If you haven’t done so, please do check out the comment section of the last post on parsing possible evolutionary stages of awareness — which assumes either an Inner or an Outer focus. Regarding that assumption, as my old friend, the Idaho activist Bill Chisholm says, the discussion about this division is “intriguing,” as is his extended comment in response!
Please consider this new post as a follow-up to that one, this time precisely zeroing in on Stages of Inner Awareness or Awakening — or maybe we should just say Effectiveness, both in the Inner and Outer worlds! Certainly, along with Bill, my own evolution has been primarily Inner, with Outer effects, both gradual, starting in earnest when I was 26 years old.
One day, while pushing my sons in their stroller through the aisles of a bookstore in Harvard Square, all of a sudden a book seemed to fall off a shelf. Did it really fall off? I have no idea. That is how I remember the incident which, when I look back now, feels like a crucial crossroads moment. All I know for sure is that my hand went right to the book like a magnet. The book was called In Search of the Miraculous, by a Russian mathematician, Immanuel Ouspensky. When I got home I put the kids down for a nap and opened the book. Did I have trembling hands? I seem to remember so, but that may be memory dramatizing the occasion.
In any case, right away I discovered that Ouspensky was a disciple of a mystic and spiritual teacher named George Gurdjieff. Here’s what was crucial for me: one of the chapters in the book focused on Gurdjief’s concept of “self-remembering.” From that moment on, the possibility that I was “asleep,” that all my actions were “mechanical,” galvanized me. I wanted to wake up, was determined to wake up.
Right then and there, when brushing my teeth, or walking down the hall, or bathing my two little boys (now 50 and 49 years old), or cooking dinner, or writing a philosophy paper for my graduate studies, or WHATEVER — I began to practice this technique of self-remembering, over and over again — and right then and there, waking up right now, in the moment, to whatever I was doing, helped me start to disconnect from the Matrix.
“I am here!” I would say, over and over and over again, before falling back to sleep, and then jerking myself awake once more. Gradually, in this manner, I developed another locus of awareness, one which witnessed whatever I was doing. And the rest, as they say, is herstory.
“Self-remembering” is the evolutionary foundation for the discussion in the following post. I appreciate very much the way the author parses “stages” of inner awakening. Indeed, he accurately describes the evolution of my own process — and that is so rare as to be astonishing. I thank him, and Gillian at shiftfrequency, for posting it.