Space Within is an easy to read book by Michael Neill, though the principles shared are less easy to implement, especially for someone not already coming from that understanding. There is a lot written about perfection, seeking it, needing it, and that all is perfect. For people embroiled in a health challenge or a loss, it is the last thing they would likely want to hear. It is something they need to get to on their own.
When we come to see that we can have fresh new thinking at any moment, wisdom stops looking like a big deal or a mystical process and appears to us as a function of the natural resource of a deeper Mind – the ever-present spiritual energy behind life.
Michael Neill, Space Within
The journey for many has been to understand the difference between the Universal (impersonal) Mind, which is “constant and unchangeable” and the personal mind that is perpetual change. Michael writes that “all humans have the inner ability to synchronize their personal mind with their impersonal mind to bring harmony into their lives. Consciousness is the gift of awareness.”
“Whether the ‘mist’ of thought takes the form of a beautiful vision or an icy chill, it can blind us to what is already present and make us feel as though we need to go stumbling about in search of instant remedies instead of waiting for the mist to clear.” The peace of mind is ever present and Michael points out how bizarre it is that we have to actually do anything to experience this peace, this same formless energy that exists everywhere, like the fish doing something to experience water. It reminds me of Rumi who, still now, reminds us that we do not need to seek out love, only to find the barriers within that we have built. We are simply love.
“Our ability to rest in peace is not a function of how busy our life is or how challenging our circumstances are, it’s simply a matter of how often we are willing to pause in the midst of a busy mind and return to the beauty of the present moment.” When we rest in peace, everything is fresh again – “our body recharges, our thoughts refresh, and our personal mind synchronizes with something larger and more universal.” Our deeper mind is an infinite well; we merely have to drop into it to fetch what we desire. Form, from formless.
We have the choice to either show up empty-handed and fully present or already full of what we think we know and what we’ve done before.
We all face change; that is the essence of life. So come the challenges – people, events, circumstances that we allow to ruffle our feathers. Of course we worry about ourselves and those around us because we care (or do we overcare?). The world is changing fast and we can feel helpless. What we see however is rather linear and what we tend to believe, as Michael points out, is that we believe and have been taught that we are supposed to figure it all out, with “the little brain” as he calls it, the one with limited information and experience. These are the thoughts that are memory- based and sourced from knowledge we have received.
His big question to the reader about whether something is better, if this is working out is this – “Is it more fun being You?”
I think that’s a great question. Healing, dis-ease, and finding the purpose of life are heavyweights and we often forget the lighter side of being. “The irony is that the harder we work on changing ourselves in order to change the way we feel, the more distant we become from our true self, and the more important it seems to work on all these things, and the more lost we become.”
This is a good book to read from time to time, to remind ourselves that we’ve got this. It definitely does not always feel that way but the space within, it is higher intelligence. We connect inwards, we connect upwards and outwards.