There is an animating factor of life that gives movement to molecules. We are not particles alone. Stardust has a sparkle. Chemicals churn into structures. Love births enthusiastic people who touch our minds and hearts.
This life-giving source to all matter is what we call consciousness. This vital-force defines the living from the dead. When psychology and neuroscience are studied from this viewpoint of consciousness, we have a living science, an applied science, and a tangible, experiential and dynamic field of study. It gives texture to the textbook and endless possibility to potentials, both latent and active.
Here the observer cannot so easily separate one’s self from what is being observed, for the introspection is very up-close and personal. The laboratory is one’s own body.
The first tangible manifestation of this life-giving force is the breath. It opens a gateway for exploration when the ‘inner-scientist’ begins to unite his/her mental awareness with the flow of their breath. When the mind travels with the breath, more gateways and options start to appear. We feel the presence of our own self-existence. This discovery is subtle at first, then it quickly grows to become a profound, life-altering moment. We exist. This undeniable fact has now become experiential, and as we bask in this moment, many things start to happen. Sorrowlessness and fearlessness start to define our make-up. A sense of safety, confidence and compassion come forward.
As our mind follows the breath through several cycles of inhalation and exhalation, a veil starts to lift. A self-luminous glow starts to appear as we continue traveling with the breath. We want more.
We inhale up the spine and exhale down the spine. We follow this pathway in short spells of a few minutes – repeating them every few hours, or daily, or weekly. We practice. Experience widens this new inner landscape of peace and comfort. Motivating us to learn more.
Observation of our new-self replaces the older, more tired and fragile identities of our past outer life. We sense safety and relief inwardly. It is sturdy and its consistency is reliable.
With repetition comes trust in a new identity that becomes steady and strong. With simple tools of focus – meditation and breathing – the practice of peace permeates our day. In the pursuit of neuroscience, we stumble upon a reservoir of peace …the real stardust of our soul.