Finding Joy by discovering the Inner Path
This great revelation came to me when I read ‘The Impersonal Life’ by Joseph Benner. A book that the late great Elvis Presley was a huge fan of. The book perfectly sums up how we can connect with our true higher self. Benner focuses on the foundation of how we must go within and connect with our inner consciousness as his primary teaching. He draws both eastern and western philosophy together and creates a unique cocktail that is highly effective when followed with perseverance. Benner makes it clear from the outset, that our true self is not who we think it is, our true self is deep within us.
Ramana Marhashi also spoke of the need to connect with the inner consciousness. Maharshi was once asked how God may be seen. I have included his answer below, here is a link also to the excellent blog it was taken from.
Questioner: How is God to be seen?
Ramana Maharshi: Within. If the mind is turned inwards, God manifests as the inner consciousness.
We must go within to find the true higher self governing our daily lives. The true higher self is the Soul / Subconscious Mind. For the purpose of this post and to keep things as simple and easy to understand as possible. I am going to be using the terms outer and inner consciousness throughout. The outer consciousness being our waking conscious mind, the world as it appears to us through the five senses. The inner consciousness as the subconscious mind, the inner self. The part of us that most of us have no knowledge of. We mistakenly often believe we are the conscious mind, the mind that sees, hears and feels through the five senses. We must learn that we have a much more peaceful and powerful inner mind lying behind the chaotic and wayward outer mind.
Understanding the Inner and Outer aspects of Consciousness
I wish to also emphasise that the outer and inner consciousness are not two separate parts of our consciousness. We do not have dual minds. They are merely two aspects of our overall consciousness. We only have one consciousness. But to keep things simple to understand today, I will be referring to these aspects as two separate functions. By explaining them as separate functions, we can begin to understand fully the process of going within and connecting with the inner consciousness.
The first stumbling block to overcome in understanding this process, is learning that we do have an inner consciousness. Many of us stumble blindly through life, believing only the outer conscious mind exists and there is nothing greater than the daily grind we experience. Going within and connecting with the inner mind enables us to discover something very special that we may never discover otherwise.
Allowing the Inner to Rule the Outer
I must start by emphasising that when our outer consciousness, becomes the ruler of our inner consciousness then we are treading a dangerous path. We will often find that our outer mind becomes a tyrant and we become a slave to suffering. By connecting with the inner consciousness we can bring the outer consciousness back into balance. As I stated previously, many people in the self-help industry will constantly speak of positive thinking as being a cure for any negative experience we endure. I must state again that forcing yourself to think positively is a ineffective and temporary fix.
We must go below the surface of the outer mind and find the root cause of our suffering. By focussing on changing our surface thoughts, we are trying to change ourselves by only focussing on the outer mind. We are aiming to make lasting changes and not temporary changes. Suppressing negative thoughts is a short term and ignorant solution. By going below the surface, we can allow the inner mind to change the outer mind.
You are not Who you think you are
The world as we see it now, is who that we think are we. The person we see when we look in the mirror, is who we think we are. The fears and reactions we have, are who we think we are. The things other people tell us about us, make us who we think we are. I wish to now share with you that all of these things, do not define you as the person as you are today. You may well be thinking this sounds rather complicated or far fetched. But it is anything but complicated or far fetched!
Once you discover the simplicity of this way of thinking, you will be astonished at how effective this method is. It does not require climbing through spiritual dimensions, sitting on top of the Himalayas or doing endless affirmations. It is simply learning that the outer mind must be silenced and must not be allowed to run wild. This is the method of going within!
The basics behind the Method
The key to this method is simply learning to quieten the conscious outer mind and experience silence. Once you can experience the great silence and become aware of your thinking, you can then begin to tap into the real inner self. The inner self that lies beneath your conscious outer mind. The outer conscious mind is always full of thoughts, feelings, memories and plans. We think and believe this is who we are as people, but often it is simply a reflection of what society has told us we are as people.
Observing the Outer conscious mind from Within
To fully discover who we are as people, we must learn to quieten and become aware of the outer mind so we can tap into our inner mind. The difficult part of this explanation is that the method I am sharing with you, can not be fully explained in words alone. It is only when you experience this level of peace, that you can fully understand the message I am conveying. You will feel a deep sense of tranquility and freedom when you tap into the inner consciousness. Suddenly the outer person you think you are, the ‘John Smith’ or ‘Sarah Clarke’ seems to disappear for that moment. This can be quite unnerving when you first experience it, but becomes liberating once experienced consistently.
If you can experience the sensation of standing back from yourself, and seeing your outer conscious mind as a separate instrument then you have successfully made progress. Instead of remaining trapped in the bondage of your outer mind, you have become the observer of your outer mind. Once you are observing the outer mind and it’s various ramblings. You are finding your connection to your inner mind consciousness. Suddenly you are not a slave to the outer mind anymore, but the observer of your outer minds workings. You will notice suddenly that when you step out of the outer mind and into the inner mind, the level of freedom you experience is something profound and hard to define. It could be likened to stepping out of the body at will. You are literally stepping from the outside of your consciousness and into the heart of your consciousness.
The Art of Inner Awareness
‘Awareness is an inner quality of consciousness, it has nothing to do with closed or open eyes‘ – Osho
Awareness is the art of becoming aware of your outer mind and realising that your outer mind does not define you as a person. You are not a slave to your mind and you must not continue to let your mind tell you that it is running your life. Your outer mind is simply filled with conditions and beliefs that you have picked up, throughout your life that have led you to becoming it’s slave. The inner consciousness is the true guide of the outer consciousness. Once we go below the conscious outer mind, we can find peace again and can even begin to mould the outer mind and change it’s direction. Any changes we wish to create in our external lives, must come from within. Any changes we wish to create in our lives must come from connecting to our inner consciousness.
Connecting with the inner part of ourselves is the true art of going within. Once we connect with this inner mind, we can see the outer mind for what it actually is. We can discover that the conscious mind is quite often our biggest enemy. The conscious mind will constantly bombard us with negative thoughts and negative feelings, we must no longer allow this to happen. Bringing silence to the outer mind and temporarily shutting it down is the key starting block of self development. We quieten the outer mind and we are free from negative thoughts and feelings and can experience a sense of deep peace again.
Meditation is allowing the Inner consciousness to become Present
Learning to meditate is a fantastic starting point for this exercise but it is not only something that can be achieved through meditation alone. This is a skill that once mastered, can be executed at any point throughout your daily lives. It is not something profound or mystical, it does not require endless mantras or strange dances, it is simply the ability to quieten and become aware of the conscious outer mind and experience the deep sense of peace that lies deep inside you. By quietening the conscious outer mind we connect to the spiritual higher self, we do not need to ascend or fly anywhere.
The spiritual levels are not up in the clouds, they reside within us all. Going within allows us to connect with spirit. Anytime you have heard of someone becoming enlightened, they have simply followed the process of connecting fully with their inner consciousness. They have become awakened to the knowledge they have an inner consciousness and no longer remain a slave to their outer conscious belief systems. They understand the fact that they can change their external lives by going within and experiencing the great peace that lies within themselves.
‘Strenuously withdrawing all thoughts from sense objects, one should remain fixed in steady, non-objective [ie. subjective] enquiry. This, in brief, is the means of knowing one’s own real nature; this effort alone brings about the sublime inner vision.‘ – Ramana Maharshi
This is not a ten year process of discovery, this is something that can be tapped into right now in this very moment! This is the process of going within your own being and telling the tyrant that is your outer conscious mind to take a hike! It does not require a £5,000 investment to make progress on this path. Let me reassure you again also, this is the TRUE path.
To experience our spirituality, we need to become aware of our thinking for a few moments everyday. By being fully aware of our conscious outer mind. We then experience the deep spiritual nature of ourselves and shut down the personality. We get the chance to connect with the TRUE SELF, we connect with the inner soul which is our true impersonal nature. Once you have experienced this revelation, you will no longer spend all of your days searching for answers. You will know all of your answers were inside you from the very beginning. You will also know your personality/body is just the vehicle you carry with you. The personality and body can be changed at any moment you want it to change when you go within. Once you discover this, there is no turning back and a wonderful revelation it is, that it could possibly be this simple.
My next post, will be focussed on the simple three step process Christian D Larson outlined to connecting with the Inner consciousness.