I spent the first four years of my life on our family's 120-acre farm in Ontario, Canada, not far from the St. Lawrence River. My grandfather purchased the old limestone house and acreage in 1920, then sold it in 1948 to my father. He was twenty-seven. I loved every aspect of the farm. The best part was standing up to my neck in our golden wheat fields and peering across the top as I watched the sunbeams and soft breezes wave through the grain. It always took me home–into the beyond. Here and there all merged together. It felt magical. Sometimes the feeling lasted all day, and if I scuffed my knee, or was bitten by a goose, it didn’t seem quite so bad as when I felt separate.
As I grew up, I stopped believing in the beyond and lost access to it. The veil took hold. I’m not sure when or exactly how it took hold, probably right after we left the farm and moved to California. It has taken decades to return to being the kind of open wonder I was when I was three and standing in the fields.
I tried to be more aware when I was twenty, but there was something in the way that I dubbed “the dullness.” I wanted it to go away, so I could be more aware and remember who I was before coming to this world. But it wouldn't budge.
It is a little like having an affliction. One we can sense, but if we try to move through it with our usual thinking, its foggy amorphous quality remains in place. It just sits there all the time. This is not our fault and has nothing to do with our intelligence. At the same time, we cannot evaporate this condition with how we usually think.
Our basic five senses allow us to learn and understand our physical world. But when we go outside those senses, like clockwork, the dullness appears. We marvel at the ability of people who delve deeply into themselves and discover something.
This dullness is a general human condition. People have known of its existence for thousands of years. It was there back then, and it is here now. The earliest reference I have found on the subject is “The Book of John” in The Secret Teachings of Jesus, Four Gnostic Gospels.
All is not lost, though. You have an invitation.
It’s simple, yet maybe not so easy. Ask yourself, am I being the tiny bit I know is true? Am I living it?
I’ve heard people say that they don’t know what’s really true. However, we all know things that aren’t true. That automatically points to something that we do know.
I’m not being flippant. It really works this way.
Begin with something easy, like the quality of kindness. Bring it forward into your everyday thinking and live it. Be it. Kindness is more potent than the dullness. Being kind will begin to carve a chink in the dullness so you can see more clearly.
Of course, there are pitfalls along the way.
It matters how clean we are inside. It matters what we let ourselves get away with. The big things are easy to see, like lashing out at someone or justifying our opinions. Pitfalls are also in all the tiny things. What about the dishes sitting in the sink for two days? What about when you quietly sit in an armchair and judge someone with your thinking? What about our self-importance?
A lack of internal honesty is one of our biggest pitfalls. It is so big; we don’t even know we are being it, let alone doing it. It’s our dishonesty with ourselves that keeps the dullness, the fog, in place. How is anything true, even profound, supposed to get through all that? And if it did, would you even notice it? Sometimes it takes a catastrophic event to get our attention and have us wake up.
We don't have to do that though. We can simply begin with small steps and move forward. We all make mistakes. When they happen, kindly get up, smile at yourself, and just do better the next time.
No catastrophes. No self-recrimination.
This is not about being perfect. Our imperfections are one of the gifts given to us as human beings. Imperfections help us see where to evolve and how to evolve–to become better.
"It is our sacred duty to evolve.”
Living what you know is true might seem like too much work and isn’t worth it. The good news is: We do not have an endless number of things to clean up or change in ourselves. No one does. We just have to start being honest about what we have let ourselves get away with. Things will change, slowly at first. As we are more internally honest, our awareness will open. The fog will begin to lift. The veil like a drape will be pulled aside.
That’s when things get interesting.
Peace & Love,
Nothing I write is meant as personal advice, so please be discerning. Do not believe anything I write without first seeing if it is true for you. If it is, fine. If it isn’t, put it aside.