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A Key to Your Inner World

Barry Bowden

In the world of many people, each is different in many different ways – internal and external.  Some people seem more intellectually oriented, focussed on thoughts and reasoning, others more creative, focussed on and sensitive to feelings.  Yet others are action oriented, the direction of their action determined by thoughts or feelings – whichever is more dominant. These three modalities reflect the three streams of human evolution.

If we are honest with ourselves most of us would acknowledge that we would like to change ourselves, to live a more harmonious life.  But our actions let us down.  People say one thing but often do something entirely different – not necessarily because they are dishonest but more often because we act with a lack of awareness.  We are often out of tune with our selves or at least part of ourselves.

We want to live in a peaceful world yet we ourselves lack peace.  Our domination by emotions like anxiety, annoyance and worry demonstrate that peace and harmony have not yet found a place to live within us. Analysing our emotions will not lead us to freedom, but understanding the impulses that drive our actions will reveal a great deal about our inner world.  How often do we jump up to do something without thinking? This is an impulse. The earlier we go back in evolution the more impulse driven we were.  The animal kingdom is almost completely impulse driven - except for the angelic kingdom’s guidance and welfare. Each time an impulse comes we need to be aware of it. If we follow impulses they will continue to control us, and we will continue to wonder why we end up doing what we do not wish to do. If we emphasised awareness, rather than focussing so much on thoughts, we would learn more quickly.

I have done this, myself, for months and it showed the dramas within; being aware of them gives you choice in action. Often when I went to get something to eat, I became aware it was an impulse. The real intense desire was to get up and do something without a clear objective. This is impulse!

Steiner said in his book, The Philosophy of Freedom: "If I have an impulse and I follow it, my freedom is an illusion!" With this awareness, we find many mysteries of life within our self and the world. Ponder this for some time please. It has the power to transform your life.

When we are born and for our formative years, the conscious mind is barely awake – if it were awake, our memories of the day of birth would still be fresh in our minds. However, our reactions began forming then and the first seven to nine years are critical in establishing emotional memory.  As a result we have emotional memory which works completely differently from mental memory. Initial reactions form trigger points that we will refer to in later life and they are called reactions.

A song or smell can trigger emotional memories, and vividly take us back to an earlier time in our life, with the full sensation of that time.  This is something that the memory of the mind lacks.

Our emotions are the seat of reactions in life, so we need to learn how to feel how we are, without attachment, simply feel, without the mind getting in the way.

Much later, will and wisdom begin to drive actions, after we have worked our way through the vast underground network which is the basis for many actions. It is where our fear to live and die comes from as well as numerous other restrictive emotions.  Our wish to change will remain forever thwarted, if we rely on thoughts. Thought is only one small part of the equation of wisdom, so to leave actions to be guided by thought means feeling good for a day or two before our actions revert to instinctual patterns. To change our actions we need to take time to listen to, or more correctly, feel, exactly what we are feeling without analysis – this means spending time with yourself.

Many years ago Enrich Pfeiffer asked Rudolf Steiner the following question:

“Why is it that the spiritual impulse is so weak in the human being today?  People often try for many years with no real obvious results.”

Steiner’s answer was:

"The plant of today lacks the nutrition to connect thought with will."

How could this have anything to do with us? The occultism has the answer. If we look at a chart of the planes of existence we see the Physical reflected in the highest principle of this current cycle of evolution of Atma or Spiritual will. On the physical level, the plant is supposed to have nutrition capable of energising a part of the Etheric body into action. The two lower aspects of the Etheric guide all of the blood, digestion and elimination in the physical body. So, perhaps it is worth our while to investigate nutrition a little more than we do. Geoffrey Hodson said the first step to Self-realisation is a perfectly healthy physical body.

We are so busy looking for the brief enjoyment of the outside world, as it calls to us ceaselessly through the illusion of the mind, that we miss the inner symphony of life that is playing all the time. What this really means is that we rob ourselves of lasting inner joy by choices made every minute. The choice is to live in the moment.

It is possible to think that living in the moment is simply forgetting about the future and past and being aware of what is around us. However, this is only a partially true. Really living in the present moment means that we are able to integrate the future and the past, by not allowing our consciousness to be moved from where we are to a place of illusion. It is an illusion because we leave the present moment and visit the past or future.

You can observe this easily for yourself and when you do, it becomes real.  By proving it, observing it, realising it, in this way you come to know it from the inside out.  Do not misunderstand how powerful this is. Rudolf Steiner said:

You have done more for your real spiritual development if you have succeeded in transforming a single deep-rooted trait, than if you have acquired unlimited external knowledge.

Becoming aware of a trait is the first step in transforming it. The next step is to be quietly with yourself and allow yourself to feel it.  Take away all resistance to the unpleasant (or pleasant?) feelings, without words or analysis and all the ‘hows’ that flow from that.

We need to take time for ourselves, for meditation, contemplation.  It is easy to say that we do not have the time or that we already do this but it is just not working. If that is our thinking, we must be honest and acknowledge that what we are really saying is that "I'm not important enough." This is the truth of the matter, because even five minutes a day is 1,000 times better than none. Five minutes a day is better than 30-60 minutes once a week. Five minutes can grow and ultimately transform your life.

Slowly the drivers of our life show themselves again.  While seeing them does not stop them, it brings understanding to our life, and meaning can follow. We have all of the secrets of the mystery of life within us, waiting for us. All we need to do, is do – not think, which can derail our positive actions. The doing comes from will and when we trust to act with thought-free awareness, we begin to access the Higher Mind. This is the path of inner and world peace: stopping the struggle that rages within us, with understanding.

The magic of the inner world has no equal. It can be like a musical symphony of indescribable beauty where you become immersed in every chord and feel every note. You begin to realise your inner world is with you all the time – a core of indescribable Sacred Silence, surrounding you, interpenetrating you and others. We waste our time with small things that are at best a distraction, while the inner world waits for us to enter, waits to impart understanding and embody wisdom in action.

When in the silence of our intuition, the wisdom of the Divine Mind can come to us and speak in silence, yet everything is understood. We begin to feel and know, through the universe and ourselves in this space, that we are affecting everyone on the planet and why for the first time we can understand nature, listening to her silent voice. Goethe said that nature speaks to us constantly but betrays none of her secrets. All this then, becomes: A Key to your Inner Life.

Barry Bowden

Has been farming most of his life; changing to organics and later to Steiner's methods – in partnership with nature. Barry is an avid reader of classical Theosophy, learning lengthy tracts by heart for his own enjoyment – and that of others. He has practised what he read and finds Theosophy transformational. A National Lecturer for the TS in Australia, Barry started a TS group in Toowoomba, held a School of Theosophy in Perth and is a much appreciated speaker in New Zealand.