Listening To Our Lives
Our lives can appear small, insignificant and separate. Even though they are part of a greater whole, we do not often think about it this way, let alone see it. We may have notions about it, yet continue as if we are unconnected. We may strive to be good because it is in our nature or because we feel it is right or to be caring loving people in the name of our God or Gods, or for the public good, or because it is what we have come to believe we are supposed to do. We rarely do it because we see others as connected to us by more then experiences. We all, at times, touch or glimpse the splendour of the "one reality", yet it for the most part it remains elusive and concealed behind an illusion.
It is not the illusion that most people think it is. One day you are not going to suddenly find the world different in appearance (heightened awareness aside), that all suffering in the world will vanish or there will be peace on earth. A car will still be a car, a home will still be a home, people will still be visible moving around as they go about their lives. No, the illusion is in our perception of reality and our relationship to it. First we are generally not able to access our higher awareness, to see through the veil and thereby perceive the world with in all its richness and splendour, to find heaven in the now. Second, is the veil itself, built by us and commonly known as the ego or our rational mind. The programming, blocks and filters and such of our rational mind prevents us from being conscious of what we truly are and from feeling connected and open to the wonder that we are immersed in. We seem to be our ego, we are not.
We transcend the veil by becoming aware of the nature of our reality, by awakening the awarness we have, opening up and accepting the oneness that binds all things and of course that the part of us that states "I am" is not the true selves. People are ready to do a number of these, we find the challenge lies in our lack of awareness of and understanding about the nature of our reality. This includes what we are. This is where our ignorance leads to our negative reactions and lower emotions and why we feel separate and disconnected.
We come upon this ignorance innocently and without guile and yet we fall into traps, oddly enough they are ones we have designed for ourselves. During our incarnations we find ourselves clothed and masked by our personality, which tends to separate us from our core, the result of the naivity of the blind.
I believe the essense of our experience here is to awaken our higher self to its fullness and lightness of being. Our lives are the vehicle for that awakening and each of us go about it in our own unique way. The challenges we face in doing this depends on the path we have chosen to walk in this lifetime. And not all paths are equal though they are equivalent, not all paths go the same direction nor seem to serve the same purpose and not all even seem like paths. It matters not. We will all get to where we are going. What matters is what we decide matters and if we liken that decision to a particular piece of cloth then we wear what matters to us. And the material we wove it with was our experiences and our reactions to them. How we weave it is based on our perception and integration of these experiences. Where our reasoning is faulty or our observation subjective or superfluous we build inconsistencies into our minds. This is how we build the illusion, and once we build it we put our attention there. To open up to new awareness it is not sufficient to try to fight the illusion, we must turn our attention elsewhere.
The yarn is not us, the weave is not us, the cloth is not us, the garment we make out of all those pieces of cloth is not us. It is only a part of us yet we spend so much time looking in the mirror and admiring our attire that we forget this. At the same time, it matters not that we appear to have forgotten or that we do not see naught but masks and clothes. We know...underneath it all...that we are more than these things. That luminous inner self shines through even the coarsest cloth, and though we may not always see it or feel it in our lives it never leaves us. And what you hear and see every day are the struggles of billions of lights fighting to stand naked in the sun.
Our lives have told us this story a hundred times, but the brightness of the physical reality we are immersed in continues to distract us like lights do to a moth. The clothes we wear are all the feelings and thoughts we have had, those that in our naivity we though would allow us to express our light that instead have served to shroud it. This shroud is our rational mind, and it does not allow us to shine through, it wants to shine on its own.
It didn't start this way, but here we are. So how do we deal with our shroud? How do we take that which has blinded us and change it so that we can be free to shine from within? This is the age old question, and the answer has never changed...know thyself. There is no other way save within.
Developing a deeper awareness of oneself will not happen overnight. It takes time to peel away the layers we build up through years of experiences and to see through the shroud of ignorance they bring. We saw this when we looked at the complexities of needs programming. We also saw we can discover our needs if we choose, through examination of our emotional responses to experiences. Another way is to expose our thoughts to deeper scrutiny. (from "Know Yourself)
Know thyself, that means to become intimately aware of oneself and their true nature. This is not the casual awareness of knowing what you like or dislike, what you think and feel, this is understanding the types of thoughts one has, the nature of those thoughts, what ones core beliefs are, the exact emotions you are feeling, what thoughts they are associated with and even their source.
In order to do this one must start with or develop two core elements: honesty and personal responsibility. This is not some vague sense of honesty that has us answering the question "how do you feel" with "I feel fine" or "I feel good", rather the ruthless honesty by which we know exactly how we feel. The one that does not allow us to lie to another, even by inference or ommision. Nor do I mean the type of reponsbility that comes with paying the bills or even being true to your word; rather I mean the sense of responsibility that says "I am the author of all that occurs in my life".
Many people say these things, and when they do they feel a little twang of uncertainty, that twinge is our inner self saying "not true". Honesty is, among other things, being able to think, acknowledge or say what you know clearly and without hesitation. Personal responsibility means that one never ever, without exception, blames anyone for anything, ever. It is an easy thing to say, just as saying "I am honest", but they are not so easy to do. And I challenge anyone not a master to say they never ever lie not even in their thoughts, and never ever blame anything on anyone or any circumstances.
Our way past the illusion starts here. We need both honesty and responsibility for without them we have little hope of removing the shroud, for it was built from the lack of both of these. Just as one might leave a trail of crumbs in the forest to find their way home, we use the trail of emotional crumbs we have left behind to find our way back to ourselves. No matter how deep or dark that forest is, these crumbs remain. The forest we found ourselves in is the illusion we have created, and the crumbs we leave behind are our lower emotions.
How do we find these crumbs? Well, every action has a reaction, and figuratively, when our actions are not in line with the Cosmos the resulting reaction leads to friction we perceive as lower emotions. If we are paying attention when we manifest a negative emotion we can use this to find the thought that our minds used to justify it's action and the resulting reaction. We cannot get past the illusion our minds create without clearing up these crumbs one way or another. These crumbs do not exist in the past, they exist within us now.
The inability to recognize one’s emotional state can make life very challenging. Think of the times when you may have been angry, perhaps lost some self control. Did you notice it the instant the anger started or even that you were angry? I would suspect that perhaps you did not, as anger generally starts with small things and builds from there. When we are not active observers, we often miss the gradual build up and do not notice how strong our emotions have become until we express them, and even then, we may not actually realize it.
To lift the illusion we must shift from passive to active living. If we don't like the clothes we must make new ones and discard the old. And how we make them moment by moment determines the clothes our spirit wears. Everything starts with the moment. We will not lift the illusion by continuing to try the same things. We must work on how we observe, evaluate and subsequently react to now.
Everything stems from the moment, so to burst through the illusion we must use awareness in the now to find and deal with the crumbs as we find them. When we react to an experience our reaction is now, the thoughts we used to manifest this reaction are in us now, hence our search for the crumbs is something we do in the now. This means that we must cease to allow our reactions to occur unexamined. We shift our focus to moment by moment experiential living, this means not passing by our reactions to work on them later. This is where our honesty comes in.
As an example of the illusion, let say we rank the top answers to a given question from the most to least honesty. Would you be surprised if I were to say that when someone asks the average person "how you doing?" their answer is likely somewhere between twelfth and fifteenth most honest answer and that they are likely only conscious of the last four, not the first eight or eleven? People are that deeply immersed in the illusion. The most honest answers are filtered or blocked, and generally we are only aware of the last few on the list. When asked the question we might be conscious of thinking about what we can or cannot share, however, these answers are still way down the list. Naturally this varies from topic to topic, but you get the idea. It is the same thing with our intiution, which is often blocked not by our lack of sensitivity to energy, it is blocked by our own minds as we have learned to distrust, ignore and even fear it over the years.
The only way to make a dent in this shroud is active awareness. One must start to perceive closer and closer to the moment. We do this by taking responsibility for our feelings and having done so begin to deal with them.
- Experience something (an act/thought/feeling)
- Notice your feelings about what you say or are thinking
- If you have reacted negatively, there is something in you that is manifesting it
- Consider and explore your negative feeling or reaction in more detail
- Get a feel for the energy of your reaction, in both thoughts and feelings
- Do you know the source of your reaction? If so can you deal with your reaction and work on the source right now? If so then do so otherwise remember the feelings it brought out in you.
- In meditation, remember the experience, the feelings and thoughts and explore them
- In meditation recognize and understand what thoughts led to your reaction, their source
- Resolve the old thought that led to the issue. Understand why you took on the old thought form and let it go.
- Manifest and empower new thought forms that are in balance, reinforce that you need to be objective and not use erroneous thinking when you integrate experiences.
We do the above not sometimes, but as often as we can. Find reasons to do it rather than reasons not to. We have to cease our glossing over things and putting them off to later...later never comes. If you can do it once, just once, then you can do it again. And if you can do it again you can continue to do it. Build momentum in small steps.
Yes, I do realize that the above sounds simply, and not just because it is more an outline than a detailed method, it sounds simple because it is in plain terms. While you might say that sounding simple and being simple are two different things, in many ways it really is that simple. I don't believe in "no pain no gain". We do not have to hurt to grow.
The sources of our issues lie buried in layers and that they have become interwoven, codependent and have taken on a life of their own. You are not likely to clear the illusions in a day, though it is possible. What we do is work through what life presents us with right now. Is your challenge issues that stiffle you? Is a lack of desire or listlessness? Is it an underlying sense of missing something or feeling lost? Is it that you long for something better and more fullfilling than what you have now? All of these have the same source, our rational mind.
And one must should also spend time considering what they think, what they believe, again not vaguely. Do you really believe we are all connected or do you want to believe it? Do you really believe your spirit is eternal or do you want to believe it? Even, do you believe yourself worthy of love? What we believe is one of the single most important aspect in determining what we experience.
When you do so ask yourself these questions, examine the honesty of your answer, not just as you go about your day, also do so in meditation or contemplation. When you do so from a grounded and centered place you will feel whether you truly believe these ideas or just think you do. When you do not you will feel the twinge of doubt, of uncertainty. These are your markers, they are an emotion response to our thoughts. Nor should one assume that they do not have doubt just because they don't notice a twinge. Use them to delve into why you may not believe these ideas and to become aware of beliefs you may not know you held. Anger is often associated with having strong conflicting beliefs. I will touch on some of this in more detail in a future note through a composition where we will examine energy linkages.
We want to examine our beliefs because when we do so we often find some of them in conflict with others we have. We can, for example, believe that we are worthy people and at the same time that we are not worthy. We can know rationally that we are good decent people yet have taken on the criticisms or judgments of others to the point that at a deeper level than this we believe we are not worthy or good people. The more deeply rooted or higher order belief is typically the dominant one. Another example is a belief in the notion of sin, a belief that is responsible for a great deal of the self loathing manifest in the western world. Or even more fundamentally, we can believe we are all part of God and that Jesus is the Son of God, two conflicting beliefs for by the first we are all part of God yet by the second we must be separate. Such belief conflicts can be very restrictive in terms of one's higher awareness.
The way to see past the illusion is to examine it and get to know it, that means knowing our rational mind is the way start to knowing ourselves. This is the perfect time of year, the last half of the annual cycle, to start considering what we have reaped from the past year. To consider such as: what we planned, what we accomplished, what we enjoyed, what made us feel good, what we did do and what we did not do. This helps us know where we are right now, and we can then start to look at what was beneficial and good so that we can continue to enjoy them and to look at what wasn't beneficial. As you think on these do not just gloss over them, spend some time with them, get to know them. If we do not face them they cannot be overcome.
All of the above sounds like work, effort, and it certainly can be. Yet the purpose of life is also to live, to taste it, marvel at its beauty and splendour, to celebrate it with joy and love by what ever way we know how. For even as we work on ourselves there is tremendous healing and growth to be found in doing acts that bring the light into our lives as these also helps us in our efforts on ourselves. When we can laugh with joy, and without reservation, if we can reach out a hand to another selflessly just for the sheer enjoyment of doing so we make our growth efforts easier. This is because such acts help to stamp out our conditionallity, to be more aware of and sensitive to others, it encourage us to be more in the moment, to think and thereby feel more connected and of course they manifest positive emotions.
By working towards the now through honesty and examination of our experiences and reactions we gradually rebuild our rational minds. Expanding our awareness comes in part by doing this and more so by changing core beliefs. If you are not able to see auras now then in order to do so you must find the beliefs that help to block this awareness and work on one's perception through meditation (sorry I could not cover this here...I will in a future piece).
Contemplate our reality and you will come to realize that we are a very powerful consciousness. That part of our awareness that is incarnate, some would call their soul, seeks to express itself. The challenge is that our non-rational mind, except in very rare cases, can only express itself through the rational mind. Poor programming blocks our full potential for expression. Poor programming comes from the mistaken results of faulty, superficial self-conscious observation. We integrate the thoughts of our faulty thinking into our rational minds. In order for us to express highly abstract thoughts, we need to build thought structures that enable their expression.
- Anyone seeking to do develop or improve his or her spiritual or psychic aspects must meditate in some fashion. I know of no other way to gain access to one’s higher awareness outside of living life with virtually no lower ego, one based on total and absolute devotion, compassion and unconditional love. For those with natural talent meditation is essential for honing skills and developing new ones.
- Even though conscious awareness of and abilities to work with different rates of vibration vary from person to person, we are all able to do it. In order to be able to access higher levels of awareness we must raise our awareness level. Living an exemplary life and meditation may be the most powerful and direct tools for accomplishing this.
The act of meditating brings up our vibration rate. The more time we are aware at an elevated level the higher our energy rate becomes. There are other ways to increase our vibrancy rate. Unconditional acts, such as expressing compassion, devotion, sympathy and love elevate our rate while negative emotions lower it. Raising our thoughts beyond the physical and into the world of abstract mental thoughts and opening up to our intuition increases the rate as well. The longer we sustain these influences on us, the faster we raise our overall rate. This is one of the main benefits of meditation for the average person.
© 2011 Allan Beveridge