So You Think You’re Awakened: What next?

You already know what it feels like to wake up.  Every morning, you find yourself in a place where you are aware of your surroundings. It may be the alarm clock, it may be a ray of sunshine floating through your blinds to caress your eye-lids, it may be some other sound. You find yourself lying there for however long, experiencing. Then, suddenly, you become aware of yourself experiencing. The day floods in and the night recedes instantly, you begin to think of getting up, your plans for the day. Any dreams you may have been having slip into unconsciousness, as the waking mind is not equipped to fully understanding them. This is the common experience of awakening.

There is another type of awakening that occurs in pretty much the same manner. This Awakening has different variations and levels, much like the kind of awakening that you are currently familiar with.

During the course of any normal day, we are each relatively aware of our sojourn through life. We believe we know who we are and why we are here. Many of us have religious beliefs; we think there is a God, maybe in Heaven above, maybe somewhere else. We know there is a government, we know there are problems with the financial system. We know people who have it really good and many of us now know people who have it really bad, so we are aware that there are variations along a scale, although we may only be vaguely aware of why. We know that there are inequalities; we may have experienced them personally in some instance during our lives and have a memories of times when we were personally victimized. Our perspectives seem fixed, our experiences, straightforward, and this is enough of an awakening to make it through the course of any normal life.

But just being able to navigate the daily grind is not enough anymore. There have always come points in human history when people at a larger scale of occurrence begin to realize that there is more to their world than has previously met the eye.  Often, it has happened against the direction of the collective will. People have had to be dragged, kicking and screaming from their placid lives – although this occurred figuratively, most often – as events and facts revealing an alternate understanding of the world began to amass beyond their capacity to deny. If the dragging and screaming occurred literally, it was often too late and their awakening coincided with the onset of the final sleep, death.

The first and most common type of Awakening these days is economic. Ever since the collapse of the monetary system in 2008, brought on by unregulated financial instruments and predatory lending, things have gotten worse for the majority of the world’s people. While wealth has continued its relentless path of concentration in the richest hands and banks, the Western world’s middle class ranks have been steadily thinning. Faced with joblessness, the lack of opportunities and limited welfare benefits, the realization that the educational system actually mis-educates has been sinking into the minds of more and more people.  Understanding out-sourcing, international economic agreements, the trans-national nature of corporations and other previously arcane topics sends the newly disenchanted down rabbit holes filled with information previously disdained and irrelevant to the lives of the sleeping, but newly relevant to the burgeoning understanding of the nascent Seeker.

It is true that drugs, alcohol, television and video games can delay the search for truth for a while. But, without a job to be able to afford these things for long, the Seeker then has few other options available to him other than to attempt to understand why this has happened. Why her perception of the world has shifted and what the new parameters of reality have become.

The second type of Awakening that often seems as if it is the pinnacle of consciousness is often reached through the study of politics, but includes aspects of economics as well as general cultural production and world history. This type of Awakening occurs when one becomes aware of the existence of secret societies and their history within the evolution of Western Civilization.  It often begins once one is apprised of the meaning of the symbols on the American one dollar bill and proceeds from there through wormholes of potentiality where Illuminated Ones mask themselves as Knights Templar and Masons, as Rosicrutians and Hospitallers. Into a space of understanding where Boy Scouts become neophytes engaging in arcane rites of passage while Disney cartoons and the Wizard of Oz turn out to be more diabolical than innocent. Turning down this path is dangerous for the Seeker, as the information gleaned therein begins to separate her from her family, friends and society itself. People start to look at him askance, wondering if she’s still putting in job applications. If he’s thought of joining the Peace Corps yet or applied to teach English in China. Once adversity rears its ugly head in the form of social censure, ostracization and the broaching of unpopular and apparently taboo subjects, a deeper form of Awakening begins.

The third type of Awakening that happens to people is related to the first two. It occurs when people begin to really understand that not only does the system not have their best interest at heart, but that it is actually trying to kill us all. Beyond the economic system, beyond the politics, it soon becomes clear to the Seeker that the environment around us has been eviscerated by human greed and consumptive patterns of living. But not only is it the external, biological environment that has been under attack, but the internal, physiological environment has been invaded as well. The food that we eat, the beverages that we drink, the products that we use to cleanse ourselves and live our daily lives often have toxic repercussions upon and within our bodies. From fluoride in the water and toothpaste to aspartame in our drinks. From mercury in our teeth to the numerous pharmaceutical offerings of questionable potency and probable toxicity, the Seeker begins to understand that he is seen as a commodity to the corporate overlords and so is imminently expendable. This understanding  then leads the Seeker to naturopathy and holistic health; to seeking alternative and health-building not health-destroying ways to live that impact the body and the earth in a minimal fashion. Vegetarianism, Veganism and Frutarianism are paths that become viable to the Seeker as she begins to understand the true nature of the world and her place in it.

And this is where the path of Awakening generally ends, for most people. And why not? Up until this point, the Seeker has gone from placidly going about his daily life, content with the mainstream pleasures and accomplishments that are generally indicative of success in life. A job, a family, a bit of spending money, maybe a house, condo or nice apartment, friends and vacation time.  Coming to the understanding that a life lived consciously is comprised of much more than just going along to get along is a quantum leap from a start-point of ignorant material comfort and nominal success.

This is an evolution of consciousness, right? Losing financial stability in life or seeing someone close to them lose it may have brought her through the steps of Awakening all the way to the point where he has begun to live a transformed life. The Seeker no longer drinks grape or red soda. She is now eating veggie burgers instead of prime sirloin steak, he even eat fruit now instead of candy. Their carbon footprint has lessened – as they probably now recycle – drive less – if they even have a car – and don’t litter. Even if materially poor, the Seeker is attempting to live consciously, aware of what is going on around himself and aware of her own responsibility as a citizen of the world. So what else could there be?  What further type of Awakening is possible?

Thus far, the path of Awakening has corresponded exactly to the process of waking up each day as enumerated earlier: 1) an awareness of one’s surroundings, occasioned by some intrusion upon primal consciousness (noise, light, pervasive being-ness, etc.; living life unaware of Self; omnipresence) 2) awareness becoming aware of itself (thinking of the day; learning what the world really is; omniscience) 3) awareness projecting consciousness into materiality (getting out of bed; living consciously; omnipotence).  Not coincidentally, the experience of mundane awakening approximates the cultural Awakening process brought about by research and information synthesis and integration (holistic economic, political and cultural awareness), which then leads to the next level of iteration, that which represents the process that is the subliminal goal of all previous efforts, culminating in the beginning of the Seeker’s sojourn upon the path of Higher Awakening. The three-stage process mentioned above is also, not coincidentally, an exact rendition of the steps of material manifestation, of Creation itself as expressive of the most sublime principles of spiritual understanding.

At this stage of the process, it is no longer about studying or debating, sharing or even caring what other people think about you and your path in life. It is about going deep within. It is about connecting with your spiritual core. Knowing exactly who you are.

This is formidable task. This is where most Seekers balk. This is where most fall back into the comfort of group-think and stagnation, preferring intellectual masturbation to inner knowledge. This is where the programs of a lifetime reassert their primacy, where the ego recognizes the threat and responds. Where a not-so-subtle material re-entrenchment occurs once you’ve realized that you’ve reached the point beyond which your family and friends must finally realize that you’ve gone Off the Reservation and are no longer even attempting to conform to their culturally-based standards of normality and social acceptability.

This is the point where knowledge becomes lived reality, something done rather than something thought or talked about. The goal of all life, all evolution; beyond thought, beyond conception, beyond understanding. To finally and truly Be, integral consciousness manifest, existing within the eye of the storm, the center of the circle, placid and peaceful, flowing through life formed yet formless, like water, malleable yet firm, self-aware within and thusly aware of all else without.

But that’s a topic for another day. Welcome, to the real world.

Sunbeam Dreams and the Recriminations of the Mind

Soul’s full bloom opens
with the light of
dawn’s bursting frenzy,
illuminating somnolent

Through the eyes of
creation blossoms;
birth, death and rebirth
cyclic and eternal
scions of divinity’s
conscious intent.

I suppose awakening fully to the knowledge that you’re not being all you can be is a daunting prospect. Realizing that all that you’ve done during your life is only a portion of what you’ve always been fully capable of is an indictment of intention and purpose that really begs the question, why?

Why do we not live up to our potential? What choice is it that we make that leaves us lying in the bed watching motes of dust dance on sunbeams as the morning passes and midday approaches and we listen to the cars in the distance, floating gently in recrimination and soothing, non-judgemental daydreams? At what point do the circumstances of your life reach a critical point at which you must, finally, make a decision regarding who you are and where you are going?

Can it be so easy? Is there one, specific point in our lives that we can look back to that we can say, without hesitation, “There. That is the place where I decided to be the person that I am today.”

Maybe mama’s soothing voice carried you through childhood and beyond, echoing in memory as a rippling reflection of perception. Maybe it didn’t and she was a cold shrew, her eyes lasers of recrimination and unrealized dreams. Memory and love play hide and seek sometimes, ducking behind feelings and scenes that seem set in stone. But you can never be sure if what you remember happened exactly as you think it did, in fact, talking to others sometimes bring forth memories you’d forgotten you had, or recasts other memories in a new light as you are reminded of specific incidences that you may have suppressed, or, more likely, not paid attention to when they were occuring in the first place. Daddy was there or not there, sometimes stern and strong, sometimes weak and vacillating but he was daddy, and you loved him either way. Only child or burdened with brothers and sisters, the lessons of responsibility came hard and fast during the maturation process, interactions with family preparing the way for school. The early trauma of playground bullies, treacherous playmates or home situations that were less than perfect mark the twisted path with signposts of screaming pain, each of which turns us from one direction to another or beckons us further along that smaller, darker path, leading down into the brambles and underbrush of the deep, scary forest of lost dreams and desire.

Is it truly a choice to be slave to your conditioning? And, if so, at what point does one realize it, if ever? And, if one choose to become fully realized in such a way, what does it take to move past the conditioning of the past, and become more than a familial or societal Manchurian Candidate?

It is at the point where you realize that carrying around the old scores and festering wounds of ancient, and fresh, trials and tribulations is actually weighing you down – preventing you from moving forward into the present without anger, without pain, without interpreting every, single event that happens to you through eyes that are still seeing your father, mother, uncle, cousin, friend, enemy of years and years ago, doing whatever they did, saying whatever they said, being whoever they were to you, back then – that you become consciously aware of your enslavement, and are able to make sober decisions regarding your present course of action.

I don’t even have to close my eyes to see Del City, Oklahoma, me on my Grit route delivering my papers, and Mike Clark and his little toady following me through the neighborhood shouting taunts and racial slurs, me finally making it home only to have my next door neighbor and best friend, Jeff McDaniels, ask me why Mike Clark was calling my mother a “Black Bitch”? Mike Clark and his curses didn’t hurt me half as much as that smirk Jeff couldn’t hide and the gleam in his eye that told me he knew the place those words came from intimately and that, just maybe, he was not the friend I thought he was.

Continuous series of memories of ghostly interactions that are no more real now than they were when they occuring. The statement by the spiritually-evolved that life is an illusion makes a little bit of sense when you think about how quickly things happen, and the fact that by the time something happens it’s already over and you’re interpreting it in your mind, applying weight and meaning to events that occurred in the space of an instant and then receded, becoming memory almost before you even knew that it was happening. All of life is like that, and most of our mental work is concerned with keeping up, trying not to go down beneath the continuous flow of happenings, of thoughts, the cause and effect of all movement, be it mental, physical or spiritual in nature.

What does it gain us to hold on to pain, when it is just as easy to let it go like an amnesiac? Is it true that we are defined by our past? By who we have been? When someone asks you about yourself, what do you say? Do you rattle off a litany of facts? “I am so and so from somewhere or another, my mama is that woman and my brother is that dude. I went to school here and joined the whatever and spent five years over there doing this and that until I got back here and met you right now.”

Is that truly who you are?

Or is it, rather, who you were.

And, if that is who you were? A continuous series of “weres” that is in progress even up to this very moment, then who does that make you right now? I mean, right then? And then? And thenandthenandthenandthenandthen? Who are we, right Now, right this instant, and how do we determine who we are? Can we do so through the eyes of others? Through our parents? Our siblings? Our significant others? Do they know who we are? When they tell us who we are, do we always agree with them?

Hm. The process of ‘determining’, of ‘defining’ is a process of thought, of judgement, of rationalization and of stultification, whereby you take on the characteristics of a fossilized instant, projecting your past into your future through the medium of the present. Make sense? I’m who I am and I define I by who I was then not by who I am Now or who I will be along the continuous series of Nows.

All of this occurs beneath thought. It is programming, barely conscious and runs like a maintainance program beneath the web browser of our senses, and while we’re dealing with the detritus of the material world, watching the dust motes, listening to the cars and birds and thinking about where we went wrong in our lives, we are continuously sinking deeper and deeper into self-definition and further enslavement to the “Me’s, I’s and You’s” of the past, the manifestations of Ego that work remorselessly at self-preservation. Realizing that your ego structure has to maintain itself constantly by making us think that we are only human, and not super-human spirits on a journey through time and space, not at all bound by the confines of our bodies or this world.

If we realized that Truth in every moment, we would not be bound by anything or anybody. It is the Ego’s task to keep us grounded in this world, though – bound to the lives we’ve created – to whisper to us from the depths of the subconscious, “You can’t do that. You aren’t trained for that line of work. You’re too shy. Nobody can levitate. It’s impossible. C’mon. She’s too beautiful for you. He’s too smart. Don’t you remember what your daddy did to you when you were small? What your mama said about you? You’re nothing but a little slut, a big dummy, an ignorant boy and silly girl and you’ll never, ever, ever amount to a thing.”

Falling beneath the weight
of the past
peering out from under
words and deeds
woven in a tapestry of Life

Black depression, pressing
down, breath harsh
wheezing, eyes dimming
tears flowing, falling
cold distaste regarding a
life less lived than

Taking control of your mind will be a form of warfare. It is used to being in charge, to defining who you are, to telling you what your goals are. Becoming familiar with what lies beyond the mind, then, becomes our paramount task. That powerful consciousness that observes, watches, calculates and stores energy and intention in a depthless resevoir of potential. Accessibility is gained through prayer, service and meditation. Prayer addresses the Divinity in Creation, the perceived Outer World. Service is an affront to the Ego, because the Ego is selfish, and so by serving others with a good will and true heart, the Ego retreats from the stage, leaving your individual portion of Divine Love shining like a star for all to feel, and bask in. And meditation familiarizes you with those inner shores of your spiritual sea, the waters that connect to the greater consciousness without, making what is within part of that greater whole.

The path can take us through a lifetime, or become the choice of a moment. Releasing the ‘stuff of the past’ depends upon how much we use it to define us in the present. Letting go of past loves, past pains, just the past is difficult, since we are who we are because of who we’ve been. Living life with the full spectrum of possibility available to you is such an inconceivable thing that we dare not even dream of what it means.

So take a moment right now, and do what your Ego does not want you to do. Dream, and realize that you are whoever you choose to be and that, whoever that is, is something and someone new upon the face of the Earth, living each moment in joy and the abandonment of wondrous and continuous birth, accessing all of the powers of the Divine to consciously co-create the Now.

Art and Experience: The Social Compact and Creativity

To what purpose do we share? Why do we write, draw and sing? What do our continual manifestations of creativity have to do with the world of our experience?

It is understood that we exist within Creation, or, the Material World. The 3-dimensional world of our senses (sight, sound, touch), plus time, the 4th dimension. It is also understood that, from the perspective of consciousness (mind, spirit, soul), this Creation is also Maya, a sanskrit word for the illusory world of the senses or, again, the Material World.

As an artist, graphic, textual and aural, I create in sight and sound, according to my feelings and thought-processes at the time of creation. An idea may birth itself in me and percolate for minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years, and then come out as a beat, a song, a poem, an essay, a drawing, painting or graphic. It is indisputeable that, however that idea expresses itself upon leaving my thoughts and emotions and manifests materially upon whichever canvas I choose, the idea itself is not original, that it comes from some deeper well-spring that all humans share, which is what allows you to read what I write, listen to the words I sing or look at the picture I paint and feel something upon witnessing it.

My own, personal interpretation of a deeper Reality – as opposed to a surface reality – a deeper Truth – as opposed to a surface truth – that we all share, is what allows us all to resonate deeply to beautiful works of art, to empathize with an emotional song, or nod to words written which describe what we feel or think about something almost exactly. The closer you and I are in our backgrounds and cultures, the easier it is for me to translate those deeper currents of reality into forms that you can understand. The closer we are in immediate experience allows you to feel the emotional currents that may underly specific forms of expression, creating an immediate bond of sympathy that will transcend any other perceived differences.

But does that poem, that essay, that graphic, that song reflect what is Real? Or is it only a representation of something that is unreal? Is the work of art or literature meaningful beyond our experiences, or are our experiences the sum totality of our awareness?

Our experiences bind us not only to Creation, but also to each other. I used to always emphasize to my physical geography classes that our most fundamental and intimate relationship – post-birth – is not with each other, but with the world around us. We share Incarnation, as a human family, within the bounds of the Material World. We share, as a human family, the generic symbols and archetypes of collective unconsciousness. We share, as a human family, the range of emotions that cause us to smile or frown. We share, as a human family, the progressive and encompassing stricture of time and space. Therefore, we share, as a human family, all of the requirements necessary to create an illusion of reality that binds us, in turn, to the Material World.

So if this world is the product of a form of collective consensus regarding the nature and form of reality, what does that mean in terms of our expressions and the existence of a greater Reality? The double-slit experiment, which underlies and upholds the most basic assumptions of quantum physics has banished any doubt about the relationship of consciousness to matter. The act of observation changes the state of matter at the most fundamental level of aggregation, the quantum field. Mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.

Or, if you don’t think it, it’s not real. We create reality in each moment, then. We co-create this reality by agreement. We are trained from childhood in the conditions of this agreement and by the time we are adults, it is mostly an unconscious process. If you have children, or remember your own childhood, you can recall the process by which it occurred: the constant bombardment of questions leading to answers that reflect very subjective viewpoints held in common. As we age, we find confirmation of these early lessons in our friends and society in general, which further solidifies our perceptions and views of the world that can harden with age unless we consciously cultivate a mindstate of questioning, seeking and an openness to new ideas and experiences. The natural creativity of children becomes stultified, their opinions and viewpoints grow more rigid as the world loses its magic.

In fact, that selfsame creativity that we often associate with artists and the insane is the common birthright of all children. We think of artists as strange, eclectic and wierd because they don’t think like most people, because, generally speaking, they remain open to ideas and experiences. We don’t think of children as strange, eclectic and wierd because we associate their curiosity about the world and everything in it as a function of their youth and inexperience. Once children gain more experience, we expect them to settle down, to conform and to take on a more conventional and acceptable attitude that plants them firmly in the cultural ground tilled by their ancestors and elders, to themselves then become to propagators and protectors of our collective experience of reality.

As painters, as writers, as musicians, we play around with this experience of reality and find meaning in highlighting specific aspects of of our common heritage. We draw upon relationships, religion and social mores in our search for deeper meaning, using symbols and archetypes to awaken our deeper instincts and understandings of reality. And these, in turn, open the door into that deeper, underlying Reality, if only for the duration of that shared experience of art, music and writing. Being multi-dimensional in nature, we find comfort in the realization than we are more than the sum of our individuated experiences, in the knowledge that we share more in common with each other than that which binds us to our own lives and situations.

Life would be lonely without this ability, without this connection, the confirmation of which also substantiates our sense of belonging within the human community, the human family. We find comfort, then, in co-creating the illusion. In the telling and sharing of our stories, in whatever form, as our distant ancestors did as they huddled around the tenuous fires of primeval humanity, set against the encroaching darkness of an unknown and dangerous creation that threatened our very survival as a species.

The illusion is the necessary condition of incarnation. Art reminds us that we are in it together. Artists are the spiritual warriors of the Material World, pointing us back to that which is true beyond our own experiences. Confirmation that there is more, and that, whatever that “more” really is, we are an integral part of its expression.

The Energetic Resonance of Reality: What do you believe?

People often wonder what spiritual tradition I follow. They read my blogs, my Facebook and YouTube status updates, my LinkedIn profile and Twitter feed and they wonder if I’m a Devil worshiper, a New Age adherent, a Gnostic Christian, Agnostic or any number of other classifications of spiritual system they might be familiar with. But people rarely ask me directly what I believe personally; if I pray, or if I perform rituals to some form of Divinity in my private life. Of course such a question might be considered rude by most, as religion and politics are oft thought to be two of the most personal things a person can engage in and they both reveal so much about who a person truly is and what they really believe. For me to answer this question, it is necessary to engage in a short discourse regarding the nature of the world as it currently exists and my – and by my, I mean the individual’s – place in it.

I’ll begin as I’ve begun so many times before. As Above, So below. This hermetic truism is also a scientific axiom and a general statement of inter-relational inter-dependency between the Cosmos and Self. Expressed through physical manifestation and an infinite variation of potentiality at every level and stage intervening between extremes, personal experience as a subjective perception of a reality beyond the ability of the material senses to fully grasp is my, our, individual flashlight, or candle, the tool with which we define and interpret the things that we think, see and do.

All of manifest materiality is energy. I am energy. You are energy. The computer is energy. The table it sits on and the floor that sits upon are both energy, as is the planet itself, the grass, the dirt, the rock, the magma, the water ad infinitum. The speed at which energy resonates, or vibrates, determines its solidity. For example, the table is vibrating at a slower rate than the air that we are breathing, which vibrates at a slower rate than the electricity running through our computers, which vibrates at a slower rate than the thoughts that pass through our minds, which is a form of subtle energy that science has not yet formally announced the existence of but which must exist, as it is beyond question that we think, and are. Despite its nascent history and fumbling grasps at hypotheses and postulations regarding the nature of reality, science plays a large part in my understanding of reality and what lies beyond. As we move through time and space, inter-connected through quantum entanglement and the energetic resonation that permeates all of existence, it becomes clear that consciousness is the common denominator that connects all things at varying levels of interactivity and awareness.

Religions and spiritual systems reflect what seems to be a mathematical equation of Truth. Truth is a form of awareness, one that, when present, thrums through my body like an electrical current. Words, when spoken or heard, if containing Truth, lead to a visceral experience of discernment, which is beyond any doubt a form of connection to something beyond the mundane, beyond body language, beyond surface-level reality and the culturally-determined and biased truths that comprise the stuff of our daily grinds. All religions contain a kernel of Truth. By this stage of human cultural and societal evolution, it is apparent that the inter-relation between religious systems is much greater than most proponents of specific religions might admit to. Given certain cultural biases and evolutionary processes which have had a strong part in determining many of the ritualistic and humanistic aspects of different religious systems, the extraordinary amount of correlation about basic tenets and ideas about humanity and our relationships to the Cosmos and Creation is humbling to consider. As there are so many resources currently available for all who seek edification in this matter, it is not necessary for me to expound too deeply upon the subject other than to acknowledge this Truth and contextualize it.

Religions are culturally perceptive lenses through which we interpret reality. No more, no less. A woman born in Lebanon might find Islam to be her preferred lens while a man born in America might find Christianity to be his. An Englishman might choose Wicca or Luciferianism while a French-woman chooses some form of New Age Love and Light to express her beliefs about the nature of the world. Religious systems serve as guidelines that modify perception, affect behavior and determine both macro and micro-scaled events to the extent that they are institutionalized within disparate cultures. The universalizing religions of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism are more than just personal choices, then, but they are also cultural institutions that have played a large role in the evolution of global society and consciousness.

Because religions are variable, it is necessary to look at their core truths in order to determine the nature of the Greater Truth that underlies them. Coming from the perspective of criticism and censure negates clarity and limits potentiality and understanding, which muddies the vision, the mind and the ability to understand clearly. Emotional processes designed to lend energetic impetus to intentions then lead to compartmentalization, differentiation and hierarchical enumeration, dichotomous diffusion along a scale between extremes and a further playing out of human dramas within the crucible of cosmic forces manifest and hidden by idiosyncratic and egocentric blusterings.

The first word was a release of energy. That energy differentiated, becoming All That Was, Is and Ever Shall Be, as explained above. The first word was a sound, much like the words that we use today. The Buddhists say that word was Ohm. The power of words is expressed in ways too varied to remark upon, but suffice it to say that each of our lived experience should give us a very visceral understanding of this Truth. Words spoken in anger or in love, the beauteous sound of a harmonic chorus, a large choir, a child’s laugh. Words, sound, vibrations, resonation, creation. The relationship of musical notes to sacred geometry, to energy, to the very fabric of Creation, is emphasis of the importance of an holistic understanding of reality, of consciousness, of who and what humanity truly is and what our potential really encompasses.

Becoming aware of the importance of a scientific understanding of the world is secondary to the experience of the world. The visceral and involving task of living, or engaging the process of creation in the crucible of the Now moment trumps all attempts at codification and so, in this view, knowing the terminology and the processes can be seen as an irrelevant distraction from the beauty and perfection of pure knowing gained experientially. The triumph of ignorance and laziness threatens this perspective, as those who seek the comfort of illusory stability and understanding proselytize doctrines that encourage blind faith and impotent works rather than seeking knowledge and meaningful participation. Jesus taught that we had to be as innocent as children to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Buddha taught that you could find Nirvana by sitting still and meditating upon a blade of grass. Simplicity in Being is the common denominator.

Once your perspective has shifted to the point where you begin to understand the world as energetic interactions and relationships of linked and resonant fields, you begin to understand what it means to live in a state of grace, or in the flow of life. Once you have begun to lessen your inner resistance to the energy that is flowing through you, that is flowing through us all, you begin to realize that it is most often the blockages within yourself that cause many of the problems that surround you and that lead to further emotional imbalances and material contradictions in your life. It becomes possible to be aware of the flows of energy in your own body and the bodies of others, as well as the flow of intentions and the resultant interactions through which thought is manifest into deeds which imprint upon the very fabric of reality. As you clear your own blockages through meditative and prayerful practices, acupuncture, energy work with doctors, shamans, priests, preachers, pastors or psychics, your Self begins to experience states of consciousness previously unknown. Bell-like clarity and flashes of intuitive understanding that seem to come out of the blue, but that truly come from deep within you, from your Higher Self or God-presence, become only now accessible because of the clearing of mental and emotional detritus that was blocking their full expression. Our innate psychic potentiality can then be realized and we begin to experience more synchronicities, more intuitive leaps. Our dreams begin to instruct us and our lives begin to change, to simplify, to become less dramatic, less stressful, less blocked by negative energy that is really only our fears expressed in various forms stored in different locations in and around our physical bodies and astral fields.

The great Avatars, Prophets and Holy Men of the many religious traditions could have all sat down around a table together and had a great conversation. There would have been no fighting. No disagreements. The Buddha and Jesus would not have been rolling around on the floor trying to beat the life out of each other. There would have been only understanding. Only a flow of energy between clear conduits, unencumbered by mental and emotional blockages.

Any religious practice, if combined with an active curiosity and a deep desire for knowledge and understanding, can lead any practitioner to the heights of spiritual elevation and the transcendence of the physical world. The many interlocked levels of inter-relation between religious systems old and new point to certain deeper material and spiritual truths that mix physical science with biological science. In fact, there is only one science, the differentiation into disciplines was and is an affectation of the West done in the late 1800s more in order to confuse rather than enlighten as the masses of the European countries began to seek real educations. The human body, in microcosm, is a replica of the Cosmos, in macrocosm. The ancient peoples of the world knew this and built monumental structures designed to imprint eternal truths upon the facade of the world encased in stone for posterity’s sake. The Secrets of the Ages are now available to any who truly want to know.

The dangers we face we do so as a consequence of our chosen perspectives. All energetic relationships correspond to very strict rules according to flow and direction. This holds true regardless of context or type of energy. As an illustration, between the New Age-related and dichotomous designations of Service-to-Self and Service-to-Others as expressions of Bad and Good or Dark and Light, respectively, there exists a middling pole around which both extremes spiral, as exemplified by the yin-yang symbol. This pole is Unity Consciousness, a recognition of the necessity – and rightness – of the manifestation of opposition as an expression of the whole. Those whose intentions approximate the expression of Goodness as a lived reality can be seen to be on one side of the equation, while those who approximate the expression of Evil as a lived reality can be seen as the other side of that same equation. Being polar extremes, there is an inordinate amount of resistance and conflict between these two poles, as is readily understood by all. The eternal battle, it is called, or the War of Opposition. Those who plant themselves firmly between the two extremes experience the least amount of resistance as the energy from both poles flows through them rather than finding terminus within them.

Our personal perspectives are comprised of the choices that we make in regards to our cultural and spiritual alliances. Truth is beyond all of that. Beyond society, beyond religion, beyond politics, beyond opinion. Also, the reality beyond the mundane ability of our eyes to see is beyond what most care to know. The truth of it is that Creation can be a scary place if you allow fear to build blockages within your personal energy field. Since we are all connected, the fear that I might feel will affect those around me, passing like electrical current through capacitors linked and locked into multi-dimensional relationships we are barely aware of. Being an expression of primal creation, consciousness is not limited only to humans. Using the Judeo-Christian hierarchies of Angels and Demons as an example, there are multiple levels and types of consciousnesses that interact with humanity on behalf of Divinity in the form of God, corresponding to the di-pole expression of good and evil. They do not all have what we might consider our best interests – from our limited perspective – at heart, but they do engage in similar types of energetic relationships with us as we engage in with each other. Hence, the necessity of clearing one’s energetic fields so as to be better able to ascertain our inter-personal and inter-dimensional influences.

The Truth is, none of us is ever really alone. Therefore, there are no real secrets. There is no death as an end of consciousness and, in the end, there really is no you or me. We are variations upon a theme, holographically discrete expressions on a fractional scale ranging between 0 and 1, individually and collectively expressive of all the infinite potential therein. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed. I am finding that what we are each responsible for in our own lives is what kind of energy capacitor we want to be when it comes to our own integral natures and expression of Self and our resultant interactions with others. And that depends upon our intentions and our orientations and the clarity we create during the course of obtaining Knowledge of Self.

So, to answer the original question, I follow all traditions and no traditions. I can sit in a church, a temple, an ashram, a mosque or a forest and find God. As my friend Deepam is wont to say, some follow the Pathless Path, written in the Sky.

I am one of those.

The Cult of I: All that we were born to Be

It remains amazing how life applies force, through the medium of experience, in order to let us know when it is time to move on. Conversely, it remains amazing to recognize how we often work against this force in order to stay where we are at. Opportunities arise at seemingly coincidental stages that give us the option to move out in a new direction, to optimize our experiences by adding on to what we already know with new things, infinite possibilities. But the old, familiar beliefs beckon, whisper in our ear, urge us to remain planted, feet firmly on the ground, resisting all temptation to strike out into the unknown. Life is irresistable though, and each time we resist movement, we invite harder and more painful lessons into our life, until that force then forces us to embrace change.

When the ego meets the spirit, it often seems as if an irresistable force is going up against an immoveable object.  Nothing could be further from the truth. In the first instance, the ego is the spirit’s tool, designed to help navigate the currents and shoals of experience. The ego’s job was originally designed to man the helm of our conscious journey through the world, following the directives of our spiritual imperatives, handling the gross material details of our body’s movement through the four-dimensional world of space and time while the spirit maintained the more subtle and intricate aspects of the quantum mathematical formulations that regulate our unconscious bodily functions. In the second instance, there is no real separation between the ego and the spirit, and any distinction between the two is illusory. The ego is a personality construct formed in response to the dimensional manifestation of consciousness upon the material plane. Within a hierarchical structure of duties, the ego is to our spirit as an operating system might be to a hard drive; created to order, interpret and present Reality as an operating system orders, interprets and presents binary code. In the third instance, any illusion created by the appearance of separation is an affectation. A choice we make, to interpret only what the ego interprets as the totality of reality. To ignore the evidence of our senses beyond the five and live limited perceptively by the constraints of our bodily organs and the material world.

When social and personal imperatives elevate the importance of material success, personal strength as exemplified by well-developed egocentric personality constructs become the norm, sublimating the inner, spiritual core that undergirds the ego, bolsters it, informs it at its foundation. Success as defined by worldly pursuits minimizes empathy, compassion and the importance of the collective over the individual. The Cult of I proliferates and the spirit is sublimated beneath the chorus of experiences that chatter incessantly, drowning out the quiet voice that originates in our center. Past and future take on real and threatening aspects that obscure the moment. As we regret and worry, the petty events of our days and nights, our interactions with others, all lead us into the cause and effect creation of karmic debt that then limits the cast of possible future situations, while simultaneously hardening the imprint of past situations and their related choices. We are then pushed remorselessly into temporally impenetrable future choices and situations that, once we make them, also seem as inevitable as the originating choices and situations themselves.

The ego revels in its position as Chief Interpreter of Events. The improbable battle between our deeper Self and the ego is waged incessently at the almost subliminal level of consciousness. Sometimes we can hear it and feel it as an argument between the chatter of our egoic mind as it struggles against a feeling, or a quiet knowing deep within that tells us when we’re about to make the wrong decision, go down a more difficult path, choose the harder way through an experience. The voice of our egos seems to argue with something else – voiceless yet as present and real as thought itself – that we never take the time to identify, yet recognize as our Selves, conscious and knowing beyond all intelligence and reason. All too often, the ego wins and we ignore that deep knowing in favor of rationalizations, of intellectual bombast and flawed logical arguments that leads us unerringly in pursuit of our desires and material gain, often to our own detriment. We look back and shake our heads at our ignorance, wondering why we didn’t listen to ourselves in the first place, knowing full-well that, given similiar circumstances, in all likelihood, we would make the same decision again and, as a result, the same mistake. The problem is not our reasoning, our intellect or our decision-making ability, it is our dependence upon a mental faculty that has been overtaxed way beyond its ability to cope with the intricate, multi-dimensional folds of a quantum, holographic Reality.

It really is that simple. All knowledge is internal not external, and we know the answer to all of our questions before we even ask them. Once we realize a few things about ourselves, consciousness and the world around us, we realize that things we’ve always believed to be true about life just aren’t, and that there is more to existence than the pursuit of material satisfaction, happiness or riches. Perfecting clarity, or removing the multiplicity of experientially-biased lenses that we and society have created in order to limit our perception, becomes the only goal worth achieving, at this point. And this means going above and beyond, shifting our efforts from external pursuits to internal. Undergoing a life-review in extensive and personal detail, finding out where our most deeply held beliefs were born, where our most secret disfunctions live, where our most intimate desires are whispering for us to go. Clearing a lifetime of mental and emotional detritus, all of which are spattered viscous and gross, like bugs on the windshield of perception, causing Self to squint and crane in the attempt to see past the mess and interpret incoming stimuli accurately and in the service of our best karmic and dharmic interests.  Life deserves our best effort, and we can only give it if we obtain Knowledge of Self first, and then use that to better the lot of those around us, in service of the Divine that we finally realize is manifest in every single aspect of Creation, from the most humble beggar to the most arrogant Moabite.

The force of life is the lifeforce. That which gives us breath, the animating force of the Creative Principle itself, the Creatrix, preceding conceptualization (omniscience), dichotomization (omnipotence) and manifestation (omnipresence) by any other name (or Divine Moniker). Serpent Power energy, Chi, Ki, Qi, Kundalini, Prana, however it is described, suffuses Creation, the life force and life consciousness that animates every aspect of material incarnation. We are all connected in this web of subtle energy at the level of thought, directed action, auric blooms and beyond, our sometimes inconsequential interactions and true st intentions more far-reaching than we could ever imagine, given the intricate weaving of meaning and destiny that originates in hidden histories far past the wildest postulations of our most febrile imaginative jaunts. But such is the life we’ve all chosen to live, as your presence here indicates our pre-life decision to interact and share experience during this Cycle of Incarnation and who knows how many others. Let go of the limiting beliefs and manifest the power of oceanic divinity through the droplets of consciousness we have chosen to become, this time around. Failure is not possible and fear is only a choice we make when we forget that we are greater than we seem to be, as boundless and powerful as the stars that shine above and the rocks that quake beneath our feet. G-d is Change, and embracing that fact releases us to wonder, and the joy of Becoming all that we were born to Be.

2012 and Beyond: Conscious intention and growth

2012 is a year of destiny. So many people are saying so many things about so much. What is going to happen? Is the world going to end? Is it going to be a year like any other? Is life going to get better for more people or worse? Are bad things going to happen, are good things going to happen, or both?

Not all years are brought in with the hoopla surrounding them like this particular year is experiencing. So many people have been looking forward to it with anticipation or fear that nobody knows exactly what to think. Most people are comfortable believing that it is going to be a year like any other with no special significance. Other people are desperately hoping and believing that this year will mark a shift in the world and its people, for better or for worse.

Religious folks look to prophecy and ancient tomes and herald this year as the end of a long period of testing. Spiritual folks look also to prophecy, ancient tomes and ethereal voices and see the same. Materially-oriented folks look to the state of the world, the economy, wars and rumors of war and see pessimistic possibilities also. It seems that no matter what perspective that one might cultivate, the outlook for 2012 is one of transformation. Transformation of the world that we live in and and possibly of ourselves.

What do you see occurring in 2012? Do you see the year as being one of transformation? Do you think that the transformation will be positive or negative? That the world will become a better place because of it or a worse place?

Depending upon your viewpoint and perspective, the world may indeed change for better or for worse, believe it or not. The power of intention is under-rated, for the most part. In our personal lives, if we are not consciously following a path of personal transformation, our intentions are ephemeral and shift with the moment. Our motivations are decided by our emotional states, by circumstances or by whimsy. We don’t necessarily pay close attention to where we might be coming from or what we might intend in general. Depending upon our level of self-knowledge, this could result in the expression of a life without direction or  motivation.

Individually, we affect all those with whom we interact and sometimes even more people than that. We affect the way they think, which can affect their intentions which eventually results in a change in their behavior through a shift in their actions. If we can each, individually, affect one another in this way, consider the greater implications of societies and cultures and the possibility that each can be viewed organically as well.

What are the intentions of the United States toward the rest of the world? How do those intentions affect others? How do the intentions of the US manifest as thoughts? And how do those thoughts eventually result in actions that express the intentions of the US? Canada? Great Britain?

As we are indoctrinated in the cultures of our countries, so our intentions, thoughts and actions are a reflection of that subliminal indoctrination and we come to express, individually, a national character that is distinct and recognizable in other countries as we represent ourselves and our countries in our travels. The extent to which we consciously become aware of this process of indoctrination and how deeply we internalize it ourselves determines the extent to which we then become responsible for the intentions, thoughts and actions of the nations within which we have each achieved self-awareness, to greater or lesser degrees.

Disassociating one’s self from the indoctrination process allows one to then become aware of who they are, individually, perhaps, for the first time ever. Going deeper than the nationalism, the patriotism, understanding the extent to which the society, the educational system, the media, friends and family conspire to keep each other in a state of somnolence is necessary for each of us.  The ending of the restless and fitful slumber of the masses, interrupted by fits and starts like 911, like the 2008 financial crash, like the arrival of a year like 2012 that threaten to fully rouse populaces tired of sleeping and ready to wake and look around, finally aware of what is truly going on in the world around them, allows us each to understand that it is our responsibility to infuse the national character with conscious intentions commiserate with those of their individual components.

It takes a year such as 2012 and the attention of a vast number of people to bring sub-surface intentions and thought-processes, both individual and collective, to the surface. It takes a year like 2012 and the strident arguments, the passionate contentiousness, the awakening realization of billions of people that we are all in this together to consciously make a shift in this world that will result in its betterment. It takes a year like 2012 and the recognition that the pyramidal control structure that has been in charge off the planet for far too long is not our only alternative when it comes to governance. It takes a year like 2012 and the understanding that Banks have not been the repositories of security for the populace that they’ve advertised themselves as being for so long. It takes a year such as 2012 for people to understand that divide and conquer results in the empowerment of a minority to the detriment of the majority.

Whatever happens this year, it will be what we all choose. What we all decide, together. If there is to be war, then it will be with the consent of the majority of the world because wars cannot be fought without warriors to fight them or their parents, wives and children to support them, passively or actively. If there is to be financial ruin, it will only because we decide that it will be so, because we continue to give power to fiat currency and to a system of banking that rewards the 1% and punishes the 99%. If there is to be racial and ethnic conflict, it will be because we decide that we are different from those who do not look like us and that that difference is enough to determine who belongs at the apex of the power structure. If we decide to go down the pathway of the catastrophic earth it will be because we all choose to do so, together.

Of course, there is another choice. There always is. If we individually decide that we want 2012 to be the best year of our lives, then we can make it so, no matter what happens in the world around us. And if many people make that decision and affect each other’s intentions, thought processes and actions, then, together, we can all make 2012 a year to mark the progression of years through the timeline of evolution and consciousness, to make this year a banner year despite the intentions of the minority in power and despite whatever may happen around us in the world. Come comets, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, cold spells, hot spells, droughts, famine, pestilence, disease, the world as it is perceived is as we decide it to be, subject to the infinite power of intention.

Make 2012 a banner year, for yourself. From you, this intention will spread to others and from them, to others still. Instead of being a year to end all years, 2012 can be a year to begin all years. Year 0 in a brand new future beyond the prognostications and prophecies of the ancient and new traditions. 2012 will be what we make it, individually and collectively.

Happy New Year, to One and All.

2013 and Beyond: Conscious intention and growth

The Rules of Capitalization: The spiritual lies we live

It is often difficult for people to handle the Truth. We all have our “little t” truths, but when it comes to the “big T” Truths that speak to aspects of “big S” Self as opposed to “little s” self, we often do not want to hear it. People can go an entire lifetime running from Self and Truth. In fact, even understanding that there is a difference between self and Self, truth and Truth can be too much for many to handle. Here are two examples of “little t” truth versus “big T” Truth:

Money will make you happy. That is a “little t” truth. Money will give you the capacity to pay your bills, to buy gifts for people during birthdays and special celebrations, to get things that you desire and think you need in your life.

More money, more problems. That is a “big T” Truth. Money will not only allow you to take care of the material things in your life that you need, it will also allow you to engage in behavior that you may desire, which is not the same as need. Indulging our desires is the quickest way to find out who we truly are and, sometimes, that is not necessarily a good thing.

Now here are two examples of “little s” self versus “big S” Self.

I’m an individual. I like certain things and dislike other things. This is an example of the “little s” self. There are things that happen in life that make us happy and sad. Naturally, we like the things that make us happy and we dislike the things that make us sad. Our bodies react to our thoughts by sending a cascade of chemicals out from the hypothalamus (neuro-peptides) that suffuse our cells, changing their state, which we call having an emotional reaction. Being happy, being sad, etc. Chemical reactions which are imminently controllable, if we so choose. Our emotions are powerful and they are often an important factor in the decisions we make in our lives.

We are One. We are all a part of God.  This is an example of the “big S” Self. Also called the Higher Self or one of the 72 Names of God, we are, individually, like cells in a human body or like droplets in the ocean, a part of something larger and beyond our individuated consciousnesses. Being such, we are not our egos or personalities, we are the silent stillness of Awareness that lies beneath the thoughts that often course remorselessly through our minds. This Awareness is our connection to our Higher Self and to that higher Divinity which lies beyond. This is who we really are. The core of our BEing, that which is aligned with the Eternal and Infinite.

Coming to understand these differences between self and Self, between truth and Truth is coming to terms with the reality of the holographic matrix within which we live and carry out the conditions of our lifetimes. Our “little t and s” truths and selves are the ego-bound, personality-driven, limited almost mechanical constructs through which we view the world and our interactions. They are the product of our upbringings, our family values, our societal mores and our conceptions of dualistic existence. It consists of our likes and dislikes, our rights and wrongs, our goods and bads, our positives and negatives.

Our “big T and S” Truths and Selves are our connection to each other, to the world and to the cosmos and the Infinite and Eternal beyond even that. They are our resonant response to the thrill and joy of existence, to the contradictory and yet supportive conditions of a limited material existence and an unlimited immaterial existence. The contradictory understanding that we will die, and yet we will live again. That we have only a short while upon this earth, yet there is no end to what lies beyond.

A general response to these Truths that lie beyond the ken of too many is an immersion within the daily grind. A concentration upon minutia. An over exaggeration of our physical bodies to the detriment of our spiritual bodies. An elevation of the emotional and personal entrapment to the exclusion of a greater form of emotional and personal detachment. We often desperately hold on to the “I”, to the “me”, so that we don’t have to admit the existence of a greater “We”. The contradictions of our existences demand this willful blindness to the Truth in favor of our truths.

To enjoy material life in the Western cultures is to celebrate the “I” and the “me” over the “We”. To live within a capitalist culture is to celebrate the “I” and the “me” over the “We”. To continue to internalize the inherently separative qualities of our culture, we must create a virtual battlezone within ourselves between self and Other, the Other in this instance being everyone outside of self, to include family members and friends. This results in the fundamental schism of a lifetime, when considering the fact that, in order to alienate others, we must first create division and separation within ourselves. This division and separation comes at the cost of the greater “We” and often occurs at a very young age.

The journey of a lifetime then becomes a reclaiming of the innocence of childhood; an innocence that recognizes the Truth of Oneness and a resonant, compassionate understanding in the collectivity of BEingness. We are alike, we share more in common than may be immediately obvious, your good fortune is mine, your happiness is my joy. Being happy for your sister because she is happy, celebrating your friend’s good fortune because it is also yours, honoring the stranger because you have also been a stranger before and know how it feels.

Awakening to the necessity of piercing the “little t’s and s’s” is one of the first steps along the journey of reconnecting with your spiritual and greater Self. Controlling your emotional states and the inner dialogue, finding out who you truly are within and living life in the Present and not the Past and the Future are all attainable goals, if and when you decide to embark upon that path. Going within to meet your Inner Child, seeking to heal her or him and send that part of yourself on a journey of re-connection with your Higher Self will lead to sustained and constant spiritual growth and a more joyous and connected experiential journey through the days of your life. This is the goal of an incarnation, at heart. Not money, not security, not happiness. These things are ephemeral and do not last. Only what is within and reflected without, lasts, and only what is within and reflected without, is Truth. Only what is beneath the inner-voice, beyond the thoughts, is Self.

Learn to recognize the Rules of Capitalization. Then live your life seeking to internalize them with eyes and hearts wide open to experience.

Nationalism and Spirituality: As above so below

This body I inhabit was born in the United States of America, In the late 1960s, to parents born but also raised in the big sky and red dirt country of the lower Panhandle region of West Texas. Our people are the descendents of enslaved Africans, galvanized by intimate, cultural interactions with both Europeans and Indigenous Americans, creating a singular and genetically consistent sub-racial/ethnic population identified as African-American. My own specific indoctrination into American culture is as a member of the generational cohort designated Gen-X, the child of an Air Force Veteran, being raised across the country and the world surrounded by the trappings of militarism and nationalism in a concentrated and volatile format. Being thusly sired, it was no stretch for me to enter the Army myself in the late 1980s culiminating in the First Gulf War-Desert Storm in 1991, whereupon the completion of my tour of duty found me more than ready to resume the formal aspect of my educational career, which I came to the end of 15 years later. It was only then that I formally embarked in a more concentrated manner upon the individualized spiritual journey that, earlier on, had characterized my life as a parallel thread of interest, but that has, over time, come to define the middle years of my life as the primary focus of my personal endeavors.

For most of my life, questions of religion and spirituality were answered within the confines of the Baptist and non-denominational Protestant Christian churches, where the perceived and affected africanisms, remnants of the continental genetic inheritance of an enslaved peoples familarized me with the intimate spiritual nature of African-descended folk, including such storied psychic capabilities as speaking in tongues(glossolalia), getting the spirit(possession), and the inherent and undeniable power of souls in synch expressing God-consciousness through the invocation of The Word put to music and the pounding, throbbing rhythms of the beat, either by drum, feet or both. The power of raw emotionality, the ability to leave the body and experience reality as Other than ordinary – as expressed equally in the synthetic religions of Santeria and Vodun – a cultural as well as a racial inheritance of the Middle Passage, known to Africanists the world across as the Maafa.

 The contradictory nature of spirituality and nationalism confront all spiritual seekers at some point of their personal evolution. And yet, our specific circumstances, our dharmic inheritance as it were, serves a purpose in the unfolding of our spiritual destinies as nationless Citizens of the World. Coming to grips with one’s Past and integrating it with one’s Present is a key component in the journey towards Transcendence of the material plane of existence, which can mean many things to many people. For me, personally, Bush’s War on Terror and Obama’s War on Liberty aftermath has left me struggling, caught within the grips of an extreme case of cognitive dissonance as my training and upbringing as a member of the American Warrior Class(AWC) surges within my mind. Memories of soldiering, the endless repetitions of the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegience and Star Spangled Banner during my early years combine with the direct military indoctrination of my young adulthood and the subsequent, rough cameraderie of soldiers, as well as the life and loves that have formed an indeliable impression upon me in the Past have made me the man that I am in the Present. I would not be who I am now, if it were not for who I was then.

When I was stationed in Germany during the late 80s and early 90s we used to call the United States the World. When someone’s tour of duty ended, they were headed back to the World. For us, everything that we could ever want was back home in the States, the World. I rather expect that soldiers, wherever they are stationed, continue to do so. In fact, I have seen movies of Vietnam where this convention is honored, and it signifies the way that soldiers think of the United States, of home, even though, technically speaking, their deployment across the planet might more accurately be considered an experience of the World. Sentimentality knows no bounds of logic or experience, it seems.

The expression of this dichotomous viewpoint, the struggle between the World and one’s current circumstances and understandings is the stuff of spiritual elevation. In each moment, it is possible for us to let goof the Past, to die to who we were in order to become who we are meant to be. As an example, it is as if there were a grand template of Rahkyt out there somewhere, a vision of perfection and peace whereby I realize my inherent probabilities, manifest at the highest level of Being, the possibilities of my spirit and my soul. A similar vision exists for all of us, regardless of our stations in life, or our individual experiences, because we are all One, connected at every level of interaction, our actions and reactions being determined by the chaotic effects of stimuli too many and diverse to specify ranging from an vast number of options spanning both space and time, creating matrices of chance and probability that result in our individualized Destinies, sending us upon life-journeys of perfection and peace, despite the emotional highs and lows of illusory materialism that distract us from what is really going on, beneath the surface drama of life and its attendent trials and tribulations.

And yet, this illusory materialism is the very stuff of life, isn’t it. It is the daily grind, the emotional relationships we share the history, and the cultural and social milieu that we inhabit forms the majority proportion of our perception, given our tendency as socially conditioned Westerners to elevate the external, material conditions of our shared realities over the internal, spiritual conditions of that selfsame reality. Which brings me back to Nationalism.

It almost goes without saying that the connection of body and mind, and some aspects of the spirit, to the collective of humanity is of necessity a mandatory expression of Oneness and that Nationalism, even considering all of its ills, is reflective of this subconscious desire of disparate groups of humanity to express this reality, given their shared ethnic and cultural affiliations. Group-mind, mob behavior, both have an aspect of shared consciousness at the level of the human sub-conscious, binding individuals together in ways that are scientifically documented and verifiable through varied methods utilized by the mass media, corporations and governments in order to direct and control populations.

So on the individual level, for those of us seeking elevation and death to the Self, it become incumbent upon us to examine all of our previously unexamined habits and beliefs in order to determine what istrue and real in our lives, what is Ego and what is Soul, and sublimate our tendencies toward the ease of groupthink accordingly. For me, personally, the heartache and pain of American soldiers fighting and dying on foreign soil is a visceral experience to me because I feel them on an individual level, know what they are going through to an extent and recognize what it took and takes for them to live the lives that they have chosen.

On the other hand, because of my empathic abilities and somewhat specialized, geographic knowedge I can feel and intuit the pain of those in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, as they are subjugated to a foreign power, Palestinians and Israelis fighting for their lives and land, Iranians, Egyptians, Syrians and Kurdistanis seeking to make sense out of the shifting, political sands. All of these groups change, evolve, merging and interacting on a super-personal level as collective, psychic entities embroiled upon multiple levels of interaction, sending tendrils of potentiality out into the aether which respond to the collective intent and desire of nations and people across the globe, all connected within the miasma of Gaia’s aetheric emanations, collectively, as macro-level expressions of the diversity of lifeforms within our own bodies, working and living together as individuals and organizations for the evolution of the whole.

This body I inhabit is formed of Stardust born of Earth, third planetary body from Sol, one solar system among many clustered within the Milky Way galaxy, reflecting the Infinite Array, expressive of the expansive nature of both matter and consciousness and the continuing evolution of the multiverse, transcending time and space within the remorseless imperative of the evolutionary process occuring within the soul of each moment, born anew with each thought and subsequent action at every level of Creation Become. My experiences and genetic programming, explicit towards the manifestation of my own personal destiny as a microcosm of our shared, collective destiny, the fulfillment of an imperative born far beyond my, or our, capacity to conceive of in its awesome and terrifying immensity.

Life Has A Way of Reminding You of What is Important

My partner, I and my 10 week old son have just moved to a new apartment. A great place, a turn-of-the century home with stores below and apartments above, we live on the third floor. Everything in the apartment was new when we moved in, from the paint job to the appliances. The only problem was the front door, which was not framed correctly. You can see light from outside all around the edges of the door when it is closed and the door won’t stay shut, nor will it lock without lifting the entire door for the deadbolt to fit into the frame.

So we’ve waited for weeks for it to be fixed, but finally, today they came to fix it. As I answered the door, still mentally in PA and with my son in my arms, thinking about my response and future actions, the workmen stood there. I said hello and the lead workman, Luc, looked at the door, bent to check out the frame and immediately collapsed.

I asked if he was ok, his companion, speaking in French, did the same, a small smile on his face as if, perhaps, his friend was joking around. But it was no joke. Immediately Luc began harsh, grunting and laborious breathing, his body began shaking violently, he was in the midst of what looked to be an epileptic seizure. He was face down, his head wedged into the space between the door and the frame. I immediately grabbed his shoulders and motioned to his friend – who spoke no English – to grab his legs and we turned him over.

I ran quickly upstairs to wake up my partner and hand her the boy, but she had heard the door and was already stirring. Hearing my voice below become strident, she knew something was wrong. She took the boy from me and I told her to call an ambulance and ran back downstairs. The other guy was standing there, tentatively, watching his friend, his voice high as I assume, he kept asking Luc in French if he was ok. But Luc’s eyes were rolled up in his head and he was breathing like a freight train, spittle blowing all over his face and jacket, his body trembling uncontrollably. I called upstairs for a blanket and my partner brought it. Luc’s friend ran downstairs then, calling something to me that I did not understand.

I sat with Luc, one hand over his heart, the other behind his head, holding him up, staring into his eyes, telling him, “relax, you’re going to be ok, you’re going to be ok”, and consciously sent him energy from my core through my hands into his body. I kept on in this manner as Luc’s friend returned, this time with two younger guys in tow whom I recognized as being co-workers, as they were all working on another shop in the back of the building. One of them told me that he was Luc’s nephew and he knelt beside us and spoke to his uncle in French, holding his hand and reassuring him. I asked him if his uncle was epileptic and he said no, this is the first time this has ever happened.

My partner brought down blankets and knelt with me, holding his head, also sending him energy, engaging in the work of her soul. We both continued to do so, eyes closed, her silent, me speaking softly, to his soul, as he trembled and moaned on the ground between us all.

As his tremors began to subside and his eyes flickered, the first responders arrived on the scene. At that time, his tremors had almost stopped. I’d only met him once previously, when he had first come to see the door. He’d measured it, told me they’d have to order a new door and that his name was Luc. He seemed to me a good guy. Now, as he was returning to himself, he seemed a bit sheepish as his awareness returned and he saw his nephew, two co-workers, me and my partner and three first responders encircled around him with concerned expressions on our faces.

He tried to stand up but couldn’t and he was helped to a couch, where he sat and answered a few questions. I moved back then, wearing only a pair of sweats and my winter coat which my partner had brought out to me at some point as I knelt there with only the sweats on in 0 degree Celsius weather, helping a near-stranger to the best of my ability. I looked out over the village as they spoke to him and others took charge, thinking about this moment. Why this had happened at this particular moment and what it meant in the larger scheme of things. I felt my heart wide open, bare in the face of mortality, and tears threatened as the fragility of life and the immediacy of the Now was impressed upon me yet again.

We are not promised tomorrow. We are not promised the next minute. Even in the midst of constant change, as life flows and we flow along with it, there are moments when you have to be forced into a recognition that we are the sum not only of our environment but out choices and those deeper streams of genetic and biological truth that we are not necessarily cognizant of. The confluence of time and space conspires to create moments of awareness, flickers of a candle’s flame against the dark resonance of the unknown, each moment a step into that darkness, taken with the faith of innocence that it will land upon something solid and that we are assured of a safe passage into the future. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The choices we make pre-life are mysteries to us now. Luc did not know when he knocked on my door that a life-changing event was about to occur. I did not know when I answered the door that a perception-changing event was about to occur.

Each of us influences each other as we interact, even if we are only within the context of an internet community. Those of us who look upon our interactions here without thinking about the deeper moral and spiritual aspects of those interactions are missing the lion’s share of the meaning that is inherent within each successive moment. Those of us who act without thinking about that importance, those of us who speak from pride, from a deeper, ingrained hubris,must look further for meaning than the rules of an old society, the understandings of an outdated paradigm.

We are each responsible for every single thought, every single word we utter, every single intention that we manifest, whether spoken or written, and will stand to account for it at a time not of our conscious choosing but at the choosing of our Over-soul. Coming to grips with that reality in the face of a cold gust of mortality can be a bracing thing if you’re not expecting it.

Our reminders are synchronicitous whether we realize it or not, each event holding meaning, following from some prior causation originating materially from immateriality. We are given precious glimpses into this Truth at key moments. These are moments that are designed to remind us of who we are and why we are here.

These are moments when life has a way of reminding us of what is important.

Trust: Changing your codes Pt. 1

I don’t feel like poetry today. Nor do I feel like going off on some deep spiritual riff, no matter how the notes promise to spiral and ascend through chords, timpanic booms echoing into the distance as flutes and violins chatter and obos and clarinets rustle through the thick undergrowth of lowing trombones, whispering cornets and frustrated french horns.

Today I’m feeling staccato, like eighth notes and sixteenth note runs on a cacaphonic Coltrane high. My anahata chakra is throbbing, spreading heat throughout my solar plexus, pulsating in tune to my mood; and I want to share the immediacy of the feeling. I want to talk about trust.

It’s not always the ones who smile in your face and listen to your problems who end up being your friends.

People come at you different ways. Some obstinately indifferent, others fiendishly polite and some wilfully obtuse. This is nature, this is life, this is how people do people and how its always been since time immemorial. When you make the decision in your own life that it’s not ok to remain mired in the same patterns of disfunction and neurosis that you’ve been caught up in for your entire life, it seems as if the entire universe conspires to work against your resolution. The determination to live your life trusting people, having faith in your decisions and your path in life becomes a torturous series of trials, during which you are accosted every which way by individuals and events both inside and outside of your control.

You take people at face value. You trust their word. You believe the things that they say to you. And when they tell you that they’re your friend, you believe that too. So believing, you share things with them that occur in your life. You tell them personal details about yourself, sharing your ups and your downs, the happy events and the sad events, the past events that have made you the person that you are and the future-possible events that will make you into the person that you want to be, living the life that you want to live.

And they smile in your face, nod and offer encouraging platitudes. They laugh when you laugh and look you directly in the eyes, making you feel warm inside and you experience that happy, glowing burst of chi that suffuses your body and sends tingles shivering down your spine, or, if the connection is strong enough, raises goosebumps along your arms and the back of your neck. Sometimes, it’s really that good.  And, in those times, life is good.

And then there are those who are indifferent; who are unfailingly polite and who live by a stark distrustful code that doesn’t allow for intimacy at the early stages of any relationship, be if formal or informal. Those people have been shaped by experiences sometimes negative in nature, wherein their trust has been broken, perhaps numerous times, leaving them broken in turn and distrustful of all outside of a small, intimate circle of friends and family who have been close to them for years, if not decades or a lifetime.

Physical and emotional abuse, the death of loved ones and other harsh experiences of reality conspire to inculcate fear and reinforces cycles of trauma and heartache that can be lifetimes in the undoing.

These people suddenly find other things to do, or display their discomfort through their body language and tone when personal conversations get too personal, or when they’ve reached their limit of interaction with certain individuals, maybe even with you or me. While it is difficult to pierce that seemingly cold exterior, within, in many cases, these individuals are warm, caring people who just need proof that someone is who they say they are to them, that proof being of the type that may take years – or extreme events of a sacrificial nature – to supply.

Those who are cold and distrustful fall under this category as well, although it usually takes quite extreme events to break through the mask which they have donned, and which has, almost invariably, become too fixed to ever remove – unless an extraordinarily powerful and consistent application of will is applied – resulting in the proverbial ‘hardened heart’.

Trusting, irregardless of the type of person trusted, is always a personal decision that one makes for themselves, in order to remove the mask of social interaction and reveal the truth of the person within. Trusting, then, is a choice. A promise and a commitment that we offer of ourselves, and, ultimately, for ourselves. This mask that we wear – that can become fixated and more expressive than a latex Hollywood monster mask augmented by the most high tech of digital special effects – is synomous with the choice, made by you, by me, to hide ourselves, to deliberately lie to others because it is what we have been taught to do by society ever since childhood.

Even though trust is a personal decision, dependent upon no one outside of ourselves, it still breaks my heart when my trust is broken. When someone I trusted disappears from my life suddenly and with no explanation, when tales are told out of school and you hear something you’ve told someone else in trust from another person’s mouth, or, when people begin acting differently toward you and you put the series of events in perspective and piece together the sad and disappointing truth that your trust has been broken.

Even worse, is when your trust is broken deliberately and malignantly, and you are placed in a compromising position in a very public manner, or in a manner that is detrimental to you materially or spiritually. In these cases, it seems as if trust was the wrong way to go, that you should have stayed in your shell, kept your mask intact, been cold and indifferent, taken years to choose whether or not to trust that particular person. So does this mean that you should follow your natural instincts and retreat back into your shell? Replace and tighten your mask even further, shelling out whatever it costs in order to have the most recent digital upgrades, so that nobody, ever ever again will see your true face, know your true feelings, be able to reach your true and everlasting heart?

While your ego, paranoia and hurt Self tell you, unequivocably, ‘yes, dammit, what, you want to get hurt and misused like this again???’, your heart of hearts always tells you true, and it is at this point that contemplation and silence come to bear, and that still, quiet Self within that speaks from the soul must be cultivated, stroked and lovingly caressed in order to retrieve the peace that you’ve been searching for all along. The peace that trust brings, by releasing you from the pain and heartache brought about by distrust, suspicion and living lives spilling over with anger, hatred, suspicion and fear.

While the surface waters of your consciousness are roiling and boiling copiously, the urge toward revenge and unholy self-righteousness crests, while the calm, deep and living waters that gird the warmth and movement of the surface retain their stability and their firm assurance that peace is the eventual goal, the inevitable end result and our eternal promise.

So let them do them, and we’ll continue to do us. Take a moment or two, a day or even a week, and allow your silence and calm response to speak for you. Do the inner work necessary to cultivate that calmness and to remember that you are better than that, that you no longer play those games, or are suceptible to base emotional manipulations, and, eventually, it will become true in your life. Not necessarily at first, because it takes time to get past emotional response habits that have been a lifetime in the making. Wanting to lash out and exact a bloody and righteous toll is natural.

Let me repeat that: Wanting to lash out and exact a bloody and righteous toll is natural.

But it is this form of nature, unexamined and formed by the instincts of our reptilian brains, that must be transcended, that we must spend our lifetimes sublimating in favor of the higher nature that we all share, that which brings us to the table in trust, peace and familyhood, regardless of our circumstances or our differences. Whether it be through monotheistic prayer, eastern meditation or agnostic contemplation, accessing your Self through intense self-awareness and purposeful conscientiousness is the mode by which we ‘change the code’ at the base level.

It has to be done, and no person should hold that much power over us that we succumb to the urge to destroy ourselves under the illusion that we are actually doing something to them. Because nothing could be further from the truth.

Sometimes it is those people who, at first, seemed unapproachable and self-contained that end up being your best friends. And, sometimes, it is those who seem to open up and listen to your problems who end up being your worst enemy. But either way, by trusting, and allowing yourself to be yourself and present that true face to the world, we end up being the winners. And that light of inner sight that shines forth from those who have achieved a state of peace and self-knowledge beckons us as a promised state of being, if only we can stay the course and implement the changes within ourselves in order to achieve our life-goals.

Trust: Changing your codes – Part II