Here Jesus points the way to hidden dimensions, not simply the conventional notion of Heaven. When you go inside, you are aware of activity such as thoughts and feelings. Your instinct is to pursue the activity that brings pleasure and avoid that which brings pain.
But Jesus speaks of a completely different inner reality. The consciousness hidden behind your thoughts is the consciousness that upholds all intelligence in the universe. It is personal and collective at the same time. The personal is made up of your relationships, the collective is made up of the myths and archetypes common to all cultures. Both dimensions are you, and you can begin to connect the two as a bridge to the sacred.
Exercise – Sit quietly when you have time to be alone and undisturbed. Choose a prayer that you feel comfortable with – or better yet, a meaningful phrase from that prayer. Silently repeat the words to yourself, letting them settle naturally into your awareness, becoming softer and deeper. Continue for at least five minutes and up to twenty minutes. This kind of sacred repetition is common to every religious tradition.
When you open your eyes, let your gaze settle on a sacred image. Ask this figure to embody itself through you. Gently feel a connection. Don’t force this, just put out the intention that the archetype merges with your being.
Now contemplate the specific qualities you want, such as love, compassion, or forgiveness. These are archetypal energies that you are asking to express through your thoughts, emotions, and actions. By calling on your higher archetype, you will find yourself thinking and doing things you never expected as the person you know.
This exercise works to remove the artificial boundary between the isolated ego-self and the higher self.
Adapted from The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).