Birthing Potential


I had just turned 18 and left home for the first time, when I began to have regular sensations of being “energetically pregnant” with an “unknown potential.” Perhaps this sounds just as strange in 2016, as I judged it to be in 1972. The primary attribute of its strangeness came as an unbearable optimism that I could find little grounds for in my life at the time. How could I place my trust in something that was so unlike the reality consensus that I had come to know as “life”?

Not unlike a physical pregnancy, this strong energy in the cellular core of my body/being felt vital and engaging. It seemed to want to come into being  (be “born”) through me. Its essence was one of profound intimacy, and unspeakable joy and beauty. (Many pregnant women in supportive situations, will experience some awareness of their participation in a deeply personal,  joyous — and yet, mysteriously unknowable undertaking.)

Although this “feeling-pregnant-energy” was part of me — and full of promise and positivity — it felt foreign to everything I had come to understand about life and who I was. This made it an especially inconvenient exploration for an 18 year old. I was incapable of giving myself over to something I had so little understanding of — or external support for — at the time. So I tried my best to dial it down, and live life “normally.” My (very social) upbringing left me with a strong impression that one finds meaning by contributing through the established social order — never outside of it. In my early twenties, I even had recurring dreams about trying desperately to “fit in.” Unfailingly, the dream-characters would gently, but firmly, guide me towards the unchartered terrain within the dream scape.

Forty-four years later,  I understand this encounter to be a mystical experience. From a mystical perspective, this type of energetic/psychic experience is not uncommon or strange. A mystic always rides the unchartered froth at the edges of ordinary (conditioned) consciousness. As such, the mystic experiences “seeing and knowing” beyond the accepted (social/political) world-views of their time. This can make birthing mystical ways of relating into a materially-based world painfully confusing, and highly inconvenient — to put it mildly.

In order to birth their intuitive spiritual knowing, a mystic requires a grounded and integrated vessel (psychological, emotional, and mental alignment) that can sustain the rigours of “birthing the mystery.” For most of us living in a culture of first-world materialism, a supportive “external structure” is necessary to stabilize  the birthing and maturation of this “emergent energy.”

A sangha (spiritual community) recognizes that mystical truths are “birthed through” us, rather than “added onto” the already-known cultural, familial, political structures. This is the main emphasis for each of the Silence Practice series: the practice of “knowing” through discovering our shared depth and mutual capacity for higher-relatedness. As we learn to rest in, and relate from,  the innate mystical knowledge that we are primarily spiritual beings, habitually conditioned reflexes begin to recede.

We are ALL connected to this potential — whether we have directly experienced it or not. It is with great delight that I have been discovering that we can learn to communicate with each other “within this potential” that is wanting expression through us.  When we are willing to be still and see/hear/know beyond our own mental-emotional limits of fear and judgement,  something creative and new is born within us AND between us.

One of the most outstanding characteristics of this “unborn” potential is generosity. “It” only wants to give itself away … completely … infinitely … and precisely (uniquely through each individual). When we follow this impulse and trust it, we discover a boundless energy that delights in re-discovering itself within every life-form it encounters — again and again. The more It gives itself, the greater its capacity to receive more of “Itself.” There is no such thing as burnout in the birthing of our Divine Natures.

Until we learn to birth this innate potential,  and mobilize it in our lives, it is difficult to be in a fully trusting (open) relationship with Life. When life is lived through defense and fear, our lives remain foreign to us. We somehow stand outside of them, becoming strangers in an even stranger land. When we habitually deny our potential to birth our True Nature, we also pollute the birthing environment of our Collective Potential.

What does this birthing potential require? It requires sincere intention, steadfastness (daily practice in stillness), trust, willingness to share and discover with others — and ultimately, surrendering to the process of birthing something beyond what we have previously defined as “life.” Without birthing the potential of our mystical sensibilities, we remain strangers in the strange land of a conditioned-self. Until we are willing to discover our depth, and meet others who are also willing to discover theirs, we remain under the roof of conditioned life-habits — perhaps feeling safe, but not truly alive.

Together, we can create a new reality between us that is capable of holding a trusting space for birthing the Mystery that we are. As our world becomes increasingly global, we more than ever need stable vessels and spiritually based practice-communities to birth our individual and collective potential..

I would encourage you to post any comments and/or reflections below. Such sharing is valuable for all readers of this Blog. Namaste.