This week’s shot of clarity has a story behind it. A few months ago, one of my clients (Nicky Drew) reached out, with an idea to collate short responses from people who have had insights into the deeper nature of life and unconditional love. We went back and forth and she decided to transcribe a clip from my Clarity Certification Training earlier this year.
I received the transcript yesterday, and I immediately asked her permission to share it in this week’s shot of clarity. The next place you see it will be in Nicky’s book, From the Heart: Explorations in True Nature and Unconditional Love. Nicky’s hoping it’ll be out by November, and she’s donating all proceeds to Heartlink Children’s Charity.
“There are those in this world who believe miracles do not happen. I can assure such skeptics that they do. With hope and faith as beacons, anything can happen.”
– Sydney Banks (from The Missing Link)
(The following is an edited transcription of me answering a question from one of my students exploring the characteristics and nature of stillness, love, resilience, truth, and calm.)
Here’s how it looks to me – you know how if you’re watching a movie at the cinema, there is a screen, and the movie is projected on the screen. It doesn’t matter what the movie is about, what horrible scenes are played out in the movie or hilarious scenes, tear-jerking scenes, or raunchy scenes. The screen is unaffected. And there’s no movie that’s so scary or raunchy or troubling that the screen just goes, ‘wow I can’t handle this, I’m out’. The screen is cool with it all. Well, as I see it, and this is just a metaphor obviously, who we really are is the screen.
And I’ll tell you a story. About a year and a half ago, I sit down to read The Missing Link book. When I first read it, I wasn’t impacted by it and then I looked at it again, maybe six years later and still no impact. In 2009 I looked at it again and, wow, I saw something in the book. I picked it up again about 15 months ago, to have a read one night, and I thought I’ll start at the beginning. I start with the introduction, which is one page with four sentences on it. A couple of sentences are “There are those in this world who believe miracles do not happen. I can assure such skeptics that they do. With hope and faith as beacons, anything can happen.”
Now, I’ve never been overly keen on the word miracle. I’m not even that keen on the word faith. I’ve always been much more of the, I’d rather know something. I liked hope because there have been plenty of times when a bit of hope came in handy. As I read these sentences suddenly, I fell out of all this thinking that hadn’t even looked like thinking it had just looked like my game plan for life. My accumulated knowledge and understanding so far of the world, and me, work, business, people, relationships and all this stuff I know. It wasn’t like I was feeling bad and I read this thing and then I fell out of this thinking. I was just having a ‘Jamie’ day and things were as they were and I felt fine about it and I had various things I was preoccupied with and various things I was excited about, but I had my game plan for living. So, I read this sentence and suddenly, I fall awake to the moment, I fall out of all that thinking that didn’t look like thinking.
What seemed like a long time later but was probably about a second and a half, I’m back in the room with an amazing feeling of peace, well-being, and clarity. What was in my head when I came back was, oh, you’re going to have a beautiful life and work you love, and you don’t even need to know how it’s going to happen. I thought, holy shit, that’s not my usual game plan! My usual game plan is, as long as I know exactly how it’s going to happen this could just work out okay right? like, no, you’re going to have a beautiful life, work you love and you don’t even need to know how it’s going to happen.
Here’s the funny thing, I was listening to an interview with a psychedelic scientist, doing psychedelic experiments around things like curing PTSD and addictions with psychedelics. This is research in the US that was banned for decades and so they’re doing it again research with LSD and psilocybin. I was listening to it and he said something really interesting; He said that in the cases where it worked, each time the people had a healing experience as a result from taking a psychedelic it was as a result of having a mystical experience; a spiritual experience. They’ve got this thing, which is an empirical scale, which is called the mystical experience scale. It’s a scientific scale used for evaluating spiritual experiences or what they call mystical experiences and they have six qualities.
The first is kind of the dissolution of time and space like being thrown fully into the now. The second is a sense of connection to everything and everyone. The third is what William James described as the noetic experience. The noetic experience is the sense that what you’re experiencing is more true than everyday life. That’s what I would call a spiritual fact. When you fall out of your maps, models, and ideas about yourself and about life in the world and fall awake to the truth of the moment. That experience and insight often or typically have that noetic quality; that sense of being even more true than what you know in everyday life; despite the fact that you couldn’t prove it by showing your work and doing the math and that sort of thing.
So, I come back to the present. I have that sense that what I just realized is truer than all my ideas about the world which looked pretty true and real and reliable, and it stayed with me. I spend a decent amount of each day caught up in the world of how I think it works and all my usual insecurities and preoccupations. When I think about what I realized, you’re going to have a beautiful life and work you love, you don’t even need to know how it’s going to happen. I see that’s true. Can I prove it? no, but I know, I know.
So, I think what happens is for a heartbeat you fall out of the movie and catch a glimpse of the screen. Then when you come back to so-called reality a heartbeat later, or an infinity later, when someone says, what was it like, what you’re left with is love, peaceful stillness. When you were there it was just ‘ahhhhhhh’, but we describe the after effect using those terms.
Those terms like Resilience, what does that mean? It’s the ability to bounce back. As we’re talking about bouncing back that’s happening in time and space, but who you really are is before time and space. It looks to me that those qualities that we often attribute to True Self to who we really are. If we’re being precise about it, there the world of form after effects or side effects or manifestations of the knowledge of who we really are.
That’s how it’s looking to me today. Bear in mind all these things I’m saying they’re just kind of metaphors trying to get a handle on something that is before time, space matter and handles.
If you’d like to watch / listen to the recording this was transcribed from, you can find it on youtube HERE
and on Facebook HERE
Jamie Smart, Sunday Times Bestselling Author, Speaker & Executive Coach