Here’s another installment in a series of emails that took place between Michael and one of his senior students beginning the Summer of 2009. May you find the exchange interesting and enriching.
December 4, 2010
Student: My teenager keeps asking me what “there is only this very Awareness” means and doesn’t seem content with: “it means it’s all Spirit.” How do we explain this immenseness, this Love, to anyone, let alone a teenager, without sounding stupid?
Michael: My default with inquisitive teens, so far, is to say something like, “Everything shows up in your awareness, so everything shows up within you. Which means that you are boundless. Everything you see, therefore, is part of you.” If this fails to get any kind of response, I usually say something like, “You are part of infinity, just like everything else. Infinity is part of you, too, just like everything else. Therefore, you are a constant expression of the infinite.”
Student: And that works?
Michael: Usually not. Teens are at the high-tide of ego, and should be building, not undoing, that self structure. When I talk about this stuff with anyone in this space of contraction I find that I get strange looks more often than I get knowing ones. To the knowing looks I just smile. To the confused ones I just say something like, “Just honor what’s true and everything will take care of itself.”
Student: And if that still leaves blank stares?
Michael: I usually just shut up. Or I tell them to be generous to themselves and to others. Usually, after an awkward moment or two, they’ll go back to their music, or their gaming, or their doubts about my sanity. But this teaching is caught more than it’s taught. This is why it’s key for us to walk our talk. Kids smell hypocrisy like nothing else. In this and other ways, being around the young can work wonders at keeping us on the Path.