What adds a layer of complexity to this idea is our own humanity. I feel that we inherently possess duality because we are human. It seems to come with the terrain. What do I mean? I mean that we simultaneously exist in this Earth plane with both our divinity and our humanity, neatly packaged in one human body. The challenge and perhaps lesson of Earth is to integrate this duality and co-exist harmoniously.
How do I know about this duality? I know that when I am quiet, I recognize a part of myself which is timeless, which transcends this world, and which is wholly and perfect, and I have come to know this entity as "me". For much of my life, I have called this awareness the "soul" but I've also heard it called "the observer" or the "subtle awareness being".
However, there is also our humanity with which to contend, more specifically, our human minds. This thinking, reasoning part of us allows us to make sense of our physical world and its societal and cultural norms, which can be both helpful and productive. However, many freedoms aside, it can also bring us much pain and destruction. Herein lies the rub...it is only when our human mind begins to think thoughts which are not our own -- which are not in line with our divinity -- that we find ourselves in pain.
Let us take this one step further.
When I am still, I find myself tuning myself into the thoughts my mind is producing. Some of them are in-line with my divine self and I know this because they bring me peace and blissful joy. Others, I can only describe as being more "cold prickles", leave me feeling depressed, self-conscious and anxious.
Because I have slowed down my thought processes and have turned my attention inwards, I know that these "cold prickles", these thoughts which cause me pain, are really not my own.
Don't get me wrong. I know that I am thinking them; therefore, I accept responsibility for having allowed them into my mind. Still, in the same breath, I can acknowledge that my divine self is incapable of thinking these thoughts. It is observing them, to be sure, but it is not thinking them since it is beyond the realm of thought.
Slowing down my thought processes even further, I have been able to name the owners of these thoughts which cause me pain. I can say to myself, "Oh, the root of that thought goes back to the 6th grade when so and so said that to me about ______________ (fill in the blank)."
Upon identification, I find freedom and release. I find forgiveness. I can let go of it and reclaim the power I gave away to entertain that thought in the first place.
Still, this process raises interesting questions for me, such as "Why did I allow myself to adopt that thinking as my own?" "What compelled me to do so?"
Even more interesting, "Why did I allow my mind to adopt thoughts coming from another person's mind?" "Why would I choose to align myself with diseased thinking?"
I say this because if my theory here is correct, then it would be impossible for another's divine self to address my divine self in such a way. However, it is very possible for a human mind to do so and for my human mind to receive it.
It seems, then, that this brings us to to the realm of diseased thought patterns of the human mind. And, the amazing thing about this is that it allows me to welcome compassion into those thoughts which are not my own, console them, and then send them back to their owners.
We often speak of balms for the soul, but I think we would do better to think of balms for the mind. This is beyond pharmaceuticals. This is about allowing our divine selves into the forefront of our minds and allowing the necessary healing to take place. It is about surrendering to our divinity and letting go of our humanity. The first step, methinks, is the realization that this is all part of the journey of humanity. It is our human lesson.
And, once we accept this, we can move into integration. Integrating our divinity with our humanity and avoiding idolatry -- the act of making our humanity higher than our divinity.
Turning back to the practice of slowing down our thoughts, we would do well to ask ourselves in the presence of thought -- is this thought my own? My mind's? Another's? We could ask ourselves "How would my divine self approach this thought?" "What would my divinity say to my humanity in this moment?"
In this way, then, can we move towards balance and healing...to bring ease to dis-ease...love and compassion to suffering. We would be on our way to creating an existence more in-line with that which is timeless and less with that which is limited.