“The most important Journey we will ever take is the 18 inches from our mind to our heart.” ~ Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim
There are few things that all human beings have in common. One is the undeniable existence of an internal world of thoughts and emotions. The whole of which is, according to most people, intangible or non physical. And yet, it is from within this world that our most incredible feats, and most horrendous atrocities, have emerged.
Every person on this planet will inevitably experience their own unique Inner Journey within this internal world of thoughts and emotions, every single day of their lives. For most people it is a roller coaster ride that seems to take us wherever and whenever it wants to.
It is a journey that we would like to think can be determined by ourselves, and yet, unlike external reality, we cannot control where we go internally…
And while we all know that we cannot really control our emotions, it may come as a surprise to most people that we cannot really control our thoughts either. We simply cannot stop thinking.
None the less, it is our journey and while we may not be able to determine where we go, we can decide to honour our Inner Journey and choose to become aware of the path that we have to walk through our thoughts and emotions.
And that is what currently separates few from the many.
In our ultra modern world of endless distractions, it has become acceptable for many people to take no internal action… because we do not know what to do. Generally we ignore all the signposts and we have no idea of where we’re going internally.
Many people simply accept this as “the way things are” …
However, despite there being only a few, more and more people are beginning to realise that the Inner Journey does not have to be a wild and uncontrollable mental-emotional roller coaster ride.
We may not be able to decide where we go, but our Inner Journey can become a journey with purpose. When we decide to take action. When we consciously decide to be there as the witnessing presence of our endless stream of thoughts. When we decide to pay attention to the internal path our emotions will inevitably take us on.
It’s going to happen anyway, so we may as well become aware of what is happening.
‘The most important Journey we will ever take‘ begins when we start paying attention to our own Inner Journey. Until we make that choice, any Inner Journey is meaningless without a witnessing presence.
So what does it mean to journey ‘18 inches from our mind to our heart ‘ and why is it ‘the most important Journey we will ever take‘ ?
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein
The Inner Journey is a learning curve. Individually within ourselves. And collectively within relationships, within families, within cultures, within nations and within the human race on planet earth.
The Inner Journey from mind to heart is a journey from the rational mind into the intuitive mind. The ultimate destination being our true self.
The Inner Journey is a universal part of the human experience and it serves the purpose of teaching us who and what we really are. It’s ultimate lesson: our identity cannot be conceived in thought.
The human mind has been around for a very long time and it is the primary driving force behind our total dominance of planet earth. No other specie has dominated this planet as totally as we have managed to do.
The mind is an incredibly powerful tool and for a long time it ensured our continued survival, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way we now live on planet earth.
To put it simply: what we do doesn’t work. Not anymore.
Endless wars and enough nuclear weapons to destroy the planet, famine, poverty, pollution, the list goes on and on…
So we may want to ask ourselves, once again: Who are we and what are we supposed to be doing on this planet? How are we supposed to live?
Obviously human development has some way to go before we are capable of living without destroying our planet and ourselves. The truth is, individually, and thus collectively, we do not really know the answer to the question of how to live. If we did, would our world be in such a mess?
Who am I and what am I supposed to be doing on this planet?
Instead of trying to think of an answer to that question, stop thinking for a minute. Instead of thinking ‘ who am I ‘, become aware of it. What needs to be done will intuitively follow, you don’t necessarily need to think about it.
That is getting closer to our true identity.
To consciously cease all thought allows for the perception of the background awareness, our consciousness. It is that consciousness which allows for the creation of thoughts.
And that’s the secret. Our thoughts and our awareness are not one and the same. For thought (within the human mind) to exist, we need consciousness (an awareness) … but to be consciously aware, we do not need to think.
So who and what are we?
It follows that we are awareness and that thought exists in our presence. Awareness is thus fundamental while thought, although being very useful, is ultimately superficial.
And it is within our fundamental presence that the intuitive mind can be found (what Einstein called “a sacred gift”)
The intuitive mind is the source of all creativity and it is much closer to our true identity than any thought of “I am this … ” or “I am that … ”
What happens if we neglect our presence and thought becomes obsessive and compulsive? Look at the world around you and you will see the answer for yourself…
So what are we suppose to be doing on this planet? How do we solve all our problems?
Progress, Evolution or the Journey of Mankind. Call it what you like. But the dominance of the thinking mind is only one of many stepping stones along the way. We have to move on into the present moment and become aware of who we truly are. More importantly we need to maintain that awareness, moment by moment.
All the answers we now desperately need will then emerge from within that creative awareness.
“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within; secondary reality without.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
If external reality is merely a reflection of internal reality, it seems obvious that our focus should be on regaining our presence and becoming aware of what’s going on inside each and every one of us, before we try to solve any external problem. Whether it’s individual or collective.
Yours in Surfing Love and Life
Enjoy these beautiful reflections taken from a recent journey to the islands of Bali and Lombok, in Indonesia.
All photos by Jenya Zhivaleva