February 2021

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) repeatedly tells us that we are not our bodies or our egos; we are eternal spirit. It asks us to try to focus less on the ego and the body as so much of our time is spent dealing with things that pertain to the body.

A great spiritual teacher, Dr Paul Brunton, spoke about a method of losing focus of the physical form in his book, The Quest of the Overself, which was written in 1937. He was a firm believer in the power of nature to elevate one’s consciousness. He suggested that we wander along a lonely stretch of beach, sit on a boulder and gaze out to see. “One should then open oneself to receive all that Nature has to say…” He went on to explain on page 177 that when we gaze at any natural scene, including open plains, deserts, mountain ranges and ocean horizons, our gaze will be fixed on the farthest point that we can see. When this happens, “…the mind…projects itself into space until it reaches the boundary…The psychological result in oneself, however, is that the moment of first fixing the gaze so remotely lifts consciousness partly out of the physical body and frees the mind from its habitual egocentric attitude…this mystic interval suffices to create the state of the Overself.” p.178. Maybe that explains why sitting on the beach and gazing out to see is such a relaxing thing to do.

Dr Brunton frequently referred to the need for the spiritual seeker to get in touch with the Overself, also known as the Higher Self. This is our true Self, which has maintained the connection with the Divine and has little to do with the ego. In fact, the more we are able to tune into our Higher Self and receive guidance from It, the easier it will be to rise above the ego and not be at its mercy.

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