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Can you imagine yourself without a gender, a role, a story, a sense of self that precedes you into the world? No mental concepts that define how you see everything? No language to structure the formless into form and separate you from others? This is how you were born. This is how you entered life on Earth (and how you will leave it), a divine soul without human definitions to shape it. And this is who you still are, deep within. No matter what words were spoken or names were given to you, your soul remains intact. Your soul is always connected to the Source from which it came, regardless of what separation is experienced by your personality or ego in the course of a lifetime.
The question for so many people at this time of awakening on our planet is: How do we get back there? How do we return to the child’s wide-eyed wonder and love of the world? Newborn babies are pure awareness, pure being. No language blocks or distorts that essential life force energy that flows through. As our human minds learn to name and categorize, that energy remains but goes underground. Our souls are disguised by the “personalities” that overlay our essential Self. Gradually we forget our divine connection, and our minds, supported by external social norms, define our daily experience. We don’t realize that our physical bodies are merely costumes that we are wearing for this particular lifetime. Consequently, we lose our sense of oneness with others and with all that is.
It takes ongoing intention and practice (or sometimes an identity-shattering experience) to return to conscious awareness of our soul’s presence. Habit and external distractions can often be impediments in this process, but the strength and power of the spirit within moves us forward even when we feel most lost or disconnected. I believe this because I have experienced it myself. The personality self I learned to navigate the world with carried me through my childhood and young adult life—until one day, at age 18, I met a new friend, a kindred spirit, who opened my eyes to the limitations of that self. I started to seek something greater and embarked on a decades-long journey into awakening and self-awareness. Not unlike many other seekers at this time. Ultimately, we are all meant to take this journey back to soul, back to Self.
As I learned meditation, yoga, and self-exploration, the doors to my inner being gradually opened. I experienced divine connection, or soul presence, through a variety of experiences with many spiritual teachers over many years. All of it led to the present moment, wherein the journey is deepening and in many ways becoming solitary. The final path back to God, to complete awareness and soul embodiment, often has to be walked alone because there really is no intermediary between your soul and its Source. They are actually one and the same, and this is a realization that occurs deep within your consciousness. It cannot be imposed from without.
So, at some point, you and I (and all of us) realize the oneness of all of life. We begin to see clearly how language was just an attempt by the human mind to explain a Mystery that cannot be solved or even translated into words and concepts. Only at the soul level do we “see” the connections and feel the power of Being itself. There are times when, as a writer, I try to express my own soul’s awareness, but I know it is an approximation of something vastly beyond my ability to describe it. It resides at the place beyond language, roles, and all other human designations.
This is the place without identity. It is the place we experience every time we are fully present in our lives. When we take a deep breath and feel the peace at our core, when we open our hearts to unconditional love of self and others. These are the moments when our soul awareness expands, and we know ourselves to be eternal and infinite, a divine presence that came to Earth to experience itself as human, awaken to its own divinity, and then return to the sacred Source from which it arose.
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