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  • Daniel Rodman

The Inner Dimension

The world we experience is usually thought of to have four primary dimensions: length, width, height, and time. What I would like to offer is that in spiritual practice there is a fifth dimension. That is the inner dimension. To illustrate, we can see that there is a spectrum of levels of meaning or care we have for different things in our life. How much we care about a piece of lint on the floor is different from how much we care about an apple we are going to eat, which is still different from how much we care about those we love. This spectrum of shallow to deep care and meaning is the inner dimension. It determines how much we experience meaning in the world we live in.

The inner dimension is not just a passive fact of our lives, since our ability to experience the meaning of things and people in the world is relative to our ability to appreciate them. If we appreciate things and people more we experience them as more meaningful. Thus an active practice of appreciation dramatically expands our ability to experience meaning and fulfillment in our life.

There are ways to deepen our ability to appreciate, and therefore bring forth our ability to experience the meaning of things. Lets take a little stone on the shoreline as an example:

You're walking on the shoreline, appreciating the breeze and the sound of the waves, and the horizon of the ocean in the distance, when you come upon a stone in the sand. Its a dark colored stone with little white dots on it. At first this stone to its inner dimension is experienced like any other ordinary stone. But as you get closer and pick it up you begin to appreciate it more. You notice that those white dots are not actually rock but little barnacles on the stone. The fact that living things are on this rock makes you appreciate it more, and so you feel more fulfilled by the experience of the rock, thus its inner dimension changes for you. Then you start to notice the little details of the rock, the grooves and the smoothness of it. That is enticing and makes you feel curious about the rock even more and you feel more meaning and fulfillment from the rock. If we reflect on the life story of the rock and the barnacles we can see that it has also had a long journey before it ended up in front of you, making it feel even more meaningful and fulfilling. Even more is if we reflect on the fact that a cause and effect chain goes back all the way to the big bang billions of years for this on little rock to exist. Even more is the fact that existence itself is a mystery and a wonder, and this little rock is an example of a part of that vast mystery of life. So you can see that something small and ordinary can become truly meaningful if we enact our ability to see the inner dimension of the things around us, if we can appreciate.

The Transcendent is the meaning within all meanings, it is limitless meaning, and beyond that. When we begin to tap into the inner dimension, whether within ourselves or by seeing it in others we begin to approach deeper and deeper meaning, until we experience the meaning of life itself, the meaning of the Transcendent. This Transcendent meaning, once recognized, is seen in everything around you and within you. It is the One Transcendent Meaning that all things have in common. This can be understood to be a culmination in our ability to appreciate, since the experience of Transcendent Meaning is itself an experience of limitless appreciation. Even still you learn and grow in how you know this Transcendent Meaning, and it blossoms like a flower evermore. May you come to know the power of appreciation that you may know the inner dimension of all things, and come to know a Transcendent Meaning.

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