The Twin Powers
The path of self-development, as has been long known, is the path of learning to know ourselves. Some would say the goals should be to raise a family, be happy, or balanced or be rich, perhaps a great teacher or scholar for example. When you consider your life and your notions about it, how does it make you feel? Have you existed or truly been living? Have you followed any of your dreams or sacrificed them for what you believe to be stability and security? Have you been sidetracked onto a different path than you thought? We all do to some extent, as it is a challenge to do otherwise if one is living in our modern world and not in a monastery. One may even wonder what other course they may have taken.
There are uncountable paths in life and numerous ways one finds happiness. However, whatever it is that people refer to as happiness (whatever that is) should be the byproduct of our efforts to live our lives to the fullest, to become all we can and to learn, grow and develop. Besides, happiness is a hard to define; it is an elusive and moving target. By happiness, do we mean living in a state of bliss or that we have all that we could want or simply that we live, as we would like to? Do we even know what is in our best interests? Generally, we do not know what is best for us; hence, we do not know what will make us happy. So, if we are seeking a state of happiness that is elusive we will likely end up chasing our tails for a long time.
Happiness is not necessarily a better job, more pay, a bigger house or something great that is waiting for us around the corner. If we are seeking some form of personal happiness that eludes us, we must let it unfold out of our personal growth efforts. The further down the road we travel the clearer our vision, the more likely we are to be happy without being sedate.
At the same time, in setting particular goals, we must be careful not to see them as destinations in themselves. We may never reach them; our path may change as we progress. While the road of personal development is truly never ending, it is a rewarding one. By focusing on the goal, we miss the wonderful journey of life. We should take our steps thoughtfully, acknowledge the growth we have made along the way and not skip steps to try to reach that final goal.
What do I mean by "Twin Powers"?
The term "Twin Powers" is one I have penned to represent the use of both our rational or reasoning mind and non-rational or psychic/intuitive aspects to help us grow. We will look at ways of using these two "minds" for personal growth and self-development. Using these two aspects of our awareness, enables us to work at problems from a multitude of angles and levels. We use the powers or capabilities within each to assist in developing ourselves as combined they are formidable allies. The Twin Powers are our rational mind, with its wonderful reasoning and analysis skills, and our non-rational or psychic self with its ability to transcend the limitations of the rational mind. This allows us to work directly with energies, to bypass blocks and filters and access areas normally blocked, or inaccessible. This begins with a better understanding of what we are, what our “minds” are, and what this means for us.
Developing our Awareness
The Awareness of self
We have lived our entire lives in our current bodies yet, biology aside, how much do we really know of ourselves? How aware are we about our own thoughts and motivations? Going by the majority, we are aware of far too little. Too often, we exist rather than live. In a very real way, we lose our connection to ourselves. By learning to become more aware of our rational mind and other aspects of our awareness we learn to reconnect, to make ourselves whole. Not only is this helpful in living more in the moment it is also a great experience.
The one aspect of ourselves of which we are most aware is the physical body. This is our primary vehicle in this life. With it, we can interact with the physical world in phenomenal ways. Our physical body is not separate from the other aspects of us and reflects them through our health. How we see ourselves even affects our appearance. Yet we act as if we are unaware of how our thoughts affect our physical health. When we were young (speaking for myself and from what I have learned from others) we may have learned we could make ourselves sick to avoid certain experiences and then make ourselves well again afterwards. While we are not ill, we manifested the symptoms and the cure. Unfortunately, most adults forget about their ability to do this or write it off as nonsense. We simply are not aware of those aspects of us other than those associated with our physicality.
We have, besides the physical body, several other vehicles. There are a number of schools of thought on this and, as a result, many ways of describing these aspects of the self and models from which to choose. When you are first starting down the road of spiritual awareness, the choice of schema’s you choose to follow matters far less than dedication to it. The one that is the consistent with my experiences, what I know intuitively and what I have learned through my studies describes these other bodies, as a series of related yet distinct vehicles or bodies. We are all, to varying degrees, aware of them in one manner or another. The schema that most people would be familiar, though ones use and control of them is likely restricted, refers to our other vehicles as our astral (emotional), mental (intellectual) and spiritual (love) bodies.
Whether you examine Buddhism, new age spirituality, Hinduism or the teachings of Jesus you will find valuable lessons and truths. The knowledge they impart is not always easy to decipher for a number of reasons (some are listed below).
It takes time to discern the knowledge, so it is wise to keeps one’s mind open; this way as you progress, and your awareness develops you will come to know what is right.
- the texts are often figurative
- keys are deliberately hidden
- they are often written "after the fact"
- problems with translations and editing
- the meanings and our understandings of the words has changed over the millennia
- information has been deliberately removed.
We build our perception of ourselves on the framework provided by the physical world. We act as thought the physical is the “superior” level, or the “highest” level when the opposite is actually the case. Allowing space for other aspects is of paramount importance in developing our psychic selves for growth and to truly feel connected to the world and people around us. In order to regain this connection we need to have a broader view of the self as part of our mental image. We must try to become accustomed to seeing ourselves as more than physical, as having an aura, as connected to the world around you.
The synergy of involving more of our whole self in the growth process accelerates it. This is the Twin Powers concept. We combine the incredible power of our non-rational awareness with our rational minds to get results far more quickly than by either alone. This will not happen in all our growth areas as some issues are rooted deeper in the psyche, they require more work to clear. However, we will make changes in our lives, changes for the better if you follow the lessons you learn.
As we move along our path, especially if it is a spiritual one, we also learn that there are some notions we need to give up. One is that any path of real growth includes learning how to control our physical reality through control of our emotions, which we would in turn control by our thoughts. Control is an illusion, one that restricts our growth and keeps us rooted in the past. This may seem an odd notion, though not if you consider that our desire to use control as a way of handling the present requires a focus on prior experiences and our responses so we know why and what we are seeking to control. Control means that everything in the present is subject to the past. For instance, we do not want to control our negative reactions to experiences with thought forms that keep us from acting in this manner. The idea is to let go of the thought forms that manifest them not fight, resist or control them. We created them; we can “de-create” them as well.
Persistence is a friend in our efforts for we will succeed when we apply ourselves over time, even if we do not always see results manifesting right away. Engaging more of our awareness in the process amplifies the affect. The approach is to work from the outside in and the inside out at the same time. On the outside, we work towards clearer observation and analysis of our experiences and by exploring our thoughts. From the inside, we connect with our devotion and our love, compassion, and sympathy for others. By improving our clarity and sensitivity to vibrations to discern the nature of our issues and their sources we can work directly on them from a higher level.
In our examinations, we should remain aware that what appears self-evident might not be the case at all. Take the case of a person who is slow to get motivated, late with deadlines and often does not see things through. One might be inclined to see themselves as lazy and hence work to become more motivated in what they have going on in their lives. Well, they might be lazy, or maybe the kinds of activities they are undertaking are not what they really want to be doing. Such a person could indeed fix their laziness by focusing on it alone and by rededicating themselves to their jobs and their lives. The laziness is fixed; however, they may find themselves further away from where they would like to be. A better approach would have been to work on their personal responsibility and look into why they lack desire and/or intent.
The benefits of personal and spiritual growth are not only for those wrestling with life issues. Our minds can become closed and restrictive rather than open and receptive. The measure of our need to grow is not only how big one’s life problems are. One can have few life issues and at the same time stuck behind the walls created by their own thoughts. Growth can enable the artist to create clearer representation of what is in his or her mind’s eye, it can lessen the scientist’s tendency towards single-mode thinking and lead to new forms of expression and it can enhance the enjoyment of the moments in life for everyone.
Listening to yourself
Listing to what is going on in our “mind”
To tune into the other aspects of ourselves, to listen and to see we start by listening to the "little voices within." We must work on paying attention to more than our rational mind. The best way to examine our thoughts is during meditation. The thoughts we have are, in a sense, the output of our rational mind. What kinds of thoughts are you having? The vast majority will be thoughts concerned with recent experiences; however, there will also be thoughts generated by influences that have lasted for longer periods or that are from old wounds. As we have discussed, if you are relaxed, calm, you can learn to be sensitive to how individual thoughts you have make you feel and even locate their source.
Meditation is an excellent way to explore what we have uncovered about ourselves. In terms of growth, this implies that the more we uncover the better. What other means can we employ to expose more of our rational mind programming?
Typically, we deal with the issues we see, the ones we notice because of our reactions to experiences and our through our feelings in general. The older we get the less we tend to act, we replace it with reactions based on years of experiences. We are not consciously aware of most of this and it lulls us into a false sense of complacency. We do know that we can use the lower emotions invoked by thoughts as a starting point in our quest to locate those issues or programming flaws. If we extend our thinking, we will realize that we tend to act in a repetitive, virtually predictable fashion. Many do not see this as an issue, even though by relying on habits and routines we have ceased to act and ceased to express ourselves. That which we view as making our lives easier can turn us, literally, into the living dead. This is one of the primary differences between children and adults. So, how do we escape this dilemma? We do so by breaking up our routines.
I remember a passage in the book “Journey to Ixtlan” by Carlos Castenada. It is in a section titled “Disrupting the Routines of life”.
“To be a hunter is not just to trap game,” he went on. “A hunter that is worth his weight in salt does not catch game because he sets his traps or because he knows the routines of his prey, but because he himself has no routines. This is his advantage. He is not at all like the animals he is after, fixed by heavy routines and predictable quirks; he is free, fluid, unpredictable.” ~Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan (Pocket Books, 1974; pg 74-75)
We develop routines naturally and they are not inherently good or bad. However, when everything is routine what we are doing is existing not living. Further, everyone around us typically does the same thing. People do not question their beliefs, their thoughts or their actions. If one plans to grow then all of these require examination. Do our routines benefit us or hold us back? We will not know unless we try to first notice our routines, then break them and finally examine our reactions. How do we react when we do something at a different time, or in a different way? Do we feel discomfort, anxiety or a sense of feel a little out of sorts when we change a routine? Additionally, we incorporate the routines of others into our own, hence, if you are observant you will notice people react when you change one of your own a routines. This form of co-dependency does not serve us; it makes us its slave.
We also tend to observe the world in the same fashion all the time. Our eyes become accustomed to focusing on certain aspects of our environment first often ignoring other features completely. Do we notice the shiny objects, bright objects or dull objects first; how do the appearance, size, shapes and colours of things affect our observations? What do we not notice at all? We do not just do this occasionally; it becomes how we view everything. The way our rational mind integrates experiences also trains it; in many ways, we need to un-train it. The level of awareness where our routines lie is just below the surface of our conscious mind and is accessible to it. We can expose them consciously and thereby eliminate those that are restrictive.
The crux of all this is that our thoughts are us, and we need to understand us better. The thoughts we have in our mind at any given moment are the result of our current activities and, in varying amounts, past thoughts either reactivated by our current experiences or empowered enough to remain active. To some, it may seem silly or a waste of time to examine our thoughts. I can assure it is not.
No matter what your goals are in the moment or for your life, you will benefit from examining what it is you think. It is a most effective ways to enable and engage our minds non-rational abilities. These are skills generally attributed to psychics. You can learn to read yourself far more clearly than anyone else can. There is some work to do to enhance these abilities. Meditation is one form or another is the key. Being objective is still critical hence the need to learn to ground, clear and center oneself. This is the only way to perceive, objectively, the subtle energies associated with various thoughts, and to isolate them for analysis. The exercises in meditating as well as grounding, clearing, centering and others will help you develop these skills.
When you explore your thoughts, you will be surprised at how they move through your mind. The stiller and quieter your rational mind becomes the easier it is to notice the way you feel about your thoughts overall or even a single thought. This will tell you much in regards to your areas of growth, will give you new insights into them, even how to deal with them. As an exercises get in the habit of listening in on what is going on in your mind, it is the first step towards having a greater say in what goes on in it. This will give you a better handle on your life in many ways.
The intent of all the suggestions and ideas in the essays, as well as the material on this site, is to help you get to know yourself better. The process of getting to know ourselves results in an unfolding of our awareness. We enable this unfolding by activities and choices that retrain our rational minds to allow for our “non-rational” aspects. A significant part of this process is learning to be unconditional with ourselves. We free ourselves from our own personal judgments by taking responsibility for ourselves through honesty and by moving away from judgments, and from such things as guilt and blame. Clearing out the noise and debris from our rational mind makes it easier to expand our concept of whom and what we are. Indeed, we must do this in order to move past our rational minds restricted view.
It is hard to be empathic with others when we are not empathic with ourselves, and it is hard to expand our awareness if we filter and block out energies, ideas and so forth that we do not like or do not want to have. When we cease to judge ourselves, we will have ceased judging others. In the process, we will have developed a higher degree of sensitivity and awareness. This opens up possibilities beyond imagination. Continue to meditate, to explore the world without the interference of your rational mind and you will find yourself in a new world of possibilities.
© 2009 Allan Beveridge