Chapter 1 : New Human

Episode 1 : Visible and Invisible

 

It may be useful to refer to the introduction accessible in full in the main menu in the header marked ‘Introduction’ before embarking on the first episode of chapter 1.  

 

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What can we learn from sensory deprivation, in other words from those who cannot see, hear, speak, move, communicate, etc. about accessing other ways of being? How can we become aware and avoid the tyranny of visual processing and the consequent ownership of everything we see?

Without realizing, we blindly pin everything down into permanence in the realities we create in our minds and hear only what we choose to hear? What we can see, hear, smell and taste, become commodities which we want desperately to possess then fossilize so that they become our new reality. It is only natural that we fear their loss because our grip is so tight.

For urban dwellers in the developed world, the allure of visual and auditory signals means we are always facing outwards, pulled out of our True Nature. In modern life, the monopolizing visual/auditory sense can generate synthetic conditions in which we ‘see’ only all that is ‘visible’ but it is also important that we ‘are seen’ and can interpret everything to suit us and our whims. The non-visual senses – deep listening/hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling – on the other hand, process concrete data that needs no interpretation as it is ‘invisible.’ But because we cannot see it with our physical eyes, it has little validity by comparison.

Our True Nature as privileged evolving humans is rooted equally in both the visible and the invisible. It is never limitable to man-made concepts like space and time, to merely seeing and being seen. I believe our responsibility in the visible world is to live with unconditional love and compassion so we can convey the lessons of humanity to others. We can and must revive our divine energy, our True Nature, in these days of shocking social deterioration and urban isolation, so that we can be models for others who are drowning in their ignorance and misguided views, those entirely dominated by their synthetic views of the world around them.

 

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In simple terms, for most of us, our senses are out of balance. But by closing down the visual sense and ‘going inside,’ which is often known by the term ‘meditation,’ we can make contact with our higher self and the vast magical land of the invisible.

The ‘I’ (the self-serving ego) and the physical eye operate in a similar way. As mentioned, the visual sense is the most dominant in our consumerist acquisitive societies. So, diversity and pluralism overwhelm us with choices, alternatives, get-out clauses, and so on. If we cannot see something, there is a possibility that we consider it not to exist or at the very least to have no validity. We need proof either with the naked eye or in writing to make things valid because our trust in others and in our perceptions of reality is so weak.

It is no wonder then that we cling desperately to the ‘self’ as proof that our flesh and blood actually exist. But in that clinging, there is a possibility that we may have lost all contact with our true self; that our divine flame is either guttering or extinguished altogether.

 

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In respect of the above, the visually impaired are fascinating. If we take away visual data from human existence altogether, then how do we make sense of the visible-exclusive world?

I have had the privilege of working with visually impaired children and adults as a Music Therapist. They have taught me so much about concrete communication which has contributed to my own spiritual insights and helped me to step beyond the straitjacket of duality – ‘me and you,’ ‘me and it’ – which most of us wear.

Before writing about my professional experience, I would like to bring attention to a film, which movingly depicts how a person deprived of sight as an adult, makes sense of his new world. The title is ‘Scent of a Woman’ 1992, based on an Italian film released in 1974 as Profumo di donna, (director Dino Risi, leading role Vittorio Gassman, based on the story Il Buio e il Miele by Giovanni Arpino).

 

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A U.S. military, Colonel Slade, injured in an accident, has lost his sight entirely. He adapts badly to his disability drinking heavily and lashing out at everyone around him in an obnoxious way. One day he sees no reason to go on living so he employs a young student paying his way at a local university, to accompany him to New York to take his final pleasures before shooting himself. Of course, the student is not privy to the colonel’s secret intention.

Booking into the best hotel, he lavishes them both during their stay. In the hotel, there is a dance floor where a small band plays Latin American music in the afternoon and guests dance in a formal Latin style. As they ‘watch,’ the colonel senses the fragrance of a woman sitting nearby them and somehow knows that she is alone. Despite his minder’s protestations, he goes to ask her to join them for a drink and then to his helper’s incredulity, he invites her to dance the tango with him. The Colonel knows the steps intimately and the floor clears to watch the spectacle. His fragrant partner is nervous at first but she soon relaxes and they stride out together confidently.

This scene has incredible nobility for me because of my experience with visual impairment. Apparently, all the blind colonel needs to achieve the impossible is the fragrance of a woman, his healthy body fully receptive to the vibrations of music and movement and his kinesthetic memories of dancing the Tango. All of these are concrete data. He does not ‘see’ anything so cannot interpret, distort or generate fear or doubt.

 

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Is it possible to reconstruct a visually accessed environment in terms of sound and movement? I know first-hand that this is what the visually impaired do to make sense of their world.

A young female client blind from birth had never seen anything or anyone; she did not experience even faint patterns of light or shadow. She used sound and sensations exclusively to construct her environment, making mountains out of piano chords and adding snowy summits with her agile voice. She could create a journey in a ship by jumping high to make wave patterns and the rocking of the vessel, using her fingers and voice as the people on board.

Actually, she was happiest without words, entirely nourished by the vibrations of sound and sensing them in her body. There was never any intellectual assessment or interpretation, only spontaneous integration with the stimuli. In other words, she had the ability to become the invisible.

 

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Jiddu Krishnamurti, spiritual teacher and visionary, said,

The description is not the described; I can describe the mountain, but the description is not the mountain, and if you get caught up in the description as most people are, then you will never see the mountain.

Of course, my young client had never seen a mountain and never would be able to do so, so instead, she could sense it made of sound and smells combined with her own bodily movements in space.

This complete absence of images and narrative which consume the mind of most sighted people can teach us just how attached we become to words and images and the meaning we calculate from them. Being receptive to only the sound of a word can liberate us so that we are able to get a glimpse of our True Nature or Spirit beyond mere symbols. This is possible in the invisible world which we experience as a matter of course in daily life – sound, smells, tastes, physical sensations – but choose not to find valid.

 

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Unlike my client, Colonel Slade has seen many mountains and has lived their descriptions but is now dependent on mere memories of mountains. Will he be content with this vagueness when he has made mountains so visually permanent in his life? Will his awareness of mountains gradually dissolve if it cannot be refreshed? Will his sense of loss, of the living reality that everything is impermanent, finally hit home and bring him to a spiritual awakening or will it be utterly unbearable?  Perhaps he will now be overwhelmed by the description of himself as ‘a blind helpless and pitiable being’ and fail to see that he is not the described. It seems that his decision to kill himself in some way represents the final irreversible permanence.

Although occasionally troubled by the verbal communications of her carers and therapists, which she was often unable to interpret, my young client was completely happy and reasonably well-adjusted in her normal home and school life. But she became aggressive if she was not allowed to move her body through the air or blocked in any way from feeling the vibrations of sound because this was the only way she could be certain that she existed. So, in terms of her inner spiritual life, she was not beleaguered by dialogue from either her demons or her false angels, not attached to concepts or theories and not hampered by either the acquisitive ‘I’ or ‘eye.’ Whatever she needed to affirm her identity came from sounds and smells, touches and tastes. In other words, words were not symbols which developed an intellectual reality of their own to her and caused her to live in an abstract world of the mind.

The visible. The invisible. A famous blind and deaf phenomenon Helen Keller, who eventually learned to live in the visible and audible world said,

‘The best and the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt in the heart.’

This spiritual view of life comes from her grueling heart-breaking training as a child to enable her to be able to live in the world of the sighted and the hearing. Her adaptation is testimony to our ability to overcome anything if the divine flame in the heart is strong and we do not allow our senses to become imbalanced.

 

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As the world is designed for the sighted and the hearing it is impossible for the majority of the unsighted or hearing impaired to make sense of it. They experience existence much more directly, more concretely, often from the higher self and this is an inspiration for spiritual aspirations as it was and continues to be for me.

Many of us have learned to access the higher self through meditation or prayer, which invariably entails closing the physical eyes and opening the spiritual eyes to focus our listening and sensing. But how we struggle with distractions in the form of words – notions, speculations, justifications, judgments, criticisms, ad infinitum – and of flashing images and conditioning.

We naturally want to escape from this relentless barrage of concepts, so we look for a path leading away, taking us out of ourselves. It is ironic that all we need is already located inside us if only we can quell the noise of our minds and just ‘exist’ in silence and stillness. The blind cannot escape and have no desire to usually. They are content to finger the complex textures of an item on and on or jump continuously to experiment with their balance or to simply mingle with and surrender to concrete energies.

 

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In spiritual practice, we aspire to go beyond words and other habitual interpretations of reality. We can learn to sink down into the firm yielding of now and here, of the great still silence where we too, like the visually impaired, can detect vibrations and use other tools accessible to humans such as clairvoyance, perfect pitch, telepathy, that we once utilized.

Colonel Slade’s tango with a beautiful fragrant woman almost pushes him over the edge, sending him to lock himself in his room and prepare his gun. Then he feels the love of his young accomplice expressed in angry invective about his cowardliness and self-pity and he suddenly knows that he can play a useful role in his young life.

In the end, the Colonel can settle for concrete stimuli and is able to locate the wisdom of his higher self behind his irascible intolerance. He still believes in questions and their answers learned from memory as he somnambulates around the visual world, at least for a while longer.

The questions the congenitally blind may pose are usually mere sound-play empty of meaning: hearing their own voices, imitating other voices, projecting the sounds their being can create to chart their environment. They are not desperate jabs at understanding existence, of ‘seeing’ through or behind impressions, of ‘understanding’ and interpreting everything as those of the sighted, because they know there are actually no questions, so there are no answers.

 

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They have not separated away from existence because they cannot see to measure and compare, to judge and sort, to speculate or criticize. We sighted need to change so we can accept everything and mingle with it, surrender to it and so step beyond duality to reconnect with our divine origins. The blind and the deaf are embedded in their existence; they cannot easily move around in their visible environment as easily as we do in the virtual worlds we invent.

It is difficult for those who have always been able to see the world to imagine the world of the congenital blind. They are like ghosts using their body forms as an instrument to detect their environment. They become concrete in the same way that what they perceive best is concrete. They do not take what is visible and transient deep inside them and make it invisible in order to learn lessons and connect with the invisible world. They are invisible already.

They are usually calm and steady because everything is already lost in their world; they can hold on to little and describe nothing. Voices come and go, textures and temperatures are continually changing beyond their control. There is no light or shade. There are no models to imitate except vocally and rhythmically, and they are often excellent mimics because of their exclusive audio focus.

We tend to pity them, their deprivation of the treasures of the visual, but their insight into life is extraordinary and their link with the divine I believe functions strongly. We have so much to learn from them, just as I did.

 

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In fact, my blind client knew my inner thoughts. She had clairvoyance without a doubt and she could predict my future.  As a music therapist, I was one of the few people she wanted to be with all the time because I could make soundscapes for her and she could use instruments and her voice and body to converse with them.

Our environment can provide concrete data such as resonance, smell, texture and temperature, taste and kinesthetic stimulation, none of which are open to the same kind of interpretation as visual data perceived only by the physical eyes. This data is invisible, the dimension and substance of our spiritual origin.

The shaman in indigenous tribes living in traditional life enters into a trance to connect with the world of spirits to access the wisdom of the elder ancestors. He or she can no longer ’see’ in the physical sense. Soothsayers and seers have traditionally been visually impaired. We are told by Buddhist Masters that during our time in human life we are living in a dream world in which everything is impermanent and created by our minds.

The blind colonel on the dance floor moving his own body and his unknown partner’s through space to the majestic rhythms of the Tango inspired by the fragrance she is wearing is a moving feat to the sighted. There is no hesitation, no speculation, just beautiful bodies moving trustingly through space, responding to resonances and scents. This is surely an unconditional act.

At first, he intends this performance to be his swan song – resonance, rhythms, fragrance, bodily accompaniment- all that he needs to shift to the invisible world. But soon he realizes that he can adapt and at the same time can find peace with his True Nature.

 

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                                 Images courtesy of megapixyl.com and Linden Thorp

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Episode 10: Church of Love and Human Goodness

Summary of Episode 9: Spiritual leaders have seen reality and eternity by coming to know their True Nature; Death is inevitable-no exceptions; Prince Siddharta ventured out of his luxurious palace to see the 4 sights-an old man, a sick man, a dead person and a happy monk; then he renounced his privileged life and went to find enlightenment. To find our True Nature, we need to face the reality of death and our impermanence.  Developed peoples have diverse spiritual and psychological trainings to try to accept this. Indigenous tribes live in constant spiritual awareness and long for the glories of death and so live their lives fulfilling their particular mission so that they can die and move on to the next stage.  Humans are a process – no longer animals, but not yet gods. The Djang – the final burial ceremony-the magnificent culmination of their lives.  

 

 

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Goodness is a universal principal, either on its own terms or in contrast to what is not goodness; in other words, human beings need both the positive and the negative so that we can clearly see the universal appeal of goodness and its great truth and strive towards living by its codes. Goodness is and has been the supreme aspiration of most religious and spiritual traditions throughout the history of humanity, so it is not something new.

It could be said that everything and everyone we encounter throughout our lives bears crucial messages for our spiritual progress if only we know how to notice them, interpret them and then choose to apply them.  Imagine a comprehensive curriculum devised for your spiritual development throughout the whole of your life, laid out before you.  It is a blueprint, and if we follow its dimensions, we have the opportunity to become a strong enlightened being who has transformed human shortcomings, learned from our mistakes and so returned to our original innocence or goodness.  It would seem that many of us have lost sight of the flawless loving nature we are endowed with for our term as human beings. 

 

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The Church of Love laid down the dimensions of such a blueprint in 1244 in medieval Europe. Its creed is a masterpiece of balance and harmony all resting on the foundation of pure goodness.  The Cathars, known as Les Bons (the Good) or Les Parfaits (the Perfect), took absolute refuge in the pure and positive light of God, a spiritual God.  Their creed has great relevance to life today, an era beleaguered by social decline, war and natural calamities, and estrangement from the great truth.

To summarise that creed, the participants needed no physical church because understanding was their venue.  Membership came down to simply knowing they belonged there.  They had no ambition, only an unconditional wish to serve.  Boundaries and nationalisms were deemed unloving; no walk of life, no race, colour, creed, religion, or class was a barrierAll teachers of all ages were revered if they had shown the truth of love. The principal practice was to live the truth of love in all their being.

‘Those who are, know.’

This is perhaps the cornerstone of their manifesto.  In other words, if they allowed themselves to simply be, they would know everything they needed to know. This was amplified by the Cathar commitment to not teaching or instructing intellectually in order to enrich or edify, but simply allowing a return to a natural flawless state of being.

There were no teachers or hierarchies in the Church of Love because in truth there is equality between all people. There was no discrimination between lay and clergy, member or non-member because they believed that every life constituted the way to return to God.

 

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In the wake of environmental deterioration in today’s world, we modern people have turned to ecology and prevention measures. But 700 years ago, the Cathars were fully aware of their responsibility to the planet Earth, seeing it as an organism of which humans were part, along the lines of the Gaia hypothesis.  So, they called for a supreme transmutation, or the conscious change of the self-serving ego, into a reintegration with the whole. In other words, making bonds with the universe, our divine origin.  

Cathars recognised each other only by their good deeds, and by their eyes, which were filled with love.  They loved everyone and everything in silence while living normally in their communities. There were no rewards to offer in exchange for practice or good works, except the condition of full joy in simply being and loving.  They listened to everyone around them and the planet, and never felt fear or shame.  Neither did they have any secrets or mysteries. The only initiation was a true understanding of the power of love, and the recognition that if humans changed, then the world would change because humans are the world.

This blueprint is fundamentally overflowing with goodness.  There is no doubt at all that the Cathars took refuge in the pure positive light of God or Universe, while immersed in the human world of suffering. They worked tirelessly to extricate those ensnared by the so-called devil’s tricks and delusions, but to do so they each first needed to recognise and unearth their own True Nature and then live by it. They lived in utter truth and so were exterminated because they undermined the arrogant Church of Rome. They staked their own human lives for each soul’s True Nature to shine out.

 

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Almost twenty years ago, I had the great privilege to live for several years in a tiny village in the remote eastern Pyrenees, on the Mediterranean side of this gigantic mountain frontier between France and Spain, in western Europe.  This region is known as Languedoc-Roussillon. It was a simple life, mostly sequestered away from the media and other such worldly distractions.  I was travelling on the Buddhist raft at the time, but entirely on my own, ironically without either sangha or teacher.

It was a heavenly location, with unhindered views of untouched primaeval forests and stunning peaks.  The village was medieval, largely abandoned by young people who had moved to the cities to make a living, and mostly in ruins.

My long days were spent restoring and cultivating a sizable medieval garden to try to provide all the food we needed and making the carcas of an old farmhouse more habitable.  Early mornings were spent exercising on the sandy roads once trodden by Les Bons or Les Parfaits (the Cathars), nowadays used as shortcuts by shepherds and their flocks and vineyard workers.

I would go as far as to say that my personal spiritual blueprint had designated that I was transported to these mountains to tread the footsteps of the Cathars as they fled from the relentless hounding of the Church of Rome, or ‘of wolves’ as they saw it.  They were pronounced heretics because of their creed and their belief in True Nature and the power of love.

As I reached deeply into the lives of Les Bons (the Good) each of my own days became a triumph of good over evil. The thin veil of my death, which they believed was the sole thing separating beings of flesh from the spiritual world, the visible from the invisible, threatened to blow away at any moment. I found that my life lived in this belief was light and joyful and that indeed I had everything I needed to realize such joy inside me. In other words, my True Nature was polished and shining brightly.

 

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Life is glorious if we have the courage to live out our True Nature. If we can see the True Nature of each being around us glinting beneath the front they project or behind the masks that they wear, then each human does embody the creed of the Church of Love, and they walk graciously on the surface of our foundation, the Planet of Love.

In conclusion, this will lead us to reality and self-knowledge: The embodiment of True Nature and the return to our origins, the sacred; Starting to sing our own song instead of imitating the songs of others; Using every human encounter positively as a grinding wheel to polish our inner diamond; Listening to the sacred beings around us with our totality; Taming of the wild elephant of the intellectual mind with the help of visionaries and the wise, but remembering to leave their support behind so that we can go deeper into our own precious resources; Accepting our impermanence and physical death to reveal our authentic motivation in glorious life; Living in the world of suffering knowing that it is only a dream and a spiritual testing ground to lead us to live altruistically to spread our natural goodness as the Cathars did. 

 

 

                        Please join me next for Chapter 1: The gods walked among us.

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Images courtesy of Linden Thorp and megapixyl.

 

Episode 9 – Death and the Djang

Episode 8 summary: We are surrounded by people who have a vision, by spiritual messengers – Visionaries Incognito; we are most effected by indirect influences because changes must be made by ourselves directly. Most of us are too dependent on words, which are either potential bombs or breathtaking miracles. Work with the body can make profound changes in the unconscious and get us in touch with our True Nature; the blueprint of our ancestral lineage cannot be changed, but we can self-educate/re-educate.  4 Visionaries Incognito helped me to activate or reveal my true nature: F.M.Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais, Krishnamurti and Osho Rajneesh: finding awakeners can lead you to spiritual practices and beyond to your inner jewel, your True Nature.   

 

 

 

Many spiritual leaders have elevated to their position because the nature of reality has been revealed to them or they have unearthed it in themselves by coming to know their own True Nature.  But most human beings have become trapped in a groove of habits and familiarity – their comfort zone – and the strong light of the sun, the cool luminescence of the Moon and the eternal blue sky are all obscured by grey clouds. These clouds are composed of endless worries, regrets and speculations and they have become obsessed with the idea that humans are of little worth because their delusions grip them firmly by the throat.  They cannot know themselves directly because the film loop they have created is set to play endlessly.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of human life to accept is that we die, we all dieThere are no exceptions.  We may have advanced technology and great comfort in the way we live but all the money or human power in the world cannot buy an exception to death. So, we live our lives in a luxurious bubble of denial of this most human of all rites of passage. We become increasingly afraid to look back into the shadows to find our demise lurking.  Indeed, we become attached at the hip to our bubbles and cannot visualize any other existence for us or our loved ones.

 

 

 

 

Buddha was born as Prince Siddharta in the wealthy and powerful clan of the Shakyas.  He was adored by his family who gave him everything a human being could ever desire. As he became a young man they searched for the most beautiful woman in the kingdom for him to marry. The secluded palace surrounded by beautiful grounds provided a heaven on Earth for this beautiful young man and yet he was disturbed deep in his heart.  Beneath each moment of his blissful days, he knew there was something more to life and that he must confront it.

He secretly plotted to leave the Palace to see what life was like outside the high walls and one day, with the help of a trusted servant, he slipped into the streets surrounding the palace. What he saw there in the everyday lives of ‘ordinary’ people shocked him to the core because he had never known it inside the insulation of the palace.

 

 

 

 

First, he saw a bent old man who struggled to walk, his skin like old leather and his eyes lacking any flicker of life in them.  He had never seen anyone so advanced in years because he had been protected from the reality of this by his family.  He could not believe the fragility and the suffering that the human body was capable of. He was especially shocked because he was told by the locals that it would happen to him and his loved ones. Imagine the shock he must have felt because of his delusion that all beings lived as he did, forever young in a garden of pleasure.

Then, he saw a sick man who cried out in pain from his bed.  He was forced to have his every need taken care of by someone else because he was unable to do anything for himself.  Prince Siddharta had never experienced sickness because his health was carefully monitored by the Court physician and all his food was scrupulously prepared and tasted before it entered his mouth.  The possibility of sickness was terrifying to him; he was haunted by the agonized cries of this poor man.

Next, he was stunned by the sight of a dead emaciated body, its skin like ash. It was being taken to the cremation field near the river to be burned.  He could not understand why this human being could not wake up from a deep sleep but he was told that it would never wake up.  Death was a phenomenon he had been totally unaware of until now and it also terrified him.  He asked himself what the point of human existence was if this was how it ended.

Finally, after all these shocks, he came upon a monk who was happy and calm.  These extreme stages that human beings pass through intrigued him and he vowed from that moment that he must leave his privileged life to discover how to end all this suffering and find a way for all sentient beings to find true and lasting happiness. This departure was to lead to an extended period of austerities, the way to liberation most fashionable in India at that time, during which time he became so thin and sick himself that he almost died. Then, one day he awoke to sit deeply in his world changing meditation under the Bodhi Tree for six days and reality was revealed to him, along with his own True Nature.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps the first thing we all have to do if we want to activate or uncover our True Nature is to face the reality of our death.  We will die which is perhaps the only truth in the whole universe.  But if we can fully accept that we are impermanent like all appearances in the visible world. If we can understand that the materials we are made from will definitively and steadily deteriorate and that eventually our mechanism will stop and we will take our very last breath, then we can step away from the shadows and put aside the pomander of denial If we can smell the reality of death then we can also smell the fragrance of life.

People in the developed world have created diverse forms of spiritual and psychological training to come to terms with this reality. Death is frightening because it is the unknown and the intellectual mind will do all it can to stay in the zone of what it knows, as mentioned above.  The unknown is mostly scary because we cannot see it and the intellectual mind has become a spoiled child always demanding visual proof and continual stimulation.

We cannot see what happens after the demise of our human body with our physical eyes, highly-sophisticated tools designed for looking out into the dream of the world, but if we learn how to open our inner spiritual eyes and connect with the invisible world, we can accept that our human existence is just one small stage in the larger complex process of humanity.

 

 

 

 

Indigenous tribes in traditional life live in a constant spiritual awareness strongly connected to the natural and invisible world.  I witnessed this with my own eyes some years ago when I lived with the remains of a tribe of Australian Pydjinjarra in the South Australian Desert.  I was part of a project to help the elderly and mothers with young children to move away from settlements created by white Australians back deep into the desert, into ‘the Lands’ as they call it, back to traditional life. I learned so much from the wise tribal leader or Traditional Landowner, Ninija. 

Their attitude to death, beautifully portrayed in the decorated bone coffins above, was perhaps one of the most illuminating and releasing things I learned.  These intriguing and beautiful people are actually in love with the glories of death: they long for it from being quite young children. This is possible because they live in full awareness most of the time without the interference of the intellectual mind and synthetic reality.  I saw this in action.  They do not have thoughts or concepts as we developed people do so they receive life directly.  Their life’s mission is not to acquire and achieve but instead to protect and curate the planet and all its species.  Their individual spiritual trainings and initiations lie in the specific tasks they are assigned within their totem group. If they are successful they will become great Landowners in the sky.

The Djang is the final and most glorious of all their ceremonies because it is the culmination of their glorious lives. This is the precious moment that the spirit is released from its shell and rises up to go on traveling to the next stage of spiritual evolution. This is accompanied by ritual dancing and feasting, bonfires larded with kangaroo grease and the presence of their Creation Heroes who oversee this significant rite of passage.

In conclusion, if we can realize that humans are a process, no longer animals and not yet gods, then we can live life in a very different way. If we can accept that our life in the world of form is a golden opportunity to elevate spiritually and embody our True Nature, then physical death is not frightening at all.  If we can ‘see’ our death as something glorious in terms of love and light, then we can also ‘see’ our life as a glorious event.

 

 

 

 

Episode 10: This is the final episode in the introduction to my latest book True Nature: our Supreme Inheritance before I start delving into more detail on some of the topics I have touched here. Episode 10 will convince you that you do not have to rush off to shave your head and take vows as a religious of some kind to realize your True Nature.  In fact, I am not advocating organized religion as the be all and end all of our spiritual blossoming but I recommend it as a means whereby, as a raft to help you to cross the human ocean of suffering and fear.  We can value and enjoy this vessel during the crossing but when we reach the other shore it is important to recognize that we no longer need a raft. 

Religions can separate us and generate arrogance and imperialism and they only exist because we have got so far away from our innate True Natures. Remember, in the golden age of humans the gods walked among us and we lived in a sacred relationship with the universe.  We had no need of spiritual mediators, gurus or teachers then and if we can wipe away the dust and detritus concealing our own inner diamonds, we can live and die gloriously now and here while making a fantastic contribution to humanity.

I have utilized the wonderful teachings of many of our model spiritual teachers, rubbed shoulders with adepts, Traditional Landowners and shamans, and I am so grateful for the raft they provided for my safe crossing. But now, I sing my own song not that of others.  I am no longer a follower but instead standing in the shoes of my True Nature making my contribution before moving on to the next stage. In writing this book, I wish to share my raft with you and sow a seed or two in your ground.

Episode 10 will introduce the Church of Love and its creed. Love is our essence so we must learn to embody it.

 

 

 

 

Episode 8: Visionaries Incognito

Episode 7 summary: the impermanent and desirelessness – two fundamentals of spiritual training which sharply awaken us to the reality that our bodies and all matter are finite, perishable. This allows our True Nature to be revealed. But, most of us are firmly attached to delusions because we are fundamentally afraid of death and oblivion, the unknown.  If we are afraid of dying fully, then it follows that we are afraid of living fully.

Visionaries Incognito is a collection of what were originally stand-alone articles featuring four visionaries who activated my own True Nature. The term ‘visionary’ is defined, for the purposes of this work, as not only someone of vision for the good future of humanity, but also an exceptional being with their fingers on the pulse of the Universe.

 

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The visionaries are ‘incognito’ because their influence has not made the headlines or major entries in history books. Instead, they have worked altruistically for the sake of human beings with total conviction in their vision. They work mostly behind the scenes of the trending world at large.

In each of the 4 cases, they have gone beyond the limits of the subject matter they presented, or any expertise in order to touch the unconscious mind, to influence the mass of the iceberg beneath the surface or conscious mind, in a subtle way and yet profoundly. This going below or beyond the surface has the potential to bring realizations of the True Self or True Nature into view and new ways of being if we grasp the opportunity and can listen deeply. Such access to knowing as opposed to knowledge reconnects us to our original, some say divine, spark.  

Most humans make sense of the world with the aid of words. In developed nations we are actually taught to wrap certain words around objects and as a result, thoughts are born. But thoughts are dead the moment they are thought! And unfortunately, we have come to depend on them so totally in the name of ‘civilization.’ Words then are either potential bombs or breathtaking miracles. They either pass through us like vapour or become etched into our heart with a rusty nail.

 

 

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Visionaries who have their ears pressed to the heartbeat of the human race are so skillful with words that each one they utter is a miracle which slaps us in the face, waking us from our deep sleep.  The 4 Visionaries Incognito in my collection were masters with words.  They used them sparingly, often inventing their own phrases or special often esoteric usages.

They knew without special training that human beings are so vulnerable to language, they are so over-sensitive and over-cherished in general.  They could use words to allay all fears and presences while ploughing beneath them to turn up the weeds and use them as fertilizer.

 

 

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In each case, their unusual view of the world – one a professional recitalist and actor from Tasmania, one a Jewish engineer and jujitsu exponent , another an Indian Brahmin recused world teacher and the other the greatest and most infamous spiritual teacher and philosopher of the 20th century –  and their perception of freedom was magnetic. 

All their visions focused on re-education and self-education and above all awakening or realization, and what shall, for the purposes of this work, be called the True Nature of each human being they came upon. 

They were experts and adepts and yet they preferred to pass on their knowledge and skills freely to others and were not interested in self-aggrandizement so you may never have heard of them. Above all they were determined that each being would simply re-learn inside how to be one with the universe in their natural state, instead of to have, to want, to acquire, to regret, etc. which all concern the outside world and duality – the feeler and the emotion felt.

 

 

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As a background to this, human beings have at their disposal a legacy or blueprint from their ancestral lineage. This determines how we look and act, our predispositions, our imprints and our self-image. Social, cultural and educational conditioning is then applied to this blueprint so that the only aspect of ourselves that we can realistically change is through self-education. In other words, we need to know exactly how our imprints and pre-dispositions can best lead us to edify and develop us without the constant guidance of a teacher or guru.

It is this self-motivated aspect of change or growth that the four visionaries ingeniously and silently addressed. They believed above all in uncovering the True Nature of the individual behind the various masks which were worn to enable them to fit in and to secure approval from their societies and communities, their families and partners. They worked tirelessly to empower the individual to learn for themselves, to develop their own voice, and to step forward and use it.

They did not set themselves up as gurus or masters, although others tried to bring them into the world spotlight, but instead, as free-lance facilitators and enablers motivated by nothing other than the altruistic commitment to help people to know themselves inside. They remained neutral in terms of allegiance to specific spiritual or religious traditions, their honesty often estranging them from organizations and the public at large.

Why did they refuse to step into leader positions?  This is exactly because they believed their messages would be diluted, generalized, systematized.  They knew the individual nature of humans intimately and that each person needs to be empowered differently so as to free them from their particular pressure of damaging conditioning and to push out their particular limitations.  They also knew how societies, communities and relationships functioned in developed nations.

They were each utterly convinced that it was impossible for the individual excellence of people who came to them to transform the mediocre majority. They were also realistic that so few people were actually ready to hear them and to act upon what they heard in the now and here.

Here are some examples of what my 4 Visionaries Incognito showed to me indirectly.

 

Alexander

F.M.AlexanderBody re-education technique in stillness and sitting/standing.

F.M.Alexander lost his voice which led to him losing his livelihood as he was a professional reciter, especially of Shakespeare.  Medical experts could not offer any solutions so he was determined to find out what he was doing to cause this as there was apparently no disease present. This technique, the Alexander Technique, is now well-known internationally by musicians and performers in general.  However, at the time I started to study it and learn how to re-educate the way I used my own body as a musician, it was not commonly accessible.

One of Alexander’s greatest insights for me was something he termed ‘non-doing.’ By lying on the floor just breathing and being, I could re-learn how to use my body in an efficient and easy way in the gravitational field. This is body meditation in stillness which takes one deeply inside and so re-establishes bonds with the universe. 

We become disconnected from our True Nature because the Mind dominates us with its conditioning and controlling, as has been mentioned already.  Non-doing released me from this and led me to freedom with no mention of religious practice or symbols. The Alexander Technique is entirely secular and practical, but penetrates the unconscious mind, over which we have little control, in the same way as meditation.

 

 

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Moshe Feldenkrais –  Body-awareness and re-education in movement

Moshe Feldenkrais was an engineer and Jujitsu exponent who created a whole system of exercises and postures to bring about a new awareness of the way we use our bodies and our minds, on the body-mind continuum. 

Feldenkrais inspired my confidence in my own unique spirit and my own brand of wisdom.  In fact, his work and insights actually put me back in touch with my True Nature which was well-hidden beneath conditioning, culture and education.  He taught that the only changes human beings can make to their existing form and their attitude to life are through self-education, because only we could learn what we really needed to know from ourselves in our own unique way.

He set himself up to facilitate this process which would be custom-made to suit the individual: in other words, he taught how to teach ourselves and to get back in touch with our origin – the natural world and our True Nature. He coined the term ‘dis-eased’ to describe small interferences that our inherited self and conditioning, our DNA in fact, caused. Today his whole approach helps students to become ‘eased’ and truly happy.

 

 

Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti – Indian philosopher, mystic, and educator

Krishnamurti’s main message is to resist singing with the crowd and instead sing our own unique song: To avoid indoctrination by the mediocre leaders of society and step away from groups, even from the family, to find true freedom.  As a young man, he was recognized by theosophists as the next Buddha, Maitreya, and others saw him as the modern Messiah! But he refused to be singled out in that way, insisting that there are no barriers or boundaries between human beings and the natural world except in the dream of the mind. 

The greatest insight this visionary stimulated in me was that we must live now-and-here our individual truth as he did.  But first, we have to find it, not in our thoughts or opinions, but in our souls.  He wanted to break all beings free of the ingrained habit of imitation so that they could unearth their original truth and see their eternal face, and then have the courage to live it.  So many of us are not honest: we have an inside view which we keep hidden while projecting a certain image to the world. Like Alexander and Feldenkrais, he knew that we are actually the only people who can ‘educate’ ourselves internally, not external teachers or gurus who try to bring about superficial change. He impelled us to spend our lives unearthing our True Nature, although he did not use that phrase, and so connecting with our Divine Origin.

 

 

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Shree Rajneesh (Osho) –  Indian mystic, guru and spiritual teacher

 

Osho’s life was devoted to both his millions of followers and equal numbers of detractors as a spiritual leader, but he did not teach any doctrine except his own.  He grew up questioning existing religions, cultures and social norms and became enlightened at the age of 21 as a result.  He became a world teacher by focusing on the necessity for meditation, awareness, love, celebration, courage, creativity and humour, all of which he knew to be suppressed by traditional belief systems, religions and socialization. Although he was born into a Jain background, he eventually rejected any organized religions and revolutionized the spiritual condition.

Along with Krishnamurti, Osho touched my tendency to defer to so-called leaders and experts and my self-honesty.  He was himself shockingly honest which led to his being discredited as a spiritual teacher. But his sheer breadth of knowledge, reading of all traditions and depth of insight and wisdom have always dazzled me while at the same time reflecting that I too, potentially, have broad knowledge, deep insight and wisdom which the world needs to become balanced. His millions of talks and battery of books continue to inspire me and always will. He departed from the visible world in 1990 but he goes on facilitating and leading people to find their True Nature in the invisible.

 

 

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So, I have been so fortunate in finding such awakeners which led me on to spiritual practices, but then beyond them to my riches within, my True Nature.

 

Next, Episode 9: Death and the Djang.  Death is another potent awakener.  We may die at any moment, in fact, each breath is crucial so we should be grateful for it. Indigenous people have an intriguing relationship with it as I discovered when I lived for a short while with a group of Australian aboriginals in the South Australian Desert. This experience also brought my True Nature into view and also sharpened up my commitment to Planet Earth.

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Join me tomorrow, for Episode 9!

Episode 7: taming the Wild Elephant of the mind

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Episode 6 summary: Polishing away the detritus from our diamond; listening to the Universe; mindless prattle; visual consumerism; indestructible energy of sound; Indian philosophy: 3 types of listening: intellectual; emotional; existential; existential listening dissolves all dualities; clearing the bridge of the mind of clutter so you can walk out into the vast field of awareness; experiment for yourself with listening to embody your true nature.

 

We can utilize the teachings and methods of the great adepts to re-contact our True Nature which we have become separated from by the dominance of wild Mind.  

But, a warning is needed! You could easily become attached to such methods or teachings.  So, appreciate that they are only a raft to get to the other shore of suffering human life with all its ups and downs

As Buddha always advised, it is dangerous to pick up that raft and carry it on your head once you are on dry land!  But we can thoroughly enjoy the raft during our crossing and be intensively grateful for it, then simply stand up and let it go.  It is simply a means to an end.

 

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11th century Atisha, an Indian sage propagating the teachings of Buddha, founded Tibetan Buddhism.  He is unusual because he was mentored by 3 outstanding masters and is famous for his precious 7 Points of Mind Training which will take you straight to your True Nature if you surrender yourself to them. 

They are fingers pointing to a beautiful Moon: the fingers are not the Moon but may easily be mistaken for it.

This compact training may give you a taste of what it is like to sing your own song and dance your own dance. It is essentially experiential so why not allow yourself to experience it here and now.

 

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Point 1 : LEARN THE PRELIMINARIES:

a) Truth is being – we are already immersed in it. Humans are truth.

b) Mind is a Barrier – the perpetual film playing out in the world distracts us from what we actually are.

c) No-mind is the door – Atisha called this Bodhicitta (to be explained later) – by putting aside the mechanism of your mind, you will attain the unattainable.

Point 2 : THINK THAT ALL PHENOMENA ARE LIKE DREAMS

The seer is never seen, the experiencer never experienced, the witness never witnessed because we are always looking outwards.  What truth can there be in a dream?

Point 3 : EXAMINE THE NATURE OF UNBORN AWARENESS

We were not born and we will not die. We are pure energy. We are pure awareness. We can use this awareness as a crystal mirror.

Point 4 : LET THE REMEDY ITSELF GO FREE ON ITS OWN

It is our habit to cling to what cures us, but for what reason.  Once your are cured be in full health. You can forget the remedy and be grateful in every moment of your perfect existence.

Point 5 : SETTLE IN THE NATURE OF BASIC COGNITION, THE ESSENCE

Do nothing. Relax into your True Nature, your Buddha moments. There is nothing to do.

6 : BETWEEN SESSIONS CONSIDER PHENOMENA AS PHANTOMS

If you have to move away from your meditation, your True Nature, remember that you are walking into a dream and participating in it with phantoms.

7 : TRAIN IN JOINING, SENDING AND TAKING TOGETHER; DO THIS BY RIDING THE BREATH: THREE POISONS = THREE BASES OF VIRTUE

Breathing is being so breathe each borrowed breath carefully.  First, breathe in the suffering, ignorance and darkness of all humanity. Hold them in your heart to transform them with compassion.  Then breathe out the pure joy contributing it to the whole of existence.

We can convert the 3 poisons – greed, hatred and ignorance – into the 3 virtues by overcoming Aversion, Attachment and Indifference. The 3 poisons will be converted into 3 nectars with this simple technique. This is No-Mind – Atisha called it Bodhicitta, Buddha called it Sambodhi – the Mahayana ideal of liberating all beings before ourselves.

 

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The above is not philosophy or religion, but sheer science.  So, experiment. Do the experiment and examine the result for yourself. In this way, you can experience your True Nature. At first, you may only get a passing glimpse, a faint scent of something.  This is the energy of your true beauty and fragrance. The fragrance of your unique Truth!

Episode 8: 4 Visionaries Incognito. There are special beings around whose sole purpose is to guide people back to their True Nature, but they do not need credit for doing so.  You may find them among your close people or, as I did, in the trainings of my 4 Visionaries Incognito.

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images courtesy of Megapixyl.com

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Episode 6: True Listening: clearing the bridge of the mind

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Summary Episode 5:  Grinding and polishing away all the detritus and negative karma: using people around us especially those who point out your shortcomings (messengers) in daily life; marooned in visual dimension oblivious to many others – powerless, you think. Your inner gem: applying abrasion, putting the tarnished gem to the grinding wheel. Clearing away the tight grip of conditioning, culture and family so that you can uncover your True Nature but still carry on in social life. Listening to the universe and all around us. Detachment.

Modern developed societies have largely forgotten how to listen.  Instead, they are besieged by an endless inner dialogue created by multiple voices from mass conditioning and mass media.  Added to this is the obsession with wearing earphones to listen to something of their choice so that external interferences and influences can be blotted out. 

As we go about our daily life, we can observe people listening to something other than reality most of the time. It is very difficult to wake them up or make contact.  In fact, there is so much radiation emanating from societies across the globe constantly echoed by mass media that we are inundated, and that may be the reason that so many people retreat into bland pop culture or broadcasters’ egocentric prattle seeking a ‘mindless’ distraction – over-stimulation.

 

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Today, looking and visual consumerism have taken the place of sincere listening almost completely.  The allure of visual images grips modern developed peoples because they are instantaneously gratifying: images haunt, are considered to be worth a thousand words, and beg to be acquired.  The sparkle of a gem on a wedding finger, the designer emblem on an accessory, the message shouting from a fashionable t-shirt, a shopping mall beckoning with its million choices, hundreds of TV channels……not many people can resist such fancies. Disturbingly, most of us think this is reality

The visual field is most certainly not where we can connect with our True Nature because it is external, and it is eminently measurable, calculable, judgeable, subject to a million conditions and whims of ‘the mind’ – that dead, limited repository of thousands of years of knowledge, culture, conditioning and socialization. All of the above are abstract and therefore interpretable. If we examine closely, we can see that Mind can only supply the known: it is apprehensive of the unknown. Our True Nature flourishes beyond what is known.

 

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The consciousness or greater awareness, on the other hand, is concrete because it is composed of energy, and it is well-known that energy is impossible to destroy.  In fact, the energy of sound is concrete and not up for interpretation. It touches us directly and we embrace it or reject it according to the condition of our own energy.  This is the main way into our True Nature.

Indian philosophy says there are 3 dimensions of listening: the first, is intellectual, listening with reason so we are always ready to either attack (criticize) or embrace (accept); the second, is through the heart and feelings – emotional listening if you will – no analysis is needed, and no analysis of sound is actually possible because it is whole, total, flowing, so it is impossible to be an observer – we have to participate, to make a relationship; and third, existential or through our being – body, mind and spirit –  and the unknown, so we must trust or have faith because it is impossible to make a relationship with what we are hearing.

 

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The first two are partial listening, but the third is total and demands a surrender, a dissolving of all dualities. We become one with what we are listening to: there is no ‘me’ or ‘self’ engaged in an act.  If we listen with reason there is conflict.  If we listen with emotions there is sympathy and vulnerability.  But with total deep listening, there is no duality, only an amalgamation.  This is our True Nature. And so music and sound are known for their qualities of healing.

 

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The greater awareness out in the boundless field of consciousness is where we can learn to listen and look without any separation, without interrupting or interfering with our natural disposition.  But it is the mind that we can use as a potential bridge to walk out into that field. However, the mind must be integrated with consciousness to create such a walkway and this is only possible through sincere meditation and reflection. So, contacting our True Nature entails clearing away many obstacles and clutter from that bridge so that it is possible to move.

The way in which we listen to the world and consciousness will help to clear away the detritus concealing our inner diamond, our True Nature. By closing down the dominant visual sense and avoiding over-stimulation, we can gradually move from the outside to the inside which is the universe, reality.  Listening is a way of centering, sound being attracted to our core or not, to our essence or not, to the nucleus of our personal energy or not.

 

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To get a glimpse of our True Nature, we can experiment with listening. Maybe we are listening to contrived music, or natural sounds, or even to the voice of someone close to us talking. But if we remain aware, we can check what the mind does. It may be tempted to criticize or to have the last word – this is intellectual. Or it may well up with emotion – anger or passion – this is emotional.  But both of these modes of listening separate us into the receiver and the transmitter.  When we listen existentially, we become one with the sound and the ‘I’ or ‘me’ vanishes:  we are neither spectator nor participant.  This is non-duality at its best.  And this gives us a glimpse of our True Nature and the way we are integrated into the Universe.

Next, Episode 7 the impermanent and desirelessness. These two fundamentals of spiritual training sharply awaken us to the reality that our bodies and all matter are perishable, another truth which enables our True Nature to come into play. However, most of us are firmly attached to such delusions basically because we are afraid of death, another unknown.  And if we are afraid of dying fully, we are afraid of living fully.

 

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Images courtesy of megapixyl.com

 

 

 

Episode 5: abrasion

Summary of Episode 4:  after the death of a great leader people cling to the raft they have created to save them; unable to defer to their own true Nature because they have become so dependent; repeated rituals make people dull; we are spirit like Jesus, Allah, Buddha; we use so little of our power (10%); Chunda, the blacksmith; buried under intensive spiritual training; attachment can make us separate and arrogant; Buddha bequeathed True Nature as a parting sentiment and all can be enlightened regardless of spiritual training and education – Chunda; illumination – great teachings can illuminate our inherent nature; devotion and dedication confused; the intellectual and emotional block True nature; young animals and children are free because the meddling mind has not yet interfered. 

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So, how can we grind or polish away all the detritus and conditioning that accumulates covering over our True Nature on a daily basis.  If we become monastics or recluses and withdraw from the world, then we can avoid the ups and downs of everyday life, but there is a great danger that we create our own view of reality and cease to experience directly, or become attached to gurus and teachings as mentioned in Episode 4. Having had many opportunities to withdraw in such a way, I am now certain that living in the full torrent of daily life among so-called ordinary people, is the only way to uncover our True Nature.

Daily life is not easy for many people.  There are ups and downs, and in modern life, increasing external pressure.  External fluctuations combined with our repression of our inner urges and True Nature can create turmoil. We lose control and are thrown around on stormy seas or marooned due to becalming, and we suffer from scorching emotions and obsessive intellectual analysis.  All of these conditions which we see as external and over which we eventually conclude that we have no power, are a series of tests of our True Nature. 

In the vast invisible world which envelops us but of which most of us are unaware because we are marooned in the visible dimension and our intellects convince us that only what we see actually exists, there are millions of messages for us.  They are spiritual eddies and currents, but if we notice them, they will guide us away from our doubts and fears. Reading this, you may already be skeptical. Let me explain.

 

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Humans are basically social creatures. We are surrounded in our daily lives by many people we know to various degrees: loved ones, family, neighbours, community and colleagues, celebrities, and strangers, etc.  Those people either irritate us or appeal to us: we are either repelled by them or drawn to them.  This is already the invisible world at work.  We have no way to explain these two opposing states in a rational provable way. Such whimsical irritations and attractions can greatly unsettle our lives either negatively or positively. They can create the stormy waves or an airless becalming. 

Most of us, exactly because we have lost touch with our True Nature, believe we are victims of other people’s behaviour, that we are somehow the target. This is how egocentric we can become without our strong natural core, and as a result, we react to everything impulsively.  We are at either war or at peace. We react like chemicals almost unconsciously.

But if we are riled by one particular person, it is certain that they are a wonderful teacher for us because they have found a way to touch some vulnerability deep inside.  Modern psychology suggests they are perhaps projecting their own emotions on to us. But what if they are messengers come to teach us how to put an end to reacting blindly, or to detaching from our anger or self-cherishing? (Later the notion of teaching will be dismantled by the way). 

 

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The image to the right  is obviously significant to this book so it keeps appearing. It represents your True Nature, your inner gem, the diamond sewn into your coat lining that you are completely unaware of. Imagine that it is tarnished by the trials and tribulations of everyday life, by the blows you have suffered, the dishonesty with yourself and others you have become habituated to, and so on.  It has perhaps lost its sparkle and shine, is jaded, dissipated.  

With a moment’s inhibition, before you react to your torturer who you perceive is determined to make you suffer as much as possible, you can use the abrasion, the friction, being created to grind away some of that accumulated tarnish.  If you let go of your pride and your arrogance or indignity that you are being treated in such a way, then you will find a place of humility and acceptance.  And this awareness, this sharp awakening from deep slumbering, will move you on, move you up.  In other words, you will accept that you are not perfect, even though you thought you were.

It is this self-cherishing, this blindness to ourselves, that we need to change if we want to step into reality.  We spend a lot of time over-protecting ourselves which blurs our grasp of reality and living directly.  So, by not reacting to this catalyst, we are changed, transformed, and we return little by little the more often it happens, to our original divine state, a state of universal love and compassion.

This process will gradually clean away all the accretions on our inner gem from our conditioning, our inheritance, our karma, to use a Buddhist term, and we will eventually return to our bright shining original state.  A state unhindered by the negativity and limitations of the intellectual mind and the scorching heat of consuming and distorting emotions.

 

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Finally, we can listen to the universe and all the beings around us with our totality. We can step into reality and accept what we are. And so we learn to detach from everything and everyone and play out our particular human mission

 

Episode 6: Next, the detail of true listening and how the intellectual mind is simply a bridge which can take us out into the vast field of awareness, or full consciousness.

 

Episode 4: After the death of a spiritual leader?

 
Summary of Episode 3: Secular and Sacred: definitions; the secular overtook the sacred; before we were pure-minded, close to the gods; spiritual training is essential to get back there; organized religion; True Nature; layer upon layer of interpretation; large urban societies; social incongruities; 4 visionaries incognito; weakening of human aspirations; abdication; membership; fierce competition.

Previous episodes:

Introduction : https://niume.com/post/271701

Episode 1 : https://niume.com/post/272574

Episode 2 : https://niume.com/post/273349

Episode 3 : https://niume.com/post/274166

 

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What happens after a great spiritual leader dies? How do people proceed and how can they avoid becoming attached to rituals, memories, and the raft of what they have learned? How can they apply their intense spiritual training ingested from a charismatic super-human to real life on their own terms? How can they avoid relinquishing their True Nature and just obey, just follow? And how can they embody their own unique nature if they become so dependent on a guru?

If this happened, surely you would become dull as an individual, able only to mechanically chant mantras or mutter prayers and confessions. In other words, you would only be able to reiterate what you had been taught and then inflict that on others in the name of bringing them to the sacred. It is no wonder that we cannot let go of the raft constructed from finite wood and wire or rope! We have actually become that raft, identified totally with it, and will not give up that identity willingly!

But you are spirit. You are energy. And like the Buddha, Jesus, Allah et al, your spirit is eternal and indestructible. You have the same potential but they took determined action. You have an innately good and pure nature and you have unique power which you only use 10% of. In other words, you are a potential Buddha, Jesus, Allah, so what will you leave behind after your passing?

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Chunda, a local blacksmith, arrived with 15 friends to pay his respects to the illustrious Buddha. This so impressed the Buddha as he lay on his deathbed because Chunda was spontaneous, bright, sincere, uninhibited. His True Nature was shining through unlike the assembled dignitaries and great enlightened monastics wearing their masks.

Chunda had not been taught or initiated into intense spiritual training. He was not even a disciple of the Buddha, accepting everything without question, confusing devotion for slavery and indoctrination. So, Buddha, having refused all the other opulent offerings to take with him into the invisible world, accepted humble Chunda’s simple offering of home-cooked food.

Intensive spiritual training can easily bury your True Nature, extinguishing your bright spark. We can all be Chunda embodying our love and sincerity: living with a complete absence of hidden agendas.

You are Chunda in your natural state.

 

Chunda

 

You may aspire to higher things, but you bury your initiative, your courage and creativity to step forward and to be original. You actively block your unique individuality and your ability to shed new light on the mundane and habitual.

It is indeed wonderful to have the will to train spiritually, but if you become attached to its ‘results’ and consider yourself to be separate from and superior to everyone around you, then you have missed the whole point. All the great spiritual adepts passionately wanted to do was to liberate all beings from their prisons, to wake them from their deep slumber, and to allow their potential to shine out into the world.

The Buddha revealed exactly this sentiment to the congregation waiting for him to die to the chagrin of the arrogant Kings and enlightened monks.

 

 

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‘Illumination’ is a useful word in this respect. We can use the great teachings and the compassion of our gurus to illuminate us, to light up our natural talents. Later I will introduce 4 Visionaries Incognito who devoted their lives to exactly this kind of illumination but behind the scenes. They worked tirelessly without seeking any rewards or glory.

After the Buddha’s death, his bereaved disciples were lost without him. They had come to depend on him entirely and so they immersed themselves in his doctrine and ritual so that they could imitate him, to hold on to him by a thread. And in so doing, they became separate from each other, from other Buddhist communities and from those outside Buddhism. This was not the Buddha’s intention. As a great Bodhisattva, an enlightened being devoted to freeing others from their self-made prisons, he was exclusively concerned with the happiness and evolution of all sentient beings, of all life.

Human beings can so easily confuse devotion and dedication with being passive, submissive, living in some kind of neutral state. Yes, we can be devoted to something or someone sacred, but we also have to make our own True Nature shine, to make our contribution to life during its short span and so to realize our potential beyond a meagre 10%.

 

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If we are viewing the advice our spiritual guide gives us from an intellectual point of view, or from an emotional point of view, then there is a danger we become dependent and neglect or block our True Nature. Everything concerning the spiritual is about the unknowable – we can never ‘know’ the mystical or the universe intellectually or emotionally, and so instead we must graciously accept it and so merge with it. There is nothing more to do because everything is already in its place.

 

 

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Like a young child or animal, as serious adults we do not need to interfere anxiously, to enervate ourselves questing and striving. All we need is inside each of us. So, try focusing your attention instead on only listening, only breathing and only playing joyfully and sincerely on our green planet.

 

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Episode 5: How to utilise the ups and downs of everyday life to polish our True Nature. Dissolving into the Divine, into only being, breathing and playing. The power of sound and breath.

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                                          Join me tomorrow for episode 5 – abrasion

                                         as this new book unfolds episode by episode.

 

                                     images courtesy of megapixyl.com and Linden Thorp

 

Episode 3: sacred and secular

EPISODE 2 SUMMARY: the sacred and how it is part of supreme inheritance; awe and the power of the universe; life before mass media hen sacred was the only way of life; the urge to consecrate; unconditional acceptance; love has become a commodity, separate from human beings; humans must embody love – it is their essence, their TRUE NATURE; dazzling gem stone hidden inside us plus the coursing energy of love and light.

Previous episodes:

Introduction : https://niume.com/post/271701

Episode 1 : https://niume.com/post/272574

Episode 2 : https://niume.com/post/273349

 

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First, definitions:

Secular – the world as opposed to the church or generation/age. It has many other meanings such as – in astronomy, the slow changes in the movements of planets, the sun or moon; in economics, a fluctuation or trend in the economy which is indefinite; but the main meaning today is ‘not being bound by religious laws or connected in any way to spiritual or religious matters.’

Sacred – connected with God or a god or connected to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration. The other modern coinage is – ‘regarded as too valuable to be interfered with.’

Secular and sacred are, as you can see, opposite in meaning, but the fierce grip of religious organizations and their power over all of society in the past is clear in this contrast.

 

 

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In history, as the ‘protesting’ secular mind appeared and overtook the sacred, we started to move away from the power of the invisible and the mystical to follow our self-made pathway.

We gradually needed intermediaries in the form of priests and shamans, masters and gurus, to communicate with that invisible world we had lost touch with. We were compelled to build mighty churches and cathedrals, temples and citadels, compose glorious music, literature and art, to create a pure and sanctified field from which we could reach the gods and buddhas. This is a significant moment in our spiritual deterioration when we started to turn away from our True Nature.

Originally, before the secular mind developed, we were pure in mind and spiritually evolved. The gods and buddhas walked among us in the world of form and we were each a potential god or Buddha; and we still have this potential today.

But, because we have moved so far away from all that is sacred, our potential is limited, diminished, and so spiritual training and deep change is much more difficult.

 

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We think we have to work persistently to be able to connect with the purity that once came so naturally to us, and today, very few people choose this kind of life. We prefer the easy convenient way – the flick of a switch, the comfort of a variety of portable screens always on standby available to us sitting in a comfortable armchair. It seems that many of us no longer have any sacred aspirations despite the fact that this is our nature.

So, organized religion has become the norm because individuals have lost their unique connection with the spiritual world and with their True Nature. But such religious groups with huge memberships, are oppressive, some say full of masterful indoctrinators, rife with negative energies and corruption.

Due to their existence and their role in developed societies, what was once awe of the mystical and spiritual has turned to fear and benefit-seeking; desperately buying amulets and blessings, following teachings to the letter and being distracted by achieving holiness and admiration.

Such distractions could be seen as red herrings when we consider all the riches we have inside us, the priceless gem stone sewn into our hearts, and when each unique spirit must know faith in its own unique way. It has also led to the detestation of anything remotely ‘religious’ in many people; and those who are innately respectful of the sacred have been shunned or even exterminated like the Cathars, a group of Christian mystics in medieval Europe.

 

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An over-abundance of symbols and rituals, of metaphors and parables, is irresistible to the intellectual mind. But are we not then interpreting reality with our own interpretation of an interpretation?

Layer upon layer of interpretation creates a thick film of dirt on our precious diamond, burying our True Nature even more deeply. We can no longer feel what we truly feel, let alone express it to others. It is like following a map and seeing it as the place we want to go; in other words, seeing a mere representation as a territory.

 

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Added to this is the composition of large urban societies and the pressures they exert to conform, to fit in and be successful. In order to live peacefully and in harmony, we have to suppress most of our natural urges and wear masks because we lay so much store by the approval of others.

Wearing such masks so we can carry out our roles to the satisfaction of our peers often means that we are dishonest with ourselves, and once that happens, it follows that we can perhaps, inadvertently, or deliberately, be dishonest with others.

There are such in-congruences in modern society – in other words, people behaving in a different way in private to the image they project in public. The private thoughts we have which will eventually give birth to words and actions are often flawed due to resentment, to frustration, and other negative emotions like envy or greed, lust for power, hatred or idleness.

But there have been several visionaries in the 20th century who worked tirelessly to coax out people’s True Nature in the secular realm, away from religious sentiments. They were truly light-workers incognito, their self-honesty and vision of how humans could realize their full potential while strapped into the seats society insisted they sat in, impressive. In time, I will write about their courageous individuality and their insights into embodiment and our living as gods and buddhas once more.

 

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Inspired by three visionaries incognito, I was able to realize my own True Nature. However, knowing human nature intimately, none of them were willing to become great charismatic leaders or to have a massive following. They were adamant that they could re-educate or encourage True Nature without creating a dependence. In other words, they wanted all humans to be free and to sing their own songs instead of those of others.

The great spiritual leaders, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah, Mahavira, and many others, manifested in the world of form to wake us up from worldly distractions, but eventually they died as all matter must.

If we were touched by their teachings or their model lives, our direct contact with the mystical perhaps became slimmer and slimmer after their death.

 

 

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The disciples of these great leaders in their desperation to keep the teachings alive, were forced to make decisions and divisions, to draw the line, to insist that their interpretation was correct. Out of devotion to their blessed gurus, they and their successors invested all their energy into conveying the teachings, but gradually, the signal became fainter and fainter for the masked masses, though still crystal clear for the sincere.

This weakening of the human aspiration to recognize its full potential after a great leader or master dies, remembering that we only use 10% of it even though our physical state is 100% evolved, is highly significant in respect of True Nature. Some say that we are either followers or leaders according to our natural character, and that may be so, but our tendency to depend on others, to be passive rather than active, to abdicate and defer to other stronger personalities, is one of the main reasons we lose contact with our True Nature.

We seem to long for the direction they give which we lack ourselves, or do we?

So, the precious wisdom bequeathed from these great enlightened beings became distorted, separated away, calling for membership to be affirmed, rituals to be performed to the letter, and often the wiping away of the human ego and all traces of individuality and True Nature. A clean slate was called for in order to become enlightened or evolved spiritually amidst fierce competition.

 

 

In the Episode 4, I will describe what happened at the time of the death of the Buddha, known as the truly awakened one, approximately 2600 years ago in India. His death was imminent, so he revealed truths he had never touched upon before, and one of them concerned Buddha Nature, which I refer to as True Nature so that we can step outside the boundaries imposed by a religion or philosophy into the vast field of human awareness.

 

 

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images courtesy of Megapixyl: Ballerina – https://www.megapixl.com/alyasandra-stock-images-videos-portfolio; Reflections- https://www.megapixl.com/rainbow-stock-images-videos-portfolio; Twins-Venetian Mask, Italy – https://www.megapixl.com/lifeontheside-stock-images-videos-portfolio; Mind Waves – https://www.megapixl.com/agsandrew-stock-images-videos-portfolio; Death of Buddha fresco – https://www.megapixl.com/cascoly-stock-images-videos-portfolio