Monday, February 9, 2009

Aliveness


Within each of us is a sensor that reads out the measure of how alive we feel or how deadened, and what circumstances and people contribute to this sense of aliveness.

This sensor is not something to be ignored, but rather to be cherished. Although our experience of heightened life may take place in the presence of loved ones, or certain places in nature, in relation to foods, or smells, or music we hear, the home of our aliveness can be found most deeply in the silence of solitude. With others, we may feel temporarily more alive, but often find that the feeling disappears when we are once again alone.

The relationship of 'aliveness' to our outer life is generally understood. We know what wakens our senses and causes us to feel more alert. Less known is the fundamental fact of our inner 'aliveness' - that which comes from our relationship with the Source of life - that which is indestructible, even while we may not perceive it.

Thoughts do not tell us how alive we feel. Feelings tell us this. Our heart lets us know by its beating and by its communication to us in subtleties of feeling, the measure of how we are with ourselves.

The true meaning of 'aliveness' does not depend upon external circumstance but on our inner state. In fact, the stimulation of outside sources can create heightened sensations that sweep us away in one moment, letting us down in the next. For example, in our pursuit of different forms of entertainment, what sends us into a place of laughter, excitement, or wonder can, in the next moment, turn into something else when we return to ourselves with life based on what is inside.



While this is true of entertainment, it is even more true of things we are addicted to that aim to heighten our sense of aliveness however briefly, comforting us and preventing us from feeling empty or alone.

Inner aliveness - that which stays with us wherever we go - that which is part of our indelible experience of ourselves and our life-force - this grows in the presence of spiritual pursuits of many kinds. There is a reason to practice quietness and stillness for a certain portion of each day. It is not only to clear the mind and to center the self in the higher vibrations of light and truth. It is also to become self-aware and self-regulating with respect to our aliveness. In the quiet, we can see how we are with ourselves. We can acknowledge our state of being and make choices based on this that bring us into greater life.

What, then, is aliveness?

It is the sense that we are fully here. That every part of us is being used, is engaged. Aliveness conveys meaning, purpose, hope, and even fulfillment, uniquely related to the nature of each individual soul. It is not the same as happiness, for one can be very much alive and be experiencing great challenges and difficulties. Yet, even in the presence of difficulty, aliveness lets us know that we are living life fully.

It is the destiny of each child of God to come into this full state of awareness through contact with their own inner being. Beyond roles, habits, doubts, and limitations, to be alive is to know the full majesty of the living Oneness that expresses as our very own self.


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