Another beautiful teacher of mine keeps coming up with the following statement: “[You realize that] you are not breathing, you are being breathed.” All right, this is again, one of those hard candy ideas that I push around with my tongue for several months, or even years, digesting it slowly, but not ever fully. If you are being breathed, then it means that the air itself has the consciousness to execute the very action? Or is she talking about the reflexes that are taking care of the act on autopilot so you do not even have to consciously participate? Or…is there some benevolent soul or consciousness breathing through me? Am I missing something? Can all three (and more) be true at the same time?
Asking these questions do not have the hidden intention to actually answer them immediately right here, I am not using this as a technique to awaken an investigative thirst in the reader and then quench it immediately with tasty alternatives. Rather the purpose of this contemplative questioning is to think with you, feel into it with you, together. Obviously I have more to say about this topic, but it is more like an exploration with curiosity and innocence. The episode that started this blog was an experience where I was suffocating in agony, with my body tangled up around the simple need to breathe. This brought me new waves of feelings and thoughts around being ready to travel through novel lands and try out fresh viewpoints. If we are being breathed that means that we are connected. This vista brings along a consensus between the three questions of whether the air has its own consciousness, our own subconscious (pro-life) functioning is in action, and/or does a higher power’s presence shows emerge. SOMETHING makes it happen. This allows a lot of ideas and intuitive feelings to unfold around spiritual interconnectedness, whether it is in the realms of intercellular communication, quantum physics or faith.
If there is a magical connection that creates the phenomena of being breathed, then the details of background explanation largely depends on one’s knowledge base and belief system. In this case, “magic” means the unexplained, the moldable reality of taking on any explanation that suits our upbringing, intuition, or education. What if we drop this “what is behind all this” question altogether for a minute and refocus the attention? If we are connected on this level to something or someone (let it be the works of the universe, cellular consciousness, ancestral lineage, angels or any sort of deities or superpowers) it means connection. It means we are not alone. We are taken care of. How does that feel? Just sit with me in this feeling sensation for a moment. If we are being breathed, we are supported. We are connected beyond our current understanding – that cannot bring along unquestionable evidence so far – in any given paradigm. Just relax into that for a second or two. Lean into it, lay on top of it and let it carry you. This is the magic. This can be the feeling beyond isolation and loneliness.
This is the dimension where all humans, researchers, holy men (and women), factory workers and even prisoners can tap into, fall into, dive into in moments of bliss. The brain scientist having a stroke and understanding the amazing interconnectedness in that experience. The physicist observing the light being both a particle and a wave, which is officially not possible according to the knowledge of the given society. The addict waking up into a different reality where addiction seems to be obsolete and not necessary as the need it served is not there anymore. The cancer patient experiencing the disappearance of the tumor when fully accepting that the end is near. The atheist going through a death experience and coming back with the sole purpose to spread the consciousness of the universe or God. The monk imprisoned and tortured, while he feels only compassion towards the perpetrators and frees himself from the prison of his own mind. The writer who keeps writing despite of being haunted for blasphemy only for the fact that she does not belong to the other gender which has the exclusive privilege to knowledge in that culture. There is something bigger than us happening, this is the basic revelation in any of these and other experiences. It does not even have to come from any form of suffering, although the hardships are definitely the best accelerators of growth – but does it have to be painful? “To suffer is nothing else but to resist what is happening”; many of those would say who were touched by this clarity. Suffering comes when something is happening that we believe shouldn’t be happening. Surrendering is much trickier than suffering. Suffering is simply easier to do, that is the road most traveled, and often the only road we know of.
Surrendering has a mixed reputation nowadays. On one hand, just like forgiveness and “letting go”, it is like a spiritual virtue, largely misunderstood and abused, used in the same ancient power games against each other like other tools of faith. “You should surrender! All this is happening to you because you do not accept what is!” “Just let it go! If you surrender to it, you can end your pain!” How the hell do I do that? Hello? Oh, you have no answers because “I should find the answer within myself”. So all I get is another judgment from another inflated ego, high on spiritual smoke, feeling superior and talking down at me with a heavenly smile spreading “love and light” around? That is just great. Now I can just go and sit alone in the shame of feeling unable to surrender and feeling bad about feeling bad about myself on top of that. That is like so not conscious of me, right? From another viewpoint, surrendering equals weakness. The defeated surrender in war, the weak to the strong, the powerless to the powerful, the underdog to the alpha. Our deeply ingrained archetypal understanding of surrendering is way too loaded for an easy stroll of a free trial run.
Yes, that was a sidetrack. Sort of, but not really if we curl back to the exploration of being breathed and agree that this notion can only be grasped with some sort of surrendering in play. Chasing intellectual explanations and projecting the screens of different levels of understanding onto the whole connection experience in breathing is very tempting to do. So I breathe, in and out. And I just explore in stillness, that the feeling sensations of being breathed are actually quite joyful and peaceful. Is that good enough for now? I guess so. Breathe with me…and let’s see.