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Are We Within Spirit or Is Spirit Within Us?

Updated: May 19, 2019

In the human mind's attempt to conceptualize this Reality we live in - two models have captured my attention the most. Following up on my last post about the 5 Dimensions of Reality through the lens of the Koshas in Vedantic philosophy, I was struck by the similarity and the differences between certain Shamanic traditions that conceptualize the spiritual dimension being in the outermost layer of the human existence versus the innermost layer. This focus on our inner or outer experience of Reality is also found in the phrase, "To expand and deepen one's consciousness." Expansion having to do with the act of one's awareness going out from the center of one's being and deepening with the act of one's awareness going within one's being. Then the idea of a Holographic Universe that is by its nature fractal makes perfect sense. A fractal is when the part of something contains the same structure or pattern as the whole of that thing and with a Hologram every part of the image contains the whole image. Spirit is within us - the Anandamayakosha or Bliss Consciousness is the felt experience of Oneness inside of us. The Whole is within the Part(Me). Yet, Spirit is all around us - is the felt experience of Oneness of Spirit outside us via our 5 senses of touch, taste, smell, sight & hearing. The Part(Me) is within the Whole. One model emphasizes the deepening of consciousness - hence the Sage that decides to live in a cave in the mountains - whose meditations go deep within the Spirit/Consciousness of one's own Being to discover Bliss. The other model emphasizes the expansion of consciousness via the 5 senses - hence the Spiritual Dancer, Acrobat, Athlete, Martial Artist, Warrior, Yogi etc. whose mastery of their senses allows them to expand and merge with the environment/space & Spirit around them to experience Bliss. Sat-Chit-Ananda. Being-Consciousness-Bliss & the two principles of the Soul - Rest & Activity/Yin & Yang also exemplify these two kinds of perspectives or approaches in life & the balance between them that creates the human experience of being Healthy & Alive!

In the Shamanic model we conceive of our body existing within the the dimension of Spirit. Humans, all of creation, the natural world, every creature and thing in it and the universe are contained within this spiritual dimension - within Spirit. That is why indigenous wisdom says that Everything is Alive - the rock, the sand, the wind, light, electricity, clouds, entire planets, stars not just animate/biological creatures & organisms but literally Everything! There is no such thing a a physical body that is separate from Spirit because All That Is - is within Spirit. This is the Elemental Shaman who co-creates Reality with Nature. In the Vedic model we conceive Spirit to be found existing deep within our very Self - the depths of our Soul. The Whole is within the Part & the Part is within the Whole. All is One & One is All. The Compassionate Saint who sees beyond everyones persona & ego pierces directly into their Soul & sees the Light of Spirit therein. They are able to do this because they first had to see beyond their own persona & mental illusions to uncover the Light of Love that was within them. In Taoist philosophy the perfect balance is created when the One or Great Sage integrates these two models of Reality. One who masters both experiences of Spirit within & outside of one's being can create a Reality that is in harmony/alignment with Spirit and can heal all the illusions of separation throughout every aspect of life. The natural/organic world is already a manifestation of Heaven on Earth - the Temples of Creation. The Great Sage transforms Human Society so that it also becomes a manifestation of Heaven on Earth - the City of Love. When the Human Race returns to the ways of the Earth through the Spirit of Love within themselves and all of existence then, the Human Race, every creature & this planet will truly be happy, healthy and free!

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