25 May “Everything is here, now!” (ELIO D’ ANNA)
«It takes years of working on yourself – He said – to achieve this special condition of freedom, of knowledge, of power, called ‘inner forgiveness’.» He emphasized this term with a particular inflection in His voice, which instantly struck me as quite different to the warrior-like character and the uncompromising language of the Dreamer. With a glance He verified that I was faithfully writing down His words. He waited for me to finish, and then continued: «Inner forgiveness means delving into the folds of your own existence where it is still torn…it means washing and healing those wounds that are still open and…paying off all unsettled debts…» Then, assuming a theatrically conspiratorial pose and lowering His voice as if about to share a valuable secret, He confided: «Inner forgiveness has the power to transform your past and all its dead weight.»
Time after time, I turned over in my mind those incomprehensible words.
«Everything is here, now! In this very instant, in the life of every man, the past and the future are interacting simultaneously.»
These words filled me with an inexplicable, irrational joy. I found myself facing a limitless vision. The past and the future were not separate worlds, but connected and indivisible, a single reality. ‘Inner forgiveness’ was a time machine… which gave you the ability to access events of your life that in your ordinary way of thinking were forever gone, and future ones that were yet to come…
«I understand how the past might affect our lives, but the future?…» I asked.
«The future, like the past, lies right before your eyes, but you cannot see it yet.»
He spoke of ‘vertical time’ and of a ‘time-body’ where the past and the future were compressed in this very moment. He told me that the portal to gain access to this ‘timeless’ time, was this instant. The secret is never to be distracted, never to venture far from it.
Accessing the ‘time-body’ meant being able to change the past and create a brand new destiny.
I was thrilled. I wanted this adventure to start immediately… I wanted it desperately…but my enthusiasm didn’t have time to bud before I felt it put out by the Dreamer’s harsh words. «For people like you it is impossible to achieve inner forgiveness!»
His tone was that of a judge passing a sentence for which there was no appeal.
«To enter into your past and heal it, you need a long preparation.»
«Without the ideas and the principles of a School, this achievement is impossible; you wouldn’t even know where to begin.»
«Inner forgiveness is a return journey to oneself, the real reason why we were born. Men should never interrupt this healing process.»
The Dreamer warned me that this would require an extensive effort on my part and, first and foremost, a lengthy process of self-observation.
«Self-observation is self-correction… A man can heal anything from his past if he has the ability to ‘observe himself ’» said the Dreamer. Then He went on to remark that man’s condition was nothing more than the result of his inability to observe himself, and consequently, know himself.
«Self-observation is akin to taking a bird’s eye view of oneself and one’s life!– said the Dreamer, defining this concept, and sharpening his observation He went on – It is like putting events, circumstances and relationships from the past, under a bright ray of sunlight.»
As far as I could understand, the crucial prerequisite for self-observation was the ability to conduct it impartially, without passing moral judgment. Self- observation for the Dreamer meant letting one’s life flow, not before a panel of courthouse judges, but under the x-rays of one’s own objective intelligence, becoming a neutral witness to one’s own self; a witness whose duty was limited to observing without ever passing judgment or formulating criticism. This vaguely reminded me of some of the experiments in organizational psychology I had studied at the London Business School. Some large firms had dramatically improved productivity by means of ‘wandering management’ (as the researchers had called it). This approach was based on attention and advocated the adoption of a system which kept the management constantly on the move within the organization. The duty of a wandering manager consisted precisely of ‘roaming around’ and making his presence felt in every corner of the company, no matter how remote.
His voice abruptly broke into my thoughts and memories, tearing me away from the London’s LBS classrooms.
«Self-observationis self-correction – repeated the Dreamer – If you are able to observe yourself, you will automatically self-correct… Self-observation is healing… a natural consequence of the detachment that is created between the observer and the observed.
Self-observation allows a man to see everything that keeps him glued to the conveyor belt of the world: obsolete ideas, guilt, prejudices, negative emotions, prophecies of doom… It is a matter of detachment, de-hypnotism, awakening…
The most minimal suspension of the hypnotic effect the world has on you would shatter everything you ever believed in and would unravel the apparent equilibrium and illusory certainties of a lifetime.»
«This is why most men will never be able to observe themselves – He pronounced – Todistance oneself fromthe description of the world,if only fora moment… is an effort too great for most men.» He fixed me with a long intense stare.
He was redirecting the focus of the conversation towards me. A knot in my stomach anticipated the pain of what was about to follow.
«Put the observer within you to work! Self-observation is the death of that multitude of negative thoughts and emotions that have always ruled your life.
If you observe inside yourself, the right things will start to happen and those that are not right will gradually melt away.»
With a glance He noticed my look of dismay and added: «No one can do this alone. To meet with yourself, with your lie, to venture into the labyrinths of your Being without impeccable preparation, would kill you in an instant.»
His words sounded like an irrevocable judgement and I was afraid He would abandon me. I feared He would consider mine to be a lost cause and conclude that any further effort to help me would be in vain. A desperate and heroic determination rose inside me. My readiness made Him reflect. Slowly He extended the forefinger and middle finger of his right hand and holding them together, pressed them against His cheek. Then He laid his chin down on the hollow of His thumb and bent His head slightly forward. He remained like this, deep in thought, for what seemed an eternity. He didn’t seem to be looking at me, but I was certain that not one of my thoughts escaped Him. I was playing the final game of a decisive set, quite possibly the last. Everything depended on me, and me alone. I waited.
Finally, the Dreamer emerged from His stillness.
«Look… it’s a full moon – He said, pointing to the heavens with a slight movement of His chin – A man might see at most a thousand full moons in his lifetime, but it is very likely that, by the end of his life he will never have found the time to observe even one of them…
And yet the moon is external. Imagine how much more difficult it is for a man to see himself, to focus inwards the direction of his attention. Self-observation is only the beginning of the Art of Dreaming.»
We remained silent for a long time. The terrace of Café de la France, stretched out into the darkness like the prow of a spaceship about to cross the star-filled heavens. We were the only ones on board… solitary Argonauts of the invisible.
«Get ready – He said, with the resolute tone of one used to getting things done – It won’t be an easy ride.»
The School for Gods
Stefano Elio D’Anna