The book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available everywhere – but ask for it it at your local bookstore!The latest book: and can be ordered online.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Unfortunately, I'm often a little unconscious, and mildly incoherent – which is no laughing matter, because of all the things I want to experience in my life, consciousness and coherence rank pretty high up there. I prize my moments experiencing consciousness – that feeling of being awake and aware – and recognizing coherence, which in this case doesn't only mean occasionally making sense but refers to a fancier, more scientific way of talking about the profound connection of everything to everything.
Another unfortunate fact is that unconsciousness and incoherence is more or less a default condition for a lot of humanity these days (just look around) – but it needn't be, because true Consciousness (capitalized to emphasize Divinity) is constantly arising, and constantly speaking to us through the forms of coherence we witness around us.
At those times when I can really feel it, when I'm aware and accepting and full of purposeful direction, I feel completely connected – as though I'm being guided by an unseen hand. I understand this as a (momentary) state of my expanded consciousness, when a field of intuitive intelligence is informing my life. Consciousness is speaking to me in a direct, coherent way. It's speaking to me through the coherence that connects all of our existence.
Consciousness is a field that we engage in through the forms we take. Coherence is the connection of every part of those forms to one another through what the Buddhists call emptiness, the Hindu call brahman, and what science nowadays defines as the quantum field.
I happen to be a multiple near-death survivor, and I can tell you that in each of the three occasions while I was “out,” I wasn't really out – I was in deeper. I was still engaged by Consciousness at a very profound level – a level that I recognize is speaking to all of us everyday and in every way through the simple realization of everything being inexorably connected to everything else.
This is the experience of coherence, the fact that every part of me – of my body and mind – from the smallest cell up to my biggest brainstorm are clearly interconnected in a profoundly dynamic way. A flu virus (or a misplaced word) can ruin my entire week, and may simultaneously do the same to millions of other people – as is true for a laugh from a funny Youtube, or the effects of an explosion on the surface of the sun. Every part of me acts inexplicably in concert with every other part of me, as every part of the world (and universe) acts in a dynamic balance, or imbalance, with every other part of the world.
And so it is with the natural interactions we see everywhere – from the clearest examples in Nature of one species dynamically cooperating with another, to the most mysterious and extreme unlikelihood that all the “disconnected” forces alive in the Universe could come together from the vastness of space and somehow create this life on this planet. Stand back and look at our Earth and it's very easy to see that we are part of a coherent whole – a singular expression of an incomprehensible Universal Consciousness. At arms length, our world looks like the same thing (and our arms aren't very long...).
"I am the true Self in the heart of every creature...the beginning, middle, and end of their existence."
The Bhagavad Gita 10.20
Beneath everything lies that unifying intuitive understanding of our truest relationship to the Earth and all the life upon it – an ever-evolving expression of a conscious Universe, being eternally expressed. Quantum coherence and emergent self-organization aren't confined to waves or planets or particles, or only to anthills or flocks of birds either. All the life on Earth is chemically, psychically, and genetically connected at a profound level, at the same level as every other form of life – at the level of survival.
It comes as no shock, does it – that we share enough Consciousness for all of us to know that truth? Our being 'entangled' in non-ordinary ways, sharing a 'non-local' source is obvious in our present contracting reality, and blossoming into global Consciousness through our simultaneous personal realizations.
That's the reason why we can have so much hope – because we can always have faith in the fact that our forms are constantly rediscovering and rearranging "the Self" into a timeless, working whole – even in the face (or in the midst) of our impending catastrophes. Bringing the promise of that faith into reality requires that we follow those natural, intuitive impulses of our own groups, and our own hearts.
The humane acceptance of mass global migrations; racial and sexual equality movements; the impulse to maintain net neutrality; personal participation in clean, free power; a responsible awareness of our changing climate and its effects; respect for our clean water sources; ecological awareness across the generations; a real awareness of global hunger and epidemic disease – all of these are examples of this movement, which is finding its identity in a modern mythology that reconnects us to Mother Earth. A recognition of humanity's spiritual evolution, grounded in altruism, activism, and personal responsibility is bringing us into step with our emergent Global Consciousness, and showing us our true direction. We mustn’t deny it.
"There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of [flying in the noisy flock, and] being the noise...Close both eyes to see with the other eye...Open your hands, if you want to be held...Sit down in this circle."
It’s a humble path that leads us towards the shift we all know we must take (those without humility are the cause of our catastrophes). It’s actually an involuntary course we are already taking towards our survival and spiritual evolution. Recognizing it within oneself, and allowing ourselves to join the horizontal hierarchy that this undeniable impulse organizes itself within will guide our best actions.
It's gonna shake things up, alright (whether we want it to or not). It's nothing short of the conscious deconstruction of our systems of exploitative materialism, and the recognition of all the coherent life of the planet as Sacred. This is not just an evolution we’re talking about, but a revolution of humanity – a conscious movement away from the unnecessary waste and destruction we express now, towards the higher order directed by Nature and Consciousness.
And this is not my idea…it's our idea.
"To the knowing, all of life is a movement towards perfection; so what need have they for the excessive, the extravagant, or the extreme?"
Tao te Ching, 29
Saturday, November 11, 2017
"I am ever present to those who have realized me
in every creature. Seeing all life as my manifestation,
they are never separated from me. They worship me
in the hearts of all, and all their actions proceed from me.
Wherever they live, they abide in me."
The Bhagavad Gita, 6:30-31
With that somewhat invisible foundation in place, let's consider that it's really basing our judgments on the surfaces of what we see that creates a great many of our world's problems. They insist that by being the "visible" parts of life, they are also the most important parts—the parts we're actually interacting with all the time. But that's not really true, is it? Aren't we seeing, and more importantly feeling, the invisible parts of life, perhaps more deeply, all the time?
You can neither tell a book by it's cover, nor the content of a person's heart from the clothes they wear. It's impossible for our limited vision to see into the whirring masses of sub-atomic particles all dancing inside of our supposedly solid world. There is an inwardly exponential relationship of the outsides of everything to their insides, where the real story is told in the many pages beneath the cover.
When we're confronted by surfaces—appearances, behaviors, "final outcomes"—it does us no good to compare our insides to those outward presentations, but to start by considering what we don't know about the insides of each. That's where we can find our real understanding. We've all experienced the illusion of something looking really good on the outside, only to find out that it's actually full of pain. (I've picked a lot of chocolates like that...)
So, it's our ability to witness this occupation by spirit, and the outward expression of it (as mysterious as it is miraculous,) that's the most important, truly interactive, and compellingly honest perception we can have—whether we can actually see past the physical surface of something (or someone) or not. When we don't get too wrapped-up with surface appearances, we can see that remarkable relationship pretty plainly...but we have to relax, stop labeling, and allow ourselves to. So try this sometimes—pay as little attention to the surface of things as possible. Practice looking into it (intuit); and just try to witness the spirit arising from within things and people, as often as you can. Like everything that's worth getting good at, it takes practice.
"To God belongs the East and the West;
and wherever you turn,
there is the face of God."
The Qu'ran, Surah 2
These quotes from ancient wisdom sources really say the same thing, don't they? We display a kind of silly ignorance when we rely on visible affirmations—on outside appearances—when we know that every surface changes, and that it's the mystery within that remains Eternal. Everything we witness with our minds, and our eyes, and our hearts, is actually just more proof of our shared elemental composition—the substance of our Source, and our ineffable connection to each other and every living thing. It's all the real "face of God."
So, it's just a matter of our perception, and allowing ourselves to look beneath the surface of things by looking with a vision that's free of judgment and comparison—that's the only way to be more fully, more realistically, engaged by our compassion, identifying with the insides, instead of the outsides. Heres a quote, from a wonderful egghead, that tells us the same thing:
"A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
And this last natural note – did you know that bald eagles have naturally "polarized" vision? They can see right past the surface reflections, past the glare, into the river, at all the fish swimming by. Life looks like a parade of candy bars to them. They sit, fully and appropriately engaged, and, once they've learned the proper technique, they swoop down and snatch up the bounty of life, whenever they want.
"The disciples asked him:
'When will the Kingdom come?'
It will not come by watching for it...
The Kingdom...is spread out over the whole earth,
and people do not have eyes to see it."
The Gospel of Thomas, Logion 113
The book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond, based on lessons (learned the hard way) by a three time near death survivor is now available everywhere – but ask for it it at your local bookstore! How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying) is due out early 2018, from Llewellyn Worldwide.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Now more than ever before it seems like our country is losing it’s soul—it’s connection to the real life of our world, but that's really nothing new since the materialistic sensibilities of 'modern Western' culture arrived in the Americas. The true story of our country as a political, material entity is pretty awful in many ways when you look at the actual impact we’ve had on the Life of the Earth.
Life will always feel rather lost (in every life you've ever lived) when you're exclusively connected to the world of the material—to the world of ego. In fact in those cases, the more materially-oriented the prevailing cultural attitudes are, the madder and more soulless the mad matter-world appears. The richer certain people get, the crazier and more mindlessly destructive they become. The Earth, in a completely justifiable protest, responds to man's fraudulent assertions to "success" and "control" by recycling life like shedding a skin, unfortunately now starting with the evacuation of the most innocently divine — the record loss of natural species we’re witnessing now. And so it appears more and more that the world loses its soul, because this diverse beauty is its expression of our collective global soul.
In truth everything is Divine, in every direction you look. Everything is incontrovertibly connected at an essential, elemental level—at the level of our shared Divine Ground of Being. When you consider the natural world, and the losses of it we're suffering as a result of our own actions, you feel the loss at that essential level—like part of yourself is being lost; because it is. That is your soul's recognition of your connection to The Divine. Unless you're paving over that awareness with self-importance and material gratification, you can’t help but feel it every day. The global "shift" in conscious awareness that we’re all hoping will save us is simply based in realizing that what never changes is what is really real—and what comes and goes isn't; and with the understanding that we are all the same Life, profoundly and irrevocably interconnected…and it will save us, but perhaps not right on our own schedule.
Thanks to growing population and instantaneous communication, many of us sense our Divine Connectedness arising in every direction we look, and it seems impossible that everyone hasn't become aware of our oneness, our mounting losses, and our increasingly precarious situation; but the sad fact is that they haven't. They can't see the obvious because the delusional ego-forms of the world they perceive dominate their reality. Sadly, there is no mass "shift" that is going to take place for these people—mostly men—that will remove the blinders from their eyes, and reveal the critical truths before it's too late. This ignorance is their karma. Everyone’s karma is to overcome this ignorance.
So, the miraculous shift is something that can only happen for you personally. It only ever has, and only ever will. That's the point of being in this world—for you to realize your divine connection to a deeper reality, regardless, in spite of, and inspired by the madness of the ever-changing material ego-world—a phenomenon the Hindus have long called maya—the play or illusion presented to us by human life on Earth. To think that there will be some chain of events that will inspire an instant change-of-heart for all those men who strive for "success" and control is to enter into the insane delusion that all of this can somehow be controlled. At best, we can only observe it, and respond and contribute to it as well as possible. To have compassion, and to be of service is to inspire the greatest possible “shift” for others. To behave unselfishly, responsibly, and to seek and express forms of Love is the only way to recreate Heaven on this Earth.
When we realize this, and let go of the need to control or fix the world, then we might "gain the world" — that is, we'll become able to move into other worlds of unimaginable beauty and potential, and create them around us. Those who don't get it, will continue to destroy the beauty of every world they inhabit — and we will always witness their madness, hopefully with enough compassion to allow us to make whatever changes we really can. Fortunately, it requires far fewer “enlightened” people to change the balance of the world; but that won’t happen until we reach that threshold of individual understanding and compassionate realization.
That's the true nature of this world—it's a place of great beauty, and great sadness, where the greatest thing we can gain or accomplish is that not-so-simple, extra-dimensional power we experience in our heart that we call Love. Everything else we must become willing to watch change and become willing to lose; and everything we wish to change, we can change, by bringing as much Love as possible to any world we occupy — but only one world at a time, starting with ourselves.
Read about this and much more in:available direct on this page, or online. The first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available the same ways – but ask for it it at your local bookstore!