The Impersonal Life, Chapter IV CONSCIOUSNESS, INTELLIGENCE, WILL
Much of the energy of 'The Impersonal Life' goes to hammering through the concrete of conventional thinking. Through its persistent words, the persistent reader allows the fluid actuality of existence to arise where it can seep into the cells of the body, and the thoughts of the mind.
Its central message — that the true self of each person, and of all life, is one, is evolutionary and revolutionary. When embodied, the shift from seeing oneself as separate from the 'other' to knowing the truth of underlying oneness will have more impact to change the world than was the realization that the earth is a sphere and not flat.
The mental knowledge that all share the same true self changes nothing, but its embodiment in actions changes everything. When all is known and felt to be sacred, disrespecting another person, the earth, animals, plants or a stone is disrespecting oneself. I cannot want for myself any more or better than I want for others and all my thoughts and actions turn to serving the wholeness of life.
From Chapter 4:
Therefore, I, and the I AM of you and of your brother, and the consciousness and intelligence of all cells of all bodies, are ONE.
...the same I AM that is the Life and Spirit animating all living things in the Universe, from the tiniest atom to the greatest Sun; that this I AM is the Intelligence in you and in your brother and sister; and that it is likewise the Intelligence which causes everything to live and grow and become that which it is their destiny to be....
My first reading of the book was in 1971 at age seventeen. I took to it readily and mentally assented to its message. One evidence of this is the ending given to prose I wrote for my high school literary magazine, Myriad:
A great voice speaks: You have walked your path with a sincere heart and an open mind, you have surrendered your will to find your inmost truth,
never turning from 'what is' no matter the obstacles that lay before you.
Be at peace now, for you have found yourself you are fulfilled the Universe is You.
In the forty-five years which passed since high school, I rarely gave thought to 'The Impersonal Life.' My younger brother Mark, with whom I was close, died in a car accident and I rebounded into a physical relationship and fundamentalist Christian outlook. The metaphysical books which had been most valued became the works of the devil to me. It took twenty-five years to free myself in 2000 from that self-made prison.
'The Impersonal Life' says that such 'detours' in a person's life are also guided by the True Self. I see the underlying purposes and agree. Still, in quickly passing thoughts it is painful to consider what might have been were it not for the 'lost' twenty-five years. However, I will not again put my power and authority outside myself, as when the Bible became to me the infallible word of God. 'The Impersonal Life' is also a book, also penned by a fallible human hand. It speaks certain truths, but ultimately the voice I must hear and discern speaks through the light-waves of the sun, the air currents of the wind, the inter-actions with a neighbor, and in the knowing that arises from within.
For sixteen years following my liberation, I was on a traveling spiritual adventure with my new life partner. We crisscrossed the States and crossed the oceans to live for times in Europe and Oceania. Life led me into working with vulnerable populations. Caring for the elderly, terminally ill, developmentally disabled and youth at-risk did much to soften my hardened insides. Writing was also part of my therapeutic journey.
By the time the thought came to read 'The Impersonal Life' again, a mental understanding — of the fluid actuality of existence and the one consciousness which is the Self of all — was engrained. I no longer need to be hammered to convince my illusionary persona of the truth of the one being. That truth pulses in my blood and bones and every cell of my body. However, automatic and reactive thinking still interfere with my experience.
My focus and inner work now is to embody the Truth through conscious actions which overpower the automatic and reactive and make living as the One Being the baseline of my reality.
From Chapter 4:
I AM You, the Real Self of you, All that you really are. That which you think you are, you are not. That is only an illusion, a shadow of the Real You, which is I, your Immortal, Divine Self.
I AM that point of consciousness focalized in your human mind which calls itself 'I'. I AM that 'I', but that which you call your consciousness is in reality My Consciousness, thinned down to suit the capacity of your human mind. It is still My Consciousness, and when you can drive from your mind all its human misconceptions, ideas and opinions, and can cleanse and empty it utterly, so that My Consciousness can have a chance to express freely, then you will recognize Me and you will know that you are nothing—being only a focal center of My Consciousness, an avenue or medium through which I can express My meaning—in matter.