Saturday, December 10, 2011

Seeing the World as a Vessel of Consciousness

When we begin a journey we usually have a destination in mind. If we don't move toward a particular place, we travel toward an experience such as adventure, treasure, love or enlightenment. Most of the time we don't arrive exactly where we planned or have the experience we precisely desired. Instead, the path we take often takes us away from our expectations. It reveals places and sensations we didn't know existed. We are shown regions and relationships within ourselves that make wherever we are more beautiful and meaningful.

It's been the same with my life journey. Time and again, I thought I was headed toward one place or experience and have landed, instead, in an unexpected location with a surprising group of people that opened to unanticipated experiences. Over time, a theme has emerged. The settings and sensations life has carried me through have pointed my attention beyond forms and emotions. They have guided me to see the elusive energy and intelligence animating them. My life journey has revealed that this world is a vessel for consciousness.

In this structure of world vessel and animating consciousness, every person and place serves to reveal the countless qualities of the life force that guides and shapes our thoughts, words, actions and achievements. There are no perfect or imperfect vessels. As water flows down any shaped ravine, over any rock and through any channel, consciousness flows through any twist and turn of mind, body and environment. If a stream of consciousness is blocked, the life force, like water, gathers and reveals the qualities of stillness, depth and reflection.

From this perspective, my journey through the world has been a less about discovering the world and more about recognizing the elusive forces working behind the scenes. It's been an adventure of seeing through the characteristics of the vessel and getting to know the possible characters of consciousness. On this journey, the same consciousness that is looking through my eyes at this moment looked through my eyes when I was five years old, twenty and forty. This same awareness sense my childhood home, my school, the work places I have spent my days and the far flung lands to which I've traveled.

Experiencing the world of matter as a vessel for the ocean of consciousness doesn't guarantee the bills will get paid, glowing health will last forever, or love will grace every moment of the day. It does, however, make every environment and encounter come alive. There's never a "been there done that" moment. Every object shimmers with a fresh inflection of consciousness being revealed. Each conversation reveals a deeper relationship with the mysterious forces that create, dissolve and renew the world. Ever step of the way is both a homecoming and an exploration of fresh territory.

Here, now, stop for a moment. Look at the place you occupy and the people inhabiting that place. Look behind the forms to sense what is animating those forms. Allow the consciousness perceiving this place through your eyes to meet the consciousness animating the forms surrounding you. Experience what it is like to see world anew, to perceive it as a vessel of consciousness.

More detailed and thorough knowledge about this experience is described in my new book 24 PATTERNS OF WISDOM. To see a flipbook of what's inside, click here.


  1. Tony,
    This is so beautiful. I find myself nodding and sighing as I read. My experience is similar, though slightly different: my life path (until recently) took me exactly where I thought it would, so that wasn't a surprise ... what was the surprise is how different some of those places (literal and metaphorical) were than I expected. xox

  2. Thanks for helping me see this moment anew. Nice to stop and re-see. Thanks for this moment, thanks for sharing.