Inner Focus, Outer Reflection

I accidentally stumbled upon the Lenormand recently… by falling in love with the gorgeous artwork on this deck! 😋

So I’ve started combining my smaller tarot spreads with a small 3-card spread of Lenormand, and what I’m getting is an even better in-depth picture, where the tarot represent my Inner World, and the Lenormand the Outer World Manifestation.

And some days I find myself starting with Outer World (following with the tarot to ask, how am I responding to this?); other days I start with my Inner Focus (followed by the Lenormand to ask, how does this Focus manifest itself in my surroundings today?).

It’s really been a fascinating journey so far!! If you’re interested, check out my reading from today, after the jump…

Continue reading “Inner Focus, Outer Reflection”

Mystery of Time

I’ve mentioned before the illusory nature of Time. I considered it further the other day while enjoying a most beautiful meditative day in the mountains. 🙂

Our senses depend upon change to take notice and develop interpretations of our state of being in relation to our environment. (Recall the science of color vision, for example:

…black and gray are not produced simply by absence of light coming from an object or surface but arise when and only when the light from the object is less than the average of the light coming from the surrounding regions. White arises only when the surround is darker and when no hue is present….an object’s whiteness, blackness, or grayness depends on the light that the object reflects from some source, relative to the light reflected by the other objects in the scene…experiments showed convincingly that the sensation produced in one part of the visual field depends on the light coming from that place and on the light coming from everywhere else in the visual field….

Etc…)

Consider this: Time, as we think of and relate to it, is only an arbitrary grid of numbers we’ve attached meaning to over the eons. And the attachment of meaning is made all the stronger through the vastness of shared unconsciousness, to the point that it becomes our Reality.

But, in truth, night and day are ruled by the rising and setting of the sun, the rotation of the earth. Our natural cycles that denote a passage of time to us, are only processes of Change that occur within the Now. We compare the change based upon recollections of the way things were before they changed, and label that The Past. We would do well to keep in mind the arbitrariness of labeling–that in a real sense, this is our collective mythology: a story to illuminate and make sense of what is occurring. Even aging is only a process of change, changing from Now…to Now…. 🙂 (Even our language reinforces the mythology of Time moving from place to place…) Remnants from those who came before us, what could be considered “evidence” of the Past, yet still exist Now, but in an altered state of being.

This is Evolution at its heart! This is the unity of Change as the Universe’s heartbeat, with the Heavenly Now. This is Transformation and a certain kind of immortality. I challenge you to contemplate and embrace the marriage of Change and the Now, rather than bemoaning a mythical passage of time.

Moment of Self-Discovery

My Subconscious tends to dig feverishly into the layers of my Unconscious, in order to find and re-surface Memories that it thinks will better enable me to accurately Anticipate and Plan for the Future.

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This is my mind running from the Now, evading Peace — in the hope that Peace will come by way of competent Anticipation. It neglects the fact, known by experience and sense, that Anticipation can only bring about further Anticipation… And so on, in an endless cycle…

Rather, I step into the Observer. I take unattached note of the rummaging through Memory, and the consequent application of Anticipation; I merely see it for what it is. And then I watch it disappear again.

For by the Observer, I may identify the workings of my mind without identifying with it, and thereby remain unmoved and unshaken in the Now.

Angel of Shadow

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Our Ego is who we think we are. Our Ego tells it like it thinks it is. The Ego chooses who we are–down to every detail of our personality.

The choices our Ego makes in the construction of our personalities is, partially, firmly rooted in biological information encoded and handed down to us from our ancestors. Why? Because brain neuro-physiology gives rise to thought patterns, and for the brain physiology we’re given at birth, we can thank our parents and all our long line of ancestry! Our Ego’s personality choices are constructed as well in response to the people and objects in our environment surrounding us since childhood; for these things can influence change upon our neuro-communications, giving rise to altered thought patterns.

We are born with a certain template ingrained in us, and, as we grow, our Ego feeds upon our experiences and reinforces its imposition of personality and behavior upon our Beings. It’s all we know growing up; it’s what shapes our opinions and judgments and tendencies…. We are convinced that this is just who we are, and that’s all there is to it.

The Shadow is who/what we believe we are not.

Imagine…

…a horizon that acts like a light prism. On one side is the source of ‘light’, this ‘immaterial’ nature that I have spoken of, that is the source of the emanation of the phenomenal universe. By immanent, I mean something different than “in”. Meister Eckhart (13th-14th German theologian and mystical philosopher) used an example of wine in a wood cask to illustrate the difference between being “in” and being “immanent.” The wine, he said, is in the cask differently than it is in the wood, which it permeates. We can drink the wine in the cask, but not the wine in the wood. So there are these two different meanings of “in”. But it is different, he said, with spiritual immanence. Such immanence means not only that the wine is permeating the wood, but the wood is also permeating the wine, and the wine is the wood, and the wood, the wine. Thus this horizon that I speak of is not a real separation in the phenomena of the world, but rather is a distinction between their manifestation and the nature that is the source of those manifestations, that does not rest apart from them. On this ‘side’ of the horizon, which is the intelligible side, is but the tip of the iceberg that we normally refer to as “reality.”

….This horizon, which acts like a prism, splits the ‘clear light’ that is God’s emanation into separate beams of light, just as a prism does with visible light. These beams are not straight though, but writhe and vibrate, weave and braid themselves, in a constant flux, a constant movement, a constant activity of light that is the manifestation of this phenomenal world (one can see a direct correlation with current “String” theories). These beams are ontological – they are beings and things. They cause various shadows to fall on each other, and it is those shadows on the beams that weave this world of appearances and perceived differences. It is the appearance of the beams on this ‘side’ of the horizon that is durational. The differences between them, which are caused by the shadows that are not real but only apparent, are the material from which we construct the spatial separation of things.

–from Understanding Nonduality

For every aspect of behavior and personality the Ego has chosen for itself, all else is thrown off onto the Shadow. The Shadow is everything the Ego denies….

This is at the root of judgements and bias. For, if my Ego disregards anything that is not Me, and casts it away to the Angel of Shadow, denying its existence, then how easy it is for my nature to look upon that which isn’t Me as less-than-me! Or wrong, or vile, or mistaken… It isn’t what my Ego chose as my personality, therefore it isn’t perfect, and there must be something wrong with that person who exhibits this trait!

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A scientist looks at the shadows, facing away from the beams of light, and attempts to discover similarities between them so that they can work out the ‘laws’ of their appearance and changes over time. These laws are imaginative empirical constructions that allow the scientist to explain the appearances and predict their manifestation, and later to create techniques that enables us to reproduce at will these universal aspects of shadows to serve our practical needs.
A poet or artist looks directly at the beams of light and notices that there is a unity that transcends all of these beams which is hidden from us by the immanent horizon within them. They use their creative imaginations to project a reminder of that unity through their creative use of language, color, texture, and shape.
The mystic, before he or she becomes a mystic, is able somehow to turn away from the beams and shadows, and ‘travel’ to the source – all that remains then is unity. No individual any longer, for such individuality was left on the other side of the horizon, like shoes that are left at the entrance to a home. It is not just a ‘turning toward’, but a ‘return to’, that the mystic performs. A ‘turning toward’ would leave the might-be mystic where he or she was standing, only now to have the outlook of a poet or artist, or perhaps a saint who has garnered an intuitive insight. The return, however, is transcendence and the recognition of the full presence that can only be found in wholeness. The mystic returns again because this, here, now, is loved. It has to be loved because that is what it all always already is. Standing closest to the horizon, the mystic is motioning towards the light so that those with their back to it might notice it and turn themselves.
The scientist, the poet, the artist, and the mystic are only beams of light – manifestations of God. Their individuality is apparent, but not real. This is the justification for the assertion of non-identification with the ego that is to be found in all traditions of spiritual nonduality.
But you see, with all this activity here, now, there is really nothing happening to shake up wholeness. It only appears to be the case because of the prism effect of the horizon. It is possible for each beam of light to recognize its own nature in the other beams of light. Each beam exists only as a phenomenal manifestation, but is not real itself because it is an emanation of the whole. Yet it exists as an individuated perspective of that whole. (Understanding Nonduality)

The Shadow, that which we think we are not, which we deny, is also that which we fear. If we deny its existence, that gives us license to ignore and separate ourselves from our fears. But the purpose of the Shadow is to show us plainly what we dislike and are afraid of, that which we judge, and to show us that it is a part of us… so that we might have the chance to choose to embrace it in unconditional love, and begin to erode the Ego’s separation and deficiency.

Likewise, the Shadow of our dream states — our Nightmares — can be thought of as the vehicle by which we can become aware and learn to love and embrace the fears hiding in our deepest unconsciousness.

The shadow is very much a part of human nature, and it is only at night that no shadows exist. –Carl Jung

To fully live is to allow the Higher Self to exist in the here and now. My Higher Self is the full integration of all that I AM…. It is the death of the Ego and the full integration of the Shadow.

Vibrational Influences and Physiological Interpretation

The concept of the Chakra Energy Centers is a concept of great fascination and enlightenment indeed. I am just about ready to post a full chakra-chart I’ve compiled from various sources of information and share what I love about the study and meditation of the chakras. But, in preparation, I’ve stumbled across some very meaningful studies I was eager to share first!

The importance and value of the seven main chakra centers stems from the concept of wave frequency and vibrational influences on each of the chakras, which in turn influence our lives and existence in each their own fashion. Interestingly, both types of vibrational forms (sound and light) are said to influence our beings, each related to the chakras’ purpose.

Specifically:

It is said that our body contains hundred of chakras that are the key to the operation of our being. These “spinning wheels” draw-in coded information from our surroundings. Coded information can be anything from a color vibration to ultra-violet ray to a radio or micro wave to another person’s aura. In essence our chakras receive the health of our environment, including the people we are in contact with (that’s why other people’s moods have an affect on us!). As well our chakras also radiate an energy of vibration.

It is also believed that we have seven main chakra centers and that each main center is connected to our being on several different levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. On the physical level each chakra governs a main organ or gland, which is then connected to other body parts that resonate the same frequency.

Every organ, gland and body system is connected to a chakra and each chakra is connected to a color vibrational frequency….

In the study of the anatomy of the aura it is important to understand the significance of the chakra system and the language of colors expressed in the aura. —www.chakraenergy.com

On the other hand:

Emotions and mental states also have their own optimum resonance and with the recognition that every organ, and every cell, absorbs and emits sound, we can therefore understand how specific sounds and frequencies can be used as powerful healing tools. —www.hypnosisaudio.com

Solfeggio-ChartThus, we all tend to lump sound waves and light/color waves into the same “chakral basket,” and understandably so. It makes sense, on the surface. A wave is a wave, right? But what I love about science are the moments it reminds us of what we learned once, and suddenly reveals a truth more complex and beautiful than what we may have first anticipated… This is what I experienced through my delving deeper into the concept of the vibrational influences of the chakras.

Firstly, the most fundamental problem with this automatic synthesizing of the two wave forms is that light waves and sound are simply and fundamentally different:

There are two main differences between sound waves and light waves. The first difference is in velocity. Sound waves travel through air at the speed of approximately 1,100 feet per second; light waves travel through air and empty space at a speed of approximately 186,000 miles per second.

(You’ll see this striking difference in numbers when I release the soon-coming chart I mentioned above….)

The second difference is that sound is composed of longitudinal waves (alternate compressions and expansions of matter) and light is composed of transverse waves in an electromagnetic field.

Although both are forms of wave motion, sound requires a solid, liquid, or gaseous medium; whereas light travels through empty space. The denser the medium, the greater the speed of sound. The opposite is true of light. Light travels approximately one-third slower in water than in air. Sound travels through all substances, but light cannot pass through opaque materials. —above quotes from…

Indeed:

…sound cannot travel through a vacuum. If there are no molecules to vibrate, then there will be no sound. Sound can only travel through a material… On the other hand, a light wave is not made of vibrating particles. It is a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields which can exist in a vacuum. —quoted from…

…But, here is from where the temptation to yet consider the two forms ultimately one-and-the-same stems….

Frequency affects both sound and light. A certain range of sound frequencies produces sensations that you can hear. A slow vibration (low frequency) in sound gives the sensation of a low note. A more rapid sound vibration (higher frequency) produces a higher note. Likewise, a certain range of light frequencies produces sensations that you can see. Violet light is produced at the high-frequency end of the

light spectrum, while red light is produced at the low-frequency end of the light spectrum. —quote from…

Here’s the kicker (for me, at least)! Biologically, our eyes and ears have evolved enormously differing processes in the handling and conceptualizations of these two (ultimately different) wave forms. Therefore, we find that, at even our most basic and intuitive level, we interpret color/light differently than sound.

Enjoy this lengthy snippet from two mind-blowing articles on the subject of wave comparison from MathPages; these quotes have really struck me!

….Arguably our physio-muscular imaginations can conceive of something cycling 200 times a second, but the frequencies of light are far outside any macroscopic physiological processes we can viscerally imagine. It’s also worth noting that while the frequency range of audible sound covers a factor of 1000, (about 10 octaves), the range of visible light covers only a factor of 2 (just one octave).

The differences between our mechanisms of perception of sight and sound are also quite striking. For example, although there is a rough analogy between the pitch of a sound wave and the color of a light wave (since both are related to the frequency of the wave), our perceptual mechanisms for discerning pitch and color are very different. Most people are capable of distinguishing two different accoustical tones, and deciding which of them has the higher frequency, but almost no one can hear an isolated tone and identify its absolute frequency in terms of the corresponding musical note. (This ability is called perfect absolute pitch, and is extremely rare, even among trained musicians). In contrast, nearly everyone has perfect “absolute pitch” for optical frequencies, in the sense that we can be shown a red object and identify it as red, without the need to compare it with any reference color. In other words, we aren’t limited to making comparative evaluations of light frequencies, we experience each color as an absolutely identifiable sensation, with no direction sensation of higher or lower light frequencies. If people are asked whether red has a higher or a lower frequency than blue, they probably don’t know (indeed they might guess red, because red seems like a “hotter” color), and yet they can very accurately recognize red and blue as absolute sensations.

….if we are very familiar with the sight of a red apple next to a green leaf in full daylight, and if we then view this scene in the orange glow of a sunset, both the apple and the leaf reflect different absolute spectra, but to some extent our visual processing infers the shift in illumination and compensates for it, so that we still perceive the apple as red and the leaf as green, even though their spectra at sunset are quite different from their spectra at noon. It’s tempting to make an analogy with how we recognize a familiar melody played in a different key, but in the case of color perception we are not shifting the whole frequencies, we are filtering out a common spectral component from all the elements of a scene.

…..Of course, it’s not strictly accurate to say that colors correspond to frequencies, because most perceived colors actually represent a continuous spectral density profile with non-zero energy over the entire range of visible frequencies, …for typical profiles [of] light that is perceived as the colors blue, green, and red.

These three colors constitute an effective basis for many other colors of visible light, meaning that many (though not all) other color sensations can be induced by some linear combination of these three. By superimposing all of them in equal amounts we get a spectral profile with energy distributed more or less uniformly over the whole visible spectrum, so it is perceived as white light. Other combinations give different color perceptions….

…the spectral density profiles we perceive as pure colors are not, in general, monochromatic. A monochromatic wave has all of its energy concentrated at just a single frequency and wavelength. (In practice it’s impossible to produce a perfectly monochromatic beam of light, but we can come very close.) The dominant wavelengths associated with common sources of blue, green, and red light are 430, 530, and 670 nanometers respectively. Monochromatic light of these frequencies induces the sensations of blue, green and red, even though they don’t have the full spectral densities of typical light with those colors. Moreover, experiments have shown that if we combine three monochromatic beams with those frequencies, the result is perceived as white, even though the energy is not uniformly distributed….. For example, the sensation of pure yellow can be matched by superimposing pure red and pure green, even though this superposition is not “actually” monochromatic yellow.

….the three types of cones are effectively “tuned” to respond to certain absolute frequencies. Thus the signals sent to the brain do not consist of raw amplitudes in time, nor even of frequencies, but simply of the degrees to which each of the three types of cones have been stimulated. As a result, although we have no sense of frequency of optical waves, we can recognize absolutely a range of frequencies (and mixtures) based on the excitation states of the S, M, and L cones. It follows that our sense of color is essentially three-dimensional, i.e., every color we perceive corresponds to some combination of three scalars, representing the degree to which each of the three types of cones is being excited.

…..Given the smallness of these wavelengths and the slight variations between one color and the next, it’s remarkable that the tuning works so well, and is so uniformly accurate over our central field of vision. (Color perception is much less accute in our periferal vision, where rods predominate over cones.) It has been reported that humans can distinguish wavelength differences as small as 0.2 nano-meters. How is it that “red” receptors in one region of our retinas are so perfectly correlated with “red” receptors in other regions of our retinas, and from one eye to the other? And how is it that this tuning remains stable and accurate for decades, and in all different temperatures? It seems clear that psychological compensation processes (like the process to compensate for different illuminants) must be involved.

If our ears contained just a few individual sensing elements, each tuned to one particular absolute frequency, we might all be able to recognize the absolute “color” of audible tones just as well as we can recognize absolute red. However, the ear needs to respond over a much larger range of frequencies, and the dimensionality of the “space” of audible sensation is much greater, i.e., we can distinguish a much greater variety of spectral characteristics of sound than we can of light. Roughly speaking, the coiled cochlea of the human ear has a varying elasticity along its length, so it can be regarded as a series of oscillators of different resonant frequencies, and these perform a fairly detailed spectral analysis of incoming sound waves, transmitting to the brain something a 3000 point spectral profile. The detailed mechanics of how the cochlea responds to stimuli are very complicated, and the study of this function is hampered by the fact that the mechanical properties change significantly if a cochlea is removed for study. Nevertheless, it seems clear that whereas the spectral analysis of optical stimuli has only three dimensions, the spectral analysis of aural stimuli has at least 3000 dimensions. It is not surprising that we (most of us) don’t memorize the absolute sensations associated with tones over ten octaves. Instead, perhaps for more efficient processing, we rely on relative memories of frequencies. The rarity of perfect absolute pitch may also be due partly to a greater variability in the resonance characteristics of our aural sense organs than of our optical sense organs, whose reception frequencies are determined by fundamental atomic absorption properties of certain specific molecules. In contrast, the frequencies of the cochlea are determined by the fluid pressure in the inner ear, and many other factors that could be sensitive to temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and so on.

The color sensation resulting from a combination of blue and red in equal measures is called magenta or purple. Not surprisingly, there is no such thing as monochromatic purple, because this color sensation results from the superposition of two frequencies at opposite ends of the visible spectrum. No single frequency will excite both the S cones and the L cones (except at very low levels), because the absorption spectra of those cones do not overlap very much. This accounts for our ability to conceive of a cycle of colors (a “color wheel”) even though the underlying phenomenon is a linear sequence of frequencies. If we naively believed colors mapped directly to frequencies, the existence of a cycle of colors would be paradoxical. The resolution of the paradox is that the “fictitious” color we call purple effectively “wraps around” from the high-frequency to the low-frequency end of the optical spectrum, enabling us to conceive of the color spectrum as a closed loop.

…..Just as we can conceive of a cycle of colors, there are also cycles with regard to accoustical pitch, but the basis for these cycles is completely different than for the cycle of colors. We do not have a fictitious pitch sensation (like an audible purple) to wrap around from the high to low end of the audible spectrum. If there were such a thing, we might conceive of a sonic wheel of tones….

Instead of this, sense of the “cycle” of audible tones is based on the harmonic relations modulo the octave. We associate each tone with its “equivalent” in other octaves. Since the range of audible frequencies covers ten octaves, each tone has ten audible “equivalents”. Placing the frequencies on a logarithmic basis, each octave is subdivided into the twelve tones of our traditional musical scale (so the frequency of each semi- tone differs from that of its neighbors by the factor 21/12), and then we place all the tones into equivalence classes modulo twelve (i.e., modulo one octave). It’s possible, by combining tones into a sequence of chords, to create the impression of an endlessly rising (or falling) loop. For example, there is a piano exercise consisting of a melodic line that leads naturally to a repetition of itself, but shifted four semi-tones higher in pitch….

It’s interesting that our optical senses cover almost exactly one octave, from 380 trillion Hz for the lowest red to 760 trillion Hz for the highest violet. If the color sensing elements in our eyes were analagous to strings with tensions and lengths tuned to certain frequencies, we might speculate that the red sensors would also have some propensity to absorb energy in the extreme blue/violet range, just as a string has a second energy mode at twice the base frequency. Of course, cones are not strings, but even in terms of the excitation levels of atoms we find simple arithemtic sequences of preferred energy levels, e.g., the Balmer and Lyman series for the absorption and emission frequencies of hydrogen atoms. However, these kinds of series do not generally favor frequencies rations of 2 to 1, so apparently the musical octave analogy is not valid for our sense of color. Nevertheless, it so happens that the “red” cones in our eyes actually do have a secondary response characteristic in the extreme blue end of the spectrum, which accounts for why violet is perceived to have a reddish tint…. This wrap-around characteristic of the red cones contributes to our sense of a cycle (rather than a linear sequence) of colors. —from…

The energy distribution as a function of frequency (i.e., the power spectral density) of a beam of light can be regarded as an infinite-dimensional vector, specified by the values of the density at each of infinitely many frequencies. In other words, we can associate the spectrum of any beam of light with a unique point in an infinite-dimensional space. However, from the standpoint of human vision, the space of visible light sensations is only three-dimensional, meaning that the visual perception of any beam of light can be characterized by just three numbers. One possible basis for characterizing a beam of light consists of the intensities of a matching combination of three primary colors (e.g., red, green, blue). Another possible basis consists of hue, saturation, and intensity. Regardless of which basis we choose, the space of visual sensation has just three dimensions, rather than infinitely many.

The reason our optical sensations have only three dimensions is that our eyes contain just three kinds of cones, each with a characteristic absorption spectrum….

Physically every color sensation discernable to the human eye can be produced by some combination of positive amounts of the pure spectral colors, i.e., the monochromatic lights corresponding to the curved locus RuGvB….

One interesting aspect of our sense of color is that although red is normally associated with the low end of the range of visible frequencies, the color violet (at the high end of the frequency range) has a reddish-blue appearance. This is because the predominantly low-frequency cones in our eyes also have some absorption at the very high frequencies.

This wrap-around effect may be due to the “octave effect”, because the longest visible wavelengths are about 760 nm (extreme red) and the shortest are about 380 nm (extreme blue), which is a ratio of exactly 2 to 1. Thus the first harmonic of the extreme red absorption cones is in the extreme blue frequency range, so it isn’t surprising that the red cones resonate slightly in response to violet light. —from…

So, our chakra color system is built upon a system of wave-convergence and that which represents “a continuous spectral density profile with non-zero energy over the entire range of visible frequencies”; versus sound waves, which are immensely more specific and precise. Again, this is reflected in the hugely different numbering systems in the measurements of each vibrational form.

Where does all this leave us?

Ultimately, it’s some really meaty food to mull over and reflect upon in relation to the value of the chakras. 🙂

Perhaps, as with many facets of our experience and being, the chakra system provides a mythological picture of the integrated harmony and fellowship of the mind and body and consciousness: its emotions and behavior and outlook, and how we can relate to them and their functions on a particle-level, so to speak.

Or, perhaps this will lead us to re-evaluate how we utilize the traditional understandings of the energy centers, by way of integrating and valuing the differences in, not only the sound and color vibrations themselves, but in how we are naturally built to receive and interpret them.

Food for thought!

The Many Faces of Consciousness

Consider the aspects of your consciousness…

Enjoy this enormously valuable article from Kundalini-Teacher.com, describing in a most beautiful fashion, the various roles and personalities of our own complexly rich consciousness:

  • Ego
  • Shadow
  • Divine Beloved
  • Witness
  • Higher Self
  • the Archetypes
  • the All

Get to know yourself better!

Align the Universe Within

Some Carl Sagan wisdom (excerpts from “Cosmos“, in no particular order):

We are made of stellar ash. Our origin and evolution have been tied to distant cosmic events. The exploration of the cosmos is a voyage of self-discovery.

We are the local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness. We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey by which, here at least, consciousness arose.

And you are made of a hundred trillion cells. We are, each of us, a multitude.

We are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands.

Some part of our being knows this is where we came from… We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.

The juxtaposition of mind and body vs. spirit is a topic that has been explored in many a myth and philosophical exercise across the ages. We all somehow sense that there is more to us than this mere physical body which we inhabit. Yet it is still an elusive mystery…

What can we say about the nature of who we are?

  • The Fundamental Forces
    The Fundamental Forces

    We are a “mini universe”, we are a multitude; in a sense, our ultimate Personal Consciousness is built upon the delicate balance of myriad other “lesser” consciousnesses, if you will. My cells, genes, every bodily function readily perceived and not, even operations on the quantum level upon which the operations of the entire Universe are based, are all directed, expressed, and controlled by various processes: such as the quantum-mechanical forces, DNA and RNA, energy cycles, and much, much more. Because of our amazing evolutionary legacy, this “mini-verse” of ours is able to operate at its current utmost via its own cyclical system of communication processes, without Me getting involved, aside from providing it the necessary fuel and energy sources it needs to continue normal operations.

  • Incidentally, this is why I so enjoy and resonate with the notion of the fractal multiverse; we ourselves — and all of nature around us — are a smaller version of the intricate interweaving of processes and structures that make up the larger cosmos we inhabit! All is unfolding and overlapping in fractal symmetry; Nature begets after its kind in ever-evolving improvement and adaptation to changing surroundings. The truth of these things is all around us to behold. All we have to do is observe and understand…
  • The evolution of the human brain is wondrous and revelatory!

    …moving from the simple to the complex over an extended period of time. The billions of cells that work together to make the brain and body function harmoniously have numerous critical functions. …the brain has adhered to Charles Darwin’s “natural selection” methodology by ridding itself of less important functions while enhancing the more essential ones over time.

    It is a fact that as man evolved, certain mutations took place within the nervous system that forced it to evolve in time with the body. …mutations in the nervous system were also forced to prove their might against environmental challenges.

    …as man’s ability to survive began to necessitate increasingly complex actions and reactions to his environment, the nervous system was also compelled to adapt accordingly. –(from The Evolution of the Human Brain)
    –>(Next segment from Consciousness In The Cosmos: Perspective of Mind: Carl Sagan):
    Sagan notes that in “the human intrauterine development we run through stages very much like fish, reptiles and nonprimate mammals before we become recognizably human.” And thus it is not surprising that we possess a corresponding “Triune Brain.” [Carl Sagan, THE DRAGONS OF EDEN: SPECULATIONS ON THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE, Ballantine Books, 1977, p. 59.]

    The schematic of a human’s Triune Brain is as follows: * The Reptilian Complex * The Limbic System * The Neocortex

    Declaring that there is considerable evidence for the localization of brain function–as well as discussing in detail the electrochemical nature of brain function–Sagan lays the groundwork with his depth discussion of the Triune Brain.

    The Reptilian Complex is the site from which our propensity arises for “aggressive behavior, territoriality, and the establishment of social hierarchies.” The Reptilian Complex still performs dinosaur functions, according to Sagan. [Ibid, pp. 62-63.]

    The Limbic System is mammalian. It is the base for our emotions. Our passions, our altruistic behavior, spawn from the Limbic System– which also is devoted to oral, gustatory, and sexual functions.

    The Neocortex is our third, newly human brain in terms of evolution. “Among other functions, the frontal lobes seem to be connected with deliberation and the regulation of action; the parietal lobes, with spatial perception and the exchange of information between the brain and the rest of the body; the temporal lobes with a variety of complex perceptual taks; and the occipital lobes, with vision, the dominant sense in humans…” Sagan suggests, too, that the Neocortex is the locus for abstract thinking and nonverbal intuition. The Neocortex is what makes possible our judgments, what makes for the moral knowledge of good and evil. It is also the site from which our creativity emerges. And the Neocortex is home to our sense of self. [Ibid, p. 98.] (Bold-facing my own emphasis.)

  • Might we then say, that our myths and concepts of achieving Enlightenment have an actual basis in science and biology? I like to think so!

Consider this:

…Sagan draws upon the Platonic metaphor about the human soul as an uneasy charioteer drawn by two horses in different directions. He considers this metaphor as remarkably similar to our “neural chassis.” The two horses correspond to our Reptilian Complex and Limbic System, and the charioteer to our Neocortex–which is barely in control.
…It is, however, the Neocortex where “matter is transformed into consciousness.” It comprises more than two-thirds of our brain mass. The realm of intuition and critical analysis,–it is the Neocortex where we have our ideas and inspirations, where we read and write, where we compose music or do mathematics. Sagan puts it thus: “It is the distinction of our species, the seat of our humanity. Civilization is the product of the cerebral cortex.” [COSMOS, p. 229.]
–(Ibid.)

It is an observable and scientifically established truth that our physical bodies are directly integrated within itself — all parts function together in harmony (or are meant to, at least!) — and therefore our bodies and physical brain matter are also an integral part of our minds and personal consciousness. Part of the practice of meditation is to position ourselves in such a mindful manner as to begin to simply observe — apart from judgement or reaction — the various parts of Us.

…This is my Ego, telling me how I should interpret and react…

…This is a manifestation of Karma, an unmindful gut reaction based on memory and, consequently, judgement…

…Etc…

So, perhaps this age-old struggle of our mind, soul, body, and sprit, is, in fact, the age-old struggle of the older Reptilian and Mammalian remnants of our evolved brain with our higher functions of the Neocortex.

Naturally, all parts are thus far integrated and are all important to life as we know it, right now; we cannot function without all portions of our brains intact! Perhaps one day in the distant evolutionary future, however, our brains will have but reduced these former forms of brain structure to naught. It is the former animalistic propensities for violence, domination, leadership, and blind judgement that I see in current Culture Wars and instability across the nations and earth in our present days. If all would turn inward and Align the Universe Within themselves — find reconciliation between the lower and higher forms of thought, and embrace their Higher, True Selves of the Neocortex — then, I believe, this race of humanity may be able to survive and heal, and continue to evolve toward greater and greater planes of consciousness.

Carl Sagan holds hope for human intelligence, for our extension of Mind. We are still people from divergent and cultural backgrounds, yet our intelligence is beckoning us toward greater webs of global relationships. In due course, he hopes that we will simply be the “whole human community, the entire planet Earth.” And further, Sagan dreams of our comprehension that we are a “local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness.” We have become “starstuff pondering the stars.” [Ibid, 286.] (Bold-facing is my own emphasis.)

Indeed, Carl Sagan has said that the evolution of our higher brain structure is an effort of freedom — a gift from the nature of evolution to liberate us from the necessity of merely storing information in our lower systems, liberating us from this limited universe of operation in our environment and enabling us to create and evaluate… in a sense, “helping” evolution along. But if we do not align ourselves within, will we allow the lower forms of brain function to control the tools and gifts our neocortex has bestowed upon us — more than likely bringing destruction upon ourselves? I sincerely hope we will awaken to our amazing legacy and heritage as inhabitants of the planet Earth, and work together in peace toward our unfathomable destiny!

Heaven is Now

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I recall utterly cherishing vacations as a child. Getting away from home and “normal life” was the most wonderful feeling! Even now, the sense of “leaving it all behind” for a few days — even a few hours — can be as much of a high as it ever was.

At one point I began to wonder why this was? I reasoned within myself:

  • When I am on vacation, I am free of obligations and everyday pressure
  • I am under no obligation to worry about the immediate future, or concern myself with past events
  • I am free of the everyday stresses and expectations, free of the tedious and mundane
  • Indeed, when away from the “norm,” I am also typically away from physical indicators and reminders of the past or future
  • I am left with only the task of enjoying the present
  • In short, when away from normal life and work and obligations, I feel free to be…free.

When I came to this understanding, I realized I had to somehow live life as if I was “on vacation,” even in the midst of the everyday stresses and obligations; at that point, however, I just could not see how that could be possible!

This calls to mind the Buddha’s Four Types of Clinging:

  • Attachment to sensuality– “the fundamental desire for gratification, pleasure and stimulation. The sensual hit that seems to make life worth living… the belief…that seeking gratification is better than doing nothing.”
  • Attachment to views– “the tendency of the mind to seek out a viewpoint or opinion where everything is clear… Now everything is safe and comfortable for me… The Buddha is pointing to our tendency to seek security, peace, well-being and happiness in our views and perspectives.”
  • Attachment to “to rules and vows, to precepts and practices that one assumes will lead to purity.”– “The idea of ‘I’m doing the practice’ gets in the way of being attentive to what’s happening in the heart and mind.When we are attentive, we can actually do the practice and enjoy it, delight in it and benefit from the results.”
  • Attachment to self– “The self has a function, but we get caught up believing in the story or even the doctrine of it, which then creates havoc. It’s important to recognize how the sense of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ insinuates itself all the time — craving and clinging around the feelings of ‘”I” need to have this, it has to be this way for “me”.'”

The Ego is a storyteller… Recall Einstein’s quote, regarding our Optical Delusion.

So, when we are attached and our mind runs to these clinging tendencies, we find ourselves invariably tangled up in the cares and woes and activity that all come with the engaging of our thoughts in these things. Not only that, but we then have no choice but to view our circumstance through the eyes of a mind that is running madly to and fro, from past to future, from excessive planning to obsessive reminiscence… Our Ego begins to tell us just how it is. And we naturally take its side of the tale, and begin to act upon it.

A Parable for you (a second story of shoes!):

There was once a young man who grew up running. He was born to run and ran everywhere he needed to go. One day, a fellow on the way took pity on the Runner’s rough, calloused feet and offered him a spare pair of shoes he had with him. The young Runner thanked him and put shoes on for the first time.

He was impressed by how well the shoes protected his running feet from the sharp rocks and stones that typically cut up his soles. But, after only a short time, he found his feet hurting because of the smallness of the shoes’ size. At last our Runner could not stand wearing them any longer. But, having experienced now the wondrous protection that shoes offered to his lifestyle, he began to actively seek out a pair that would fit his feet perfectly.

It took some doing, and more running, but he eventually found a pair that fit. And so he ran, continuing on his way. However, as he ran, it occurred to him that he could surely find an even better pair of shoes than these, possibly ones that felt softer and gave more cushioning. And so he ran in search for a better, more comfortable pair.

At last, he found a most comfortable pair of shoes, and he enjoyed running his merry way in them. But within a short time, as he observed the folk of the villages and along the roads he passed, he thought to himself, Surely, his shoes were not on par with the elegance and artistry of the shoes worn by his fellows! And so he ran, in search of a pair of shoes that were the epitome of fashion and comfort.

At last, his search and endless running was rewarded, and he found a pair of beautiful, well-constructed, comfortable shoes that fit his feet. He was very happy and proud in his running! As he continued to run, however, he began to consider and plan for any unfortunate events that should come his way and cross his path. He decided, I must find another pair of shoes equal to mine, should these shoes wear out and he be left wanting.

He finally found a second pair equal to the perfection of the shoes he currently wore and was satisfied to carry them with him on his Running. But as he ran, he began to worry and fret, for what if some renegades should see his lovely pairs of shoes and attack him and steal them from him?
…..
And for all this, it never occurred to the young man that he could simply stop running…

Now, envision the Running Man in our parable as our Mind, and I think you’ll see the connection.

There is a similarly fascinating tale in the Gnostic Scriptures, from the Exegesis on the Soul, depicting the Soul as a woman who leaves her Father and goes whoring, only to later repent and desire to be with her Father again….

What does “the sons of Egypt, well-endowed men” mean if not the realm of the flesh and the senses and the things of the earth by which the soul is defiled in this world? She receives from them bread, wine, oil, clothing, and the other external stuff surrounding the body, the things she thinks she needs… They were speaking not just of the prostitution of the body but especially that of the soul. (The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, pg 229)

When the soul — or the personality of our minds — goes running after the things of this life, we are attached and living in both the Future and the Past, instead of the Now.

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Have you ever inadvertently tried this experiment? While driving on a long stretch of road, focus your peripheral attention wholly on either the clouds above…
…or on the mountains surrounding you…
…or on the stretch of empty landscape on all sides…
…or, better yet, glanced at the black pavement directly at your side?…

What happens emotionally when studying such areas around us that appear to be practically stationary in relation to the vehicles speeding down a highway? For me, I immediately gain a sense of connection and smallness… A realization that the clouds, the mountains, the landscape all exist in the Now regardless of the crazed happenings and speeding about below…

Gazing at the pavement directly beside me, rather than on the busy-ness ahead of me, grants a very real and tangible contrast to the experience of living in the Now versus in the Future… (Not that I’m suggesting you should drive poorly!!) 🙂

Do we worry about what’s up ahead, fill our minds with the anticipations and constant planning for all What-If scenarios we can possibly concoct, so that we feel prepared and ready for anything that may come our way? Or do we center our minds on the Now, apart from clingings to the past or anxieties for the future? After all, how many times have we “planned ahead” for the most minute and mundane possible future happenings, based upon faulty assumptions and storytelling from our Ego? Take, for example, the girl who falls in love with a boy at first sight and imagines their whole life together from first date to marriage and children, all in the imagination prior to even speaking her first word to him and finding out anything about him! She has built a truth upon which she will likely base her actions, from the stories of her Ego.

(Keep in mind, “this is not a moral or ethical statement. We Westerners may add the belief: It’s a bad thing, I’m a bad person for doing that. But the Buddha is just pointing for us to look at the result. If happiness and freedom is what one is looking for, does clinging to sensuality bring about the desired result?” –quote source found here— Keep yourself from judgements, and only observe…)

Thinking about the clouds floating above chaos, I am reminded of what is called the Witness State, or as I liked to sometimes think of it, the viewpoint of the Observer. The Observer is our higher consciousness simply observing the thoughts passing through our minds, the feelings rushing through us and tousling us about, and it only takes note of it without emotion or judgement… As it is said, the rain is sent on the just and the unjust… The clouds likewise “roll ever on,” remaining passively and pleasantly aloof to the speeding of the cars on the highway below, the inflamed traffic jams, the emotions, the noise, the clutter…. Still they look down from above and observe, and roll ever on… They are in the Now….

  • In the Now, we can see clearly…
  • …we can see apart from the judgments and the erroneous storytelling of the Ego…
  • …we can tap into the knowledge and wisdom of the unconscious and the All-Consciousness
  • …we actually seem to gain time (a funny little thing about Relativity and Time)…. Remember how time felt like forever as a child? And now with all the responsibilities of adulthood it seems to slip past us…
  • …in fact, often when dwelling in a complete sense of the Now, time seems to have stopped: for there is no past or future, only Now; and when the mind lives and exists solely in the Now, it is no longer hampered with fears and anxieties, nor even simply the sheer activity of engaging itself in multiple “planes of time” at once! It is free to take in and comprehend freely and without preconceptions or prepared, anticipatory judgements all that exists Now…
  • All of these factors add up to bring us better decision-making time and resources, and thus greater peace overall…

Heaven is peace… Heaven is eternity… Heaven is timelessness….

Heaven is Now… …and the Now is Heaven.

The Collective Unconscious

The collective unconscious – so far as we can say anything about it at all – appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious… We can therefore study the collective unconscious in two ways, either in mythology or in the analysis of the individual. (From The Structure of the Psyche, CW 8, par. 325.)
–found here.

I am simply enthralled with the notion of the collective conscious and/or unconscious…
That at our core of all personal believing, faith, religion, etc… lies the human experience in All-Consciousness. That we all basically experience the same thing, albeit at different stages of our learning according to our own capacities, and we can only label this experience according to the myths and stories and traditions of our cultures, and otherwise in any way possible we can hope to describe this amazing and thrilling phenomena!

Think of it this way:
The “Divine Beloved” is the part of our personal unconscious that emerges in a form that we can relate to, fall in love with, have a relationship with; in essence, it gives us a chance to understand and relate to our deeper understandings. Our unconscious mind is connected to the Collective Unconscious; therefore, God/dess, in this sense then, is not only my unconscious but indeed it is all of us — the collected, inherited, perhaps even universally psychical, accumulation of knowledge during the universe’s existence and our relationship to it. No wonder we say that God is All-Knowing!

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Whether this is entirely a biological phenomenon ingrained and passed down through our DNA, or whether it is truly on another plane of existence, we cannot perhaps say with utmost certainty. Jung himself seems to have changed his mind later on in life. But I posit — does it ultimately really matter?

When the labels we create to describe our experiences of the unconscious turn into dogma and we fail to realize the Myth as Allegory nature of past writings of our forefathers exploring the very same experiences, then, I believe, we can easily get ourselves into trouble! We are bound by fear, and wind up binding others by it. But if we can take what we’ve learned and explore the myths of others as congruous with our own, then the whole Universe is open to us — and it is thrilling!

One last thought to leave you with… There may in fact be some scientific basis to the theory of an actual shared, universal conscious! I’ll share more after I explore these writings…. You can find them here, too, and see what you find!

Get Grounded

One of the most important and most enjoyable experiences I’ve encountered (and have been practicing regularly now for nearly the past week) is that of the Grounding Meditation as described and taught by the wonderfully in-depth and knowledgeable author at Kundalini-teacher.com.

The challenge set forth is to practice this meditation eight times a day for 45 days, as this will build the process and constant awareness of grounding into a habit. I have taken an immense interest and joy in maintaining this challenge successfully now for almost the past week. I have found a beautiful sense of balance, awareness, peace, well-being, acceptance, and more dwelling and arising within me.

Some notions I have become conscious of during the course of my meditation-experience:

  • that I am connected and intertwined intricately with the forces of this planet and universe (it puts Carl Sagan’s statement that “We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself” in a very real light!)
  • therefore, we have “all that it takes” within us, as we exist as a part of the All (more on these thoughts to come, promise…)
  • I feed the energy of the All as it also feeds my energy
  • I am never alone and I am always loved unconditionally
  • I have learned to discern and hear my Heart Voice
  • I have begun to just scratch the surface of understanding the beautiful complexity that is me (and by nature, all of us); that my Heart Voice is in actuality, Me; but it is the true me, my spirit, my unconscious…and who else would know me better than, well, me?
  • I’ve begun to note and take a curiosity in how the myths and religions of so many cultures seem to speak of this very thing, this Heart Voice, this Unconscious Self that is connected to All… giving it names we can relate to, such as God, Inner Guru, Allah, Ra, etc…. but in terms and parables relevant to its ability to comprehend such intimate complexity (plenty more on this to come in the future, too…Lots more details and examples I can think of…)

And this is all only after a week of getting to know myself a little better. 😉

Will you take the challenge? Read through the article, give grounding a chance and see what it can do to improve your perception of the world and your place in it!