What if It’s All Already Within?
The Union Path Podcast
"What if It’s All Already Within?"
John Coleman 0:00:20
Thinking about a movie the other day. Specifically, I was thinking about the movie the Revenge of the Nerds. I don't know why. I really know why I think about what I think about. But I was thinking about one specific part of it where the concept was presented that there's not only infinite bigness, but there's infinite smallness as well. And this got me thinking about something that is related. Perhaps it's only tangentially related, but is this concept that we think about infinity and oftentimes, at least for me anyway, I think about infinity outside of myself. I think about it like the universe or space that it just keeps going on forever and forever, forever. And if I think about it too hard, I might drive myself crazy. But then I started to think about infinity in a different way. That what if that infinity didn't just stretch outward from me? That infinity also stretched inward? That there was no limit to the depth that it's possible to go to internally just like there's no limit to the space it's possible to go to externally? And of course, this is just a random, fleeting thought. But I just wanted to dwell on it a bit because at least for me anyway, it brings up another idea which is equally as interesting, maybe even a little bit more compelling of the idea that a lot of times when we experience things like inspiration, when we have amazing ideas come to us, when we have seeming creative forces acting on us and with us and through us, I think it's easy to assume or easy to think about those things as coming from outside of us.
John Coleman 0:02:17
Maybe this has something to do with a lot of the programming that we've received as children that any sort of higher power is something that lives outside of us, something that lives perhaps up in the sky or at least out of sight somewhere above us, usually way above us. And that sort of divine energy, that sort of divine inspiration, that creative force is always showering down on us from above. That it's like sunlight. There's this creative force in the sky that's shining its creativity on us and through this shining is fueling our growth, is sustaining our existence, is actually giving us and sustaining life. But what if we think about these concepts internally? What if all creation is actually internal? That we perceive it as being external? We perceive it as being outside of us, being broadcast or being shined down on us. But what if the shine is within? What if the call is coming from inside the house? What, if anything that we attribute or label or couch in the idea of creative power, creative force, creative being is really within us that life is an exercise of expression, of inside out, not outside in. We can think that this idea, this perpetuating, this idea that inspiration and creation comes from the outside. Is that's where our senses are mostly focused? Our vision, our hearing, our touch, our taste, these sense organs the sensory information is all interpretation of the external of things coming outside of us to interact with us, that we're sensing through our sense organs and thus developing a worldview, an idea of life. That everything that's happening is happening on the outside.
John Coleman 0:04:40
Because that's what our senses tell us. Now, of course we can develop other sorts of senses. We can develop a feeling sense. We can really key into emotions. We can really key into bodily feelings. We can key into a sensation of energy which is actually internal. Those things are what's happening inside of us and we're perceiving them internally. Of course, these things may be being influenced from things outside of us from things happening to us on the outside but they can just as easily be triggered and perceived and felt through things only happening on the inside of us. So when we think about this idea of infinity stretching internally at least to me at least to my way of thinking it's compelling because there seems to be ring of truth to it because no matter how much internal exploration I've done there's always more to discover. There's always more to perceive, there's always more to know. But beyond that it seems like a lot of the best inspiration that I have a lot of the best clarity that I have a lot of the best wisdom that gets developed actually comes from within. I don't seem to be very, very good at inheriting wisdom from anyone or anything else. Of course it's useful, of course it can be interesting of course it can be really helpful but it's never really 100% true or right for me until it comes internally. There seems to be something inside of me that needs to work on any sort of outside information first before it really becomes real before it really becomes true before it really becomes the kind of bedrock knowing kind of the capital T truth that I feel like I'm looking for. And so when I ponder this idea of what if all creation is internal then I also have to at least entertain the idea of all creation is already within that it's not so much of something being manifested or brought into being from the outside world only.
John Coleman 0:07:18
It's more about bringing things to light that already exist internally. Maybe they already exist as a gut feeling. Maybe they already exist as some sort of notion or an idea or a concept or a vision or a feeling. But there seems to be something to this idea that it's possible that everything already exists and it already exists within it's. Kind of like when we have the experience of where something really has the ring of truth to it where we experience something or we hear something or we take something in that we just know on our insides sometimes like down to our bones. That's real, that's the truth. Well, how do we know? Where does that come from? It's internal. And did that truth already exist within us and it just took the external stimulation, the external circumstance, the external observation to reveal it? Was it there the whole time and just needed to be uncovered, needed to be discovered, needed to be rediscovered, because it was already there, it was hidden behind something and merely needed to be revealed. That is a lot of the journey of life. Simply this revealing process is stripping away these veils which our truth is hidden behind. Learning that some of these obstacles, some of these veils we've actually put there, we've hidden our truth behind something else, behind an idea of what should be, behind a concept of what's right and what's wrong based on what someone else says or what someone else thinks. It doesn't really have that ring of truth for us, doesn't have that internal resonance, doesn't have that internal congruence with us.
John Coleman 0:09:26
And so I think this is an interesting thing to entertain, an interesting thing to walk around and just sit with that. What if it's all already within? What if there's nothing truly necessary to experience or gather from the outside? What if we can reveal our own truth, our own knowing, ourselves? What if we can remove our own veils? What if we can clear our own obstacles? What if we can truly connect with all of creation that already exists within us? Because if we can accept the idea of infinity externally, and accept the idea that infinity is one of the closest words that we have to a sense of a higher power, it's almost undefinable, it's almost ineffable, it's almost something we can't really comprehend. We sort of can, we can get the outside of it, we can understand the basics of it. But if we try to think about infinity too hard, we seem to get stuck. Our minds just can't seem to really comprehend the idea of infinity, the idea that there is no beginning and there is no end, that we exist, that our experience of life is just on some portion of a timeline that has no beginning and it has no end. Then when we think about where did everything come from originally? That for some of us, perhaps that's the wrong question. Because if we believe in an ultimate beginning, we must also believe in an ultimate end. But one way of thinking about things is that's not really totally useful to limit infinity down to the finite.
John Coleman 0:11:35
Because whenever we consider the idea of a higher power, whatever that means for us, I think we have to consider that that higher power is infinite, has no beginning, has no end. Because after all, how can creation be created? And how can creation itself ever be destroyed? It can't. And again, I'm not trying to go down any kind of rabbit holes where I just end up chasing myself on theoretical loops and spend a week sitting in a chair asking myself what is reality really? Because there's no way to actually prove it. There is no end that we can ever get to that is absolutely, positively a terminal place that is absolutely, positively the end. And this reminds me of my internal experience because it's easy to apply a concept like infinity to our external lives even if we don't have any belief in any sort of higher power. Even if we believe this is all just randomness, this is all just atoms crashing into each other and come what may, there's an infinity to that as well that will never stop. Even for the most hardcore scientist. One of the bedrock scientific beliefs is that matter can never be created nor destroyed. That the existence of matter is infinite. Which brings us right back to this idea of infinity. This idea that creation is always moving and it isn't so much new atoms are popping out of nowhere it's that things are constantly being split up and combined. And so when we start to apply some of the ideas internally then I think we get at what a lot of this spiritual journey is really about.
John Coleman 0:13:42
This idea that there really is no beginning to it and there really is no end. And we can pursue it as long as we wish, as far as we wish. That internally we can go as deep as we want, we can explore ourselves infinitely because there's always more depth, there's always more to discover, there's always new and novel ways things can be broken up and recombined. I think one of the values of entertaining an idea that everything that creation exists within is that it can be a really liberating concept, can be really liberating to unlock some of the shackles that we ourselves volunteer into. Believing the external world is the source and the sum of creation. Believing that in order to create something, something externally has to happen to us first. But what if it's the other way around? What if in order to create something external to us something has to be created internally first? Something has to be split apart and recombined. Something has to be revealed which can then find its way to and through our own expression that we can have our internal be expressed through others internals as well. That at the core, at the root of all of us seems to be the same thing and not only seems to be the same thing but seems to be shared. That if there is one single source of creative energy it seems to be flowing through everything and everyone. So the further we go within ourselves the more we find our way to a community, to a union with everyone and everything else. It's kind of like if we're sitting on our back deck enjoying the sun on a sunny day we can think of the light shining on us as our light. This is what's happening to us right now.
John Coleman 0:16:09
But obviously that light shines on everyone. It comes from a common source. And so if we pull back the lens, if we take a higher view, we can start to see the connection that by going far enough inward leads us back to everyone and everything else. That the closer we get to the source of creation, the closer we get all of creation, to all of the created, to all of which is being created, to all of which will be created. And so I think it's a useful idea to entertain, it's a useful thing to think about. It doesn't mean that it's some kind of absolute truth. It doesn't mean this is the way things work and it can't possibly work any other way. Like most spiritual concepts, at least most spiritual concepts that seem to have the ring of truth, to me anyway, these are just ideas and these ideas need to be interpreted internally that we need to find the truth in them for ourselves. We need to experience life with them and without the and see what seems to make sense, see what seems to ring true for us. Because I believe it's my assertion anyway, that when it comes to things like absolute truths, those can only be derived internally. We can't really transfer them to one another because in order for something to be true, in order for something to feel like the absolute truth, it has to be experienced and everything is experienced individually. It's impossible to fully transmit experience. Of course, we can gain a lot by listening to others. We can gain a lot by learning to others. We can gain a lot by taking in different perspectives and seeing what seems to fit, seeing what seems to be useful and leaving the rest.
John Coleman 0:18:19
But ultimately, truth seeking, truth, finding truth, experiencing is an individual process. It's something we have to do ourselves because we'll never really know something fully. We'll never really know something to the fullest extent that we can until we've actually experienced it, until it's actually been part of our being. That's the only way to really know. So on one hand, it's very useful, can be very useful to entertain new ideas, to question our own perspective, question our own thinking and ask ourselves is this really true? Well, how do I know? And to entertain new perspectives, new concepts because ultimately what we're looking for is growth. What we're looking for is developing our own wisdom. What we're looking for is finding our way to the truth, whatever that means for us. And to me anyway, this is one of those ideas that's helpful along that path of truth. What if everything that is already exists within? What if everything we're looking for already exists within? What if the source of creation already exists within us? And that when we explore after it, when we really go looking for it when we really try to know it, when we really try to experience what if the deeper we go brings us back to union with everyone and everything else? What if going deeply, internally breaks us out of our individuality, brings us back into union with the whole?
John Coleman 0:20:20
That making contact with creation, brings us into contact with all creation? That finding what we feel like, what seems to be the creative force in life unites us and brings us into oneness with all of creation. And is that really what we're after? That what we want, is that union? What we want is that wholeness. But the only way to find it, the only way to experience it is internally. Just an interesting thing to think about. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not. We'll only know if we entertain it, if we try it for ourselves. Because the beauty is the best part is when we encounter truth, we'll know it. We don't have to be scared, we don't have to be rigid, we don't have to be timid of endeavoring after the truth, thinking that we'll lead ourselves away, lead ourselves astray. Because usually when we're led astray, it's because we've latched on to something that isn't actually true. Often we've latched onto something that meets some sort of artificial or superficial end. By going deep internally, by going as deep as we possibly can, perhaps we can unite ourselves with all of creation, with all that is we can find real truth, we can find real connection, we can find true union through connecting to and through all that is through connecting with all that already is within us.