By Suma Varughese
The use of this phrase helps you shift from the lower self to the higher self – the realm of peace, joy and freedom.
One of my favourite lines in the Bible is when Jesus meets a man who apparently has many devils inside him (multiple personalities?) and when he asks him his name, the man replies. “My name is legion for we are many.”
My name is legion for we are many. Can’t we all say this about ourselves? Don’t we all have several personages rattling around within us?
Eventually, as our inner conflicts reduce and dwindle, we are left with two distinct selves – the Higher Self and the lower self.
The lower self, of course, goes all over the place, a highly mobile and excitable entity with a reaction to everything and everyone. The Higher Self is peaceful and silent, and we can only feel its presence when the lower self slips into uncharacteristic stillness. Then and only then is its presence felt as a causeless peace, and joy. In this state we feel content and fulfilled, all strife stilled.
But as one progresses along the path, there comes a time when we can consciously bring the Higher Self into play so that we can move away from the influence of the lower self. And that is to ask yourself, “What is happening?”. When I do this I find that I am immediately returned to the inner domain. I become aware of the train of thoughts woven by the busy mind; I become aware of body sensations; and I experience the sense of being in the body. Instead of the unconsciousness with which the lower self plies its trade, I suddenly and sharply become aware. Just being aware enables me instantly to start breathing deeply and for a sense of peace and quiet to pervade me. I then state what is, in fact, happening. Perhaps I am resisting a headache or nursing a sense of upset because of what someone did or did not do. I acknowledge and accept my resistance and I also acknowledge and accept the original sensation – headache or upset.
This done, more often than not, the situation is wiped out from my consciousness and I am returned to ground zero.
I find this method helps with all matters. If, for instance, I am impelled by a strong urge such as losing my temper or giving in to a tempting morsel, I find that asking myself the question, “What’s happening” helps me to put a distance between me and the impelling energy and to consciously choose another mode of action.
When sadness or self-recrimination flood my system, the phrase “What’s happening?” helps me to not only become conscious of the energy but also to come to terms with it, and therefore to let it go. Thanks to the question, I am increasingly finding that there is no thought, feeling or state of mind that I need to resist beyond a point.
The more I ask the question, ‘What’s happening?’ the more often I return to consciousness. The more I act from consciousness, the more in control I am. The more in control I am, the happier I am. And that after all is the bottomline: happiness – unconditional and constant.
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