The Inner Journey

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Where are you Going?
Guided by the Fates
Upgraded Experience through Frequent Travels
What about the Risks?
Your Travel Insurance

 

“People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.”St. Augustine

A journey is an act of moving from one place to another, usually over a significant distance and with a specific purpose. You might do it to have a change of scene and get a break from the daily grind. Or you’d like to see the world from a different angle and learn something new. Or you just want to get from A to B.

Having been on an outer journey, you might come back excited, with stories, photos, and souvenirs. You can’t wait to tell everyone about all the adventures you’ve had along the way. You’ll remember your experiences for many years, and perhaps you’ll ‘entertain’ your nearest and dearest with your anecdotes until they know every detail about where you’ve been.
By comparison, the inner journey is a much more private affair. The memories and images you bring back are more difficult to share. So you wait before telling anyone about the adventures you’ve had along the way. You’ll remember your experiences for many years, but perhaps your nearest and dearest will never know where you have been.

The inner journey can be a taboo subject, a bit like sex, money and religion. One might get the impression that we are embarrassed about travelling into the inner world. Most of the time we hide our innermost space from each other – and even from ourselves. This is a great shame because the inner world has so much to offer!

The word journey comes from the Latin word diurnus, meaning daily. It refers to a day’s work or travel, and whether you know it or not, you are on some sort of inner journey already every day. Whenever you get an intuitive hunch and act on it; or every time you overreact and wonder afterwards ‘why did I do that?’; and most certainly when your world crumbles and forces you to reassess your life – these are temporary reminders of the inner world.

 

Where are you Going?

“It should not suffice to take steps that will lead to the destination eventually, but rather every single step should be a destination.”Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Do you know where you are going on your inner journey? Having some idea about your point of departure, travel route and destination is as important on the inner journey as it is on any outer one. And yet we often don’t think about it much until something goes wrong. We turn our attention to the inner world mainly under duress. This gives the inner journey a bad name, because it gets associated with coercion, pressure and apparently acting against our own will.

The inner universe of human consciousness has always been a reliable source of information for seekers of truth and wisdom. However, this doesn’t mean that inner journeying is the absolute privilege of mystics and sages. Anyone who feels called to do so may follow their calling into the inner realm.

It has tremendous benefits to become a frequent traveller on the inner journey. It allows you to become an expert at handling any issue in life with confidence and grace, and it has beneficial side effects related to all aspects of outer life.

In the first stages of our travels we have to explore the terrain and figure out where we are. Such exploration helps to identify the place of departure. It is as vital to know where you are as it is to know where you want to go. The starting point of the inner journey is always the present moment, which can be identified unmistakably by your current subjective experience.

The destination of the inner journey is ultimately our own innermost centre. This is a supposedly calm internal space beyond all inner turmoil, conflict and difficulties. It is something like the ‘navel of the inner world’. Getting there is considered a great achievement among travellers on the inner journey. It is a sign of having gained a certain level of mastery, which can be recognised even in the outer world.

The travel route depends on the individual and various personal circumstances such as age, expertise, disposition, spirit of adventure, resilience and internal resources. Generally speaking the inner journey always involves personal challenges and overcoming them. One way of approaching the inner journey might therefore be to look for the next challenge, figure out what you can learn from it, and allow the lesson to carry you forward. An alternative approach might be to try to avoid challenges at all cost until it becomes impossible to move on any further. In this case the challenges pounce onto your path and take you by surprise. This strategy has the advantage that it limits your options and makes the necessary action crystal clear.

 

Guided by the Fates

“The Fates guide the willing, the unwilling they drag.”Seneca
Through working with the Solo System I have learned to be guided by my everyday subjective experience and found that negative events are often more significant and useful than positive ones. My negative experiences show clearly my limitations and define precisely where something needs to change. It also gives me an incentive to change things in the first place.

On the inner journey negative experience indicates when we hit an obstacle on our path. Negative experience occurs when an outer event triggers a negative internal response i.e. unpleasant feelings, worries, unkind thoughts etc. Our spontaneous natural reaction to any negative experience is to become defensive or aggressive or both. Normally this is neither constructive nor appropriate because the reaction is based on the interpretation of our experience related to the present moment in real time. This interpretation is a fundamental error.

The vast majority of your negative experience is associated with unprocessed information from the past. This means that you are literally stuck in a time warp every time you have a negative reaction to an apparently negative event (e.g. someone does something and you get upset, or anything of that order). Once you understand what your negative subjective experiences are really trying to tell you, they provide an opportunity to retrieve a piece of your own frozen past, dissolve it once and for all, and extract from it a valuable nugget of personal wisdom.
(Please note here that you don’t just eliminate the negative experience, you also gain something from it in the process).

Negative experiences and reactions to the normal challenges of everyday life are our Fates. The Solo System can teach us how to be guided by our Fates rather than being dragged along. It encourages us to move slowly and lean into our edges. In the process we learn to soften our gaze, sharpen our focus and expand our horizon before taking any action at all.

To the uninitiated it may appear as if no significant progress can be made with this approach. Yet the opposite is the case. In the inner world slowing down is a common strategy for moving on faster. Slow motion allows you to heighten your awareness of all that is going on inside and all around you. On the inner journey you don’t really get anywhere, if you miss most of the scenery.

 

Upgraded Experience through Frequent Travels

“There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in travelling in a stagecoach, that; it is often a comfort to shift one’s position, and be bruised in a new place.”Washington Irving
Looking inwards with an open mind and the intention to reach higher ground spontaneously leads to a change of perspective. Looking inwards on a daily basis has brought me clarity and lifted the fog of confusion. It allows me to view any issue from various angles and deepen my understanding. It has helped me to melt emotional trauma into compassion. It continues to provide me with guidance, wisdom and inner strength.

So many fellow travellers on life’s journey seem to be afraid of their own inner world and miss the best part of life because of it. The truth is that we can‘t get away from our inner world anyway, so we might as well face it. Travelling into the inner world occasionally and reluctantly because the outer life forces you to do so is better than nothing, but it usually results in a bumpy ride and on a limited budget. Your budget is the time you are prepared to invest in your inner travels.

Frequent travellers on the inner journey enjoy many perks and continuous upgrades. The more familiar you become with your inner territory the more fun you’ll have on this journey. The uninitiated assumes that the ride remains bumpy, painful and unpleasant, only because that’s their first impression. The biggest surprise for frequent travellers is that our outer life gets better the further we dare to travel. We get ‘upgraded’ continuously in direct proportion to our capacity to turn inwards.

But here’s the catch. If you think you could just do this ‘inner travelling thing’ to get the upgrades, sorry to disappoint you. The most basic rule for inner journeying is 100% authenticity.

 

What about the risks?

“Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”Helen Keller
Here is the bad news – on the inner journey there are no guarantees, no travel insurance, no one-map-suits-all reliable inner GPS. Every traveller on the inner journey is a pioneer. Life is an adventure for everyone. The inner universe is always virgin territory, and nobody can explore yours apart from you. Your individual profile of strengths, talents, disposition and opportunities is different from everyone else’s.

Having said that, here is the good news – every human inner world has a similar structure. We all have the same spectrum of feelings, the same range of Faculties, the same basic capacities for self-awareness, self-reflection etc. Therefore it is possible to give certain guidelines for the inner journey, and we can all learn from each other. We can help and encourage one another to keep going towards our authentic life. We can lead by example, move into our edges and take the next difficult step.

 

Your Travel Insurance

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll
get run over if you just sit there.”Will Rogers
Your best travel insurance is to do regular inner workouts and keep moving. You can also watch fellow travellers, try to learn from their mistakes and translate their experience into your own, but take only what is relevant for you. As a novice traveller into this inner world you may get confused because you mix your inner reality with the outer one.

Navigating through the inner universe takes practice. When visiting strange and distant lands for the first time, you wouldn’t expect to understand signals, interpret tracks, and read encrypted messages in a foreign language. When you begin exploring your inner world, it can be as distant and strange as a foreign country. Simultaneously it is intimately familiar, of course, sometimes uncomfortably so.

There are good reasons not to set off on your inner journey if you’re not ready for it. We can get overwhelmed by our emotions and swept into very dark places. If this applies to you, don’t travel on your own, proceed with caution and don’t overdo it. This is common sense and applies to any new practice. Take small considerate steps and build up your stamina gradually. Don’t consider advanced moves unless you are an advanced practitioner.

 

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