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Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Unfolding

An Unfolding Dynamic Organism of Consciousness

The soul is not only a conscious presence; it is an unfolding dynamic organism of consciousness. She is pure potentiality, a potentiality that is inherently dynamic, whose dynamism unfolds the elements of her infinite potential through a process of morphing manifestation. The unfoldment of the soul produces not only constant change and transformation, but also movement toward a greater actualization of potential. The more potential manifests, the wider and the deeper is our experience, and the more expanded our sense of who we are and what we can do. A seed not only generates other seeds, or other kinds of seeds; it opens up and develops into a tree. The morphogenic transformation is not only a generation of forms, but also a generation of ever-expanding forms, forms of increasing complexity and organization. The mind expands not only in terms of the different functions it can exercise, but also in the development of these functions to greater and greater complexity and performance. Our emotional life develops and matures in intensity, depth, range, level, and kind. The way we experience ourselves evolves in an ever-increasing complexity and richness.

Beginning to Perceive the Inner Unfoldment of the Soul

Physical reality is the most difficult to perceive as part of a whole unfolding pattern. We usually think of physical reality as static, clunky objects outside of ourselves and we have the sense that time passes—both are very difficult perceptions to get beyond. But when observing your inner experience, it is easier to see that there is always an unfolding occurring that you are not making happen. Your sensations, thoughts, and feelings are unfolding and manifesting constantly. In fact, they are unfolding regardless of what you do. Can you stop your thoughts? There is a continual renewal of inner experience going on all the time. It is easy to see that it is not as though our inner experience is happening inside the body while time passes outside it. In reality, our body feels different in each moment. When you become aware of this, you begin to perceive the inner unfoldment of the soul. You might even experience the substance of the soul itself as a dynamic flow with an energetic aliveness. This is close to the sense of the overall unfoldment of reality, in which the flow is not happening just inside of you but everywhere.

Facets of Unity, pg. 277

Every Realized Human Being Continues to Work on Inner Development

Every realized human being continues to work on inner development. There is no end to the development and unfolding of essence. This development proceeds by exposing more and more, perhaps in time very subtle aspects of the personality. After the basic identification with personality is broken, the process of dissolving the subtler aspects of the self-image usually becomes easier. It is a continual dissolution of the boundaries of self-image, resulting in more expansion. It is not that personality is gone and now essence develops. It is rather that the more essence develops, the more personality is exposed and its boundaries dissolved. The fulfillment and expansion of essence is endless and boundless.

Experiencing Essence from the Perspective of Essence Itself

As the pearl beyond price develops and as the true self is understood and integrated, there occurs another radical transformation. The identity starts shifting from personality to essence. The individual starts experiencing himself as essence, instead of the experiencer of essence. Experiences of ego death occur here. Inner aloneness is accepted. Personal boundaries dissolve. Essence begins to be experienced from the perspective of essence itself. One starts to understand and experience boundlessness, timelessness, not doing, innocence, and purity. Essence and mind start becoming one. This manifests either as complete absence of thoughts, or the thoughts themselves are experienced as the spontaneous outpouring of insight. Life continues to be a process of creative discovery. The process of learning, unfolding, and expansion never stops. Essence continues to unfold, new dimensions arise, new modes of experience and insight emerge, new capacities manifest. The process of understanding continues; however, it is not seen as a necessity, as work, but rather as the process of creative discovery itself. Life becomes a process of creative discovery from the moment essence is recognized and experienced as one's true being. It continues to be an endless process of creative discovery when the identity shifts to essence; however, there is now the understanding that it is so.

In Actuality the Soul is Always Unfolding

In actuality the soul is always unfolding, for it is the nature of the soul to change and flow; however, the unfoldment of her identity is a sub-process that forms the deeper and most central part of the inner journey. It is the deepening of the center of the mandala while the unfoldment of the soul is the transformation of its general field. The center keeps deepening until it arrives at the dimension of depth itself, the absolute mystery. When this happens the identity remains the same. Who one is, what one is, is unchanging as the stillness of the absolute. We find ourselves, or the center of our experiential mandala, to always be the unchanging mysterious absolute, beyond being and nonbeing. The mandala is bound to be in continual change: the field of the soul will continue to transform and unfold. Yet, the center and ground of the soul, her conscious sense of her true nature, will always be the absolute. This is one of the implications of the dimensions of descent being all a matter of various degrees of integration of the manifest dimensions into the absolute. The inner nature of all these dimensions is always the absolute; thus, as the soul self-realizes these dimensions, the depth of her identity continues to be the absolute.

In the Third Journey the Unfolding is a Constant Arising of all Experience from the Absolute Source in the Now

We call it superluminal flight because it is the recognition that perception at that level is nothing but the illumination of the Absolute essence of Being. There is the perception of this mysterious depth, and its glimmerings are the manifestations of the various dimensions, the various star systems. Whereas in the second journey, the manifestations of Being continually shift from one to the next in a dynamic movement of the soul’s unfolding experience, in the third journey the unfolding is no longer a movement through time but a constant arising of all experience from the absolute source in the now. There is no spatial travel, no sense of process taking us to another dimension. The dimensions manifest spontaneously and instantly, as the continual emanations from the mysterious essence of reality. It is as if you remain in the same place, and experience merely manifests differently, through and around you, revealing new dimensions and realizations. This is in contrast with the first two journeys, which involve traveling in both space and time.

Knowing that Things are Unfolding According to a Certain Design, You do not Need to Have Your Own Plans

This evolution happens according to a certain design—a design that is true for all human beings. This design is called the Holy Plan or the Holy Work. It’s a Holy Plan in the sense that there is a specific universal design—which is the same thing as the process of the cosmos or the macrocosm replicating itself in the microcosm. Holy Work is the actual evolution itself, the actual transformation, so it is seeing that there is an actual transformation progressing from one step to another, from one stage to another, and going in a certain direction. Perceiving this design and this process of transformation is Holy Wisdom, which is perceiving the Holy Work or the Holy Plan. So, again, it has to do with functioning—functioning from the perspective of a design. If you have this perspective, obviously you will have basic trust. Knowing that things are unfolding according to a certain design, you do not need to have your own plans. You don’t need to fantasize about how things should be. So we can see how the loss or the absence of this Idea leads you to fantasize about how things should be, how you are going to be, to make plans, to plan for the future.

Facets of Unity, pg. 162

Rigid Patterns in Our Experience can be Transformed Into Fluid Patternings of a Self-Organizing Flow

When inquiry is open and open ended, it discloses the knowledge that is always available within experience. An open-ended inquiry means that the rigid patterns in our experience can be transformed into fluid patternings of a self-organizing flow. Before we enter into the process of questioning and inquiry, our experience is rigidly patterned; it arises in repetitive, compulsive, obsessive patterns. When we look into and challenge what is determining and fixing these patterns, their rigidity dissolves and our experience starts unfolding in new ways. Even with that dissolution, our experience doesn’t lose its sense of pattern, and this is because pattern is the sense and meaning of experience. We still recognize patterns in our experience, but there is a more fluid and fresh patterning to the flow of experience. It has a fluidity and smoothness, a lightness and spontaneity to it. We feel free. When your experience is in rigid patterns, you are in prison. When your experience flows in fluid patterns, you feel the freedom of experience.

The Moment You Have an Idea of how Things Should be You’re Creating Walls and Sitting Inside Them

What I’m doing is opening your mind so you can allow and perceive a certain attitude, a certain way of being. The freest attitude for the process of growth is the attitude of complete allowing. You are not passive, and you are not active. You are allowing. We will see that the process unfolds from one thing to the next. The process emerges if you give it the space to emerge. Your most important work is to understand the barriers you have against the unfolding. Wherever you are, you look at yourself and understand what your barriers are, what the things are that are stopping you from fully experiencing what is there. When you do experience fully, you don’t try to hold on to the experience or determine what direction it will take. You just experience it fully and that’s it. Your mind is open for anything to happen. This requires a certain trust in the process, a trust that there is such a thing as transformation, and that it will be good, that it will be the best thing. The attitude of trusting without knowing what will happen, of allowing things to emerge, is needed at all levels and stages of the process of inner development. It applies to the external level, the emotional level, the subtle levels, essential levels, all of them. Any idea of how things are going to be will only work as a boundary. The moment you have an idea of how things should be, you’re creating walls and sitting inside them.

The More We are Present Where We are the Greater the Sense that there is Meaning to Our Experience

Einstein believed that the notion of quantum jumps is just an approximation of what happens. We assume quantum changes because we’re not paying close enough attention, and our theories are not precise enough, to see the continuity of change. Reality is actually a seamless, self-existing field. We say that it is light, but this light is not composed of particles. It’s a fluid that is not particularized; it is constantly flowing and unfolding. That is how reality is all the time. Why don’t we recognize our experience in that way? Because we’re not being real, we’re not being ourselves. We are not where we are. We’re not present where we are. The more we are present where we are, the greater the sense of flow, the sense that there is a meaning to our experience, that a continuum, an unfolding, is at play. So our life becomes meaningful because not only are we in touch with the meaning of our life, we are being the meaning of our life. We are at the place where this meaning is unfolding.

True Orientation, From the Perspective of Being, is Just Presence Itself

We ordinarily think that a sense of orientation comes through knowing what to do, which direction to take. This implies that you know where you are going. True orientation, from the perspective of Being, however, is just presence itself. The now is orientation; the only real possible orientation is presence in the nowness. We cannot orient ourselves to the future because we don’t know where our experience is going to go. If we are present in the moment, that presence will unfold from instant to instant, thereby creating its own direction. When you are in the moment, being the presence that is unfolding, that unfoldment determines your actions, and your actions will feel just right, right to the point, because you are not separate from your Being and your action is completely unified with the presence itself. Your actions then are nothing but the unfoldment of Being. Since presence is everything and all of you, it is not as though you are moving your hand from here to there; presence is unfolding in this moment and in this moment and in this moment. The presence has unfolded like successive frames in a film. When this is your state, you feel like you are right on the mark, knowing what you are doing and where you are going. What happens within you and through your actions occurs spontaneously, naturally, effortlessly, because you are not separate from who you are. The moment you say, “I don’t want to go that way,” or “It would be better this way,” you are separating yourself from the presence that is unfolding. When you do that, your action does not have a sense of exactness or of appropriateness; it does not feel “on.”

Facets of Unity, pg. 179

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