Sitting in contemplation, the occasional bark of a playing dog or the droning of a plane are very much like a thought about tomorrow’s plans. Walking, each step feels much the same as a sound or thought.
The morning hug from my son glows like the sun’s rays breaking through the clouds in the morning sky. These two are also the same. If I am mindful and joyful as I listen to sounds, think thoughts, and take steps – then all things have the same bliss as morning hugs and dawns.
For all this is in consciousness – all this is in mind.
The division of experience into “inner” and “outer” has no benefit. All our thoughts and feelings can manifest on our bodies, all that which occurs to our bodies can manifest on our minds and hearts. All our thoughts and feelings shudder through others’ minds like sound rippling through the air. Each mind we encounter is another aspect of ourselves, and in viewing the physical world we find ourselves wandering a house of mirrors – here a distortion, there a film of dirt, but everywhere the Children of God.
The world is mind – the mind of the Children of God, corrupted still by the dreams of dominion in men’s hearts. Yet, all this corruption is just a child’s stubborn refusal of gentle guidance – we hurt only ourselves, we only cover our own eyes from the light.
Could we not easily flip the perception of inwardness through thought alone? The world is clearly our communal mind, while the little walled-off private gardens are simply points of light in the cascade – could they not be seen as peripheral, on the outermost edge? Perhaps the communal mind is closer to God’s than are our own private minds. As the source of all radiance, God is innermost of all, and if the communal mind is closer to Him than our little gardens – then the world is inner and the shallow waters of our minds are outer.
Either way, the decision of direction is irrelevant. The bark of the dog and the drone of the plane arise in our minds, inner and outer. Thoughts, feelings, steps of a walk, hugs from loved ones, and natural splendor are all both inner and outer. All that arises and subsides has both form and meaning – and the form is dust, and the meaning is spirit. All arising and subsiding is irrelevant as form, but is a conversation of spirit as meaning. All things are therefore as “inner” as they could possibly be, for all things are both in us and in God.
Look at all this diversity and creativity in the minds of the Children of God! Let us not distinguish or evaluate overly much between them, these notes of the river of creation. It’s far better to seek the meanings under all forms, to seek to converse with our Creator.