Excerpt About Pain
In contrast, during the first journey, you usually identify with one image or another—most of the time with an image of yourself as a child. When intense feelings arise, such as pain, it can be too much to stay with, and self-awareness is easily lost. Essential presence, on the other hand, doesn’t feel pain. There can be a great deal of pain, but essential presence makes the experience of pain secondary for the soul. So the totality of the mandala is always secondary to its center, which is essential presence. The contact with our true nature is essential presence, which in time becomes more powerful, more grounded, more solid, and pervades the mandala more and more as it moves toward the third journey. The essential presence, moved by the force of its optimizing intelligence, reveals more of its qualities and the understanding of those qualities, moving you to deeper and deeper dimensions of presence. This is a very organic, interconnected, synergetic process. The mystery that is our ultimate nature—inexhaustible in its possibilities—guides us by means of this dynamic force of intelligence, affecting our experience in a way that eventually reveals the original mystery.