Ordinary reality is familiar. We go about our lives thinking we are just an individual person, living in a body-mind. This is what we call normal reality. It makes sense to us based upon our experience. And most of us stick with this reality. But we are much more than that.

We know that there is much about ourselves, and about the world, that we cannot perceive. It’s a big and complex universe.

But we still tend to stay with our ordinary perspective of being a body-mind-person in a material reality. A physical reality of objects situated or moving in our environment; taking place in the space outside our bodies. From this perspective, there is a clear distinction between us and what the world is.

This is the reality that we acquire through our bodily senses, our perceptions and thoughts, our life experiences and what we learn and believe from them.

Yet, this is not the only view of reality. While we may not explore other perspectives, we may know that reality is actually multi-dimensional. Science and religion say so.

Reality really entails many layers. And depending on the layer of reality in which our perception is focused, or in which our sense of self is established, we will experience ourselves and the world quite differently.

Also, these layers of reality, while distinct to some extent, do not exist alone. As we probe the layers of reality, we will find that layers contain other layers, so that as our reality becomes broader and more comprehensive, it incorporates other, less comprehensive layers, as we discover one reality is greater than the previous one.

And if we explore the layers enough, we begin to notice more acutely that reality is inherently intelligent. We find not only ourselves, but everything is organized, structured, and managed by an intelligence greater than what we attribute to ourselves.

Some people will say that intelligence is just nature, or physics, or some kind of intelligence born out of the evolution of the universe since the Big Bang. The scientific explanation. Other people will say that intelligence is god or the divine, in whatever form they have been taught, or imagine. The religious explanation.

The spiritual path offers an explanation that there is a field of consciousness and intelligence that can be accessed directly, and thereby one can know what this intelligence is, and it’s source. The spiritual path offers an approach that puts us directly in touch with the layers of reality. We become the religious scientist exploring the layers of reality, probing what this intelligence is. Not relying on pre-conceived notions, but discovering for ourselves. And as we explore further through the layers of reality, there is a chance we might begin to glimpse, or even come to know, the source of that intelligence, the Divine.

If the Divine is a reality, and the layers of reality are nested in greater and greater layers, then the Divine must be present in all layers of reality as some form of Divine Presence, even though we may not notice it. For some this may be a matter of faith only. But if, through our spiritual practice, we can be more receptive to Divine Presence, then we can open up to and reflect this Divine Presence, touching and being touched by it.

The experiences of sages, saints and ordinary people who have realized this Divine Presence, demonstrate that this touch of Divine Presence is so moving, so evocative, so much filled with peace, love, joy and bliss, that one wants more and more. And that provides the motivation to enter into or stay on the Journey of Being to realize the Divine. All it takes is one taste.

On that spiritual journey, we encounter in each successive and greater layer of reality even greater peace, love, and joy as we move closer to the source of Divine Presence. And as we move along in this process of transformation, we discover the many layers of who we are, our true sense of self. And what the world is. Our reality, eventually coalesces into a divine perspective. And here is where we discover the greatest reality of ourselves and the world, the Divine Itself.

– Joel

Layers of Our Reality