Living in Awe by Chris Attwood


Language reinforces duality and as such, makes the experience of unity elusive when the mind believes the words it speaks. In order to speak sound must become dual.

There must be sound and no sound, words and the gaps between the words, in order for language to exist. However, language also provides me with words to describe what I conceive of as “I” and that which I conceive of as “you.” In other words, it provides reenforcement of the illusion of duality.

Even as I read this page, I interpret the “I” referred to on the page in the context of my belief about what “I” is. If my mind is still in the grip of duality, then it will tend to interpret this “I” as meaning someone other than myself. There is a writer, who has written on the page and that writer is “someone else.”

In unity, the writer, the process of writing and that which is written are one. The reader, the process of reading and that which is read are one. And the writer, the reader and the writing are one.

In the ancient Vedic texts this is called “samhita of rishi, devata and chhandas.” Samhita means “togetherness.” Rishi is the knower of reality. Devata is the process of knowing. Chhandas is that which is known. The togetherness of knower, process of knowing and known.

Togetherness of Knower, Process of Knowing and Known

The rishis of ancient India were also those who cognized the nature of life. From their own experience they saw into the truth of life and then wrote about it, or spoke about it in a form that could be passed on from generation to generation.

Devata is sometimes translated as “god” (god with a small “g”, there being many of them). But when one understands the real meaning of devata, one discovers that these “gods” are in fact the very structure of the laws of nature responsible for the transformations that appear to occur in life.

Chhandas has several meanings. It refers to the meter, or rhythm of the Vedic verses. It is also translated as “that which covers.” Chhandas is the expressed version of the rishi aspect of life, that part of life which I describe as “wholeness.” This aspect of life is what was cognized by the ancient rishis and through the rhythm, the ebb and flow, the inward and outward breath, the movement of contraction and expansion, chhandas hides the truth of life. When I experience the chhandas, I forget the whole. But when my awareness is immersed in wholeness, then chhandas provides waves of bliss.

This realization, that I, as knower, the process by which I know anything, and that which I know are not separate, is the realization of unity. The truth of life exists in the wisdom of the togetherness of these which appear as three and yet are completely, intimately and inseparably connected.

I can imagine a jigsaw puzzle which is made up of many pieces, yet when they are all put together, they form one coherent whole. In a similar way, I, through my own consciousness, have selectively hidden (through chhandas) parts of myself from myself. The pieces of the puzzle are always put together and always form a whole in life, but it’s as if I have covered over many of the pieces. Rather than putting the pieces together, I unveil pieces that were hidden from my view.

As more and more pieces come into my view, the picture of the whole of life begins to unfold. The more of that picture I perceive, the more beautiful it is. I realize that every single piece in the puzzle is essential to the wholeness of the picture.

And I am left in awe.


The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose
by Janet Attwood, Chris Attwood

Can a simple test change a person’s life? Through their New York Times bestseller The Passion Test, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood have inspired thousands to shape their lives by discovering their passions and living according to what matters most to them. Readers can identify their top five passions by taking the Test, and then learn exactly how to align their lives with their priorities by following the Attwood’s easy-to-follow step-by-step program of action.

Combining powerful storytelling and profound wisdom from models of passionate living such as Jack Canfield, Richard Paul Evans, and Stephen M.R. Covey, as well as drawing on their own personal experiences, the Atwood show how living a full and impassioned life is not only possible, it’s inevitable for anyone willing to take the Test.

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