The violence of the fearful mind

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I awoke one morning not too long ago to an off screen gunman shooting an automatic weapon causing all the people in the dream to drop to their bloody deaths. What kind of dream is this? I thought and then saw it as an allegory for the troubled world.

One needs only look around to see that the world is becoming more and more polarized and intolerant even when it’s abundantly clear that the intolerance doesn’t provide any greater safety, if anything it creates even less.

I spent the good part of an hour digging up what others had to say about the plague of intolerance and  present a few of my favorite ideas here.

 

Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.

Mahatma Gandhi

 There is no religion that was founded on intolerance – and no religion that does not value the sanctity of human life.

Mohamed ElBaradei

 Military dictatorship is born from the power of the gun, and so it undermines the concept of the rule of law and gives birth to a culture of might, a culture of weapons, violence and intolerance.

Benazir Bhutto

 Defeating racism, tribalism, intolerance and all forms of discrimination will liberate us all, victim and perpetrator alike.

Ban Ki-moon

 For Rumi, the 13th century poet intolerance is the absence of love and one cannot truly experience love unless he gives it to others.

I think that intolerance is also a form of bullying, it’s exclusionary and selects people out to be “less than” for no other reason than they are different or think and believe differently. It may have been part of a survival strategy when we were all running around in animal skins and huddled together in dark caves throwing stones and sharpened sticks at anything that was not of the family, or not of the tribe, but in the modern world where we all literally depend on one another in order to shelter and feed ourselves it’s archaic and self-defeating.

We cannot hide in the relative safety of the clan anymore in that it’s no longer a viable survival strategy. We truly need each other now and to ban something or someone merely because they’re different or have different ideas or beliefs is stone-age thinking.

One cannot hide from what is scary either by ignoring it or by trying to kill it. Ultimately we have to learn to live with our fears. We can’t kill everything that isn’t us– eventually we will turn the gun on ourselves. It’s a very simple rule that to live by the gun is to die by the gun and that violence only begets more violence. Look for yourself, is that not so?

All of it is of the ego and as such does not know love– it knows hate and fear, self-interest, and exclusion but shakes at the thought of love and inclusion for to love is to be vulnerable, something that ego fears a lot. The secret to cleansing the world of intolerance is to listen to each other, to be open to each other and to not shun and bully because of differences. We need to pay greater attention to potential ‘blendings’ instead of ‘scatterings’ in order to hear each other.

When we don’t listen it shuns the other’s point-of-view and frightens the mind into some kind of defensive posture and when consumed by fear human beings will do great horrors to each other, horrors that only drives the mind to even greater fears.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

 –Rumi

 We live our lives as separate and divided and through fear of the “other” we have dimmed the light of our true being and forced ourselves to only see the differences in us instead of our common core. If we could only learn to work as hard on dealing with our own shadows as much as we try to rid the world of the shadows of others, perhaps then we could see this core more brightly.

“There is a path from me to you
that I am constantly looking for, so I try to keep clear and still
 as water does with the moon.

This moment this love comes to rest in me,
 many beings in one being.

In one wheat grain a thousand sheaf stacks. 
Inside the needles eye, a turning night of stars.”

 –Rumi

 

Venturing out from the past

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For those of you who crave returning to the past i.e. the way it was, get over it!

I’ll tell you a secret: It never was the way it was!

Life, time moves in one direction only and while living it only exists in the present. The past only exists in memory and that has been polluted with all your projections, feelings, judgments, biases, wishes, desires, beliefs, personality traits and socio-cultural constraints. The future hasn’t happened yet and is colored by the same attributes that color the past. What you’re left with is the here and now.

Life flows. Life keeps coming at us with all its chaotic variety. Get out of the way and flow with it, act not as a barrier by “damning” the flow i.e. to judge it an improper flow. Help it to flow. Life requires evolution, we are either evolving or we are dead, devolution or standing still are often just other words for death.

Take from the past what works, but only if it continues to work. To dam up the process with what no longer works only because you liked it better when it did causes turbulence until the waters break free and cascade jubilantly, chaotically once again down stream. Be nostalgic, the soul loves the good in what was, also learn from it so as to better the present, but in the end … let it go!

Be like Thoreau and walk into the forest every day as though you’ve never been there before and let life pour into you newly. Live in the world but don’t forget your companion. Let the emptiness in your heart stir in you an old friend who was with you before you came, is with you now, and will go with you when you leave. Awaken to who you really are, not who you’re afraid you are, or wish you were but who you really are. Let go of all those branches and debris that collects along the shores of the river’s flow and venture out into the unknown. There’s where true freedom lies.

10 ways to get in touch with your greater Self

 

3846532.jpg In the world of dreams the unconscious taps into the greater Self (the center of the psyche–the transcendent, unchanging part of what we are). One can take the information from this world and in combination with his conscious self become a self-actualized whole. Many of the world’s mystics, shaman, wise men and women have discovered varied paths leading to the ultimate of the Alchemist’s dream–to transform our humble selves into the stuff of gold. The following represents nothing new, or profound, just another way of taking the path.

 These 10 lessons toward expanding one’s consciousness are by no means the only means for attaining greater awareness of Self, but each require an ability to open one’s psyche to a greater whole than your ego-self ever imagined existed.

These lessons are deceptively simple and require constant practice. At first the path will seem smooth and flat, but after a time it will rise radically and become full of stones and tree roots ready to trip you at every step. Winds will rise around you and squalls will pummel you leaving the road slick and muddy.

The mind will give its all to convince you that you cannot do it, or that it is not worth the effort. There will be times when you seem to have reached the top only to find yet another mountain peak beyond that can only be reached through yet another valley. Basically, enlightenment is not for wimps and the closed-minded will never even find the path to begin the journey. Some will become distracted and wander into the bush and be lost forever. Only a few will have the courage, heart, or the wherewithal to find what lies beyond the veil of the mind.

If you wish, you could think of it as a digital game where you collect power and resources that will help you to attain levels of understanding that will guide you to the highest levels of awareness, sort of a Mario Bros. of the spirit world.

Does this seem a bit too dramatic? To those who have begun the journey my description is but a mere reflection of the trials experienced when one decides to take this journey. They also know that they often travel alone for this is truly the road less taken.

Do you wonder if you’ve got what it takes to travel this road? You’re already on it or you wouldn’t have read this far!

The Beginning 10 ways:

 1) Embrace ‘not knowing’ and see what you get. Knowing fills the mind

and crowds out the empty spaces where the spirit dwells.

2) Be curious and live in the incomprehensible. The already explored and

comprehensible is of the small self–the limited self. Why explore what

you already think you’ve visited?

3) See with your heart (the head has its place in the realm of

things, but it is the soul that reigns in the greater world of the spirit)

4) Let go of expectations (they only limit you to what you already think

you know)

5) Surrender your willful point-of-view. A singular point-of-view rules

out all others and leaves you spiritually myopic.

6) Give up control. Control is of the ego-self–the small self. It is also part

of the defensive self that is only needed if you don’t feel safe–see below.

7) Embrace vulnerability because it expands what you are open to. The

opposite is to be defensive and that puts up walls and closes down

possibilities.

8) Daydream a little (Einstein was expelled for daydreaming too much,

but it was in his musings that he discovered the secrets of the universe)

9) Be a little impulsive and less reasoned. Creativity cannot be found in

the past that is gone–or in any future–which doesn’t exist. It grows out

from the moment.

10) Imagine what can be (it broadens the realm of possibilities and

encourages you to see what’s around the next bend)

 

So, what do most of these lessons have as their foundation, in what way are they similar? This not a frivolous question, and is perhaps the fundamental lesson to be learned in this group.

In future blogs I’ll explore other ways to reconnect with what the Jungian Analyst Dr. Murray Stein called “The spirit of the depths,” the instinctual unconscious. Carl Jung, a founder of Depth Psychology, looked for a way to bridge the gap between our conscious and unconscious selves. He suggested that it was symbology that could bridge the gap. He also went on to say that to leave the gap unattended would create and was actually creating worldwide neuroses. To him it was because of this disconnect with our archetypal instinctual selves that the world’s religions were becoming stagnant, adverse to growth, and no longer alive (or enlivening).

Functioning from Source, the nonlocal I

 

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For the past two weeks I’ve been writing about intention, practical magic, and the universal soul.

I’ve suggested that intention is the basis of all creation because it is ones intent that comes before all learning, reasoning, inference, recall, and action. I’ve tried to show that we are all our deepest intent– our deepest desire. Down in our center we intend that which will ultimately fulfill us e.g. what will make us happy at our spiritual level.

There seem to be two levels to this spiritual level– this soul level. One is our personal soul that which makes up all our personal desires, holds our individual egos (the “I” that we think we are), our experiences and conditioned behaviors. It’s that part of us that operates within the world of space/time, what might be considered our local mind.

Outside of the local mind is the universal soul where the nonlocal or superlocal mind resides. Our “I” self is but a reference point from which we view the greater Self that is the place where together the observer and the observed, the seer and the seen experience and create. It is in this place where everything is possible because at this level everything already exists. But when we trap ourselves in the box of the local mind, the limited mind of the ego and its conditioned behaviors, we cannot imagine anything from the universal and thus are limited in what we can create.

In short, that part of us that you and I believe is the real us, that part we call “I” is the ultimate limiter of the extraordinary beings that we really are. It is this limited local “I” that needs to be transcended, laid aside, before the real magic of our being can be practiced. The individual “I”s of the world need to cooperate i.e. as Deepak Chopra said, “the trees must breathe so I can breathe” so that the illusion of separation can be transcended and we can collectively move beyond our constricted awareness.

We do this by asking ourselves a very simple question when attempting to manifest our intentions, 1) How will attainment of this intention serve me and how will it serve everyone else around me?

If the answer is about fulfillment for me and happiness for all concerned, i.e. for the universal “I” versus just the individual “I”, then we begin to create the extraordinary and magical world about us.

 

A doorway into the universal soul

I had a dream recently where I seemed to be everywhere at once. The dream was very disconcerting I’d no sooner noticed where I was than I’d be somewhere else, then nowhere and yet everywhere.

This reminded me of the quantum physics concept of “nonlocality”. In the dream it was only when I noticed myself as being somewhere that the location would change. In the theory of nonlocality everything is potential and it’s only when we make an observation that the field of everywhere and everywhen collapses into a single place. It’s as though reality is what we make of it. It’s only when our ego-selves intervene that everything solidifies into a something.

Some self-awareness gurus like Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and James Redfield suggest that at a fundamental level reality is a non defined soup or eternal soul that exists at the level of potential and only taking form through the personal soul, the soul of all our experiences. As Chopra once said “the soul is the observer in the midst of the observation.” Essentially there is an object that is observed, then there’s the process of observing that happens in the brain, and lastly there’s an observer. The brain is interpreting what is seen based on prior information, observations, relationships, and biases. This is all happening while the “observer” is observing.

In dreams this nonlocal essence is often imaged as an ocean or great sea while the waves represent the local or personal point-of-view. Carl Jung, the early to mid-century Swiss Psychiatrist thought of this vast sea as the unconscious mind where the universal archetypes of the psyche reside– that there is a shared information that crosses all cultures and across all time. Everyone and everything is part of a nonlocal intelligence i.e. an unbounded potential from which we can draw if we learn how. Dreams are but the waves of this vast ocean and present us with information that the conscious mind normally has no access to. They are an access-point or doorway into the universal soul.