Emergence: The Shift from Ego to Essenceby Barbara Marx Hubbard, Neale Donald Walsh (Introduction)
Are you experiencing strange symptoms such as knowing things without knowing why? Hearing an inner guiding voice? Feeling a spiritual connection to other living things? Desiring meaning over money? You’re experiencing the birth of a “Universal Human” and you’re not alone. But don’t go to the doctor; this is an epidemic that, by increasing awareness, can heal our society and our planet.
Barbara Marx Hubbard provides meditations and practices, personal stories, and encouragement to help your Universal Human emerge.
- From the author of Conscious Evolution and The Revelation
- A handbook for self-awareness and conscious living
- Examines the role of human beings – individually and collectively – in effecting global change
- Learn how you can call forth your inner potential to help heal a planet in crisis
- Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.
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Read an Excerpt
The Shift from Ego to Essence
By BARBARA MARX HUBBARD
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Barbara Marx Hubbard of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution
All rights reserved.
Entering the Inner Sanctuary
Infancy! This is the time when the newly born Universal Human emerges from the womb of self-centered consciousness. We begin to realize our new identity as our own higher, Essential Self. We break out of the limits of our egoic identity and, in innocence and humility, make room for something new.
The Story ...
On my sixty-ninth birthday, I made the choice that started me on this journey, which is now transforming my life. The scene was Marin County, California; it was a cold, rainy January and February 1999. I stayed warm next to my fireplace while a steady rain came down, giving me a feeling of inwardness and protection. I was alone with a huge project—to write a conscious evolution curriculum for Universal Humans, an educational framework that begins with the Void and covers the origin of the universe through to the present and beyond.
My dining room table was stacked with neatly piled books on every phase change in the story of evolution, written by authors whose work had inspired me for many years. The room was filled with the "noosphere," the thinking layer of Earth, our global brain/mind/heart, the evolutionary impulse of humanity.
Yet, in spite of this rich and supportive environment, I found myself to be driven and compulsive about my work, trapped in a struggle to get the job done. Although I was urging and encouraging others to experience a positive future in their lives, now I was not at peace and could find no place of rest within. I realized I had to stop my life to make way for something new.
To begin, I decided to arise before dawn and devote three hours every morning to being silent and alone, long enough to allow something new to happen. In my early morning silence, I created an Inner Sanctuary, a safe inner space where I felt protected, secure, empty, uninterrupted by my own demands or anyone else's. This was a place as profound as the quietest monastery or cave, a place I created within and around myself. I let there be soft music, candlelight, flowers, and above all, peace and quiet.
I set aside time "out of time" to be in the Inner Sanctuary. But even at the thought of doing this, my compulsive, egoic local self was prickling. I was bombarded by its loud complaint: "We don't have time; we'll never get the curriculum done." My driven local self always felt "behind" no matter what time I woke up and began my work.
But I persisted. Every morning, I simply sat in silence, open and empty, listening to the crackling fire and the rain drumming softly on my roof. I offered my burdens and responsibilities as sacrifices at the threshold of the Inner Sanctuary, literally laying them at the entrance before I entered into my meditation. I imagined myself as a pilgrim in front of a temple, purifying myself before entering. When the compulsive local self prodded me with "You forgot to call so-and-so!" or "What are you going to have for lunch?" I resisted, no matter how magnetic the pull. I felt like the mythological Odysseus, strapped to the mast of his ship to prevent himself from succumbing to the temptation of the Sirens. My egoic, compulsive need to be working was my temptation. I let it go by.
Within the Inner Sanctuary, I created a special place for my journal writing and a quiet time following my meditation to gain more intimate access to the wise and Beloved inner voice, the Essential Self, that had guided me all my life. This was a voice I'd heard many times, sometimes coming to me in intuitive flashes, but more often, when I wrote in my journal, it flowed as a stream of ideas emerging from a deeper awareness than my conscious mind. Whenever I felt this flow of inspiration, I relaxed, listened, felt joy, and received guidance from my Higher Self. It was a motivating presence that had been with me since my origins as a young girl living with my family in New York City. I had been raised with no religion, no metaphysics, no idea of any kind of greater existence, and so this inner voice became the agent of transformation in my life.
While I had no idea of this then, I know now that all of us have this inner voice. It is the Higher Self, the Essential Self, within each of us—which is each of us—and it is communicating with us all the time. Sometimes we hear it, and sometimes we don't, but it is never really silent.
My childhood having passed, and my experience with this Beloved inner voice having deepened through the years, I wanted to expand my experience of this inner voice. To start this Emergence Process, I created my own Inner Sanctuary, both internally and as a physical space. I went to my writing table and allowed the inner voice to write. One morning, shortly after I began this practice, these words flowed from my pen:
There are no demands on you now but to rest in my arms—the Inner Beloved—who is one with God. Rest in me. Release all cares. Your work is over as a separated local self.... I am now preparing the way for you to enter into the world as who you really are. Rest in peace. Do your yoga and your journal as you rise at dawn each day for the next twenty-one days. Be still. This is your time of communion. Do not hesitate now. By remaining still for long enough with me during these twenty-one days, the alchemical process will be set at the next stage of your evolution as a Universal Human.
I want you to rest in the arms of others who are also transcending now. You are not alone. Feel their strength and know that you are part of them, they are part of you, and that your function is to be an expression of them. You are part of all who are transcending. Patterned within all of you is a new humanity. This is the purpose of the curriculum you are writing.
Follow precisely the path I dictate to you for the next twenty-one days. That is what it takes. Everything has been prepared for you to take this step alone. Then you may join other co-creators as an expression of the new human. But you must take this time now to secure the incorruptible connection.
Now is the greatest leap of faith for you. Have utter faith in me. Achieve deep peace. Be prepared for a great force to enter your life to do this work. It cannot enter till you have achieved deep peace. Your reward for peace that can only be achieved by faith is contact with the force and the forces waiting in the wings.
I was thrilled with this guidance. An electric excitement awakened a deep sense of expectancy in me.
The Guidance ...
Your own Essential Self, as you access it through your meditation and writing in the Inner Sanctuary, will offer you guidance, inspirations, and practices as well. That guidance, when added to the guidance in these pages, will create for you a unique manual for the Emergence of the Universal Human you are now becoming.
I strongly advocate cultivating an inner receptivity, an inner listening and attunement to the signals of the Essential Self. These intuitions are the way the deeper self informs us and guides us.
Create an Inner Sanctuary
To begin, set aside time to sit quietly every morning in peaceful contemplation for as long as you can with your journal beside you. This may be familiar if you have meditated before; any practice you are used to will work to quiet the mind and prepare the inner field. The Emergence Process is not a substitute for any basic practices you are already doing but rather an extension or deepening of them.
Set aside a period of time for an at-home spiritual "advance." You can do this simply by arising earlier than usual every morning and using the extra time for this practice. Peter Russell, author of The Global Brain Awakens, Waking Up in Time, and From Science to God, calls his morning hours his "daily Sabbath," a time for God to come through the whole way. Choose a time in your life to begin this "advance" when you will not be distracted or interrupted by any major life crisis or transition, such as a journey, a divorce, a move. Once the Emergence Process is deliberately started, it is preferable not to stop it abruptly. If the early morning hours don't work for you, choose another time. The Dalai Lama meditates at least four hours a day and travels all over the world. We don't have to be in a cloister to begin this process, but some kind of intensification of focus is essential. Remember, you are preparing for a rendezvous with destiny!
Focus Attention on the Essential Self
In your silent time, recall as much as you can of the guidance or inspiration you've already been in touch with—the actual feeling tone of your intuitive experience—and also any qualities you remember about this evolutionary impulse that has motivated your process of transformation. You may recall those earlier experiences. Remember how warm and safe you felt. Feel the intimacy and compare it to the feeling of anxiety and compulsiveness that can characterize a local self.
If you ask your Essential Self to come into your consciousness, it will signal you in some way or another, not necessarily as mine does, and not necessarily in written words. It may happen in flashes, insights, images, or hunches. Watch for synchronicity to show up in your life, a phenomenon described by Carl Jung in his book Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle (1969) as "the meaningful coincidence of two or more events, where something other than the probability of chance is involved." Intuit the meaning of synchronicities. This is critical. Notice everything with a heightened awareness. The signals will come, because it is the very heart's desire of the Essential Self to communicate with you. When you ask it to communicate more clearly, it will—one way or the other. Expect the unexpected, and anticipate the new!
Release the Pressure of Time Running Out
There is nothing you need to do or accomplish in the Inner Sanctuary. See if you can feel "off duty." Every time you feel the pressure of the thought of time running out, release it. Don't fear; you will still be able to be on time. But releasing the pressure provides the vital freedom needed in the Inner Sanctuary for the Essential Self to come forth. It is vital that you inform the anxious aspects of your local self that there is "all the time in the world," or even better, that you reside in eternity. This is what Ram Dass meant when he said, "Be here now."
In the past, I always had good reasons for not taking the time to practice in this way. Looking back, what I was really telling myself was "I don't have time to be born!" I know now that it's an affliction of local self-consciousness to get its priorities backward, and that there is nothing more important we can do than give highest priority to our own process of Emergence. There is no greater gift we can give to those we love than ourselves evolved.
Sometimes when I am walking or sitting silently in nature and I want to feel "off duty," I turn on my internal answering machine to pick up the stream of incoming messages from the local self—that endless "to-do list" that seems to pop up whenever I attempt to be still within myself. I place on the internal answering machine an outgoing message to assure the local self that its requests have been recorded and it can relax, knowing its "urgent" messages will be responded to at a later time. I have trained my memory to go back, after my walk or meditation, and check those incoming messages. In this way I don't forget what the local self had requested and can respond as I choose.
Throughout the Emergence Process, keep a journal of messages from your Essential Self so you can recognize and establish a relationship with your Inner Guide. This was a key practice in preparing me for my own Emergence. I have tracked this guidance since I began keeping a journal at age eighteen and have continued to record inner messages all my life, accumulating more than 175 volumes of personal writings as of this moment in time.
Gradually, as my Emergence continued, I realized that there was no reason to refrain from accessing that voice all the time, in my knowing, speaking, and acting, as well as my writing. I found that when I don't access the voice, it wells up and signals me through a sense of depression or confusion. Depression is often a signal of a growth impulse that is attempting to attract your attention. The key is to seek the deeper meaning behind the pain and respond.
To begin with, as in all the steps that follow, create and place yourself in your Inner Sanctuary. For your first journal exercise, write and describe from memory any key experiences or insights inspired by your Essential Self. This will help you get acquainted with your Essential Self by bringing it to your conscious attention.
What did the voice or inspired thoughts tell you? What did it feel like? Describe any messages or insights that you have received, any qualities you have noted that characterize the Inner Guide.
Once you have done this, try this exercise: Write a letter addressed to "Dearly Beloved," or whatever name you choose for your Essential Self. Describe your current situation as precisely as you can, the good and the apparently difficult. Ask the most important questions you may have, as clearly as you can; then release all thought, have no preconceptions. Develop the habit of a poised mind, like a sailboat on a calm sea waiting for the wind.
Our purpose here is precise. It is to establish direct contact with the inner voice, the still, small voice of God expressing as your Essential Self. Start writing any sentence as the inner voice, and see what unfolds. Do not edit, judge, or correct anything. If nothing comes, that is fine. Continue to be still.
If you have been hearing an inner voice and writing in your journal before, this process will be relatively easy. If you have not yet tried this, simply follow the steps with no expectations. Find your own way to connect to your Inner Guide. It may be through other paths than words, like a felt-sense or deep intuition. This much I know for sure: Whatever happens will be helpful. Everyone has within a deeper, wiser, all-knowing self.CHAPTER 2
Contemplating the Glory of the Beloved
With the creation of an Inner Sanctuary, we have established the field of readiness for our Emergence as Universal Humans. In the stillness, we may have felt the presence of our Essential Self or perhaps a sense of expanded awareness and wholeness. At this stage, we are like the biological infant when it begins to sense itself as a separate entity, a "self." In our Infancy as Universal Humans, the self we are becoming aware of is the Essential Self, the Higher Self. Now, in this next step, we are ready to fully contemplate this Essential Self in its more personal form, the Inner Beloved, and bring our focus to the specific qualities and wisdom of this all-knowing inner presence.
The Story ...
Although I have heard and been directed by this inner voice of my Higher Self for most of my life, I had never focused my local self's attention directly on it until undertaking this process. Before, I asked, listened, heard, wrote, and then acted according to what I'd heard. I communed with God and Christ, but all the while feeling the divine, the deity, to be outside and beyond myself—separate.
The inner words I heard passed through me to the page on which I wrote but did not become me. I had never contemplated the actual presence of my Higher Self, so that I could feel it, consume it, incorporate it into my flesh and bones—incarnate it—until now.
As I turned inward toward this presence, I began to experience a sense of homecoming, of peace and safety, yet at the same time, I was filled with excitement and anticipation. I noticed the qualities of this Beloved Self who had been signaling me from afar for so long.
She—for the presence, to me, was distinctly feminine—was not merely an abstracted, "floating" inner voice. Nor was this voice identifiable as the impersonal God of the cosmos, or even as a Christ presence. Whereas before, I had experienced this presence as Christ or God, now, as I placed my attention on a personal feminine presence day by day, "she" seemed to become more real, almost tangible to me. She seemed to be myself! Yet my sense was of a magnificent presence, far beyond my current personality or gender. What I now experienced was a full range of attractive and familiar qualities of the Beloved that had been flickering at the edges of my consciousness all these years.
At first, the presence I felt was a huge shimmering field of light, but as I contemplated deeply, more personal qualities entered my awareness. She is a visionary, a seer. Yet she is warm, motherly, cozy, tender, like the mother I lost when I was twelve. She loves me unconditionally. She knows everything I ever ask her.
The Essential Self, the Beloved Presence that I am, the source of the early unitive flashes I had, was becoming familiar. I realized that I know this Essential Self better than I know my anxious local self. I am in love with this self, in contrast to my irritated, pressured, and compulsive ego. Yet this self, whom I now recognized as omnipresent in my consciousness, was not revealed until I, from the viewpoint of my local self, put attention on it in the Inner Sanctuary.
Excerpted from EMERGENCE by BARBARA MARX HUBBARD. Copyright © 2012 Barbara Marx Hubbard of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
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Meet the Author
Barbara Marx Hubbard is an evolutionary educator, speaker, author, and social innovator. She is co-founder and chairperson of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, a Fellow of the Club of Budapest, and a co-founder of The World Future Society. Visit her at BarbaraMarxHubbard.com.
Neale Donald Walsch is a writer of internationally best-selling books on spirituality and personal development. He lives in Ashland, Oregon. His books have sold more than 7.5 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 37 languages.
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I have greatly admired Barbara Marx Hubbard and her drive in helping humanity to truly get in touch with the truth of who they are. It is a progression that few are ready to walk,travel and live.