Our Natural Potential is officially available everywhere today, Wednesday October 11.
Those of you who pre-ordered the Kindle version should see it show up on your Kindle. Print and other ebook pre-orders will now ship or become available. And the weirdness with what was available where will settle out.
If you have read the book, I would appreciate an on-line review. Book exposure is driven by sales and reviews.
I’m assembling a Reviews page so potential readers … Continue Reading…
On October 11, the official launch date of the book Our Natural Potential, I’ll be holding a small celebration and talk. If you happen to be in the Comox Valley, you are most welcome to join us.If not, the book will be available through most suppliers that day. Have a little treat to celebrate with us. 🙂
The launch event:
Oct 11, 2017
6 pm – 7:30 pm
300 6th … Continue Reading…
The Ramayana is an epic story of the life of Rama, a prince in a kingdom of ancient India and an avatar of Vishnu (god in form, sent to restore balance). There are many versions of the epic tale. The original was told by Valmiki using his yogic vision. While Valmiki was visited by Rama, their time together physically was brief. He later wrote this epic poem about Rama’s life and taught it to Rama’s sons, who Rama didn’t then know existed (it’s complicated).
To give a sense of the scale of the story, it took 300 episodes to … Continue Reading…
Traditional Indian philosophy has 6 branches or approaches, known as the upangas or darshanas. Often they’re seen as competing philosophical systems when if fact they largely each describe the reality of a different stage of development.
I’ve talked some about several of them, including:
Vaisheshika and Samkhya
Vedanta or end of the Veda (Brahma Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads)
Nyaya is the system of logic that informs the others.
One I’ve only touched on is Karma Mimamsa, also known as Purva Mimamsa. Karma Mimamsa means an investigation … Continue Reading…
I’ve talked before about winding down the shadow, teaching prematurely, and having peer support. Issues with these are important to recognize in others and groups so we don’t get caught up in their junk (as much) or amplify our own. I’ve also touched on cultish teachers and some of the symptoms of problems.
I gave an example recently in Ken Wilber. He cofounded What is Enlightenment? magazine and the Integral Institute with Andrew Cohen. Cohen has become a useful case study in what can go wrong.
It’s not the purpose … Continue Reading…
There never was a time when I was not,
nor you, nor these rulers of men.
Nor will there ever be a time when all of us shall cease to be.
— Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2, verse 12
You don’t end. Who you are beneath the noise of the world is eternal. This body and mind you are experiencing the world through come and go, over and over. But what some have called the soul does not end. It does not become fragmented or fractured.
We first know it as pure being, the sense … Continue Reading…
Among the great questions of the human heart, none is more central than the question, “Who am I?” And among the great answers of the human spirit, none is more central than the experience of “I Am.” In fact, in the course of an intensely lived human life — a normal human life filled with the search for Truth — this question and this answer eventually run parallel to each other, coming closer and closer together until the question becomes the answer and the answer becomes the question.
— Jacob Needleman, from his book I Am Not I
Much … Continue Reading…
The closing of the book Halfway up the Mountain by Mariana Caplan is a chapter on how enlightenment is only the beginning.
She correctly notes there is no “top end” or final state. From the perspective here, there is a final stage in consciousness but the potential of knowledge, perception and refinement is essentially endless. Enlightenment is to be lived, not achieved.
She describes how you have to come down out of the unitive state and live enlightenment in the world in a state of “enlightened duality.” This is what I’d call awakening, Self Realization … Continue Reading…
I’ve talked some of how enlightenment is not a goal in itself but rather a platform for living. Here this is put another way.
The unitive state is not an end in itself; rather its purpose is authentic human existence, for it is only by living a mature existence that we can make our way to a far greater end or destiny. We do not know this great end ahead of time (though we may have glimpses of it), nor can we come upon it until the unitive condition has been exhaustively exercised and tested in the marketplace… Having … Continue Reading…
Awakening can be said to happen through the non-Self being “devoured” by Brahman or through the descent of the divine. It is not something we control or manage. Rather it comes as grace.
We can thus see that spiritual practices are not to create enlightenment. Rather, they are to prepare the ground so the process is as clear and smooth as possible. To use the analogy of farming, we clear the rocks and rubble from the field, sift and till the soil, and add water and fertilizer.
In other words: healing, refinement, sangha and study.
It’s … Continue Reading…
The personal ego is a self-serving mechanism by its very nature, designed to protect our perceived individuality. Curiously, it will even place protecting itself above protecting the organism when convinced to do so. Soldiers on the front lines, for example.
This makes waking up rather challenging as the ego can be quite convoluted in its attempts to justify, protect, and mask itself. It lays claim to everything it knows, creating self-justifying stories of great complexity. For example, it will use memories of spiritual experiences to call a part of itself ‘spiritual being’. Then it plays that off the ‘personal me’ and … Continue Reading…
“Those who play at being angels, end up as animals.”
— Blaise Pascal, The Ascent to Truth
I ran into this quote recently while reading Mariana Caplan’s book Halfway Up The Mountain. It rather succinctly spoke to the hazards of not living a human life most of the time.
The context of the quote was the various hazards of mystical experiences. Such experiences are largely in the category of subtle perception. Lovely, but not really “spiritual” at all. Plus, all too often, the motivation for chasing them is personal gratification or escaping our human experience rather than gaining skills … Continue Reading…