The journey into oneself is characterized by self-awareness and the eagerness to understand the basis for our unhappiness. It gives us the opportunity to transform ourselves into beings of unqualified compassion, deeply interested in leading a vibrant life.

Turning the attention on one’s own state of mind starts the inward journey. This results in slowing down the incessant thought-running habit in our psychology. It may be said that one begins to function from an esoteric awareness and gradually moves towards having a quiet mind. It helps us understand ourselves beyond verbal descriptions, leading to the dissolution of such thought vortices as fear, regret, anger etc. Mental relaxation and inner harmony follow.

A salient feature of the esoteric awareness is that there are no systems to identify oneself with in that field. There, people do not hold hands and say “We belong”! Aloneness is the primary characteristic of the field. Thus, group fanaticism is impossible. While they do help each other in feeling the deeper aspects of the journey of life, ‘groupism’ does not take place and the mind’s freedom to explore is sustained. It is this freedom that helps one flow deeply into oneself making it possible to discover the meaning of “Know thyself”. The inward movement of awareness makes us feel the proximity to Divinity beyond all religious and philosophic concepts. Such a candid relationship with Divinity would be free from pious egoism.

An important characteristic of the inward journey is that one becomes charged with enthusiasm for sensing what lies beyond the apparent and for living vibrantly. The all-encompassing compassion that people feel during a near death experience is sensed as a growing feeling in this field. Self-centered, utilitarian drives towards personal salvation or aggrandizement begin to wane out. Movement in the field is one of discovery rather than of conformity to a system. That kind of search and discovery adds a strange quality to life; the ego begins to take a back bench and progressively give way to expressions of the Inner Being. What is required is a spirit of adventure and the associated explorer’s inquisitive attitude.

The essence of the esoteric field lies in deep passivity and in understanding the movement of life - its beauty and purity. It is not guided by self-satisfying notions of spiritual achievements and rewards. Humility is the very content of that passivity.

Confidence in life increases, not so much because of success but because of the inherent profundity that we sense in the esoteric field. The aloneness that is characteristic of that field helps us operate from our native intelligence. This intelligence prevents us from leading a second- hand existence as a result of falling a prey to religious and other propaganda.

Since there is no institutionalization in the Esoteric Field, each person there shines like a “Single Star in a Limpid Sky” – an expression used by J. Krishnamurti in connection with aloneness. It needs certain courage to remain alone inwardly. That unshakable confidence comes from the following:
• Non-dependence on a system or person to provide the base for security and satisfaction.
• Understanding that life is a friend who is always helping us move towards the Ultimate.
• The sensing that each one of us is given all the resources needed to return Home, to Divinity.
• Feeling the Inner Being’s inscrutable but unshakable support in daily life.

Factors as above bring a natural austerity to one’s life and so there is an unforced discipline in the conduct of such a person. Kindness and respect for everyone rule all that person’s actions. As of now, those who have moved into the esoteric field make up a small minority on this planet. That is why there is so much violence in the world today, inflicted not only on man but on other living beings as well.

The inward journey brings about aliveness in our interactions with people; we do not let past and future play a role, except for factual information. That helps us bypass the mental figure we have of them – our memory of how good or bad they are, what they did in the past and why they did what they did, where they are from, how they can be useful or useless to us, and so on. It helps us interact without thoughts of fear, regret, anger, desire and jealousy. Alert attention comes in with ease and functions naturally without effort. There would be tenderness in our interactions that helps us respond rather than react. If we understand the difference between responding and reacting, harmony rules our relationships. We become alive to the fact that we are all sacred souls on a sacred journey. That would prevent us from being scared souls on a scary journey!

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Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan TC was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait. Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.
Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the Association on the theme "The Spiritual Content of Near Death Experiences". Functions as a freelance counselor for mental relaxation. Lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family. Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.
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