelings of being not enough, which then
manifested as low self-esteem, and for some of us it developed into
over-accomplishment (as a cover), to achieve a sense of solidity and
convince ourselves that we are really here.
What are we? The Embodiment of a number of logical contradictions.
These dimensions of being are logical contradictions so
we tend to want to cling to one of them as being really true and deny that
the others exist. This seems to be necessary in order to sort ourselves out.
At first when we are beginning to identify with our body/mind personality it
seems important to dismiss other dimensions as "fantasy". Upon uncovering
our spiritual energetic soul dimension "the flesh" or "mortal" is considered
our "lower self". Upon discovering our nature as Conscious Emptiness beyond
form, the body/mind personality and even soul nature are seen to be illusion
This is all true enough for the sake of comparing one
dimension with another, for the sake of discrimination. But fully
acknowledging all that we are requires that we embody and live every
dimension, regardless of the paradox of being contradictory truths all at
Embodiment means to be all of it: Empty Impersonal,
Energetic interpersonal and individual personal.
Because our total being is a stretch beyond logic there
is a sort of identity crisis which must happen for full embodiment , an
identity shift even beyond recognizing emptiness or no-self. Even when we
realize emptiness there is a feeling that we keep behaving like we have a
self even when we've discovered we don't. This can be quite frustrating and
cause doubt about what we know. We are both beyond our personal stories and
we have personal stories at the same time! This can be confusing to a mind
that feels that life must be understandable logically.
What are we? Some of us tell ourselves the story that we have no
Some of us would like an easy straightforward solution to
paradox. For many spiritual folks the reason for the confusion is simple,
you are struggling with the feeling that you don't exist simply because you
don't. If you would just acknowledge that you are not a "little me in a
body" and continue to deconstruct the sense that you are an individual
separate being until it totally dissolves then you would be free of all
Yet, this can become just another form of seeking for
perfection once we've realized emptiness. If we are clear that we are not
confined to our personal nature, why should it be excluded?
My own clear sense is that unless and until this "little
me" is recognized, encouraged and welcomed into full existence then one of
the most important pieces of conscious embodiment is left out. This is
exactly what needs to be welcomed!
The notion that the "little me" or "ego" or "separate I
sense" does not exist is becoming a new fixed position, a new dogma that
many people are clinging to in hope for relief. The new story for many of
us, is that we don't have a story or that we are not our story. And of
course we aren't, and we are!
Of course at one level we can say that nothing exists,
because everything is made of other things. However, it is equally true that
everything exists AS being made of other things.
Even so some folks claim that the ego does not exist in a
special sense, even though they will acknowledge the existence of their
The argument usually goes something like this: "Isn't the
sense of being a person just made up, just a story made up of thoughts?"
The operating system on a computer is just insubstantial
information strung together, but if you say that it doesn't exist, then you
should try running your computer without one. Similarly, the "ego/
personality" is made of thoughts and feelings and it also exists in the same
sense as your operating system: as software, not hardware.
Some folks think about embodiment as a kind of "walking
your talk", saying things like "You know that you're One with everyone, now
act like it". But while Embodiment (as I mean it) does involve an ever
evolving sense of honesty and integrity, it is wholly organic and not
necessarily the result of superimposing any ideal on yourself. It is an
ongoing individual transformation born of internal friction ( an inner fire)
that is primarily experienced by you and may never be recognized by others,
because it does not necessarily fit any model of spiritual behavior that
others may have.
Part of embodiment is allowing ourselves to feel and be
present in the body, allowing energy and attention to penetrate all of us.
Encouraging people to allow this is of course a part of the total process,
but there's more to it than that.
Again; unless this "Little I" is recognized, invited in
and celebrated we are still not talking about a fully embodied realization
Be All That You can Be: Living Paradox
A fully embodied realization of consciousness is a
continuous process of embracing every apparent limit that we find ourselves
to be involved in. I would like to invite every aspect and possible sense of
yourself to come forward and be alive as this life now. Let there be no part
of you that is held back from it's full flow of being. This is our
birthright and is possible through the graceful transmission of Total Being.
Be as you are (in Consciousness), and as an individual
allow all of you to radiate forward to be all that you can be.
The picture that I lay out here about what we are is simple enough.
We are first of all:
1) The Timeless Unmanifest: The infinite expanse of formless conscious
2) The Manifest in Time: That which is arising in the midst of the
formless consciousness, that which has form and is experienced in two
a) As a separate individual material person in a world of other
individual separate objects and persons.
b) As energy that exists in a field of mutually interpenetrating
fields of energy or presence.
So we are three different dimensions of being which are altogether
contradictory but all equally what we are:
1) We are a Dimension of Conscious Emptiness.
2) We are a dimension of Conscious Spirit or energy.
3) We are a dimension of Conscious body/mind personality.
The trick is that we are all three of these simultaneously. Clarifying
and deepening our experience of being all three of these is living as the