The modernised human being typically approaches life from the outside in. One way this plays out is when we approach the world with an attitude of, “What can I get from life out there, from the world around me?”. This is state of consciousness based on scarcity, deficiency, and identity confusion. We are conditioned from soon after birth into believing we’re essentially empty vessels needing to be filled (or fulfilled) by the world around us. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Reality tells a very different story. I am going to explore that story with you now.
All that makes a human being fundamentally human, is on the “inside”. This is not a reference to the interior of the physical body—in the way we refer to our organs being on the inside—but refers to the consciousness emerging from within and through the body, and extending out to the cosmos. This consciousness exists before the human body is conceived, and persists after the body dies. What makes us fundamentally human does not come from the external environment, rather it emerges into and through the environment—through the Earth—from the most subtle and imperceivable dimensions into the very tangible plane of material existence.
Even the essential human attributes that appear to be added to us from the outside, are actually qualities the outside world stimulates or elicits from within the human being. Spoken language, body language, emotional intelligence, brain patterning, and more, are stimulated and drawn out from a potential that exists within us. One might argue that something like spoken language surely comes from the outside-in. Yet it actually pre-exists within human consciousness, and the potential this consciousness has organised within the human biology. If you plant a seed, any seed, and as it grows you speak to it in English every day, does the plant eventually speak English? No. If you spend ten years talking in Spanish to a rock, or a mouse, or a cat, does it eventually start speaking Spanish? Obviously not. Yet if you speak to a human baby in any language, or even a multitude of languages, it will very quickly start to speak and understand those languages, and formulate thoughts in those languages. This capacity pre-exists within the human being.
The etymology of the word “education”—from Latin educere, meaning to draw (or lead) out—indicates at some point in history we understood that the human being already contains everything we might hope to “teach” it. The human infant is not so much an empty absorbent sponge—a common analogy you’ve likely come across—as she is a cosmic seed of emerging intelligence and self-organising potential. She is also a cosmic seed of love. For any seed to successfully bring forth what it contains, it must be placed in the right environment. One that educates (draws out from) the seed its innate qualities.
Reorganising the cosmos
It’s true the seed takes on physical substance from the environment around it in the form of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, etc., and we might say this is the seed taking in substance from the outside world. It sort of is, but not exactly. If we look closely, keenly, it’s clear there is a self-organising intelligence inherent in the seed, and that intelligence is actually rearranging, reorganising the material world into a form (or pattern) that will most effectively allow this intelligence to function in the natural world as, for example, an oak tree, or an apple tree. The material substance doesn’t leave the “outside world” and become part of “the inside” (or consciousness) of the plant. The physical expression of the plant, like the human physical body, is as much the “outside” material world as a nearby mountain or lake is. There is an intelligence organising the material substance (the maternal/mother substance), literally in-forming it, to take on a pattern (a form and function) that serves it’s pre-existing potential.
You and I came into being, into being human, exactly the same way. The organising intelligence that makes you human, rearranged a relatively tiny portion of universal substance into the body you are using to read and recognise these words. Some invisible power intrinsic to your being, reorganised the basic elements of matter (H, O, C, N, etc.) and animated (from Latin, “to give breath”) those elements into being human. The “I” within you literally organised a tiny portion of the manifest universe to literally substantiate your spiritual being into material existence.
Having fun with words … The “I” (or Father spirit) within you literally organ-ised (heart, liver, lungs, etc.) a tiny portion of the man-I-fest universe (or u-inverse) to substantiate (substance-I-ate) your being into material (i.e., maternal / Great Mother’s) existence.
Our relationship to life
When “I” live from the out-side-in, “I” gets confused about my role and function, about what it means to be human. A tendency arises to look to the world for things to take, to acquire, to consume, to ingest, to gain something from. We get caught in an attitude of, “Whats’s in it for me?” Yet when we are truly being human, the most natural question is, “What’s in me for it?” (“It” being life, the world, situations, relationships, etc., and all of God’s creation).
When we bring forth and express (or extend) the self-organising, intelligent, life-affirming consciousness that is within us—just as we mysteriously rearranged and in-formed matter into a pattern we references as “my human body”—we continue to rearrange the universe around us in obvious and subtle ways. The impact of this is vast. Every day, for better or worse, you are influencing people, nature, the environment, the Earth, and much more, not only at a material level but even more so metaphysically, in consciousness.
The word “influence” was originally an astrological term in Old French, meaning, “emanation from the stars that acts upon one’s character and destiny”. It’s derived from Medieval Latin, influentia, meaning “a flowing in” or “a flow of water”. At those times, water was as much a reference to a living force or spirit as it was to the inanimate substance of water (H2O) modern people think of today, and “stars” was a reference to the heavenly realms. It could be said, You are a living force flowing from a non-physical or heavenly dimension into the manifest universe, acting upon the character and destiny of that universe.
Nature exists within, and revolves around, an endless cycle of reciprocity. So do you. It’s an unavoidable aspect of being human.
You (as Spirit) extend organising consciousness into matter (from Latin, mater, the Mother), and matter gives unto you (Spirit) the elements with which you can co-create a physical body. Once that body is created and functioning, it exists within a constant reciprocal relationship with matter (the Mother). In every moment our breathing reminds us of this. Every breath cycle is a reciprocation with matter (the Mother). You give forth certain elements as you exhale, and you receive certain elements as you inhale. From birth to death, your body will reciprocate with the material universe through breathing. The same occurs with the intake of food and water. If you were to fail to reciprocate (give and receive) with the food and water you ingest from brith to death, your body would become exceedingly massive and bloated, and eventually develop dis-ease, and then die from a malfunction. Think about it. Every 1 kg of substance you receive, through what you eat and drink, is balanced out by your body giving back 1 kg of substance. Not just through bowel movements and urinating, but through breath, through perspiration, through hair and skin detritus, and much more. You are in constant reciprocity with the material universe.
Here’s the deeper and more important revelation: If we agree with science— with the findings of people using the scientific method to analyse nature—we recognise most of the energy in the universe is not bound up in physical matter or substance. According to science, at least 99.9% of all the energy in existence is meta-physical (beyond the physical). If we agree with the mystics, gnostics, shamans, yogis, sages, and with all indigenous cultures and their world views, all of whom used spiritual perception to observe nature, we again recognise that most of the creation is not physical substance. It is spirit. You and I are no exception to this. Meaning, most of the energy (or life-force) that you are, is not represented by physical substance.
What we can take from this is the realisation that just as you are in constant physical reciprocity—an exchange—with the Earth, you are also in a constant energetic or spiritual exchange with the entire cosmos. This occurs most directly with the tiny portion of the cosmos you can observe around you, namely life on Earth (for simplicity, I’ll keep this exploration localised to life on Earth). Recognising this fact is likely to awaken in you a much deeper sense of the influence you have on the world, and the influence the world has on you. Again, influence, from influentia, means we’re referring to “the flowing in” of the Earth into you, and the “the flowing in” of you into the Earth—at the level of Spirit, energy, and life-force. Remember, “you” are not simply a body. “You” are primarily energy, consciousness or Spirit.
Most modernised humans give little thought to how they influence the natural world. This is true both physically and spiritually. We go about our daily routines unaware of the constant flow of reciprocity, or the exchange, between who “I Am” and the creation in which “I” exists. There was a time when we recognised this flow. For example … We see it embodied in, although now somewhat obscured by confusion, the concept of giving thanks for a meal—or, saying grace. This act is a prayer of thanks, thanksgiving, or more exactly, a blessing. Originally this act was not simply saying a quick “thank you” to the supreme source of the food and sustenance we are about it eat. It’s deeper than that. It was an act of connecting in prayer with that source, with the living Earth, with the Mother / Father / Creator, and all Its creation.
We can use the physical and spiritual substances on our plate like access codes into those parts of the creation our food is bringing us into relationship with, and extend our love to that creation. If there is some fish on your plate, through the presence of that fish you can extend loving consciousness to the sacred space of the ocean, and the Mother of fish. If there is Italian olive oil drizzled over your food, we extend loving consciousness to the sacred spaces in Italy in which the olive trees are growing, and to the Mother of olive trees, and so much more. We extend love to the elements, and organising intelligence, and the billions of years of emergent wisdom that has brought into being all that’s laid out before us like a culinary mandala. We might also extend love to the many people who played a part in bringing that food before us. Farmers, truck drivers, factory workers, merchants, ship captains, and much more. Saying grace was originally a profound act of conscious reciprocity with the Creation. Not just the human being giving thanks to the Creator, but also the Creator being human and extending love into its creation. Such acts of sacred reciprocity are moments, portals in time and space, through which God, the supreme creative power, steps in as you and engages with the creation in a unique way that is only possible through the “I” in you, whilst that “I” is being human. This is just one simple example of what it means to live from the inside out.
Caretakers of the Cosmos
The above example is just one of the ways in which we, as human beings, can function as caretakers of the cosmos—loving all-that-is into the highest expression of its potential. You can expand this example to include all the many ways in which you have a relationship with creation, with nature, with the Earth. Such as your relationship with people, with the ocean, beaches, lakes, sea shells, flowers, insects, mountains, rivers, the local park, your parents, waterfalls, your children, the rain, a summer breeze, a glass of water, the clouds, emotions, feelings, and, well … essentially everything moment-to-moment coming to your attention. Being human means being in relationship. An infinite spectrum of relationship. It is through these relationships that being human gives the “I” within you the means to fulfill your function as kaitiaki, as a guardian and caretaker of Life.