The Discovery of Inner Space

Inner space may be built from inner non-resistance, non-judgment and detachment from things of the world. You are supposed to enjoy and honor the things of this world without giving any importance and significance to them which they don’t deserve. Most people’s lives are filled with object consciousness where their minds are having one thought after another. They should thus balance this with space consciousness where they do not place so much importance to impermanent things of the world. Inner space is also freedom from ego and materialism. It is a spiritual dimension that can bring transcendent and true meaning into the world. Inner space involves feeling present and conscious in your actions. Sometimes you may rise beyond thought which is the next evolution of human consciousness or fall below thought which is a regression to an already passed stage in the evolution. For instance, a TV just like alcohol and other drugs makes your mind inactive by absorbing but not producing therefore falls below thought and does not create inner space.

Inner space can be recognized by appreciating simple things like sounds, sight and touch, the beauty of the skies, feeling kindness to strangers and enjoying your own company. These forms of little things leave room for inner space. Inner space be found by being conscious and aware that you are conscious, sensing your presence and state of being and by being alert and still in mind to allow the state of consciousness.

Presence is a state of consciousness where you merge with a situation to allow a solution to emerge out of the situation itself. This prevents you taking credit for things accomplished which brings ego, obscuring spaciousness.

Thinking without perceiving can also help in the realization of inner space. In thinking, you require a sense of calm or stillness in the background. Consciousness should not be absorbed by thinking, allowing it to remain formless, unconditioned and in the original state. Another way of finding space is determining who the experiencer is. A person is an experiencer and the consciousness; consciousness is the spirit. There is the subject (I) and the object, the known and the knower without which nothing could be known. The I have no form and is a luminous space in which the world arises and subsides. This space is the life that I Am which is timeless and eternal. Although you cannot know consciousness, you can become conscious of yourself. This underlying, I Am consequently brings inner space.

Breath awareness takes your attention away, creating space, generating consciousness. Breath is not an object since it has neither form nor shape. It is an insignificant thing that brings happiness that when concentrated on forces you into the present moment and high alertness. It makes you rise above thoughts thus raising space consciousness.

Addictions may prevent us from finding our inner space. Addiction gives a compulsive need in a person, which you need to take three conscious breaths to fight it; generating awareness. One needs to make the addiction part of your awareness practice and as the awareness grows addictive patterns weakens and eventually dissolves. Taking two to three conscious breaths will also make you feel the body from within, feel life in the body parts and therefore aware of the inner body as a whole. This inner body is spacious and formless. It becomes a pathway to inner space which even if has no form, is alive. Hence, awareness of the inner body creates space.

Inner space can also be created by allowing a gap of alert attention before the mind names or interprets what you see. The duration differs from one person to another but during this period you get the ability to feel inter-connected and free of ego, because with ego, there is complete unawareness of the dimensions of space. Inner space also arises whenever you let go of the need to emphasize your form-identity. This need is the ego and is not a true need. So there is a need to lose yourself in order to become more of yourself. Another way of generating consciousness is de-emphasizing who you are on the level of form. This enables you to discover the enormous power flowing in your world.

Finally, becoming conscious of stillness whenever we encounter it in our lives will connect us with the formless and timeless dimensions within ourselves, which is beyond ego and hence bring inner space. Stillness has no form while thought has. So, being aware of stillness means being still and thus conscious without thought. When still, you are whom you were before the assumption of the physical and mental form of a person.

My favorite passage from this chapter is the Sufi story because in life one is faced with new challenges and events every day. By learning to say ‘this, too, will pass’ will help someone not to get too overexcited in times of good things nor get too sad whenever things are not going right. This detachment, in my view is very important as it will bring a mentality of impermanence of forms in this world and the spirit of letting go. In the real world, situations are not permanent nor are they of any absolute importance.

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