Thursday, December 31, 2015

As Above So Below

Sierpenski triangle fractal
The statement “as above so below” (or alternatively “as within so without”) is commonly encountered in philosophical and spiritual literature. Like many concepts, it reveals much depth and wisdom when more closely considered.
Fractal artwork is a nice demonstration of “as above so below”. A fractal is an image composed of smaller versions of itself. These smaller instances may be strictly identical, or merely similar. The fractal image above, called a Sierpenski triangle, is a triangle composed of three identical smaller triangles, in which each smaller triangle is in turn composed of three more triangles or copies of itself.
“As above so below” can be seen in many places in nature, on levels ranging from the macrocosmic to microscopic. The entire physical Universe is composed of a number of galactic clusters. Galactic clusters are composed of a number of individual galaxies. Galaxies are composed of star systems, which are composed of planetary bodies. The surface of a planet is composed of continents, which are composed of mountain ranges, which have layers of sediment, which form individual rocks. A rock is composed of different minerals, which are composed of molecules, which are composed of atoms, which are composed of subatomic particles. Note how an atom looks like a miniature solar system, in the classic Bohr model showing electrons orbiting the nucleus, for an example of how the microcosm resembles the macrocosm.
“As above so below” can also be seen in human organizations. Our world is composed of nations, each of which is composed of states or provinces, which are composed of counties, then cities, then districts or boroughs within the city, then streets, blocks or lots, buildings, floors within the building, and finally rooms, pieces of furniture, shelves or surfaces upon the furniture, and finally individual objects on the shelves.
“As above so below” can be discrete or vague. A discrete division is where something is always divided into the same number on all levels, such as the fractal example above. A vague division is where something is divided into an irregular number of subitems at each level, and the numbers can also change over time. For example, a forest contains a changing number of trees, each tree contains a different number of branches, each branch contains a different number of twigs, and each twig contains a different number of leaves.
Something can be part of multiple sequences at the same time, depending on the concept being considered. For example, an individual is a member of a family, which is a member of a clan, which is a member of a race, which is a member of humanity. An individual can also be a soldier in a squad, which is a member of a company, which is a member of a battalion, which is a member of a division, which is a member of an army. A solar system can be considered a division of physical space (e.g. composed of planets, with multiple solar systems composing a galaxy), and also a division of spiritual consciousness (e.g. composed of Planetary Logoi or the essence of planets, with multiple Solar Logoi composing a Cosmic Logos).
It’s important to realize that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, which can be seen in the following examples: A tree has many branches, but also a central trunk from which all branches radiate. A solar system is composed of planets, but also has the Sun at its center. A planetary system is composed of moons, but also has the main planet at its center. A galaxy is composed of many stars, but also has one or more black holes at its center. A biological cell is composed of many organic molecules, but also has a nucleus at its center. The United States is composed of 50 states, but it also has the District of Columbia at its “center” administering it. Even situations that don’t seem to have a central component at each level may have one when more closely considered. For example, the fractal triangle above has three upward triangles at each level, but also an invisible white downward pointing triangle in the middle.
Looking “up” from our individual selves, a person is a member of various families and groups. Looking “down” from ourselves, a person is composed of their different bodies on the different spiritual planes. Each body is composed of organs or chakric centers, which are composed of cells. An important example of “as above so below” relates to centers or chakras. The centers that exist within our own bodies correspond to the centers that exist within the body of our Planetary Logos. For example, the Human Kingdom as a whole can be considered the throat center of the planet, Venus can be considered the heart center of the solar system, and so on.
“As above so below” can be used to influence levels we are ordinary not a part of or aware of, through sympathic vibration. In other words, stimulation of one component can affect a corresponding component on a macrocosmic or microcosmic level. For example, performing our own individual development work can simultaneously help humanity as a whole in the same area, beyond just the direct improvement of one member and how that benefits the whole. Similarly, meditating on the evolution of Venus and its progression through the heavens can help open our individual heart centers.
The most important conclusion that can be drawn from the concept of “as above so below” is that of Oneness. Together we form One Being, which means selflessness and service is less a sacrifice, and more the One Being simply helping itself. We can be aware of and connect with different levels of Oneness. For example, many meditations have us connect “upward” with our own individual soul or Higher Self, our soul groups, and finally the one soul of Humanity. We can also look “downward” and generate personal healing and evolution by balancing the energies within the One Being of our individual bodies.
Another important conclusion is the value of diversity. Although we are all One, we have different roles, and more importantly need to play different roles. For example, organs in the body work with different energies and perform different functions. You can’t have blood in the lungs, or air in the bloodstream, without dying. Seekers earlier on the spiritual Path may resist the concept of Oneness, because they think it means one needs to be like everybody else, or give up personal power. In fact Oneness indicates the importance of each individual, and how they each have their own unique role and place in the Universe. ♥

Monday, November 30, 2015

Is Life a Big Test?

Image credit:
A classic story tells of a job interviewer rejecting a candidate because they put salt on their lunch before tasting it. According to the company’s values, to salt right away shows closed mindedness and hasty decision making, and not being willing to analyze data before making choices (and it also shows rudeness toward the chef, in that one doesn’t trust their skill). However, I’ve heard the story in reverse too: If one tastes their food first before salting it, then that can be considered weakness because the candidate doesn’t have the confidence and assertiveness to swiftly express their will and vision.
Another story is about military officers seeking promotion, in which the candidates are asked to dig a ditch. Some of them ask why they need to do that in the first place, or argue about details of the best way to do it, until eventually someone remarks “who cares why they want a ditch” and actually starts digging, at which point they get the promotion because they can follow orders and take action. However, in a related situation, anybody who starts digging gets rejected for promotion, because labor like that supposedly “isn’t an officer’s job” and they don’t know how to delegate. In other words, the right thing to do is find the nearest soldier and order them to dig the ditch! ;-)
In the “Wheel of Time” fantasy series, those in the Aiel clans training to be “Wise Ones” would eventually be only given more and more menial tasks to do, until they finally put their foot down and said enough already, at which point they were wise enough to actually become a “Wise One”. Sometimes refusing a test because it serves no purpose or goes against your values is the real test! Of course, balance is needed, in that if one refuses required discipline too early, they can be kicked out of training altogether.
What do all these cases have in common? In all of them there’s a dominant power defining what’s right, and a submissive applicant being judged based on their conformity to those standards. The nature of any test is the same, in that there’s some authority defining what it means to “pass” or “fail” the test. Many people try to pass various tests in life, however fewer people have the independence to question the validity of a test in the first place. Some tests aren’t based on positive qualities, in which technically failing them can be considered a good thing. Samuel L. Jackson in the movie “xXx” saw this when he quoted, “Why is it always the a**holes who pass the test?” Ultimately, the real tests in life are given by ourselves to ourselves, and it’s up to ourselves to determine which tests are important in the first place, and what it means to pass those tests.
Of course, it’s possible to err in the opposite direction and go too far in refusing tests, and out of pride or rigid independence refuse to learn from sources that can actually teach you something. Similarly, it’s okay to recognize someone else’s test and intentionally conform with it, if the circumstances are appropriate. If you want a job, you by definition want to do what your prospective employer is looking for. Therefore, however they define tests and how to pass them is what you want to align with during an interview, provided you don’t have to sacrifice your morals to do so. Whether the best thing to do is to methodically analyze data or quickly promote a vision (story #1), or whether it’s better to start work yourself or receive help from others (story #2), or whether it’s best to put up with minor things or take a strong stand (story #3), all depend upon the job or situation in question.
Even our planet and the afterlife is often believed to be a test, in which after physical death one will be judged by various criteria as to whether they lived a good life, and as a result experience levels of hell, purgatory, or heaven, or receive bad or good karma. Many believe they’ll be judged by various Angels or guides with human-like personalities. However, a more esoteric view is that afterlife conditions aren’t decided by somebody as much as they’re natural outgrowths of energetic cause and effect, and therefore don’t require Lords of Karma or whoever to decide how one gets rewarded or punished. For example, a life of hatred and paranoia will fill one’s aura with dense vibrations, and on non-physical realms will naturally make one experience such energies in return. Similarly, love can expand one’s perceptions and identification to include others, which naturally brings in new and exalted energies, resulting in enlightenment, wisdom, and joy. ♥

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Managing Media Manipulation

Cartoon credit: Bruce Beattie
Many people are concerned about media bias. That’s a good issue to be aware of, however less often considered but just as important is the influence of media itself.
One important concept that the media and its backers realize, but that many viewers don’t, is the following truth: The media can’t control what you think, but they can control what you think about. In other words, watching television (even biased television) probably won’t change your views. That’s good news to people who think the airwaves are being corrupted by conservative propaganda from FOX news, or liberal propaganda from CNN/MSNBC. The presence or lack thereof of such stations is doing little to change the political leaning of the country. However, what media does tend to affect are the discussions people have around the water cooler at work or around the dinner table at home, what people forward in e-mail or share on Facebook, and so on. For example, a news story about a terrorist attack will stir up many people and get them emotionally demanding change in one way or another. They may say we should increase security, or they may say we should engage traditional enemies and stop our own abuses, but either way they’ll be talking and sharing their (usually very strong) opinions on the matter.
Similar to the above is how both scripted and reality television shows attract viewers: They create and showcase controversy. For example, consider the recently cancelled reality show “Meet the Duggars”, about a fundamentalist Christian family with 19 children. The producers of the show and others like it generally don’t care which contestant is right or wrong, or whether a character is good or evil. They just showcase the controversy, and let people argue about things like how the planet is overpopulated, or how Western society should return to classic family values. Either way, the produces are happy knowing that everybody on both sides will be tuning in next week.
In other words, some organizations and governments try to control both sides of an issue. It’s like owning both horses in a horse race: Either way you win. All you need to do is stir up enough interest and involvement in the race itself. In considering reality television again, some contestants in elimination shows such as “Survivor” do well when they stir up conflict between other contestants. It doesn’t matter who wins the conflict, because either way an opponent gets taken out and the original instigator benefits. Similarly, the producers try to cast “interesting” contestants who are likely to take strong stands, or cast people from opposite sides of a controversial issue, and then throw them together and film the fireworks. Some suggest governments create sensational issues to distract people’s attention from real problems. That indeed happens occasionally, although usually a government merely takes advantage of a situation that presents itself, as opposed to being truly sneaky and malicious, and say hiring terrorists to create a distracting story in the first place.
In addition to speaking in support of one’s beliefs, some get cunning and speak in support of beliefs they actually oppose, but in an intentionally sloppy or extreme manner to make people supporting such beliefs look bad. For example, some say that conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh is actually a liberal, or at least was in his younger days. However he acts like a raving conservative because he has success in working with that particular demographic, and fulfills a particular role. Similarly, Pieter Boevé of the Netherlands created a Marxist-Leninist party with hundreds of members, however the whole thing was made up and he was actually a Western intelligence agent. His fake leftist party enabled him to track communists, gather intelligence on Mao Zedong and actually meet him in person, and so on. Governments have the potential to do this themselves with “false flag” operations, such as conducting a terrorist attack themselves but making it look like somebody else did it, so they can justify going to war against them. There are a few actual examples of this, which is unfortunate because it makes it more challenging to determine what’s true, and it inflames the conspiracy theorists by causing them to suggest the same is true for numerous other events.
News media and entertainment programs can still be positive, if approached properly. The news can be useful, if we realize that a source may be biased and that there are often two (or more) sides to every story. Entertainment can be enjoyed for what it is, if we don’t forget there are important things going on in the world. We can be skeptical to the right degree, so we avoid being a mindless follower, but also avoid being overly depressed or paranoid about the state of the world and about information that’s presented.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Identification: Who are you really?

Identification and Oneness go hand in hand.
Identification is one of the simplest concepts in psychology and spirituality, however it’s one of the hardest to truly understand, realize, and master. Identification is your sense of identity, which means who and what you think you are (and are not). It covers vibrations (or different aspects of the self) as well as space (or different things in the Universe).
For example, we can identify as our physical body, our emotions that allow us to feel and react, our mind that allow us to think and process, or our conscious awareness behind it all. It is much more than just consideration of some idea, but is the actual state of being (much like the difference between looking at a map and walking the actual terrain). The quality of compassion develops when identification expands to include other people, and similarly the condition of being a sociopath is when one can’t identify with anything outside of themselves at all. Much of the practice of meditation is ultimately based around contemplating identification, and refining it upward to new heights of consciousness (which is the basis of spiritual growth), and/or expanding it outward to include other people (which is the basis of altruism and Oneness). Identification is also a fundamental cause of why people can be fans of a sports team, political party, or spiritual belief system.
When identification includes mind and emotions (as it does for almost everybody physically incarnated) then it usually results in expectations. An expectation is a mental thought about the way things are or should be, combined with surrounding emotion that reacts based on whether that expectation is being met. For example, a child becomes furious if their sibling gets more allowance than they do, or even a slightly bigger piece of cake. That’s because their identification is wrapped up with their family, and they have the expectation that siblings should be treated equally. The child is less annoyed about some billionaire’s kids getting ponies and such, because they fully expect that there are richer and poorer families, and they don’t wrap their sense of identification around other families like they do their own. We usually get more upset about injustice towards ourselves, or a person of our own family, nation, or ethnicity, as opposed to people in a random tribe half way around the world or extraterrestrials in a different solar system. It follows that becoming aware of and dropping expectations can improve our sense of identification, and result in evolution.
Identification is just as much a belief and experience of what we are not, as of what we are. Very often we define ourselves by what we’re not, or by what we reject or dislike. For example, I’m not a child anymore, I hate unevolved racist people, I’m a unique person different from everybody else, and so on. Many types of rejection are negative, however rejection can also be approached in a positive manner. (After all, we don’t want to reject the concept of rejection! ;-) Ultimately, all of creation and all manifesting is a limitation, or a specific choice made out of infinite possibilities. Painting red on a canvas necessarily means that it can’t be any other color, but some choice or limitation is necessary to produce art and avoid the canvas eternally remaining a womb of potential. Physical incarnation (whether of a human or of a Universe) is a specific area being marked out to work with or a role to experience.
The whole concept of consciousness itself can be defined in terms of identification, or the continuous process of alternating assertions and negations of “I am this” and “I am not this”. Changing identification is a fundamental aspect of evolving consciousness. For example, the difference between the consciousness of an animal and being a galaxy can be described in terms of identification. Physical death is basically no longer identifying with a particular dense form. No longer identifying with form in general results in what’s classically called “ascending”, or no longer being drawn to physically incarnate in the future (except out of love and service). On a deep level, identification can transcend consciousness altogether. Consciousness consists of a self, and that which is outside the self being experienced. Therefore all physical and psychic senses, and the general concept of sensitivity, are based around concepts of the non-self impacting the self. Once there’s no longer a limited self (or at least the classic "self" as we know it) then awareness can expand to unprecedented new levels of being. ♥

Monday, August 31, 2015

Preppers vs. Stockholders

Preppers and stockbrokers: Two very different approaches to living!
A “prepper” is somebody who believes society is on the verge of collapse, which will soon result in events such as mass riots and traditional money becoming worthless. This collapse may be due to anything from financial crisis, to tyrannical government takeover, to extraterrestrial invasion. As a result, they prepare (hence the name “prepper”) for the imminent breakdown, and do things such as stockpile food, acquire and train with guns, and build underground bunkers. The TV show “Doomsday Preppers” highlighted people into this type of behavior.
Prepping (like many concepts in life) has some valid points, but can be done to excess or for the wrong reasons. Negatively, prepping is rather selfish. One withdraws from their community, focuses only on their own survival, and “raises the drawbridge" so to speak in order to keep everybody else away. Prepping is also the ultimate in paranoia and pessimism, in assuming that the world is going to burn, and in response one needs to abandon it. Also, a prepper has an unpleasant daily life, with one example being that they don’t eat fresh food. That’s because all the food they’ve stockpiled eventually goes bad. Therefore the prepper is either replacing spoiled food (which is a big waste and expensive) or else they’re continually eating food that’s on the verge of spoiling. All that effort would be better spent getting involved with society and fixing or improving it as a whole, so whatever doomsday scenario they’re worried about doesn’t happen in the first place.
Responsibly approached, prepping can be a positive thing. It’s good to have some amount of food, water, and most of all a plan ready for events ranging from a minor power outage to a major earthquake. Such a happening can keep aid away for days or even weeks, and when government assistance does arrive it may not be enough or appropriately handled. Ronald Reagan (love him or hate him) said the nine scariest words in the English language are, “We’re the government and we’re here to help you.” ;) The best prepping and long term survival for the human race after a doomsday scenario involves a community coming together and working together. Many people today don’t even know their neighbors! Crossbows and army rations are good for the start of the zombie apocalypse, but months down the line when you get a toothache you’ll really wish you had access to a dentist.
In contrast to preppers, a stockholder is one who believes and operates under the assumption that society is improving. A stockholder (which really is anybody who has investments, including IRA or 401k accounts) is one who owns part of a company. They contribute their energy and wealth into collective efforts, and as a result receive a percentage of the results and profits produced. This is similar to the story of “The Little Red Hen”, in that those who help make the bread get to eat the bread. In spite of occasional bubbles and downturns, over long periods of time stocks grow money faster than any other method. That’s because wealth isn’t tied into something static, like land or gold that only yields benefit based on scarcity of the resource, but rather it’s tied to human ingenuity and evolution which has no limit. While a prepper withdraws from and is pessimistic of society, a stockholder embraces society and is optimistic. The problem of economic inequality and the “rich getting richer” is very serious and important to address. However, perhaps a very small part of it is caused by certain people connecting with society and letting the wave of collective progress carry them forward, while others choose to reject society and are left behind.
As with prepping, many people approach the stock market negatively. They treat it impersonally and only seek to selfishly gain money from it, and therefore only choose companies they expect will earn money the fastest. That’s no different from corporations themselves when they are only out to acquire money in the short term, instead of trying to make a difference in the world long term. It’s better to support companies that you want to succeed, such as are involved with new or efficient technologies. Similarly, having some investments doesn’t mean you put all your eggs in one basket, or put all your resources in stock or in a single company.
In summary, both prepping and stockholding are two sides of the same duality, and both can be approached selfishly or altruistically. Ultimately, each of us are challenged to be independent and able to take care of ourselves, but also be connected with and contributing to society and the Oneness of humanity. ♥

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Chemtrail Conspiracy

Are these ordinary vapor trails or evil chemtrails?
When warm air from an engine is expelled into a cooler environment, water in the air condenses, creating droplets and forming clouds. This effect is commonly seen in the vapor trails left behind airplanes (also called condensation trails or contrails) and even in car exhaust and our own breath on a cold day.
Some believe vapor trails are actually “chemtrails”, or chemical emissions of some unknown type, emitted by some nefarious source to mind control civilians or “geoengineer” the planet. Although an interesting proposition, there’s no evidence that is the case. For example, some say chemtrails have only appeared in recent decades, and dissipate more slowly than ordinary vapor trails. However, vapor trails can be seen around World War II planes and even around racecars. The dissipation rate of vapor is affected by wind and atmospheric conditions, and may linger in the sky for hours, no different from cirrus clouds. (Actually, the geoengineering part isn’t too far from the truth, although in a much less sensational manner, since carbon monoxide in any type of exhaust is a common greenhouse gas.)
Note that none of this is saying that the New World Order isn’t actually trying to take over the world and control us. However, the ways that the Megacorporate Puppetmasters are increasingly taking over are much more mundane and obvious. We can't detect and monitor the Black Lodge’s machinations by something as blatantly obvious as white lines crossing the sky, even though that’s a convenient visual phenomenon for the layman to see. The real Cabal is far too clever and insidious for the casual internet user to easily detect their REAL activities (insert evil villainous laughter here)!
Also, none of this is even saying that the Illuminati isn’t actually spraying harmful things from commercial jet planes. However, it’s important to realize that harmful aerosols such as chlorofluorocarbons are invisible. Also (barring tiny propeller crop dusting planes that are designed for it) it doesn’t make sense for large planes to spray from the engines way out on the wings, but rather from a special setup at the back of the fuselage by the tail. In other words, in the sky (such as in the picture above) we should be looking for and trying to detect invisible emissions BETWEEN the pairs of vapor trails! Again, distinguishing contrails from real chemical emissions is much more than looking at visible lines in the sky.
In you want to believe in a conspiracy, here’s the real one: The whole concept of “chemtrails” is actually a distraction operation, a cunning idea invented and popularized by the CIA/NSA/KGB/MI6 to deflect us from the real issues facing society. They're also designed to create cleavage in the activist and spiritual communities, which is an effective divide and conquer strategy. In other words, half of us are saying "wake up sheeple it's preposterous you don't see what they're doing", while the other half are saying "get an education dumbass high school science can explain it". Both sides are well meaning (and deserve respect even if we personally disagree with them) but ask yourself who set up the fight in the first place and is benefitting from their conflict? I wouldn't be surprised if half of the people that are increasingly popularizing chemtrails are (consciously or unconsciously) on the shadow government's payroll !!!!!!!!111!!
I admire people who question and research. That's how discoveries are made and real abuses of power are uncovered. However, such matters need to be approached scientifically, independent of what we might want to be true or get credit for, and with research data backed up and findings submitted to peer review. For a quality article about the science behind vapor trails and how/why the “chemtrail” conspiracy has become popular, see:

Monday, June 08, 2015

Heroes and Villains: Barrier to Oneness?

People like heroes, and often give adoration to particular individuals that they see embodying some concept. We idolize actors, sports stars, and spiritual teachers or gurus (and therefore often overlook their negative attributes). We can see this in many areas, when the efforts of a group culminate in results seen in a particular individual. Consider the Moon landing, in which many revere Neil Armstrong, the first person to step upon the Moon. However, he was one of three people on that mission, and they were merely chosen by NASA administrators to be the people on it. The Moon landing was really a group endeavor, which also involved the efforts of many technicians in mission control, the engineers designing the rockets, and even the janitors keeping the buildings clean. The image we have of a famous actor or actress isn’t due to their talents alone, but also a large crew of agents, publicists, script writers, producers, and so on.
Similarly, people hate villains. Consider Adolf Hitler, commonly considered one of the worst people in history, which is very understandable. However, he didn’t invent National Socialism, and was just the leader and face of the Nazi party. There were many other people who supported racist and exploitive policy, and if Hitler had never been born somebody else would most certainly have filled the void and taken a similar role. (That concept is sometimes seen in time travel stories, in which people go back in time and kill Hitler, only for history to turn out even worse.) Beyond the Nazi party, concepts of promoting a “superior race” existed around the world at that time. For example, the United States did similar if to a lesser degree when putting Japanese Americans in internment camps, while many universities of the time would allow one to major in eugenics. The evil of Nazism isn’t something we should only project upon Hitler and see as his fault, because that disconnects us from the real issues at hand. Instead, Nazism is a concept that many supported, and still stains humanity today to some degree, and perhaps even ourselves if we look at our subtle biases. In other words, our real fight is against outdated ideologies, not people.
The human focus upon heroes and villains can often be seen in movies, which have individuals playing important roles. Popular stories like The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars feature a few main characters who rise from lowly beginnings to change the world in a major way on their own. Similarly, those movies feature individual villains who created bad situations on their own, and who are inevitably faced, fought, and defeated by the heroes in direct combat. It’s certainly good to rise and serve the world, and heroes can be a positive example to others, however real life rarely works like that. World War II wasn’t won by the Allies in any major way by any particular individual, but rather by many individuals working together towards a common ideal. Similarly, the core of addressing environmental problems won’t happen by defeating individual polluters or even bad corporations (although those activities certainly don’t hurt). In other words, our “enemy” isn’t individual evil villains, but rather dense collective energies. Similarly the solution to world problems isn’t some savior political or religious figure emerging, but rather by everybody humbly doing their part.
Our obsession with individuality results in success attaching itself to individuals. For example, VHS and Beta videotape formats started out equal, but VHS became slightly more popular, and eventually resulted in a “winner take all” situation. Similarly, the HD DVD and Blu-Ray disc formats started out equally popular until the scales started and then continued tipping in one direction. You can see the same in Facebook posts and YouTube videos, in which some get ignored and others of similar value become popular or “go viral” because individuals tend to seek out what other individuals see as popular. That is a big reason behind the problem of why “the rich get richer”. In other words, significant issues like wealth disparity, the rise of mega-corporations, and so on are ultimately due to humanity’s focus upon individuals. That means the ultimate solution is to move beyond our fixation with individuals, and instead realize and focus upon the diversity and unity of the One Being of humanity as a whole. ♥

Friday, May 15, 2015

Be an Example, not a Preacher!

“It is a common experience that argument seldom tends to alter the opinion of either side; in most cases it but confirms the opinions already held.” - Arthur E. Powell in “The Mental Body”
If you observe many conversations, notice that most people are telling others what they think is true. Less often are people trying to find out what is true, or asking you what you think is true. Usually people have a fixed idea about the way things are or should be, and argue their point. Few are selfless enough to be willing to really listen to others, or are open minded enough to question and change their own beliefs. You can see this a lot in politics, in which most believe their views are right, and anybody who thinks differently is deluded if not malicious. You can especially see this in spirituality, in which most everybody sees their religion, philosophy, or way of life as the best path for humanity. Have you ever noticed that most people who want to share their spiritual beliefs, aren’t interested in hearing about yours? A classic example is Jehovah’s Witnesses and Hare Krishnas. I’ve always thought it would be cool to go door to door and instead ask people to tell me THEIR views on spirituality. :)

Most people just want to be heard and acknowledged, and to exercise their abilities and recognize their potential. Therefore it’s understandable why so many do try to preach and impose their views upon others. Musician Marilyn Manson, in an interview in the movie “Bowling for Columbine”, was asked what he would tell the 1999 Columbine High School shooters. His response was, “I wouldn't say anything, I would listen, obviously nobody else did that for them.”
“Giving others the freedom to be stupid is one of the most important and hardest steps to take in spiritual progress. Conveniently the opportunity to take that step is all around us every day.” - Thaddeus Golas in “The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment”
The above quote is humorous, but contains deep wisdom. :) It’s actually very freeing to let other people have “wrong” opinions or make mistakes, and not feel like it’s our responsibility to correct them, change them, or otherwise fix the world. In the vast majority of cases people will figure things out on their own and erase any mistakes on their own, when they’re ready, and any attempts to force our more “enlightened” views down their throats and accelerate the schedule will only annoy both sides. That energy of opposition will often just make things worse and make real change slower than it would have been otherwise.

Note that is why Masters, Angels, and extraterrestrials don’t materialize and solve all our problems for us. They are giving us the freedom to be stupid and learn from mistakes. Were they to actually try and fix our issues, it would create more problems than it would solve, and actually delay humanity’s evolution. The entire continent of Atlantis allegedly sank due to misuse of power, but Greater Powers didn’t step in and stop it, which shows the lengths they’re willing to (not) go to let us evolve in our own way and with our own timing.

But wait, what about criminals, climate change deniers, or impressionable children? Don’t they need to be firmly talked to and influenced, for the good of themselves and others? None of the above means one becomes passive, or doesn’t work to help other people and improve our world. It just means that unless somebody is actually asking for your opinion, consider carefully before arguing yours. If you have ideas to share, it’s better to let people come to you. For example, if they’re reading your book or attending your workshop, then you know they want to and are ready to consider what you're offering. Beyond that, ultimately it’s best to be a positive example and let appropriate living be your lesson, which (although definitely more subtle) teaches far more effectively than any preaching. A classic quote that all parents, teachers, and gurus should remember is, “Children do as their parents do, not as they say.” ♥

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Manifesting ideas: Wisdom from Eleanor Roosevelt

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."- Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt served as First Lady of the United States for twelve years, longer than anyone in history. In her years of political involvement and work with civil rights, she acquired much experience in a variety of social arenas, and as a result developed significant insight into human nature, such as the quote above. (Another memorable quote of hers is, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”) Anyway, the quote about people, events, and ideas has depth worth considering more closely.
  • “Small minds discuss people.” For example, that means gossiping about who said what about whom, is that person giving me the respect I deserve, am I fulfilled in life, and specific points like that. In politics, it can mean talking about who is running for office and whether or not they have good character in my opinion. In summary, a focus on people is limited because it only looks at individuals (and frequently one’s own self) and usually involves judgment about the people in question.
  • “Average minds discuss events.” For example, what sports team won or lost, how is global climate change proceeding, when might extraterrestrials openly visit our planet, and wider happenings like that. In politics, it includes talking about how a party’s policies have changed the country for good or ill. This area is somewhat more expanded, since events involve groups of people instead of just individuals, however it’s still limited to occurrences taking place in time and space, and again often involves classification about whether specific events are positive or negative.
  • “Great minds discuss ideas.” For example, what are the best ways to grow food off the grid, how does one develop compassion, what is the purpose behind animals killing each other in nature, and universal truths like that. In politics it can consider what policies are best for society, and beyond that what is “best” for a society in general. This level is the most expanded, since philosophical and other ideas are timeless and universal, and don’t really belong to any one person or time period, but rather are eternal concepts that some manage to tap into.
The quote about great, average, and small minds is sometimes presented as a challenge, with a concluding statement of, “What type of mind do you have?” It suggests that being able to expand consideration from mundane people to group events to universal ideas is a good/better/best hierarchy of virtue. Indeed, many people live mundane lives and aren’t able to abstract beyond their own little worlds and self-interest. However, as with many things in life, a balanced approach is best. To only consider or discuss on the level of ideas can also be limited, and can disconnect one from some of the best aspects of what it means to be human. We don’t want to reject one level for another, as much as we want to be able positively integrate these different levels of discussion and awareness. For example, a philosopher or inventor connecting with an idea is a good start, however it’s important for them or other people to take that idea and ground it so it can actually appear in our world. In other words, allow the idea to manifest, which becomes an event, which benefits people. :) Eleanor Roosevelt accomplished that to good degree with her work in human rights.

Monday, March 23, 2015

I’m proud to be an Earthling!

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Many spiritual people say that they “came to this planet” to serve. On the whole that’s a very good thing, as there’s certainly much that can be improved upon our planet. However, we often say that we’re starseeds, extraterrestrials in human bodies, Indigo Children, Angels incarnate, or various other lofty (or sometimes more subtle) terms such as being enlightened or awake.

A potential problem with using terms like this is that they can be forms of pride, or ways of separating ourselves from the planet and the people that we’re trying to help. These terms suggest that we’re better than the planet and the masses of supposedly ordinary people upon it, and that we’re just temporarily visiting a slum. This mindset is also a subtle way of disconnecting ourselves from the problems of the world, which can allow us to believe that it’s not our fault if the world goes to heck. After all, if it does then we can just say that those fool Earthlings failed to listen to our wisdom, and we can return to the Pleiades, or Nirvana, or the fairy court, which is our real home instead of what we too often see as boring old unevolved planet Earth.

If we’re here on the planet, regardless of our actual (or wished for) origins, then we should act like it. Instead of serving the planet from an ivory tower, we should roll up our sleeves and take responsibility for the planet. Instead of trying to tell other people what to do, we should be an example and embody it ourselves. Through our successful and integrous living, others will be inspired to do the same (but remember it will be in their own way, and only when they’re ready for it). A classic saying goes, “Children do as their parents do, not as they say.” Similarly, students act as their teachers act, not as they teach. A classic Zen koan talks about a guru who insisted upon eating the same food as his students, and refused better quality food offered to him, with the remark that “when you become the teacher I do not want you to forget this”. :-)

Now, it is true that some entities actually are Masters (however you or whatever tradition chooses to define “Master”), aliens, Angels in human bodies, or whatnot. Similarly, Indigo Children actually exist. We shouldn’t try to deny such concepts, think that some souls aren’t spiritually “older” or more experienced than others, or not be willing to consider alternative origins for life. However it’s important to understand that origins, titles, and even destinations aren’t the important thing to focus upon. What matters is that we’re here and now, together.

We often blame others for the problems of the planet. Different people say the world’s problems are due to the Illuminati conspiracy, the one percenters, Bush or Obama, increasingly oversized and inefficient government, reptilian extraterrestrials, corporate greed, chemtrails, rap music, or so on, and that everything would be great if only “those people” would just change and behave the way that we know is obviously best for them. That however disconnects us from the problem, and disempowers us into thinking that things outside of us need to change for the world to improve. It’s similar to blaming things on a classic scapegoat Satan or devil figure. Disliking others when they’re not perfect makes us dislike ourselves when we’re not perfect. There’s a lot we can do by admitting our own part in or contribution to the world’s problems.

Again, none of this is meant to say that there aren’t specific causes of problems in the world, which are sometimes connected to specific groups, and that there are things that can and do need to be addressed in others and ourselves, but the important thing is our attitude and approach. It’s a very subtle distinction that may not be readily apparent, but can make a world of difference. Dealing with these issues is part of what makes us human, and why I’m proud to be an Earthling, and honored to share this beautiful and crazy planet, warts and all, with each and every one of you! ♥

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is it time to replace the 12 month calendar?

Image: The 20 seals in the Dreamspell calendar
Most calendar systems are based on the year, in which a solar year is divided into 12 months of 30-31 days on average. The Gregorian Calendar that originated in Europe, and is now used by much of the world, is organized like this. Similarly, the tropical zodiac is divided into 12 signs which are one month each.
In contrast to solar calendars, there also exist lunar calendars. A lunar synodic month (or length between one Full Moon and the next) is roughly 29.5 days. A calendar based on lunar phases would have 12.4 lunar months in a year, which is irregular but still more than 12. An alternative is to have 28 days or exactly four weeks in a month. That nicely results in exactly 13 months in a 364 day year, with one or two leap days to reach the average 365.24 days in a year.
The “13 Moon” calendar has been proposed as a replacement for the Gregorian Calendar or solar calendars in general. For example, the Dreamspell Mayan calendar popularized by José Argüelles is designed like this. The Moon and the number 13 have a feminine quality, and promoting this calendar over the Gregorian Calendar can be seen as helping promote feminine energies over outdated patriarchal structures. Lunar calendars are significant and a useful thing to consider, however it’s also important to see the bigger picture that encompasses both calendar systems.
  • Solar calendars are best for temperate regions near the poles. If you live in a temperate region, then the four seasons of three months each are a critical part of your experience and activities (such as planting, harvesting, preparing for winter, and so on). That means the position of the Sun or lack thereof is very important to timing, however the Moon plays little role because it’s often hidden behind stormy overcast skies for days at a time.
  • Lunar calendars are best for tropical regions near the equator. If you live on or near the equator, then you experience little in the way of seasons, and the good weather means you see the Moon virtually every night. In stories that take place in warmer regions, such as the classic novel “Island of the Blue Dolphins”, characters refer to events that happened “many Moons ago”, because months are very apparent while years mean little.
In summary, there’s no one correct calendar system. The right calendar to use depends upon the person or culture, along with their location in the world and what they’re trying to accomplish with it. Balance is needed, both with calendar systems and with gender issues in general. If an individual or group can understand both types of calendar system, and not fixate upon one while trying to suppress or replace the other, then they can make progress toward balancing the polarities within their own beings.
A visual image may be useful: A sphere contains both an equator and its two poles. The equator is a circle, which is more feminine in shape, and is associated with using the “feminine” polarity lunar calendar. The north and south poles form a rod penetrating through the center of the earth, which is more masculine in shape, and is associated with using the “masculine” polarity solar calendar. When both are present and working in harmony, we have a complete sphere, or unity and Oneness. :-) 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Four Levels of Perception

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Until we achieve an extremely high level of evolution, we each appear to exist as an independent being separate from other independent beings and the world surrounding ourselves. In other words, there’s a “self” and a “not-self”. The nature of perception (and even the very nature of consciousness itself) is energies that influence the self. These influences can be external impacts from the not-self upon the self, or they can be internal processings within the self. Below are four different levels upon which things can be externally perceived and internally processed:
Physical: senses (external) and urges (internal): The physical level means our bodies. On the physical level, a sense is a bodily perception of something external which impacts upon it. The classic five senses are touch, hearing, sight, taste, and smell. Some physical perceptions come from within the body, and include urges such as hunger, thirst, sleepiness, and so on. Physical pain often starts from an external impact, but continued pain afterward is internal discomfort.
Astral: emotions (internal) and feelings (external): The astral level means attractions and repulsions. An emotion is an internal reaction to a situation, which may manifest as a desire, aspiration, or result in an outburst of some form. The term “feeling” is rather general, and can be applied to everything from physical touch to spiritual intuition. In this context “feeling” is defined as a psychic reception. It’s easy to confuse emotions with true feelings. People sometimes call their emotions feelings, such as “I feel angry”. However, truly feeling anger is psychically picking up on anger outside yourself, which is actually quite rare. For example, one can use physical senses to pick up on somebody’s non-verbal expression, process that sense mentally and think that means they’re expressing anger, and then have an internal emotional reaction that perceives them as an opponent, but that’s different from directly sensing something astrally.
Mental: thoughts (internal) and receptions (external): The mental level means the level of intellect and the mind. Thoughts are intellectual processings and judgments within the head, analyzing ideas or memories within. As with the astral level, an external mental perception is rare, which we'll define using the word “reception”. A reception is telepathically picking up on an idea. Mental reception is rare because usually we use our physical senses to pick up on printed words (such as what you’re doing by reading this now :) and then mentally think thoughts and make judgments based upon them. Internal thoughts often turn into internal emotions when mental processings result in judgments, which create a positive or negative reaction. Mystics who prefer the richness of feelings to the dryness of thoughts have a important point, because a feeling is an external perception which brings in something new, while thoughts are just one’s internal processings which are frequently the same old tapes on autorepeat.
Intuitive (internal and external): Intuition is true spiritual perception, which takes place on a level beyond matter, emotion, and mind. Being spiritual, true intuition takes place on unified levels, so doesn’t really have external and internal forms. When intuition is contacted, we often label it as external channeling or internal knowing, but ultimately those are just labels for the same essential concept. Intuition can only be directly experienced, and therefore must be later reflected in mental thoughts, emotional feelings, or physical expression in order for us to record it or share it with others. We often label things as intuition that aren’t. For example, mental conclusions, psychic impressions, and even physical “gut feelings” are mental/emotional/physical perceptions on denser levels that sometimes get mistaken for true intuition.
Many situations take place on multiple levels. For example, sexual arousal is a physical internal state, but it often starts from being stimulated by external senses. It also involves non-physical perception, such as horniness being an internal emotional state of desiring sexual contact. Also, many perceptions result in others. For example, an emotional desire causes one to internally think about how they may satisfy it, which results in physical action. The reverse can happen too: Internal thinking may cause one to make a judgmental conclusion and have a positive or negative emotional response to it. Thoughts and emotions go back and forth so often and are so intertwined that eastern religions have a term for it: kama-manas or “desire-mind”. Being able to develop, identify, and refine our perceptions is an important part of character growth and eventually the spiritual Path.