Tag Archives: self realization

When Creativity Is On the Line

I was talking to a student today about choosing courses. The student was reluctant to take a more challenging course next year because he didn’t want to do a science research project. After more conversation, he decided that he was terrified that his research project would fail or that he would not have any creative ideas.

The fear he felt looked a lot like the fear of life: we make a committment without knowing the outcome, we are born to be unique without knowing what that looks like, and we are given raw material without the plans (bacause we are the dynamic, living plans). Life can be frightening because nothing guarantees that we will “succeed.”

I felt puzzled while listening to the student – how can one carry so much doubt about having creative ideas? I am always in creative mode: moving, adjusting, reevaluating, researching, asking “what if…”, and ceaselessly reconfiguring my understanding of the questions I want to ask next. But then I remembered that I had similar issues in the past: I worried that I would not have the right answer when I needed to have one ready, or I wouldn’t be able to complete something in time, or whatever I do would not be good enough. I don’t fully remember these feelings now, but I could see their essence through the eyes of this student.

We didn’t talk about life. We talked about ways to approach having creative ideas and allowing ideas to take shape. We talked about looking at work that was done previously, and then saying “What would happen if I changed this…? What would happen if I tried this…?”

Creativity is a billion-dollar subject. People can’t stop talking about innovation to create the “world we can’t even imagine yet” (an overused phrase). In terms of everyday living, such dreams are usually tied into money and profits, which translate to “I can do whatever I want after I make money.

In deeper life terms, spontaneity and creativity are tied into something much more profound than the means to gratify every desire instantly. Creativity is actually about accessing and expressing our true nature, which is flexible, flowing, adept at stitching together bits and pieces into complete creations, and ripping apart old monuments at the right time to make space for change. Creativity does not take any established ideas for granted, and always reevaluates them for how viable they remain.

What we create is a reflection of the art we feel ourselves to be. Both our desire and calling to be creative is a hint that we are more than laborers, or shoppers, or bill-payers. There is something much more magical that unites all of us in the stream of life.

If we believe ourselves to be plastic toy soldiers, popped out of a mould, it may feel safer. Or, we may get behind someone else who seems to know how to move without hesitation – just like when trucks drive behind one another to minimize air resistance. Maybe then we feel like something about life is tried and true and safe.

However, we buy this feeling of safety at a steep cost – our very uniqueness, our self worth, and drawing boundaries around our existence – which we dare never cross. This is what people call a normal life. It is no wonder that highly creative people often stood apart from the crowd, and sometimes stood apart from the mass majority. When these icebreakers owned up to the truth of their being, they no longer fit into the rank and file of society. Their lives were tragic when they cared too much about being out of place, and also made of legend.

To be creative, one has to learn how to play. The toys don’t matter, as long as they help one to express their true nature in new and evolving ways. However, boundless confidence to be creative is not enough without the recognition that we impact the lives of others. Without empathy and compassion, we are mere powertools. Just because we can create many things does not mean that everything should be created.

With power to create comes great responsibility. It is wonderful when our nature is hardwired with kindness. Until we are on automatic, we must take great care to cultivate sensitivity to the big picture of life. If everyone’s creativity spontaneously ignited without the complementary awakening of the heart, humanity would self destruct rather quickly – and in very creative ways!

After our conversation, the student felt hopeful about his ability to try and you could see his creativity begin to move. He has to put himself into action and see the project through to the end. We talked about building something that would benefit others.

He has to experience his ability to live with a situation that does not have a set outcome, and come through with a feeling of knowing himself just a bit more. With each experience, he will learn to recognize when and how to move in life to express his uniqueness within community.

What I Want My Kids to Learn

I hope my kids learn that they have the potential to be unique, that they can trust the process of life above all else, and that they are free to participate fully in their life.

Most people do not awaken to their uniqueness and do things that have been done countless times before. Most people try to control the uncontrollable – and fail. Most people are trapped in illusions, games, virtual realities, self-created worlds – and they enjoy these fragments over the full reality.

What is reality, anyway? I see it as that which results from an uninterrupted conscious connection to what lives all of us. Reality is the deep-dive into a fiery pit that burns up anything that is not It. What remains is a unique embrace of human and Divine that shines its own light – much like a star that reaches critical temperature for sustained nuclear fusion: the initial burst of light pushes gases out of the way, and then the star is free to beam into space and entwine its light with matter through all expanse.

Reality is unique for each of us because no two will embrace the Divine the same way. Paradoxically, It is also absolute. So, reality is not for the mind to understand but for Life itself to birth as It goes.

I am a pragmatist above all else. As someone who has lived through a wide spectrum of experiences and have overcome numerous hardships, I have come to understand that nothing in life is certain. Life broke me of the desire for certainty because certainty does not exist amidst flux. Then comes the question – how does one live in the face of constant change? Self-reliance, perseverance, and a life-wise telephoto lens that zooms in and out of detail – so that you can see the forest and the trees.

My pragmatism is not cold survivalism. While I identify possibilities and open doors for opportunities to grow, I also burn closed loops and dead pathways. Thus, I risk everything to be true to what I am and I trust That. My life is akin to grooming a Bonzai tree: I prune dead ends, and I cultivate potential channels for expression that is ever near and dear to the core of my being.

I prefer the sweet satisfaction of doing joy, happiness, and exploring new ways to move in our ever changing world. I teach in a school, but I am not a “teacher.” I write, but I am not a “writer.” I make jokes and laugh, but I am no “comedian.” I sing, but I am no “rock star.” Who we are cannot have a label. We can only be seen for all that we are by those who have the ability to see.

I hope my kids will see deeply into life and move with life – partner with life. I hope for them to see the limitations of video games and YouTube channels and movies and shallow conversation, and to be unsatisfied with anything shy of their depth.

Life leaves us breadcrumbs and constant signals to guide us into our fullness. Why not follow these? Why not surrender to truth that can only exist as we live it? While we have the potential to be alive, few have dared to tap it. Most seek safe nooks to hide in and live like hibernating bears. They eat, drink, seek pleasure, and dream. They suffer as the reality of life bleeds through their illusions and causes friction. I hope for my kids to see this root cause of suffering.

If there is no one to see a rainbow, does it exist? A rainbow is the effect of sunlight passing through water droplets and exiting the droplets at just the right angle. The observer must be at a certain location relative to the sun to see the rainbow! If there is no observer there, did the rainbow occur? Yes it did. The light went to that location to be received – whether or not it was received. The Universe recognizes all opportunities and possibilities, whether or not they were engaged. The secret to life is knowing that the truth is always available – to humanity and all else. Being human is not the only way to embrace the Divine, after all.

I hope for my kids to recognize the richness of life, and to see both their individuality and the Whole they represent. I hope for them to pierce the miasm of self-doubt that casts a shadow on the human race. Self-doubt is the leading cause of suicide, as I understand it, which the CDC reported today to be on the rise by 25% since 1999. When reality rubs against our limited perception, the result is disillusionment and unbearable pain. Few recognize this pain as an opportunity to see beyond our limited definition of life. What we think isn’t what it is. Anything to stop the pain, even die. I’ve been there, but I pulled up. It is extremely difficult to do in the moment of hitting bottom.

I hope for my kids to understand the intrinsic and uncaused value of life. They are more than the sum of their thoughts, actions, and words. They are a Big Bang poised to birth a universe. They are deeply loved. They lack nothing. They cannot be defined simplistically, and thus can never be judged for being.

I hope for my kids to choose wisely and to learn the map of how life works in its current state. They must navigate relationships with mostly self-absorbed people who are still asleep, shifting economic trends, and constant choices. Choices have consequences, and timing is everything. Learning to feel the clocks of life starting and stopping is key.

I know that no one can ruin my life because I am responsible for my choices. There is a huge difference between taking responsibility and casting blame. I hope for my kids to learn this difference so that they hold others – and themselves – accountable without blaming.

I hope for my kids to have the courage to be themselves, and the wisdom to not martyr themselves. Wisdom grows as you let go into the moment and allow yourself to be in whatever the moment is, taking appropriate action that expresses you. After all, you is all there is when you let go. Honing the craft of engaging the moment is to master life.

Peace Amidst Uncertainty

I am resting – in peace. Peace is not just for death, but is here and now – for life. Everything in my life is uncertain right now, and I rest peacefully nonetheless.

I have traveled to the US from another country – from a life that would be considered difficult by most measures. I have my citizenship, but I have never felt what home feels like – not even at my country of origin. I have let go of needing a place or people to feel at home.

I’ve arrived at the end of my marriages. I had wanted marriage and friendship to be certainty, but nothing in life is certain. And yet, I feel peace.

My past is loosening from every fiber of my being – my memories, my dreams – everything is letting go. Perhaps, it is I who am letting go of everything.

On a long drive to and from a graduate class I am taking, I noticed that – despite wanting to feel regret – I do not feel regret. Everything was as it was, and now it is what it is.

Society drills into us certain ways of relating to life – that we must want, need, desire something to feel alive. If these dreams do not come true, then we must claw or cling. It was difficult for me to see through that. Now I see how, just as our brains decode light frequencies into color, we want to decode certain patterns in life. It is we who define the norms and what life should feel like when some need is not met.

Time either heals or makes things unworkable. So we adjust. On the other side, across the adjustment barrier, is something very simple. Something devoid of wanting, and yet something that cares deeply for oneself.

I feel a lack of tolerance for anything that binds me unnecessarily, or drains me. I feel care for myself. I know what I can and cannot do or give. I also know what I cannot take. Thus, it is even easier to feel care and compassion for others. I feel no need to validate my life, nor to be amidst tension and discomfort.

It’s not detachment to rest amidst complete uncertainty. Although I do not have any idea how the situations in my life will play out, I can still feel complete peace. I wait for insight – am I still responsible to someone? And, what are my choices? And, I continue, moment to moment. Of course, I still love.

I see a world filled with dreams and desires – people wanting things from the earth, from life, and from each other. Most of my life felt like a void that needed to be filled and completed. Now the void is free, and I am still here. No safety nets. No assurances. Just life. I could not know how this felt until I was in the situation to feel it. Now I know.

Knowing this is calming, soothing, and quiet. I feel quiet inside and out.

I am wondering how my life will feel day-to-day now that I know I have everything in nothing.

Living as Enlightenment – Part 2

See Part 1 Q&A here…. We’ll pick up where we left off….

Question: What is the most important aspect of being human?

Answer: A human being is embodied potential to be both the finite and the infinite. It’s not quite clear to me how this came to be, but it seems to be the way it is.

When I see a person, I cannot focus on their superficial qualities or personality. I see something deeper that speaks to me directly – something I know and understand intimately.

I am still taken aback when I realize that the people I interact with don’t know who they are and what their awareness can grow into. Everyday life obsessions of “he said, she said” are so removed from my experience that I need to translate these dramas into something I can understand.

People want to be loved, and people mostly feel unworthy of love. There is fear. This seems to be the root of so much complexity and drama here. People define conditions and have expectations, which is diametrically opposed to embracing reality as it is. They spend a lot of time and energy trying to change life topography before they even find themselves on the map.

Nevertheless, everything the human race is going through is a stepping stone. No experience or realization is wasted – it is all raw material for the proverbial staircase to heaven.

When a human being glimpses that potential with the whole body and mind, no matter how short-lived, that is important. Then, this being knows that he or she is paradoxically becoming what one already is. Embracing this paradox is important and unique to the human nervous system, which is an exotic interface to the infinite.

Question: What does it feel like to observe people go through painful situations, even if some are self-created?

Answer: It depends. Over time, it is becoming more difficult for me to focus on individuals. Mostly, I feel the ebb and flow of the human race as a whole. Those individuals who recognize that I am noone in a body – they are easier to pinpoint because they must feel that they are the same as That on some level.

Some people – I feel like I know them, have known them, even if they are seeming strangers. I am already connected to them somehow and usually try to help them in some way. I will talk with them, give them attention, and sometimes take their pain. Of course, I never take money…. that is something I do not do. Maybe occasional food 🔆

Sometimes people say they don’t know why I care or help…. I see this dilemma as being separate from one’s true nature. If you know who you really are, you realize that there is nothing else to do but be available – you do what you are 24/7. There is no layer of planning or thinking about what I can get back. It just doesn’t work that way.

Most importantly, when I do not feel that draw to act, I don’t act. It is not my place, not my time. I trust and live that.

Question: If the enlightened being’s state is so different from the turmoil of this world, how can an enlightened being exist here?

Answer: At some point, the enlightened state will not be as rare as it is now. More and more people will break through the illusion of living as embodied shadows.

However, at this time, the difference in consciousness of the majority and the free beings is so dramatic that living here is not easy.

It is not easy to see people feel and act trapped, hearts break, and happiness be dependent on life’s conditions in a given moment.

I no longer cry except on rare occasions when there is united suffering of a group of people asking for help. I feel their pain as if it were my pain – vividly, viscerally, and running on all cylinders through my body.

But as the pain runs through me and has nothing to stick to. So, I put my attention on these people with a clear heart.

After enlightenment, attention does not wonder randomly, nor does it come with an intention for a specific outcome. Rather, the very act of such attention does what it can to alleviate pain and transmit a stable and unconditionally happy state of being automatically.

I have seen this act of attention bring healing to some. Bring clarity. It is a mystery to me how it works.

One thing is clear is that attending to people is an impersonal act – there is no agenda, just a pull to be there with all that is happening.

Does this tire me? Often. I need a lot of sleep to exist here and to allow my body to rebalance.

Question: Does an enlightened being look forward to being finally free of this world at death?

Answer: Every being feels a draw to the next level. However, in enlightenment, there is no urgency or need for a specific timeline.

In fact, the notion of time being something to grasp vanishes. There is only now, as cliche as that may sound. I am literally unaware of past memories or future anticipation. I am just here, and right now there is nowhere else to be.

One could say that I don’t think about my future, but that is not quite true. To function here, I need to address real-life situations, family and work responsibilities, and forge practical strategies for living with my family. I make an effort to plan living – physical life requires that. However, decision-making is fairly easy and quick. The compass always points north.

So, I do what needs to be done with the understanding that everything here – including my responsibilities, joys, and setbacks – all are temporary.

Living like this does not result in regrets or feelings of confusion. There are no looping thoughts and no unresolved dilemmas. The entire life is a simple, undirected unfolding – much like a flower greeting the Sun. And I am there with it all – both an observer and a participant.

I do not fear death, nor do I dwell on it. I just know when it’s not yet a good day to die.

What’s With All the Life Drama?

People are dramatic in so many ways. Why is there so much drama flying around the world? There is drama at all scales – from the individual to the global arena.

If you study history, very little has changed about human perspective in several thousand years…. People still find things to defend and attack…. People still view themselves as the stars of their own life movies, trying to problem-solve their existence. But who is the watcher watching one’s life?

Furthermore, people love to watch others go through drama. They want to relate to someone else going through similar emotions and look for ideas about how they can handle various situations to bring about desirable outcomes? Of course, there is no agreement on what is truly desirable because desires also vary.

Such is our life – method actors are immersed in their characters so completely that there is no awareness of the difference between the role and What lives that role.

We lose ourselves to identification with our bodies, emotions, sensations, obstacles, and triumphs – all temporary in the grand auditorium where we are working out our “stuff.” We are all trying to sort out what we like, want, and need. I was listening to an 80-year old woman on a podcast, talking about how she is still trying to figure out what she truly wants in life….Age is clearly irrelevant to life while life is still a puzzle to be solved.

We want to know how to cope with change, setbacks, promotions, family, friends, and partners. Drama is the result. It is the reason why so many stories are published and the best-seller list never dries up. Hollywood can’t crank out movies fast enough to feed our yearning for “solutions.” Drama is the way a large number of people grow and interact together to make sense of our reality.

Unfortunately, drama becomes its own game of illusion when people forget to step back and reflect on what is fueling the energy of our interactions. What do we really want? At which critical point do we realize that we are not the games we play, nor do we have to buy into the games of others – regardless of how urgent and real anything may feel in the moment? Forgetting that drama is drama is entertaining, but removed from reality.

If you go to a quiet space and reflect on who is reflecting on your life, that is the beginning – the first step. Buddhists call this consciousness The Watcher.

But there is not a single layer to the onion. In fact, after you shift to identifying with the Watcher, you find that there is another Watcher right on its heels.

Shifting your conscious identification from one Watcher to the next is the process of enlightenment – until there are no more Watchers left – only you. It is not as simple as just passively observing…. each new awareness brings with it changes in the body, the mind, and creativity. The entire being shifts dynamically into a new state. I think Buddhists understate this process and make it sound like enlightenment is all about detachment, which it is not.

I used to think enlightenment was a single event, a flash…. Maybe for some. For me, it turned out to be a rapid unfolding with intense paradigm shifts until I alone stood in union.

When no Watchers remained and I have gone as far as I could while alive in this body, I was no longer sure that I am human. The shift in perspective and the instant insight into the underlying dynamics of people and events casts a different light on life. I stepped off the stage, or I simply dissolved in mid-act. I do not exist in a conventional sense. Whatever I am, I must still maintain my everyday life. And I also have a relationship to Life that is a full embrace without any drama. Yet, I can put on a show if I need to.

To a therapist, an enlightened person would certainly be someone to treat…. After all, what normal person willingly surrenders their life for the benefit of others and without negating oneself, does not charge money to teach those who want to learn in earnest, refuses to teach those who are not ready and never judges others – no matter their drama? What human being suffers the pain and feels the joy of others all over the globe as if all were happening to him or herself? What human being takes the pain of others when possible and permitted without wanting anything in return?

A therapist would surely find such a being to have some kind of a Savior Complex. After all, saving others is such an “important” task and naturally gives one’s life meaning. Certainly this is true for many people, but they are not enlightened. They are simply playing the Savior role.

An enlightened being is not a “someone” who feels that he or she has anything to “get” from being alive here. Such a concept is so foreign to practically all people that it is very hard to believe. And yet, this possibility of being no one in a body is very real. This is where the drama stops, the hall of mirrors vanishes, and life is revealed for what it truly is – union with the Divine and our unique abilities to manifest this union.

These messages about life need to go

When we are born and open our eyes, we immediately begin to shape our beliefs about life.

Some messages we receive are blatant – “be careful” (or, “always be on guard”). Other messages are more subtle, like “you must work hard to live” and “mistakes are always punished.”

I’ve taken stock of the nonconstructive messages with which our unconscious may be bombarded – and we can carry these stoways for decades or a lifetime. While an unexamined life is still worth living, examining our underlying beliefs sure makes life easier.

What concerns me most is that our young people are getting these messages much faster now than in previous years, and this can be devastating to forming their identities. What can we do to change this?

Here is a list, based on careful observation and bypassing doublespeak. Some are quotes from songs and burrow in the unconscious faster. The unconscious speaks in life-or-death terms, which is probably due to our survival evolution and self-protection.

  • Happiness is equal to having our basic survival needs met – everything else is gravy.
  • Happiness is being better than someone else.
  • Happiness is found in distraction from real life (if we can’t be better than others).
  • We will seldom or never do what we truly like.
  • We are born to work hard until we die.
  • Fight for everything or die. Dominate, or be dominated.
  • Everyone is replaceable.
  • There is never enough of what we need.
  • No one will ever accept us for who we really are.
  • No one cares about our lives, even if they pretend to.
  • Unconditional love is impossible.
  • We are fundamentally flawed.
  • We are ugly.
  • We are stupid and incompetent.
  • We lack creativity.
  • We are broken.
  • Our lives are meaningless and we are worthless.
  • Mistakes are not allowed – on any level.
  • We are fundamentally and always alone.
  • Trust no one.
  • Fear everything.
  • We live on borrowed time. There is never enough time.
  • Intergity is overrated – it gets you in trouble. Lying is easier.
  • Nothing is our bithright, except suffering. (“There’s no such thing as free lunch, unless it’s trash.”)
  • Only the good die young and are free of this prison.
  • Life is hell. Shit always happens.
  • Live for today and don’t think about tomorrow.
  • The only true gift is sensual pleasure – party as much as you can.
  • Feel nothing to feel no pain.
  • We don’t deserve to be truly happy.
  • When life gets you down, get back up – but don’t expect it to be any different.
  • There is no free will, and we don’t get to choose anything of consequence (except maybe the flavor of our cereal).
  • Life is a slow death.
  • Aging is to be avoided.
  • Only a few chosen ones can serve as an intermediary between the Divine and us.
  • Look forward to death because something better awaits us on the other side. The dead are “in a better place.”

Many people don’t realize what they actually believe deep inside until they take the time to unravel what lies beneath. Imagine having self-denigrating and often-contradictory beliefs driving your choices (which you do have) and actions. Self-sabotage is so common – why is that?

The truth is – when you do realize that all of the above are fundamentally unnecessary to living here and now, you are free here and now. Until then, a practical vision of a happy humanity is all but impossible.

So, how do we begin to unravel this mess? More importantly, what evidence is there that alternatives are possible? Yes, many people talk about achieving health and wealth, but we may think that they are charlatans or just lucky….Also, is pure wealth what anybody wants, or is it just a means to an end? Often we want or believe something, but stop short of understanding why.

I believe that the solution lies deeper than trying positive thinking and gimmicks to make a fast buck. We need a paradigm shift at a very fundamental level to dismantle the systems that have taken over our lives – and we have already outgrown them.

First and foremost, the people close to us have much power over our subconscious. Parents, partners, and close friends regularly catalyze us to accept beliefs without questions. We internalize who we think we are based on the reflections others project onto us because we trust the relationship, no matter how dysfunctional. Perhaps parenting, relationships, and frienship education should be freely available to all aiming to live sane lives.

Can we believe that getting our basic needs met is our birthright – especially with all the breakthroughs we have achieved to date? It’s not a stretch. We are not hunters and gatheres anymore – why do we think like them? Perhaps because our safety and survival is not a given – still. It is amazing that many people continue to resort to fear tactics and manipulation to block our transition into a safe world. Homelessness, hunger, and deep poverty are unnecessary. Economic status (to secure these basic human rights) is not sane. We are still so focused on survival, but – barring natural cataclysms – is it still necesary? And the organized bullies of the world – how are you still allowed to operate and commit atrocities with all our military might? At which point does a nation or religious group square away that it is the most worthy of the Divine, when we all come from the same source?

Can we believe that we should have more leisure time? Of course. The increase in automation has already made many jobs obsolete, and the trend will just continue. Of course Universal Basic Income is the next step – but how can we implement this without further becoming enslaved?

Can we accept that every life has intrinsic value? That’s tough when we are taught that everyone is expendable and replaceable. So, our value system has to grow up and mature. Not accepting that life is precious with opportunity to be free in wisdom may also be the reason we hate ourselves and dread our lives. Please don’t genetically engineer us! Go sell that someplace else – we are all stocked up here!

Can we believe that education can evolve into a new structure that supports unique gifts and nurtures inherent strengths? I have visions of how learning could be catalyzing to individuals, but this vision cannot be fulfilled by online learning alone. Social (face-to-face) contexts must continue for us to remain a society. However, it is no secret that Bill Gates and others want to see all education go online. No, we must continue to see and talk to people with the fundamental heartset that everyone has value. Teachers would not only engage the learning of ideas, but also guide social learning – so that we build a healthy view of fully individualized life and interactions. To be and work together, and to be fulfilled, many have to unlearn their knee-jerk reactivity that stems from the unexplored unconscious.

Can we learn that our bodies have the ability to restore health beyond pharmaceuticals? Most countries do, but these don’t have such an active pharma and processed food/drink/agricultural industry. In fact, when the US lands in developing countries, such as Mexico, they quickly degenerate in health and quality of life. And this fact is documented. Those who resist the KFC’s and Coca Cola‘s, for example, are threatened to fear for their lives.

Today, I watched a video on Prime called The Science of Fasting. Yesterday, I watched a TED talk on battling cancer with sound waves. However, such information is generally muted by the “ask your doctor” commercials about taking drugs.

In fact, we may need to learn more about how advertsing works to better understand the world and self views, which ads may promote. Many skillfully bypass our conscious processes and lodge directly in the unconscious.

It’s time we accept the truth that if something is possible and probable and serves those with influence, it is being done – even if it rejects basic sanity and care. It is very possible for food and drug companies to continuously sell to us and use powerful advertising techniques, which literally make us believe that they have our best interests while playing on our insecurities. In fact, disease is good for business! It is very possible and probable that these businesses do not value us at all and use us. Industries themselves have not yet matured to realize that they are useful only some of the time – but such a paradigm is not good for profits or power.

What we can do immediately is ask ourselves “What do I really believe?” and “Where does this belief come from?” It’s a start to becoming free of acceding to systemic influences. Maybe, like me, you’ll find that most of your beliefs have to go. When the cupboard is empty, please fill it with truth and self value….

Fighting the Self-Hatred Epidemic

***After I pulsed out the original version of this post, I got feedback. Thank you for the questions. It is important to get this right – I learn from you every day.***

There is an epidemic spreading and taking root in the West. It is subtle and nearly invisible in some cases, and more blatant in others. Most importantly, there is a cure, but this cure requires us to recognize the epidemic in the first place. If we are not afflicted, then we can try to help others as best we can.

When the New Age movement started, many fine authors talked about the importance of self-love. There was a stir in the Western world to become more gentle with oneself, to heal the inner child, and to learn to set boundaries with inappropriate behaviors and people. This was good. What is so important about self-love anyway, besides a better quality of life?

It turns out that self-love is not just an emotion or a feeling. Instead, it is an actual configuration of the physical and more subtle nervous systems to receive and be able to hold Spirit in form. Without self-love we literally reject uniting with Spirit and we block Its connection to, through, and as Us. Alternatively, even if we achieve Union, our nervous system can literally fry from this energy if it is unprepared to hold It. There are many pathways to Union with Spirit – there have to be – but the milestones of levels of freedom or degrees of Union appear to be similar. I am not just talking about Kundalini energy here – raising Kundalini energy is no guarantee of enlightenment.

Now the self-hatred epidemic is running rampant again. We had received doses of an antiobiotic, but then built immunity. There are forces at work in this world that have an interest in devolving the majority of the human race, and these forces have been working in new, different, and more conniving ways to manipulate people to accept self-hatred as the norm – and even believe that they feel self-love while engaging in self-loathing. This may not apply to you because you see through it, I understand, and yet there are many caught in this net at this time.

Who or what would wish to sabotage the human race in this way? Think about it…. An enlightened global community is very dangerous to those who believe the world population must be controlled – and enlightened beings are fundamentally free and happy (i.e., not controllable). The easiest way to keep developed populations down is by instilling hidden belief systems that one is fundamentally flawed and screwed up the core, unworthy, guilty, crazy, and just generally meaningless. There are entire theses in think tanks about how to manage world dynamics! Of course there are…. While people go about their daily lives, there are those who carefully deliberate how to generate stability and instability in various communities at various times to achieve control.

One would think that such a negative framework pervading social structures would drive mass majority to suicide, but that is not the case. Instead, it lulls the population into a kind of low- or mid-grade depression, inertia, and various autoimmune responses, OR the perversion of self-love as narcissism, racism, and other forms of “better-than-you”-isms. Both ends of the spectrum are breeding-grounds for separation at the Soul level, fueled by increased distractions that take one away from the simple core idea that one can achieve Union with Spirit and embody It uniquely with full consciousness of the Whole.

Thousands of years ago, yogis attained enlightenment in caves and on river edges, under trees and while sitting on wild grass. They discovered that the human nervous system was capable of a transformation that would ignite all form with Spirit to manifest a new kind of life that would emphasize our creative potential, making fear and the fight for survival obsolete. However, there are those who want to make enlightenment impossible for the human race by destabilizing the psyche, overwhelming people with work or the lack of work, monopolizing people’s attention with distractions, and ultimately damaging our nervous systems to make us permanently unable to feel the flow of Life. Yes, imagine that our nervous systems become so rigid to change and numbed by fear that we become trapped as fragmented consciousness in matter until the world simply winds down – which it will, some day. In other words, we will begin to forget more and more that we are fragments of One Spirit AND be completely convinced that we have achieved full potential at the same time! That is the worse case scenario – not knowing that we don’t know.

We must fight for our lives and sanity from a place of peace to be truly available to pure intention and attention, and resist the urge to fight from a place of anger and sadness. We must, once again, build reminders into our day to choose self-kindness and use these moments to invite Spirit in and embrace It. Once again, we must find good counselors to heal various traumas and let these go. When we are bombarded with messages to fear for our lives, we must flick a switch to choose relationship to every aspect of our lives, to forgive ourselves, and to let go into simple being. This is a moment-by-moment practice, relentless and filled with heart-felt yearning.

Another result of the lack of self-love is the desire to escape. The opiode epidemic is only one example. Besides drugs and alcohol, there are also emerging belief systems that we are shifting into a new Earth (and leaving the “unready” behind). But there is just this Earth – this one right now, and with this you and everything else on it. And if you think about it, is escaping and leaving others behind spiritual, even if it were possible?

The desire to escape suffering and pain is built into the manipulation and prepares masses to become lost in video games and, ultimately, “virtual fiction” reality – possibly removed many levels from this reality. We already see this behavior taking over many people because “it feels better than reality.” Sadly, this trend takes us deeper into the dark well of devolution. We must fight to feel the Sun on our faces, the grass and sand between our toes, and the touch of another’s hand in our hand to remain connected.

True freedom does not require any specific material or life conditions to be happy and awake. Life does not have to work out for you to become free and feel happy. How can it be freedom otherwise? It’s nice when things go well. But things don’t always go well. When stuff happens, does the enlightened state disappear or go on hold? No.

The yearning for enlightenment can die for us if we buy into unconscious self-rejection and escape. This would be tragic when we have the key to a revolution and an unhinged marriage of Spirit and Matter as individual expression. Enlightenment does not require props – only a consistent leap of faith that it is very possible for you, and the intense yearning to break through.

The great news is that the Light is always there and ready for you. It waits, poised for that instant when you accept yourself just long enough for It to get in and stay. You will literally feel a physical sensation of It pouring into the crown of your head and taking hold of the brain stem – and that is only the beginning. It has to stabilize.

There are endless opportunities all day long to yearn, release, and surrender to what lives you. Self-hatred and the Light are like oil and water, and the meditation must become a fight with the total fire of your will to burn through the thicket that falsely guards and separates you from the truth.

The new mantra is that “all the truth is within.” Sure, but we may not be able to understand it or even misinterpret it. Some say “we don’t need teachers – we can do it ourselves.” If it were that easy, we would have all done it by now and be living as a world community of free beings. But this is not the case, is it?

We have to be practical and streetsmart about spirituality for it to continue to be a force for good. For many, this means seeing through self-hatred, the desire to control and dominate, the need to be right, be powerful, be knowledgeable, be smarter, be “good-er.”

We are at a tipping point of falling into deeper illusion or waking up. There are enlightened beings. They just live – mostly incognito. Why are they still here, working hard amidst the dark tragedies, human hardships, and atrocities still going on? Why haven’t they just vanished into the rainbow of the “next level”? After they die, there will be others. But, at some point, the world may reject such beings altogether – it is not easy to be on the Earth plane in a free state, but this does not equate to suffering in human terms.

We can keep the candle of human potential burning by being practical and real with ourselves, questioning everything about our influences and our state, testing ourselves, and rejecting messages that we are flawed or better than others. This will be a fight that can only end in total transformation.

The test for enlightenment is simple – if you do not spend all of your time and during any activity feeling Life, being meditated by Life, and yearning for all to be free, then you are not yet enlightened. If you feel the need to defend or attack anything about yourself, you are not yet awake. If you take pride in what you are, you are not yet happy – because the little you is still there, needing a bigger I. If you need to escape – even as most cry out for help, you are not yet free – free beings tend Unity like a sacred garden. You can have “heaven” in any situation. If you are not living This, you are not yet free.

I often hear the question “Is enlightenment bullshit?” If the torch of true freedom is put out then yes, yes it is….

The Enlightenment Debate

People wonder what Enlightenment is – and good for them! Certainly, Enlightenment promises something wonderful, but what is it? Well, I guess there is some debate about what “it” really is…. Does it have to do with hightened perception, increased intelligence, “love” (another vague, but shiny goal)? If you meet an enlightened being, would you be able to tell they are enlightened?

These are great questions and should be asked by anyone interested in spirituality. Our lives are limited and precious, and should not be wasted on false prophets claiming lofty attainment.

All enlightened beings share a lack of self-absorption. They have a consistent focus on the welfare of others in both action and words. And the more time you spend with such a being, the consistency of their other-focus never wavers – never. To those who are still self-absorbed, it eventually becomes almost annoying to relentlessly consider world issues – not to mention, overwhelming.

Also, enlightened people laugh a great deal and with heartfelt joy. They do not take themselves seriously because there is – literally – no one there. They can display intensity in one moment, and instantly switch gears into levity.

Most importantly, enlightened beings are utterly fearless truth-tellers and truth-seers. They have a seemingly infinite capacity to enter the totality of life, both light and dark, and embrace It in Its entirety. They may not have all the answers, but they can live with the right questions.

Enlightened beings are not power-wielders or manipulators, but respect every life’s potential as the most precious of gems. They shine light in dark corners and have impeccable timing for revealing truth.

Do such people have heightened intelligence? Possibly – it depends on their background and training. However, they certainly have lightning-fast insight into people and life dynamics. In fact, most have highly developed psychic abilities. However, a truly enlightened being does not consider any ability a goal, or relish it as an accomplishment. There is a simple reason for this – when you are plugged into the stream of Life, you sense and perceive Life – it is natural. And natural things are – well – normal.

Lack of self-absorption and unconditional joy are very difficult to fake over time. Those who are not truly enlightened will eventually slip into goal-orientation, ambition, seeking praise and approval, and some expression of fear. No matter how charismatic, such people are eventually discovered for who they truly are. Hopefully, they are simply left to their own evolution without being castigated or judged. They are people on a path, just like others, and deserve kindness, compassion, and generosity of heart just like all people. Some enlightened beings will be attacked unfairly, but they will persevere in service nonetheless.

An enlightened being never makes you feel lowly or faulty. Instead, they befriend you and treat you as an equal in many ways. Even while they may provide you with insight about your life, you feel free to make any choice and are invited to do so. Their lack of judgement of you is, again, a natural by-product of the lack of perceived separation.

When talking to an enlightened being, you feel like you are talking to a wiser version of yourself. This is because this being reflects to you your potential.

Contrary to common belief, enlightened beings do not necessarily have perfect health or perfect manners, nor do they wear white robes. They choose the mode of expression that best matches who they serve. They feel at ease with people of any social status and nationality because artificial social division lines do not exist for them.

Enlightened beings may be visible activists or quiet nurturers of small groups, connected only by their yearning for Union.

If you sense that you are connected to such a being and feel a recognition, reach out to this being and watch their words and actions carefully over time. Watch for subtle or blatant promises of being “advanced,” “powerful,” “psychic,” or “superintelligent” – these are signs of a fake! No enlightened being will promise anything to you, but they will often speak of your potential for freedom from illusion. Most importantly, you will never feel obligated to this being in any way. You may develop a sense of devotion, but this is very different from a feeling of forced obligation.

In this day and age of click-bait, promising everything from chakra unification to lightning-fast thinking, ask yourself – what do these promises have to do with attaining Union with Life? That latter is the primary. Always. Everything else is just a natural result of feeling Life as an intricate and holistic stream. The Divine in motion. The creative possibilities of expression. Any other focus is just the ordinary path toward the clutches of narcissism and self-assertion. No enlightened being is that complicated.

One Day in the Universe

Everything rises, falls, and arises again. We are used to thinking in terms of beginnings and finalities. We look for cycles and patterns as a way to make the world seem more predictable.

We calm ourselves with fragmented insight and knowledge and cling to a promise of something better around the bend – something to look forward to. But our whole is not the Whole because the vantage point is very personal, embroiled with investment of physical, emotional, and mental energy that is but a fragment. Nevertheless, we carry on without giving the dilemma of skewed perspective much consideration.

What if you ceased looking for patterns and cycles for one day in the Universe and simply lived? It is only one day, so you can let go of any fear and anxiety…. You spend this day so fully immersed in every action that you forget to judge – anything.

You notice the fullness of the world in every spec and feel an unbridled joy that seemingly has no cause.

It is only one day, and so you let go of the past, the pain, and the discomfort of being in a body.

This one day, you find balance among all tensions of opposites and simply let go into the ever-moving Life Stream. Life is motion, someone said. So, you move unfettered by preconceptions of how life should be.

You stop the work of crafting your life, and simply embrace yourself as pure awareness. For one day, in the totality of the Universe, this is OK.

You have no need to drink because you are intoxicated by breath, by being breathed. What is breathing you? What is living you?

You realize the illusion of ownership and control because the Universe is your hands, and its stardust flows right through your fingers. You just let go into being, without defining yourself or others.

As you let go more and more, just on this day, you see all as yourself and know yourself as all. You know there is only one being here, wherever here is. You rest with eyes wide open. You may be dead or alive – there is no difference.

You’ve woken from the dream only to rest in one eternal day in the Universe that is alive at all scales – because it is One Life as many, yearning for Unity.

This Unity is the only certain thing on any day, even today.

Fear of Being Real

The fear of being real is very real. Why bother being someone when you think that you are not good enough for others? Being fake is also scary – what if they eventually strip away the veneer and figure out that you may not be all that they’ve believed you were?

This fear goes deeper than reluctance to  reveal beliefs and ideologies, gender identity, sexual orientation, intelligence or education level to a critical audience. This fear is older – ancient – cutting at the core of whether or not you value who you are. And, who are you, anyway?

We often hear that if we love ourselves, we will attract people who love us for who we are. The reality is that we cross paths with all kinds of people, even if we love ourselves through and through.

It may be more accurate to say that if we love ourselves, we attract and keep relationships where we are loved, while appropriately distancing ourselves from those who hurt us. But even this feels incomplete…. I can name a number of people who loved and cared for me when I completely hated myself, and feel gratitude for these kind souls then and now. Some people come in and try to teach us that we are lovable and that love is possible. So, who does one really need to be to be loved?

We don’t really know who we are until other people come along and show us how we feel about ourselves through our relationships.  They mirror back to us all our antics and machinations, and reflect any and all heartfelt movements. We see, we react, and we boil inside when we know that we have allowed ourselves to be false.

At first, relationships mostly teach us who we are not. With every conflict and confrontation with another, we learn when we’ve had enough pretending. With every accolade for playing to an audience, we feel more and more exploited for forgetting our truth. Every time we are ignored or cast aside, we feel our insides twist and the temptation to be whatever we need to successfully pull in relationships – we begin to notice those moments when we feel the need to pose. We don’t like to be lonely, and many also don’t like feeling fake.

Not knowing who we are feels like we are  unpredictable,  uncontrollable –  and that is scary. There is so much uncertainty about doing the right thing to keep our relationships and avoid being lonely. Thus, many people are not interested in who they are – and only care to be the bare minimum to get what they want. And, if they don’t get what they want unless they behave a certain way, they change until they see results. They morph to match expectations rather than being real, and many are good with this setup. However, others will suffer under the industrial-scale pressures of moulding themselves to conform – what to do then?

Feeling that we fall short is not a new thing. While you may interpret this feeling as a negative, that is only an interpretation. What if, instead, you interpret every rejection, dismissal, or act of violenece as a question What am I not willing to do/be to get love? Then the beat changes…. Just asking the question can lead to new words and behaviors, which cast aside the things you are not. You can’t and don’t change who you really are. You just let go of the things you are not. This requires strength, courage, and the wilingness to explore. It is hard work in the beginning, but does get easier.

Perhaps the story of the Promethean gift of fire was passed down to us as a reminder that we are a kind of fire. Eventually, all that is false in us will burn to ashes, and the truth will rise out of these ashes to be seen. Old memories are healed when we allow ourselves to relive them consciously – as long as it takes to let them go, sitting in a pool of tears and tissues.  The fire of the heart burns away old, impacted pain and allows us to be fearless with regards to being who we are.

Ironically, we fear being truly loved because that would mean opening ourselves up. This is not emotional love that needs and clings and uses others for self-validation. If we search ourselves, we may learn that we don’t want more attachment games, and we want something more real. In its pure form, love is an embrace of yourself and the world as pure awareness. It is confidence and self-knowledge. It is vulnerability that can only be perceived as strength. To become this love, we must resist trying to protect ourselves from our own fire.

The journey to truth is a winding path – far from a straight line for most of us. Past hurts cling to the fibers of our being, and we get used to these thorns. They are pain, but we learn how to numb discomfort with overstimulating our days with social interactions, internet crawling, gaming, food, and even drugs of all sorts. Because we have lived, we carry much pain that is unfelt and unknown, but it must be known, released, and set ablaze.

Life is the ancient ritual that frees us, but only if we allow it. This process feels scary because it is a journey into the unknown. However, many have made this journey and live a life that is authentic. Do such people attract all kinds of people? Sure, and they handle situations by being true. Do such people have partners? Some do, and some don’t – it is a choice. Happy people are always beautiful and attractive to others. Are such people free of all pain? Not necessarily, but they know that they are not their pain. Are there risks in being real? Always – after all, we live in a world with so many different people. Being real does require some street-smarts 😀 But, feeling free requires absolutely nothing except just being.

***Please share your thoughts and feelings. I will try to respond.***