Getting a PhD

Blue featherThis article is presented as a further illustration of what I explored in The Backstory. I’ve long had a powerful drive for advanced education. I thought I’d picked it up from my educated parents, for whom it was like a mantra. But it turned out to be born of trauma, not dharma. It was passed down my father’s line and also inherited by my mother.

This conflicted with my personal karma and dharma, which has not been to follow traditional paths (even though I tap into their value).

The current planetary cycles triggered the drive again. It surprised me how strongly I responded. Only this time I could go into the feel of the drive and wind it down. As I mentioned on Backstory, it brought major family insights and compassion.

With that clear, the perspective shifted. To honour my father’s line, a PhD is still a resolution. But because of my work, I now recognize a spiritual approach is more appropriate.

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) was originally a religious degree and why they still wear those priestly robes at graduation ceremonies.

I’ve found a seminary that likes my work and allows for independent research. Essentially, I leveraged the research I published in Our Natural Potential into a dissertation for a double-major PhD. I should graduate this summer.

To my surprise, I’m also working on a second doctoral dissertation for a Doctor of Divinity. This one is on the topic of my SAND18 talk but framed as the Layers of Divinity. I plan to convert that into a book later.

Getting a seminary PhD includes ordination. This is feeling like a sideways way of nature steering me where I’m not looking, similar to how I ended up in the Masters program a decade ago.

What form this will flow into remains to be seen. But this unexpected shift is fascinating to watch and has unfolded rapidly.

Years of inner changes are rising to the surface of life.

I’ve also lost over 65 lb. in recent months through keto. Even the appearance itself is changing. πŸ™‚

Of course, your mileage will vary but it illustrates how things can shift when we clear old blocks.
Davidya

Update: I posted photos here.

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41 Comments

  1. Gina L WESTBROOK

    Congratulations on the weight loss and good luck with the doctorate. I helped midwife my husband through his doctorate, he too spent a lifetime writing it. And I guess we can start calling you Father David when you’re done. That has a nice ring to it. πŸ˜‰

    1. (laughs) gak. Hadn’t thought of that…
      But thanks, Gina. A little more to unfold yet but it’s moving along.
      .
      The original plan was to do the academic PhD and then publish the book. It happened the other way around. 10 years for the book. Happy not to spend 6 more to make it official.

    2. While I appreciate your comment was friendly, Gina, I sat with it and had a useful insight.
      .
      “Father” is not a label I’d accept. It comes out of a Western patriarchal system where the priest was considered the liaison between parishioners and God. As this came to be driven by belief, it was hollow. The blind leading the blind.
      .
      Here, the approach is pointing to those things that can help others develop their own experience and relationship with the Divine.
      .
      Not that I’m fully sighted, but at least there’s a direct relationship. (laughs)

        1. Right, Gina. It was a useful insight here. People brought up a few points in comments that were good to consider. There are consequences to titles and such. You have to walk carefully lest you fall into identity or ancestral baggage.

    1. Hi Amit
      Doctorates are a recognition of advanced study in a field. A Doctor of Divinity is a religious or theological degree granted by Western universities and seminaries. Essentially it means you’re an advanced student of Divinity.
      .
      More typically that means religeous belief but I’m very pro gnosis – direct experience. The seminary refers to themselves as “semi-gnostic” and considers the holy mother part of the Christian trinity. We have similar thoughts on that. πŸ™‚

    2. As an aside, some years ago, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi talked about granting degrees based on stage of enlightenment; a BA for CC, an MA for GC, and a PhD for Unity. I’m not aware of that ever being implemented though.

  2. Stephen Francis Coe

    Hi David,

    Another fascinating post!

    Well done for losing all the weight.
    I have had several awakenings and established in Unity consciousness but still have a weight problem (50lbs) over weight. I have a very sweet tooth and eat a lot of junk food , any ideas or advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers, Steve.

    1. Hi Stephen
      I had a recent consult with an Ayurvedic doctor and he commented that spiritual evolution can be a factor in weight gain. There are several influences there, including increased sensitivity, purification, and the body trying to ground all the expansion.
      .
      Purification can cause a desire for sweets, as energy to process. But a lot of it is bad habit. And unfortunately the diet trains the gut microbiome, which in turn demands more of the same to feed it. As they have direct lines of communication with the brain, we get subconscious signals we obey unless we take charge consciously. And it has long-term health consequences.
      .
      As I didn’t have good habits, i went to a local coach and they got me started well. Basically the keto I used is mainly low-glycemic vegetables (most) and protein. I eat around 1000-1200 cal a day which is about half what the body consumes routinely. This quickly puts the body in ketosis or fat-burning mode. I lose about 2-5 lb a week. There’s no issues with how much you eat if you eat the right things.
      .
      It’s important to maintain protein levels so the body doesn’t burn too much protein. You want it to be fat burning.
      .
      This is actually faster than heavy exercise. Also I used an app that did the calculations so no calorie counting.
      .
      There’s some other stuff in the Health section of the Recommended tab.

  3. Don salmon

    that’s SO interesting. 3 graduate degrees here, originally thought to be dharma and seen increasingly as related to family karma (frustrations going back several generation).

    well, Father Davidya! You’ll have to include a photo of yourself in priestly robes at some point:>)

    Congrats on the weight loss!!…

    and perhaps you might provide us with a few more specifics about how you “keto’d” (yes, it’s an individual process but there are general principles that can be helpful, perhaps?)

    1. Hi Don
      Well, I do have Jupiter in the 9th which is expansion in the home of higher ed. So there is a natural desire to continue study. But there’s challenges to that to make it non-traditional and the old family trauma that muddied the waters.
      .
      (laughs) Yep. I’ve recently ordered the grad robes and such.
      .
      See my response to Stephen above. There’s a summary on the Recommended tab under Health with links to some articles on my other blog while I explored the topic. (It took a few tries to find the right groove.)

    1. Hi Lynette
      Actually it’s an Interfaith seminary including study of the worlds religions (which I have academic grad courses in also, Western and Eastern). I’m taking the designation Spiritual Minister though as it represents someone who leans more toward direct experience of the Divine.
      .
      Another flavour of the non-traditional. πŸ™‚
      .
      Thanks. A little more to go on all fronts but making good progress…

  4. Lew

    Congrats. So you will be able to do weddings, right? Bet there will be quite a demand. This however leads me to a question on dharma…Is dharma chosen before we come into this life or are we on a trajectory of dharma that continues through many lives… Is choice involved and can dharma be changed or altered when there are shifts in consciousness? Finally is there collective dharma for the world or large groups of brings and is there universal dharma. Answer this and you get another PHD… Doctor of Dharma….

    1. Hi Lew
      Once ordained, I’ll be able to go through the provincial bureaucracy of forms and fees to make it official locally. So then I’d be able to officiate weddings. That hasn’t been part of the plan. But then none of this was. (laughs)
      .
      From the experience here, dharma is long term. For example, I’ve been a spiritual student many lifetimes, a professor a few back, and so on. But the flavour of it varies by the life. In that prof life, I did go through the traditional route. Not this time.
      .
      That’s partly why 2 people born under the same circumstances will have very different outcomes. What we bring into the life has a massive impact.
      .
      There is choice but that’s more on the soul level than personal. We can choose to resist and suffer but that’s not recommended. The “plan” always turns out a lot better than what I could personally devise. (even if it has difficult spots)
      .
      And of course, the dharma is intertwined with karma. The latter has been pretty dominant in this life, leading to a slow flowering of dharma. πŸ™‚
      .
      Shifts in consciousness don’t change the life but they change the way we are with it. People already in their dharma will see it enhanced. People like myself more in their karma will see more significant life changes.
      .
      Remember dharma is essentially that which sustains life. So good food, right livelihood, suitable spiritual practices, and so forth. It’s the full enchilada.
      .
      And yes, there is collective dharma of groups of people, groups of souls, and the human race as a whole.
      .
      And yep, universal too. That’s the idea behind Sanata Dharma, the “eternal wisdom” of the dharma of animals, humans, gods, and even God.
      .
      (laughs) were it so easy…

  5. George Robinson

    WARNING (advice I give to others contemplating a doctorate)! Say a man is in a huge room with lots of others pretty much like himself. He’s talking, like everyone else. Someone hands him a powerful megaphone (a doctorate degree) that he MUST wear from that point on, and his previous talking is now amplified considerably, and he’s heard louder than everyone else because that’s what megaphones do, like it or not. Now, give a quality to his previous talking (wisdom, trash, vulgarity, praise, articulate, clumsy, whatever). With his shiny new mandatory megaphone, whatever his was spouting before now becomes vastly amplified. More people know him from his speech now. If he was a fool to a few before, he’ll be a fool to many now; if he was a wise, kind, and considerate before, he’ll be that in a bigger way now. It’s a double-edged sword that catches many by surprise, and sometimes chagrin, too. You can take it from here. Congratulations in advance, and prepare to appear much bigger to others.

    1. Hi George
      Right. It’s one of the reasons I’ve avoided labels like “teacher” as it comes with so much baggage. Here, the point is completion on several levels. I’m also cognizant of getting caught in new appearances.
      .
      My parents alma mater has an insufferable superiority. Certainly, an academic PhD is a significant accomplishment, often taking 4-6 years on top of prior education, expense, etc. But that only makes them better at the one thing.
      .
      I may be able to talk about dharma and some fancy Vedic concepts but I know diddly about the stock market or pig farming (that other relatives do). It doesn’t make someone a god, just a decent student.
      .
      I’ve also seen what you refer to around the “awakened” thing. It’s not even a me who accomplished anything there. “I’m just a guy” is sometimes a regular refrain…
      .
      But yeah, I don’t plan to be high profile about it. I like normal relationships. πŸ™‚

  6. Bernie

    Steeped in the knowledge and direct experience of the Vedas, your true nature, and with a Master’s degree in Vedic Science, AND an upcoming PhD in Divinity – east and west academic accomplishments, can’t help but say, CONGRATS Dr. Davidya Brahmarishi* !

    *a seer and knower of Brahman and ParaBrahman – Totality, the stage of divinity.

  7. Jim

    Hi David, Congratulations on closing in on a double PhD! Quite an undertaking! You mentioned working out karma in this life (who doesn’t??), so even more so to make such focused and dedicated forward progress. And the weight loss is awesome too!
    πŸ™‚

  8. Jean

    Congrats David.
    This is interesting since my awakening most of the things that got me excited in the past, the drive for it fell away.
    I guess the things that were driven by ego had to go but nothing new appeared so far.

    In my Akashic Records reading there are some hints like in the past when the soul purpose as an artist was followed often times I did not finish things to receive the recognition and success as an artist. That is still lingering and I hope there will be some opportunities in the future πŸ™‚ Your post gives a some hope it will.

    1. Thanks, Jean
      .
      Yes, it’s quite common for primary drivers to fall away shortly before or after awakening. The ego has stepped out of the drivers seat so all of it’s threads fall away.
      .
      Over time, things purify and deeper movements begin to surface. For example, that’s when writing appeared here. It took a bit of time as it wasn’t something I expected or was looking for. In fact, I’d not seen this as a skill area or potential. It just happened spontaneously.
      .
      A painter friend similarly lost all interest in painting for a time. And then someones request brought it forward again. It took a little time to find the new groove though.
      .
      Recognition and not finishing are usually different threads. The first is often karmic. There are ample examples of great works not recognized and haphazard things that are.
      .
      So yes, it’s more than possible but likely it will come from an external influence bringing it forward if you’re not seeing it yourself. But let go of expectations. It’s likely to come from left field, as in the examples above. πŸ™‚
      .
      And actually, sometimes that’s the main part of the process. Letting go more deeply so what is here can flower…

  9. Deborah

    Amazing , David! You truly are creating….both physically , with your new form, and intellectually….you must feel so much energy moving you. It is no small feat to earn even one let alone a double, PhD. Congratulations on this accomplishment. You inspire me.

    1. Thanks, Deborah. It’s a completion of sorts of an extended period and also a prep for the next. So a transition.
      .
      I’ve felt a lot of energy for a long time but it is moving up to the surface more now. And it’s amazing how smoothly things flow when the time is right and the support is there.
      .
      Life’s adventure continues to surprise. πŸ™‚

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