We Are A Community

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In the west, our culture has been very focused on individuality. This is a step up from tribal mode but, like being a teenager, should be seen as a transitional step. We live in a very interdependent community we often take for granted. But our homes, food, roads, cars, water, power, everything has to be planned, made or grown, distributed and made available to us. It all has to be maintained too. Any yet many people live separate lives, disconnected from those around them. Connecting to a community can be very enriching although it can take time to find the … Continue Reading…

Wanting Something Else

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When we don’t know who we are, it’s natural to chase things outside of ourselves. The senses tell us satisfaction comes from the world around us so we follow the senses and chase experiences. But nothing they bring us ever lasts. Real satisfaction comes from stepping into the qualities of our deeper nature. We can have tastes of eternal qualities like love, peace, and happiness, but until we awaken there isn’t the stable platform for them to become ongoing. When their presence becomes ongoing, it addresses deep unmet needs, even those we may not be conscious of. This helps heal … Continue Reading…

Simplicity

The most potent things in life are very simple. Love, happiness, peace, sleep. But the mind likes to grasp and control things. Simplicity confounds it. Yet simplicity is a marker of universal principles. Karma or action would be a good example. The rules of action are very simple. For example, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The energy of nature is always seeking a balance of forces. Balance keeps the world sustained. But in its expression, karma is complex beyond imagining. Unfathomable, as the Bhagavad Gita puts it. Simplicity is also the hallmark of the most … Continue Reading…

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…