Cleaning out the attic

Evening shower - good or bad ?

Imagine you had a glimpse of reality once and suddenly understood, you are not the plane two-dimensional being you thought you were, but there was another huge, multi-dimensional field in the beyondness of your own humanness, a vast nothingness that contains everything.

The veil may have lifted for a short period of time and allowed you to experience who you really are, let you experience the Truth. And then it closes again and leaves you wondering: “ Now what? “

As life is perfect you will find everything you need right at your fingertips. This could be a teacher, a life-situation, a book, a video clip or the words of a wise human being, gently pointing you to your next step. And they all, in so many words, will tell you the same thing: “ Stop looking outside. All you ever need is inside of you”.

The problem is, you may not find it right away. Think about a crammed d attic – for many decades you have put stuff up there because you thought you need it and did not want to let go of it. Now you have a space cluttered to the hilt and all you know is – it’s right there, but it won’t reveal itself until I have cleaned out the garbage and brought order into the mess.  And so you start your sanitation project.

The first step on this journey is to understand one’s own thinking. Thoughts are, impulses, a transmission of energy, an electrochemical signalling process in order to process and transmit information. It is an activity of the mind and with some awareness and attention one can actually observe one’s own thinking process, as well as tapping into the feelings and even the emotional energy fields, that are associated with thinking.

The body and the mind are connected. An activity in the mind usually corresponds to a felt sense in the body and this felt sense automatically gets translated into feelings, emotions and eventually into perceptions and ultimately reactions. This is a leaned process and this the fabric of what is called “conditioning”, or “egoic mind”.

The issue with that is, that the egoic mind and the body often do not act congruently and seem to follow different directions. So let’s say, you come home and suddenly you know in no unmistaken terms, that the place you live is no longer right for you and you should pack all your things and move. What are you going to do ?

What happens normally is that the egoic mind is coming in with all good reasons why one should not follow the intuitive hit. So you say to yourself: “Why move, it is not so bad, everything could improve, what about work, what about my friends – well, yes, I wanted to move for a while, but really, now is not a good time. “

Can you see what is happening here? Conditioning, or the egoic mind, takes over the wisdom of an intuitive hit and dismantles it. The reason is fear of change and the egoic mind will certainly not entertain the idea of taking a risk for something it does not know. It bases it’s judgements on what it has experienced, learned or incorporated in it’s knowledge base and it assumes, that if everything stays the same, it will be secure.

But it also works the other way round. Let us say you really like a new neighbourhood and you fancy the idea of living there. You go and look at homes, check out the area and you just can see yourself living there, being happy and complete. If it was not for this little nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach and the voice that whispers in your ear “don’t do it”. But you choose to ignore it, shut it up by scheduling some more viewings, shopping for a mortgage and decide to fully live out your idea of living as the perfect you in this perfect neighbourhood.

What happened in both cases was that decisions were made based on judgements, as opposed to following one’s inner direction.  Judgements and opinions are the symbolic clutter in the attic. Things we have learned, experiences that left their mark, our conclusions and interpretations, the way we see ourselves and the expectations we have made up. This is the first thing to understand on this journey – the way we look at ourselves and others, is a projection and ultimately not real. What is real tough is the sense of not being authentic, the feeling of having to put up a lot of effort to keep things going in the direction we think they should go and the pain associated with frustration, when things do not work out as planned.

We cannot survive without judgements. It is a critical function of our intelligence to differentiate between hot and cold, good and bad, safe or dangerous. Even if these qualifiers ultimately do not exist, they do help us to navigate in the world of opposites and gravity. There is nothing wrong with it and even forming an opinion, which is based on judgements, is not a detrimental activity, as long as we do not identify with it, which basically means we believe this is the “right” opinion and everyone should have it.

To understand how we judge – and to what extent – is an incredibly revealing and healing process. It starts with having inherited and socially and culturally transmitted opinions on certain people, things or situations, and it expands to my own judgements, opinions and identifications about myself.  Just to observe the instances we judge translates already in bringing consciousness to it. Just look at it to know – here I have another opinion and then say to yourself: “Let’s see how the same thing dos look like, without my preconceived notion about it”.

The second, but very critical step is to observe the feelings that go along with judgements and opinions. This may take a little, because we are so used to filter them out and keep the lid on, so we are not distracted by the habitual truth-sayer that is our body.  Judge a person and a situation and feel right into it – you will see the contracted feeling that goes along with it and after a while you will be able to tell by the feeling of resistance, whether you are judging from your mind or not.

The intention here is to move from a mind-based to a heart-based exchange of information. This does not mean we won’t need the thinking mind any longer, but it wont have to pretend it knows, if it does not know at all.  And this is what cleaning out the attic does for us – it creates space and even tough you will find nothing beyond all the clutter you have dumped there for many decades, you still will see what spiritual teachers are all talking about, when they say: “ Un-know yourself to know yourself”.

It all starts with cleaning out the attic.

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
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2 Responses to Cleaning out the attic

  1. Aralan says:

    Thank you. This is a wonderfully clear pointer. I am reminded of Adyashanti quoting a old Zen saying: “When the realization is deep, your whole being is dancing. . . when it’s true emptiness your being is dancing, It goes right through your physical body. Everything is alive again. You are dancing. The emptiness is dancing” – Adyashanti – Emptiness Dancing. The empty attic is like pure kinetic energy.

  2. Michaela says:

    Lovely analogy. Thank you…

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