Nov 19

How Does Your Consciousness Make Everything Real?

by Josh Richardson; Prevent Disease

Does reality exist without us? Physicists have found it maddeningly difficult to write the observer out of quantum theory. Now some are contemplating a mind-boggling alternative: that a coherent description of reality, with all its quantum quirks, can arise from nothing more than random subjective experiences.
It looks like the “perspective of a madman”, says the author of this bold new theory, because it compels us to abandon any notion of fundamental physical laws. But if it stands up, it would not only resolve some deep puzzles about quantum mechanics, it would turn our deepest preconceptions about reality itself inside out.

It is well established that the body can absorb information from sensory stimulation – you only need to look at the success of hypnotherapy to see how effective it can be. This system extends this principle by stimulating our healing potential through the written word, numbers, fractal equations, sound, colour, and symbols. By giving direct instructions to our body’s intelligence, we stimulate its natural healing powers.

When it comes to forecasting how the world will behave, quantum theory is unsurpassed: its every prediction, no matter how counter-intuitive, is borne out by experiment. Electrons, for instance, can sometimes display behaviour characteristic of waves, even though they seem in other circumstances to behave like particles.

Wave of Confusion

Before observation, such quantum objects are said to be in a superposition of all possible observable outcomes. This doesn’t mean they exist in many states at once, rather that we can only say that all the allowed outcomes of measurement remain possible. This potential is represented in the quantum wave function, a mathematical expression that encodes all outcomes and their relative probabilities.

But it isn’t at all obvious what, if anything, the wave function can tell you about the nature of a quantum system before we make a measurement. That act reduces all those possible outcomes to one, dubbed the collapse of the wave function — but no one really knows what that means either. Some researchers think it might be a real physical process, like radioactive decay.

Those who subscribe to the many-worlds interpretation think it is an illusion conjured by a splitting of the universe into each of the possible outcomes. Others still say that there is no point in trying to explain it — and besides, who cares? The maths works, so just shut up and calculate.

Whatever the case, wave function collapse seems to hinge on intervention or observation, throwing up some huge problems, not least about the role of consciousness in the whole process. This is the measurement problem, arguably the biggest headache in quantum theory. “It is very hard,” says Kelvin McQueen, a philosopher at Chapman University in California. “More interpretations are being thrown up every day, but all of them have problems.”

The most popular is known as the Copenhagen interpretation after the home city of one of quantum theory’s pioneers, Niels Bohr. He argued that quantum mechanics tells us only what we should expect when we make a measurement, not what causes that outcome. The theory can’t tell us what a quantum system is like before we observe it; all we can ever ask of it is the probabilities of different possible outcomes.

Such a perspective seems to back you into an uncomfortable conclusion: that the very act of our observation calls the outcome into being. Can that be true? It seems the antithesis of what science normally assumes, as Einstein intimated. Yet the idea has some pedigree. Hungarian physicist John von Neumann was the first to entertain it in the early 1930s, and his compatriot Eugene Wigner went deepest with a thought experiment in the 1950s now known as Wigner’s friend.

“What if reality can’t be described without invoking our active involvement?”

Suppose that Wigner is standing outside a windowless room where his friend is about to make some measurement on a particle. Once that’s done, she knows what the observed property of the particle is, but Wigner doesn’t. He can’t meaningfully say that the particle’s wave function has collapsed until his friend tells him the result. Worse still, until she does, quantum theory offers no way for Wigner to think about all the unseen events inside the lab as having fixed outcomes. His friend, her measuring apparatus and the particle remain one big composite superposition.

It is as if we live in a solipsistic world where collapse only occurs when knowledge of the result impinges on a conscious mind. “It follows that the quantum description of objects is influenced by impressions entering my consciousness,” Wigner wrote. “Solipsism may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.”

John Wheeler at Princeton University put it differently: it’s not solipsism but a kind of interactive collaboration that brings things into being. We live, Wheeler said, in a “participatory universe” — one that can’t be meaningfully described without invoking our active involvement. “Nothing is more astonishing about quantum mechanics,” he wrote, “than its allowing one to consider seriously…that the universe would be nothing without observership.”

But Wheeler could not escape the thicket of irresolvable questions that the participatory universe raises. For one, Wigner and his friend seem locked in an infinite regress. Is Wigner himself in a superposition of states until he passes on the result to his other friends in the next building? Which observer “decides” when wave function collapse occurs? And what constitutes a conscious observation anyway?

Despite the persistence of such questions, some theorists have recently returned to a form of Wheeler’s vision, what Chris Fuchs at the University of Massachusetts in Boston has called “participatory reality”. That shift is partly for want of a better alternative, but primarily it is because if you take quantum mechanics seriously, some element of observer-dependent subjectivity seems impossible to avoid.

A couple of years ago, theorist Caslav Brukner at the University of Vienna revisited the Wigner’s friend scenario in a slightly altered form proposed by David Deutsch at the University of Oxford. Here the friend makes the measurement — she has collapsed the particle’s wave function, producing either outcome A or B — but tells Wigner only that she sees a definite result, not what it is. In Deutsch’s scenario, Wigner is forced to conclude that his friend, her measuring apparatus and the particle are in a joint superposition, even though he knows a measurement has happened.

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Nov 19

What Is a Shadow Self and Why It’s Important to Embrace It

by Janey D.

Carl Jung was the first psychiatrist to propose the theory that our minds are split into two very different archetypes: the persona and the shadow self.

The persona is derived from a Latin word that means ‘mask’ and it means the person we present to the world, the person we want the world to think we are. The persona is rooted in our conscious mind and it represents all the different images we submit to society. The shadow self is a completely different beast.

In fact, we are not even aware of it. As we grow up we quickly learn that certain emotions, characteristics, feelings and traits are frowned upon by society and as such we repress them for fear of negative feedback. Over time, these repressed feelings become our shadow self and are so deeply buried that we have no notion of its existence.

How the shadow self is born

Jung believed that we are all born as a blank canvas, but life and experiences start the color this canvas. We are born as complete and whole individuals.

We learn from our parents and people around us that some things are good and others are evil. It is at this point that our archetypes begin to separate into the persona and the shadow self. We learn what is acceptable in society (persona) and bury what is deemed not to be (shadow). But this does not mean they have vanished:

“But these instincts have not disappeared. They have merely lost their contact with our consciousness and are thus forced to assert themselves in an indirect fashion.” Carl Jung

These buried feelings can lead to many physical symptoms in the form of speech impediments, mood swings, accidents, neurosis, and also mental health problems.

Typically, a person will compartmentalize a shadow self so that they do not have to confront it. But these feelings will keep building and building and if nothing is done, they can eventually burst through a person’s psyche with devastating results.

Shadow self and society

However, what is acceptable in one society is quite arbitrary as cultures differ vastly around the world. So what Americans might deem as good manners by making strong eye contact would be seen as rude and arrogant in many Eastern countries such as Japan.

Likewise, in the Middle East, burping after your meal is a sign to your host that you have greatly enjoyed the meal they prepared for you. In Europe, this is seen as particularly offensive.

It is not just society that affects our shadow self, however. How many times in spiritual teaching have you heard the expression of ‘reaching for the light’ or ‘letting the light into your life’? Light reflects emotions such as love, peace, honesty, virtues, compassion and joy. But human beings are not just made up of these lighter elements, we all have a darker side and to ignore it is unhealthy.

Instead of ignoring our darker sides, or our shadow self shall we say, if we embrace it, we can understand it. Then, we can learn how, if need be, we can control and integrate it.

“The shadow, when it is realized, is the source of renewal; the new and productive impulse cannot come from established values of the ego. When there is an impasse, and sterile time in our lives—despite an adequate ego development—we must look to the dark, hitherto unacceptable side which has been at our conscious disposal.” (Connie Zweig)

What happens when we embrace our darkness

As many people say, you cannot have the light without the dark, and you cannot appreciate the dark without the light. So really, it is not a case of burying the dark and negative emotions but accepting them.

We all have a light and a dark side, just as we have a right and a left hand, we would not think to only use our right hands and leave our left hands hanging useless. So why would we dismiss our dark sides out of hand?

Interestingly enough, in many cultures, particularly Muslim and Hindu, the left hand is considered to be unclean, as the left is thought to be associated with the dark side. In fact, the word sinister comes from a Latin word that means ‘on the left side or unlucky’.

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Nov 19

Dramatic Recovery in Parkinson’s Patient with Gluten Free Diet

By Sayer Ji | Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Could gluten’s toxicity extend to the nervous system, producing symptoms identical to classical Parkinson’s disease? A remarkable case study adds to a growing body of research indicating that wheat’s neurotoxicity is greatly underestimated.

A remarkable case report describing the dramatic recovery of a 75-year-old Parkinson’s disease patient after following a 3-month long gluten free diet reveals the need to explore whether there is an increased prevalence of silent or symptomatic celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity both in those afflicted with Parkinson’s disease and the related multi-factorial neurodegenerative condition known as Parkinsonism.

Published in the Journal of Neurology, the report [i] notes that celiac disease often manifests with only neurological symptoms, even in advanced age. This may strike the reader as surprising, considering gastrointestinal complaints are the most commonly noticeable symptom; and yet, when the voluminous published literature on gluten related adverse health effects is taken into account, so-called ‘out of intestine’ expressions of intolerance to gluten-containing grains are far more common than gut-related ones, with no less than 200 distinct adverse health effects implicated. You can read our summary of the biological carnage exacted by this ‘king of grains’ here: Wheat: 200 Clinically Confirmed Reasons Not To Eat It. You will notice that harm to the brain figures high on the list. From schizophrenia to maniaautism to peripheral neuropathy, the central nervous system is particularly sensitive to its adverse effects.

There are a wide range of mechanisms driving gluten associated neurotoxicity, such as:

Gluten Acts Like A ‘Brain Drug’: The presence of pharmacologically active opioid peptides in wheat including four gluten exorphins and gliadorphin, and another is gluten’s ability to restrict blood flow to the frontal cortex. Read More: “Do Hidden Opiates In Our Food Explain Food Addictions?

‘Gluten Brain’ Autoimmunity: Plenty of research now indicates that in susceptible individuals wheat adversely affects the gut-brain axisincreases intestinal permeability, and ultimately leads to the immune system misidentifying self-structures within the brain or neurological tissue as “other,” causing the host immune system to attack its own nervous system. Read More: “2 Popular Foods May Turn the Immune Against the Brain.”

Wheat’s “Invisible Thorns” Affect The Brain: The defensive carbohydrate-binding protein in wheat known as wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), also know as “wheat lectin,” has been found to cross the blood-brain-barrier and can interfere with neurological function in a number of ways. Read more: “Opening Pandora’s Bread Box: The Critical Role of Wheat Lectin in Human Disease.”

Grains Metabolically Impair the Brain: The larger context is that grains provide an inappropriate or suboptimal set of nutrients for brain metabolism. Dr. David Perlmutter in his NY Times bestselling book Grain Brain links cognitive impairments endemic to older populations in Western cultures to the over consumption of carbohydrates (from grains and sugar), and the under consumption of fats.

You can also read Dr. Kelly Brogan’s article “This Is Your Body (and Brain) on Gluten” to get greater perspective on the topic.

Considering these factors, it is not surprising that removing gluten from the diet could result in what the title of the published case report described as a “dramatic improvement of parkinsonian symptoms after gluten-free diet introduction in a patient with silent celiac disease.” We’ve seen similar remarkable recoveries with brain-metabolism optimizing fats like coconut oil in cases of debilitating dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

In this case study, the 75-year-old man presented with a 1-year history of “difficulty walking, instability, and fatigability.” His neurological examination revealed:

  • Facial hypomimia (reduced facial expressions)
  • Bradykinesia (extreme slowness of movements and reflexes)
  • Rigidity
  • Postural instability

A brain scan was performed using Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), revealing abnormalities consistent with low dopamine production and which in combination with the clinical data lead to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Additional laboratory blood work revealed lower than normal level of serum folate, elevated homocysteine, with normal vitamin B12 levels. To assess the possibility of asymptomatic malabsorption due to a silent celiac disease further blood screening was explored.  Anti-gliadin antibodies, markedly elevated IgA, anti-transglutaminase antibodies, and positive anti-endomysial antibodies – all signs of gluten associated autoimmunity. Finally, a duodenal biopsy was performed revealing intestinal characteristics (flattened villi; crypt hyperplasia) consistent with celiac disease.  As a result, the gastroenterologist prescribed a gluten-free diet.

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Nov 17

“Truth Will Always Stand” ~ Sevan Bomar

Sevan Bomar – “Truth Will Always Stand” Audio clip from The Keymaker Episode 2 With Sevan Bomar on Truth Frequency Radio recorded on November 14, 2015

This Episode of the Keymaker centers around discovering the origins of duality in order to decrypt the barriers placed within our consciousness that prevents true creativity. It examines the symbolism and objects often embedded in to our subconscious as literal enemies in order to keep us locked out of balance. Ideas such as The Apple, The Pentagram, Eve, Adam, Lilith, Lucifer, Wisdom, and Creativity are all collapsed in to being variations of the same concept. Armed with this knowledge you are able to eliminate fear with real techniques such as tightening your sphincter to transcend the lunar body that corresponds to fear, regret, excessive thought,and lack of focus dubbed as “The Monkey Mind”. Enjoy!

 

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Nov 17

What you need to know about HUMAN ENERGY and MAGNETISM

How do magnetic fields effect us and the matter around us? What can we do to keep ourselves in tune with the Earth and how can we use magnetism to improve our overall health?

 

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Nov 16

Joe Dispenza speaking with Bruce Lipton & Gregg Braden Kryon Summer Light Conference

 

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Nov 16

A Magician’s Guide To Overcoming Your Past

This is an excerpt from Derren Brown‘s insightful new book: “Happy“.

Living Now
Past, present and future.

We generally feel defined by our past. Our past, however, is a story that we tell ourselves in the present. We create it every day when we accept the narratives we have developed about who we are and why we are who we are. “I’m like this because this happened to me” is a common refrain in the modern world, where familiar fragments of psychoanalysis and flatulent bubbles of self-help advice have drifted into our popular culture. On the one hand it is a narrative, and on the other hand it is true. We are indeed governed here and there by little clusters of responses within our personality that leap into action whenever a situation in the present resembles one in the past that caused this defensive stockpile.

A father repeatedly treated us dismissively as a child and now we have a particular pocket of activity within ourselves that is ready to feel miserable and self-justifying whenever a male authority figure does the same. We learnt to deal with a parent’s flying rages by rising to anger ourselves first and meeting them on their own terms, and now we become incensed too quickly at frustrating situations in adulthood. Any number of situations, or even mere looks or turns of phrase can fling us back without any room for rational appraisal to those times when we suffered. Now feels like then, and without any conscious involvement on our part, the past and present pictures are compared and a close-enough match is found. Our unconscious selves, eager to protect us and working by analogy, set in motion the defence pattern we learnt as a child, and, although it feels reasonable to us when we are in its grips, it is of course a gross overreaction to what’s happening to us as an adult in the present.

Our scripts are indeed written in our histories, but whatever our backgrounds, and however traumatic our pasts, the key to overcoming them is to stop telling ourselves the same unhelpful story today, to consciously own what has remained unconscious and therefore governed us, and to regain authorship ourselves. Some people never achieve this; others manage to do so through years of careful psychoanalysis, some through brief therapies or the sting of a sudden, shattering, shuddering revelation. It is the story we recreate and live out for ourselves every day that not only defines our past but also defines us, and stories are things we can change. The first step is to seek a perspective that allows us to see the story for what it is.

Naturally, our ability to adopt a new viewpoint – let alone what answers we find when we do – varies from person to person. Hence having a suitable figure such as a therapist or clear-minded friend or support group gently suggest alternative viewpoints can be very helpful. This book aims to point us to the work of some people who have rigorously thought through what it is to live well. Without gaining something of a detached vantage point and identifying our stories for what they are, we will still remain prey to our deep-seated beliefs about who we are and how the world must work, mistake them for concrete reality and inflict them upon our loved ones and everyone else.

Whatever the past is, it has been and gone. If there are things you need to face in your past because they refuse to let you go, realise at least that they grip you not because they control you (they no longer exist), but because of the narrative they’ve left you with. You can’t change what happened, but you can gain a little distance from it by reassessing your story about it. If certain behaviours from your partner or significant people routinely bother you and bring out the worst in you, ask yourself what their behaviour reminds you of from your past. Where were you made to feel the same? Identify where anxiety is rooted and, in doing so, realise that you do not need to hold the person in the present accountable for something a particularly sensitive area of your personality is triggering. This man is not your father, this woman is not your mother; they may do this or that in the same way that your mum or dad did, but they have nothing to do with the actions of your parents. Your parents’ behaviours were caused by their own clusters and frustrations, which in turn can be traced back to their own parents’ points of brokenness. A fuller and happier life is going to involve recognising these clusters that still so over-eagerly leap into action and slowly allowing them to absolve their power.

One way to do that, having recognised the process for what it is, is to consciously note the way your unconscious machinations bring these old patterns to the fore, and then, where you can, quietly smile at them. Be grateful to your unconscious for looking out for you, while also acknowledging that it’s being hilariously over-sensitive. Each time you gently deny it its power by nipping it in the bud through your own amusement, and practise instead a new response (that may not at first come naturally but which encourages a richer and more sympathetic world-view), you break these old neural connections and form a new pathway. Vincent Deary in his book on change, How We Are, talks about how pedestrians in his local park tended to avoid a provided path and instead cut across the grass to reach the shops. Eventually, a new path was formed by the repeated use of this shortcut. Buddhists talk of thoughts acting like drips of water on the brain: as the same thought is repeated over time, the resulting rivulet is fortified to etch a free-flowing new stream in the mind. Perhaps above all, by bringing an unconscious process into the light of conscious attention, we undo its power. It is those parts of us which we are unaware that have us most firmly in their clutches.

The present moment, on the other hand, can be a more productive place to focus our attention. The here and now, we have seen, rarely contains problems; it is released from the tyranny of our imposing narratives. We might feel bad about events in the past or dread those yet to come, but rarely in the present – rarely right now – do we find ourselves in the middle of a serious difficulty. Right now we can gain some perspective by stepping back from our feelings and recognising that they are not us. Right now we can undo some of the grip of the past by recognising the patterns that rule over us. For those who find it difficult to switch off concerns about the past and the future, and who therefore suffer from anxiety (which often feeds off one or the other), any number of books are available teaching mindfulness meditation, an effective means of bringing one’s focus back to the here and now. The practice aims to return your awareness to a standpoint between your thoughts, rather than where it normally is: caught up in their maelstrom. For the anxiously disposed, learning to simply ‘be’ in the present moment without trying to fix everything is a way of sidestepping the tyranny of anxieties created by the phantoms of the past and future.

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Nov 16

The Five Ego Traps To Avoid In Meditation

by Chad Foreman

Spiritual Ego

With so many people joining the meditation revolution what are some of the pitfalls to be avoided? Generally speaking meditation is meant to eliminate an ego or self centred attitude which always wants more and more and replace it with a serene and content, dare I say enlightened way of being, but is it possible that meditation can increase your ego and contribute to your emotional and psychological suffering? A Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Master Chogyam Trungpa claims that it can do just that and he warns of meditation being an ego trap and called it spiritual materialism.

Here are the five ego traps to avoid in meditation: 

1) The Identification Trap

This is probably the most obvious trap, or at least it is obvious to others if you go around claiming you are enlightened, but it is also the most subtle and hard to understand. To believe there is some fixed separate person that is enlightened is exactly what the ego does. The ego is believing in some fixed identity that endures over time, instead of the ever changing relationships and processes which life actually is.

“As for enlightenment, that’s just for people who can’t face reality.” ~ Brad Warner

This trap also includes believing other people like Gurus or Masters to be enlightened; to see them as perfected beings and you as a lower or lesser type of being is exactly how the ego operates; by solidifying and comparing. Believing in others identity as perfect is actually just the ego projected outward.

Thinking you are better than other because you are a ‘meditator’ is of course caused by identifying and then comparing. This is an obvious pitfall to be avoided. Try to meditate regularly without labelling yourself a meditator or spiritual or anything else. Live without a story; simply fresh and awake in every moment without an identity.

In meditation we don’t let the mind stick to anything, not identify with anything, remaining free. Don’t make an ‘I dent’ in any appearance or any thought just stay open and aware.

The key mistake of this trap is thinking relative appearances can be perfected or completed. Relative appearances will always be changing through stages of birth, temporarily abiding and dying. These natural cycles are perfect in themselves but they are never finished or complete and they certainly don’t stop. To be in the flow with life is the perfect way but there is no fixed identity doing it.

The key realisation of meditation is there is no-self. The light is on, but there is no- one home, no fixed ego doing everything. This is not philosophy, this can be discovered through meditative introspection. Right now look inward for the thing you call ‘you’ and see what you find. There is spontaneous awareness sensitive to the moment but no one there to do it or gain reward, that is why Buddhist practice non attachment to the results of actions.

This is difficult for the rational mind to accept, it challenges notions of free will and independence but there are other conceptual alternatives to either thinking there is an enlightened person or not; like what Zen Master Suzuki suggests,”there is no such thing as an enlightened person only enlightened activity.” or what the non-dual Master Nisargadatta says:

“Wisdom tells me I am nothing, love tells me I am everything, between the two my life flows.”

2) The Permanency Trap

“Ah Ha! I’ve finally got it, I’ve finally arrived” said the ego, “I’ve finally found that perfect philosophy the right answer and the meaning to life.” This is the permanence trap. As soon as you think you’ve got it, you’ve gone astray, you’ve missed the point of impermanence and you are grasping at something conceptually secure to hold onto in this ever changing world. The ego grasping onto permanence is so often an intellectual grasping, you think you’ve got it, the answer to your problems, the final conclusion. This is a trap. This dulls the sensitivity to the present moment, it breeds arrogance and ultimately brings huge disappointment. As Zen Master Suzuki says “…the minds readiness for anything is wisdom.” He goes on to warn “that in an expert’s mind there are few possibilities but in a beginners mind there are many.”

It is also very wise to always remember the first line of the Tao Te Ching when you think you’ve finally got the right answer:

 “The truth that can be named is not the real truth.”

Thoughts and concepts are actually kind of permanent they do not change like material things do, they may be replaced quiet readily but once you’ve decided on an opinion or a conclusion, that thought remains permanent and herein lies the problem. Reality is constantly changing, there is no blanket belief that will cover all events and situations. Alan Watts says it best:

“There is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. But the contradiction lies a little deeper than the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change. If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure. To be secure means to isolate and fortify the “I,” but it is just the feeling of being an isolated “I” which makes me feel lonely and afraid.”

3) The Centralization Trap

This ego trap I am happy to finally talk bout because it is a major mistake people make when practising mindfulness meditation. People often withdraw to a centralised point of observance or witnessing and it feels like there is an isolated and separate thing watching everything else. The problem is so many meditation teachers teach this way of meditating (including me). It is taught to be detached, to be the silent witness, to let things come and go without being moved from a non judgemental awareness, but this is just a small stepping stone toward the truth of things. The next step is to understand there is no separation between your witnessing awareness and what it is observing.

Samadhi is one of the oldest forms of meditation practised by many in ancient India from all different religious sects, and it was what Buddha was training in when he discovered deep truths about things. Samadhi actually means to become one with what your observing. It does not mean to remain separate and aloof, it means to unite fully with your object of observation – there is no difference between you and it. It is totally absorption in the moment, actually loosing yourself in what your doing, not gaining or adding a new witnessing self.

Instead of centralizing inward the idea of meditation is to decentralise outward, disperse yourself into everything. Everything in the moment is you. This is what is meant in a famous line in the Buddhist Heart Sutra when it says form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Your empty awareness is not separate from anything it is actually one and the same with everything.

This is exactly how mindfulness enables ethics, wisdom and compassion; you unite with things so as to understand them, you are them, this is the deepest kind of empathy and the subtlest type of sensitivity. Buddha taught to listen to things and all that you hear is just sound, or to watch things and all that appears is just appearances, no separate person seeing the sights or hearing the sounds, just sounds, just appearances. Once again this is not philosophy this is the experience found in meditation.

*Try it now just listen to whatever is happening and see if you can find a boundary between you and the sound.

This wisdom has been lost in modern McMindfulness as taught by so many of today’s teachers.

4) The Accumulation Trap

This is a trap warned about by Buddha and later by Zen Master Dogen. When you try and gain something from your meditation you have gone astray especially if your trying to get enlightened.  There is nothing to add and nothing to take away. Gaining or resisting is exactly the attachment and aversion Buddha warned was the cause of all emotional suffering, and what Dogen says is the major mistake of meditation practice.

When you try and accumulate merit or knowledge as taught by religious versions of Buddhism you are developing a super strength ego. Any type of wisdom or virtue that is accumulated falls under the natural law of death and decay, it is not a reliable refuge. Anything that is born will die. It is only in the perfect wisdom of  a spontaneously present and open mind that enlightened activity can take place. Be in the moment and leave no trace.

 

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Nov 16

If We’re Living in a Virtual Reality, Why Care About Anything?

By Nanice Ellis | Contributing writer for Wake Up World

On the path of awakening, sooner or later, everyone reaches a milestone where they experience Oneness, and from this state, it’s common to realize that “nothing is real,” and, consequently, there is nothing to do and no purpose to life. After all, since we all eventually wake-up as God, what’s the point of doing anything?

Although in the grand scheme of things this perception is true, it can be vastly misleading, and, unfortunately, result in great consequences. Believing that there is no point to life because it’s just a dream or a virtual reality, from which we awaken, can give us permission to put our heads in the sand, and even set the stage for carelessness and abuse. In fact, some really conscious people use this as an excuse to be insensitive, harm others, or perpetuate the misuse of Earth.

Therefore, it’s important to enlighten this grand misconception…

What Exactly is Oneness?

Regardless of the nature of reality, there is only One Consciousness from which we all originate, and this One Consciousness is represented by what we call Oneness. Therefore, to fully embrace Oneness, we must realize that Oneness has billions of faces in our world alone; not to mention Mother Earth who has given birth to us all. In a spiritual nutshell this means that everyone is you, and you are everyone.

Furthermore, if we are all a part of the same Oneness, if anyone is harmed, we are all harmed, and therefore, through this unbreakable connection, our choices, actions and behaviors ripple out to everyone – everywhere.

The Reverse Ripple Effect

Many people who have gone through Near Death Experiences have come back reporting that they felt all the pain and suffering they inflicted on others, and it didn’t matter if that infliction was conscious or unconscious – direct or indirect – nor, even if they knew about it, or not. However, this is not due to karma or punishment, but rather, a natural result of reuniting with Oneness in the afterworld.

You see, during life, our actions, behaviors and choices have a dynamic ripple effect, and, at some level, our “individual ripples” affect everyone and everything.

Although we’re not often aware of the ripples we create or contribute to during life, those ripples come back to us after life in a “reverse ripple effect,” and this is when we experience all the ripples we created (as if they are happening to us in real time). Moreover, this also includes the family, community and global ripples we contribute to, and, believe it or not, complacency has as much “ripple power” as tangible actions.

When the ripple effect reverses after-life, we experience the ripples of our ripples.

Therefore, don’t be surprised, if upon your exit from this existence, you experience the consequences of unconscious choices, actions, and behaviors that have resulted in harm to others, and this means that even if world events do not directly affect you, you are no less responsible.

Indeed, if any of our fellow human beings suffer, we inevitably experience their suffering firsthand as our own, and because Earth is a conscious living being, we also experience the consequences of our careless actions and unconscious behaviors that have led to the pain and destruction upon our Great Mother.

However, even if we forget about the “reverse ripple effect” in the after-life, we must ask ourselves an important question. How can a person of “higher consciousness” participate in a system of global disempowerment that perpetuates poverty, starvation, abuse, and even human slavery for millions of people worldwide?

No doubt, our blind participation in a broken system makes us each responsible for economic crimes committed against humanity – not only resulting in every social dysfunction, but, no doubt, the underlying reason why poverty and starvation plague millions every day, and why profit-making war machines are fed with countless lives, while innocent children and families are left orphaned and homeless in the aftermath.

No matter where we are on the receiving end, if we benefit from pillaging the planet, we are no less responsible for environmental crimes committed against Earth, such as the destruction of rainforests, species extinction, oil polluted oceans, toxic skies, and an epidemic of environmental diseases such as cancer.

If we are truly honest with ourselves, we can easily see that the corrupt system running the world only exists because we support it with our participation, feed it with our energy, and depend on it for survival. When it comes right down to it, we are each individually responsible for humanity’s suffering, and, in fact, we are the ones perpetuating worldwide devastation. Since most of us have no direct relationship with the apparent cause or consequence of human suffering or Earth’s destruction, this concept is often quite surprising. Yet, ignorance makes this fact no less true, and the potential consequences no less threatening, and, at the end of the day, shifting responsibility only perpetuates more suffering.

What does this all mean?

Well, this means that we cannot consider ourselves to be awake while dishonoring/disempowering our fellow human beings, abusing animals, or pillaging the planet for personal benefit, and this includes direct mistreatment as well as putting our heads in the sand, and pretending we are not participating when we know we are.

Furthermore, this also means that even if you use the pointlessness of a dream or simulation as an excuse to escape reality, ignore current affairs, mistreat others, or not care for the planet, there’s no way to avoid the consequences of your actions, nor the unconscious consequences of your inactions.

Even if “nothing is real,” don’t you and I experience pain? Of course we do! Therefore, we would be foolish to believe that our actions don’t cause pain to others, and their pain doesn’t ripple back to us when we complete our journey and merge back into Consciousness.

Whether your head is in the sand or not, you are no more or less a part of the same One Consciousness, and what happens to one, happens to all. Although we might be able to defer responsibility until our final departure, the consequences of responsibility will no doubt greet us on the other side. Maybe then, we’ll remember that Oneness includes all, and, when one suffers, we all do!

[More…]

 

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Nov 15

How to flow when the torrents are raging

Walking an authentic path in life
Walking an authentic path in life can often be confusing. We might at times find ourselves torn whilst swirling in the torrent of life’s choices. How do we navigate the path and unleash our true beingness? The following story, originally by Chuang Tzu, offers a profound metaphor for life and the true nature of what it means to ‘go with the flow’. Essential reading for all awakened souls…

Chuang Tzu’s story of the swimmer

Confucius and his students went on a hike out in the countryside. He was thinking of using the opportunity to engage the students in a discussion about the Tao when one of them approached and asked: “Master, have you ever been to Liu Liang? It is not far from here.”

Confucius said: “I have heard about it but never actually seen it with my own eyes. It is said to be a place of much natural beauty.”

“It is indeed,” the student said. “Liu Liang is known for its majestic waterfalls. It is only about two hours’ trek from here, and the day is still young. Master, if you would like to go there, I would be honored to serve as your guide.”

Confucius thought this was a splendid idea, so the group set off toward Liu Liang. As they were walking and chatting, another student said: “I grew up near a waterfall myself. In summertime, I would always go swimming with the other children from the village.”

The first student explained: “These waterfalls we will see aren’t quite like that. The water comes down from such a great height that it carries tremendous force when it hits the bottom. You definitely would not want to go swimming there.”

Confucius said: “When the water is sufficiently powerful, not even fish and turtles can get near it. This is interesting to ponder, because we are used to thinking of water as their native element.”

After a while, they could see the waterfall coming into view in the hazy distance. Although it was still far away, they could see that it was indeed as majestic as the first student described. Another hour of walking brought them even closer, and now they could clearly hear the deep, vibrating sound it made.

They topped a rise and were able to see the entire waterfall. Then they gasped collectively, because at the bottom of it, they saw a man in the ferociously churning water, being spun around and whipped this way and that by the terrifying currents.

“Quickly, to the waterfall!” Confucius commanded. “He must have fallen in by accident, or perhaps he is a suicide. Either way, we must save him if we can.”

They ran as fast as they could. “It’s useless, Master,” one the students said. “By the time we get down there, he’ll be too far gone for us to do him any good.”

“You may well be right,” Confucius replied. “Nevertheless, when a man’s life is at stake, we owe it to him to make every effort possible.”

They lost sight of the man as they descended the hillside. Moments later, they broke through the forest to arrive at the river, a short distance downstream from the waterfall. They expected to see the man’s lifeless body in the river. Instead, they saw him swimming casually away from the waterfall, spreading his long hair out and singing loudly, evidently having a great time. They were dumbfounded.

When he got out of the river, Confucius went to speak with him: “Sir, I thought you must be some sort of supernatural being, but on closer inspection I see you are an ordinary person, no different from us. We sought to save you, but now I see it is not necessary.”

The man bowed to Confucius: “I am sorry if I have caused you any grave concerns on my behalf. This is merely a trivial recreational activity I enjoy once in a while.”

Confucius bowed back: “You say it is trivial, but to me it is incredible. How can it be that you were not harmed by the waterfall? Are there some special skills that you possess?”

“No, I have no special skills whatsoever,” the man replied. “I simply follow the nature of the water. That’s how I started with it, developed a habit out of it, and derived lifelong enjoyment from it.”

“This ‘follow the nature of the water’ – can you describe it in greater detail? How exactly does one follow the nature of water?”

“Well… I don’t really think about it very much. If I had to describe it, I would say that when the powerful torrents twist around me, I turn with them. If a strong current drives me down, I dive alongside it. As I do so, I am fully aware that when we get to the riverbed, the current will reverse course and provide a strong lift upward. When this occurs, I am already anticipating it, so I rise together with it.”

“So you are working with the water and not just letting it have its way with you?”

“That’s right. Although the water is extremely forceful, it is also a friend that I have gotten to know over the years, so I can sense what it wants to do, and I leverage its flow without trying to manipulate it or impose my will on it.”

“How long did it take for you to make all this an integrated part of your life?”

“I really can’t say. I was born in this area, so the waterfalls have always been a familiar sight to me. I grew up playing with these powerful currents, so I have always felt comfortable with them. Whatever success I have with water is simply a natural result of my lifelong habit. To be quite frank, I have no idea why this approach works so well. To me, it’s just the way life is.”

Confucius thanked him and turned back to his students. He smiled, because he suddenly knew exactly what they could talk about on their trip home.

The metaphors of life

In this story, the mighty waterfall and the river symbolise the divine flow of the universe echoed in our daily lives. We are powerless to stop the flow. It may often seem unforgiving and harsh, yet these times are our greatest teachers in offering the opportunity to evolve beyond our self imposed limitations.

We are inseparable from the flow. Confusion happens when we mistakenly believe that we are somehow separate from it. Chaos follows when we try to control or manipulate either the flow or our response to it. Attempting to fight the river of life or when we shout out our perceived injustices, we simply become exhausted from the struggle, getting nowhere.

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