To date, gravity is one of the least understood aspects of our physical universe. In quantum physics, the fundamental particle called the “graviton” is critical to quantum physics yet is still unproven. This particle is needed in order to bridge discoveries of quantum physics with Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Einstein’s theory was recently affirmed, with the world’s first detection of a gravitational wave – a ripple in the fabric of time and space created by massive events in the universe. Yet this fabric of time and space – so intimately connected with gravity, is not just a scientific postulate. It’s about the first-hand, existential impressions of you, here, now, and is critical to how we perceive ourselves to be alive.
The first and last authority on the nature of time, space and gravity is conscious experience. Only you can experience the wonder of gravity, by allowing it – here and now – and by exploring the physical and energetic effects of this force at the source of creation.
We are trained to ignore gravity, though its imprint is found through every layer of living experience, be it mental, physical or spiritual. Often gravity - a fundamental aspect of living experience - is framed as being in direct opposition to our freedom. The good stuff is “up”, the bad stuff is “down”.
To the spiritual seeker, the experiential realization of the sense of gravity can be a shift-maker.
In terms of the common sense of gravity, we are all sustained by the earth’s gravity field, just as we are falling together with earth as it orbits the sun.
If we believe in life before birth, then entry into the gravity field of the earth, through a body bound by the laws of physics, is a core part of perceived “reality” as a physical human being.
Yet how do we experience the pull of gravity? Is there any part of experience which is weightless, i.e. not subject to the pull of gravity? If yes, how does it feel to be there?
The physical doorway to experience gravity is through the senses. Beyond the classical five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell, we also have a sense called equilibrioception. The organ of equilibrioception is the vestibular labyrinthine system found in the inner ears.
When the body is at rest and supported, it’s possible to open this sense by allowing the surrender to the gravitational pull, and receiving impressions of the weight of the body and its orientation towards the planet.
These impressions at first can be simply physical. We can notice that where there is stress, there is resistance to gravity. There is a physical reflex to clench the muscles of the body upwards, as if rejecting the physical pull of the earth. This energy of rejection is at the core of stress.
The formula is simple. When we relax, the physical senses open up. The more the senses open up. As we notice the weight of the body as it relaxes into gravity, (and sink into that), a new weightlessness opens up in other, more subtle dimensions, such as feeling awareness and consciousness.
The sense of gravitational pull can move beyond the physical.
Gravity is embedded through our spiritual psychology. We “fall” in love. We also “fall” out of grace. We “fall” asleep, and we wake “up”. Spiritual seekers often describe the experience of “free fall”, as the bottom falls out of their habitual sense of self. Others will talk about transcendence, as if the they had “risen” beyond the earth’s gravity field. (Did you ever hear anyone claim spiritual descent?) Dreams of falling are collective, and are conventionally put down to birth trauma. Yet dreams of weightlessness and flying also appear across cultural borders.
The up (heaven) and the down (hell?) are encoded not only through religious metaphor, but also in terms of our psychological orientation in space. We reach ‘up’ towards God. Hell is beneath our feet.
Gravity can be experienced through a “heaviness of heart”, or a sense of weight around the mind. Someone who is deeply confused around guilt, responsibility and obligation, will often move with head bent and have pain in the shoulders in the manner of Saint Christopher, who carried the world upon his back.
This kind of energetic weight experienced through the felt sense is calling us to surrender into gravity. In the surrender to gravity’s pull, transformation occurs in the separation between physical and existential. The physical moves down through the body and to earth; and the existential rises, to be reabsorbed by living energy.
How does pure awareness, unconditioned by thoughts and feelings, respond to gravity? If we are in free fall, and there is nothing above or below and nothing to the sides, are we not perfectly still?
The spiritual movement of “letting go” doesn’t mean ignoring an energetic sense of weight or heaviness. On the contrary, it involves allowing our awareness to be in and around that heaviness, with softness and loving presence.
When felt experience is ignored, it becomes unconscious. It gets caught in an energetic freeze. Paradoxically, a loving inner awareness is the alchemy behind letting go. This is because the awareness which is able to allow feeling impression, is also that which can easily release energetic weight into freedom. This unbounded awareness is far more vast and alive than any mass of feeling which is conditioned by time and space. Through an expanded, permissive, feeling awareness, “heavy energy” is given the freedom to move according to physical laws.
In allowing the physical sense of gravity, a spaciousness opens up. Who is the one that senses weight? What is this, that can surrender to the pull of gravity? From where are we able to truly rest in peace within the physical universe? Does this awareness also have a subtle weight?
When we come to peace, resting in the unity of earth’s gravitational field, it can be worthwhile to connect to the collective experience of weight or gravity within others that we know. We can expand this to a sharing of the sense of gravity with all living things: animals, trees, birds, and sense what happens. Nothing is excluded.
The opening of awareness to the sense of gravity has the potential to release unconscious resistance to life. This opens a greater vitality through a deepening embodiment as human, which is naturally accompanied by a greater freedom within physical form.
Spiritual teacher Georgi Y. Johnson is author of I AM HERE - Opening the Windows of Life & Beauty. You can watch an interview with her on Conscious TV here. You can also connect with Georgi through Facebook, Twitter and Youtube