We live in a world where the dials are gradually being turned up. This brings us great opportunities for growth but also the stress of almost constant change. Globalization has made our world smaller but has exposed us to the breadth of human suffering.
As a result, hypertension, PTSD, and anxiety disorders have become normal. The most common illnesses are either directly caused by stress or deeply influenced by it.
If we want to enjoy life and grow in healthy ways, we need to learn how to be in the world the way it is now. Aversion and escapism are … Continue Reading…
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s good to favour the positive, to give more of our attention to what brings enjoyment than pain.
I don’t mean in the sense of faking it or resisting what is here. If we’re feeling anger or grief, we should feel them fully. This ensures they complete and resolve.
But at a certain point in all experience, we reach a place of choice where we can continue to dwell on the past or the feeling or we can let it go and move on. That’s when it’s good to choose joy.
By enjoyment here, I … Continue Reading…
For some, unfolding knowledge of the world follows the path of the mechanics of perception. For others like myself, it follows the path of the dynamics of consciousness. The 2 approaches unfold different understanding of the world. There are also variations within each.
On the first path, we discover a version of what Samkhya describes. From the mind arises the 5 senses out of the observer side of consciousness. From the observed arises the corresponding 5 tanmatra or essences. The first comes out of sattva guna, the second from tamas.
As the tamas (inertia) increases, those essences … Continue Reading…
Einstein proposed that gravity is simply the curvature of spacetime. However, as I’ve observed on this blog, space is an effect of consciousness becoming aware of itself – in that recognition is a subtle gap (a-b). As this arises from consciousness curving back on itself, illustrated above, space is inherently curved. It is not a flat plane.
Also, attention flows, perpetually curving in on itself. Gravity, the attractive force, becomes inherent.
Further, because consciousness … Continue Reading…
Last week, I came down with a cold and was reflecting on the experience. The body was sick, the mind foggy, but peace and happiness where undisturbed.
This reminded me of a verse in the Bhagavad Gita
Weapons cannot cleave him,
nor fire burn him;
water cannot wet him,
nor wind dry him away.
Notice how this mentions examples from 4 of the elements. The true Self is not under the influence of the elements. In fact, the elements rise from it so it’s the other way around.
Not … Continue Reading…
As science has discovered, our bodies are made of trillions of cells, each their own life form. We also carry an even greater number of other life forms. Some of the second type are very beneficial, like those in our gut biome that help with digestion. Others are less so and the body has a defense system to keep them under control.
When the body falls out of balance, less desirable things like bacteria and viruses can get the upper hand and we experience being sick. To help clear the problem, the body will do things like raise its temperature, … Continue Reading…
At several points in my life, I’ve studied the work of Abraham Maslow, particularly around self actualization. He was one of the few then to study psychological well-being rather than illness, creating what he called Positive Psychology. His “hierarchy of needs” (and thus motivation) is widely known although not as supported by science now. This is partly because the higher needs vary somewhat by culture and personality.
Nonetheless, it is useful for broad understanding. We can only pursue personal development effectively when our basic needs are being met. Inquiry means little if we don’t have enough to eat … Continue Reading…
How are past life charges passed forward when we die? I’ve mentioned that our baggage is stored in the mental and emotional (energy) bodies. These fall away after we die so how are these residues retained?
They are sustained as impressions in patterns. The charge itself isn’t stored so much as the pattern that generates it. When we purify at these deep levels, we are most effective because we are clearing the source. This also points to why the light of awakening can roast so much of the past.
I’ve talked before about how the Vijnanamaya Kosha is the … Continue Reading…
In the west, we often spend our time in our heads or devoted to distractions like television or games. Some people and cultures are more OK with emotions but may get caught in the drama more instead. It’s not easy being human.
All of us have experienced illness, death, violence, and abuse in one form or another. How we respond to such experiences makes a big difference in the consequences for us. But our response is natural and often automatic. It’s not something we control – however hard we might try.
This is especially true when we’re young and the … Continue Reading…
There are many ways to describe how the world becomes. Partly this depends on the perspective you have and what is known clearly. The perspective shifts with each stage.
Fundamentally we can say Divinity gives two “qualities” that are key to this process: alertness and liveliness.
Liveliness stirs alertness into awareness and then into flowing as consciousness. Consciousness curves back on itself and the lively radiance leads it to become self-aware. The 3-fold dynamics of consciousness emerges – the observer (a), the process of observation (c), and the observed (b).
At some point on our life journey we tend to become seekers. The desire for more, experiences, exposure to some teaching; something triggers a shift. We transition from a life focused on our individuality to something bigger and deeper.
Usually, a good part of the seeking process is framed as self-betterment or escape. In other words, we’re still very much personally oriented. The search is usually driven by aversion to pain or a grasping after more pleasure or both. As Yoga observes, both of these lead only to suffering.
At the same time, the seeking activity helps keep us … Continue Reading…
Throughout the spiritual process, we find layers and layers of conflict between opposing impulses.
The desire to fall within and stay vs the call to come out into the world and act
Silent presence vs lively flow
Pleasure and escape vs self-care
Fear and the desire for security vs release and letting go
Personal control vs laws of nature
Habit vs conscious action
Appearance vs reality
Our ideals vs what is here
The divine vs the astral vs the physical
These polarities are known as duality. The key to duality is … Continue Reading…