Saturday, October 16, 2010

Some correction and expansion

My thoughts in my previous post need one major correction, taking into account the Integral perspective pioneered by Ken Wilber. When I said that things that are not experienced as Oneness are "fake", that is actually not true. In Integral thought, all things are Real, and all viewpoints have some grain of validity. The Universe is just that big. All of existence is One, but within that Oneness is everything, and it is all Real.

The difference really comes down to paying attention. If you are paying attention to the conflict and forgetting the other parts of existence, you are not as fully aware as you could be in that moment.

Of course that begs the question, "if this conflict is indeed Real, what is there to do about it?" Honestly, I think we should leave that question to the folks who are aware enough to deal with it, and NOT the politicians, soldiers, terrorists, talking head pundits, or fanatics of any kind, unless of course they are playing their roles from a truly Conscious perspective.

In other words, my best guess is that the large majority of us should simply stop focusing on "winning" or "being right" or "sticking it to the other guy", and instead think about what is in our power to do to help and serve on multiple levels, starting with your own self, then your family, then your country or ethnic group, then the world.

The ultimate goal on this case is to be "world-centric", i.e thinking of things in terms of their effects on the entire world, or even the Universe and beyond. However, I do not think that is a readily achievable thing on a large scale just yet for most people. I'd be much happier is people who are "ego-centric" could simply learn to concentrate on their next level up, from wherever they are at the time. In other words, if a person is selfish, he or she should focus on learning how to take care of family. If a person is a great provider for family, that person should look to learn about contributing to the community, and so on.

I do not think that any of these actions should really be about religion, politics, or anything like that when serving, but rather just serving.... doing whatever needs to be done in that moment for the object of focus. Thus, I still advocate a "leaving the conflict" scenario, as well as Observation. I especially think Observation is critically important, but now that I come to think of it, I also think that highly focused care, concern, compassion, and service at whatever level a person is aware of is the key, and that should be done INSTEAD OF participation in the never-ending back and forth of today's Left vs. Right conflicts.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Distractions and missing the point

There is a lot of division nowadays. Right vs. Left. Conservative vs. Liberal. Democrat vs. Republican. Muslim vs. Everyone Else. You name it. There are even factions caught somewhere in the middle. Moderate ________'s, where the blank could be the name of a political party, religion, or nothing at all.

The whole thing is a twisted mess of fights within fights, conflict within conflict. People with advanced degrees in Political Science, Economics, Psychology, and even the Sciences and Engineering cannot sort it out, let alone people without that level of knowledge.

Some people give me hope, however, though I will not say who. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed to hear a supposedly "spiritual" man the other day giving a talk and essentially taking sides in these conflicts. He happened to be siding with the "liberal elites" or the so-called "enlightened" Left, which is a fact, but not the point. The point is he took a side, and that disheartened me.

See, here's what I really think of all these conflicts: on the highest level of awareness, they are fake. Worse than that, they are a distraction. At best, however, they are an opportunity to become aware.

When you focus on Oneness, none of these things are an issue. Religion, economy, and philosophy do not exist. There is only the Eternal, which does not change and encompasses everything there ever was, is, or will be in its cloak of space and silence. The POINT of all these conflicts in the world is not to WIN or LOSE, but to show us that they CANNOT be won or lost. No one will ever prevail in the conventional sense, and even if someone did, they would fall again soon thereafter, just like every Empire, political system, or philosophy has so far.

That's because these things are not Real. They are there to show us that the way to win the fight is to leave the fight all together. However, it is not a typical kind of leaving I describe. What I am advocating here is Observation. If enough people could pay attention to the part of all of us that is One, and allow enough other people to find that part also, then a critical mass could be achieved whereby the conflicts just stop.

Now, I am not stupid. In the meantime, people who cannot find this part of themselves are going to rage and fight, and die a lot. Things are going to get "bad", or worse depending on your point of view. However, there is nothing that can be DONE about that which would have any lasting effect, and death is just as fake as the conflicts anyway. The wars which produces victories and defeats are only bandaids on the problem that mask the symptoms of a sickness we all have, the sickness of forgetting our common True selves.

My solution is let them fight. Defend yourself in your own limited physical space as best you can, and be aware as best you can, for as much time during the day as you can. Then if you get pretty good at that, try to awaken others. While doing that, try to look out for people and not let them get hurt, if you can. Care for those who are sick and injured without judging them, and have compassion on them not just because they are hurt, but because they are still learning how to access the One and All, just like we all are.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Reminders and symbols

Sometimes, you just get out of whack. You forget your true nature. You drown in life's barrage of emotional attacks and curveballs. Wouldn't it be wonderful to constantly have touch with that calm still centered space deep within you 100% of the time, so all the tumult arises around you and dissipates without striking that inner ocean?

Maybe you are there. I am not. However, for those of us in the same boat as I am, there can be some sort of reminder... a trigger if you will, to get you back to that state if you find you have been washed out to sea in the storm of life's hardships.

For me, it's birds. Let me explain. I am not the first contemplating soul to remark that all things evolve and can achieve perfected form. Rocks have a type of consciousness, for instance.... maybe not like yours or mine, but they have one in their own way. They know they are rocks. When that knowing becomes perfected, what you have is a gem. Gems are perfected rocks. Just like flowers are evolved plants.

Birds, if you are catching my drift, are highly evolved reptiles. Some people like gems. Some like flowers. They feel moved by them. For me, it's birds.

A bird can do something of which I am a bit envious: fly. When flying way up in the sky, the bird is surrounded by space... pure space. That space contains everything: objects, light, sound, the bird itself. No matter what that bird does while flying, the space can contain it. The bird can chirp, flap, poop, screech, whatever. Anything it does gets swallowed up lovingly by the endless sky.

That fact is analogous, in my mind, to existence. We exist in pure Being, which can be interpreted loosely as pure space, pure silence, pure stillness, or their pure opposites. Sitting back and being swallowed up by those things can be done in order to reconnect with the core of a person's true self. I wish I could live there all the time, but alas, I cannot. Whenever I see a bird flying in the sky, I am reminded of that space, however, and I think, "Oh yeah, silly, you shouldn't be letting your mind wander off in all these directions causing you distress... it's all FAKE. But the space.... the space is Real." Just breath and be in it.

This kind of stuff is tough to put into words. I am not a Dan Millman, Ken Wilber, or Eckhart Tolle, but I thought I would simply get it out there anyway.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Size matters not

It's neat how much good meditation you can get done on an airplane. You're basically trapped in your seat for a few hours with little to do. Even the laziest spiritual practitioner would be tempted at the opportunities there.

Aside from the captivity, there's a lot of perspective available on an airplane high in the sky.

At the level of "The Witness", when you are paying attention to that part of yourself, it's not that things are Big or Small. It's that size becomes irrelevant. The Oneness that exists behind everything does not have a size. Size is not an issue at all. Rather, size is something expressed by that Oneness as it wraps around itself and forgets itself, giving birth to what most people think of as the real world.

Thus, it does not matter if you are meditating in a 5' x 5' room, looking at a blank wall, or whether you are in an airplane looking at the entire 200 mi coast of New Jersey. It's all the same.

This is what some Buddhist circles refer to as being able "to drink the entire ocean in one gulp".

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

One and the same...

Sometimes when I drive to work on a nice day, I listen to the birds chirping outside.

Life is much like a single bird chirp.... a fleeting trill absorbed by a bright quiet morning.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A simple thought

Time and again, the Dalai Lama refers to himself as "a simple monk", yet he is a person at the forefront of changing the world. As influential as he is, he sees himself as just a simple guy in a monastery, living his life.

Isn't it funny how the rest of us, who are FAR less influential than him, all want to be "something" or "change the world"?

Perhaps it is time to rethink our goals. Greatness isn't a single big action, and people who seek greatness don't usually find it. If they did, there would be a heck of a lot more "Great" people on the planet. Those who are Great are that way because of many little actions, and they usually performed those actions for other reasons than simply becoming great.