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The Shadow……more

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“The Shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality. For no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort.  To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.”   (Carl Jung)

 

Carl Jung talked about ‘archetypes of the collective unconscious’.   Do we all get archetypes?  Archetypes are universal life principles – just to clarify. They are Universal life principles that we all get to experience – by virtue of the fact we are in this reality system, as sentient beings.  Astrology is a language of these archetypes. In the astrological knowledge system there are 12 fundamental archetypal groupings and they fall under the headings of the zodiacal signs.  As I said in my earlier post, in astrology, the archetype of the Shadow is the sign Scorpio – the ruler of that sign, Pluto and the domain (sphere of life) concerned, the 8th house. These three make up the archetype of the Shadow. More comprehensively, the universal life principle of Scorpio/Pluto/8th house pertains to the invisible realm wherein all the ‘hidden’ processes of life originate and reside.  It has governance of all matters of healing (which occurs in the unseen realm), transformation and integration. Life, death, birth and rebirth are all elements of this archetype.

 

Now, we each have this archetype present within our psyches. We each have Scorpio and Pluto somewhere in our individual birth charts (same thing).  So we might logically assume that examining the condition of Scorpio, Pluto – the 8th house, might illuminate our Shadow. Or, at least, point us in the right direction. And, elegantly, it does.

 

Jung tells us that there is considerable effort in recognizing the dark aspects of the personality.  That this is so is not hard to understand.  Anything that is thrown into shadow is obviously going to be harder to see.  Within the psyche the Shadow lies in the unconscious. That is, until we make it conscious. Our job, if we are not to be hampered and victimised by our unknown self – our Shadow – is to make it conscious! 

 

 

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

Jung’s famous quote is a nutshell of the entire higher purpose of our study of ourselves, known as astrology.  Forget traditional astrology – with its emphasis on prediction and bald pronouncements of fate.  No, astrology has evolved, quite logically, as our consciousness has evolved.  In this psychological astrology age we know that fate is far from fixed.  It is, rather, dependent on our state of consciousness! 

 

Yes, we come into this terrestrial life at a certain moment in time and a particular place on the planet – and these coordinates map the celestial pattern and we call it our birth chart.  The birth chart, appears then, to be fixed.  But, my friend. It is not.  We have the power (power is a Pluto/Scorpio word by the way)  to integrate (another Pluto word) our charts.  We can, once we become conscious of the dynamics, transform their negative potentials to positive ones.  Until we do this, as Jung says, the unconscious will direct our lives from behind the scenes.  Our lives will appear to be ‘fated.’   This is the reason we must make our Shadow conscious! This is the reason for our work here.

 

Tom Campbell, physicist and consciousness researcher says: “Our intent modifies future probability”.   It has long been known that belief is all powerful. Now, they can prove it.

Fate, future probability, is modified by our intent. By our belief, in other words.  Now, this important – belief is predicated on consciousness.

 

What is belief?  It is something we hold to be  true – correct?  It is something we hold to be true – with or without proof.  It is true for us.  Astrology is a brilliant system for illuminating our unique beliefs. What we find is that early childhood events become prototypes that crystallize the natal patterns or configurations and these depict our core beliefs. Obviously this is a big subject – I am taking a bird’s eye view here.  But essentially, this is how it works.  The advantage of this system is that we can go straight to the heart of the matter.

 

To wrap up for today – our Shadows lie in our unconscious – where they can wreck havoc and make our lives hell; where they can direct our lives, as Jung said.   But, we can, with some effort it is true, discover our Shadow. This is essential if we are interested in self-knowledge. (And what is more important?)

 

That we all have a Shadow seems to be a given. Of course some shadows are denser than others.

Our Shadows are as unique as we are.  We might see them as being formed from karma we bring into this life, crystallised or brought into (this) embodiment through early childhood events and then, forever after running things from behind the scenes.  Our unconscious intent is always to confirm what we believe to be true. (Called confirmatory bias in psychology). Thus we shape our reality. What we believe is a composite of what happened to us and what we have brought in with us and hence what we now hold to be true.  But, the ultimate truth us, there is no ultimate truth – what we belief has no reality, it has no substance – and most importantly – it is subject to revision. And the only thing that can cause us to revise our beliefs is consciousness.

 

In evolutionary astrology we understand that this life is largely a healing journey – for all of us. Why we should be so in need of healing, of integration is the subject for a future ramble. For now, contemplate this thought – we are all in need of healing – and healing is another word for ‘making whole’.  We are on a mission to make whole, to integrate the light and dark elements of our psyches: the conscious and the unconscious.  In this reality system where duality reigns supreme – this seems to be the nature of things.  Light and dark. We, children of the cosmos, are no different than night and day, yin and yang, summer and winter.  We are two.   Our work, our reason for being here, is to make the two One.

Oneness is where we are heading…..

 

 

Thanks for reading – see you next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Shadow

After a hiatus of some months – I have decided to return to writing on this blog.  The break was necessary, as life is, I have learned, a continual process of absorbing information and integrating it to become knowledge.  We cannot hope to be effective communicators without allowing the natural ebb and flow of this process.  Absorbing information takes time. Integrating it – even more so.  On another level, the break provided space to reconcile the perennial dilemma: is this just ego?  And, maybe I do have some insights others might care to hear.  My reconciliation: a pursuit that gets my creativity flowing is writing. Another is the study of spirituality, philosophy, metaphysics, life and what the hell we are doing with it.  Why not indulge that and discipline myself to put down in words the ever greater levels of my personal journey of awareness?  And so this foray in to the abovementioned passions is not, I have concluded, about my ego.  Read it or not world. It matters not.  What matters is the discipline and time (Saturn) I am making and taking to communicate (Mercury) some hopefully helpful, dare I say insightful thoughts.  I have found them insightful at least. I have had to go deep inside to find them.

 

So, that said, here I am. Back with A Cosmic Ride.  As for my website, well, as you will learn in the forthcoming series of articles – it represents my shadow quite effectively.  It has been caved, for quite some time.  Caved, as distinct from shelved.  Simply because shelved has been overdone, and caved describes  better the darkening, relegated-to-the-shadows nature of my feelings around the promotion of my website.  But more of that later.

 

Today, I want to introduce the theme I intend to explore here – for, who knows how long, as long as it takes.  The theme is THE SHADOW.  You all know I think that I am an astrologer.  The symbolic language of the stars is to me, a knowledge system of power, elegance, astonishment.  It continues, after over 30 years of learning, to take my breath away. Astrology itself, is of course a ‘Shadow Profession’.  (I capitalised that so you would pay attention).  Yes! A shadow profession.  The age of mechanistic scientism (I got that from Bruce Lipton) took care of that.  I think if you are reading this, you know what I mean by this so I don’t feel I need to explain.  But essentially, mechanistic scientism holds that the physical universe and measuring it ‘scientifically’ (which science is limited by its instruments of measurements) alone, confers validity.  Anything else – the unseen, invisible forces – were discredited, scorned, relegated to the shadows.  Astrology is slowly emerging from the shadows, as quantum physics (and we are now even beyond that) has demonstrated the true nature of energy.  It is consciousness that decides where energy goes. And energy then decides what manifests as ‘reality’ in this reality system we call life.

 

So, if you are with me thus far – astrology is emerging from the shadows as a consequence of the evolution of consciousness. Which, four words encapsulate what we doing here. Evolving our consciousness.  What I have come to realize is this:

Astrology is a useful language to help us locate, in time and space, what consciousness is up to.  And, as mentioned, consciousness, being what we are up to here, is a pretty important consideration.

 

In the upcoming musings I will therefore be using here and there, the language of astrology.  If you are new to astrology, I hope my explanations and descriptions, my interpretations of the cosmic language will be adequate – if not educative.  If they are not, you will find a wealth of information regarding the interpretation of astrological language available on the net.

 

So – let us begin our journey into the underworld of the Shadow….

 

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First – What Do We Need to Know About the Shadow?

 

Carl Jung the famous Swiss psychologist was the first to formulate the concept of the Shadow.  As he defined it, the Shadow is the portion of our personality that is ‘relegated to the darkness of the unconscious.’   Although the shadow was known before Jung – in literature it most notably appeared in Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ (published in 1886) – the story of a respectable personage (Dr Jekyll) whose shadow personality (Mr Hyde) gains dominance and wrecks havoc on the former’s life; it was really Jung’s work that brought the shadow out of hiding and into the public domain.  Jung stated the shadow was the unknown, dark side of the personality. It was ‘instinctual, irrational and prone to projection’.  He said everyone carried a shadow and that “the less embodied in the conscious life of the individual, the blacker and denser it is.”

 

The shadow then is the unknown, dark part of ourselves.  It is, for the most part negative – because we reject those less desirable, painful aspects of our personality. However it is possible positive aspects can also comprise the shadow.

 

The Shadow may appear as an archetype…..  Appearing as devil or monster like images in dreams for example.

 

Astrology is an archetypal language – so we might expect something as important as the Shadow would show up here. And it does. In astrology, the Shadow is represented by the archetypal grouping – that is sign, planet, house of Scorpio, Pluto and the 8th house.  If you are interested, and I hope you are, in exploring your own personal shadow, you can bring up your birth chart (free on the net) and see the condition of the 8th house and of the planet Pluto and you might note where (which house) the sign Scorpio lies.  There are many interpretations available free – but we will continue to explore the meanings of the archetypal group representing the Shadow as we proceed with this series of articles.

 

Jung said:  “The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort.  To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real.  This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge and it therefore, as a rule, meets with considerable resistance. Indeed, self-knowledge as a psychotherapeutic measure frequently requires much painstaking work extending over a long period.”

 

This tells us that our work here may be exhaustive.  And it feels kind of obvious, in a hidden sort of way, that anything connected to the Shadow is not going to be revealed without effort.  But my optimistic thought here is that when Jung wrote this – in the early 20th Century – consciousness itself was perhaps less evolved than it is now. A lot can happen in 100 years. We have seen a flowering of an awakening of consciousness occurring in our time-space reality and my sense is, we are being confronted by our Shadows and compelled to work with them, like it or not, on both a personal and a collective level as part of this increasingly accelerated and evolving consciousness. It behooves us therefore, to choose to do our Shadow work willingly –  because what we resist will persist.  There is great power bound up in the Shadow, because whatever is feared has power over us. We fear the Shadow because it is hidden, unknown, buried, dark.  The fear of death, the ultimate unknown, is the most universal of fears.

Not wishing to cause overwhelm or overwordiness with this material I will sign off for today. Next, we will go more deeply into the Collective Shadow – embodied as it is in the planet Pluto. We will examine the meaning of Pluto’s transit through the sign of Capricorn – as many astrologers have been doing in recent times.  But my intent is to personalize the nature of this universal Plutonian journey. We are part of the collective, but our hearts and minds respond to unique, personal, vibratory energies. What is Pluto saying to us as individuals?  Stay tuned….

 

 

Image result for Images of consciousness and the void

 

Our world is in danger by the absence of good ideas.

Our world is in crisis because of the absence of Consciousness.

And so to whatever degree any one of us can bring back a small piece of the picture

And contribute to the building of the new paradigm, then we participate in the

Redemption of the human spirit.

And that, after all, is what it’s really all about.”

(Terence McKenna)

 

 

 

What is Consciousness?

Words are inadequate at the best of times to describe the vast ordinariness of everyday thoughts and feelings. They are even more so when it comes to concepts like consciousness. Generally, the word consciousness is used to designate a whole array of psychic (mind) functions: thoughts, emotions, memories.  Back in the late 19th Century, Professor William James defined thought as “a moment of consciousness.” The word consciousness has since come to mean very much more than the psychic functions. In many circles it has almost become code for ‘God’.  The ineffable, indefinable Absolute (which we will be talking more about), we are told, is none other than ‘consciousness itself.’

 

For my purposes here, I want to be clear on the definition of consciousness.  I would like to make the distinction between consciousness and the commonly understood functions of thought, feeling and sensation.  In truth these functions arise out of consciousness. They can create different states of consciousness. But they are not consciousness itself; they are separate psychic functions.  Consciousness in its true meaning is a background to everything else. We humans have a particular form of consciousness, but the true nature of consciousness itself hints at being way beyond anything we can conceive.  The nearest we may come is to imagine it as a field of intelligence that life uses to mould itself into what we know as the objective and the subjective worlds.  We share in this field of consciousness and so we ‘have’ consciousness and out of our consciousness comes the mind functions, the world of the psyche.

 

So what is this background to everything, this consciousness?

 

One Face of the Life Force…

The ancient wisdom teachings tell us this cosmos is arranged as an intelligently organized system and everything within it is alive.   Consciousness precedes everything in the objective world of matter and the world we see is only a partial ‘projection’ of an overarching field of consciousness.  Mind, or psyche, is our means of accessing this consciousness.  We necessarily have to divide and discern the world somehow and so our mind creates a construct called time and space. It has been said, space and time are instruments of the mind.  The conscious field of the Kosmic Mind is beyond time and space.   A universal order generated by the incomprehensible Kosmic Mind was understood by the ancient Egyptians and known to them by the metaphorical goddess Ma’at.  The ancient wisdom teachings tell us that all the religions of antiquity understood this principle: the universe we see is but one face of a life force or spirit that pervades the entire cosmos.  Conscious intelligent awareness lies behind every form in nature and there is order from the macro to the microcosmic level.   Consciousness is not, as believed by modern scientists, a product of biological evolution – on the contrary,  consciousness was here first!

 

And consciousness itself is evolving.  It is a process that occurs in cycles and has done for millions of years.  Cycles rise and fall, they come and go. The ancients knew of the ‘Zodiacal ages’ which correspond with a 25,920 year celestial cycle known to us as the ‘precession of the equinoxes’. They referred to this celestial cycle as the ‘Great Year of the Pleiades.”  The zodiacal ages correspond to and parallel the cycles of human civilization and culture – and the evolution and decline, or degeneration, of consciousness. Let us understand this from the outset. It is perhaps counter-intuitive, but this much we know:  the evolution of consciousness does not always proceed in an upward (or forward) trajectory.  The truth is, this planet is far older than the history books tell us. Archaeologists are continually pushing dates back further and further as new discoveries come to light. Civilizations have come and gone from the Earth, rising and falling for aeons in fact, before Palaeolithic man.  Primitive cultures all around the planet have hints in their mythology of a Golden Age –  a time in which their distant ancestors were far more advanced than themselves.  The cosmic cycles of the zodiacal ages can be seen as massive consciousness-carrying waves of the vast Kosmic mind. Everything that takes place in the macrocosm (the cosmos) is reflected in the microcosm (man). This was expressed in the aphorism, from a fundamental teaching of the perennial philosophy:  “As above, so below.” Our twelve month Earth year, for example, with its seasons and equinoxes is a microcosm of a far more immense celestial cycle. The atoms within our bodies and the cells they form have their own polarities and magnetism and radiation – just like the planets of our solar system. As above, so below.

 

 

Evolution…..and Involution…

We sit at the brink of the Aquarian Age, a time in which an evolutionary shift is destined to occur within our collective consciousness. We are in a time of transition, which is probably the reason life is so chaotic. Just like in the birthing process, the moment of the transition is the most fraught.  Our civilisation may disappear. It may not, who knows.  We have another hundred years plus before we are officially in the new age.  The ancient wisdom teachings tell us that a new Golden Age will come, a time in which humankind will once again flourish.  But what we have to go through between now and then – we do not know.  One day, we will no longer see the Divine as distant and uninvolved, inconceivably unreachable – but rather humanity will realize that we are Gods in the making ourselves. According to the hidden teachings life is a process of involution and evolution.  Involution was the descent into matter as Spirit emanated a portion of itself downwards into denser and denser forms.  Evolution is the gradual ascent, by the ‘Divine Spark’ (or monad) to rise up through these dense forms – through a process of transmutation. Eventually, vibrating once more in conscious harmony with the Absolute. It seems clear however, that this ascent of evolution is not a steady one. It is more a spiralling one, with periodic falls or downward slopes along the way.

 

 

 

The age of Materialism…

As a collective we have become so enamoured and convinced that the world we experience through our senses, the objective world, is the real world.  We have become so enmeshed in materialism that we have lost our connection with the divine spark that is within us.  This dive into density really went into overdrive in the seventeenth Century with the age of technological invention. The industrial revolution catalysed the rapid rise of economic materialism and the beginnings of modern scientific research.  This knowledge has and will, take us far. But our blind spot (rather larger than a spot in many instances) has been the relegation of anything that cannot be ‘scientifically proven’ to the shadows.  Science is limited by its own instruments of observation.  Back in antiquity it was held that esotericism consisted of four ways:  religion, philosophy, science and art.  They were each different but interrelated ‘ways to the truth’ – which lay, as truth does, at the centre.   Then the four ways diverged and with their separation we were led further and further away from the truth.  We are seeing now the emergence of wary re-connection between science and religion, as the discoveries of quantum physics are opening our awareness and understanding to the truth that there is a hidden unity behind form.

 

The occult made a sudden re-emergence in the late eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth Centuries, a time where magic and spiritualism became fashionable. But for the most part, the hidden world of esotericism has been lost to us. Scientists study the cosmos, but not the kosmos.  One of the reasons is esoteric knowledge has long been protected. The non-initiated were not trusted with this knowledge. It was understood such knowledge could be distorted or misused and so it was only handed from teacher to pupil within the mystery schools of the ancient world and the pupil was one who had undergone a long and difficult preparation and initiation before admittance to the inner circle. Esotericism was the inner circle, and only a very privileged few were admitted to this circle. The outer circle was exoteric;  it comprised the vast majority, the masses, and it only hinted at the mysteries of the inner circle (the truth) in the form of myths, allegories and symbols which in many cases were claimed to be ‘actual historical accounts’.   You can still see today in some of the temples of ancient Egypt, an outer, public space and beyond it, an inner sanctum. The inner temple was for the initiates of the mystery teachings.  The great pyramid was constructed, according to the hidden teachings, for the purposes of these initiation rituals. The initiate underwent a ‘death’ process, in which the truth of the immortality of his or her soul was revealed through the actual experience of consciousness leaving the body.  It was a tomb, of sorts, but not in the common usage of the word.

 

We live in an age where science, the laws of logic and rationalism prevail.  Esoteric knowledge, so long concealed from us, holds no place in our general understanding of life and our universe.  This is to our detriment and it is the reason behind this book.  In our attempt to understand consciousness, we inevitably enter the realms of the mysterious – the esoteric world, a world only the high priests and keepers of the hidden teachings in the past were privileged to enter. To go forward, like the spiral-like journey of our consciousness, we must come back around to the past.

 

 

The Subject Creates the Object…

Scientists will eventually be compelled, if they are not already, to realize that objective knowledge depends upon the properties of the psyche. There is nothing science has told us in the past, is telling us now, or will tell us in the future from its observations and tests for something ‘being true’ that is or will be the last word, true and correct forever.  Facts themselves rely on the senses and we can quite easily demonstrate how unreliable our senses are!  Our senses form our subjective world and there is nothing factual about our subjective world. Thus we will only ever get fragments of views of the world, bits and pieces, from our science.  New discoveries build on the old paradigms and before long they themselves are transcended by newer ones. The full picture may eventually be revealed to us, but as we may surmise from a cursory glance at the cosmic cycles of astrology, the evolutionary journey of our consciousness has a very long way to go.

 

The esoteric knowledge tells us that all fields of consciousness are essentially transitory.  We are all observers and participants in a constantly changing existence. This existence, as mentioned above, is organized and limited by way of a sequence of concentric fields that arise as the macrocosm projects part of itself down into lower fields of existence – the human, animal and plant kingdoms. Everything is a smaller, more limited version of a higher emanation.  This idea that we are observers of a constantly changing existence has relevance to the purposes of this quest we are on.  Essentially, in not grasping this fact we cannot help but personalize our experience. This personalization of experience is one of the reasons for our suffering.  If we can understand, even by small increments, that to depersonalize our lives is to approach the truth of the philosophy that life is ‘a passing parade.’  Such a philosophy is in perfect alignment with the ancient wisdom teachings.  Self-observation is a key requisite in this quest and we cannot observe ourselves unless we are able to find some measure of detachment, or depersonalization from our experience of life.

 

I have known good and evil,

Sin and virtue, right and wrong;

I have judged and been judged;

I have passed through birth and death,

Joy and sorrow, heaven and hell;

And in the end I realized

That I am in everything

And everything is in me.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan)

 

Fields of Consciousness…

We share the consciousness of the Kosmic Mind, the larger consciousness system, with all sentient beings and the teachings tell us, non-sentient ones as well.  Even the plant kingdom has a rudimentary consciousness. Experiments have shown that plants have memory, for instance, and that they experience primitive emotions like fear.  The wisdom teachings have much to say about the consciousness of the animal and plant kingdoms. You may have heard the term ‘nature spirits’.  These so called nature spirits belong to the diva or angelic kingdom.  The consciousness of the ‘beings’ at this particular plane of existence is highly intelligent but completely instinctual.  They do not possess imagination. Their role is to repeat patterns in nature, to make a ‘perfect reproduction of the divine plan.’  There are various levels of existence and consciousness within a kosmos that is teeming with entities. Some we see, most we do not.

 

 

Human consciousness. What can we say of it?  The wisdom teachings tell us that human consciousness is simply one form of consciousness. They say there is a much higher consciousness and this higher consciousness is like a ‘field of being’ within which we exist. We humans have the faculty of mind and we can see the mind as a psycho-spiritual fluidic medium that is capable of moving between various fields of consciousness.  Consciousness is a property of the Divine spirit – it is an aspect of the life force itself and our consciousness is our particular field of being given to us by the Absolute. Our minds use consciousness to create our inner and outer world realities.  I was surprised, and you may be also, to learn that the outer world we experience as the phenomenal world, the world of matter is not composed of any substance – but rather it is a condition. Matter is a condition of our existence in this third dimension we call reality. It is a condition of existence in space and time.

 

 

The Three States of Human Consciousness…

We know that consciousness is not dependent on wakefulness, nor on the body for that matter.  When we fall asleep and dream, the mind continues to function quite happily. Dreams are a series of feelings, thoughts and images that pass through consciousness. Deep, dreamless sleep is different. Here consciousness and its agent the mind have departed to realms of which we know not.  The very fact we wake up in the morning and return to the body, having been consciously absent for some considerable time, tells us quite clearly that consciousness is independent of the body. When we wake up, the sense of self returns.  Here is the origin of our misguided belief that the body and the self, or the ego, are one and the same. We think the body-mind is who we are, that it IS our self, when in truth we are so much more.

 

So it appears, on examination, that there is a mind consciousness and a body consciousness. And it seems they are two different things. We lose body consciousness in sleep but obviously, continue to exist.  If we dream, the mind is functioning within itself. However, when the mind withdraws as it does in deep sleep, or is driven out of the body by way of anaesthetic, coma or deep trance, consciousness too, is withdrawn, or somehow projected elsewhere.  We have all heard stories of people who, under the influence of anaesthetic, when they were supposedly ‘out to it’, were able to report back on events that occurred while they were out, once they had returned to waking consciousness. In such cases mind consciousness has been projected out of the body.

 

We know that without the mind we could not see, or hear, feel or speak. All of our senses need the mind to perceive and interpret (or decode) the vibratory information they transmit from the world around us to our brains.  It is the mind that creates distinction for us. It is the mind that selects and selection is a visible sign of materiality.  Selection, or distinction creates the edges around ‘things’ in the world.  Without these distinctions, everything would be a blur.  So then, it is the mind that creates the world of separateness. The mind, as we know from experience, sends us a constant stream of thoughts:  thoughts about the external universe and thoughts about our inner universe – our feelings and emotions.  Without the mind consciousness, there could be no thoughts and no recognition of the outside world.  We are limited by words when it comes to the mind. Words define. And this subject is not easily definable.  Mind, it turns out, is a very difficult word.  In the esoteric literature, we learn there are two minds, the higher mind and the lower, ordinary, or egoic mind.  More of that later.

 

Mental states and feeling states are constantly changing. We have thousands of thoughts every day. We also have innumerable feelings and emotions; one moment we are happy and content, the next, a random thought pulls us into a darker place.  We are rarely without the unending chatter of the inner monkey mind. Yet throughout all of this movement and energy, the comings and goings of mind and emotion, there is one constant. It is there, behind the activity of our thoughts. It is there when consciousness is projected in out of body states, it is there in the dream world. It is even there when the mind is not – when we are in the deepest sleep; it is what brings us back when we wake up.  If we consider this, we must realize that there is a separate self which is apart from the mind.  Perhaps we believe the mind consists of thoughts. But if we stop thinking for a moment (usually this is the best we can manage, a moment), we know we still have a mind, we are still conscious. Neither have disappeared. In fact we are more conscious than ever. So there is something in us which is not thought, it is behind thought.  A part of us, somewhere deep within, knows of these changing states and simply watches them.  Through all the years we have lived, as we passed through childhood and into adulthood, as our appearance altered with time, as our lives took different twists and turns, chapters ended, new ones unfolded, something within us remained constant.  There is a knower that is beyond the busy-ness of our thoughts. It registers the changes, yet remains unchanged.

 

 

The Hazy World of Solid Matter…

Here is a thought: It is said that the unconscious mind accounts for up to 95 per cent of the sensory data we are immersed in.  Which means most of the information in the world around us, in the form of vibratory energy, is not even registered by our conscious mind.  It is reacting and responding to a mere five percent of what is ‘out there’, whilst the unconscious mind is absorbing the rest.  Once upon a time it was believed the world of matter and the world of mind, or energy, were separate things. In 1687 Isaac Newton published his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica and with it established mathematics as the foundation stone of the universe. Classical physics was born and right up until Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity from the 1900s it described the world around us adequately – particularly when it came to the movement of large objects by energetic forces.  But as all things evolve, so did classical physics.  In the early part of the 20th Century, it dawned that Newton’s laws did not seem to work so well on the subatomic level.  It was the beginning of a new physics – Quantum  physics – as it was realized the world of the atom held many mysteries and so new ways of understanding and explaining them had to be found.

 

Quantum means ‘a discrete quantity of electromagnetic energy’.   Max Planck published his theory that energy packets, called ‘quanta’, with their strange ability to exist as probability rather than actual objective things, was the ‘reality’ behind the seemingly solid world. We had discovered (or, more accurately, rediscovered) the power of electromagnetic energy and the truth that the world of matter is not solid. Rather it is a moving sea of energy, or light.  It was at this time that scientists at the forefront of research claimed ‘all matter is ultimately the condensation of radiant energy’ – that is, of Light.  The oldest teachings in the world, from esoteric religions of all traditions, tell us that God, the Sun and Light are synonymous. It is interesting to realize that scientists still don’t know what energy actually is.  They say it is the source of everything in the universe – but what is it??

 

Energy never sleeps…

We now know that energy cannot be destroyed, it is merely converted to other forms. We see this happening in everyday life, as all that belongs to the world of form, all things material change and deteriorate over time. Entropy, the progression of complex systems to move towards a state of chaos, (or the second law of thermodynamics) – is a fundamental law in this third dimensional world. Energy is continually changing the form of material objects. Nothing is static.  Pioneering researchers in the fields of science and spiritually believe consciousness is present throughout the universe, and that it is really a more subtle form of matter. Many are now telling us that our reality is holographic in nature and akin therefore to a giant computer generated ‘reality.’   (More of that in the next chapter).

So it has been clearly established that this apparently physical, three dimensional world is, in a very real sense, illusory –  because that which appears solid to us, is in fact nothing more than interference patterns of electromagnetic energy which we are decoding via our sensory apparatus, to ‘create’ a solid reality.  At a subatomic level, ‘reality’ is certainly not as it appears to be.  As we said above, matter is not a substance, it is a condition. The subatomic particles that make up molecules that make up objects, can be both particles and waves at the same time. Let’s look at that:

 

The Old Wave or Particle Trick…

Physicist David Bohm came up with the idea of implicate and explicate orders of reality – by way of explaining the ability of subatomic particles to manifest as particles or as ‘blurry clouds of energy that behave as waves.’  The implicate order is a deeper level of reality (implicate means ‘enfolded’) and it is from this deeper level that all objects and appearances in the physical world emerge.  Once they have emerged from the implicate they become part of the explicate – or unfolded order.  They manifest then as separate entities: particles, bodies, trees.  And then, as surely as they appear in the visible world, eventually they must disappear, back into the invisible. The energy, or light that was captured in form is released back into the universe. So there is a kind of swimming in and out of our reality: now you see us, now you don’t. Particles are not destroyed but rather they become enfolded back into the implicate order. Like us, when their time here is done they merge back into the invisible world.  Everything in the cosmos, according to Bohm, is made out of the ‘seamless holographic fabric of the implicate order.’   Birth and death, form and formlessness, time and timelessness, separation and enmeshment, the drop and the ocean, the wave and the particle – all exist within a unified field.  This is the integral reality. The implicate and the explicate are continually flowing into and out of each other in a type of holographic order, as nature presents us with a ‘great cosmic illusion’ – the illusion of material reality.  But what is it that brings the particle, or the thing, out of the deeper level of reality, the implicate, and into the world of form?

 

At this subquantum level it was discovered, there is non-locality, or a form of instant communication between particles, defying Einstein’s law that nothing can go faster the speed of light. At this microscopic level, atoms and particles behave as if they are connected. There is ‘quantum entanglement’ happening at this level.  Photons, or particles of light (the radiant light of earlier language) are apparently the stuff our universe is made of. Experiments have shown, repeatedly, that when a single photon is split into two particles and they are sent off in different directions and forced to ‘choose’ between two different routes, they both make the exact same decision to go one way or the other. In other words, they behave as if they were still one unit, one photon, as if they were still connected. Such is the invisible world. Subatomic particles not only move in and out of the visible world but they remain connected, once they have been connected, forever. They arise from a unified field of consciousness and there they are destined to remain – whether they manifest into particles and ‘appear’ in our world, or continue to flow together in the waveform world. This implicate, unified field, appears to be the birthplace of everything in the visible world. It is the invisible, unmanifest realm from which all that appears to be real in the manifest world comes into being.  The Hindu religion calls the implicate Brahman. It is the Tao. It is Spirit. Or, as we have called it here, the Kosmic Mind. The Tibetan Buddhists call it the void – the non-void being the physical world.  The wisdom teachings have revealed the Kosmic Mind is void only in one phase of its being – the in-breath, if you like. There is an out-breath phase in which the cosmos, the universe, and all the entities within it are re-manifested and the objective world comes again into being, according to karmic law. The Vedas say the physical world is brought into being through both the ‘veiling’ and ‘projecting’ powers of consciousness.  Nature is the handiwork of the Absolute, the Kosmic Mind, when it is projected.  Maya, a Sanskrit word, means illusion and magic.  The teachings tell us that matter is an illusion of the mind; it is maya.  That is, at its essence, matter is pure mind. This concept that mind is behind all matter, is known as mentalism.

 

“The world is but appearance, a shadow flung out of the timeless.”  (Paul Brunton)

 

 

Mind Magic…

Consciousness brings the particle out of the invisible into the visible world.  Whether it is the conscious intelligence of the elemental kingdom – builder of the natural world, or the conscious intelligence of our minds, we are all creating the objective world. This is the knowledge we have been given by the ancient teachings and it is corroborated today by leading edge scientists – the two grow closer by the day. Even so, we still don’t know what ‘mind’ actually is. Perception is really a cluster of sensations which the mind constructs into the ‘things’ of the visible world. In truth, the object and the sensation are not separate, they are one and the same because they are both produced and moulded in space-time reality by the mind. This is a complicated subject, of which I am touching only the perimeter in our overview of consciousness.  Sensations are clusters through which mind creates a unified whole, or a complex from and this gives us a unified picture of whatever it is we are seeing – an object. We have learnt that everything, in this ‘physical’ reality of ours depends on the decoding ability and thus the consciousness of the observer.  Consciousness can be a matter of choice – where our attention goes we go. And where our attention goes, so too does the decoding apparatus of our five senses.  So goes the mind. Whatever we experience cannot be separated from ourselves: the experiencer. The observer is always coupled with the observed and so there is always a knowing consciousness behind every object we perceive. What we perceive outside of ourselves is transformed in the brain, via the senses, into actual, seemingly real objects in the third dimension, or space-time construct. And it is consciousness that enables the whole process. We know that if we are unconscious to the data swirls around us, as we are when we are immersed in creative work or activity that takes all our attention, or we are asleep, we do not perceive the world around us.  The mind in the first instance, has become so focused that our awareness of the objective world temporarily slips away, disappearing into some sort of abstract world. 

 

Einstein said: “the field is the sole governing agency of the particle.”    In other words, it is the field of consciousness that determines the life and times of the particle – or the object manifesting in the physical universe.  There must then be a higher order of intelligence, the field, which organizes this material world of ours. The esoteric literature tells us this is so. It tells us that everything works ‘from above downward.’  ‘As above, so below’, not the other way around as the prevailing scientific worldview would have us believe: consciousness, they say, arises after matter has prepared the way.  This is far from the truth. The wisdom teachings tell us the generator of consciousness itself is ‘the soul entity.’  We will talk more of the soul later.

 

Bohm believed not only that consciousness is a more subtle form of matter, but that it is present in various degrees of enfoldment and unfoldment in all matter.  It is meaningless, he believed, to see the universe as composed of parts.  He was not the only one to view reality in this way.

“The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.”     (Sir James Jeans, Pioneering Physicist)

 

 

My Big Toe…

Thomas Campbell, NASA physicist and creator of the My Big Toe theory (Toe = Theory Of Everything) is a brilliant mind and one of the few scientists (in mathematics and physics, he is ex-NASA) able to embrace an esoteric view at the same time. He is a big thinker, as evidenced by his ‘Theory of Everything.’  Campbell corroborates the wisdom teachings beautifully. He says: Reality is a data stream.  Reality, is simply information, or a stream of data, coming at us digitally (in discrete packets) to be decoded by our senses.  So, for example, photons, those discrete packets of light, hit our eye and are converted into electrical impulses which travel through the nervous system and stimulate neurons that create for us, the objective world. We call this reality we see, reality. This reality, the material universe is a construct of consciousness.  It is the mind via the brain that is interpreting this data stream through the sensory system which converts the sensations of vision, hearing etc into the spatial, time organized world of material reality.  Thus, says Campbell: ‘Consciousness is the Fundamental Reality!’  He poses a mind bender to illustrate the point. The brain can be artificially stimulated to the effect of replicating the exact same experiences as reality itself.  There is no difference in the two experiences, seeing something ‘for real’ or being in a complete black void, and having the brain stimulated to enable the brain’s owner to see and experience the same thing!  What is present in both cases? The observer. Consciousness. The mind is the generator of experience. The background field of consciousness remains the same, and the mind is constructing ‘reality’ the same – whether or not the rest of the body or the actual objective world is involved. We need not be so surprised by this experiment in fact – as this is exactly what occurs when we are dreaming.  Our minds are creating a fictitious reality, or we might say a highly subjective one, that feels acutely real and objective to us at the time.

 

“The conscious act of observation causes the collapsed manifestation of a probability function.

Our physical reality is entangled with our mental, emotional, spiritual reality.

Our outer world and inner worlds are connected.

Everything is energy.”   (Thomas Campbell)

 

 

We know that if we do not see something, it does not exist in present moment reality for us. If we are lost in the creative process, or deep thought, we enter a trance-like state where we are oblivious to the world around us.  But meanwhile the brain selects bits of information to decode from the vast, multitudinous frequency fields of information around us.  The unconscious (overconscious might be a better word) is perceiving these endless streams of information, though it is only what we choose to pay attention to that ultimately, becomes real for us because it is then projected into our consciousness field, or our field of awareness, by the mind. Whatever is not projected into consciousness remains in the waveform world. The act of observation is creating the material world through collapsing the probability wave, or in other words, attention pulls the wave-like energy field from a potential down into a particular (particle).

 

“It is better not to view a particle as a permanent entity, but rather as an instantaneous event.  Sometimes these events link together to create the illusion of permanent entities.”  (Shrodinger)

 

 

The Brain of Memory…

Research has shown that the brain records everything we have ever experienced. We certainly don’t consciously recall everything we have experienced – but somewhere, in the holographic brain, the recordings are stored.  The watcher is watching. This means all that our conscious minds omit (through sheer necessity) to observe is nevertheless recorded in the unconscious, which many believe lies beyond the physical brain, out there, somewhere in ‘the field.’  Furthermore, there have been studies done that conclude less than 50 per cent of what we see is actually based on the information coming in via the eyes. The remaining 50 per cent is constructed out of our expectations of what we think the world should look like; demonstrating that while the eyes are our organs of vision, it is the brain that actually ‘sees’. And what it is ‘seeing’, is what we expect to see, based on our past experiences and stored somewhere beneath our conscious awareness, in the mysterious unconscious. This is the mind at work – creating distinctions on a more subtle level. The vast repository of information held in the unconscious is non-local – they have never found a ‘location’ for the unconscious in the physical brain. It exists purely in an energetic form and only becomes known to us when consciousness plucks it out of the wave world and by the sensory perceptive processes of observation (or attention), turns it into a particle.  This observation could be in the form of focusing attention on an event in the past, a memory in other words.  Memory has the potential to evoke emotions, as we know, just as if that event was happening in real time. The body responds by producing the neuropeptides of emotion that we experience as actual physiological sensations. So the memory of a past event becomes a present ‘reality’ for us.  And what is the present in fact? The moment we try to grasp it, it has already fallen into the past. It too, like memory, has become just a thought, an idea. What then, is this thing we call reality? Clearly, there is no fixed reality. Reality is relative.  It is all a subjective experience, with the brain appearing to be a receiver, decoder and transmitter of information.

 

 

So far…

So far we have established that consciousness is a background field that, according to the esoteric tradition emanates from the Divine, Kosmic Mind – or the larger consciousness system.  Consciousness descends down through the levels or planes of existence in concentric arrangement right down to the cell and the atom, impregnating all with the essence of the Divine.  It is the life force itself, the animator of all of life. Present even in rudimentary forms from the elemental kingdom up through the plant and animal kingdoms. We have seen that the physical world we see is anything but solid. Rather, it is an ever fluctuating sea of energy. Our minds via the brain are deciphering this energetic sea. The mind brings an invisible ethereal order down into the manifest visible world of form through the decoding apparatus of our sensory system.  More simply, the mind is a device that enables us to create distinctions. It enables us to perceive a world of separateness.  Contrary to the scientific view that matter gives rise to consciousness, consciousness is in fact primary to matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ancient art cosmos dark

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Living in the Big Picture…….

(And How the Hidden Teachings of an Ancient World can help us thrive in this one)

In 2016  Living in the Big Picture was the winner of the Ashton Wylie literary awards (unpublished manuscript section).  The Ashton Wylie awards is New Zealand’s only literary awards for books of the Mind-Body-Spirit genre.

Here for the first time, is the manuscript, written by me – entitled Living in the Big Picture. I have decided to share it here – because, quite frankly, I can’t be bothered self-publishing it anywhere else.  It seems there is a plethora of companies all too eager to take your money off your hands and your creative efforts to produce a hard copy or e-book. And then what?  Having had two books published by reputable publishing houses (who paid me – in the form of royalties, not the other way around)  it somehow goes against the grain to have to pay to have my work published.  The world has changed, I realize, since 2006.

Mercury is retrograde and the Moon is void-of-course today – neither I would have thought, great auspices under which to bring my book onto a wider stage.  But publish and be damned – ! – that is my banner today.

Enjoy the pages that follow. Or at least, in fact,  I’d hope you find them thought-provoking, perhaps enlightening, or even entertaining. Something.

I will post chapter by chapter – and here today – are the first few…..

 

 

I N T R O D U C T I O N

 

“When your understanding has passed

Beyond the thicket of delusions,

There is nothing you need to learn

From even the most sacred scripture.”

(The Bhagavad Gita)

 

 

 

The Awakening…

 

There is a tremendous groundswell of awakening on the planet at this time of transition. The transition is this period we are in, it is the cusp of a new age.  The collective awakening has begun and it is exciting to be alive at this time, despite the pain we witness in the world.  We are awakening to the knowledge that we are all connected, we are all one and within that oneness, we are infinite consciousness.  This awareness can be life changing.  The flip side of this is an insight from the esoteric wisdom traditions: evolution does not always go in one direction.

 

This will not be a popular idea or theory. It will probably not catch on.  But, it is better to know what we’re up against.  Life is never static, it is the nature of all of life to continually change and change, progress we sometimes call it, as we see evidenced in the world around us at this time, is not always for the better. The hidden teachings of the ancient wisdom traditions can help us stay sane in this transitional time of seemingly catastrophic change. This knowledge, deliberately concealed from us (for very clear and logical reasons) has come down through the ages, albeit in fragmented form, and is the key to understanding the mystery of our existence in this universe. As we open our eyes to who we really are and to the truth that lies at the heart of all our intellectual and spiritual systems, we find ourselves in possession of a knowledge that has the power to change everything. It alone can bring the peace and the well-being, the vitality and the contentment we need to thrive in this crazy world.

 

 

 

 

The Ancient Wisdom Traditions…

 

Long before Western scientists began to try to dismantle the nature of man and the universe, the ancient wisdom teachings tell us all religions, from those of the Ancient Egyptians to the Hindus, the Assyrians and Babylonians, the Indo-Persians, the Ancient Greeks, the Buddhists, the Hebrews, the Sufis and the followers of the Vedic philosophy believed in the same thing: that there is a Universal Spirit of consciousness which both inter-penetrates and transcends the world and all life forms within it.  They all believed in ‘an ethereal body of primordial universal light’ from which everything is generated and to which everything ultimately returns and that the human spirit possesses in itself the revelation of this truth.  Behind all the religions and spiritual belief systems of antiquity there has been this Ancient Wisdom philosophy, an esoteric body of knowledge that was largely kept hidden from the masses and was taught to a select few in the Mystery Schools. This knowledge became known as the perennial philosophy. Perennial because it reappeared, age after age in different schools and cultures, but always retaining the essence of its teachings. Esotericism is a study of the essential nature and interrelationships between all aspects or expressions of existence.  To see these interrelationships we must move out of the ordinary mind and into a higher one.

 

This is our heritage. This knowledge, this wisdom, this truth.  It is there within the intelligence of every molecule of our being. These teachings were deliberately protected because of their sacred nature and because most people were not intellectually able to assimilate their message. They were busy in the business of earning a living or simply not interested in the subtle side of life. The logical mind has long held sway in humanity’s history.  It does still. And just as these teachings were guarded, hidden and protected for centuries, they are even today kept in the shadows by certain powers.  A slip of an example: the Vatican abounds in astrological symbolism and yet we are told that Christianity views astrology as ‘evil’, something to do with the devil.   This is the religion for the masses. There is another religion for the initiates, the high priests and keepers of the hidden teachings – a mystical or esoteric Christianity which honours, behind closed doors, a cosmic hierarchy of intelligence and the wisdom of the language of the stars.  The subject of the hidden teachings is complex, its scope vast, and therefore we will here only touch on aspects of it that have the power to directly impact our lives.

 

We live in an age where science is the new religion. Yet, paradoxically, interest in the mystical world is growing stronger.  It is unfortunate that orthodox science does not recognize the occult – even as the occult is cropping up everywhere in its domain. The occult being ‘the concealed or secret knowledge of Nature’s energies and forces’.  Science largely tries to avoid recognizing the cosmos as being, in truth, a Kosmos.  That is, cosmos with a ‘C’ refers to the visible, objective universe, whereas Kosmos with a ‘K’ deals with the visible and the invisible – the objective and the subjective universe.  If you have been drawn to this book, I have no doubt you are well aware of the fact that we live in a universe that is both visible and invisible and so I will use both of these spellings in the following. The ‘K’ will serve as a symbolic nudge in the reader’s awareness: our cosmos is in truth, a Kosmos.

 

Our world appears to be in chaos, but the truth is chaos is not without meaning. Nature uses it to dissolve and to instruct.  To a large extent we are caught up in the spirit of the times we were born into. There is a destiny that has been set in motion and we are participants in it.   To be honest, it is looking pretty scary out there. But we must step out of our fear.  When we are able to see, or even just glimpse, the immensely larger picture of what is going on, which we will be doing here, our perspective naturally opens up.  Life changes.  What is happening all around us is a pressing invitation to become not only more thoughtful but it is the wake-up call we must heed, to deepen our connection with something higher.  It is our opportunity to discover the truth about who and what we really are.  Destiny and free will are two curves of the same circle. Our mission, in becoming more thoughtful, in devoting some time and energy to expanding our awareness is not only to help ourselves, but it is to help the whole.  The first and most powerful thing we can do for others is to raise our own consciousness.  And as Socrates, so many centuries ago sagely said: “It seems to me ridiculous, when I am not able to know myself, to investigate irrelevant things.”   This knowing thyself then, is central to our quest.

 

The truth, we must come to accept, is often paradoxical – as we will discover in the pages ahead. Life is chaotic, but it is organized. It is infinite, but our time here in these bodies is finite. We are being called to act, but we are told of the wisdom of letting go and accepting life as it is. Paradox abounds. We are part of an intelligent, self-aware, conscious system whose spiritual and natural laws are largely a mystery to us – and we are evolving within this system.  This system is the Ultimate Reality and its creator has been called the Absolute, the Tao, God, Allah, the Infinite, the All, the Cosmic Mind, the Essence.  Interestingly, the word God possibly came from the kabbalistic (itself ancient Egyptian in origin) word Hod which means ‘the Universal Mind Principle.’  Precisely.

 

The brilliant Terence McKenna said:  “We are about to decamp from three dimensional space and time……You can’t live in the cradle forever.”  If you have been on this path for a while, or even if you are new to it, I am sure you will have a sense of the truth of this statement.  The three-dimensional world is losing credibility by the day.  It is time we grew up and gave up our reliance on materialism. It is looking to be a bit of a failed experiment.  And what is more, science, despite itself, is steadily demonstrating the illusory nature of materialism.  The truth of what this life really is and where this leaves us, is what this particular quest is all about. We have only to look out with new eyes. Whether we know it or not, the quest is the reason for our existence – and we will all make this quest, to higher consciousness, like it or not, eventually.  Let us then find our new eyes, begin our journey beyond the superficial world with all its craziness and dive into its essence.

 

 

 

 

Free Your Self

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“Know that sorrow, being the means of

Convincing man of the need of inner life, is a spiritual teacher.”

(The Rosary of Gems – Tibetan text)

 

“The swiftest horse that bears us to perfection

Is suffering.”

(Meister Eckhart)

 

“Whoso bears joy and sorrow with even mind

Has spirituality.’

(Mongolian text)

 

The duality that rules the manifest universe we are all well acquainted with.  Contrast – pleasure with pain, birth with death, wellness with illness is an inescapable accompaniment to our human existence.  Do we appreciate that equally, it is part of our mental and emotional life as well? We cannot realistically, once we understand something of this reality system, expect perfection.  What would perfection look like anyway?  For most of us – a perfect life would be one of unending happiness and contentment. Perfect wellness, material abundance, love, joy, you name it.  On one level we all know, or think we do, what would make us happy.  In short, the main thing that would make us happy would be never having to experience suffering of any description, ever.

Yet, the wisdom teachings tell us, and have done for thousands of years, that this is never a possibility. Suffering is inherent in the human condition.  Pain must always accompany pleasure.

(Until that is, such time as it doesn’t.  For most of us though, such time is not yet.  Sagehood is somewhere in the future.)  On a physical level we understand easily enough that suffering protects embodied life.

If we felt no physical pain imagine how reckless we would be with our bodies. They wouldn’t last for long.  Then, we must ask, how is suffering protecting our emotional, moral life?  Plato said it was a misfortune to a man who has deserved punishment to escape from it.

 

We might refer to the ancient wisdom teachings to help understand the meaning of this.  Let’s look specifically at Karma, the universal doctrine of cause and effect, balance in all things; the bible’s as you sow, so shall you reap. (Karma is not readily obviously logical without the knowledge of repeated embodiments – or reincarnation. Without going into a discussion on the subject at this point, suffice it to say here, it is no more mysterious to be born twice as it is to be born once.)  Anyway….moving on.

Punishment, the evasion of which according to Plato is a misfortune, is nature’s way of educating us. And it occurs on a number of levels, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual –  and over vast spans of time.  Karma has a long memory, make no mistake.  The due punishment, often wearing the guise of a random, fated event coming from out of the blue, has a purpose and intent and that is to develop within the individual the ability to know right from wrong.   At a profoundly deep level, deeper than cultural and epochal variants, there is a set of fundamental truths regarding the morality of being human.

 

“Nobody likes to impose a discipline upon himself and that is why everybody has to submit to a discipline imposed by karma. Hence pain and suffering come to us principally through the operations of karma.” (P.B.)

 

Karma will not wait for future embodiments if it has an opportunity to balance the ledger within the same lifetime.  We all know this. We talk about ‘instant karma’. It is a fact.  And makes more sense instinctively – for the same personality to experience the consequences of its actions, rather than a future one.  For all that, the latter is true.  The personality vehicles we don in earlier existences may well have been responsible for our suffering in the present.  The seed atom, residing in the heart center carries within it the essence of the knowledge and experiences of the life just lived. It is carried through the ether and astral realms to each and every new embodiment. Thus we evolve.

 

We are creating karma in every moment.  It is not difficult to understand the metaphysics of this. In every waking moment we are involved in the activities of doing and thinking.  Actions, as well as thoughts, are vibratory energy. Once sent out, like oceanic ripples, they reverberate through the ethers, finding a resonant receptacle somewhere in space and time. We are literally shaping our own future with and from our current awareness. As Paul Brunton says: ‘For every moment we are shaping the history of the next moment, every month we are fashioning the form of the month which shall follow it. No day stands isolated and alone. Karma is a continuous process’

 

But! Least your heart begin to sink at the apparent hopelessness of the situation wherein, goodness knows what some personality you once were got up to – and where is that going to lead you – there is mitigation. It is called free will.  The teachings of the higher philosophy tell us that whilst we must accept that fact that there is a price to be paid for all our actions, karma does not arise randomly out of thin air but is the natural consequence of energy set in motion, it is not  true that all events are ‘unalterably fixed.’    We always have the power to improve our situation and much of this revolves around our thoughts.

 

Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”  (Shakespeare)

 

Yes, we are compelled to accept and move within the circumstances we have created ourselves in the past, but it is also true that we have the freedom to modify them.  Fate belongs to the personality, the surface side of our multi-dimensional selves.  But we know we are much more than that.  In our hearts we carry our immortal, infinite selves.  This is where our innate knowing comes from, our voice of intuition, the voice of conscience.  Every action therefore, is a mixture of fate and what we choose to think (and act) – freewill in other words.

 

Which brings me back to suffering. An overwhelmingly large portion of our pain comes from our feelings, thoughts and emotions – can we accept that?  Yes physical pain obviously is a reality too.  But the everyday sufferings of anxiety, fear, worry, guilt, regret, anger, these contribute more to our overall unhappiness, our suffering. Is it possible to think our way out of this form of suffering? To thereby alter the trajectory of our karma and more importantly, bring us peace in the present?

 

The wisdom teachings tell us this is entirely possible.  They didn’t say it was easy.  The great sages and spiritual masters have known this truth – that to bear all hardships, to face the inevitability of illness, ageing and death, with equanimity and serenity, is true wisdom and the sign of a higher consciousness. That so many have for countless centuries, made a practice finding acceptance in all situations, finding peace within despite turmoil without, teaches us that this too, is our destiny.

 

“Whoso bears joy and sorrow with even mind

Has spirituality.’

(Mongolian text)

 

Translate to the here and now and mere fumbling lesser mortals.  Where do we start? How do we do it? How do we mitigate our past karma and create as little negative future karma as possible – and most importantly stop suffering now!?  Simply – the teachings tell us – by going inward.  The truth is, (and I quote here Paul Brunton):…. ‘The dark karma of sin and suffering which most of us carry is too heavy to be carried alone. For alas! We have to face the fact of what we are, not in serene essence but in bitter actuality: we are weak ignorant moody despondent creatures. We are unable to remove intellectual doubts, overcome moral temptations or solve practical difficulties. We cannot grow angel’s wings overnight…”  As he goes on to say, we need the support of something bigger than ourselves.  We need help – until such time as we can stand on our own strong feet.

Our karmic load is, we are told, often too much for us to bear alone. Even the smartest among us are not equipped to understand the deeper metaphysical reasons for our suffering. And so, we are told there is help at hand.  This is where our inward journey comes in.  Brunton calls it Grace.  Through grace, which is the descent of the Higher Self into the lower personality self, miracles can occur. A power is awakened through grace that brings insights and creates change in our mental and emotional spheres.  In other words, when we make the acquaintance of our divine self through stilling the mind in meditation, we are helped and healed.  The insights that occur have the effect of breaking through the habitual patterns of thought that keep us treading the karmic wheel, drawing to ourselves situations and feelings that perpetuate our suffering.

 

The ancient wisdom teachings console us: we do not have to attach meaning to our emotions and the thoughts our minds tell us.  When we are able to do this, to drop the stories, they naturally pass away. They lose their charge.  Dropping our investment in trying to make meaning and understand every passing thought or mood frees us up to be truly in the present. And in the present lies our power. You see it is when we are present and aware and the mind is calm, when we stop the mental agitations and let go, grace is able to descend.  Letting the story go dissolves the vibratory impact of the negative thoughts and feelings we have attached to it and as it frees our inner space it changes our subtle vibration.  This is the open invitation the divine is waiting for.  This is the power of meditation.

 

When we refuse to get hooked in to our thoughts and emotions – realizing the truth that these are all just passing phenomenon – we can train ourselves to let go before our thoughts and feelings have a chance to constellate into energetic patterns that inevitably radiate out into the cosmos and continue on into the future with a life of their own – drawing to themselves and to us, their creators, people and situations of like vibration.

 

At its heart the purpose of meditation is to find God realization. Which is, to make acquaintance with the divine that is within each and every one of us.  The journey inward, to this place of Source, necessitates the relinquishing of the little mind. The egoic-mind.  This is the mind that is the part of us responsible for every one of our negative thoughts.  Such thoughts, and their accompanying emotions do not come from our higher mind, or our divine Higher Self. We must learn to see them for what they are, and see the suffering they create for what it is:  educative!  They are educative in that they prompt us, in our despair, to turn away from the world and look for something higher. And it is there, in our inner space, that we find relief from our suffering.  “The swiftest horse that bears us to perfection is suffering.”

 

There is no imperative to grasp, to cling, to identify with the thoughts and feelings of the egoic mind. We do not need to do ‘emotional work’ in an attempt to release them. Simply experiencing the feeling of them is enough. Registering the discomfort. And then giving them over to a higher power. Feelings and emotions, thoughts, they all come and they go.  They are transient.  Once we experience them they have done what they came to do, we can release them.

 

When we sit, still the busy mind, withdraw the awareness from the external world and come into the spacious world of our inner being, our breath and our heartbeat – we realize that beneath the crazy self-absorbed suffering egoic mind is the one who is truly who we are. This one sits in silent witness. It is the voice of our knowing, our intuitive voice. It observes our suffering and our struggle.

It has infinite love for our small self, and our struggle.  With its limitless compassion, it is the source of our redemption. And it is the one and only way to free our selves.

 

Blessings of love and light

 

 

 

 

Healing the Mind Illusion

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“……..Life is torn by the tension between what it actually is and what it feels it ought to be.  Such a tension is the inescapable consequence of its double nature.  For it is personal and finite on the one hand but universal and infinite on the other.”  (PB)

 

Many of us, at this point in the time-space construct, are feeling this tension. The New Year has already made its presence felt as floods of emotional intensity have shot through the ethers. Here is a thought:  could it be that the tension, the chaos and intensity some of us are feeling and witnessing, in our personal lives and in the state of the world, is a manifestation or consequence, of the veil thinning? The veil being that which separates the two sides of life; the personal and the universal, the finite and the infinite.  The higher philosophy, through its eloquent and ardent student and teacher, the late Paul Brunton, states that life has a double nature.  In truth, he says, this ancient dualism is an illusion of the mind.  For the enlightened man, there is no duality between spirit and matter.

 

Most of us are not so enlightened. Many eons ago we fell into an abyss. Known by many names across the world’s mythologies the fall signified our separation from the Source and the birth of the individualised ego. Through countess epochs and the rise and fall of many civilizations our souls suffered through this schism that severed us from our true, holistic nature.  The fall has caused a collective amnesia. It has created the ‘illusion of the mind’. All our suffering, according to Paul Brunton, is “due in the end to defective remembrance.” What have we failed to remember?  Simply this: we have forgotten our other half. We have forgotten that we are double in nature.

 

“It is as incomplete a vision to see the world as transitory alone without its underlying reality as it is to see the reality alone without its manifestation in the world. The two are inseparably linked and true insight sees them as such, not opposed to each other.”

 

The two to which he is referring here is the manifest world and the reality behind it, which is the ALL.  The All has been called by many names: Brahman, Allah, God, Krishna, the Source, the Absolute, the World-Mind. It is the essence of all of life. It is the seed within all of life; the divine seed. It is the pattern maker behind form, the animator, the giver of the life force.   Here, PB refers to it simply as the Reality.  We are cautioned to see reality and manifestation; manifestation and reality – or form and formless, finite and infinite.  Should we neglect one side, we find ourselves in this state, our current state – that of tension and confusion.

 

 

So back to our question. Are we living in a time where the veil between reality and manifestation is fracturing? We sense and see definite signs of an awakening occurring – could this be it? Are we in the process of healing the split? So many fascinating paradoxes are afoot – it does make you wonder.  Take the proliferation of esoteric truths being disseminated on the net for one.  Our material, technological world is sending out ancient spiritual truths. So much information, so many books, podcasts, presentations, so many telling us to turn inwards.  The ancient wisdom traditions, the perennial philosophy – they all said exactly the same thing: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is within.’   It is not out in the manufactured world, in the organized religions and the divisiveness they have created; it is not in technology; it is not in consumerism – in material stuff. It is in the realization of our own minds and hearts that God is in us.  As it is in all of the natural world. Heaven is in the knowing that we are in truth infinite consciousness – temporarily residing in a finite body.

 

The massive awakening in the natural health movement is an early chapter in the story of the endtimes of separation. As we individually wake up to the responsibility we have to nurture our bodies, to take care of them through feeding them real food and avoiding the chemicals and toxins that abound in these times – thus supporting our immune systems; and as we realize the damage we do to our bodies with our stressful lifestyles and our anxious thoughts – we are in effect breaking through to the understanding that our bodies are inseparable from our souls.  Our bodies are precious vehicles housing our souls; they are our teachers and our messengers, they are forgiving, they have tremendous self-healing powers – but they need our conscious contribution.  They are not just mechanical, material objects that we can take along to the doctor, like a car to the mechanic, when something feels wrong.  There is a massive awakening happening to the reality of the interconnectedness of our thoughts and feelings with our physiology.  Unconsciousness leads to distress and disease on all levels and as this understanding grows we will heal the split between the body and the rest of our multidimensional reality.

 

Worshipping at the altar of materialism is a dying religion. The awakening is opening our eyes to our contribution to the health and sickness of our planet. We are realizing the impact our economic system with its massive focus on materialism, is having on the ecosystem of our planet.  The esoteric wisdom tells us our planet has a soul; it is evolving as we are – and we are contributing to its evolution.  Make no mistake, our planet has thrown off many civilisations in the past that were preoccupied with material manifestation and the misuse of their power.  In their neglect of the Reality they sowed the seeds of their own demise. Our planet will do it again with our civilisation – should we fail to wake up in time.

 

And so, aside from the question of whether we will get it in time or not, we now would do well to reflect on what is happening when we experience tension, anxiety, emotional intensity and all manner of mental and bodily ills.  As mentioned, this year is off to a rip roaring start in that regard – if accounts I have received are anything to go by.  What is happening is we are being asked, demanded in some cases, by our own knowing – the voice of our Higher Self – to pause, reflect and reorient ourselves.  We simply cannot go forwards carrying the same baggage.  The complexity of the universe has reached a critical point, time is speeding up, and we do not have forever.  The reason time is appearing to speed up is because there is more in it. More is happening in our day than ever before which means the complexity is growing and gathering incrementally. All of this is happening way faster than our biology can comfortably adjust to.  Do you have any idea what the thick soup of electro-magnetic frequencies from cell phone towers for example, is doing to the frequencies of your body and brain?  This is only going to intensify.

 

Thank heavens the awakening is happening. We cannot afford to sit back now.  We must take the discomfort, the tension and use them as motivators to slow down this crazy ride.  If we can only recover our other half, as the enlightened ones through the ages have done.  Science is now proving the physical benefits of meditation. All the information is there, we have modern science demonstrably verifying the truths of the ancient wisdom. It is imperative we turn away from the world and look within.

 

So practically, how do we do this?  Well you know, I think you know the answer already.  It could be summed up in a short sentence:  Disconnect from the world so you can connect with your Self.

Turn off facebook. Turn off your mobile. Turn off TV.  Train yourself to do so more regularly. Frequently turn off from whatever you are doing and close your eyes. Bring your awareness to your heart center. Breathe in and out through this region of your body a few times and imagine, if you like, a bright white light here.  Or go for a bush or beach walk. Once a day sit down and do a longer meditation. But even five or ten minutes is good.  Read spiritual literature. Read books.

Resist the temptation to talk.  Resist listening to the chattering inner voice. Let it go when you notice it. Breathe. Deeply. Watch your breath.  Do yoga. Eat as close to natural as possible. Exercise – but not excessively.  Breathe slowly and deeply. Observe. Relax. Let go. Surrender. Enjoy.  It is safe to be alone. The world will not end. You can return when you are ready – it will still be there.  Drop your fear of missing out – there is nothing truly worthwhile out there to miss out on.  Above all, know that you are loved and you are, in truth, a divine, immortal, infinite being.

 

“Only when the consciousness displaces the predominance of the sense of being personally occupied with life does the hidden observer transform external existence from being the prosaic and materialist thing it ordinarily is into something veritably divine.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are Embodied Spirit

 

The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it. - Marcus Aurelius

 

 

Stuart Wilde said:  “Once you accept life without struggling against it, you can see that everything serves you in one way or another. A lousy meal helps you appreciate and remember a good meal.

A defeat strengthens you for the next victory. If you try not to quantify and judge things and accept them as part of your overall experience, you become mature.  All of a sudden that power that should have been yours from the beginning is returned to you as a calm individuality – a creative stillness that allows you to BE. Acceptance unshackles you from the restraints that you’ve created for yourself, and it allows you to explore inside your own individuality.”

 

What would it mean, how would it change things, if, this year – a new one just begun – you, me,

Anyone listening could take this advice?  Acceptance without struggle.  And awareness that everything happening that we don’t like is actually serving us in some way.  It is all in how we choose to use our thoughts.  And the life we are creating is made from our thoughts.

 

Our thoughts seemingly arise out of nowhere, capture our attention, torment us for a while if they are at the negative end of the continuum (and with the brain’s natural bias toward the negative, they often are) and then, eventually, leave us alone.   It feels we are at their mercy.  The wisdom and spiritual traditions tell us we need to let go of the egoic mind (the mind that generates thoughts) and find the calm stillness of the Higher Self behind it.  Herein lies the answer to our distress.  It is said the mind makes a wonderful master but a very poor servant.  For most of us, our minds, the monkey mind (or the lower mind in the theosophical tradition) is our master.  My proposition is this: can we decide, right now, to turn this around and make 2018 the year of change of mind? From master to servant the mind’s status can be changed.  What would it take?

 

Acceptance – according to Stuart Wilde and others. Acceptance is allowing life to unfold without imposing the ego’s preferences upon it. Michael Singer wrote the story of his life on this path, entitled “The Surrender Experiment”.  His realization that the monkey mind with its never ending chatter was just, well, weird. And why was it so? What was that about?  He set to find out and embarked on a spiritual journey that took him to a place of ongoing, every day, every moment surrender.  What occurred was remarkable.  When, through his practice, he learnt to drop his busy thinking mind, with its constant commentary, its negativity and unending worrying – he discovered that life took care of him!  He didn’t have to try to control it anymore.  And, miraculously (to us, who live in the world we think of as reality) everything worked out for his highest good.  Ultimately.  In fact, what we perceive of as incredible and miraculous is simply the outworking of the higher intelligence – Source, the God Force, the All. Call it what you will.  The intelligence that underpins this life of ours knows what is right for us.  We don’t.  We have so little control in truth.  And how desperately we cling to the idea that we have to control things, in order for everything to be okay.  The opposite, it seems is true.  It is when we let go and get out of the way, that life is able to unfold most perfectly for us.

 

“Love nothing but that which comes to you

Woven in the pattern of your destiny.

For what could more aptly fit your needs?”

(Marcus Aurelius)

 

I want to go a little deeper here.  So, we stop trying to control, we let go, we accept whatever occurs.  We learn to say yes, instead of no, to whatever life presents us with.  Big stuff.  Probably not going to happen overnight. Surrender is going to be a practice requiring some dedication and self-discipline. Meditation is key because it is at a fundamental level training in mindfulness. Or rather, mindlessness.  We must observe the nature of the mind, to understand it – then we let it go.  Meditation offers us this opportunity.  Gradually, over time and with regular practice, we learn to still the busy chattering mind with its parade of meaningless thoughts.  We find a quiet heart.  But when we arise from our meditation cushion, there are still many hours of consciousness remaining in the day.  Our habit has been to let the mind wander when our attention is not required on a particular task. Even when it is, we find our minds occupied with extraneous thought.  It is so hard to get away from our own minds! There is so little peace.  Feelings arise (why they do is subject for the next essay) and immediately our thoughts respond to the feeling state. They feed each other. Before we know it we are occupied in a lengthy conversation with ourselves.  More often than not the same little voice, the ego’s voice, is giving us reasons to feel less about ourselves.  The same voice judges and criticises others.  One moment we are feeling less than others, the next, we are feeling superior. All at the whim of an evidently unstable and unreliable aspect of our psyches. What a futile waste of energy.

 

There is much to be said about the egoic mind. But for now, let us focus on the task we have set ourselves: to make the mind our servant. OUR servant.  Who is the our, of our? It is none other than our own Higher Self: the divine spark within us.  The higher intelligence in real control of the complexities of this life, is alive in us.  We have our portion. Drops of the same ocean.

So then, going deeper as promised. What happens when we step out of our own way and decide to 1) discipline our thinking mind, and 2) accept whatever is unfolding ?  ……

 

Short answer:  We change our vibration.

 

When we refuse to listen to the little voice we find space opens up within us.  It is relief. Huge relief. Our hearts become quiet. There is peace and freedom from the tyranny of fear and anxiety that so often holds us hostage.  And when we accept whatever is occurring, with grace instead of resentment or hostility, more space opens up within us. A softening occurs. Relief again.  What we are doing with both is we have let go of our resistances.  Thoughts of the small mind are a form of resistance. They are energetic units and take up space (ie block) our meridians.   Of course we need certain thoughts (planning, learning, goal-setting) to give our lives structure so we are not throwing the baby out. We are simply reminding ourselves that the thinking mind was once viewed as another of the senses.  In other words, it is a tool to help us negotiate life in this realm – but it is not, or ought not be, the dominator, the master controller. It is to be used (the servant). It is not there to use us, to run our lives into negativity with its never-ending prattle.  Okay, so thoughts of a small nature are a form of resistance.  Non-acceptance of what is, is also resistance.  Acceptance dissolves resistance and frees up the flow of energy within. Letting go of the little voice does likewise.

 

The sum: as we dissolve resistance, allowing ourselves to simply be, free of thought, in the body, in the breath, in a quiet heart state of mind, our essential vibratory frequency shifts.  As our vibratory frequency is heightened, our lives change. I will explore this topic in more detail in an upcoming discussion.

 

For now, here is my New Year New Beginning message: Let’s change our story and change our lives.

Our story is the one the little voice keeps telling us.  It is the product of years and years of conditioning, from our loved ones and our society. It is the product of a karmic legacy that was crystallized in events of early childhood. It is the product of our ego’s primary mission – to keep us alive in a physical body: hence the vast scope of fears and what if’s that adrenalize our bodies and brains, keeping us in a state of hyper-sensitivity to any real or imagined threat.  In short, our story is the product of the dominance of our small self. I’ve had enough of it – and if you feel the same way, let’s do this.  Let’s change our vibration – from fear to surrender and trust, and from resistance to acceptance.  What have we got to lose?  Just our small selves. And behind these small selves of ours is our Higher Self. The esoteric wisdom has been telling us this for eons. Sadly, the message has become more and more obscured in this most dense material era.

 

But every beginning is a new potential.  I want to make this one, 2018 a higher one.  As we shift our personal vibration to a higher frequency, we naturally raise the collective vibration. We are all part of the same ocean, all weavers of the same web.

 

If you are keen to embark on this journey with me – please write and share your experiences. We can all lift each other up and use this world wide web for a higher purpose.   Thank you in advance and blessings galore for the incredible journey of 2018.  Oh, by the way, Saturn in Capricorn now is THE BEST TIME to make REAL our POSITIVE INTENTIONS.   No more mucking around.  Time to get real – ok? 2018, the year of the dog – steadfast, loyal, trusting, loving. We are. Ready.

 

Blessings, Love and a Quiet Heart to you…

 

Linda

 

The Loneliness of being Human

 

“No one can escape from their individuality” 

(Arthur Schopenhauer)

 

“We cannot escape from the essential loneliness of our individual nature.”

(Paul Brunton)

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We are both human and divine.  The perennial philosophy and the spiritual and ancient wisdom traditions inform us of this truth.  In our humanness we are separate individuals, with our unique egoic consciousness contained within our equally unique physicality.  In our divine nature we are multi-dimensional, spiritual beings and we are connected, at that level with everyone and all of life in fact, on our blue planet.

Our individuality and our universality exist side by side.  We ‘skin-encapsulated egos’ living in this physical world of objects and things that seem apart from us, are in actuality divine players of unfathomable spiritual depths dancing on a cosmic stage that teems with invisible forms of energy. Our bodies unknowingly (to us) react and respond to this energy. There are over 300 million actions and reactions going on in our bodies every second; an incredibly complex world lies beneath our skin. And at the same time as it coordinates the chemical activities required to keep us alive, our body’s intelligence is also monitoring the energetic fluctuations of the stars and planets.  As above, so below. Truly walking miracles we are totally unique -just like every other life form here.

We are players and we are being played.  We have free will but we are subject to natural laws over which we have no control.  We cannot escape either our individuality or our participation in the big picture, the cosmic drama that is occurring both within and without. But why is it that our individuality creates, as Paul Brunton says above, this ‘essential loneliness’.  Can we escape it?  And if we are so intricately connected (and it is apparent that we are) with the wider universe, why do we feel this way?  Is it the in-built protective mechanism called fear, designed to keep us alive as long as possible in these flesh bodies that is responsible for the pain we might call loneliness?  We know there is nothing like pain to intensify our feelings of separateness.  When struck by disaster (dis-aster = against the stars), trauma, tragedy, or we are confronted by the stark reality of our inevitable decline into old age (should we have escaped fatal accidents and illnesses) and death, it is natural to lose our sense (if we had any) of our interconnectedness; it is natural to feel fear, panic even.  Why is this so? That it is, surely, calls for a solution.

As we know from the perennial philosophy, coming down to us from the enigmatic Hermes Trismegistus  (the reincarnated Thoth of the ancient Egyptians), everything in life must find its balance. The pendulum, having swung in one direction, must swing back in the other. All of life in this realm must be balanced – whether an action, an emotion or a thought.  Our karma is as much a natural law as gravity is.  For everything we set in motion will be returned to us; everything will be balanced – whether consciously or unconsciously. Every effect is the consequence of a pre-existing cause.

 

 “Beyond all creatures on the earth man is twofold; mortal because of body, but because of the essential Man immortal.

Though deathless and possessed of sway o’er all, yet doth he suffer as a mortal doth, subject to Fate.”  (Hermes)

 

Which leads me to this: our loneliness – symptomatic of our separateness, must be balanced by the experience of its opposite. Its ‘opposite’ is of course our spirituality or in other words our interconnectedness with the One. The All. It is this we need to experience.  As Hermes informs us, we are twofold and therefore two forces dictate our fate. The force of our freewill must be called upon, if we are to ameliorate the pain of our separation.

How so? It is far easier for me to write this than for you, or me, to action it.  From far back into pre-history, fragments of the esoteric wisdom trickle down. We know that the resolution of our pain is only to be found in the quest to realize the unshakeable truth of our divinity.  Enlightenment is the goal. It is one that lies beyond this lifetime for most of us perhaps.  But I believe, even if we never arrive at that one moment where life finally appears as it really is, where the veil is lifted – just for a moment, we may still find resolution and relief from our loneliness –  in the quest itself.

Freewill then, is the conscious decision to embark on the quest. Moreover, to stay with it – to be disciplined and steadfast.  In regular meditation, in constant and conscious self-reminders to be present, to be in this moment, in the effort to keep ones’ heart open, to be loving, to be kind, to be gentle with self and others, to feel (and act on) compassion, to respect all life forms, to treat all as one. In these, we bring balance and equanimity to our personal and global chaos.   Old fashioned values maybe – yet they comprise the essence of spirituality and of religious feeling.  We must carve out time in our busy lives to simply be with ourselves. We need to journey on a daily basis, inward.  The kingdom of heaven is within, after all.  And in truth, if we hope for change in the world, we must begin with ourselves.

We suffer as mortals. Hermes was quite right and nothing has changed in thousands of years since.  Yet, in recognition of universal laws, we realize we do have the power to alleviate our suffering.  We acknowledge the pendulum has swung too far into the mortal realm when we feel the ache of grief and loneliness, the panic of fear, the dread of the future – however separation manifests at any one time.  And we decide to make a deliberate effort to swing it back the other way – back to the truth of our divine heritage – where we are never separate and alone.  We are immortal beings. We are here on this planet for a moment in time. Our lives seem long but they are a fragment.  Just as particles buzz in and out of the waveform world into the particle one – we too will disappear back out of these particles we call bodies and merge again with the All. We will reconnect.  Let us do the best we can, for the sake of our own peace of mind as much as for the wellbeing of our planet, while we are here.

God bless.

 

The man who hath Mind in him, let him learn to know that he himself [is deathless].” (Hermes)

 

 

 

I leave you with some predictions, attributed to Hermes.  In these times in which we live, we must hope and believe the pendulum will swing and order, and nature, will be restored.

 

 

Darkness will be preferred to light, and death will be thought more profitable than life; no one will raise his eyes to heaven ; the pious will be deemed insane, and the impious wise; the madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good. As to the soul, and the belief that it is immortal by nature, or may hope to attain to immortality, as I have taught you, all this they will mock at, and will even persuade themselves that it is false. No word of reverence or piety, no utterance worthy of heaven and of the gods of heaven, will be heard or believed.
And so the gods will depart from mankind, a grievous thing!, and only evil angels will remain, who will mingle with men, and drive the poor wretches by main force into all manner of reckless crime, into wars, and robberies, and frauds, and all things hostile to the nature of the soul. Then will the earth no longer stand unshaken, and the sea will bear no ships; heaven will not support the stars in their orbits, nor will the stars pursue their constant course in heaven; all voices of the gods will of necessity be silenced and dumb; the fruits of the earth will rot; the soil will turn barren, and the very air will sicken in sullen stagnation. After this manner will old age come upon the world. Religion will be no more; all things will be disordered and awry; all good will disappear.
But when all this has befallen, Asclepius, then the Master and Father, God, the first before all, the maker of that god who first came into being, will look on that which has come to pass, and will stay the disorder by the counterworking of his will, which is the good. He will call back to the right path those who have gone astray; he will cleanse the world from evil, now washing it away with water-floods, now burning it out with fiercest fire, or again expelling it by war and pestilence. And thus he will bring back his world to its former aspect, so that the Kosmos will once more be deemed worthy of worship and wondering reverence, and God, the maker and restorer of the mighty fabric, will be adored by the men of that day with unceasing hymns of praise and blessing.

 

Such is the new birth of the Kosmos; it is a making again of all things good, a holy and awe-striking restoration of all nature; and it is wrought in the process of time by the eternal will of God. For Gods will has no beginning; it is ever the same, and as it now is, even so it has ever been, without beginning. For it is the very being of God to purpose good.

 

 

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In my yoga asana teaching, I often talk to my class about ‘finding the balance between effort and ease’ – the wu wei of yoga.  I have been thinking (probably inspired by the energies of Libra, in whose sign the Sun now falls) that this practice is not only positive on the mat, but it is also a stress-free way to live off the mat.

In Libra, finding the balance is thematic. So here is my reminder – to self as much as you, who may be reading this, on how to find the sweet spot, the middle way, the path of least resistance perhaps, the fulcrum between effort and ease, in your life.

In yoga practice, or any physical activity, our muscles, bones, heart, blood and breath tell us when we are over-reaching ourselves, when we are going beyond the bounds of comfort and appropriate challenge into pain and possible injury. Often we neglect to listen to the wisdom of our bodies and pull back, don’t stretch quite as far, don’t run as far or fast as the ego is pushing for.  The mind, oftentimes is the dictator.  But to listen to our bodies, subtle as their messages and their promptings may be, is wisdom and cultivating it underpins the entire practice of yoga asana. The same applies to whatever physical activity you do. Whether it is running, swimming, playing tennis, even walking.  Listen to your body whenever you are doing things with it.  The body loves to move with ease. It was designed to move with ease and to be free of dis-ease.  Not only do many of us move without awareness, but we breathe, rest and eat the same way.  Our dietary choices have a huge bearing on how at ease, how dis-ease free our bodies are.  Let they food by thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food Hippocrates counseled many centuries ago.  His advice is perhaps even more relevant today in an increasingly toxic world. When we make the effort to educate ourselves, to understand fully exactly what our bodies need to feel nourished, energetic, rested and well – then we find we can live move and breathe, with ease.

We all know the consequences of not listening to our bodies and ended up injured. But I am sure you have had episodes of pain and injury that seemingly occurred through absolutely no fault of your own.  Perhaps.

And perhaps not.  I personally believe everything that occurs on a physical level has its origins in the metaphysical. Wrong thinking can cause injury as surely as wrong practice.  To probe for causes is, as often as not, a futile exercise.  A better use of energy, when we find ourselves injured and confused about ‘what we did’ is to work on acceptance.  Acceptance is letting go by another name.  We let go of all self-recrimination, regret, guilt, fear, frustration when we accept that it just is. The effort here is the one it takes to actively accept. Strangely, letting go and accepting is not as passive as it sounds.  It is human nature to beat ourselves us, to feel impatient and frustrated when our lifestyle alters because we have an injury.  It takes some mental and emotional effort, some discipline, to put aside all of the thoughts and feelings around the pain or injury and just go with it.  When we are able to the charge is taken out of the situation and there is a newfound feeling of ease.  The act of letting go and accepting is an act of faith. We trust the body, with its infinite intelligence will deal with our healing.  Our job is to assist it in this.  A little effort is required, but it is well worth it.

The body, mind and emotions are more intimately connected than is commonly known. (All three are intimately connected with the stars and the cosmos.  We literally embody our astrological blue print, our birth chart. Our facial features as well as our emotional temperament  are mapped in the chart).  We talked about the body, but how does the sweet spot of the middle way, the point between effort and ease apply in the world of our thoughts and feelings?  In the same way.  We consciously act (effort) to discipline ourselves to drop all self-defeating thoughts and their accompanying feelings. Remember, this whole life, everything in it, is a creation of consciousness.

And so, we create with our consciousness.  We stop using words and thoughts that weaken us.  Think about how negative our self-talk so often is.  We are not alone in this – the private little conversations we have with ourselves – justifying, judging, feeling sorry for ourselves, on and on it goes.  It becomes habitual. And then entrenched. Brain pathways form around such habits.  It can take real effort then, to change those habits. It has been said that karma is nothing more than habit. Yikes. We all like the idea of good karma coming our way in the future but meanwhile we are probably busily creating the opposite – in our endless self-condemnation, criticism (self and others), fearfulness, regret…..

And so we need to make an effort to change, to let go again. Let go of that inner critic, that inner fear-monger. And yes, you guessed it, when we do – we move along on the continuum to a place of greater ease. We come to the middle way, where we are able to take on challenges, encounter stress and through a conscious process of alchemy rise above them. In coming to ease we negate the potential for dis-ease. We move through our days with awareness and as we open up space within mind and heart we are free to choose joy, happiness and love, instead of the unconscious contractions of fear, doubt, impatience and regret.

We are all works in progress and it is not easy to live in this human form at this time in history.  Has it ever been any easier though?  This existence of ours is inherently precarious. We live in bodies designed to serve us for a while, like the new leaves I see budding forth around me (Spring – love it) whose time comes, all too soon, to fade, wither and die. All is finite. All is transient. When we can accept that with good grace, when we can accept the natural processes of transmutation of which we are a part, when we can accept all that comes to us as being in perfect accord with our destiny, while at the same time continue to do our best to honour and care for our bodies, to respect their wisdom and make the effort required to release all thoughts and emotions that do not serve – then our lives will be a sweet success.   No one is going to crack the whip for us, or force us to live this way. It is up to us, to find it ourselves – our own middle way, somewhere on the enigmatic road that runs from effort…… to ease.  But one thing is sure, when we do find it – we will know.