I look at the faces around the room. Each one holding their attention on the one speaking. Each is listening, taking in what is said. We are practicing a new way of listening. First, we are listening as ourselves. This is the old way. Taking what we hear and having a "personal experience" with it.
The new way of listening is from the impersonal position of our Souls. We call this position the "Watcher". The Soul, quite literally, watches the "goings on" of the personal ego/self. The Watcher does not judge any of the thoughts, feelings, actions, or words of the personal ego/self. Rather, the Soul, as Watcher, sees the acting out of the personal ego/self as a character "that struts and frets its hour upon the stage".
We have extended this practice of being the Soul/Watcher and personal ego/self beyond the act and art of listening. Now we practice it in every moment of our lives. And what a practice it is! The personal ego part is easy. We have done it all our lives. Taking our lives personally, that is. Riding the roller coaster of the dramas we create. The Soul part takes much practice. The Watcher asks us to practice Divine Detachment, Divine Love, Divine Wisdom, Divine Consciousness. Everything is seen as Sacred. Everything is seen as symbol. Everything is seen as God.
Nothing happens in the dramas that we create that are not in Divine Order. All dramas are Divine Set-Ups. The personal ego/self believes the dramas are real. The Watcher knows the dramas are unreal. The Watcher always asks the same question: What's really going on here? For what is happening in front of us, as drama, is really a series of symbols that only the Soul, as Watcher, can interpret. Our practice is to ask Soul, unceasingly, to give us the Divine Interpretation of all the symbols in our lives.
Some of the most challenging symbols are found within ourselves in the form of the Shadow. The Shadow is all of our negative thoughts, feelings, words, and actions, both covert and overt. It is our unfinished mommy/daddy business. It is what runs us 24 hours a day. It is all the negative imprinting from our childhood that we carry with us into adulthood.
From the Watcher's perspective the Shadow, in all its myriad guises, is the Doorway to our Illumined State. The Illumined State can also be called Self-Realization. This means that the ego/self has come to know itself so clearly, so lovingly, so wisely that it no longer is run by the Shadow. Rather, the Shadow has become the Teacher of all lessons leading to the Doorway of the Illumined State.
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