There are four main real live players in the participatory drama that you will meet on the PATH journey, each of whom you will need to know something about before you actually meet them in person.
- Four Awareness Players
- The Blockers
- The Resourcers
We shall go through each in turn and make their acquaintance.
In the Observer, we meet that conscious part of ourselves that stands apart from everything and is simply aware of what is going on out there. We are an observer whenever we reflect on ourselves or life or when we observe the outer world objectively. It is that part in you that can also observe your own self. This is our most important partner if we want to get to know who we are, because there is no other part that is not enmeshed in some other experience. This is the one who has the best perspective to observe, who sees, witnesses, reflects, notices, whose only task is to watch and learn more about the phenomena observed.
Four Awareness Players
One of the first things an astute observer will notice on looking at her or himself is the presence of awareness, that this person being watched is a conscious and aware human being. There seems to be universal acceptance that human awareness is of four kinds. I have described these tutors or servants of knowledge as awareness gateways.
These sense impressions come from the outside. If you were able to surrender yourself to this world of senses, you will probably discover that you were like an open receptacle allowing the world to flow into your being where it knocked on the door of your thinking mind, looking for a name or explanation of what you were perceiving.
The bodily senses receive information from the body itself. What I perceive, I perceive my way, dependent on my sense apparatus, on my temperament, character and current state of being. When I am tired or distraught I will perceive the world differently to when I am refreshed or elated. Yet when I am sensing, I am always in present time.
By stepping aside from your own thinking activity you will discover many things about your own personal mode and style of thinking. Thinking experience allows you to wake up from the dreaming awareness of sensory experience into waking consciousness, allowing you to recognize what you have perceived, reflect on it, name it, understand it, make meaning of it, decide what to do with it, and even realize that you are the one thinking. For thinking, time is no obstacle, we can travel backwards or forwards in time and we can even fast forward or backward and compress time into a few moments. One can think through the life cycle of a plant from seed to seed in less than a minute. Only thinking can do this. Thinking is the difference -maker, the analyser, the synthesizer, the connector, the self reflector, the one who can remember and imagine, who can create an idea in an instant.
Where do the feelings come from? We all experience joy and sorrow, but only you know what it feels like, I cannot know what you experienced. Do feelings exist beyond ourselves? We can take up the enthusiasm of someone else and we ourselves become enthusiastic. How does this happen?
You will notice that your feelings live in present time and cannot be observed while you are feeling them, because by observing them you are no longer in feeling but in thinking. Feelings are the most personal part of oneself and bring us closer to our humanness than any other awareness activity. We usually need some activation for feeling, a sense impression, a thought, a memory or some action that pushes us into feeling awareness. Feelings are also, like perceptions, dependent on our body-mind status. Exhaustion and pain make one emotionally more vulnerable.
Will Expressive Gateway
Where does the will reside in you? How does it move in you? And what is its nature?
If you are closely observing your willful expressions you will invariably find that they are responses to sensorial, cognitive or emotive information that is living within you. The will arises mysteriously from a place within that is very difficult to locate, for the moment you realize you are doing it, you are out of it and therefore unable to investigate it.
What is clear is that it is an activity that goes from inside outwards. This means that these responses have consequences for the outer world. Your body, the planet, another human being and yourself are affected more directly by will based actions then the other awareness activities.
Most of us are aware we have limitations because they get in the way of the smooth running of our lives. Sometimes they are the intolerable or seductive partners within us that rule our lives. The blockers make us wake up and take note of our situation because they interrupt the healthy flow of life.
In Chapter 6 of my book, we explore a wide spectrum of hindrances that create obstacles in people’s lives. There are the external blocks, like heredity, environment and conditioning that a person has to deal with and will respond to in a specific way according to his temperament and personality. The internal blocks develop largely subconsciously as the inner disposition – constitution, temperament and personality – meet the impressions of the outer world – heredity, environment and conditioning.
These inner blocks lead to self-restriction in many different ways. We form attachments and dependencies to many aspects of ourselves – past experiences, conditioning, relationships and habitual behaviour patterns that lead to belief and value systems that will dictate the way we think feel and act out our lives. We become bound irrevocably to these attachments because they satisfy our need for comfort and safety.
If we wish to develop and expand our human potential it is essential we understand our internal blocks and actively learn to transform them. Understanding alone does not change old habits, they need to be actively worked on with one’s will because this is the way that life created them in the first place. We need to identify and name these blocks as real living partners that we can interact with, not as some abstract thing in us that can only be accessed by our cognitive brain.
Our resources for the most part are treasures that are hidden deep within us just waiting to be discovered. This treasure trove of resources shines out as our aptitudes, talents, skills, expertise, genius and passions. Hidden within are other jewels undreamed of, that are a part of who we are, as yet unknown . Opportunity, synchronicity, life destiny, training and practice will uncover them and allow them to come to light.
When the motivation and need is there, we can direct our will to doing anything we wish for, we can make the appropriate choice and resolve to doing it. We can choose to find within a strong loving supportive friend for oneself and practice this character into one’s life.
Resources are those creative, life giving and health sustaining partners that can revitalize and regenerate our lives on every level. Through our resources we create a strong buffer and counterweight to the destructive effects of the blockers. They are also the transformative agents that can work with the blockers, understand them, identify with them, befriend them, negotiate with them, teach them and ultimately transform them. They are the good habits that can transform the bad.
These are the players that can become your chief allies and companions on this participatory awareness journey of life.