Living Inside Out
by Boyd Martin

blackbird I was marvelling today how sometimes there is an instant acknowledgement from the Outside Universe when I have an inner experience. I was mulling over how to summarize what I'd been thinking about this week--for this article, as a matter of fact. The phrase, "living inside out" just appeared in my mind, and instantly a small blackbird swooped down right in front of me as I sat having my morning Starbucks.

I used to dismiss such "coincidences" as having no meaning, but as I became more savvy about physical reality through my experience and studies, these types of phenomena changed from being coincidences, to synchronicities, to direct reflections of my thoughts and intentions.

I now like to think of this as the "micro-macrocosmic expression," where the inner experiences IS the outer experience. I believe there is an illusory "barrier" between our inner experience and our outer experience--mostly culturally driven--that when reduced or eliminated produces profound states of consciousness.

Most of us spend most of our time in a reality the reverse of this. It is where the outer experience CREATES the inner experience. This is what I think of as the Victim Life. Everything happens to me from unseen and uncontrolled forces "out there" in the world: my feelings are all responses to what happens in the Victim Life; my thoughts are all originated from what happens to me. Some would read that and declare, "Well isn't that how it is?" No. In truth, the world is being created moment by moment by you, and only seems like it has an outside source because we've created a barrier between our inner and outer experiences.

As a much younger man--too young, I realize now--I had several psychedelic experiences using LSD, mushrooms, and other hallucinogens, and the grand centerpiece of these "trips" was the distinct feeling that everything happening in the world--the outside world--was intricately and instantly responding to my every thought. Much later on, I had similiar states induced during my shamanic studies--without the psychedelic aids.

These "encounters" with my inner world reflecting back to me, spurred my interest in the divination arts, such as astrology, the Tarot and, most notably, the I Ching. All divinatory systems rely on a "story" or symbolic representations of characters and concepts to create a bridge between inner and outer experience. You cast a horoscope, randomly select cards, or toss coins in order to enter into the particular world of the divination tool, and there, find yourself reflected back to you through the language of the tool's story.

shaman In shamanic practices, the novice is encouraged to collect and build their "mesa," or "spirit pouch," containing physical items that represent stories, symbols, or any meaningful and useful concepts. Then, when the shaman asks their mesa for answers to problems, conundrums or for general guidance, how the attention is directed while observing the items in the mesa reveals the answers. Sometimes, the "answer" is so profound, the brain cascades into transcendental states of consciousness and the barriers between what is "inside" and "outside" dissolve.

I also believe that when these cascades occur, the human brain is stimulated to release highly beneficial bio-chemicals, creating wonderful states of well-being, expansive awareness, and deep universal love. Once these states are experienced, lives change, because it becomes obvious that we were meant to be in these states.

Fortunately, these profoundly meaningful states of consciousness are available to everyone, and it doesn't require eating mushrooms or scoring some acid. These psychedelic means are really just shortcuts that bypass the need for a definite skill (to the detriment of the experiencer). All shamanic traditions teach this skill, and anyone can learn it.

I've written about this several times, and it does keep coming up as an important thing to master: living from the heartspace. The particular technique involves "dropping down" from the brain where we usually seem to habitually reside, to the much more potent electromagnetic space of the heart area of the body. It is a matter of shifting attention from seeing out of the head and eyes, to "seeing" out of the heart. You can even imagine you've got eyes in the middle of the chest, and you are practicing using them.

I'm a big fan of Doc Childre, founder of the Heartmath Institue, who has made a scientific study of human experience while in the heartspace. I highly recommend checking it out. The Institute's research has definitively found that people operating from the heartspace not only have reduced stress and an enhanced immune system, it was found that they can directly create molecular changes in DNA. The people in the control group during these experiments were not in the heartspace and could not affect changes in the pieces of DNA in the petri dish.

Further clinical reports of this phenomena come from Richard Bartlett, founder of Matrix Energetics, where using simple directed attention from the heartspace, practitioners are able to illicit changes in their subjects both in person and remotely.

heartspace What this all means in the day-to-day for us mere mortals, is that we all have access to the heartspace. We all have access to the bridge between our inner and outer worlds. Once we begin to develop the skills to cross that bridge, and keep crossing it, the bridge shortens until there is no "distance" between inner and outer. That state is called "self realized" in Eastern philosophies. And it is a skill that takes practice. In the fully self-realized state, everything in life exactly and perfectly mirrors the Self which instantly creates Bliss with a capital "B."

I've found that the "trick" to being in the heartspace and creating that bridge between inner and outer, is to remember to do it. It continues to perplex me how "slippery" the mind can be and how incredibly persistent the ego is to prove it is different than the world. Those moments where I come face to face with what seem to be exact opposites of what I want to see in the world--each one of them--are golden moments to remind myself to drop down into the heartspace and observe all sides of the drama being created--all the characters acting out their parts in a story line I'm creating.

I think one of the reasons this can be difficult or tricky, is because it is sometimes hard to admit that we've gotten ourselves into yet another "fix," yet a bit of humility, a sense of humor, and then dropping down to the heartspace, will quickly reveal the perfection of the situation. It's perfect because it blatently points out to you what your part is in creating it--and by being aware of that, patterns emerge and the bridge is built from the inside out.