In the past two blogs, we looked at the nature of the presence within and explored the different ways people have experienced it. Let’s now look at ways to reach an awareness of the presence within.
I spent years wondering how to reach the presence inside. I believed it was real, even though I felt only a hint of it occasionally. The spirituality texts I read seemed intuitively true – the Upanishads, The Way of Life by Lao Tzu, The Bhagavad Gita, and many books by Alan Watts. Even mystical Christianity and the New Thought of Unity and Religious Science talked extensively about the presence of god or spirit within.
I believed it was real; I just couldn’t figure out how to experience it.
Interestingly, my first experiences in feeling the presence were through psychedelic drugs, including as LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and DMT. That’s a rough way to feel the presence. For one, these drugs don’t always bring a sense of comfort or wellbeing. Some of these drug experiences can be frightening. Looking back, it seems odd to experience a mixture of the presence and outright terror. But indeed, that can happen.
Yet I am convinced the presence I felt on these drugs was real, even if the feeling of the presence came with a disquieting pinch of self destruction.
Drugs are drugs. They can blast the doors of perception open – as Aldus Huxley observed – but they leave behind a ragged legacy that’s often accompanied by painful anxiety. A couple friends of mine turned to heroin to relieve the uncomfortable after-edge of psychedelics. As you can imagine, that didn’t turn out well.
There are certainly healthier ways to bring about the awareness of the presence within consistently. In the next blog we’ll look at how you can reach the presence through meditation and breathing exercises.