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Black Box Reality: Stepping Beyond the World You Know [podcast]

Posted on:  Jul 15, 2016 @ 10:08 Posted in:  Path Basics, Pathwork, Podcasts

Think of a black box, with solid, impermeable sides, as a metaphor for our limited concept of reality. True reality is the vast, expansive space outside the box.

Photo Credit: Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Black Box Reality: Stepping Beyond the World You Know

Posted on:  Jul 15, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Path Basics, Pathwork

Listen to the Podcast.

Think of a black box, with clearly delineated dimensions and solid, impermeable sides — this is a potent metaphor for our tightly held conception of reality, constructed of our beliefs, values and understandings of the world around us. Consider the vast, expansive space outside the box — this is true reality, unconcerned with our puny human constructs and limited imagination. What we can perceive and experience is delineated and limited by our black-box reality.

Think of a black box, with solid, impermeable sides, as a metaphor for our limited concept of reality. True reality is the vast, expansive space outside the box.

The Path of She calls us to step outside of the world that we know and to embrace what else is true and possible. Integral to this pathwork is enlarging the dimensions of our black-box reality, which in turn broadens the scope of reality and experiences available to us.

This is easier said than done because we’ve spent our whole life immersed in the self-reinforcing foundations and building blocks of our black-box reality, forged from the mainstream culture, our family conditioning and our personal adaptations to the world around us. Yet sometimes it only takes one illuminating insight or experience to crack open our black box and let in the light of new possibilities.

A Personal Story of Cracking My Black-Box Reality

Early on in my spiritual journey, I experienced what I call a keystone moment — an event with enough potency to crumble a foundational element of my black-box reality and replace it with something new and expansive.

At the time, I was part of a Buddhist meditation group that met every Monday evening. Although my MBA-addled mind desperately struggled with the strange, new notions of my teacher’s weekly Dharma talks, still I had begun to sink into my meditations and experience a modicum of inner peace and spaciousness.

This night, shortly after I’d settled into my sitting, my body started to twitch and change. I felt my face extend into a long muzzle, with a cold, wet nose. My eyes became sharp, wary, and bristly, rough fur emerged on my cheeks. Then I flung my head back and opened my mouth in a long, silent howl. I had morphed into a she-wolf, perched on a hard pillow, in the middle of a group of silent, slow-breathing humans. The experience was visceral, embodied and undeniably real.

Now, I will admit, I was scared witless; nothing in my black-box understandings of life could help me make sense of this. But another part of me reveled in this glorious window into the true nature of my expanded, mystery-filled humanity.

Through this one experience, a radical thought was born in me: I had no idea what it meant to be human. With this single thought, a lifetime of conditioning about who I was and what was possible crumbled into dust.

My black-box reality suddenly, irrevocably cracked wide open, exposing me to a vast, wild world of spiritual truth, possibilities and experiences. So began the next phase of my spiritual unfolding that continues to this day.

An Exercise In Expanding Your Black-Box Reality

Though my personal story appears to be a spontaneous, dramatic instance of expanding my black-box reality, I’d primed myself for this experience through my commitment to self-awareness and truth in my meditation practice. This exercise is also one of seeking self-awareness and truth that can prime you to step outside of your black-box reality and let in the light of new possibilities.

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