From Observation to Contemplation

How many times did we told to ourselves that we are awakened beings, beings who have left the ignorance of a life turned towards material things and have become interested in spiritual subjects, without realizing that the true awakening does not come from the interest that we may have in this type of subjects, nor in the practices or techniques that we can learn, but rather feeling the Divine in all that surrounds us. We can know everything about spirituality, practice all existing techniques, and be as much of a sleeper as those who deal only with material things.


To feel and perceive this Life that pulsates in everything and, with this perception, finally say that we are awake beings means to put our whole attention in the present moment and in everything that is happening there, without letting the mind disperse in the memories of what it was or in the projections of what our desire wants it to be. Bringing all our attention to that moment, making us truly aware is the only way to Spiritual Awakening. There is no other. It is there that our consciousness perceives for the first time what it is to be in a three-dimensional space, because until then, while asleep, we related to this space as if it were two-dimensional.

When we look at a landscape in a painting, for example, we immediately perceive the three-dimensionality of the elements presented through the perspective that the painter used when elaborating his work. We have a clear notion of the closer elements and of those that are further away, however, this notion of three-dimensionality is an illusion created by our mind, because in that painting there is no real space between the objects and, therefore, everything is in one same plane. That painting, after all, is two-dimensional, nothing more.

The same thing happens when we observe the world around us. As we stand in front of a landscape, for example, our mind, just as we were before a painting, creates in us the notion of three-dimensionality through the perspective of the elements within the space before us. Once again, we are conditioned by a mental reaction without being able to truly penetrate what we are observing. Thus, everything around us, just as in a painting, presents itself as being two-dimensional, because those observed elements remain for our consciousness as if they were all on the same plane.

To get out of this addiction and truly begin to realize the three-dimensional space that surrounds us, we must bring our whole consciousness into the present moment and put our attention fully into what we are observing. It is here that we leave the state of observation and enter into the state of contemplation.

In contemplation, we perceive the three-dimensional space no longer through the mind and, therefore, the notion of perspective is irrelevant. We realize that this space is three-dimensional because for the first time we have become aware of the empty space that separates each observed element. The objects, in turn, that in observation, are only real in the face that is exposed to our eyes, in contemplation, they begin to have a complete and integral reality. We perceive this object in its totality, both the visible and the hidden face. That object is a whole that relates to others through the breathing left by the empty space that is between each element, a space that is totally present in our consciousness by the full attention that we put into what we observe.

To be whole in the present moment with the attention fully focused on the object, which means to deactivate the mind of all or any expression, is to penetrate into the domain of contemplation which, in fact, is the only true invocation so that our Inner Being can express itself.

Let’s not think, however, that contemplating is escaping from the reality of the world, quite the contrary. To contemplate is to give reality to the world, because we bring into our consciousness the Life that pulsates in each atom that surrounds us, merging us with everything. And this, that seems to be so far away from us is, in fact, at the reach of everyone, and that's the great irony that Life leaves us, showing how simple everything can be.

We usually seek the Inner Self in the most varied ways, through the most varied methods. We hope that one day that Self may freely express Itself through us and, motivated by this desire, we undertake a long journey through the paths of spiritual expression and its multiple techniques; however, the solution for this to happen is not in any of those paths, but HERE. It is in the emptiness of the present moment that everything is unified, right here, before our eyes. And although the solution is simple, we still do to see it, seeking the longest, the most complex and elaborate ways. The secret is precisely to bring our consciousness, through full attention, into all that we observe, and then, through that invocation, an inner conduit is open so that our Inner Self can finally permeate the substance of our bodies and activate the Fire in the center of our chest as the irradiating core of true Love.

One day, contemplation will no longer be a sporadic but a permanent reality. Everything we see and do will be done with the consciousness totally present, through full attention, in the only moment that really exists that is the NOW. And then, our Self will always be with us.

But while this does not happen, while this contemplative state is not like the act of breathing, something natural, spontaneous, we can use those moments of contemplation as an exercise to invocate our own Self, so that, gradually, we may start to feel the Life that is in Everything.

And the exercise I propose - a simple exercise that can, without great methods or techniques, help bring to our three-dimensional consciousness, even for a few moments, what we are internally -, is to move to a place that is pleasant, although contemplation is to be lived in the integrality of our life, and therefore, in everything that we do and in all  places where we go. Being in that place, the first thing we must do is to realize that we have been relating with the world as if it were two-dimensional because by not having perceived the empty space between elements, it is like being inside a painting where everything is on the same plane, without breathing.

Having this notion, let us begin by silencing our mind, bringing it to the present moment, where it should be quiet, without interpreting anything of what we will live next. Let us then put all our attention into what we are observing. Perceive everything that is there: the texture, the thickness, the color, the movement, and, at the same time, never lose the notion of the surrounding space. Do as the martial arts master who, focusing on an opponent, can at the same time be aware of all the surrounding space and thus it does not lose sight of the remaining opponents, even not looking directly at them. Perceive the whole and, at the same time, merge yourselves with each part. You can stand in one place while observing everything around you, or you can walk through that same space.

If your mind is silent and does not try to direct the process, and if nothing is analyzed about it, you will begin to penetrate the Life that is pulsating there, perceiving the empty space between the objects. This is the magical moment where we go from observation into contemplation. It’s as if we were standing in front of a painting, which is two-dimensional, and suddenly, in an instant, it turns into a hologram going beyond the frame.

It may happen that for some time, you will not be able to penetrate this Life that pulsates in each atom and thus enter into the state of contemplation. It's like stereograms. How many hours did we stand before that sheet of paper where there was only noise, even if it were told us that there was an image there, but we just couldn't see it. But then, suddenly, in a single instant, to our astonishment, our eyes made that necessary movement, and like magic, the image came alive, as a hologram, from the middle of that noise. It's something like that.

Just stay still and observe. For a few moments, your mind will not give you truce, trying to escape into the future or the past. But always bring it back to the present moment and prevent it from talking about what is happening. When you least expect it, just as in stereograms, the “image” will come out from the middle of the "noise" and you will enter into contemplation. At that moment, your Inner Self will immediately be present. You will feel a Peace and  Lightness permeate every atom of your body and in the center of your chest, a Fire will be present. This Fire is Pure Love, radiating to all and for all.

And this is exactly where the real awakening happens.


From the book Spiritual Reflections for a New World
https://www.pedroelias.org/blog/en/books

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