Resurrection, Regeneration and Re-birth
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Resurrection, Regeneration and Re-birth
These are words and images desired by all and often pursued with great intent and focus. But, alas, this part of the journey implies a preceding destruction, dissolution and death - something which the human mind would rather deny or avoid at all costs.
Nothing can be created without destroying something else. Anyone who is consciously creating art, will know this principle well. Often one becomes paralyzed at the thought of breaking down that which seems to be serving you well and that which has proven a worthy vehicle, but you cannot build without breaking down. Even if it only means that where previously there was an empty space of land, and you now create a new building, you still have to destroy the empty land.
And this also holds true for the self. Leaving the old behind invites that you step into the unknown, into a new part of the adventure, without a map and without a clear detailed plan. This calls for great courage and action - both characteristics of the heart chakra. Action as in an inner attitude, a willingness to do things differently, a willingness to let go of who you think or believe you are. For instance, it is no use telling your partner or your family, that 'you are not an emotionally demonstrative person' when you know that he/she is yearning for some display of affection from you. It is about reaching out, taking the risk, becoming vulnerable, and doing that which your heart calls for. This can be something really small - look at it as a pebble on the surface of a lake - the smallest pebble creates many circles and ever-widening circles - the same as love in action.
The human resists change, but life is an ever-changing flow, with nothing permanent or 'absolute'. Everything depends on your perspective, your beliefs and your paradigm. Many sages have set out to demonstrate this reality to seekers, but the power of the mind and its fear of change and the unknown is very strong and this is seated in the lower parts of the brain, known as the primitive or reptilian brain and the limbic brain (more about this in further blogs).
The answer lies in the higher functions of the brain - illumination and 'enlightenment' is a function of the higher brain and accessible to all human beings! The activation of higher neural pathways in the brain, is the goal of all energy healing, mystical traditions, practices and very importantly, the goal of meditation. Activate the higher pathways of the brain and you will be re-born into a new reality - one where it is possible to live with the tension of the opposites; where you will know, as the Shaman, that it is possible to live in your own reality, beyond the laws that govern the world created by the lower mind, artist and creator of your own life - albeit always as a part of the whole. Entering the domain of the artist/creator/shaman does not equate the status of 'God'/Creator/AllThatIs. We are a spark of the Fire and we are both nothing and everything, mortal and immortal, of no consequence and of every consequence. This is part of the paradox that will become clear to you as you step into direct encounters with the 'mystical' world. (I place many of these words in apostrophes as they are all words laden with belief and conditioning. The way in which I use them will only become clear to you if you continue to read my words and gain a deeper understanding of the meaning that I am trying to convey to you).
By activating the higher pathways of the brain, the old recording and habitual (mostly negative) thinking is erased. The gates are opened to a peaceful existence without fear and anxiety rooted in the cellular memory and generated by the primitive and limbic parts of the brain. The entire energy structure of the human being is transformed. The luminous body grows and expands and the higher chakras become active. A large and powerful energy field is created, radiating compassion and tolerance and others are attracted to this Love.
A new way of understanding and thinking will become natural and this is available to everyone as part of their evolution into a 'spiritual divine' being. But in order to activate these higher centres, you have to do the work and above all, you have to allow the changes to take place. You have to die to the old, spend time in the cave of death and the Underworld, going through the pain of loss, and face the fear of death, before you can be resurrected into a new you. This is a physical and real initiation. Undergoing energetic and mystical initiations cannot replace the physical initiation. They can prepare your mind and test your willingness, but ultimately, you have to walk the talk and you will be given the opportunity to be tested. You will undergo this initiation many times until you finally face the final initiation, that of mortal and physical death. Should you pass these initiations, and grow 'wings' as you return from each one, it is said that you will retain knowledge of your personal essence and you will not be re-absorbed into the river of unconsciousness after the final death of the body.
Often one starts with a spiritual practice and changes (as promised) will arrive on your doorstep. However, because these do not fit in with your paradigm and your ideas of who you are and where you are going, you ignore these messengers. The spiritual traditions are all vulnerable to distortion to suit your own, or your spiritual leader's needs and agenda. Everything that looks like gold, is not always gold. The shadow is a powerful adversary and a wonderful instrument in service of the fearful self. When the self fears change and the unknown, it will employ the shadow self as a servant in the game of keeping you in the dark. We have many tools to our disposal, such as rationalisation, justification, postponement, sloth (the lack of courageous action, the lack of integrity), and others. The shadow is a master of distortion and will use well-known spiritual terminology and concepts to hold you prisoner. When fear is present, love is absent.
That then, is the test. Am I in fear or am I in Love? There is no other choice. If you are not in love, then set about discovering why you are in fear. Ask the questions and live the questions. Be patient. Eventually you will live the answers.
Surrrendering to God (the Unknown and Unknowable) requires an unwavering faith and trust in the Absolute Goodness of God.
Surrender is the key to unveiling the Truth of Oneness, so why would the mind not allow you to surrender instantly? The obvious answer is 'fear', but then, fear of what? Fear of God. The fear of God is implicit in the creation of a seemingly separate human mind - one that has its own personal perceptions based on personal experience. Therefore a very valid point of view, seen from the mind's perspective, to not willingly surrender to that which is Unknown and Unknowable - would you not agree?
The mind cannot know God and that is where the problem lies. As long as you rely on your mind and its perceptions based on its own limited belief systems, you will not even be able to contemplate the nature of God. The direct experience of God will give you the taste of what you are seeking - it will satisfy the yearning of your heart and the longing of your soul. You will not be able to explain God in words or concepts and this is because God is not an idea! God IS. God IS at all times, whether you are consciously aware of this or not. God IS.
And the paradox is that the more you empty your mind, in order to step into the IS, the more you will get to know your mind and the less attached you will become to its content and belief systems.
How do you empty your mind and start this journey on a daily basis? There are various forms of meditation, but it is not necessary to move into an ashram, or to withdraw from life and to acquire vast meditation skills. In fact, when you do any of the above, you are creating another belief system and really, to know God, you have to step into a life 'beyond belief'. You have to let go of all belief systems, so be conscious of which new belief systems you are creating.
It can be as simple as becoming aware of each and every moment. Take fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes at night (before sleep) and sit with your breath. In this time, focus on the in and out breath. No pranayama, no manipulation of the breath, just a rythmic breath. As you breath in and out, be present and be aware, be willing to BE WITH the breath, and to be with yourself and thus to be with God. Yes, to be with God! as you, without judgement, without the need to improve yourself, without goals, without striving, just BE. It is said that God is closer than your own breath. In the Hindu tradition, the God Shiva (Siva) is an anagram of Vasi (breath) - surely you can see that there is a message here. God is not a separate entity 'out there'; neither is God a being, limited to duality and good and bad. God IS. And only you can know God, by knowing yourself.
As you become conscious of the moment, you will become conscious of certain thoughts and feelings. Do not fight these. Do not engage these. These are all part of the 'story'; the story that you wrote and continue to write about yourself. Let them arise to the surface of the mind like bubbles and let them be. 'This too shall pass'. It may take a while to trust the process, but eventually the clouds will start to clear. You may not have any immediate insights, but you will notice new feelings, a new sense of lightness, a more positive outlook, and so on.
The truth is that you are not separate from God. God is both within and without. God is everything. Even by using the word God I am projecting a series of beliefs and adjectives in your mind, but to communicate, we need words. You can replace the word 'god' with Love, or Peace, or Christ, or Goddess, or Light. Most of these have already been claimed by spiritual and religious traditions, so once again, you are limiting your knowledge of the Divine. So there is only one way, and that is to go beyond - to go beyond the mind.
In The Cloud of Unknowing, a work by an unknown Christian monk, he says that the mind creates the Cloud of Unknowing, which obscures the knowledge of God and in order to clear this cloud, you have to put everything else into the Cloud of Forgetting.
This is a wonderfully simple analogy for exactly how I am with and know the Self.
The mind likes to and wants to understand and interpret, in order to organise, structure and mainly to control. The mind believes that when things are not going according to its plans and goals and expectations, that it is doing something wrong. You, as servant to the mind, then start to 'do' in order to bring seeming order back to the chaos. But chaos is needed to create, so unless, you can allow the chaos, you can not live a creative life, and your inner world will become a wasteland. You will feel trapped by external routines and seemingly limited choices. As long you try to interpret and understand, you are analysing and 'filing' and adding to the 'story'. You always have a choice whether you look at a glass as half-full or half empty. You have the same power when it comes to writing your story. You can have exactly the same childhood as someone else, but based on your perception, your personality, your expectations, you will write a different story about your life and more importantly, about yourself, than someone else. But eventually, you only become a character in this story, and you are written by the story line that you set in motion a long time ago. Your choices become limited, your reactions become predictable and the people that you attract in your life, are all seemingly the same character, just in different dress-up every time. These characters are usually the Big Bad Wolf, or the Evil Stepmother or the jealous Ugly Stepsister or the Fisher King and so on.
So, how to change the story? How to undo the storyboard and how to step off the page? Through surrender.
Surrender does not mean that you just 'give up' and become downtrodden and despondent and despaired - well, sometimes it does. But not for this exercise.
To understand the meaning of surrender in this context, please visualise a triangle. See the one leg of the triangle in the 'negative' and the other leg of the triangle in the 'positive' and then see the apex of the triangle in the centre, high above it all. The apex of the triangle I like to call 'High Thinking' (the Absolute, Union, Unity Consciousness, at-one with God). All three points of the triangle is 'true' for you, the human being. You are standing with two legs in duality and your Soul is in God. If you keep your head in God as well, whilst going about your daily life, in full acceptance of everything as IS, you are living in surrender. And then you are holding the golden key to Self-Realisation.
Remember, life is energy before it is matter. So make sure that whatever you are giving energy to, really matters.
Thoughts and emotions are prayers, sent without end, setting your intent and 'want' to your Higher Self.
So, place your story and all its characters, into the cloud of forgetfullness. Leave it behind. Let it go. Over and over. Put down that heavy suitcase, throw out the baggage, and walk away, mentally and emotionally and step into Freedom. All of this is possible through Love.
This will mean that you suspend all judgement. When something happens to you, you step into the witness, into the apex of the triangle and you observe yourself. You observe your reactions, the feelings of pain and hurt, or anger and explosiveness. You do not have to fight or resist these feelings. You accept them. It is our resistance to our feelings that cause the suffering. Suffering is on-going pain and repression. When you allow yourself to feel the pain, the be at the centre of the feelings, without resistance and without fear, they will dissolve. Like mist in front of the Sun! You will most probably not be able to stay in the witness in the beginning, but you can go back to your High Throne in the Sun. When you become aware that you are fully engaged in flurry and intensity of the feelings, then you can return to the apex of the triangle, without judgement of self. When you release all judgement of the self that is still in the thick of the duality, compassion will enter its space.
The first time true acceptance and compassion floods your heart and being, it washes your mind of the fog and a sweetness, such as only known in love at first sight, enters your being. This absolute sweetness is Love, God, and ultimately your True Self. Once you have known this sweetness, this incredibly tender, absolute Love, you will want more and more. And your subconscious will find the way to deliver more to you!
Remember, through surrender, you are activating the principle of Love. The Principle of Love, is God, the Soul, Christ Consciousness, Guru (disspeller of darkness). The Principle of Love is intelligent and its goal and ultimate destiny is your Self-Realisation! It wants you to wake up from the nightmare and to participate fully in this Experience. Once Love has been activated, It will take control as much as you can allow. It will become your Guru, your Guru, your Lover, your Beloved and your divine Parent and It will bring you exactly what you need at all times.
So do not put off surrender. Take the risk. It is said that when you jump off the cliff, thousands of angels will be there to provide wings for your flight. Step into Freedom, over and over, and eventually you will remember and it will be a constant state of Love!
Most people start the journey towards awakening to their true selves in an attempt to escape their current state of mind or to heal the body. In the beginning various tools are applied, such as affirmations, releasing techniques and various other modalities, but then eventually, the truth dawns, that actually you are only re-arranging the furniture! Carlos Castanedas said that when you wake up and you realise you are in the house of the mind, do not waste time exploring the various rooms, get out of there as fast as you can! Well, that is one approach. But ultimately, we are walking between worlds and we have to learn to live with the tension of the opposites. This constitutes the middle road - that of living by Grace. (This was discussed in more detail in my previous blog Freedom through Love)
The ego or man-made mind, is the only thing that stands between you and the direct experience of God. In order to live by Grace and to live in freedom, you need to let go of your need to suffer and to receive Love in every breathing moment! I agree that when you first read this sentence, you tend to react, what utter nonsense, who chooses to suffer willingly and knowingly? But the mind, through its conditioning and its 'learning' chooses suffering most of the time.
It revels in its own sense of suffering. The mind identifies with the story of 'me' and 'me' cannot exist without the story! Thus it is easy to become so enmeshed in the story that it becomes your identity and all of who you think you are. When in actual fact, you are not the story and you need to remember who you are.
The truth is that you are never separated from God. Your True Self is the one behind the web of the mind. Your mind is your active opponent when it engages in self-rejection, self-deprecation, criticism of the self, breaking down your self-esteem and filling you with thoughts of not being good enough, not lovable, and so on. So now you are probably thinking to yourself, well, I know that is the problem; how do I change it?
First of all, change your belief system. At first you may need blind faith. Blind faith in an ever loving Presence that has never abandoned you and has never rejected you. Accept that you in fact do not know the true nature of the divine Presence. All that you think you know about it, you have acquired through the perception of your experiences and thus your conditioning. The mind wants to keep you safe and protected against re-experiencing any painful feelings. Thus it contracts and armours itself and does whatever it takes to keep you from revealing yourself, or from taking any emotional risks. But when you apply the mind in its higher function of self-enquiry and you follow the bread crumb trail back to the origin of the thought and the belief system, you will find that your mind's reasoning is absolutely crazy! There is no logic and no rationale. It is a story woven and fabricated by your mind and it will most probably not even make sense to anybody else. So this is where Carlos Castanedas' statement makes so much sense. Why do you want to spend time unravelling the many, many stories that your mind created? It is so much simpler to merely jump from the plane, knowing that you carry a parachute and free float down to a new reality.
Obviously this is not as easy as I make it sound, but with consistent effort this is well within your reach. At first it is difficult to do as you now have to break a life long habit. A habit of being angry, or feeling justified in your behaviour, or feeling sorry for yourself. Although these habits seemingly give you power and often has become the driving force and motivator in your life, they do not serve you - in fact they are your master and you serve them - thus, you are not free to reach your fullest potential, nor are you free to be happy, just for the sake of being happy.
The mind will have you know that as long as you are an imperfect human being, you cannot Realise your Oneness with what Is. But this is not true. You are both a human being and at one with God. No-one can really define the terms awakening, enlightenment and Self-Realisation, Christ Consciousness and so on. As long as you tie yourself to a belief system or a tradition or a religion, you are tied to certain requirements for awakening or enlightenment, but ultimately, this is a process of becoming less of you and more of You! And you are the only one who knows your inner world and who knows God Within. Everyone else can only know God in their own way. So the moment you rely on others' words or experiences, you are separating yourself from true knowing and you will also doubt and discount your direct spiritual experiences.
All disease of the body is created by the mind, ultimately. This is a tough one to assimilate and swallow, but your thoughts, your belief systems, your incessant prayers are creating your body. This does not mean that you must overcome all disease and that unless you do so you are not perfect or 'good enough' to know God. That is exactly the nature of the thoughts of the mind that drives you toward the notion that you have to heal your life. You do not have to heal your body, nor your life. You need to desire God and only God and everything else will be taken care of.
What does it mean to 'desire God'? It means that you accept that there is a Principle of Love - complete, unconditional and infinite Love. That this Love Principle is Perfection and that its power is omnipotent and omnipresent. You accept that ultimately your will is God's Will and God's Will is your will and that God's Will is only Love. So, I suppose you have to believe that your mind is not in control, it has never been in control and that personal willpower will not get you what you want!! And then by implication, this means that 'your will' is not the personal will of the mind. And mostly, we only get to this point in our consciousness and awareness, through hardship and suffering, and often through disease of the body! So we have gone full circle, back to disease of the body.
You can choose to look at disease or challenges in your life as signs of 'not doing it right' or 'not being aligned', or whatever terminology the mind choooses to use. OR you can look at it from the perspective of LOVE, and that is that All Is As It Should Be at all times. You may not understand, you may not be able to see the bigger picture, but knowledge of God and the true nature of Love, will set you free to accept and surrender at all times. And through acceptance and surrender, the resistance dissolves and thus the mental pattern that created the disease in the first place.
Many alternative therapies do work for a while. I suppose they satisfy the mind that believes that it needs to understand, before it can surrender and let go. But in my personal experiences and in healing experiences with many others that I have worked with over the years, true breakthrough has always taken place when the person has accepted that no matter of self-improvement is going to fix the problem.
You see, you do not need self-improvement. You are innately whole. You entered this world in absolute innocence and wholeness. And then the journey started. And the pain that you felt, was the pain of believing you are separate from God, that you had been abandoned by God. And these feelings were created because this world cannot validate your Christ Self. So, when you looked into the eyes of another, you could not see your True Self reflected back at you. Nowhere could you see evidence of your innocence and your purity. Your True Self was rejected in experiences with others. When you revealed your exuberance, your absolute Self-absorbed happiness and joy, it was labelled as inappropriate; your pleasure in the beingness of your physical body may have been called perverse. In many different ways, your Being were rejected. And this is the truth for all human beings, in varying degrees.
When you find someone that you resonate with, your experience is always one of 'he/she gets me', they understand me, they 'see' me. But sooner or later, this is no longer true and problems start in the relationship. Do not look for acceptance in the eyes of another. As you are learn that you are so much more than your story and so much more than others' reflections, and you start to gain this conviction, you become the Grace.
Once you realise this, you can start the journey of true acceptance and surrender : accept that you will never understand all they whys and wherefores; accept that you cannot know God with your mind and surrender to Grace. Living by Grace enables you to live in joy and total freedom despite the 'story' and the mind's attempts at keeping you tied to your story.