Ninety-nine percent of the time, 99 percent of us live our lives in the periphery rather than from the center of our being. This has its purpose and has established the comfortable material existence we have today, but this is a universe away from a fully conscious existence. Only rare unconscious visits are made to our center, that place where it's possible to "know thyself" and the implications thereof.
With the periphery constantly calling our attention and being made so shiny and pretty, why we'd want to move inward is ultimately an experiential wisdom. For now, suffice it to say that our individual being is described in many spiritual traditions as a microcosm of the universe. Our center is as the sun. Nothing can touch it, much less harm it. It sheds light on all things. It's the self-sustaining, life-giving, ultimate observer of the universe. Yet as great as the sun is, the planets and most life forms upon them are completely oblivious of its glory.
Similarly, most people are oblivious to their center of being. They are too caught up in archetypal dramas. They have scripts they feel they must play out, scripts that all revolve around worldly and peripheral desires. Each desire brings with it a drama or quest, and each quest follows a certain universal storyline. You can recognize them everywhere in life, from history to television, but most readily in mythology.
To move to our center we can simply jump out of our script at any time — an opportunity that's rarely recognized. We're usually too busy trying to fulfill our role or quest first. And if it doesn't take our whole life to do so, sometimes even before completion of one drama we're readying ourself for yet another. We jump back into the spinning wheel again and again, allowing its inertia to throw us back out to the periphery.
The best place to see the world in perspective is from the sun, the center of the universe; from there you see the entire universe. And the best place to see oneself is from one's center, and consequently from there you can see the same consciousness that animates all beings.
When we have awareness of the scripts we cycle into, we can consciously observe them. Observation, which is symbolically a power of the sun, is a phase of liberation. The more equanimity (evenness of being) we can bring into our script the more we interrupt age-old and miserably dramatic patterns. This creates a gap in our dramatrix (dramatic matrix) through which we can differentiate the outer world of acting from the inner world of true being.
We're then free to live consciously in either space and to connect at will to that central consciousness that enables us not only freedom from our own scripts but also the ability to see the scripts that others are unconsciously caught in. We therefore escape our own dramas and can keep from falling into the dramatrix of others. We go beyond the fears, miseries and limits of an unconscious peripheral existence into the fearless joys and unlimited potentialities of living consciously in the center of our being.
WILLIAM BRASHEAR is a Yoga Psychologist and owner of Cincinnati Yoga School in Blue Ash. He's been practicing progressive meditation since 1988 and gives lectures and instruction locally and internationally. Contact him at [email protected].