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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

A Simple Piece of Advice

the-self-who-is-speaking-the-entombed-soul-the-spirit-driven-in-in-virginia-woolf-355477This is a very simple exercise in stopping that voice that dictates to you day and night.

For those who wish to move beyond the ego, you might want to give this a try.

From Michael Jeffreys:

Have you ever asked your internal voice, “Who is Speaking?” And then waited for the answer?

We habitually, automatically, and robotically  believe the thoughts in our head without question… yet, have you ever inquired to see WHOSE Voice is actually speaking? Who or what, exactly, is saying all those things in your head virtually 24/7?

If the voice declares, “It’s me, it’s my voice!” don’t fall for it. Saying, “It’s me” doesn’t give you any information. Okay than, who is this “me”??

Few will actually take the time to investigate this deeply, perhaps because knowing unconsciously this would expose the egoic identity for what it is and so, for whatever reason, they prefer, for the time being, to continue on in the dream with “business as usual.” But for those few who feel this burning desire for Freedom, the next time the internal voice speaks, they will ask themselves, “Who is Speaking?” and then sit silently, for as long as it takes, until the answer reveals itself from within.

– Michael Jeffreys

Laughter Announces Your Arrival

laughing-buddhaIf you have ever wondered why the Buddha laughs, well the answer is simply that enlightenment does that. Osho, the Indian mystic explains in Shift>. 

I does seem like something very much to look forward to and something very much to work for. But of course, it requires no work at all.

When one becomes enlightened, laughter is almost a natural by-product; spontaneously it comes, for the simple reason that we have been searching and searching our lives for something which was already there inside. Our whole effort was ridiculous! Our whole effort was absurd. One laughs at the great cosmic joke. One laughs at the sense of humor that God must have or the existence: that we have it with us already and we are searching for it. One laughs at one’s own ridiculous efforts, long long journeys, pilgrimages, for something which was never lost in the first place.

My own understanding is that there is nothing more valuable than laughter. Only laughter is left in you when you are total. In everything else you remain partial, even in lovemaking you remain partial. But when you have a really heartfelt belly laugh, all the parts of your being — the physiological, the psychological, the spiritual — they all vibrate in one single tune, they all vibrate in harmony. Hence, laughter relaxes. And relaxation is spiritual. Laughter brings you to the earth, brings you down from your stupid ideas of being holier-than-thou. Laughter brings you to reality as it is. The world is a play, a cosmic joke. And unless you understand it as a cosmic joke you will never be able to understand the ultimate mystery. I am all for jokes, I am all for laughter.

Everybody takes themselves and others seriously. That’s the way of the ego to exist. Start being a little more playful and you will see ego evaporating. Take life non seriously, as a joke — yes, as a cosmic joke. Laugh a little more. Laughter is far more significant than prayer. Prayer may not destroy your ego; on the contrary, it may make it holy, pious, but laughter certainly destroys your ego. When you are really in a state of laughter, have you observed? …the ego disappears for a moment. You are again a child, giggling. Again you have forgotten that you are special. You are no longer serious; for a moment you have removed your fixation.

That’s why I love jokes…they are poison to your ego! You would like me to talk about serious things: astral planes and how many bodies men have, seven or nine, and how many chakras. And every day there are questions — esoteric, occult. These are the serious people. They have fallen in a wrong company! I am not serious at all. I don’t laugh with you because that is part of telling a joke: the person who tells it has to be very serious, he cannot laugh with you. All my laughter I have to do alone.

But my approach towards life is utterly nonserious, playful, because in my experience this is how the ego disappears. Watch when you laugh: where is the ego? Suddenly you have melted, suddenly you are liquid, no more solid, but flowing. You are not old, experienced, knowledgeable. Listen to this joke and try to find out whether the ego remains or not.

All buddhas have laughed when they awaken. Their laughter is like a lion’s roar. They laugh, not at you, they laugh at the whole cosmic joke. They lived in a dream, in a sleep, intoxicated completely by desire, and through desire they looked at the existence. Then it was not the real existence, they projected their own sleep on it.

You are taking the whole existence as a screen, and then you project your own mind on it and you see things which are not there, and you don’t see things which are there. And the mind has explanations for everything. If you raise a doubt, the mind explains. It creates theories, philosophies, systems, just to feel comfortable, that nothing is wrong. All philosophies exist to make life convenient, so that everything looks okay, nothing is wrong — but everything is wrong while you are asleep.

Nobody lives, nobody dies. Nothingness lives, nothingness dies. You are not. Have a good laugh at this situation. You are not and you exist. You are not and you are. This is the cosmic joke.

You see a person and you smile. You smile for them. One should smile only for oneself. If others share, good. If nobody shares, good. But one should smile of one’s own accord. One should not laugh to make somebody else happy, because if you are not happy, you cannot make anybody happy. Even if you are happy, it is very difficult to make somebody else happy because it depends on that somebody else as to whether he will accept it or not. One should simply laugh of one’s own accord, and one should not wait for reasons to laugh. That too is absurd. Why wait for reasons? Life as it is should be enough of a reason to laugh. It is so absurd, it is so ridiculous. It is so beautiful…it is so wonderful. It is all sorts of things together. It is a great cosmic joke.

What Causes My Suffering?

This might well be something to chew on for a few minutes today.

From Michael Jeffrey’s blog:

What’s true is always what’s happening, not the story about what SHOULD be happening. ~Byron Katie

“Sally should call me more often.”

Q: Is the source of my suffering Sally not calling me, or is it believing the thought, “Sally SHOULD call me more often.”?

As Byron Katie says, when we believe our thoughts we suffer. Why? Because we are mistaking a mind manufactured belief, a temporary appearance, for the Truth. What’s the difference? One never changes because it’s what I AM, and the other never stops changing showing me that it’s what I AM not.

~Michael Jeffreys

 

Stinkin’ Thinkin’

dualism

Richard Rohr is one of my favorites. This excerpt I think helps in our quest to end our dualistic thinking.

Although we begin life, as very young children, as non-dual thinkers, usually by the age of seven we are all dualistic thinkers, and sadly many of us stay that way for the rest of our lives. Dualistic thinking is the well-practiced pattern of knowing most things by comparison. And for some reason, once we compare or label things (that is, judge things), we almost always conclude that one is good and the other not so good or even bad.

Don’t take my word for it; just notice your own thoughts and reactions. You will see that you will move almost automatically into a pattern of up or down, in or out, for me or against me, right or wrong, black or white, gay or straight, good or bad. It is the basic reason why the “stinkin’ thinkin’” of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, religious imperialism, and prejudice of all kinds is so hard to overcome and has lasted so long—even among nice people!

At the risk of being too cleverly alliterative (though it may help you to remember), here is the normal sequencing of the dualistic mind: it compares, it competes, it conflicts, it conspires, it condemns, it cancels out any contrary evidence, and then it crucifies with impunity.You can call it the sevenC’s of delusion. This is the source of most violence, which is invariably sacralized as good and necessary to “make the world safe for democracy” or to “save souls for heaven.”

There is a reason why Jesus and all the great spiritual teachers say, “Do not judge!” and why angels in the Bible are always saying, “Do not be afraid!” Our violence—and almost all of our unhappiness—emerges from our judging, dualistic mind—which itself comes from deeply rooted fear. Only unitive, non-dual consciousness can heal this violence and lead us to a rather constant happiness.

Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,
pp. 146-147,
Exploring and Experiencing the Naked Now