Our Puzzle Box Part 2 of 2
In the first part of this short series, I introduced the idea of “Our Puzzle Box” this way:
“Life is an interesting puzzle box, given that we have no manual to our bodies, mind or the reality around us, yet here we are. We stumble around focusing on physical actions and outcomes, things that we see as objectively verifiable. In terms of the mind, it is hard to equate a thought to a particular outcome. I am not referring to thoughts that lead to body movements, those applied to problem solving about and so on. I am referring to the thoughts about other thoughts. These are the thoughts that bind us to our reality. They are the primary creator of the cohesive whole we perceive as reality. If we want to open the puzzle box, then understanding its creator is a good place to start.”
“Figuratively speaking, our minds are our puzzle box, one that locks our true self inside. Its foundation lies in our experiences, in many ways dominated by the earliest ones we had. Subsequent reactions to experiences built upon and added to them so that our puzzle box has many interconnected layers; hence, pulling on one will affect the others like an enormous vibratory Rubik cube.”
I also suggested that:
“If we knew how to open our puzzle box, we would have done so already. Our puzzle boxes are not like a locked safe, it has no door or keyhole. The only way to unlock the puzzle box is to modify the box itself, something we cannot do if we our focus is what is going on outside of us. See it more like a maze of mirrors and walls. What we want to do is get them in better order so that what is within can come out without restrictions. To do so we need to focus on:
- Our intent and desire
- Take a more active role moment by moment
- Work on our thoughts and beliefs
- Make ourselves more transparent (the Rational Mind that is)
I covered the first two in Part I. As a refresher, the key items to remember on these are that:
“Ones intent is pivotal, for it is the background thought that guides our non-conscious efforts as well as our conscious ones. Intent is an aim or purpose, or a direction, though not to a physical place or time. Ones intent can start with a general direction or goal; however, to make real progress this should be more defined and focused.
“In order to pay more attention moment by moment we must want to. Be prepared for your thinking mind to resist this. It does not do so to sabotage your efforts, though this may very well be the result. It merely seeks to maintain the status quo and change upsets that. Resistance can take the form of distractions; one may find they never have the time to focus on their goal as life keeps them busy. It could take the form of questioning ones intent, such as “is this really important now?” or “is this actually relevant?” Everything we think and do is potentially relevant and paying attention to what we think and feel is important if we are to fulfill our intent.”
Now we will look at the last two items on the list. They are not new topics, as I have covered them in various essays and in some of the newer compositions. At this point, I would like to clarify that none of these are independent of the others. All are “required” to varying degrees. For instance, while intent and desire are they necessary to get going, one needs the others are to get there.
Without paying attention to our lives, including our thoughts, without examining our beliefs and without learning the skills to quiet our relentless minds progress is limited. If one has not only the intent and desire, but they are beginning to pay more attention moment by moment then the next two steps become somewhat easier. The first of these is the task of working on our thoughts and beliefs.
Our Thoughts and Beliefs
One of the primary reasons we struggle to grow is that we have restricted access to our awareness and have limited ourselves by how we have trained our minds. These are aspects of our “mental house”. Our rational mind (RM), while not us, is the vehicle we use to express ourselves. It is our puzzle box. Figuratively, it is the interpreter of experiences and it integrates our various rational and non-rational perceptions. It also “decides” whether we are conscious of something or not. To start to unlock the puzzle box means coming to understand how it does this on our behalf.
Our RM bases its decision on how we have reacted to our experiences and their subsequent integration. When we react to something, our rational mind creates a weave of notions based on commonalities the experience and our reaction have to previous ones. To find more balance in our lives, to grow past our issues or develop our awareness we need to change the way our minds integrate experiences. One of the fundamental steps in this is to work on our thoughts and beliefs, for they play a significant role in how our rational mind (RM) does this.
I covered some the dynamics of how our minds create relationships based on our thoughts in the essay The Webs We Weave (a link to is at the end of this essay). The creation of beliefs is essentially automatic. The integration of experiences results in the creation of new thoughts, some of which may be beliefs, regardless of our awareness of them. By beliefs, I am referring to thoughts that are not “knowledge”. The definition of knowledge is controversial as it is for belief; however, in general, one can consider knowledge as a familiarity with someone or something. It can include facts and descriptions, or information about things, a skill one has and it can be implicit as with a skill or explicit such as a theoretical understanding of a subject. This would include thoughts/knowledge such as common shapes (things that hold water) properties of objects and beliefs about our own physical selves.
People have considered what beliefs are and how to define them since before Plato. What is a belief? A belief is essentially a proposition and so it is a thought. Beliefs are highly connected thoughts and are generally, though not exclusively, more so than descriptive knowledge. A belief in God for example, is connected to more thoughts that one about a car part. One could group them based on various schemas; though one would have to choose one they can or do agree with, it is not essential to do so here.
Rather than define beliefs and knowledge as distinct from one another, consider them more as continuum with belief at one end and knowledge at the other. This order also infers that there is a corresponding scale of subjectivity, with a belief being more subjective than knowledge. For instance, I may have a thought/belief that people without a job are lazy. It could even be based on personal anecdotal evidence; however, this is very subjective and hence not knowledge whereas the skill to use a keyboard is knowledge.
Another example would be the belief that “I am my body”, which only seems objective though it is not for it assumes a direct relationship between mind and body; I do not need to assume as complex a relationships between two physical objects such as my fingers and the keys on a keyboard.
In terms of developing or reawakening our non-rational awareness, it is thoughts or beliefs, which affect our relationship with the external world and ourselves. Further, as I mentioned, the integration of our thoughts is automatic. No one can override cause and effect. What we can do is modify their thoughts and beliefs, which affects how our rational mind integrates experiences and consequently the thoughts that come out of it. What can be a challenge is grasping how a single belief can actually shut everything down.
People do not understand the power of thoughts, well most people at least. One of the core thoughts is “I am my body”, which is natural considering our focus on the external world driven for the most part by the way we are raised, the push to grow up and “get real” combined with our allowing our physical senses to be the dominant method of perception. We are not our bodies, our bodies are the vehicle that we use to learn and “awaken” our higher self.
Through the course of our many lives, we first learn we have various vehicles, then how to use them. For our entire history survival has been the driving force behind our existence, now we are entering an age where exploring our existence is coming into prominence. Old thought forms do not “die”, they become incorporated into our group consciousness and we move on along to come to new understandings.
The idea or belief that we are our bodies and nothing has been prominent for a long time. It is not a belief that people decided upon, our reaction to experiences establishes it. As quantum mechanics and new age ideas become part of humankind’s general awareness, the non-rational abilities we have will be easier to access. Nothing restricts us more than our view of what we are. It is one thing to have the thought that we are more than our bodies, it is quite another to fully accept this. The thought or belief that we are our bodies restricts our ability to access gifts such as intuition, empathy, telepathy, astral vision and the like. One cannot think we have these abilities, one must know. Those who manage to hold onto such gifts into adult life do not question this; they know it to be so.
On the Twin Powers website is an exercise in beliefs that I believe can be of immense value to those who would like to transcend their physical senses (I have included a reference to it below). When we begin to examine our beliefs, we also begin to unravel them. That said; do not expect that simply examining your beliefs will result in one become clairvoyant, though this may happen. The puzzle box is highly interconnected hence, we may have to work on a number of restrictive and conflicting beliefs before our minds “allow” us to perceive beyond the veil.
In order to do this, one must not focus on the idea that “I want to become more aware” for such a goal is the “I” speaking. Why does one want to become more aware? If my answer is because I want this ability, then I have not let go of “I” and will remain stuck. WHY do you want such awareness? Is it to benefit you, to be able to say “I have these gifts” and feel proud of them rather than, for example, to be able to help others more, to more fully embrace what we are? These are the types of questions one must ask of themselves when examining their beliefs.
Making Ourselves More Transparent
This point is more an extension of the previous points I have examined. Our minds and thoughts are subjective by nature and come about because of how we nurture our rational minds. If one has any experience with tarot and the Kabala (also spelled Qabalah) the reference to this awareness is found in Key 1, the Magician. The letter Beth means “house”, in this case the house is our minds (both rational and non-rational). Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet also represents an “intelligence”. In the case of The Magician, it is the Intelligence of Transparency. That being the mode of consciousness which affords a free channel of communication, which permits free passage downward and outward of the super-conscious Light which is above and within us.
Our thoughts and beliefs are what act as a damper on our transparency. Those with gifts such as clairvoyance (of any variety), second sight, and empathy and so on, already have rational minds that are partially transparent. They do not block, question or second-guess what they know, and hence the awareness comes through. To develop these gifts or to new ones we must work on allowing the free flow of communication.
When we are not paying attention in the moment or as close to it as we can, we are not noticing when we are getting non-rational perceptions as they occur, and we all have them. A great salesperson may not be aware that they are using their empathy and/or telepathy to make that sale. They just go with their ideas about how to make a sale and are generally unaware that these ideas come through their channel. The same thing happens with musicians when they are in-sync.
This passage from The Tarot (by Paul Foster Case) provides a good figurative explanation:
“The true magic presides over house building, because it shows us how to erect actual houses so as to take advantage of occult properties of the earth-currents of magnetic vibration. The higher phases of magic, moreover, have to do with the building of the “house” of personality....Finally, he knows himself to be above nature, he understands that his operations succeed to the degree that his thought, word and action transmit faithfully the powers of the plane above him. The greatest magicians know themselves to be no more than channels for the Life-power, clear window panes through which the light of wisdom within the house of personality streams forth into the objective world.”
The house referred to in the above passage is our mind, as it is what houses our awareness in an incarnation. It is the “I” that you hear so much about. If we build our mental house on erroneous and conflicting notions and so forth, we cannot be transparent. This is why being aware moment-by-moment and working on our beliefs is not just important but critical to our ability to be transparent whereby we have access to non-rational awareness.
There are no short cuts to develop one’s awareness. One must put their “mental house” in order. We are not seeking to control the power; we want to direct the power, again if we use our rational mind to control such power we remain locked into “I”.
Another quote from the same source:
“Thus all meanings of the letter Beth, the number 1, and the symbols of the Magician refer to powers of the self-conscious phase of personal mental activity. These powers are directed primarily to the control of forces and things below the self-conscious level. The energy utilized comes from above, from superconsciousness. It is fixed and modified by acts of attention. Concentration is perfect transparency, in which personality becomes a free, unobstructed channel for the passage downward and outward of the superconscious radiant energy. Herein is the secret of true volition, and Eliphas Levi tells us, “All magic is in the will”.
One must work on their house, or rational mind, in order to develop transparency. There is no other way to develop ones awareness without doing so. You cannot fake it for your mind will remain as your puzzle box. All the good intentions in the world will not change this fact. It matters not whether your goal is to find balance in your life, to resolve issues or to develop your awareness. The secret is to focus your attention on your mental house.
Work on your thoughts, beliefs and your ability to pay attention in the now as best you can. Work on the cessation of judging what you perceive and on drawing erroneous conclusions about it. This is one reason why laughter is so beneficial, for when we are laughing we are not doing either of these things, laughter can even help us to suspend our beliefs for the moment. Another key is to work on stilling the relentless thoughts that pour out of our thinking mind. These only serve to distract us from what we perceive and focus us instead on what we think. The less we do this the more transparent we become which in turn helps us to access our higher, non-rational awareness and to find more balance in our lives.
© 2011 Allan Beveridge