Let’s explore the Trillium path from perspectives based on one of the earliest, and still-current, “maps”, which portrays “three worlds’ – Upper, Lower-or-inner, and Middle World – as the constituents of reality and of consciousness.
Holding a conceptual framework of awakening can help us to relax into that awakening process as it unfolds. Without a framework of understanding, spiritual openings can be confusing, perplexing or even overlooked. As we come to understand our journey we can navigate more confidently.
This map gives us an orientation to the journey. To “awaken” means to gradually bring to conscious awareness more and more of ourselves and our surroundings … both the “inner” and the “upper” world come into focus. That is, we become aware of both our deeply hidden shadow material, which is stored in the body, as well as our heights and gifts, and ultimately our oneness with the Divine, the “I am That.” Familiarizing with all three “worlds” can facilitate our passage among the joys and challenges of our ongoing journey.
A map is only of use to a voyager! If you’re not on the journey, it’s just armchair entertainment. Our aim is to help you in your forward motion in this embodied life.
In many ways, elements of the ancient “three worlds” cosmology illuminate familiar teachings of the Trillium work.
“Lower world” (inner world, underworld) is in shadow, hidden, present but unseen; emotions, personal and collective history. The body bears the burden. The Unconscious. In partnership with the body, we turn our gaze and our step toward the underworld. Jung would refer us to the mythic “descent”.
On the Trillium path we teach that when our attention is bound by unprocessed shadow material, even entirely unconscious, it governs us. Then we don’t have enough free attention to act with ease in the middle world, or to open to the light of the upper world. In the shadows we can trip, even fall. Some of the obstacles can be cleared; with others we at least need to locate and identify them for our future safety. Doing our shadow work, our down work, helps free up energy and attention to assist in our ongoing awakening.
“Upper world”, the Divine and also the subtle elements, devas; God and the gods. Supra-conscious.
Awakening to our conscious nature is facilitated when we allow or direct our attention to turn toward and rest as or “with” pure consciousness. And, the “gods” – wise and powerful elements, are helpful on the path. They give us the breadth to resolve and incorporate material that once blocked us. For some, “deities”, spirit helpers, or “allies” initiate us in holding and resolving the opposites.
The “Middle world” we collectively inhabit is consensual reality, everyday life, the realm of the 5 senses – outer, objective, shared with others. Conscious. (Though in practice that “reality” may vary among us.)
Embodied Whole Being Awakening, in this context, comprises the expansion of conscious awareness more and more deeply into all realms, embracing the hitherto unseen, and becoming conscious of the way those realms interact with the everyday. One wakes up, down, and also forward.
We’re compelled to develop and practice skills which support the Self’s capacity to remain in balance and self-orient. Each event, each thought moves through us like a wave, its trough and peak potentially touching into the full upper-middle-lower range of our being. The gift is that we can integrate more and more of life while “surfing” each wave forward. In practice, we offer a map and tools helpful in developing those skills.