Remembering to Remember

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by Robert Augustus Masters
February 2019


There’s an awakening that outshines our spiritual ambitions, revealing dimensions out of imagination’s reach but as organically familiar as the supportive feel of our pillow as we slide into deep sleep.

The knocking on the door is ever there, infiltrating the clutter that populates our everyday mind. The message is simple: Remember to remember.

But remember what? What essentially matters, and what makes that matter.

This becomes clearer as you attune to what is out of sight, out of comprehension, out of hearing, out of the reach of the familiar. Give more of yourself to such fine-tuning, allowing more stretching of your spiritual radar.

Look inside your looking. And continue listening with your totality to the presence of silence.

It’s as if you’ve just begun to awaken from a cozy nap, your room pierced with slats of sunlight, and you, caught mid-yawn, have no idea whatsoever where you are or what you are, but there nevertheless is a vividly unsettling knowingness surging through you, leaving you too unveiled to pull things together, hyperaware of the absence of familiarity — suddenly you are acutely alive, adrift in the sheer enormity and revelatory implications of it all.

You could be sinking in an unknown sea, or crouching in a thunderously wet midnight jungle, or lying broken on a frozen battlefield or lonely bed or silvery emptiness, even as you start to recognize where you are physically located.

And so with relief you let the familiar invade you, reoccupy and compartmentalize you, not noticing how surreal this is, how consolingly encapsulating. The enterprise of reassembling your sense of self once again clicks into place, and in a very short time you are now a seemingly solid somebody, no matter how often you lose your ID in your dreams.

Still, something hugely other is palpably afoot, still with you, hovering in the back of the background, something that you know, in your secret heart, can at any moment become foreground, making of you an expressive zone for What is ever showing up as you — and everything else.

There is comfort and plenty of undeniable utility in being colonized by the familiar, even as it muffles the knocking at the door, distracting us from the awakening that tugs at our hidden bedcovers.

This awakening establishes itself as we let go of our bearings to enough of a degree to find deeper bearings, remembering that we actually know the way by heart, even when we cannot see or hear or move.

Ours is then a geography of resurfacing continents, wild green uprisings, cascading lava, alien skies, barely remembered faces and embraces that pull, pull, and pull some more at us with a depth of aching that links us up with a sense of significance before which all else pales.

We then look up as if for the first time, even as we look down at our disappearing ground, starlight our witness and crumbling foothold, gravity and vast luminosity making us up over and over and over, leaving us more and more at home with the whole irreducible mystery of it all.

Here, nothing is familiar and everything is recognized.

It is to this that we are ever invited. Remember to remember it.