The Journey Continues is a sequel to Journey of a Lifetime: A Group Story and continues the account of the group’s journey through more than thirty years’ work. We continue to post a chapter each month. Here is this month’s chapter. Please Note: Copies of the book are available from Sydney Goodwill.
CHAPTER TEN- Sensitivity
The growth or development of sensitivity is behind the evolutionary process. It is not about being endowed with senses or a responsive sense apparatus and sent forth into the world but in conjunction with the evolutionary forces and our environment, senses develop. Sensitivity implies a ready or an acute response to some stimulus or other. It is basic to our ability to apprehend and to know anything. And this depends on the capacity or the refinement of our vehicles of expression at any moment in time to respond with accuracy and understanding to whatever is in any dimension of the environment – physical, emotional, mental or spiritual.
That which is – the revelation we may seek – is everywhere present and at every moment. It is only the lack of sensitivity of the vehicles of expression we are using at any moment that hides it from us, whether in part or some essence of it or in its entirety. With this thought in mind we may see sensitivity as the capacity to apprehend the subtle dimension, that which is emerging.
We are challenged to develop a truly sensitive apparatus and to use it to stretch our capacity to imagine, to incorporate, to see that whatever it is we are approaching always has a higher counterpart, to see ever greater wholes. In this process we increase the ability to anticipate that which is next or that which hovers just beyond the borders of our present awareness. So do we develop a more subtle sense but only as we acknowledge the possibility and move in sensitive awareness into another area of contact and response.
Unless we embrace the understanding that evolution or expansion of consciousness – progress through time and space, through eternity, through the universe – is never static, then we will come to a point where we will just atrophy. This is the mistake that has been made by any orthodox school of thought throughout time, often by placing one great leader or another in a position of perfection, as being the ‘only begotten’, the only ‘spokesperson’ of Deity. The teacher becomes deified and the followers never understand that he is demonstrating what we all must become.
Through the evolutionary process, through this increasing realisation of perfecting in one system after another, we find the story of sensitivity. During the past age our teachers in the field of religion have shut the door to expansion of awareness to a great extent. In other fields, such as science, the door is ajar because science recognises that it never has the final statement and is open to further discovery. Religion desperately needs to move onward and, as we are told, into the Life aspect. Actually, it is life that is missing.
We may understand that we cannot move on into these increasing areas of sensitivity that bring us an awareness of ever greater, deeper, wider states of realisation unless we can conceive of the possibility – unless we can develop the capacity to imagine, to visualize what may lie ahead, not necessarily in detail but a realisation of its magnitude, and not as an impossible goal – as something we attain to. Thus we develop a preparatory sensitivity to that which lies ahead, a sensitivity that will relate us to, identify us with, enable us to recognise these higher states as we approach them. The door is open.
We find ourselves returning to that thought of going through the curtain of our own human nature, and perhaps of our own soul nature. Through. Until we discover where we are going. We are however already contained within that life. We use words like ’going’ because the whole idea is related to life; it is related to movement. There is no point where anything is stationary and therefore in a state of breaking down. That is death. Static conditions mean death. The withdrawal of life is death. And, my friends, there is no death. There is only life in all dimensions.
So as we develop this sensitivity, this preparatory sensitivity, we move increasingly into ever-greater areas of recognition of life itself. And just as it is said that we tread the path and eventually realise we are the path itself, it is spun out of our very own being, then we come to the stage where we know that our being is one with Being itself, a state of being which we share along with every other entity as conscious parts within one whole.
Through every dimension sensitivity is our guide and teacher whether it be within the average human field of living, within intuitive levels of spiritual sensitivity or within higher levels of sensitive response to divine purpose. And if we care to look towards even more exalted expressions of Life we will find that the great sun Sirius has been called the ‘Brilliant Star of Sensitivity’.
Traps for Young Players
As we think about developing or increasing sensitivity in order to better serve the work of our time it is useful to recognise traps we may fall into. These may be difficult to recognise as we find ourselves immersed in the learning process. We may even be unaware that they can, in fact, exist.
Once again, the problem and the challenge lies in the fact that we have such a facility in identifying with the teaching or the methodology which we may elect to use to steer our course, that we can unknowingly become trapped within the process itself. There are many useful methods and printed works that can provide us with very sound instruction and pointers to the Way. However, we must never lose sight of the fact that this is all they are and they are in themselves not that which we seek.
How often we may take a course or read a book and our focus of attention is normally and naturally upon the material itself. Our intention may well be the discovery of what these sources can reveal but we have to realise that which we seek is other than the means and, in fact, does not resemble it. Can we see energy? Can we see experience per se? Let us distinguish between learning and its process, and experience. And let us understand the value and the use of the subtle sensitivity awaiting our recognition.
If, when we have read any profound teaching, we are asked whether we really understand it, do we believe we are being asked whether we have the capacity to extend our understanding to absorb yet another layer of the truth? Perhaps this may be so. But more significantly we are being shown that the word description of the mechanisms and the forces that drive the universe and the worlds we live in, cannot bring us to realisation. It is only when that centre, that source of knowing, is touched and awakened within us that the emerging reality of Life and its living processes dawns upon our consciousness, is released into our awareness and expression.
Any written or spoken exposition of the deeper truths may give us much useful information but it is another thing altogether to find the release of our knowing whereby we become conscious directors of these energies and participating expressions of Life itself.
As a group we have focused our thought upon that word through and have endeavoured to find its releasing power. Initially we have set about defining its movement and the mechanism of its operation. Our minds do this and automatically swing in to aid the exercise. Minds are developed tools. But where is that subtle sensitivity that alone may apprehend the subtle worlds of our true being and deliver into our hands the ability to move in conscious awareness through the unfolding dimensions of life opening out before us?
So we have used that word through to move, to free up energy, within our life expression or within the work we do but there are many, many other ‘forms’ or ‘devices’ we may choose to employ for the purpose. We must always remember that the form is representative only of that which we seek and behind every form is life or energy.
Don’t be trapped!
As had happened before, while writing this chapter a caller made contact and spoke about a workshop that she and a close co-worker had just presented. During a role-play discussion around inclusive community building the group became aware that although they were all well intentioned about inclusiveness, the languaging and therefore the dynamic in the moment polarized around ‘we’ and ‘the others’. A shift occurred as everyone suddenly realised how they were thinking and speaking about their intention. In that moment there was a breakthrough and they realised they had a common goal.
Sensitive to their common intention, together they passed through the apparent outer differences of view into a true realisation and demonstration of the nature of inclusiveness. They changed the dynamic by changing their approach from outer and separated emphases to that inner sensitivity which revealed the reality of that which they were addressing: inclusiveness.