I speak from my heart but I’m not really sure if its true…

I don’t know what to believe I just show up and breathe

                                                       anymore.

                                          Indigo Girls, Lay My Head Down (Emily Saliers)

I’ve been silent on the blog for a while, and there’s a reason for that.  It’s primarily about doubt.

As I’ve opened to things unseen and things that many believe unknowable, it’s easy to let my thinking brain get in the way.  I do lots of that.  I’ve always felt blessed with a bright brain, but only recently have I come to understand that as glorified as intellect is in our culture, there are some things that come more easily to simple people (and by “simple,” please understand – I’m not saying unintelligent).  I think they often know how to feel their way through life in ways that those of us with big intellects have a hard time truly understanding.  I’ve been worshiping at the shrine of intellect all my days; I only recently became aware that the intellect cannot understand all things.  There are some things it can’t even approach.  I will admit, I have always believed that anything in life can be “figured out.”  And it turns out I was very wrong about that.

Still.  It’s very much my impulse and habit to use my brain for every application.  I’m learning, but it’s slow-going, and frankly, still way too often more theoretical than experiential.  And when I do get a lovely experience that takes me out of my brain, the gray matter immediately goes to work categorizing and intellectualizing as soon as I’m back from where ever I’ve been.  Maybe the best I can do is just watch my mind do this, try to understand that that’s what brains do and not get too distressed about it.  The only issue is that I still tend to think the answer is in the brain.

I have been thinking a lot about awareness lately, specifically “nonlocal” awareness.  What does this mean?  Nonlocal awareness?  It’s essentially the idea that our awareness does not reside in our bodies, in our nervous systems.  It’s behind the experiences people have when they remember past lives or have a near-death experience.  If we weren’t “here,” in our bodies, where do these “thoughts” and “memories” come from?  Consciousness is larger than our neurons.

I started to wonder if it’s possible to be aware of everything – I mean, really – EVERYTHING.  (I’m nothing if not ambitious, right?)  If you’ve been reading the blog for a while (or care to take a jog through old posts), you’ll know I have been diagnosed with adult ADD, and recognizing those tendencies in the way my brain works has been life-altering for me.  One thing that is obvious is that brains can only hold so much in attention at once, there’s only so much we can know and remember as humans.  There’s only so much we can attend to.  Even those of us who tune in to quite a lot at one time can’t tune in to EVERYTHING.  And the more we let in, the worse our overwhelm can become.  Our nervous systems just were not designed to attend to all that is, even in one blessed moment.

But… if we take the brain out of the equation?  What then?  Can we know in ways that we can’t intellectualize?  Can we know in ways that give us a snapshot, so to speak, of our entire environment?  I have begun to think that the answer to this is YES!

Only now, the question comes back to, “HOW?”

And that’s what I’ve been working on.  That’s why I haven’t had much to say lately.  I’m working out the awareness puzzle, and trying my damnedest to do so without my eager brain jumping in every other second.  It’s slow going for a heavy thinker like me.  The biggest hurdle on this journey so far is doubt.

There’s so much talk about ego – the evils and pitfalls of the ego.  Essentially, ego is brain-based.  I’ve come to understand that our ego is the unflinching survival mechanism that grounds us in this world.  It deserves respect but also should not be given domain over what it cannot comprehend.  I feel the ego is inescapable in this lifetime, but we can put it into the service of our soul.  I’m not always very good at that… but I’m working on it.  When I reach even a taste of what I’m trying to experience, the ego mind flies in with doubts.  The ego is entirely based in the intellect and in the survival instincts of this world.  It does not understand anything else, and so when those things appear, the ego/intellect dismisses them.  It is quite dogmatic in that way, and it’s easily threatened.  We are so very fond of listening to our egos.  For good reason, too – they help keep us physically safe and alive, functioning within our world of illusion.  So we are met with a challenge… how do we remove the intellect as king?  How can we give it a proper place, in balance with the wholeness of our being?

I don’t have answers.  Yet.  And when the answers come, I don’t know if I’ll be able to translate them to words on a computer screen. No doubt I will at least have the impulse to try.

And so the lyrics from the song I referenced above speak to me loudly these days.  “I speak from my heart, but I’m not really sure if it’s true.”  And I’ve realized that not being sure of my truth is a very painful place to be.  I hate it.  I want to stand on solid ground, and I want my intellect to reassure me that what I understand is TRUTH.  I want to wrestle with the issues of discernment with my brain, and it’s just not working very well.

“I don’t know what to believe, I just show up and breathe anymore.”

And maybe that’s all I can do.  Just show up and breathe.  Maybe while my mind is taking a breather, I will find and embrace my truth.  Maybe the Skeptic and the Thinker will lose track of me altogether.

A girl can hope.

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