To be still and know that I am God is really the best advice any spiritual teaching offers! But how to exactly do that, and what it means, has been met with a lot of confusion for far too long!
We often think of the HOLY SPIRIT as an external force to be connected with, taught by etc. Yet we are also taught “The kingdom of heaven is within you” “Seek not outside yourself” and “Become as children” etc.
The central theme here, or in ANY spiritual teaching, is to find within you your “holy” natural state! “I am as God created me”.
The so called “Ego thought system” can therefore be looked at as an overlay to hide the truth about myself! My point is this: if I am as God created me, it can ONLY mean I AM the Holy Spirit! (Stay with me here lol) It is my mind and my belief about myself that tells me otherwise! My own Physcological structures built up over time that I am my body, my name, my job or any other numerous things we use to carve an identity with, hides my divine and natural self. Even if you are resistant to this idea; that in itself is a clue that this is the case! But I’m asking you for just a moment to lay aside any resistance and keep reading. I’m not asking you to believe me. Nor am I trying to convince you of anything! I’m asking for your willingness to investigate your belief.
I’ve noticed that if I just take time to focus my attention on what it feels like to just be me… without a story or narration about myself. What I find is that my mind has hijacked my life!
My mind is far too noisy to actually find any truth in the words “be still and know that I am God”! I’m sure you have also noticed that the voice in your head is incessantly talking and never shuts up. Often even in our sleep! It tells us who we are what we SHOULD or should not do. That we are a bad or good person based on some action, event or circumstance that has come up in our life.
What would it feel like if you could just shut it off? Or not let it have such power over you? Could that be the peace that surpasses all understanding? Could it be that my mind is what stands between me and PEACE? You bet! What else could it be!??
I’ve noticed also that I cannot hold my attention on any single object without my mind wandering or inserting a commentary. (The will of the Godly self or the will of the ego mind. ) Hence a split mind as described in A Course In Miracles. So, I offer a simple experiment for you to try. So that you can see if what I’ve noticed is the case for you as well.
To witness this “split mind” or overcome your struggle with life. I’d like you to try the following instructions given by a man named John Sherman. http://www.justonelook.org/
“Notice that you can move your attention at will
First, move the focus of your attention away from this text for a moment and place it on the feel of your breath as it moves in and out of your body through your nose.
Focus on the sensation it causes as it passes across the flesh of your nostrils on the way out. You may find it easier to do this with your eyes closed.
Breathe in. Breathe out. When the out-breath ends, count silently to yourself: 1.
Breathe in. Breathe out. When the out-breath ends, count silently to yourself: 2.
Continue counting each out-breath in this way, until you reach 10, and then start over at 1.
If you lose count, just do the same thing: start over at 1.
Take one minute now to try this for yourself, and then return here and continue reading.
Move your attention to the sense of ‘me’
You can see from what you just did that it’s relatively easy to move your attention and focus it on any sensation you choose.
Now, in the same way that you moved the focus of your attention to your breath, move the focus of attention inward, looking for the faint sensation of what it feels like to be you. What you would call ‘me’.
What you are looking for here is the simple me-ness of you. Not the thoughts that pass through you, or the emotions that play within you, or the sensations that rise and fall within you. You are that which is always here. Everything else—thought, emotion, sensation—comes and goes in you.
If you are unsure now whether you succeeded in getting that moment of a direct taste of you, here’s something that may help.
Try to remember a moment in your childhood. It can be anything that you can remember yourself doing. It doesn’t need to be anything special, just an ordinary memory of an ordinary event. Try it now.
Now just see if you can remember what it felt like to be you in that moment. That’s exactly what it feels like to be you right now, isn’t it? Look and see.
It’s the same feeling of me. Exactly the same me-ness as now.
That’s all there is to it
Nothing more needs to be done now. This simple act of inward looking will automatically dissolve the background of anxiety, distrust and dissatisfaction that is the experience of life for most of us.
There is no need to try and stay there, or rest in yourself there. The moment of looking is very brief—so brief that you will hardly notice it.
You can do this simple act of looking at yourself in whatever manner works for you, whenever it occurs to you to do so.”
There is another way to do this that John Sherman offers Called:
“The Childhood Memory Method”
The instructions of which I copied here for you to try.
“To begin, just sit back and relax for a moment.
Close your eyes and just watch your breath for a little while. Nothing special about it, just rest your attention on the feel of your breath as it comes into and goes out of your body. Close your eyes. Breathe in… Breathe out… Focus your attention on the sensation of the air coming in and out of your nose. Do this for about one minute.
Now try to bring to mind a memory of an event from your childhood. It doesn’t need to be anything special. For me, it was the memory of coming out of an afternoon matinee on a hot summer day in New Jersey, when I was eight years old.
Just relax, and wait for a memory to appear.
When a vivid memory appears, see whether you are remembering it as if you were watching a movie, watching yourself as a character in the movie, as the memory unfolds in your mind. If you are, try now to go inside the scene, within the memory itself, to get the subjective feel of it.
Now see if you can get the subjective feel of your experience at the time, as the memory unfolds. Sink into it. For instance, try to feel the air temperature on your skin: does it feel hot or cold? What is the light like? Is it dark or is there plenty of light? Can you smell a particular scent? Can you feel the texture of an object when you touch it? Do you hear any sounds? Try to have the feel of that experience as you did then. And don’t worry if you can’t seem to feel the memory in this manner. Maybe you could try a different memory…
As soon as you get that subjective memory in mind and sink into the feel of it, try to see what it felt like to be you then, in the background, experiencing it all.
And now, move your attention one more time—this time to what it feels like to be you now.
That’s all there is to what we call looking at yourself. And you only have to try it once.”
I think you’ll find that in ACIM terms “choosing once again” is what John is referring to. It simply means the discernment between the story about me, which comes from my mind, and the actual ME that made up the story!
This is what the spiritual practice of meditation is really about. The act of meditation and its purpose is to notice the power we have (The gift of God) to focus and direct our mind. The Ego wants us to believe we ARE the mind and the product of our thoughts.
How could THIS be true?? If… I HAVE a thought, emotion, sensation or experience; certainly I am NOT THAT!!
There is a good example of this in the fairy tale story THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, the Beast represents the belief we are the story. Ugly and of a beastly nature. Ready to attack anyone who crosses us to defend a small sense of strength in what little identity and dignity we have left. A result of looking outside ourselves toward circumstance for our identity. Versus The Beauty who represents how the answer for this call for love brings our brother to the truth. It’s a beautiful story that points out how by trusting our own inner guidance, or the natural Self, we can bring about peace, abundance, and transformation. Something you want or you wouldn’t be reading this!
How often have you heard that things are easy and tried to figure out how that could be so? While all you can do is struggle in your mind how to make that your experience. Then end up only to suffer with thoughts of self worth that you can’t make it happen, or that life is not easy for you! Been there! Done THAT! And often still do! Because I forget one important factor! “Be still and know that I am GOD”
Our mind will NEVER sort this out!! That is not its purpose! The minds purpose is creation! To mis-create is to use the mind as an identity. The Axiom “I think therefore I AM” is backwards! I AM therefor I think… is actually the case! I have to exist before I can do anything! Including having a thought! So that Stillness that the words “Be still and know that I am GOD” refer to is the first cause! My thinking is the second cause and pretty much everything after that is an effect!
Mahamana Mahrishi teaches the method of self inquiry. The basic premise is that by asking the question “WHO AM I?” we remove all labels and concepts to find the true self that really runs the show. The Still one! The prior to all that is unchanging and “eternally” the same because it is the first cause and prior to everything!
Seek and you shall find IS true… but if we use the mind to look we’ll never really find it! We have to look at the owner of the mind. The ME that says “IN MY MIND” What we are Looking for is the one actually claiming ownership of the mind. Which is why it seem so confusing to the mind in the first place! That is also why we here words like the Truth is simple. Because it is! The comes in and complicates it by telling stories about it’s opinion and judgment of what IT thinks it is. Because your mind want to be the first cause and it simply can never be! It needs YOU to even exist! ( by the way; simple and easy are not the same thing!)
If you really listen to yourself talking, you’ll refer to yourself all the time. Usually has having something, doing something or being something. But we never stop to really smell the roses, so to speak, of who, or what, is being referred to. Instead we make a descriptive narration about an action, event or circumstance! “Be still and know that I am GOD” May just mean I am the creator of my own experience. I think it may also point to the truth of what Jesus said” I and my father are ONE” And the truth of that may be much much deeper than we care to admit or believe! Now that’s food for thought! Nah…Think I’ll just “Be still and know that I am GOD” and leave myself in peace! 🙂
Before I close I want to be clear about something! There may be some who would read this and think I am saying that I am GOD. That’s a misunderstanding; as I certainly am NOT saying that! I’m just saying that I am not separate from God… Nor are you! I’m simply pointing to the truth of what Jesus said ”I and my father are ONE”.
This post is meant to help you find a way to see this for yourself. If you have any misunderstanding of what it means to be one with God; I am simply providing a method to “Be still and know that I am God” as we are instructed to do. Hope that helps! I also hope you find the peace that your seeking! It takes time and as A Course in Miracles states; that is the proper use and function of time. To realize the true nature of your Self. ♥