There is a process or should I say discipline that does work in this regard but we have to do it for ourselves. Modern science cannot help in this endeavour, just as it cannot explain the taste of an apple, you have to eat one for yourself, then and only then can one 'KNOW' the taste of an apple.
We are what is conscious but we don't know what that is, because we have become so enmeshed with thoughts and bodily functions that we think that these are us, they are not. We are the stillness that is aware, we interact with the physical world through the body and its senses and they are limited to physicality. Our eyes cannot see our eyes, unless we use a mirror, our mind can act as a mirror but cannot reveal to us our silent selves with noise going on all the time, it the can only happen in stillness, just as a ticking clock is lost in a noisy room turn off the noise and we can hear the clock.
So if we still the minds constant bombardment of data or a better word Noise, we can experience what Paul Tillich called “the Ground of Being” and Henri Bergson called the “Elan Vital”, only then can we become aware of this silent wonder of life. The ancient Chinese said that the human form is like a gilded bird cage with 2 birds in it one is silent awareness and the other chatters on insistently.
It is so simple you are already what you are, just covered over and so hidden.
I do not try to find explanations for this experience I can have, why waste time?
When it comes to food we understand this completely, if we go for a meal with friends we wouldn't spend all night talking about the ingredients. We pick, order and then EAT. I know Tom you have difficulties and so the silent mind through sitting still is problematic but focusing the mind can be a physical focus as with Tai Chi or Qi Gong exercise, it can work and as you practice every day, like training a dog, ones mind becomes quieter even eventually allowing proper sitting Zanzen. The Indians have a saying a book worm lives in books even eating them but gains no advantage in education. How many times must masters come and often die in trying to teach this simple way of being? Heaven (the feeling of) is within. Its so simple. I could paraphrase the great Richard Feynman’s famous dictum, “shut up and calculate interpretation of quantum mechanics.” or perhaps Nikes “Just do it” But which method of focusing the mind to stillness is best? Ah, another problem.
The Tao te Ching 10, “Can you coax your mind from its wandering and keep to the original oneness? “
TTC 16 “Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace. Watch the turmoil of beings, but contemplate their return. Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source. Returning to the source is serenity. If you don't realize the source, you stumble in confusion and sorrow. When you realize where you come from, you naturally become tolerant, disinterested, amused, kind hearted as a grandmother, dignified as a king. Immersed in the wonder of the Tao, you can deal with whatever life brings you, and when death comes, you are ready.”
This latter part of this quote 'when death comes you are ready' is explained well toward the end of this excellent interview. [www.youtube.com] What really happens when you die. Dr P. Fenwick
[www.youtube.com] Infinite Inside Cara Tower 5.33 mins