Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Paradox of Awakening

"Awakening is beyond time and is more a state of realization that we can come to that is the nature of who we always were."

A recent "thought" occurred to me that paradox is very important on the spiritual path.  Our brain has two hemispheres, right and left.  The left hemisphere is where most logic and reasoning takes place and the right hemisphere is where most creative and holistic thinking takes place.  My theory that I would like to propose is that ego lives primarily in the left-brain and that a move "mind to heart" on the spiritual path is a movement from left-brained to right-brained thinking.  In this theory, I propose that paradox is a tool that we can use to help confuse the left-brain and encourage right-brain function.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Embrace Who You Are

"The way you are, the way you feel right in this moment is perfection."

All spiritual teachings approach spirituality from different viewpoints or planes.  For me to approach spirituality from a different plane does not invalidate other teachings, it simply just offers teachings from another, different plane.  Truth is inclusive, not exclusive.  It is possible, when truths are contained on different planes, for all truths to be simultaneously true.  It is with that awareness that I write the following.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beyond Heaven and Hell

In this podcast I explore what it would mean if, instead of thinking of heaven or hell existing in the future, we thought of it existing in this present moment. What would this mean for us in our everyday lives? I also talk about duality, what it means to transcend duality and the ultimate goal of the spiritual life.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tying Up The Strong Man

In this podcast, I give my own meaning of a parable that Jesus told that I call "Tying Up the Strong Man" and interpret this in the light of other spiritual teachings. I also explore why we need to label thing, people and experiences in our life and what it would mean if we stopped doing so.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Purpose of Religion

In this post, I explore the purpose of religion. In the process, I also define terms for related topics, such as the role of love, our basic nature and others. This is a very high-level discussion and touches on quite a few areas. Enjoy!

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Unitive Consciousness and Christianity

This is my first podcast so please bear with me while I work out all of the details! For now, I will go ahead and post these with regular blog updates so there is one place to go. Thanks for listening and I welcome any and all feedback!

This post explores a New Age concept called Unitive or Non-Dual Consciousness and how it relates to Christianity. This is my first ever podcast so I also talk a bit about how I personally define some of these terms. I wrote this post to show how one major religion fits in with New Age themes and hopefully to show that all religions have a common element of truth that undergirds them all.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Illusion of Beauty

"Beauty outside ourselves is truly an illusion"

If we look at that statement first glance, it may strike us in a discordant way. This is because it flies in the face of our material world. Everything within our material world has been set up to exalt beauty, in any form, as the ultimate thing to strive for. Beautiful homes, beautiful cars, beautiful men, beautiful women, etc. It can be argued that even money is a means to an end in the quest for beauty: beautiful make-up, clothes and other things that will make us feel or look beautiful. Of course, there are other things we strive for such as safety, fulfillment and other non-tangible things.

Someone recently told me that all of the quest for things outside ourself can be boiled down to one quest. The irony is that this quest can never be achieved. In fact, just stating it makes us feel a bit insane in even embarking on it. The quest for us all in some form is to try and turn spirit into matter. This can not be done. Whenever we are striving, desiring or craving anything outside ourselves, we are trying to turn spirit into matter. Isn't this crazy? Yet, there is something inside us that pushes us towards this fool's errand.

I submit that the reason why, like magicians, we are constantly trying to turn spirit into matter, love and happiness into objects, is that we are, in fact, spirit. On our deepest level, we know we are spirit. We know we are eternal beings that are traveling through this life. What we have forgotten, however, is that our quest for beauty is also a quest for perfection. Beauty and perfection reside within us. We run around life like vaporous spirits trying to consume anything and everything yet this passes right through us. It is when our bottomless appetite and unquenchable thirst is directed to the abundant and unending supply within us that we are satisfied.

How do we do this? It is by right knowledge and experience. We realize that we have a bottomless and fathomless supply inside us and then we experience this through a spiritual practice that resonates with us. For some this could be meditation, painting, writing, making music, walking, or some other activity. The only requirement is that this be something that stills our mind and lets us touch the deep peace and wide love within our hearts and souls. The experience of this miracle supply brings things within proper perspective. We truly realize that we are enough. We see anything outside ourselves as cheap imitations of the beauty and perfection within.

Coming back to the topic of beauty, beauty is an illusion because objects themselves are not beautiful. They simply remind us of the beauty within us. The lie is that the beauty is intrinsic to the object, but the truth is that beauty is intrinsic to you. This truth brings more meaning to the statement: "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Love and beauty cannot be separated. It can be said that an object that makes us feel emotions pertaining to beauty in actuality is also helping us feel loving emotions. Beautiful objects, people or making ourselves appear more beautiful is an attempt to increase the love within our own hearts. This makes us feel more loved.

Beauty, as such, should be recognized as pointers to our internal beauty and not as a quest. We, however, do reside in a material world and have been socially conditioned in many ways that are even outside our consciousness. We simultaneously value beauty outside ourselves for what it represents and also quench our desire for external beauty with our inner source. Yet, there is inner tension that exists in this paradox and that is part of the human experience. Of course, we can and should value anything beautiful that we wish yet it is done so in the proper scope and not made into a quest.

We stop trying to turn spirit into matter through quenching our desire for the intangible and spiritual through journeying within. It is when our spiritual life is our first and foremost priority that we realize that beauty outside ourselves is truly an illusion. This actually frees us to pursue whatever we wish in life and begin to separate ourselves from unconscious urges and drives.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Love and Lead Your Self

"Only through simultaneously loving and leading these ego "silos" will they be united with our Self into one integrated whole."

After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?"
"Yes, Master, you know I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
He then asked a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
"Yes, Master, you know I love you."
Jesus said, "Shepherd my sheep."
Then he said it a third time: "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, "Do you love me?" so he answered, "Master, you know everything there is to know. You've got to know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep." (John 21:15-17)

I want to offer a commentary on the above Bible passage that is probably different than most. Since I do choose to see more of a symbolic meaning to most religious writings, I look for a deeper meaning. I see Jesus as a man that was so identified with God that that line of separation was erased. His main mission, in my eyes, was to teach others that they could achieve that same higher state of consciousness and that God dwells within all people. It is the in-dwelling of God that unites us all.

I freely interchange references to Jesus as references to God and also interchange these terms as references to Self. A deeper meaning or question in this passage is "Do you love your Self more than any other internal or external structure?" By loving the Self, we are simultaneously loving ourselves and all other people, as our link to God through the Self, is also shared by all other beings.

It appears too that Jesus used the repetition to illustrate a point about Peter's love: that it was conditional on Jesus acting in a certain way. Peter was reading into Jesus' repetition, that Jesus doubted Peter's love for him. The symbolism is that Peter was upset with himself because he doubted his own love for himself. By using repetition, Jesus was also stressing the importance of the message.

I find Jesus' response interesting and interpret "sheep" or "lambs" as the different states of ego. By asking Peter to feed or shepherd, Jesus was saying that he needed to do two different things in order to love his Self. He needed to love these parts of himself that were compartmentalized or perceived to be separate through caring for them. He also needed to unite these separated parts of himself through leading them with his Higher Self. Just like a shepherd looks at his flock with love and compassion, cares for them and leads them, so are we to do the same when our Self, as the observer, notices fractured parts of the ego within us. Only through simultaneously loving and leading these ego "silos" will they be united with our Self into one integrated whole.