|Posted on October 21, 2016 at 1:15 PM||comments (2)|
This is the way it has been set up for us so that life can be meaningful and purposeful. Even in the worst possible scenarios, we can take comfort in the fact that we have called them forth as part of our life’s script. Hence, such lessons learned can never be unlearned. It is simply insanity to think that we will encounter different results by reenacting the same experiences over and over. Being stuck in a rut means we need a new and untried approach. Consider for example a computer that has locked-up on you with no way to continue your work unless you reboot it. Sometimes our brains, like computers, also need a mindful resetting from our habitual processes. Quite simply, starting out with a fresh, unfamiliar approach is sometimes the only way forward. Even if it means that you have lost some, if not all, of the work and effort you have already put into an undertaking of a lifetime.
It is safe to say that the current intellectual climate is quick to dismiss the idea that we possess a soul nature aside from our physical bodies. The culminating reaction towards religion’s demoralizing stance on key issues such as women’s rights is well deserved and will likely continue to settle scores for science in the coming decades.
Yet our intrinsic human desire to delve into such matters has only encouraged certain intellectuals in bringing us clarity outside the machinations of so-called spirituality. If we consider the writings of Carl Jung and the dialogues of Plato on the existence of the soul, we can begin to plot a way towards a relative amount of certainty that such questions are indeed valid. Although psychology and philosophy are theoretical sciences that can sometimes create more questions than answers; they undoubtedly open up possibilities that allow for intense deliberations from whence introspection can emerge.
More often than not, religion requires that we conform rather than question. Questioning religion, even to this day, can mean excommunication for a member of that particular church. Fortunately for us, religion no longer holds favor with government like it did millennia ago when the consequences of such actions were much worse than simply being thrown out of your particular denomination.
|Posted on October 21, 2016 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
Like most intellectual endeavors available to man, the pursuit of knowledge is as infinite as the universe itself. Imagine this pursuit as if we were climbing a tree. The tree itself grows with us (hence, our perspective of said knowledge is dynamic and ever changing before us) as we gain sustenance and wisdom from the fruits we acquire from the labour of our experiences. As we climb the branches of this tree in pursuit of the studies based on our interest, branches continually grow out and away from each other carrying us with it. Ultimately we are reminded that no two fruits are the same so we extend ourselves out on a limb. Sometimes our questions are answered with more questions. In this pursuit, we can only avail ourselves of one fruit at a time as we continue to mount branch after branch for more answers to our never-ending questions. Most times, we can become unconscious of how quickly this pursuit leads us far away from the trunk of the tree. To some degree we even forget that we are far from the earth, airborne and ungrounded, and that we can fall with the slightest miscalculation. The challenge of this brief encounter upon the path is to consciously dismount the tree and proceed forward upon the continuance of our soul journey.
It is not long before we realize that one lifetime is not sufficient to begin to answer all of our questions about ourselves and life itself. We can see this most clearly in the life of Carl Jung as he fiercely pursued knowledge to his very last breath. Accused of being somewhat vague and esoteric especially with regards to his later writings, Jung struggled with the use of language to communicate his findings via mandalas, drawings and other varieties of art expression.
|Posted on October 21, 2016 at 1:10 PM||comments (1)|
The fundamental tenet of human physiology lies in the individual's outlook on how body, mind and spirit all mutually support each other in its health and well-being. Having realized that the body acts interdependently - your thoughts, emotions, and body parts all play a role in your overall health - people are now more inclined than ever to consider the wisdom of holistic health coming from a variety of non-local traditions. With the increasing presence of these restorative modalities in the West, we are gaining not just a deeper sense of purpose in our individuality but also a better sense of fulfillment. Needless to say, our overall health depends on how alert, perceptive and conscious we are of our options and how we respond to the necessities of our human vessels.
"Fulfillment seems to describe better than any other single word the positive side of human development and human evolution - the realization of inherent capabilities by the individual and of new possibilities by the race; the satisfaction of needs, spiritual as well as material; the emergence of new qualities of experience to be enjoyed." - Julian Huxley, Scientist-Philosopher
Most times, our life’s calling has a tendency to revolve around desires that only fulfill the most basic needs. Depending on our circumstances, we might focus on material wealth to provide for ourselves and our families. Some might focus on careers for self-fulfillment, others on raising a family. For those of us less fortunate, this focus might require challenges on physical health and well-being very early on in life to guarantee a certain quality of living as we grow older.
The evolution of "living" consciousness has always been the veiled yet driving force behind all human endeavors, be it science, education, politics, religion or medicine. Yet there is one very important factor that has not been considered yet underlies everything we have discussed so far: that man is but a microcosmic reflection of the macrocosmic universe. Indulge me in this notion for just a moment. Take into account the interdependence of human cells that with today’s technology we can observe operating within our physical bodies. The life of the cell in its own private world interacts as a single entity in its ability to constantly reanimate and reinforce the body's defenses against illness. The cell's consciousness and its innate ability to depend on each other in a "meaningful" way allows for us to exist in our level of consciousness and human activity we see ourselves in every moment of our lives. The cell, in its singular existence, knows its purpose and its place within the realm of the organ it is associated with. Nevertheless it is also programmed to support and understand the other cells around it in conjunction with the overall health of the organ it is but a part of. Without this we, as human beings, cannot be sufficiently sustained as a living entity. Each cell has a distinct purpose in relation to its environment in achieving the good health of itself, its neighbors and the surrounding environment. In a larger scale, we can see this in our relationships and its reflections in that “bigger” reality we call the human race. We strive, even in unconscious ways, to be helpful and life-affirming; taking great pride in never hurting anyone or being destructive to ourselves and the people around us.
|Posted on October 16, 2016 at 4:40 PM||comments (2)|
"He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment." - Meister Eckhart
It takes an enormous amount of self-reflection to acknowledge that we cannot percieve anything which is not within our own frame of reference. Suffice it to say, if we perceive something in another person, it must be because we also possess the very same qualities we are observing. "Mirrors" apply to both positive and negative traits. To grasp the concept of mirrors, we must also familiarize ourselves with the concept of detachment. This has to be initiated quickly but in no way am I suggesting that we separate ourselves from the entire physical world in one swift action. The process, much like what is taught in Buddhism, must be done in careful, calculated stages. The stages naturally cover the entire gamut of our human condition: physical, emotional or astral, mental and spiritual. An opportune time to practice would be when we interact with people and, in our minds, we start to react or judge another's behavior. It is safe to say that our first instinct would probably be to bring it to their attention in a judgmental, albeit not-so-mindful, way. Perhaps we want to seem better than them in the sense of giving them a piece of our mind - even when we are not being asked for advice. Or it could also be that we genuinely feel that we are the do-gooders of the world and therefore must take action by giving them some options to change the perceived behavior.
“A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world; everyone you meet is your mirror.” ~ Ken Keyes
You will discover that working with the stages towards detachment can be much like peeling an onion. It is safe to say that we cannot unlearn what we have already learned. The only way to dismantle the habits and thought-patterns we have inherited from our surroundings is to identify the purpose, the motive and the root of why these experiences were necessary for us to have in the first place. Much like our social conditioning, it so rarely happens that we are able to discriminate wisely what we are learning from those around us: teachers, parents, siblings, friends, clergy, politicians, and the media. We just take it all in like an eagerly dry sponge waiting to be soaked in a bucketful of information. And in this age of information overload, it is much harder to decipher what is disposable and what is absolutely necessary. Which of these lead us towards a life-affirming existence? And which contribute mostly to our illusions?
Information VS Knowledge
"I never resist temptation, because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me." - Bernard Shaw
Who among us truly consider experiential knowledge as our life's priceless gift? If anything, our image of ourselves cannot wait to sweep the "bad" and "humiliating" experiences under the carpet to be forgotten forever. As the storytellers who are enacting the very script we have written for ourselves, we unravel the threads and the synchronicities of our life with those around us. We start to see clearly that our experiences are within our midst because we have called them forth through our own personal stories. All of it: the good, the bad and the ugly. This approach is accountable and responsible - with no room for negation and doubt. Everything is useful, has clarity and purpose.
The anguish and despair one feels, for example, in a bout of depression is our inability to come up with our own higher dimensions of reality. The sensation of feeling trapped in ones own drama is seen paralleled with sexual energy that is stuck in the extreme base-ness of the lower chakras. This can also be likened to other sense-relegated reactions such as panic, rage, invincibility, excitation, boredom, lust, grief, jealousy, etc. Ideally when inspiration is lacking in our awareness, the denser reactions manifest in our realities.
Detachment from polarized emotionality takes practice and patience. Silencing the mind has a power about it that is only the beginning of a series of steps that culminate towards the act of opening our hearts. Although a painful process at first, allowing for the heart to be open, defenseless and vulnerable must be our ultimate aspiration in the pursuit of inner and outer silence.
Listening to the Voice of Silence
Our higher nature's yearning is so strong that it can endure even the aimless confusion that is predominant during the early stage of transition. In a panic brought on by drowning in this opalescent sea of choices, we grasp for the proverbial life-jacket closest to us. Astrology, ancient wisdom, yoga, meditation, religion and other avenues of practice and philosphies are all distinct possibilities. For some, the search for meaning may last a few months, and for others, a few years. Yet once our furtive groping for information and literature has passed, it will not be long until demonstrable spiritual realizations appear to help us find a way. The heart never lies, as we hope to find the most appropriate path in a new and unknown world of self-discovery.
Standing In Solitude
It is a fact that all humans crave interaction with the world around them. We see this manifest completely for ourselves when we simply cannot stay put and be in our own company. For most of us, solitude is a prison sentence. We all want to love and be loved. In such times we turn to the Outside World - distractions such as entertainment, emotional and mental attachments, and recreational dangers. In this way we can drown out whatever wisdom the Inner World of our true being is trying to communicate to us. For fear of hearing the reality of our worldly situation, we compromise ourselves by settling for unhealthy alliances with influences and conditions that do more harm than good. Not to say that this is unwise; on the contrary, it does serve a purpose. This allows for optimal opportunities for self-reflection. We start to feel unnerved and panic-stricken when we realize that most people in our daily lives hold very little meaning or true purpose for us. We begin to decipher the concept of mirrors and what behaviors are being reflected for us. All we really ever have to work with is the present moment. The trimming of the unruly, over-grown branches of the proverbial tree of life, much like the reconditioning of the brain's reflexive neural pathways, has to start somewhere. (Much like the pruning of fruit trees to bear healthier fruit)
"People are always the mirrors in which we see our own reflection. But these mirrors also show us our prejudices. If some reflect love and others reflect anger, then we can see whom we love, and whom we treat with disdain. We are all inherently dishonest, but our mirrors never lie. Mirrors always show us exactly how we think, feel and act towards the world around us. We can deny a reflection as loudly and as vehemently as we like, but it will never change until we ourselves change. Once one has changed, then one's reflection must also change - such is the law of light and reflection." - Theun Mares, Return of the Warriors