Listening to Your Inner Voice

Reprinted from Fractal Enlightenment

“You must listen to your heart and follow it or it will find a million ways to remind you that there is something missing” – Unknown

Probably one of the most cliché phrases we hear in spirituality circles is, “follow your heart.” Everyone is telling everyone to follow their heart, listen to their inner knowing, follow their intuition etc… Unfortunately the heart doesn’t have a loud booming voice that comes from the heavens and tells us exactly what we should or shouldn’t do. Nor does it hang signs and banners in front of us telling us “go this way” or “don’t go that way.” So how do we know which of our inner voices to listen to? How do we know if we are making decisions from our heart or if we are listening to our head?

It’s important to remember first and foremost that we are born with the natural inclination to follow our hearts. A baby doesn’t make any decisions from its head, all decisions are based upon how it feels. If the baby feels happy it giggles, if it feels angry or hungry it will cry and scream, it has no thought of how ridiculous it looks to have been laughing one second and the next be wailing and crying. Over time we lose this natural ability to just handle life based purely on our body’s energy and cues, because we start to learn the social “norms”.

We discover which behaviors are “appropriate” and which aren’t and we start to form our personalities based on how we think, not only society but also how our family and friends expect us to behave and live our lives. All of this listening to other people and their opinions and standards for what is a “good” life or what is a “good” job or what is “bad” one, leads us straight into our analytical selves (our head), and straight away from our true feelings (our heart). We mull over decisions from the perspective of what is “good” and what is “bad” or what is “acceptable” and what is “unacceptable” based purely on our programming, which is a collection of the data we have collected from television, parents, culture, society, book’s we’ve read, etc…
listen-to-your-heart-or-mind
The problem is most people do not consciously know that their heads are filled with a collection of things they’ve read, heard on television, heard their friends say. They actually think they are generating all of their thoughts on their own which makes it even harder for them to discern between which thoughts are coming from their head or which are intuitive nudges from their heart.

So if operating from our heart is what comes naturally, and operating from our head is what we have learned over time, it’s safe to say that the unlearning of listening to our mind chatter and getting back to our natural way of dealing with life, is where we should start in order to start being able to tell head vs heart apart.

“The quieter you become the more you can hear” – Ram Dass

Forget everything you think you know about how life should be. Shed every “should do”, “shouldn’t do”, that you’ve heard from people in your life. Everyone you meet is going to have an opinion on what is the right kind of life to have or the right decision to make, but the only person who can truly make that decision for you is you. Of course this is easier said than done because our programming is so ingrained in our heads, but once you start to disconnect from all of your past programming you will find that your mind gets a little quieter.

Since the mind is divisive in nature, it wants to label each decision as right or wrong, good or bad. This is what it is always doing no matter what. Almost all fear and doubt is coming from your mind, and I say “almost” because there are actual instances when you will be in danger, in which case a natural intuitive fear will come about, but these are rare occasions. While the heart KNOWS what to do, the mind THINKS it knows what to do… and then it’s not sure, and then it is sure, and then it’s not sure again. It goes back and forth between “should I” or “shouldn’t I.”
heart-mind-dialogue
Anytime we are caught in an internal conflict such as this, we can be assured this is coming from our head and not our heart. The heart however, operates from contraction and expansion. Contraction is when our body tenses up, we may feel short of breath or our chest will feel tight. Expansion makes us feel lighter, like we can breathe better, like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders. Sometimes following our heart will make us feel a little scared too, because it may involve us making a huge life change, but when we are trying to make an ultimate decision, we notice that one decision will feel stifling, suffocating and limiting and one will feel like anxious excitement.

It’s important that we are able to decipher which is which. Excitement about the future is always a good sign that a decision is coming from our heart. If you are noticing that lots of fear is popping up in your decision making, walk yourself through the fear. Does the fear stem from what other people will think about you? Does it stem from making a ‘wrong’ decision and then regretting it later? Both of these are coming from the head, they are based on the programming again of what life should or shouldn’t be like. If we just remember, the head thinks and the heart feels, we can start to be more in touch with the cues our bodies are sending us instead of the fear and doubt that our minds are generating.
followyourheartfreeheartlovequotefreed-3f29078a80bf0a4dac642d73cb7e5ea3_h_large Everyone has that little voice in their head telling them “you can’t do it,” “you’ll never succeed,” or “it’s going to be too hard or take too much time, so why even try?”… Everyone. Once you realize this voice is lying to you, a whole new realm of possibilities opens up for you. What if you knew, like REALLY knew that anything was possible? How would your life change? The more you stop believing in that little fear voice that likes to instill doubt in you, the more you realize that those thoughts aren’t popping up at all anymore.

At this point you can follow what is coming naturally to you, maybe it’s moving away, or maybe it’s painting, or maybe it is writing or making music, it doesn’t really matter what the decision is. When we start doing things that intuitively bring us joy and excitement we will start the ball rolling on our expansion of our heart and our true self. Living our life from our heart will FEEL good, so little by little we start to trust this little intuition feeling instead of the thoughts stemming from our minds and slowly but surely our life starts to unfold into a spontaneous set of exciting circumstances, instead of a controlled, rigid and fear based existence. Then our heart becomes our ‘go-to’ guy in decision making, which makes life not only completely unexpected, but also amazing.

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Going with the Flow

Much of our pain is caused by failing to heed the following rules of the road. Peace comes from recognizing what we can and should do, rather than what we “need” to have happen. It is not inaction as is pointed out, but taking the right action for the right reasons.

From Fractal Enlightenment

It goes by many names, “the law of least effort” and “going with the flow”, to name a couple, but the path of least resistance is a theme we hear about in many spiritual texts. At first glance, it may go against everything you have ever believed was true about following your dreams and achieving your goals. Is this concept actually implying that doing LESS work, putting in LESS effort will help us achieve things faster? Not exactly.

The path of least resistance does not suggest that you take NO action, but that you take PERFECT action. For example, the biggest thing we can observe applying the path of least resistance is nature. Everything in nature has a sole purpose, and 100% of the time, without fail, each thing in nature sticks to their purpose and therefore takes perfect action.

A tree grows towards the sun, takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen… always. A bee pollinates flowers, or makes honey…. always. You wouldn’t see a tree struggling to swim like a fish or a bear struggling to be like a cloud. Each thing knows its purpose and place in the grand scheme of things, so no effort is put forth into being something that doesn’t come naturally.

However, don’t worry if you don’t know what the “perfect” action is for your life. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for your evolution of consciousness. How do you know that this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.” Which means that every action is perfect, nothing ever goes wrong per se.
the path of least resistance
We create problems for ourselves when we sit in resistance of a situation, we believe in our heads that things should go a certain way and when they don’t go that way we are frustrated. Or when a situation has repeatedly shown us that things are not working out, we may continually try to force what we believe to be the way things should go on people, places or things only to be disappointed over and over.

The greatest thing about the flow of our lives is that it is always trying to push us forward. We create dams and blockages for ourselves by our limited belief systems. So how do we know if we are following the flow or going against it? Here is path of least resistance checklist to help you out:

1. Am I listening to my thoughts about a situation or my body’s cues?

Your thoughts will lie to you. They will tell you eating a quart of ice cream is a good idea & then after you do it, they will tell you that you should be ashamed of yourself. Your body-mind cannot lie, it’s the tension you feel in your body when you are around certain people, the upset stomach you get when you are in a stressful situation, the tightness in your chest you get when someone or something makes you uneasy, etc… When you pay attention to your bodies cues instead of your thoughts you can decipher which situations make you FEEL good which will guide you only to things that are ultimately going to make you more fulfilled and happier.
path-of-least-resistance
2. Do I accept situations as they are or do I find myself wishing people/places/things would change to meet my expectations?

There are going to be things in life we cannot change. We can’t change who is in our family, we can’t change the past, we can’t change the way another person behaves. When we learn to see the difference between which things in our life we can change vs. which things in our life are unchangeable, we learn the power of acceptance. Also we empower ourselves to change things in our life that make us unhappy, and accept the situations that we can do nothing about. When we accept things we cannot change, we allow ourselves inner peace because we are not living in the how we think things “should be”, and instead are living in the how things are.

3. Am I motivated by fear or love

When love is behind our actions we will know it. We will feel good and happy and joyful when we are engaged in those activities. Fear is tricky, because many times it will disguise itself as love. For example, a person may stay in an unhealthy relationship too long under the guise of “but I love him/her.” Even though they know they are unhappy and the other person is as well, the fear of not wanting to be alone outshines the love they should be showing to themselves.

When we switch our motivation to love we naturally attract situations to us that make us feel good. Being in love with life will help us progress with the forward flow of life more quickly than staying in unhealthy situations a little too long.

4. Am I too attached to the “how” something will happen instead of the “what” I want to happen?

This is a huge one. Our ego/thoughts are always trying to make sense of everything, so when we choose a specific goal that we are trying to work towards our mind automatically starts coming up with a plan of how it is going to happen. And if a goal sounds too unreachable your mind may also tell you to forget about it, it’s not going to happen. These types of thoughts create roadblocks in our path, because if we don’t believe it is achievable, it won’t be. When we follow the path of least resistance here we open ourselves up to limitless possibilities, instead of closing ourselves in to exactly how we believe things should happen.
determination
5. Can I find purpose in my day to day existence?

It doesn’t matter if you are a garbage man or a stay at home mom… every job has a purpose. When the perspective of our job is how much we hate it we are in resistance all day long. No it does not mean to work at a job that is unfulfilling your entire life, what it means is that for the time being, while you have to work where you work, enjoy it.

Focus on all the ways what you do helps people, or makes them happier, or makes their life easier. When you see your job in these terms, the day flows faster, because we are happier and sitting in acceptance. Not only that, but when we are happy we attract to us more opportunities…which may eventually lead us to our dream job. When we go with the flow of our life instead of against it our life runs more smoothly, and progresses more quickly.

And the great thing is that it’s never too late to start following the path of least resistance. In fact, it’s probably the easiest thing you can do because you do what comes naturally instead of forcing things to go how you think they should. This path opens us up to the intelligence of the universe instead of the “intelligence” coming from our own ideas and thoughts, which means we become open to the limitless potential that exists in the universe… which can be an amazing thing as long as we allow it.

 

Four Genuine Acts of Immanence

Taken from Fractal Enlightenment:

“Only as high as I reach can I grow. Only as far as I seek can I go. Only as deep as I look can I see. Only as much as I dream can I be” –Karen Ravn

Immanence is the presence of the divine within all things. Individually, immanence is presence, but a kind of inherent presence that subsumes time and space. Namaste is an immanent interjection meaning the divine within me recognizes and honors the divine within you. In seeking a more balanced spiritual life, we must proactively and authentically engage with each other and with the world. Practicing Namaste is practicing social immanence. In this article we will break down and analyze Karen Ravn’s quote to see how these four acts of immanence might help us grow more spiritually robust lives.

1. Only as high as you reach can you grow

“The greater danger with most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo

If you would be immanent, be a paradigm crusher. Flatten all boxes you’re forced to think inside of. Transform all rigid boundaries into transparent horizons. Dare to reach higher than you did before. Adventure lies on the other side of your comfort zone. Stretch it. Be elastic. Like Socrates said, “Let him who would move the world, first move himself.” The more you reach for the unknown, the broader your comfort zone becomes.

The broader your comfort zone becomes, the more of the world you encompass. The more of the world you encompass, the more your fears are transformed into courage. And courage is all you need. It’s better to shoot for a difficult target and miss, than to perpetually hit easy targets and stagnate, because even when you’re missing you’re still growing. And growth is the essence of the journey being the thing. Allow the journey to be the thing and adventure and immanence will surely be yours.

light at the end of the tunnel2. Only as far as you seek can you go

“One must be willing to stand alone – in the unknown, with no reference to authority or the past or any of one’s conditioning. One must stand where no one has stood before in complete nakedness, innocence, and humility.” –Adyashanti

Imagine you’re at a crossroads. There are two signs. The one pointing to the right reads: Comfort, security, certainty, and the end of knowledge (blue pill). And the one pointing to the left reads: Discomfort, insecurity, uncertainty, and the pursuit of knowledge (red pill). Which one do you choose?

This is the ultimate crux of the examined life: if pursued wisely, there is no end to the discomfort and uncertainty. The more you seek, the more cognitive dissonance is experienced, and the more previous knowledge becomes uncouth. The only certainty is perpetual uncertainty. But there is a joy in discovery that trumps the bliss of ignorance. Indeed, there’s a ecstasy in new knowledge that utterly eclipses the pleasures of comfort and security.

So if you would be immanent, I beseech you, choose the uncomfortable path of perpetual knowledge over the comfortable path of stagnant knowledge. It’s worth any amount of discomfort. And with enough practice, wrestling with your doubt, cognitive dissonance, and insecurity will become an art form and a state of peaceful immanence will be yours.

3. Only as deep as you look can you see

“A little bit of agitation gives resource to souls and what makes the species prosper isn’t peace, but freedom.” – Machiavelli

Undeceive yourself. Break the illusion. Recondition the precondition. Don’t settle for the spoon feeding of advertisements and corporate controlled media. Question them instead. Demand to be slapped with the truth rather than kissed with lies. Look deeper than you dared before.

The deeper you look the more you will see. The more you see, the more you’ll see how everything is connected, and the more you’ll care. Sure, there are scary things in the Desert of the Real, but so what. There’s truth there. There is freedom there. And there can be no immanence without freedom and truth.

art,photography,scull,butterflyeyeliveanddie,butterfly,eye-97b96ad785319a638db77c3cf03f419a_h But there is also no evolution without the questioning of what’s deemed true. Stir up all comfortable roosts, especially your own. Ruffle all serious feathers. Reform all stagnant forms. Disturb the peace, especially when it masks war. Shakeup the status quo with your courage to question it. Keep looking, deeper and deeper. Be Alice, “curiouser and curiouser” in Wonderland. Be Neo, transcending the Matrix. Be Dante, eclipsing hell. Do as Walt Whitman suggested: “Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.”

4. Only as much as you dream can you be

“I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat. I have read, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God.” –David Whyte

6fdd75e2b4e0Dare to dream beyond yourself. Even if the dream seems unreachable, dream it anyway. It is through the striving of your dreams that immanence becomes unique to your soul signature. Striving for your dreams is allowing the journey to be the thing. Indeed, the journey is the thing not just because it sharpens our souls and strengthens our hearts, but also because we are not perfect creatures.

We will fail. You will fail, over and over again. And that’s okay. That’s part of your journey. You must dream anyway. You must strive for your goals despite any and all setbacks, even if, and maybe even especially if, others are telling you to do otherwise. You don’t achieve authenticity by acting out the conditioned reflexes of your culture; you achieve it by undergoing a process of self-discovery that requires a psychosocial death, a letting go of the comfortable and the familiar.

You reach it by passionately delving into the Abyss; replete with its orgies of pain, its orneriness of angst, and the certain defeat of your expectations. Only then can you gain the capacity to rebirth yourself and rise up like a Phoenix from the ashes. And it’s in the rising up, again and again, where the essence of immanence reveals itself.

Fear Eats Your Happiness

fearWe are all prone to spend way too much time worrying about tomorrow. As we all know, only this moment is truly ours. To ignore NOW because of what may happen, is truly silly. Yet we find it so hard to stop the noise in our heads. For all those who are worrying about something, you might want to read this:

From Raptitude:

If you’re a normal person, you probably suffer about a hundred times as much from fearing bad outcomes as you do from the ones that do happen to come true.

And it’s unlikely that the sleepless night spent fearing a bombed job interview served as useful experience for when it did happen. It probably made it worse, and maybe even caused it to happen in the first place.

You probably didn’t notice that the 99 other things you feared that day never became real. If you had a ledger for all the fears in your life, and on the left you wrote down the what you feared would happen, and on the right you wrote down what actually happened, anybody reading it would laugh.

There are no real outcomes anyway. We worry so much about “ending up” in a particular bad way. But even the fears that do (more or less) come true have no finality about them, they’re just a new place from which to work for now. For all you know this new place sits on a better path than the result you had hoped for.

Was sadness and disappointment the final, permanent outcome of your rejected novel? Was it the end of happiness in your life? The “outcome” of any particular endeavor is just another middle chapter, just another starting point for something else. There’s nothing damning about the middle of any story, and unless you’re dead, you’re in the middle. (So I guess there is one true outcome, but there’s no uncertainty about whether it will happen, and it has the virtue of ending all your worries anyway.)

Everyone has a past riddled with bombed exams, awkward job interviews, bad dates, lost wallets, and birthdays with low turnouts, and few of those fears-come-true continue to cripple us today. Mostly they consist of an awful few minutes followed by an ordinary bad mood, maybe an inconvenient new errand to complete or a new parameter to work under, and some unpleasant rumination later on, if you choose to bother with that.

Of course, most of the unpleasant developments in life are the ones it didn’t occur to you to worry about anyway. They “blindside you at 4pm on an idle Tuesday,” as Mary Schmich put it in her famous column-turned-book. (The one about wearing sunscreen.)

When you decide you’ll walk into your moments of truth — your project launches, race days and blind dates — with an unconditional willingness to see what happens, fear doesn’t have much to do.

For some reason we interpret the presence of fear as a trustworthy reason to be tentative, to delay our arrival at a result. This gives fear time to make the unhappiest possibilities bigger in our minds, seemingly more worthy of respect. Yet fear is your mind at its dumbest and least articulate. All it knows how to do is shout “Get away!” 

It designs endless disaster scenarios, not just of failure or setback but of complete ruin. It understands your options only in terms of how they could bring on your annihilation, and therefore is blind to everything else that your experiences can do for you: wisdom gained, doors opened, and particularly the possibility of success. It just doesn’t see it.

So it always bets on death and irreversible consequences without even reading the odds sheet. But like any idiot conspiracy theorist, when it guesses right its confidence explodes, and you can’t shut it up. (“See! They didn’t like your poem! How stupid that you tried!”)

When you point out any of the million instances in which fear was wrong, it changes the subject to its most recent victory, or it makes a brand new prediction. If you’re not thinking for yourself, you’ll start to parrot its paranoid convictions — “It doesn’t matter what I do, things never work out for me! Nobody can love me!” and other beliefs so asinine they would require a global conspiracy to be true. You might even find yourself actively looking for evidence to support fear’s claims, not for any logical reason, but because you wish you were as confident as it is.

And once you’re confident fear is usually right, you’ll be right so often that you’ll never want to bet against it. That’s the great irony of fear: give it too much respect and it becomes the paralysis and annihilation from which it ostensibly protects you.

We are smarter than fear. Walk into the thing it tells you to cower from — or “Feel the fear and do it anyway” as Susan Jeffers would say it — and fear dies, because you ignored its only wish, which is to keep you from going certain places to see what’s actually there.

Unless you have a rational expectation of grievous bodily harm or financial ruin, respond to fears with curiosity about what life actually looks like beyond the moment of truth. Pass through the door and see what’s there. You can take it. The sky has fallen a thousand times already.

Even if you do find what fear warned you about, you’ll notice it had none of the details right. It doesn’t look like, feel like or require of you what you thought. That’s because fear doesn’t know anything about the future. Fear only ever has old material to work with; it makes its predictions out of the past. It’s desperate to prevent you from getting to the future to see what’s really there, because then it will quickly lose your respect.

Creation

creation

From the Rig Veda X.121.10.

The One that ignites the unseen
particles, inexhaustible shining
identical to one another,
which procreate, give birth to all
creatures in the universe
by extending stretching expanding
to become whatever designs,
longings and desires of
the implicate order, that must be
the Weaver moving and carrying
this flying-falling treasure of galactic worlds,
the sacrificial ladle reflecting sound
in the tongue-flame within us.

Transforming the Ego into Soul

Taken from Fractal Enlightenment:

We live in an excessively unhealthy culture. We are constantly surrounded by victims. This is because we are all victims of an egocentric society, and hence victims of our own ego-attachment to such perspectives. I’ve written about transforming wounds into wisdom and victims into warriors. This article will analyze tactics for transforming Ego into Soul; to go from a state of instability to a state of impeccability.

1. Expand all boundaries
“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” –Bruce Lee

Utopia is a goal, never an end. When I walk two steps, the goal moves two steps further into the horizon. What is the goal for? It’s a reminder to keep moving, to keep going. Don’t stop, because the goal is constantly moving further and further away. Indeed, the journey truly is the thing. Keep stretching your comfort zone until it becomes the world then keep stretching it until it becomes the universe, and then keep going. Never stop. Like Sarah Lewis wrote in The Rise, “Masters are not masters because they take a subject to its conceptual end. They are masters because they realize that there isn’t one. On utterly smooth ground, the path from aim to attainment is in the permanent future.”

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2. Subsume nature
“Tradition is the illusion of permanence.” –Woody Allen

Exhaust the primitive. Nothing remains the same. The only permanence is the impermanence of nature. When we subsume nature we realize that we are nature. We realize that we are constantly changing along with nature. The only healthy response to an every-changing system is to be open to change. We do so by exhausting the primitive both within and outside us so as to shatter any and all illusions of tradition or permanence.

I always hear this argument against the nature-based perspective: that the primitive is nowhere near as efficacious for the control of nature as our domesticated civilization. To which I retort: But of course, nature-based living may not be able to control the world, but at least it isn’t in any danger of destroying it. Our civilization controls the world up to a point at which it seems to be destroying it. And so we have become the antithesis of man as human animal (ego), whereas nature-based man is the apotheosis (soul).

Instead of only using our vainglorious narcissistic faces as mirrors for each other, we need to once again learn how to use the entire cosmos as a reflection. Like Jung fabulously articulated, “What is needed is to call a halt to the fatal dissociation that exists between our higher and lower being; we must unite the conscious aspect with the primitive.”

irrational_number_pi_banner

3. Verify the irrational
“Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.” –Tony Schwartz

Nothing entrenches the ego in itself more than certainty. Always leave room for doubt, especially in such areas as religion, nationalism, sexuality and racism. The soul flies when the ego dies. It is from the blood and guts of the ego that the soul gets its fuel for flight. Like the blood and guts of the caterpillar must be annihilated in order to transform into the butterfly, so too must our egos be annihilated. We do this by consistently verifying the irrational. We do this by constantly interrogating our worldviews. We do this by daily questioning and re-questioning our perspectives in relation to others. Like Philip Guston wrote, “To know and then how not to know is the greatest puzzle of all… so much preparation for a few moments of desperate play. To learn how to unlearn.”

Remember: God interrogating itself to the limit is you; you interrogating yourself to the limit is God. Like Gerry Spence said, “I’d rather have a mind open by wonder than one closed by belief.”

4. Obtain a sublime reputation
“The day you stop racing, is the day you win the race.” –Bob Marley

When it comes to advice about life, my attitude is very simple: seek it out, absorb it, synthesize it, but when you are in the throes of living, forget it, and just live it. There is transcendence in letting go of transcendence. The daily rat race of chasing money for the sake of money has us all going through the motions of chasing each other’s tails through an indecipherable maze of one-upmanship. Let. It. Go! Live your life. Don’t let life live you.

If there is somebody telling you it can’t be done, inspire them by showing them how it can be done. Uplift the downtrodden. Move the unmoved. Exalt the un-exalted. Don’t just inspire, inspire awe through daily acts of courage and love. The status quo is the Ego’s prison. But the bars are an illusion. It’s up to you to realize that fact and free yourself, and then act as an example for others through your sublime reputation. Then again…

best way to predict future

5. Create one demon at least
“The demon that you can swallow gives you its power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

Create at least one monster. Life is full of shoulds and shouldnots. It’s also full of should-a, would-a, could-a. One way to decalcify the ego, and thus magnify the soul, is by creating our own art: the kind of art that rejuvenates the spirit and is cathartic for the ego. Art is less about what you have not done and more about what you have done. The demon to be created and then consumed is the transformation of what we have not done into something we have done. This usually takes the form of art. Like Bertolt Brecht said, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

This seems contradictory to #4 but this is only because art is contradictory. Objectively, art is alive in a way forbidden natural objects and, subjectively, in a way subsuming the subjects who create them. We humans are a fallible species. More so we are an excruciatingly complex and insecure species. Art is the cathartic process of our self-actualized inadequacies. Through our own creative expression we, in one fell swoop, free our demons and give them wings. Like Scott Adams wrote, “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

So create at least one monster. Scare people with it. Shake them out of their too-comfortable comfort zones. Have the courage of the artist. Her courage is the ability to swallow the status quo and create new forms of perceiving. Like Bansky brilliantly tagged: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

empathy

6. Inhabit everyone
“Just as one candle lights another and can light thousands of other candles, so one heart illuminates another and can illuminate thousands of other hearts.” –Leo Tolstoy

Sojourn with all things. Try your best to “walk a mile in their shoes” or “stand on the shoulders of giants.” If you can consistently do this, then your wisdom will become a force to be reckoned with. The reason is because of the interconnectedness of all things, cosmically, and our need for empathy, socially. We need each other. Our insecurity alone reveals that absolute fact. Empathy shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s vulnerability. Being vulnerable is constantly being in a state to receive new information without fear that it will change us; because it will change us. And that’s okay.

Like Alexander Velazquez pointed out: “Buddha mapped enlightenment as the nautical ley lines to inner peace. Jesus walked on waves of self-sacrifice and plotted love as a way to helm the soul to salvation. Nietzsche rode against currents of religious piety—and in the face of that behemoth, sailed the breakers of nihilism to eternal joy. King sailed through channels of racial inequality and anchored western culture to paths of desegregation. Malcom challenged legions of racist warships and conquered waters of racial identity and power. Sartre showed us clouds of self-creation and tactical action as the guide to horizons of happiness. Gödel built compasses of mathematical rebellion to defy currents and streams, enabling circumnavigation through new straits. Wittgenstein stripped ships of their excess cargo of intangible and irrelevant philosophy in pursuit of truth. And Jung, by covering the entire ocean of the spirit, drew our first maps of the person. It is in studying carefully these great maps and utilizing their initiatives that we can invent new means and passages to distant frontiers.”

heart mind

Awareness Is. . . .

From Michael Jeffreys Blog:

Question from Facebook:

Jason: I just think i need to be clear on what exactly awareness is….

Michael: Been there, done that… awareness is absolutely nothing… you are always aware of something, so whatever the mind claims is “awareness” can never be it… let the mystery have you… nothing to figure out… it’s the mind’s attempt to figure out something it can only ever guess at that keeps the suffering going… can you notice how badly the mind wants to be “right”??

What is your direct experience when the whole search is dropped, confusion and loose ends and all? “I give up” full stop.

What is left but this naked moment exactly as it is?

Jason: Yea there’s nothing left….no thought just sounds and sensations..of this direct moment…

 

 

Awakening: Recognizing the Signs

a man walking by himself into lightReprinted from Waking Times:

Josh Richardson, Prevent Disease
Waking Times

There is no doubt the Earth is evolving spiritually. People are experiencing intense changes within their life, work, behaviors and personal relationships. Many are awakening at a rate that can only be described as phenomenal. So how do we know if we are awakening? Here are 25 common characteristics you may find in yourself and others.

Some of you may experience things not on this list and I encourage you to share your experiences in the comments below. We are all unique and many of us are experiencing phenomenon that are difficult to explain at this time. We are all learning from each other.

1. Being in public places is sometimes overwhelming. Since our walls between self and other are dissolving, we haven’t really learned to distinguish between someone else’s energy and our own. If the general mood of the crowd is herd-like or negative, we can feel this acutely, and may feel like retreating into our own private space. When we have recharged our batteries with meditation, spending time in nature, far away from other people, or just sitting in quiet contemplation, we are ready to be with the masses again. In personal relationships, we often will feel someone else’s emotions as our own. It is important to have this higher sense of empathy, but we must learn to allow another person’s emotions while observing them and keeping our empathy, but, realizing that not all emotions belong to us. Social influence can dampen our own innate wisdom.

2. We understand our current paradigm, more than we understand ourselves. We see the big picture and marvel and the duality of our world including why polarity consciousness has brought us to where it has today. We no longer see life choices and right or wrong, good or bad, just choices defined by the neutral frequencies that we later define. Unity consciousness is allowing us to spread the message of unity consciousness to all of humanity that will allow us to heal our division and change the misery of our human beings to abundance within a global community filled with love for each other and not fear of each other.

3. We know things without having to intellectually figure them out. Often called intuitive awareness, we have ‘a-ha’ moments and insights that can explain some of the most complex theories or phenomenon in the world. Some of the most brilliant minds of our time just ‘know.’ Adepts and sages often were given downloads of information from higher states of consciousness after meditating or being in the presence of a more conscious individual; this is happening for more people with more frequency. As we trust our intuition more often, it grows stronger. This is a time of ‘thinking’ with our hearts more than our heads. Our guts will no longer be ignored. Our dreams are becoming precognitive and eventually our conscious thoughts will be as well.

4. We acknowledge our imperfection and how beautiful it is to be an imperfect version of our true selves. We thrive on challenging only ourselves, and not through competition at the expense of another, especially since we have no need to judge those who are exactly where they need to be.

5. Watching television or most of main stream media, including newspapers and many Hollywood movies is very distasteful to us. The mindset that creates much, but not all, of the programming on television and in cinema is abhorrent. It commodifies people and promotes violence. It reduces our intelligence and numbs our natural empathetic response to someone in pain.

6. We no longer have a need to attach our love to material things, understanding that it only leads to misery because we are not learning to love ourselves and others. The mentality only leads to further acquisition of more things. Although things too are part of consciousness, they do not allow humans to accelerate the mass consciousness required to change the world. Only love for ourselves and others can do that. Love is knowing the deservability and worthiness of all. We are loved so unconditionally by Creation that we can even choose to believe that we are not loved.

7. Lying to us is nearly impossible. We may not know exactly what truth you are withholding, but we can also tell that something isn’t right. We also know when you have other emotions, pain, love, etc. that you aren’t expressing. You’re an open book to us. We aren’t trained in counter-intelligence, we are just observant and knowing. While we may pick up on physical cues, we can look into your eyes and know what you are feeling.

8. We may pick up symptoms of your cold, just like men who get morning sickness when their wives are pregnant. Sympathy pains, whether emotional or physical, are something we experience often. We tend to absorb emotion through the solar plexus, considered the place we ‘stomach emotion’ so as we learn to strengthen this chakra center, we may sometimes develop digestive issues. Grounding to the earth can help to re-establish our emotional center. Walking barefoot is a great way to re-ground.

9. We tend to root for the underdog, those without voices, those who have been beaten down by the matrix, etc. We are very compassionate people, and these marginalized individuals often need more love. People can sense our loving hearts, so complete strangers will often tell us their life stories or approach us with their problems. While we don’t want to be a dumping ground for everyone’s issues, we are also a good ear for those working through their stuff.

10. We don’t feel the need to awaken every person we see. Within a few sentences we can interpret their level of comfort in discussions relating to consciousness. When necessary, we plant a seed and if it’s meant to grow it will. We understand that attempting to awaken those who are not ready is toxic to their sensibilities.

11. If we don’t learn how to set proper boundaries, we can get tired easily from taking on other people’s emotions. Energy Vampires are drawn to us like flies to paper, so we need to be extra vigilant in protecting ourselves at times.

12. We are all becoming healers. We naturally gravitate toward healing fields, acupuncture, reiki, Qi-Gong, yoga, massage, midwifery, etc. are fields we often find ourselves in. We know that the collective needs to be healed, and so we try our best to offer healing in whatever form we are most drawn to. We also turn away from the ‘traditional’ forms of healing ourselves. Preferring natural foods, herbs, and holistic medicine as ways to cure every ailment.

13. We see the possibilities before others do. Just like when the church told Copernicus he was wrong, and he stood by his heliocentric theory, we know what the masses refuse to believe. Our minds are light-years ahead.

14. We are creative. We sing, dance, paint, invent, or write. We have amazing imaginations.

15. We fully accept that we can only attract what is within our vibrational field. There are no experiences that we can obtain in physical form without attracting them from a vibrational perspective. That includes the most horrific experiences and the most beautiful ones. What we are learning to do is accept relationships and experiences for what they are. People and experiences are serving as reflections to teach us something about ourselves.

16. We don’t question what love is, why it is or how it presents itself. We know it is everywhere, in everyone and everything, all permeating and infinite.

17. We require more solitude than the average person.

18. We might get bored easily, but we are really good at entertaining ourselves.

19. We have a difficult time doing things we don’t want to do or don’t really enjoy. We really do believe life was meant to be an expression of joy. Why waste it doing something you hate? We aren’t lazy, we are discerning.

20. We are obsessed with bringing the truth to light.

21. We don’t live in fear of anything. Any and all changes coming, no matter how much they are perceived as negative or dramatic on our Earth, are being designed by us. We have past the point of no return and the Earth is ascending to a higher state of consciousness. Nothing will stop it now.

22. We can’t keep track of time. Our imaginations often get away with us and a day can feel like a minute, a week, a day.

23. We abhor routine.

24. We often disagree with authority (for obvious reasons). Some people call it “anarchy” without a true understanding of what that word or our governments really are.

25. We will often be kind, but if you are egotistical or rude, we won’t spend much time with you or find an excuse to not hang out with people who are obsessed with themselves. We don’t ‘get’ people who are insensitive to other people’s feelings or points of view.

About the Author

Josh Richardson is blogger, healer, and a constant pursuer of the natural state of human consciousness.

Awareness

Awareness Taken from Evolving Times.

Are YOU really aware?

“If we are too busy, if we are carried away every day by our projects, our uncertainty, our craving, how can we have the time to stop and look deeply into the situation – our own situation, the situation of our beloved one, the situation of our family and of our community, and the situation of our nation and of the other nations?”   Thich Nhat Hanh

Are YOU really aware of life and all that it offers? Do you ever step back and look at things from a different perspective? Do you ever observe the things you do and question why you are doing these things? True awareness is being able to observe and understand life as an impartial viewer. Awareness may be a strange concept to the uninitiated; those who have been running on the treadmill of life may not comprehend such a concept as awareness. Put briefly, awareness is simply the ability to perceive, feel or to be conscious of events and circumstances that impact our lives.

Let’s look at the different levels of awareness we encounter in our daily lives. Firstly, there is the physical world in which we live. Things like the house we live in and all that goes with it; furniture, lighting, carpets and all the collectables we have accumulated. Then outside your residence there is another layer of the environment in which you live. This includes our neighbours, the  neighbourhood and the surrounding area in which we live. Further afield there is the environment that we know is there but cannot see. Then added to this we have nature and all those things we take for granted on a daily basis, like air, water, the biosphere, wind, rain, light, temperature, humidity and a multitude of animals and plant species. For most of us, not all, we are trapped in our own world making sure that everything runs smoothly and our lives tick along. Our awareness only extends to our immediate life.

For the most part, awareness of our physical world is about being in the moment and experiencing the now. It is not about being on auto pilot and doing things out of habit. Buddhist and Zen masters spend many years focusing and practicing specific activities to help build present moment awareness. You can practice too. It is really quite simple. Every time you do something, be aware of what you are doing. Let’s say you are washing up the dishes by hand after the evening meal. Practice being completely aware of what you are doing. Feel the temperature of the water, feel the weight of the dishes, the texture and the action of the water as you scrub the dishes with your hands.

A famous Zen fable highlights this present moment awareness. The student asks the master “what is enlightenment?” the master responds, “wash up your dish”. We take this simple exercise of washing the dishes for granted. We are on auto pilot and just going through the motions, doing things mechanically. Yet this simple exercise shows us that so many of the things we do in life end up becoming mechanical. Our entire existence can become mechanical if we let it. We just cruise through life on auto pilot. We have to re-engage with life and experience life and all it has to offer by being in the moment and enjoying the process. We can find happiness and joy in doing almost anything, even in something that seems mundane. The pleasure can be found in the awareness of doing and witnessing each moment for what it is, at its simplest level.

Article by Andrew Martin taken from his book One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…