The author/philosopher Ken Wilber talks about a core concept in his writings about spirituality he calls “the pre/trans fallacy”. In a very tight nutshell, what he is describing is our tendency to confuse the pre-personal “ignorant” innocence of childhood with the trans-personal awakened innocence of enlightenment – the confusion between childish and childlike; between pre-rational and trans-rational ways of thinking and being in the world.
When I set out to write The Space Within, I knew I wanted to find a way to capture the trans-personal innocence of awakening in some of the stories and metaphors I use to point us back to our spiritual nature – the space within. So with the help of a new laptop and a “magic pen” that could draw directly on my screen, the very first story I wrote for the new book is the one I want to share with you today – “The Story of Me”:
In the beginning, there was a field of infinite possibility and pure potential called the Universal Mind:
Then, somewhere in the midst of the Universal Mind, the thought of you appeared:
That thought of you became conscious of itself and called itself ‘Me.’
For many years, Me lived and played happily in the midst of the garden of everything. But over time, it began to separate and individuate. It went to school and grew up to be an independent, free-thinking, empowered human being, making its way in the world, navigating by the rulebook it had accumulated along the way and using discipline and willpower as its primary engine.
Me grew very strong and enjoyed flexing its muscles and developing its ‘personal power.’ It forgot all about the Universal Mind that had once been its constant companion:
Eventually, Me began to struggle, as all of us do. It was lonely, and felt insecure, and did everything in its power to make sure that no one ever saw through its façade. It wasn’t having a bad life, at least not some of the time, but something was missing.
Then one day, Me heard about something called ‘the infinite.’ It sounded very important and very grand, and the descriptions of the great peace that could be felt when one touched the infinite sounded like the most beautiful thing Me had ever heard.
But Me was too smart to fall for that one again. After all, the writers of the rulebook inside Me’s head had already told it all about a supernatural being who lived in the sky. Since many of the things Me had been told after being born had turned out to be untrue, Me turned its back on its image of the infinite and carried on on its own, struggling more and more but proud of its autonomy and ability to think for itself.
Until one day…
Me met the infinite.
It looked nothing like the image Me had made up in its head, yet it seemed strangely familiar:
Much to Me’s surprise, the more time it spent with the infinite, the better life got. In fact, hanging out in the infinite felt like going home to a place Me didn’t even remember. Soon, Me and the infinite were spending nearly all of their time together:
Eventually, Me began to think of itself less and less as ‘Me’ and more and more as a drop in the infinite ocean:
Then one day, Me disappeared. Some said that Me had died, others that Me had become enlightened. But the infinite potential of the Universal Mind remained, and continues on to this day…
With all my love,