The Power of Speech

The spoken word is sounds that represent conceptual symbols that have a somewhat shared meaning. For example, if I speak the word “apple”, you’ll have a good idea of what I’m referring to but not a lot of detail. While misunderstanding is common, the spoken word remains an effective way to communicate between two people who experience themselves as separate. The written word, like this article, uses letters to symbolize sounds that symbolize meaning. Some languages use word symbols instead of sound symbols, like Chinese. But either is another step removed and thus a little less powerful. In a sense, … Continue Reading…

Enlightenment is Not Knowledge

Enlightenment is not knowledge for the mind nor will it make you knowledgeable. Enlightenment is a progressive series of shifts in being, in who we are and our relationship with the world. In my case, I was born with a knowledge orientation into a family of teachers. Deeper knowledge has been unfolding since my late teens, long before I woke up. For a while, this mystified me as it seemed unrelated to my life. We could say the training had to start well before the function. (laughs) Awakening has considerably enhanced those gifts. But I can guarantee it will be … Continue Reading…

The Stages in Context

Watching a friend approach a stage shift, it reminded me of something that may not be obvious to observers. Each of the primary stages is an exponential shift from what was before. With the first shift, commonly called Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness, we shift from being a local me to being cosmic in consciousness. The observer has woken to itself. This is a big shift even if it’s subtle. There is typically a brief moment of letting go that detaches us from the ego. We retain a sense of localness but as a focus rather than a sense of … Continue Reading…

The Appearance of the Doers

The deeper you go, the less localized and more universal you get. For example, most experience their body, emotions, and thoughts as local and personal. But as you touch deeper into fine feelings, intuition, and bliss you find them more expansive and less personal. And yet, these more universal values may also feel more intimate as they’re closer to your true Self. We can also look at this another way, through the elements. Earth is very specific, water has a little less distinctive edges, fire even more so. Each is less localized. Ditto the lower 3 chakras. But as you … Continue Reading…

The Ignorance of Enlightenment

It may seem odd to combine “ignorance” with “enlightenment.” But knowledge is structured in consciousness. Until we have the conscious range to take it all in, there are still gaps in our knowledge. Missing knowledge is “avidya” or ignorance. For example, in Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness, we are awake to the Self within. The observer has awoken to itself. But this is only the first stage. Lorne Hoff has referred to this as enlightened ignorance. I have talked about Lesha Avidya, the faint remains of ignorance that qualifies Unity and above. But this is a reference to the faint … Continue Reading…

What are the Perfections?

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If you read the Yoga Sutra or about the siddhis, you often see them translated as powers or abilities. I’ve used variations on that myself. But siddhi actually means perfection. Often this is taken to imply a personal perfection in the ability to know past lives or fly. But these are not personal. As Lorne Hoff has pointed out, the siddhis are perfections of experience, of the ability of consciousness to know itself in specific ways that this form is capable of. Each channel of knowing is a function we can call a law of nature, a way nature can … Continue Reading…

The Origin of Fundamental Qualities (Gunas)

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One of the fundamental principles of the Vedic perspective is the three gunas or qualities. I described them in some detail in About the Gunas but here is a basic outline: Sattva: purity or clarity of the flow (golden) Rajas: movement itself, energy or fire and transformation (red) Tamas: resistance or inertia, impediment to movement (blue) I’ve also explored them relative to awakening, karma, and emotions. A similar perspective is the cycle of creation, maintenance, and destruction. (Brahma, Vishnu, & Shiva) In fact, we may think of the gunas as coming from these principles. But they have a deeper, parallel … Continue Reading…

SAND 2018

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I’ll be speaking at the Science and Nonduality (SAND) conference again this fall. There was strong support to return. I’m moving more in the direction of the second book I’m working on about the nature of reality. But the constraints of time mean I’ll focus on stages again, the evolution of the observer or subject side of the equation. There is also the observed or object side and the layers of its construction. The kosha model is one way to look at that, from a more subjective view. A more object-oriented perspective outlines the stages of creation like that touched … Continue Reading…

A Calling

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As I wrote about recently, many things in life require action. Life is movement and flow. It requires activity to be sustained. We need to breathe, to eat, to consume, to move to live. If we want to move forward, more is required. We often need to experiment and seek advice for best ways of doing to get a certain result. But if we’re planning to express higher values into life, we need a different approach that’s not driven by action. Spirituality is about being rather than doing. If we come to spiritual teaching as a person wanting results and … Continue Reading…

Troublesome Themes

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Many people I know on a spiritual path have discovered a recurring theme in their life. They may even discover it goes back thousands of years. They find ongoing reason to feel angry or abandoned or guilty or unheard or similar. The odd thing is, this comes from a story that’s driven by unresolved trauma going back to an ancient fall in consciousness. We’re finally in a time where that story can be seen and released. Meantime, we continue to inflict ourselves with this theme. We may find ourselves amplifying circumstances that arise normally but relate to the story. See! … Continue Reading…

The Right Time for Right Action

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Things happen when it’s time. Not time for you but time for the whole. Time for challenges to unfold, time for benefits, time for birth, time for awakening, time for peace. When it’s time, the circumstances and people show up to help catalyze events. We can do our best to feel into this process and cooperate. Or we can resist and fall into a drama and suffer. For example, people can search for years for the right teacher to awaken. Then they show up when it’s time. The form they arise in may vary from our expectations though. On the … Continue Reading…

Styles of Action

The world is as you are. The way we experience life has a lot to do with how we experience who we are. When we’re ego-identified, we’re often in an adversarial relationship with others and the world. They respond in kind. We often don’t even realize we’re doing this until it begins to stop. We have few experiential reference points for anything else. What’s arising has a purpose – perhaps to show you what you’re resisting, to bring an opportunity for resolution, to learn, or to move forward (or all of the above). As we become more conscious, the role … Continue Reading…