LIVING A LIE
How do we perceive life and reality? Are we going through life with our own perceptions and definitions of life and reality, or are we going through life as subjects of our culture and the society from which we spring? What we think determines what we feel and what we feel determines how we act; and how we act determines the type of character and destinies we create for ourselves. But what and who determines how we think?
History shows that different perceptions of reality have defined different cultures in different ages and these cultures have defined its people. Some of these cultures and their values and beliefs are still with us today, while most are not. Why aren’t they still with us? Is it because their version of reality was proved wrong, or obsolete, or because a stronger power conquered them and thus got the people to change the way they saw and approached reality?
All perceptions of reality are based on certain assumptions, but what if the assumptions are wrong? For example, how we treat an illness depends on how we diagnose the problem, and how we diagnose a problem depends on how we analyze the cause of disease.
But what if the way we define the nature of disease, which is based on certain assumptions, is wrong? Then the diagnosis, no matter how advanced its technology, and no matter how strictly it abides by empirical studies, guidelines, and systems of procedure, is also wrong. And we have a case of mistreating the patient.
Are we any different? Have we been free to determine who we are and how to live our lives, or are we products of our education and conditioning? We may call ourselves modern, but is the modern man any less conditioned by his environment than his forefathers? Have we ever questioned the assumptions behind our beliefs and our perceptions of reality?
Just as a plant is influenced by its topography and geography, modern man has not just sprung from the void. We are all recipients of perceptions of reality that were not chosen by us, and which are not our own, and the soil that has nurtured our perception of reality has been fertilized by two diametrically opposed and dualistic realities- religion and science.
For hundreds of years, we have only known these two ways of perceiving reality – the religious and secular ways. How can we ever understand another perspective, when we have been taught to see and define things in terms of religious and secular realities; when we have been trained to see things outside and separate from nature; and when we have been educated to make conclusions in terms of opposites and reason or faith? How can we ever see reality naturally, when everything has been separated and divided unnaturally when we can only see reality in terms of man-made definitions, polarity, and opposites?
How can we aspire to be one with the Nature, understand unity, as in the great spiritual traditions, when we have been educated to make distinctions, to see things in terms of real or unreal, black or white, true or false, heaven and hell, the material and immaterial, the body and the soul and my God and your God?
How can we know universal love, when we have been taught to discriminate and to see things in terms of superior and inferior, extrovert and introvert, right and wrong and good and bad and to see people in terms of their differences?
Every aspect of modern man’s life has been identified, labeled and classified by these two schools of thought. Nothing on this planet is free from distinction; everything has been classified and given a value and a previous cause – but with two contrary interpretations!
Herein lays the fundamental problem. Fish cannot see outside of the waters where they swim, likewise, we cannot see outside our own cultural conditioning. We are unable to question our perception of reality, because we have no other way of perceiving it; we are only able to see these two realities, these two ways—the waters we are swimming in and ones we shouldn’t be swimming in—and, as a result, we have two contrary ways of perceiving reality and two ways of interpreting the nature of reality.
And it has been that way ever since religion and science split apart and asked man to choose between the ‘new way’ and the ‘old way’. From around the 16th century up to the present, western man has been seeking to gain control over his environment and to separate from nature and, in the process, attempting to win dominion over the earth, over others and over him.
Since then, people have come to believe there are only two reliable ways of perceiving the nature of reality, both in this world and beyond, and that is through knowledge of the physical reality on the one hand, and on knowledge of the scriptures, on the other.
In the process of gaining knowledge, we have gradually come to see ourselves as independent of the living systems that support and surround us, with a misguided belief that we can dominate and exploit nature, others and our bodies without any adverse effects to our world and to our own long-term health and survival.
Our planet, our species, and our health have been placed at risk by this misguided perception of reality and an unchecked lust for short-term gains coupled with a mythological belief in man’s autonomy from and power over nature.
And from here stems the schizophrenia, or the dualistic approach, which is the bane of modern civilization. Human beings are not only self-destructing, we are destroying our own nest, which is a sure sign that we have become unhealthy. Humankind has become unhealthy because we are acting unnaturally, and we are acting unnaturally because we have separated from nature.
This separation first began when man started to lose a connection to his roots and an overall purpose and meaning in life, as mirrored in Nature, and when he lost respect for the environment and started acting independently of his earthly and heaven roots, no longer in harmony and in rhythm with Nature’s cycles and patterns.
It continued when he began to perceive reality in exclusively materialistic terms, when he lost trust in Nature and her ways; when he began constructing artificial ideas, concepts, boundaries, and barriers separate from the natural world; and when he turned his back to wisdom and the spirit world, turning instead towards knowledge and facts.
It proceeded when western man set down rules of investigation, which prevent him from being an active participant of what he is investigating, when he is expected to be separate from or outside of what he is examining, when it is no longer necessary to know one’s soul but more important to know the physical laws of the universe.
When he begins to focus exclusively on the discovering the ‘what’ and not the ‘why’ and ‘how’; when he starts to define life- and truth- not in purposeful or familiar terms but in materialistic and reductionist terms, in terms of parts and structures; when he jettisons the whole from any inclusion; when he comes to believe in absolutes; when he institutionalizes art and artificiality; and when he sees himself as the measure of all things, man’s separation is complete.
As a result of this separation from Nature, life comes to be defined in terms of its material properties, which can only be identified as real when they have been observed and tested repeatedly to be real. Thus, the material gains precedence over the immaterial and the un-manifest is kept out of the equation and ignored as a significant principle of life, nature, and reality.
In this way, man focuses on the pursuit of knowledge and the acquisition of facts and begins to emphasize artificiality over nature, and reality comes to be defined exclusively in terms of its physical properties, and man’s spirit and intuition are severed from this reality.
But according to Ancient traditions, pursuing knowledge only, without pursuing wisdom, would be like pursuing a path without a destination. Not only would it not get us to go where we are destined, it would also take us away from where we belong.
The Ancients’ focus on the acquisition of knowledge was not for the sake of knowledge in and of itself but for wisdom, which, if gained, could help the soul convert out of darkness here on earth to the real ascent of being.
Gathering knowledge was seen as a process, a tool, not an end in itself. Achieving a state of wisdom was the final goal. Once man was in possession of wisdom, he would finally be able to get control over the body, its desires and appetites, the world of illusions – and go home.
According to the Ancients, being on earth was not man’s final destination, nor was knowledge man’s final goal. Man is here because he has fallen from heaven, and if he ever hopes to return to where he belongs, he will have to get control over his ego and its illusions and desires. Knowledge can help him to do that, but it is like a tool, to be used for helping man to get back home and convert his soul out of darkness.
Indeed, the only knowledge the Ancients recommended pursuing was the one that would help man to remember where we came from and who he really is; it is the knowledge we already know but have just forgotten. It is the knowledge of our Divine origins. It is wisdom and attaining that wisdom of our divine origins that will bring us to the eternal truth.
So for the Ancients’, the purpose of knowledge is to help us to re-connect with something we already know, not with something new, but with our innate knowledge, or the wisdom within. Once attained, it will unite our soul with Heaven and the eternal truth and finally guide us away from earth and the behavior that got us here in the first place.
In a materialistic world, however, with its belief in evolution, one must have knowledge to survive. To be spiritual/loving and selfless- is ‘self-defeating’, or ‘suicidal’, as it means neutralizing, even negating the ‘killer instinct’ or the survival instinct one needs in order to make it in the material world.
In such a ruthless and egoistic world, called ‘life’, which is governed by both the strict principles of war and the fundamentals of evolution, where only the fittest survive, one must bring out his ‘natural’, i.e., his killer instincts, which essentially implies qualities that will stop at nothing to preserve the body and the ego.
A man cannot just be a man to survive; he must be a warrior, and a nation cannot just safeguard its citizens; it must watch over its own self-interest with armies and vast arsenals of weapons, otherwise, it will be attacked and defeated by its enemies. How else can one survive, if not by guarding against one’s enemies and attacking them first?
So the accent is on the material self/body and what one must do to strengthen and protect both. To do that, one must exude the qualities of a warrior or a scholar, not the sage or a farmer. One must be made of the stuff of steel or genius, not of spontaneity and simplicity. In this worldview, it is either you or me.
So the ‘invisible’ purpose for which things exist, and which keeps the world in perfect balance and harmony, according to the Ancients, previously explained as the cause of the organizing principle of life, is no longer admissible – and no longer relevant to existence, either. As a result, man-made interpretations replace a natural reality.
With this preoccupation and identification with his materialistic, physical and social needs, man loses the connection with his natural instincts and his spiritual roots. Not only does he severe the material from the immaterial, he has also severed his being here from his reason for being here.
Thus, he loses his connection to Nature, Heaven and himself in all their mystery and wonder, and, in this way, he no longer sees a link to a world above and a soul within. Without feeling connected to both, he comes to think only in terms of what is below, in this material world, and loses himself in self-indulgence and pleasure, seeking happiness in the outside world. He falls.
The ego and fulfillment of his desires take precedence in man’s life and even, in fact, becomes his sole purpose. Man is not here to find his greater meaning in life anymore, an unfolding of the soul, so to speak; he is here in this world to live out his desires, to fulfill his egoistic ambitions and to be consumed by greed.
This identification with the material world enslaves us to the fulfillment of our bodily pleasures and leads us astray from the spiritual goal of [self-ego] liberation. Further, it deludes us into thinking that we are permanent entities, which creates tremendous fear in us at the prospect of our self/body ending, through death.
This illusion in permanence, and the continued desire to seek affirmation of the ego/body and their desires, and the fears that accrue from the fulfillment and non-fulfillment of such desires [that they will not last or be negated by life or others], results in our craving and clinging to all the sensory pleasure the world has to offer.
Unfortunately, a life fueled by such desire and craving creates an endless stream of suffering, since the desire never lasts, or the object of our desire is frustrated, or we fear losing what we have acquired.
Following this conditioning and how it has interpreted the nature of reality has got us to focus our attention on material success, not on self-liberation, and the assumption that material improvements will make us happy.
In this paradigm, the material world is the only thing that is real, since it can be proven and desire is the very fuel that runs the paradigm, the ‘stuff’ of dreams and personal ambition and the motivation behind one’s survival and one’s success.
As a result, it has got us to focus on this dualistic and artificial interpretation of reality, with the acquisition of knowledge and the creation of wealth as the twin towers of that improvement and development, accompanied and strengthened by a religious belief that it is man’s sacred and inalienable right to be free to pursue such material goals.
This perception of reality, that we are material entities, encased not only in a body but an ego/self with a name, family, and nationality, blinds us to our spiritual reality, and the reason why we are here in the first place. Instead, it gets us into seeing ourselves only so far as we can be perceived by our senses and how they can be gratified.
Is this dualistic and materialistic view right? Is it any wonder we are destroying ourselves and our nest? We are like the mule that was given two plates of food to eat but couldn’t decide which to eat and as a result starved to death.
Is there a possibility that we have been living a lie; that the very core of our beliefs and values and therefore everything is an illusion? Have we been walking down the wrong path all these years, because we got the wrong directions?
Is that why we are so sick today – because we are living a lie?
Over the centuries Man’s perception of Nature has been turned from an object IN itself into an object FOR itself that is approachable with human affinity. Basically speaking, man has come to view nature from outside her reach in the safe and secure confines of the artificial world he has constructed to protect himself from her unpredictable and threatening ways. In the process, man has transformed Nature into his own image with his own value of things.
Man may conserve Nature and visit and admire her beautiful beaches and landscapes, but he no longer lives in conformity and in harmony with her natural rhythms and laws. He boxes and bottles it, but rarely let his hands and bare feet touch the earth on which all life depends. He has come to appreciate her beauty in so far as it can be approached without fear and retribution and he has come to connect with her elements in so far as he can turn them into something for human use, consumption, and profit.
Man has made Nature’s beauty more accessible and her elements and phenomena more ‘user-friendly’, but in doing so he has made Nature appear more objective, more harmless and less necessary to the affairs of man. Fewer and fewer people are living in direct contact with nature anymore, which means that fewer people feel dependent on and connected to her as the mother of their existence.
This humanization of Nature basically began with the transformation and refinement of man’s senses into instruments of art. As a result, the five faculties, or senses, were ‘humanized’, so to speak, and humans developed the capacity to enjoy a musical ear for music, an artistic hand for painting, and a literary eye for poetry, etc.
Art, or artifice, was invented and thus began the advent of man-made inventions and man’s identification and association with an artificial world, separate from and divorced from true Nature.
Man first began to humanize Nature at the external level: Tools were created and with them reservoirs, canals and vehicles were built, and with them, communities were formed. For the first time in his short history on earth, Man was living in man-made, not natural dwelling places.
That wasn’t the end of it, however. Once living in artificial surroundings commenced, Man found it expedient to categorize and label everything into separate parts. Then after things became divided, Man found it necessary and convenient to assign a value to each of these things in terms of right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, and good and bad.
As a result, Nature had become humanized on an internal level and Man found culture. He had ultimately taken Nature out of Man and, as a consequence, became ‘civilized.’ As with the domestication of an animal, when one tames or removes the ‘wildness’ from an animal, e.g. one takes the wolf out of the dog, Man had turned his attention to himself and began to transform his own natural and primordial instincts into artificial ones.
Once man removed what was natural to his being, he then deemed it necessary to follow it up with educating Man and teaching him artificial ways of behavior. As Man had already done to horses by harnessing and tethering them, thereby taking away their natural instinct for freedom, he then turned his efforts to breaking man and transforming his instinctual and natural ways to more domesticated and civilized ones.
Eventually he succeeded by taking away his spiritual part, his natural part, his innocent part, the part connected to the earth and instead put in its place the conforming part, the part that taught uniformity, the one that taught him the virtues of the artificial world, artificial laws and artificial patterns, basically, the part that had no connection to the earth.
Slowly as man increased or refined his senses, he concurrently decreased his instinctual or natural faculties and his link to nature. This has led man to steadily separate and detach himself from his natural affinities and instead has got him to identify with artificial ones. This transformation of the senses has in turn transformed man’s interests and his perception of reality.
Instead of seeing and defining reality through Nature and identifying with a process or a series of processes, aspects of life which were cyclical, Man felt the need to organize and control the world around him at his pace and rhythm. In order to do that he devised a system of time which was based on a concept of causality and which was measured in terms of straight lines and the effects that came about for each cause.
Thus began man’s new version of reality, one in which everything came to be defined in terms of time and man’s connection to the past, the present and the future. Man had virtually severed his primary connection to the present and by doing so had created a dualistic world, a world of division and separation, a world in which man was no longer living in the present-at one with his nature and Nature around him.
He was now living in a new world, a world in which he was living outside of Nature, in antagonism to her and independent of her laws and ways, a world in which man, not Nature, was in control. It was a man-made reality, with man-made laws, not natural ones. Man was no longer part of Nature, following her natural laws, but he was outside of her, ‘objectively’ measuring them. He had created a new reality- his reality. And it was all a product of his mind.
This new version of reality was punctuated by a need to objectify everything and this could only be done by accentuating the faculties of the mind and reducing those of the heart. The ‘feeling’ man, in touch with both his nature [his intuition] and Nature at large [his environment], became the rational man, impersonal and removed from his environment, busying himself setting up theories and trying to prove them by logical experiments.
Thus man’s separation from Nature was complete: on an external level, he was no longer living in harmony with his natural environment but in artificial man-made- surroundings. And on an internal level, he was no longer connected to Nature and her natural laws but was living in his head, in a world of division, an analytical and dualistic existence, in which the world had become defined by the mind.
As a result of this transformation, Man had reduced his reality to that which could be seen and understood in terms of materialistic phenomena and idealistic values and nature had become nothing but a convenient backdrop for man’s personal and cultural ambitions and realizations. In the process of this steady and relentless withdrawal from man’s natural roots and values, Man had come to construct artificial connections and values.
How long would it take before man started to realize that something vital to human existence was missing?
Concept of Qigong
‘…training mind to direct qi to produce phenomena and healing result…’
Qi is the vital energy or the life force on the inside and the outside of the body. Gong means to make it work and to produce energy. Qigong means practitioner training mind to direct Qi on the inside and the outside of the obdy to produce phenomena and healing result.
Being an art of self-training both body and mind as well as sending forth external Qi, Qigong created by Chinese people in the long process of life, labor and fight against disease and aging, has the function of preventing and curing disease; protecting and strengthening health and longevity.
Qigong is an art and skill to train Qi to be exact. It is a method by which the practitioner gets his/her physical and mental self-exercise through bringing into plays his/her subjective initiative. To achieve this goal, the practitioner must associate his/her mind, postures and breathing and act on the whole organism. On the other hand, it actively self-regulates the functional activity of the organism and maintains a dynamic balance. It enables the body to produce an energy-storing reaction, reducing energy consumption and increasing energy accumulation producing the effect of regulating yin and yang, smoothing the meridian channel and emitting external Qi.
Qigong is part of Wu Chi (Wu Ji) cultivation. It is a way to produce elixir and it eventually leads to immortality.
Losing the Way- The Rise of Ego
- The Mind
The mind is the faculty of the soul. It receives the sights and sounds of the world ‘out there,’ as they come ‘in here’ through the eyes. We put all those sights and sounds on a screen of our mind in here. It is in the mind where we create thoughts, ideas, and images, which we radiate from ‘in here’ out into the world ‘out there’, through our attitudes and actions.
Over time, we start to become attached to and trapped in the ideas and images that we have created in our mind. Attachment to any idea or image creates fear. Fear is love distorted by attachment. The vibration of the energy of love is ‘distorted’ on the way out by the object [image or idea] to which the self has become attached. Thus, we experience different feelings of fear, such as worry, tension, anxiety, and panic.
One minute you are able to feel open and loving towards someone, the next minute you create hate towards them when they do not do, say, or be, exactly the way YOU want。The vibration of love that you were giving one minute turns into hate-fear only moments later, because you have an image in your mind of how you would like them to do/say/be.
It’s as if you ‘shrink-wrap’ yourself in the image/idea in the mind. You ‘shrink’ to the size of the image and you are ‘wrapped’ in the image, which means you are attached to the image. You expect them to be the way you have created them in your mind. When they do not live up to that image, when your expectation of them is not fulfilled, you get fearful, angry and upset.
It’s your attachment to that image that is converting the vibration of your energy from love to fear/anger. If you can drop the attachment, meaning, if you can break away from and dissolve the image on your mind, you can return naturally to the heart of your being. Once the attachments come down, the energy you give is restored to its original and highest vibration–which is love.
- The Power of Ego
But this is not so easy, because the ego is established the moment you attach to a false sense of self and does not want to release its false sense of identity. The ego attaches to what you are not—and this is the root cause of all suffering. It attaches to an idea/image/belief; it is not connected to the soul. It is not unconditionally loving, but ruthlessly attached…to an illusion!
As we attempt to detach from somebody or something, we learn one of the most discomfiting and painful of truths—attachment is the source of ALL of our emotional suffering. It is not the attachment to a person or thing that causes our suffering; it is the idea/belief/image or memory that we attach to that person or thing that causes our suffering.
- The True Cause of Suffering
It is the EGO and MIND that cause ALL of our emotional suffering. Pain is compulsory, but suffering is optional. Suffering is a choice. Pain is what we feel when something happens to the body we occupy. Pain is physical and suffering is mental-emotional. Pain is a signal your body sends to your brain. The message is you need to change something within the energies of your physical form.
Suffering is what we create at a mental and emotional level in ‘response’ to what happens to our body, and to what we perceive is happening in and to the world around us. Our body could be in pain but we could choose not to suffer.
Suffering is an emotional message that says you have lost control of your perceptions, thoughts and feelings, and if you want not to suffer you need to change the way you ‘perceive and think’ about what is going on around you.
Suffering is a sign that we have forgotten that no one else is responsible for our thoughts and emotions that we create and feel. “It’s always me and not them who make me think and feel this way”, is an insight that can ultimately allow you to free yourself from all suffering- if you want to!
Is it natural to suffer, is it human nature, and is it what makes us human, or is it a misconception? Misidentification, meaning we do not see who we really are, is the root cause of our suffering. All suffering is human created; we are not helpless victims.
We can use our emotional suffering to form the basis of our sense of who we are. They can range from a quiet feeling of uneasiness at one end to states of extreme stress that might include anything from deep sorrow, insomnia, to rage to terror.
Attachment happens when we lose our self in what is on the mind. We don’t even realize we are doing it. We then identify with what we are attaching to and that is the moment the ego is born. At this point, we let an idea, image or belief to shape who we ‘think’ we are.
- The Birth of Ego
The ego arises when we let a false sense of identity- through an idea/image/ or belief shape us. At this point, we are no longer the ‘free spirit’ or soul, and we become trapped in a mental form.
- Ego Defined
EGO is the attachment to and identification with an image/idea/concept/belief in your mind. All emotions arise from the ego.
Some of the signs that we are letting a false sense of identity- ego- rule us are, feelings of being:
-feelings of superiority/inferiority
Because of these ‘unhealthy’ emotions, we suffer. As such, the ego, and the misidentification of who we really are is the underlying cause of all dis-ease, all suffering.
- Cause of Suffering
Ego is not the direct cause of pain, which is natural, but it is the direct cause of suffering, which is unnatural. But it can indirectly cause pain, as with cancer. Emotions and the emotional instability we feel as a result [energy in motion], is the price we pay today for our attachments [misidentifications] yesterday. Emotions arise within consciousness when the self becomes attached to what is on the mind.
- What is the Soul?
The Soul is generally linked with the Consciousness, the Self, and Being. They all refer to the “I” that says, “I am”, as distinct from the body that we occupy.
While the energy of the physical body is what we call ‘matter’, the energy of the soul/self is what is sometimes called ‘spirit’. One is visible and tangible, and the other is invisible and intangible. Spirit is the being that I am/you are.
You don’t have a soul; you are the soul. You don’t have a consciousness; you are consciousness. You don’t have a spirit hovering around you; you are the spiritual being that animates and radiates from the form you occupy.
The immune system of the soul is within you, the soul! It cannot be separated from you. It manifests as ‘a specific movements of consciousness’.
When the immune system of the soul springs into action, it manifests in the three movements of consciousness, which are:
The first movement is awareness. Awareness comes when you have an uneasy feeling- you are AWARE- that something is not right, but you can’t put your finger on the cause. The second movement- realization- comes when you REALIZE that you are going in the wrong direction. The third movement- transformation- comes when you ‘change’, TRANSFORM, the direction in which you are traveling. You become somebody-something else, and go somewhere else.
- The Soul’s Reaction to Dis- ease
When the soul reacts to dis-ease, you first become AWARE of the dis-ease. Then you look into and REALIZE the ‘casual belief’. Lastly, you look deeper and realize ‘truth’ and you TRANSFORM your state of being.
- Belief- the Greatest Virus
Belief is the virus that infects and disrupts our consciousness, i.e., our soul/self. ALL dis-eases of consciousness are caused by viruses of different beliefs and our conscious and unconscious ‘attachment’ to those beliefs. Belief is not a truth.
- The Truth Will Set You Free
Only the realization of the TRUTH can free us from our attachment to those beliefs and free us from suffering, which will cure us from our dis-ease.
The three phases of the soul’s immune system- Awareness, Realization and Transformation- are the three components of the healing process.
The first phase of the healing process take place when you notice- realize- there is dis-ease occurring within your consciousness i.e. within you! This means being aware of anything from a quiet sense of uneasiness to negative and unhealthy thoughts and feelings about anything or anyone.
Being in this state we know- are aware of- what is going on inside of us, what is going on within our consciousness, within our self- the emotions within our consciousness.
- Unhealthy Beliefs
When we don’t avoid the emotions that we feel, and look into and through those emotions, we ‘see’ exactly which unhealthy belief sits behind the emotion and which is causing the dis-ease. Seeing the underlying belief, which is shaping all the thoughts and emotions, and being AWARE of it, is the first step in getting well.
The second stage is seeing through the feelings of dis-ease and realizing the ‘unhealthy belief’ that has ‘infected’ our consciousness-soul- and which is shaping these unhealthy thoughts and emotions. REALIZATION in this context means seeing, and realizing, the exact belief within our consciousness that is causing whatever dis-ease [emotion] we are feeling at any given moment.
All our dis-eases of the soul have symptoms called ‘EMOTIONS’. All emotion is a form of suffering. There are no positive or negative emotions. There is just emotion, or not. Emotion is not to be confused with states of being. For example, Love is not an emotion; it’s a state of being. Authentic happiness is not an emotion, either; it’s a state of being. And pure joy is not an emotion; it’s a state of being.
Emotion happens when the energy of our consciousness is distorted and distracted from its highest vibration, which is its natural state. The highest vibration is love and it radiates from the soul.
Examples of distorting the energy of our consciousness are if we believe- have the belief- that life is about survival and only the strong survive. This could engender the emotion of fear that we are not strong enough or we do not have enough money to survive.
- Rediscovering Truth
Transformation takes place within the self through the rediscovery of what is ‘true’. Only the realization of ‘the truth’ can overpower and replace an ‘unhealthy belief’ that is always the cause of dis-ease.
True healing means restoring the energy of consciousness to its ‘true’ state or vibration. When this happens feelings of dis-ease are replaced by feelings such as peace, contentment, compassion and cooperation, and intentions such as caring and understanding.
These are emotionless movements of consciousness which shape attitudes and behaviors that create harmonious connections and healthy relationships with others.
- Perception Shift
When a truth is realized by the self, it produces a shift in perception, which in turn changes our thoughts and actions. Each of these realizations then has the power to change our state of being and the consequent behavior. They have power to heal the soul, which means to eliminate the many kinds of dis-ease that we are habitually creating and feeling within our soul.
When your consciousness is in states of peace, love, joy, it is the energy of [the real] YOU- the Soul- vibrating at a certain frequency. As you do, you will ‘feel’ it first yourself. As you do, you will be able to vibrate that feeling/vibration outwards.
When you are in a loving state of being, you will be able to adapt that energy of love into perhaps compassion for one person or caring for another or patience towards another. So you FEEL the STATE you are in and can alter your feeling at will within that state.
To be able to alter your feelings, to adjust the way you use the energy of you, then you need to remain free within your consciousness; free means non-attached.
- The Core States
The CORE STATES are states that are prior to any emotion; they are [pure] states of being such as love, peace and joy.
In a LOVING ‘state’, when you are being loving [not wanting love], then you are in your most natural state of consciousness. You are at peace within yourself and giving of your energy.
This is not an excited state or an extroverted state; it’s quiet, like subtle song singing in your heart. You ‘feel’ this way because you are in a state of joy; because there is no emotion in the way.
Most of the time when we use the word ‘love’, we really mean ‘attachment ‘ and ‘emotion,’ which means it will be conditional and relative. It is false love. For us to give pure love we must be free, otherwise it is not unconditional -and real- love. Free in this sense means ‘unattached.’
As soon as we attach our self to somebody or something, we are no longer free and our ‘love’ cannot be pure and unconditional. It is relative.
- Beliefs, Attachments, Suffering
Beliefs are not chemicals; they are ideas and concepts from which we have made into forms as our ‘formed’ belief system. The effect of our attachments to this ‘belief programming’ is much emotional suffering and confusion, or the cause of All our stress and unhappiness.
An attachment precedes an emotion; attachment happens first and the emotion follows. For example, when our favorite team loses or another team loses, do we feel the same emotion? We only feel an emotion to that which we are attached- like when our favorite team wins or loses.
- Loss of Freedom
As soon as you attach yourself to something [something, some person] then you are no longer free. If whatever you are attached to is damaged or threatened in any way, that’s when you lose the core state of being, and you generate a disturbance within you called emotion.
- The Main Emotions
The three main emotions in our lives are:
When we are creating and feeling any of these emotions we are no longer in a ‘core state’ of being. Our being is in a sorry state! That means an emotional state.
SADNESS is what we usually call unhappiness. It always follows the belief that we have lost something. Sometimes we imagine we are going to lose something and we feel sad- in advance!
Sadness is a consequence, of the belief in possession and ownership. First, we are attached to the belief that things and people are MINE! Then we are attached to the actual things and people.
But the TRUTH [not a belief] is that NOTHING is ever mine because everything comes and goes. This is a fact of life- and why the pursuit of this kind of happiness ends in suffering and tears. Forms of sadness are melancholy, depression, disappointment, sentimentality and hopelessness.
FEAR is associated with the fear of ‘future’ loss. It is never the fear of the unknown. You cannot fear what you do not know. It is ALWAYS the fear that you are going to lose what you know or what you believe you have. It’s not the tangible things we fear losing; it’s the intangible things- and what losing the tangible things mean and represent to us, emotionally- that we fear losing.
Forms of fear are anxiety [fearfulness about something that may be lost now or in the near future], tension, worry, panic, and terror.
ANGER is the disturbance that we create when we believe someone else is to blame for our loss in the past, or that stands in the way of our desires and will therefore, be responsible for our imagined loss in the future!
ANGER usually follows sadness as we project our suffering onto another person or an event, both of which we cannot control. ANGER is the currency of conflict. Forms of anger are irritation, frustration, resentment, annoyance, hostility, bitterness, spite, loathing and scorn.
All forms of anger arise from the belief that ‘I am not getting or keeping what I want.’ That is then translated into our heads as ‘you are responsible for my unhappiness therefore, you have hurt me.’
No one hurts you. They may have hurt your body, but not YOU. They hurt your ego perhaps, but not YOU. Only the realization of that inner reality can free us from being infected by the current global contagion of angriness, sadness and fearfulness felt worldwide.
GUILT- is a mix of sadness, anger and fear. I believe I have done something wrong and I am therefore bad, so I am SAD at losing my self-image based on ‘I am good.’ I then become ANGRY with myself for doing so. And I FEAR someone will find out and then I will lose my reputation in the eyes of others.
You ‘will feel’ each of these emotions as they arise, as you create them. But no one else is responsible for their creation. While each of these emotions is flaring in your consciousness, you are helpless to choose and change what you feel.
Only when the emotion ‘dies down’, and is no longer present in your consciousness, can you choose and change your feelings. The more self- aware you become, the more you will see, feel and know this for yourself.
- The Great Liberator
Transformation is the liberator from ‘unnatural’ forms that the self has created and adopted within the mind. It is when we are able to overcome the false identification of ego and its attachments.
You start to ‘come out’ of [false] beliefs; as you do you are transforming. You are returning yourself to your true form as a free spirit, no longer trapped in anything on your mind. This is also the moment when the unhealthy emotions of fear and anger, start to fade away.
The action of transcending form takes place within consciousness. It is the moment ‘the self’ stops being shaped by whatever form [image/idea, belief] is on the mind. The self comes out of the mind and thereby rises above [transcends] what is on the mind.
The freedom of the self is restored as it returns to its original form as the radiant, invisible, undistorted energy of consciousness and soul. The feeling is one of peace and freedom. The true intention of the self, giving of one’s self without condition, without wanting something in return, is restored.
All the actions are felt and seen by others to be kind and benevolent…at ALL times.
- Outward sign
The main outward sign of transformation is the absence of emotion and restoration of our capacity to respond creatively instead of react emotionally.
So when someone breaks an expensive thing, you respond with peace and forgiveness- because you do not attach yourself and its image to the things and people anymore; the thing is a thing and you are you.
- Pure Love
When you are peaceful and forgiving, you are not emotional, you are at peace [with yourself] and extending love [of yourself] as forgiveness of the other. You are pure… LOVE
“Just as a candle cannot exist with a flame, man cannot live without a spiritual life”. —Lord Buddha
WHAT IS SELF
Lord Buddha said, “You can conquer armies, but the greatest conquest of all is the conquest over yourself.” What did he mean? Why do we have to conquer our self? We live in a world that is all about aggrandizing the self, that does everything to exalt the self, how is it harming us? What is the self?
According to spiritual traditions, there are two manifestations of self- a material form and an immaterial one. The material form occupies the body and governs our concerns on earth in the mundane world. It is controlled by the personality and the physical – rational and logical- side of the mind.
The immaterial self is otherworldly. It is considered the energy that occupies the material form. It is controlled by the spirit, conscience, and the intuitive side of the mind and it governs our concerns about evolving spiritually and with returning to the Source, or going ‘home.’
As the spiritual self is entirely non-physical, we cannot ‘scientifically’ prove our existence as a being of consciousness and ‘no thing’ else. But we can prove it to ourselves by becoming ‘aware’ that we are the being within the form.
Some people in the scientific world may refer to this ethereal consciousness as the ‘ghost’ in the body/machine, since there seems to be something, albeit immaterial, that animates the body. But what is it? What brings the body- the machine- to life? What enlivens the body and keeps it alive? In the spiritual traditions, this is considered the spirit of man.
In most spiritual traditions, that ‘ghost’ is understood to be the soul or spirit, the invisible, intangible aspect of Self, internally situated in the brain. It is the spirit consciousness, but it’s not the brain itself. It is said to reside in an area close to the pituitary gland.
Realization of the spirit is helped by meditation and contemplation. In a state of spirit consciousness you remain aware that you don’t have a spirit; you ‘are’ the spirit! You are not the body; you are the animator of the body.
The self of the body/mind sees you in terms of the body you occupy, your ideas, your values, your dreams and your desires, all of which are happening in the material world.
But the spirit self feels lost and out of sorts, because it has no such ideas and desires and, as such, does not feel that it belongs in this material and artificial world; it belongs in nature and outside of this world, a world of desire and greed.
The material self- or ego- feels outside of nature and others. Indeed, it finds a sense of identity precisely because of its sense of uniqueness and individuality. It defines itself by its personal values, attitudes and beliefs and distinguishes itself as separate from all others by its ‘this-worldly’ ties and identifications.
But the spirit self does not feel separate from or outside of anything; it feels or longs to be connected to nature and a higher source. When the self of the body is in control, the spirit self feels lost; it wants to go home, to its homeland, and the source of its existence. It seeks oneness.
Body consciousness is a state in which you believe [your ego believes] you are just a body with a personality, and that personality is determined and defined by one’s beliefs, values and attitudes and the image one has of himself based on those beliefs, values and attitudes. This is the basis of ego.
According to the spiritual traditions this is an illusion, because it’s a belief, not real. Anything that is not permanent cannot be real and since beliefs are by nature impermanent, they are not real, but illusory, perpetrated by ego.
We are much more than a body, a mind, and an ego- which defines its existence by its beliefs; we are part of, equal to, and one with the universal Spirit- the Tao. But if and when we all share this single illusion, that the body, the mind and the ego are real, it results in the resulting modes of behavior:
- We become obsessed with all things material. Possession and ownership become the key words in daily life. This drives us to collectively co-create a world of continuous consumption and accumulation.
- This creates almost continuous conflict, extreme suffering and tremendous competition and inequality. It makes us live by material values alone.
- “I am just this body” is a belief that kills our ability to interact in ways that are truthful, virtuous and loving.
- It ensures that we will act mostly in self-serving ways, with selfish intentions, in order to survive and thrive at the physical level.
Some examples of the beliefs “I am just a body” are, “You have to be strong to survive”; “God takes care of those who take care of themselves”; “ You have to be rich, beautiful and powerful to be happy”; ‘You have to look out for number one.”
What is ego? Ego can be loosely defined as the attachment to and identification with an image/idea/concept/belief. Whenever we identify with something, like a personality, a value, an attitude, or an image of a permanent self, we are creating ego. Ego is the illusory sense of self that we create within our consciousness. It distorts the energy of consciousness.
What is conscience? Conscience is an in-built capacity that allows humans to sense, feel, and know the accurate thing to do or to avoid doing. It is a manifestation of spirit and is an inner guide that all humans have, or should have. It is referred to as the innate knowing of the good, our soul/essence, or our inner nature- and the way of the Tao.
Conscience turns up in almost all spiritual traditions. It is generally recognized to be that aspect of our ‘consciousness’ [spirit] that is our source of goodness, our virtuous intentions, and our inner compass. It keeps us on the straight and accurate path, known as ‘being true to you.’
This is not truth in an objective, narrow and absolutist sense, but it is a ‘truth’ in a subjective sense, where we are living our life moment- by- moment from an accurate awareness of our self as spirit, not form, or body. When guided by our conscience, we are aligned with our truth, which really means our ‘true nature’, our ‘trueness,’ or innate nature.
When this happens, we are open, loving and joyful, unattached to nothing and nobody, and therefore our decision-making is free from the emotions of fear, anger and sadness. These emotions arise from the ego and its attachments, which in turn makes it harder to hear our conscience and follow its voice.
We use the word ‘conscience’ mostly in reference to right and wrong. When we listen to our conscience, we are said to be doing the ‘right thing,’ while the wrong thing is seen as an action or decision against our conscience. We often refer to someone who lives their life with great honesty and integrity as a person with ‘good conscience.
Our trueness- or our true nature, the nature of goodness- is natural and associated with peace, love and joy. It manifests morally in the form of conscience. It’s function is to influence us by ‘keeping us honest’, which is does by letting us know when we have created thought and action that is out of alignment with our ‘trueness’, and out of alignment with our true nature, which is loving and good.
The ‘goodness’ that is often referred to as conscience –or the innate nature of man- has no opposite. There are only ‘degrees of alignment or misalignment with the inherent ‘trueness’ of our inherent- and true- nature.
In reality, the true self- spirit- is ‘prior to’ any and all mental images, therefore prior to the ‘ideas’ of good and bad, and therefore prior to judgments of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. The true self- spirit- has no image and is not an idea, either; it is beyond the duality of all concepts. It is truth, the only truth.
World of Spirit
In the world of the spirit there is no right and wrong. This is hard to understand because we have been so deeply conditioned to ‘believe’ in right and wrong, since we have been told what is good and bad virtually since birth.
But the ideas of right and wrong are functions of ‘duality’ and ‘artificiality’ [man-made definitions], which is a condition of the outer material world. A spirit, however, is prior to this duality and artificiality; there are no opposites in spirit. And spirit is what we are.
Our True Self
Our spirit consciousness is our innate awareness of what is true, which in the context of the self, is, BEING OUR TRUE SELF. This does not refer to truth in an absolute or philosophical sense, but true in the sense of being natural, one with our spiritual nature, which is peaceful, loving and joyful; and sincere in our words, our intentions and our deeds. It is achieved in a state of oneness when word and deed are one.
Unfortunately, because we are under the influence of the ego and its way of interpreting its own version of reality, in terms of right and wrong and good and bad, we get in the habit of ignoring and even suppressing the voice of conscience coming from our spirit.
What is Spirit?
From a purely spiritual perspective, it is the eternal, unchanging, true state of the energy of the self. It is the ‘still core’ of our being that is untouched by and unattached to anything; it manifests on earth as soul and in the form of pure joy, love, and peace.
As soon as we use our energy in such a way that contradicts or disturbs the pure energy of the spirit, it sends out a subtle message, which ordinarily gets us to reflect on our thoughts and actions. We then either listen to that message and let it guide us back into alignment with our true nature, or we ignore and suppress it.
When we go against our ‘spiritual’ nature, when we do not listen to, or when we ignore the silent voice of conscience and the subtle feeling that this action we are doing goes against the grain of our truth- our true nature- our true vibration, then we get a signal and we feel a moment of discomfort.
There is no opposite to this ‘spirituality and trueness’, this true vibration at our core, only degrees of misalignment, only shades of emotional irrationality that cloud our judgment and our ability to be aware of where the compass of our conscience is pointing us.
Distortions of the Emotions
The signals of our conscience are distorted by our emotions. When we are feeling emotional, it is harder to hear and be guided by our conscience, by the true vibration of our spirit. In this case, we often ignore the signals coming from our conscience in favor of experiencing some pleasurable emotion. For example, when we seek excitement, believing it to be happiness, it sabotages our ability to see clearly in terms of our motivations and intentions.
From within our spirit, our conscience will draw our attention to our desire and our selfishness indicating that they are out of harmony or alignment with our true nature, our spirit, which is loving and selfless, and signal for us to desist from such behavior.
If we continue looking inward and listen further to the voice coming from within, we may even realize something more significant, which is that we are confusing excitement with happiness. In reality, excitement is just another form of sensorial stimulation
How Conscience is ignored
We ignore our conscience because we are distracted by our emotions and desires. When we ignore our conscience, we act against our innate awareness of what would be the truest action, the accurate and right action.
For example, there are usually three reasons why people have desire and want to possess something; three beliefs from their egos that ‘distract’ them from acting contrary to their conscience and their true nature:
- They believe that if they can have the object they desire, it will in some way complete them;
- They believe that when they get the object they desire, it will make them happy;
- They believe they can possess the object.
All of these beliefs are not true in the universe of the Spirit. Spiritual truths- or just truths- are:
- We are already complete and that completeness can never be lost, but we may temporarily lose our ‘awareness’ of it;
- No material object can give us authentic happiness, only a temporary stimulation, because authentic happiness truly comes from inside out;
- It’s impossible to possess anything, because everything is free.
Unfortunately, we live in an age filled with the belief that acquiring things brings completeness, happiness and fulfillment and are given to us as truths at a young age. Hence our confusion when we do get what we want and we still fell incomplete, still feel unhappy, and live in fear of losing [what we mistakenly believe] we now possess.
So, in truth, when we do something inappropriate, it’s not BAD or WRONG, as opposed to GOOD and RIGHT. It’s just that we have lost our spiritual compass, our awareness of our truth [our true nature] and we are therefore acting out of harmony and out of alignment with our truth –our true nature.
At this time, the spirit ‘speaks to us’ to remind us that we are acting out of harmony with our true nature, not because society- or our parents- says so, but because we are denying and suppressing the truth of our spiritual reality, that we are by nature virtuous and because of our innate nature, we are ALREADY complete, loving and joyful.
Our spirits are signaling to us that we have fallen under the ILLUSION that we are incomplete, unhappy, and unfulfilled. But we ignore and suppress this message, from the heart of our being, especially if others definition of happiness is artificial and materialistic.
The Spirit and a Light Bulb
A room is illuminated by a light bulb. The room also has a light sensor. If the light of the bulb fluctuates and dims below a certain intensity/brightness, the sensor will go automatically go off.
In a similar fashion, if something like a belief or a desire obscures our light or darkens and distorts our light to compromise our true [radiant] nature, which is peaceful, joyful and loving, our spirit will set off a signal, usually in the form of a feeling, like uneasiness. It is letting us know that we are thinking and acting out of harmony and out of alignment with our trueness.
The curtains and veils of beliefs, the distractions of desires, the attachment to images and memories in our minds, all serve to dim the true brightness- and true nature- of the light of our spirits. They veil our true spirit and our conscience- they are NEGATIVE.
But when we are in the state of our true brightness, the radiance of our spirit, when nothing is blocking, distorting or distracting the radiance of our spirits, there is not anything, or any thought, that is out of harmony and out of alignment with that state. We are one and the same! There is only one way of being, which is the way of light, and the way of virtue- and that is the POSITIVE way.
Being the way of light, the way of virtue, is considered the Way, and the Way of Entering the Tao. But few are of the light, on the way of virtue, entering the Tao, simply because most are controlled by the ego and the illusions it fosters. In this condition, the light of spirit is not only dimmed but for all intents and purposes extinguished.
If we hope to be of the light, the way of spirit and virtue, then we must discover our true self. But before doing that we must first understand the mind and what we are not; only then can we enter the Tao and begin the long journey home- only after conquering the ego.
End Part One