Communication & Perspective — From My Heart
Language and perspective have always fascinated me. I remember regularly being challenged by both in the philosophy classes I took in college. In one class we discussed the meaning of the word ‘red.’ The point of the entire discussion was that each person had a different experience of red. We quickly realized there is no ‘Red’ standard – no objective color that is called red, for we all think (or “see” in our minds) of something different. Even if I’m thinking of the same shade as you, the context of that red concept is necessarily different. In my life red calls forward a specific context that is different from yours.
If communication is this exciting around something as simple as color, how can we begin to use language to explore spiritual matters? And what is the point of language and spirituality? Is it to point out the absolute – or to open the door to our own experience of what is real?
I remember being surprised by the variety of experiences that people had with some of my first webcast group sessions – even down to the words they heard me say during the session.
At an event I did in Santa Fe recently there were people in the audience for whom any talking following the group session was a source of agitation – something that was taking them away from that deeper experience of themselves they had just had. And others who had lots of questions.
Each perspective is valuable and valid. We all shared the room, and the experience. Each of us took something very different from it – and each of these experiences supported us powerfully on our journey.
The question of communication – especially around spiritual matters has been in the forefront of my mind over the last 5 or 6 years. When I’ve had the opportunity to speak in person with an audience, I’ve always talked for a while. Following the talk, I’ve always facilitated a group session – so each person participating could have their own direct experience.
It’s this opportunity for a direct experience that interests me deeply. The opening for a direct encounter with your true nature. Whatever words I may have of what that experience is – how it happens – or anything related to your true nature – you get to have your own experience of it … and from this your perspective, insights, and awareness are revealed to you through you.
On many occasions I’ve taken up the topic of experiences versus beliefs and the question of which is primary. A belief focused perspective originates in the mind – whereas experiences, at least those that I’ve had and facilitate for others – originates in the body – in the direct experience, not originating from belief or thought. Consequently, I’ve always pushed on the concept that experiences can precede beliefs, and that beliefs can be limiting.
[Note: you may already see my language softening. I believe in the past I’ve pushed harder than this – instead saying that beliefs necessarily limit experiences. And to be clear, sometimes they do.]
I was having lunch with my good friend Scott yesterday. Whenever we share time together wonderful awareness and insights bloom. For example, Scott suggested I read ‘Way of the Peaceful Warrior’ back in 2006 – which directly lead to my awakening.
Anyway – we were discussing something exciting, heavy, and life changing. And an awareness of about the relationship between beliefs and experiences came floating up intuitively for me to absorb:
While I’ve long recognized that there are many paths to the same truth, the same awareness – and even the same experience of our true nature, I don’t think I’ve ever truly appreciated the truth of this.
In the stream of awareness at lunch I realized that while my journey has been marked by profound experiences, I have gained a new perspective for the contemplative tradition. This appreciation has come from the spiritual experiences I’ve had that have opening the door to contemplation, insights, and awareness of my true nature arising from my mind. I should add that the contemplative tradition is widely recognized as a powerful pathway, but it’s one that (until yesterday) has never resonated on any level with me.
A few years ago I got to share time with Thomas Keating in a small group. He was speaking with us about a wide range of topics at the monastery where he lives. As he was speaking, I was experiencing a deep resonance with him – and with what he was saying. I wrote in my From My Heart at the time that it felt like spending time with an older and much wiser version of myself.
Thomas kept talking about experiences of the Divine. Here’s the big epiphany from lunch: he came to this awareness through contemplation … through thought.
WOW!!!! Not only are we all one, each of our perspectives eventually leads to the same exact awareness. Wherever we start orbiting the earth, eventually we will be able to see the whole planet.
Further, it takes each of us fully stepping into our Divine gifts and message for all aspects of the ONE – all of us – to return to our natural state of Divine Resonance as a planet, as a cosmos. For as you step in, you serve not only by demonstrating the power of Divine calling to the whole (for we are all one), you also serve the whole when others can interact with you and receive the gifts that the Divine is uniquely expressing through you!
That’s it for this week … From My Heart.
Ken W. Stone
The Soul Archaeologist
Experience the Divine Within