When you are very young, your perception is very different. As small children, we revel in the imagination. But for most of us there comes a point, often starting when we begin school, where we begin to be taught what is real and what is not. We are taught by people doing a job, whether they believe or not in the concepts of the reality they are teaching. Most often, our parents go along with this process. An element of fear drives everyone involved, as no one wants the child not to be able to fit into the accepted reality by which we all live. What might be called an overactive imagination in children is deemed “undesirable,” even if the words are not expressed as such. We are taught to be focused in the here and now, to have a firm grip on reality, and to be able to work with the mind in logical directions and patterns. These are all goals to be achieved and then praised for having achieved them. Yet at the same time, we see parents, teachers and others struck with a sense of awe when a child comes out with a statement which is deemed profound yet makes no logical sense. Even though these adults are perpetuating the importance of logical concepts, just for a moment they come back again to be in touch with themselves, as they listen with wonder to a child’s profound, wise and magical thoughts.
A child’s imagination is often seen as wondrous, enjoyed from time to time, but is many times stifled and kept firmly in its place. It is no surprise that as adults many of us have difficulty in letting go and allowing our imagination to run free when we do give ourselves that freedom.
A child’s reality is full of colors and vibrations, unformed thoughts all going on at the same time. And it is the same for all of us as adults, even if we are not aware of it. In early childhood it is clearer, simply because before a certain age is reached, and the mind begins to “make sense” of the fabulous and rich array of senseless matter, we see things how they are. The sense comes into play as we begin to learn, and are taught, that this is black and this is white. From then on, we accept that what we believe is order. In many ways, we stop looking and seeing. We no longer really look at a chair or a flower. We have no need to. We already believe we know exactly what it is. We have been told what it is and then later have told ourselves many times just what that object is, so we stop looking. Then we begin to believe that nothing is new, that there is nothing to look at. It could be many years later when perhaps for a moment we step out of our conditioning and happen to notice that a flower is giving off a light or subtle energy, that it feels and moves, and is very much alive. Then we are once again delighted and somehow surprised that we did not notice it before. Yet this flower was always there to be noticed. We had just stopped looking.
Each and every day we have a choice of how to be and how to perceive reality. Yet most of the time we just go along with life and are not particularly aware. Reality even becomes boring and usual, made stale by custom, and also totally solid somehow. We may even feel imprisoned by that solidness. We search for things out there, things that are different and have other meanings, not even noticing all that is around us and before our very own eyes, because we simply stopped looking and seeing a long time ago. We grow also to see our lives and ourselves in very fixed ways. We grow to believe what we see is the sum total of us and how everything is. We become blas. At times our perception can become so narrow that what we see is a very small picture indeed.
To develop further awareness of who you are and where you are at any particular moment, try this short exercise. Ask yourself: “Where am I right now?” If you are standing in the kitchen doing the dishes or driving along in your car concentrating on the road, your first answer will be: “I am standing in the kitchen doing the dishes,” or, “I am driving my car.” Now ask yourself: “Where else am I?” Be aware that your mind may also be with someone else, your husband, one of the children, a friend you spoke with earlier, perhaps in events that happened yesterday, last week, or even years ago. You might also be at a planned weekend that you are looking forward to in the future, at a party, or in the distant future seeing how life is going to be for you then.
These are just two small examples of other times and places where you are probably, at the same moment, as well as where you already know you are right now. There are many more. You can develop this awareness even further by asking yourself again: “Where else am I also right now at this moment besides the past and the future?” You might find yourself being aware that you are in quite an unfamiliar setting, wearing clothes that you do not know and do not recognize. If this happens, just accept the process, keep asking yourself more questions, and receive more answers. Some people call this the awareness of “parallel realities.” This may be true or it may also be that as we develop and expand our awareness and understanding, we find that “parallel” is a concept as limited as the concept of “linear time” and so-called “straight lines of thought and existence.”
We all play many different roles most of the time. You can expand your awareness of this fact by simply stopping for a moment now and asking yourself: “Who am I being right now?” Again, there are endless possibilities. You may be the one in charge, the angry one, the victim, or the winner. Look at the role you are playing and see which face comes to you. Is there a timeframe to that face and being? Is this someone from the past or the future or is he or she timeless? Remember, I use “past,” “present” and “future” only as a form of accepted measure, not as any kind of fixed reality. As you develop more and more your own awareness, you will see that you are an amazing actor or actress. You create quite beautiful, sad and dramatic, and even dreadful dramas. We each work in different ways. Some of us prefer drama, some mystery, others comedy. Notice how you play. All of these roles and scenarios are played out in our lives on a daily basis. The field of psychology realizes this, but in a limited way. You do not need a special regime or concept to unravel the mystery of yourself. You just need to ask the questions and believe in your own answers, and to continue developing your awareness. The further you go, the more you will discover how absolutely amazing you are. In fact, television, books, plays and video games pale into insignificance, when you realize that nothing is quite as fascinating and entertaining as you are.
One of the most fascinating things for me as a clairvoyant has been the excitement and wonder that I feel when I see how each separate individual perceives reality and the different paths he or she follows to arrive at those perceptions and conclusions. No two individuals perceive in exactly the same way. This might be one of our greatest stumbling blocks, not realizing fully that we all are so very different, and yet we have a constant drive, almost need, either to fit in with others or to change others into clones of ourselves. We can learn and experience so much more when we step back and allow others as well as ourselves, to be who they really are, and accept, allow, and even expect differences between all of us.
What is happening now worldwide, I suppose, is that individuals are redeveloping their own practice of listening to others as well as listening to themselves, becoming more aware of assumptions, and delving deeper into their own feelings and thoughts. Because after all, how can we express our perception of reality to others if we do not yet have a knowledge of it ourselves? How many times do we find ourselves responding to questions about our opinions with an almost tape-recorded type of response? Are these opinions truly our own or are we simply going with the mass response? How often do we stop and realize that our opinions have changed and continue to change over time? Something we truly felt and believed in before may have changed without us even ever realizing it. Re-evaluating our perception is part of truly being the individual that we are in the here and now. Finally, let me point out that there are no limitations to self-healing and healing. We each have within ourselves the capacity to heal and the knowledge of how to do it. I can also see clearly that we have within us the ability to live without dying. Discovering this part of us might not be easy, but it is there and it may very well be only a matter of time in the evolution of mankind before we do not need to die. It really is possible. We have the ability within us now to choose to die or not to die, but we have not yet looked into this possibility deeply enough or located this reality within ourselves. When we step backwards far enough, the time will come when we see that living and dying are not the beginnings and endings that we have believed and therefore made them to be. As we step back and become aware of who we truly are, we may well become intoxicated with the vastness, the greatness and the endlessness of the possibilities, realities and expressions of ourselves still waiting for us to realize. Then words such as “nothing is ever only as it seems” will fill us with excitement and a sense of adventure. Doubt and insecurities will fade into the past and we will smile as we remember how we once were.
Adapted from THE ESSENCE OF SELF-HEALING: HOW TO BRING HEALTH AND HAPPINESS INTO YOUR LIFE. Copyright by Petrene Soames. ISBN # 0-9700444-0-2.