"The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach." - Carl Jung
The experience that is our life occurs in the context of a huge macrocosm composed of endless space filled with numberless universes, upon the little blue dot we call home. The experience itself, however, occurs completely within us: within our own vast, endless inner universe.
This inner universe is created through our senses, perceptions, and beliefs. It occurs within the conscious mind, which is fuelled by the external world, but also by the world of our unconscious, our dream world, our imaginings and the archetypes of our species.
Our inner universe is unique to us. While it may share common elements with others, it is a one-of-a-kind event that is continually evolving-creating and recreating itself with every stimulus, both internal and external.
Exploring that world can be mystifying, enlightening, often spiritual, but can also be very lonely. There is only one inhabitant in that world. Perhaps that is why some find self-exploration or meditation to be uncomfortable. Television, computers, work or a busy social life can save one from stepping off the edge into that unfamiliar abyss.
We cannot really avoid it completely, however. It is there always in the background of our consciousness while we are busy thinking the external world is the most real part of our experience. The external is where ego hangs out, and for ego that is center stage. It is all there is.
To experience our soul, we must go within. Once inner space becomes familiar, it ceases to feel strange and instead becomes like a nurturing womb. Instead of feeling disconnected, we discover a connectedness that transcends anything ego has known. As we immerse ourselves in inner space, any sense of separateness disappears.
As we go deeper, we discover a kind of portal which connects our inner space to all that is-to the vastness of the eternal. It then seems curious that we had the illusion of separation.
The reason for the confusion is this: imagine drawing a circle on a page. The line forming the circle is all that separates the inside from the rest of what is there. Remove the line, and it all becomes one. In our case, it is ego which forms the line between inner and outer. Ego is at the interface, and allows us to connect with the outside world. Ego does have some useful functions-it is not bad, just limiting.
However, when we identify with ego, then that separation seems real. When we transcend ego, everything changes. There is no more in here/out there. We are no longer interested in polarity, or taking sides. We still function in the world, but we no longer take things personally. We become more interested in understanding; in seeing the big picture.
We more often find ourselves functioning like an observer, noticing what is happening, but viewing it from a perspective of wisdom. We no longer feel a need to take sides or to be right. Instead, we are more likely to mediate or facilitate. Our focus is more on finding solutions, and honoring all who are involved.
We also release our need to control things. We still may have desires and goals, but we recognize that we are co-creating with the universe, so anything may happen. Whatever does happen is undoubtedly for our highest good, although ego often might argue with that! We develop the ability to know when to take action, and when to simply surrender and flow. We do not worry, because we trust the process of life.
Since we no longer take things personally, and are not as attached to outcomes as we once were, all of our relationships and dealings with others seem easier and more effortless. It is not that suddenly everything magically flows, it is just that now we know how to flow. Ego may still try to get us agitated, but we are now aligned with soul, and soul just wants to enjoy the journey.