I love my mind. Yes, it gets stuck in patterns, asks endless questions and tries to “protect” me at every turn with unending “What ifs,” but it still wants very much to serve, even when that means opening up to the unknown. One of my mind’s most helpful attributes is the remarkable ability to understand something new by relating it to something it already knows. In other words, my mind is very good at qualia.
In philosophy, “qualia” is the plural form of “quale,” which is defined (here) as “A quality (such as bitterness), regarded as an independent object; a sense-datum or feeling having a distinctive quality.”
Said another way (here), qualia are “the raw felt qualities of sensations, emotions, thoughts, or anything else. They are experienced privately, subjectively, and directly… There is ‘something it is like’ to hear a guitar, see a sunset, or feel someone’s arm brush against yours. There is ‘something it is like’ to have a thought or feel an emotion.” The conclusion is that our ability to use qualia is part of what makes us conscious beings.
Adamus’ definition of qualia (here) is similar: “‘Associative comparison,’ which is the mind’s way of understanding something based on what it can be compared to or associated with. A metaphor is an example of qualia as a way of illustrating a concept using something else the mind already understands."
So yes, I appreciate my mind’s aptitude with qualia, and often marvel at its ability to understand and explain new concepts through the use of metaphor. When I remember how it feels to float gently down a peaceful river, it’s easy to associate that with the inner tranquility of allowing the flow of life. In fact, I’d like to share a few instances of qualia that have helped me understand and experience this journey with more clarity.
Adamus has said (particularly here) that the primary human sense is Focus. It is what gives us, unlimited beings of consciousness, the ability to exist in this dense and limited reality of time, space and matter. Being human takes a LOT of focus, both to get here in the first place and then to meet the demand on our attention (using perception tools like taste and touch and sight) that being here requires. The sense of Focus not only keeps this reality adequately stable, it also helps us focus on a single moment or day or lifetime at a time, so we don’t get hopelessly distracted by the rest of our existence. However, as we come back to Self, this sense of Focus begins to soften and open.
Now, here’s the qualia that helps me understand. Imagine you’re out in the middle of a vast landscape, surrounded by nature’s epic wonder in every direction. But your only means of visual perception is looking through a small tube, such as a drinking straw. You can eventually take in everything around you, but the big picture and how “this” relates to “that” is generally lost. That’s what it’s like to be human.
Focus necessarily distorts and limits our perspective. It helps us take in the detail of specific experiences and perspectives, from which we define our truth. But it also obscures the greater reality, where a particular truth might become useless and irrelevant in the bigger picture. As our sense of Focus begins to relax and open, the certainty of heretofore rock-solid views begins to fade, which can be quite disorienting to us, and often alarming to those who love us. We start seeing how everything fits together, how the view through “your” straw actually seems to contradict the view through “mine,” yet each is part of the vast wholeness of reality.
Remembering this really helps when I’m dealing with people whose political, health, and human views are completely different than mine. What they see through their straw is true and real, while I see something completely different. And compassion insists that I let them have their view, even though I greatly prefer mine.
You’ve probably heard this phrase, sometimes attributed to Aristotle: “Water seeks its own level.” It’s a physics principal that has countless applications but, to me, the real insight is that water doesn’t spend its existence seeking to be level; it is constantly finding and experiencing it state of levelness. Think of a bowl of water. If you push it around and fuss with the water trying to make it be level, you just cause turbulence. But left alone, it simply IS level. Even water that’s been stuck in the form of ice will eventually melt and find its level.
Qualia brought this to my attention back in 2004 when Tobias said, “Energy seeks resolution.” He didn’t mean energy spends its existence seeking resolution; it is constantly finding and experiencing resolution, its return to the equilibrium of Self. If you try to dominate and control your energy, you’ll experience a lot of turbulence. But with allowing, it returns to smooth and beautiful expression in your life. Even energy that’s been stuck in the form of aspects will ultimately melt back into your wholeness.
Tobias mentioned that phrase many more times, and I’ve applied this principle in my life with profound results. If you want to “level” some water that’s been frozen, you don’t need to analyze, fix or reshape the ice. You just put it in a bowl of water and leave it alone. No matter how cold and hard and sharp that ice might be, it will naturally return to its level state.
Just the same, if some part of me is stuck in pain, anger, fear, or any other pattern, I don’t need to analyze, fix or repair that part of myself. I need only to bring it into my acceptance, feeling all its sharp discomfort while staying aware that I am actually the bowl of water and big enough to contain it all. With awareness and trust, the stuck energy melts back into me with no need to reject, fix or change anything.
In a way, it’s illogical. If something feels “wrong” inside, we’re programmed to “fix” it. If something hurts, we reject and push it away. But resolution and integration happen when I allow discomfort to exist within me, totally accepting my experience yet staying aware that it is not me, does not define me and cannot overwhelm me. It’s the same as acknowledging the piece of ice is cold and sharp, but knowing it cannot freeze the entire bowl of water. Trusting myself enough to sit in that multi-awareness is where the alchemy happens, where the energy finds resolution and aspects come home. Always.
In the past I’ve written about a balloon as a metaphor of our existence (here). Everything within the balloon is my creation, and even though I can perceive “shadows” of other beings, they are not literally inside my reality. Now, imagine your infinitely expandable balloon not as an empty space, but rather filled with a curious substance that is constantly forming and reshaping itself based on your input. Let’s say you decide to go shopping. As you act out this choice, the substance in the balloon forms itself into the coat you put on, the keys you grab, the door you open and the street you walk down. In other words, reality is continually coalescing based on your expectation in each moment. Of course, these expectations aren’t always conscious, but the substance in your reality balloon is always responding directly to your consciousness. Look around; the reality you inhabit is the reality you expected.
Awareness of this fact opens up all sorts of possibilities, but I want to mention something specific. One of the most common complaints I hear from Shaumbra is about the frustration of still feeling separate from Self, of not feeling like a Master or being connected to one’s true divine Self. Because of old patterns in my expectations, it’s easy to think of my soul as some grand being out there far, far away that might one day join my lonely human and make her life a little better. It’s also easy to think that when I leave this life, I’ll finally be able to experience my full unlimited existence. But the truth is that instead of longing for something out beyond this balloon of my existence, I only need to tweak my perception.
The balloon IS my full self. The substance that forms my reality is the energy I use to create experiences. So, instead of feeling separate, far away, even lost from my Self, I can shift to perceiving my Self as every single thing around me. And here’s where it really gets wonderful.
When I’m feeling lonely and dejected, wishing I could drift away in the arms of my Self and forget all this human chaos, well, I can literally do that! I can sit my human down in my soft comfy chair and let her feel the embrace of all that I am, manifested in that moment as the chair. Tired and weary, I can crawl into bed and feel the loving, rejuvenating presence of my Self wrapped around me as the cozy blankets. I can look out the window and marvel at the scene I Am projecting for my human to experience. Of course, the scenes “out there” often have only minor variations because drastic changes would confuse and alarm the human. But even so, there are some pretty fantastical possibilities. What if my human expected to see something different, such as the lingering angels, the vast closeness of “outer” space, or the busy joy of fairies and gnomes?
All that still seems pretty far-fetched, and for now my human is delighted to simply experience Me in whatever form I take – as a soft and loving chair, nurturing food, crisp autumn air, a fast and reliable car, or anything else she can perceive. And I, the human, can feel my soul embracing, loving and accepting me, dancing with my every step in this reality. And all at once, I am no longer separate from my Self, no longer alone, no longer limited to this lifetime, no longer directed by mass consciousness. I can still feel those things, but they become less important every day.
Thanks to qualia, my mind is opening up to how life really works, to what I’ve actually created, to who I literally am. As my mind begins to comprehend, so does my entire human self. And she’s the happiest she’s ever been.