Tag Archives: transformation

When People Talk, Who Are They Talking To?

If we consider that our view of the world is shaped by how our brains interpret reality, it’s amazing that we believe that we agree on so much. We have been able to create languages that capture some of our ideas, but there is so much that is absolutely unique to each of us and is never shared with anyone else. Thus, each of us is largely unknown to anyone else.

Our experiences do much more than imprint memories – they actually shape our nervous systems to select what is important, label what we perceive, and respond. It took me a long time to understand that people share much less than they think they do. When people listen, what they hear is passed through their filters. What people see and feel emotionally is also colored by their unique configurations. We all literally live in different worlds, and it is pretty amazing that we coexist despite such a great and invisible divide.

Social norms for behavior turn out to be critical for the human race. No matter how we work on the inside, we make a pact to – at least – present a predictable exterior to others and behave and talk in a certain way. Our norms help us to achieve basic interactions, and we end up hiding the rest of ourselves because there are literally no words. In fact, people pay no attention to the possibility that none of us perceive the same reality – same in ways that truly matter.

Often, when people talk, they are talking to their perceptions of a person in front of them – and not to the actual being. When the other person listens, they are not likely to hear the true intentions behind what is said because they are dealing with their own projection. We look each other in the eye, but fail to see anyone objectively. Why else would we spend so much of our time arguing, mincing words, studying nonverbal communication, and refining social norms?

Why do we marry people who most resemble our parents, or befriend those who are most like our best or worst beliefs about ourselves? Often, we are re-enacting our past. We see old dramas and traumas replaying, and we respond to them as if they are current and real – mostly unconsciously. Others are doing the same. We trigger one another’s fears and doubts, but very little of what we exchange is about the here and now.

We don’t see or hear the present – we are not wired to do so. During our formative years, we mould our perceiving pathways, and these stick into adulthood. Most of what we sense are impressions in a hall of mirrors.

Healing our old traumas helps us to move into the present. However, only enlightenment can break the mould we have constructed for ourselves, which prevents us from truly seeing and hearing others. Perhaps the most disconcerting realization is watching others interact with you while not really perceiving you at all. Then, you feel like a ghost.

The others – a part of them knows that something is amiss – that they too feel like ghosts. Just like in the movie The Others, both the dead and the living sense each other as ghosts. Everyone’s core loneliness is all too evident, and no one can put their finger on the reason why they feel alone among so many people.

There’s no quick fix to this dilemma of nearly every person living within a perception bubble of their own unconscious construction. There’s no clear-cut solution to attaining the much-sought-after trust.

People feel so happy when they make a new friend or fall in love – those initial days and months are all about playing into each other’s illusions. Eventually we all realize that we still feel alone and give way to the ingrained cycles of battling old enemies and reliving old crises. Most people are iTunes on single-repeat.

I’ve taken extreme measures to free myself from the prison of old wiring. I’ve been letting go of every crutch and prop I find, and I’m still not done. It’s incredible to see how much of my life was stuck in grooves. I was sleepwalking. And I sought out and found others who could readily trigger and reflect to me what I wanted to see.

My body has been purifying and aligning to seeing the world without a constructed self. It is not enough to awaken – the body must also rip apart old wiring, let go of everything that is not real, and create new pathways for relating to life.

I have been deconstructing my life piece by piece to eliminate what has nothing to do with who I am now. I no longer care if anyone sees me for who I am or understands me – the need for that is gone. Ironically, I do see clearly how they see me and why. There is acceptance that most people will not get me at all. However, I am the happiest I’ve ever been and dragging around less dead weight in my body. I’ve even lost weight after letting go of some people and situations.

The only reality is what lives me, and This is not locked into a repetitive pattern. I am more than OK that others find my methods strange and unwelcome. I feel the difference as my life becomes lighter, clearer, and uncluttered.

How do I know I am not still simply reliving the past in a blind stupor? Because I am dreaming new dreams and seeing the past as a projection on the present moment – I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. I’ve stopped crafting tomorrow.

Confusing Enlightenment With Being A Better You

Most people market enlightenment as becoming the best one can be – a nice, calm person that says extremely wise things and is adept at living life to the max.

Self-help movements are packaging “basic-sanity” life skills under Growth Mindset, “Grit,” Habits of Mind, Social Emotional Competence (SEC), Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and Mindfulness. When properly engaged, everyone can benefit from greater self-awareness, self-management, resilience, perseverance, and empathy. The qualities of the hero are as relevant now as they were thousands of years ago. These qualities are excellent at helping us discover and build an identity that skillfully moves through our societal structures and experiences meaning in life. But, this is not enlightenment.

Enlightenment is the dissolution of the mechanism we use to build, refine, and maintain an identity – a sense of “I am this” or “I did that.” As long as there is still someone there, that consciousness is not free and remains limited by the boundaries that define the “I.” Unfortunately, the mechanism of the ego is impossible to understand while being an ego. At some later point in our evolution, the definition of enlightenment will change.

But, in the here and now, why would anyone want to get rid of the sense of self? Isn’t the whole point of being here to become a strong person that can successfully navigate life’s challenges, feel confident, and influence others? To most people at this time, that is the point. In most cases, there must be a strong identity before that identity can be dissolved.

However, some people are born feeling like they’ve been there and done that, so to speak. They usually have a number of natural talents and a strong personality from a very young age. But, they also feel like they are missing something critical in life no matter what activity they engage or what they try to accomplish. There is this constant tone of emptiness in nearly every experience, no matter how “peak.” The process of enlightenment can culminate for such people in this life. They are ready to let go because they have something to let go of.

Currently, the most certain way to transcend the entire dilemma of being an “I” is to be connected to a being who is free of ego. The reason this connection is necessary is because such a being serves as the bridge to help an ego-bound person see that which they need to let go. Without the bridge, ego perpetuates more ego. The connection happens rather mysteriously and beyond space and time – the “connected” being deepens and grows even while no in-person communication takes place.

When the path of self-dissolution is engaged prematurely, it can damage the delicate psyche that is still in the process of forming. In fact, most people are equipped with a natural protection that rejects the enlightened being. They find something wrong or suspect with such a “person,” project their fears and perceptions onto that “person,” and walk away.

Of course, an enlightened being never takes this defensiveness personally and feels no pain at the apparent rejection of the state of awareness he or she represents. The free being recognizes when a cookie needs more time in the oven and continues shining his or her presence as a beacon without any efforting. This being is there for all, but specifically and directly for those who are ready to release something that no longer serves them. For the rest, the enlightened character remains a blank screen onto which they project their doubts, fears, and beliefs – there is literally no one there.

What does life become after one is a no one? Well, something else kicks in. The enlightened consciousness is no longer looking for ways to fortify its value in life and, instead, engages in a deeper level of empathy – relationship – with existence. Information is continually pouring in, and pure awareness receives it and feels it in ways that are free of mental processing and emotional residue. There is never a feeling of boredom. There is constant creativity. Brain patterns are nonlinear and hyperlinked, rather than storyboarded.

The ability to be fully at rest and at peace is always available, regardless of whatever life presents. The brain is no longer bogged down by endless, looping thoughts. Furthermore, rather than trying to cultivate and control one’s presentation, there is a wild freedom to be whatever in any given moment. Perfection, poise, grace – these are the characteristics defined out of the need to control, but the enlightened being lives immersed in the uncontrollable in complete surrender.

To most people, an enlightened presence is irritating and confusing. You cannot really explain such a presence to others to sway them from their projections. The situation is what it is. In fact, most enlightened souls stay away from society because their very presence is a threat to what the majority need at this time. Living with an enlightened being is impossible for most adults whose consciousness has reached a certain level of rigidity.

Children are more open to the flexible nature of enlightenment – they are naturally available to humor, changing the rules of the game, or spontaneous decisions. But even then, not all kids.

Eventually, we will all be free. Right now, humanity must go through what it is going through. Advanced beings have always been available to those who needed them – existence is intelligent and interconnected. Such beings evolved over lifetimes because, at the right time, someone else was there for them.

How Resilient Can One Be?

How many times in one lifetime can one completely start over? Can one just pick up and move forward with minimal support after each dramatic change – with little money, no caretakers, and no elder family? Can one start over – and over again – while still honing empathy, compassion, and care for all Life?

I’ve come to understand that I am such an experiment. After my transformation, I’ve noticed a gradual surrender of my life to the overall Life process – the invisible web of interconnections that is all of us. It became impossible to hold on to my life as someone who needed to get something to feel whole. I am already whole. Each time I am in a situation of significant change, I am forced to give up more comfort and more outside support. I am alive to show that complete resilience through surrender to Life is possible while still participating in everyday life.

I came to this country from the poverty of another – only to land in poverty again. I have survived rape as a child. I graduated high school two years earlier than my peers. I chose an extremely challenging technical major in college and went on to get a graduate degree in this field as a woman – when few women ventured into such fields. I’ve played classical piano competively. I’ve lived through 3 marriages, and lost almost everything in the first two. I know what it feels like to lose a child and to get him back – the instincts and love of a mother. I’ve had emotionally distant parents, with whom I’ve lost touch. I’ve had intense jobs, where I worked 60-80 hour weeks for sustained periods of time. I made and lost large sums of money. I’ve had challenges feeling like any place was home, that any group could be family, and that anything can feel “secure.” The few people with whom I shared my life think that I’ve lived many lives, did too many things – they get tired just imagining what I’ve pushed through.

When the transformation occurred about a decade ago, after a brief few months of bliss, there were still dramatic changes to my being. And then – relocation, change of career, challenges finding work, illness, challenges of putting my family on a stable financial track, and more transformation. I have often found myself feeling like living was unbearable.

Each time the rug was pulled from under my feet, I had a choice to give up or to get up again. And that became my life.

To say that I am an experiment sounds sterile and clinical, but it is not. I can feel and understand what Life is trying to discover through my existence. It wants to know if enlightenment can coexist with the nonenlightened beings so that more and more enlightened people can walk the world and spark transformation. We are entering an era when enlightened beings can no longer afford to hide in the mountains.

The only way for me to fail is to stop, but I cannot do that. It is no longer possible for me to even make that choice. I must complete this life to carve a path for others. Each of us does that – carves a path – when we embrace our unique experiment fully and surrender to living it completely.

When life situations are constantly unstable in basic human terms, it is a kind of trauma on the psyche. The challenge then becomes to adjust to being constant change without balking or breaking, without shutting down the ability to feel everything, and still continuing to love life.

The enlightened state turns up the volume on everything going on in the world. The stream of input of people’s experiences pouring in and through is neverending. However, the gift is that nothing “sticks” to drag one down to a place of no return. Laughter, humor, and joy are not only possible – they are prevalent. There is no cynicism or sarcasm. There is no making light of challenging situations. All of this is a flow that is endlessly surrendered to the Life Stream.

Am I perfect and flawless in my execution? Not at all. I stumble a lot, and fall even more. I learn from every interaction and untangle from life’s dysfunctional and impacted blueprints that have been established by countless generations. I suppose it helps that I am no longer capable of hating myself as I face obstacles.

Perhaps self-love and transformation are two sides of the same coin – one is not possible without the other. I am not talking about adoring oneself or artificially propping one’s self up to feel good. Instead, I am describing a fundamental care and the valuing of oneself that can only come from giving up a sense of investment in life to get something from it. Paradoxically, self-love comes by erasing the need to fulfill and fortify an identity, and instead reorienting the being to embrace the messy and dynamic life process as it is. Learning without judgement. Loving without neediness. Letting go without giving up.

Know Your Pain

Pain is something I live with. There is now no more emotional pain – I feel emotions differently and they pass through, as if through an open doorway. There is only physical chronic pain, which showed up about a decade ago. But let me back up….

Since I was a young child, I wanted to die. From the poverty I didn’t have words to describe. From being of a lower class than the neighbors living on higher floors. From being raped as a child and in college. From being the unwanted child of a first marriage my mother wanted to forget. From being moved to a foreign country without having any understanding of what was happening around me. From having to endure school fights because I was different. From having to be excellent at school and everything I did because nothing else about me was worth my new father’s respect. From feeling like I belonged nowhere and had no home. From failing to prove to courts that I was married to an alcoholic – and the courts wanted equally shared custody of my baby. From not knowing who I was after leaving the alcoholic. From making the choice to cut out 3 hours of driving per day to work and leaving my child in an alcoholic’s house. From living in the limbo of losing my child, and the court fight against a narcissist to get my child back. From continuing the custody fight for years until my son was old enough to voice his wishes to live with me. From not knowing how I was going to continue living with the agony of every fiber of my being feeling rejected by life itself. From having to keep fighting all my life and seeing a threat everyday and everywhere – even when there was no threat.

Sound dramatic? It is the truth of the being that was before “I” let go into the stream of life. I remember “her” sometimes, but she died.

She tried killing herself a number of times, but all attempts failed. And, after meeting her teacher and several years of intense letting go, she let go. And now, there is noone in a body.

This body may not have been built for the drastic leap made by its denizen. It is not somehow fit to hold all this energy, which consciously shines spontaneous creativity and gazes at Life – as Life. So, this body is dying now. I know that in the near future my heart will fail.

It is a myth that enlightenment grants you eternity in a body. Enlightenment does not guarantee that. Many say I look a decade or so younger than my biological age and happy, but in no way am I immortal.

According to my doctor, I am very healthy. My heart rate is slow. My bloodwork is fine. Yet, I have to manage my energy carefully with much sleep, and manage the physical pain that seems to have set in. I alternate between working and resting to do what needs to be done. It is strange to feel my being rapidly unwinding itself from the body, as if leaving a car on the side of the road.

I do not feel sad or worry for myself. I just feel the need to complete and give. I observe what is occurring and share with my husband (I remarried) – a dear friend who has been with me while I was a happy-go-lucky human, while “she” was transforming, and through all the changes until the full transformation into this. He helps me get ready for work. He lets me rest. And I can focus on the people and energies around me – including my husband and children. I am always surrounded by someone(s) or dynamics that need attention. Whatever I have become cannot be described as human, and people can feel that. I am definitely not surrounded by guru groupies. There is no sign that says “I am the Light.” And there never will be.

I am an experiment: Can a fully enlightened being live a so-called ordinary life without being tucked away in an ashram or temple? Can such a being hold down a job, raise a family, have everyday interactions with people, eat whatever, and never tell most people what he or she is? The answer is yes. This a good – as more people break through, they will be able to walk among others, and their bodies will evolve also! This transition period is imminent for the human race.

Whatever your current state, know that you are not your pain. More important than acknowledging your pain is studying and gaining insight into how you relate to your pain, and then move through and past it to your true nature.

I live in constant physical pain and I know that I am not that. I do know what I am, but have no words to express it. It doesn’t really matter.

We all have some kind of pain – usually physical or emotional, or both. A balanced person will try to adapt their life to the challenges of pain.

Some run from their pain and try to forget they feel it. Others worship their pain and talk about it nonstop, looking for validation that they deserve compassion and care. Still others suffer in silence, feeling that they deserve the pain and must bear it with dignity, or hide it. Of course, there are also those who try to make something positive out of their pain by reaching out to those with similar pain – “You are not alone!” One would think that all people want the pain to stop and do whatever possible to end it, but some look for the pain to quiet their fear, guilt, or shame.

We attribute so much value to pain and give it so much of our attention. Perhaps, due to evolution? In general, we notice immediately when any discomfort sets in.

But pain is just a signal – it’s simply information and nothing more. In studying our response to pain – whether resistance, embrace, or coexistence – we learn how to let go. I coexist with pain while awake, and I do not feel physical pain while the body sleeps. However, I am attuned to people around the globe at all times – their pain is now impersonal and mine at the same time. I feel the pain of so many people, and reach out to them in body and soul. It is a good thing that I am just an open doorway. A person would not be able to feel it all.

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.

Living as Enlightenment – Part 1

I saw a question online: “How do enlightened people live?” Of course, people want to know what to expect after such a hyped up goal. If it’s such hard work for most people to become enlightened, knowing about the reward at the end is only fair.

I read the answers to that online question by various persons and did not see any that showed true understanding from experience. So, I wrote this Q&A….

Remember, I write this blog to share what is possible because I live it…. There are different phases of enlightenment, and – as one continues to move through them – one’s perspective shifts and deepens, as one incorporates all prior life and puts it in a new context.

Question: What do enlightened people think about?

Answer: The mechanism of thought changes in how it operates. Most of the time, the brain is quiet and steeped in what feels like a glow of dynamic potential. Have you ever asked a question and had no answer – and so you had to live with the question? The brain is in such a state of open-ended possibility, but without the forced drive to solve or resolve anything.

I spend most of my day (and night) feeling (being aware) of the presence of others in relation to each other and the earth. I only need to think when I speak or write – to translate my awareness, which now would seem foreign and unfamiliar to most people. I can start or stop thinking at will, and prefer flash insight to navigate all the information and life flooding my being daily.

Question: What is sleep like?

Answer: Sleep and awakening are very different states. I pass from waking to sleep fully conscious and remain conscious. Time works differently in sleep, so I can go through an entire lifetime – usually someone else’s. Now, my life is spent trying to understand the planet and all the variety of people directly. Some souls attract me to experience life through their eyes, and I do. Feeling what others feel across the world and in different cultures directly has given me much insight about the web of life here. Some of my sleep time is spent in blissful absorption in the Divine, just as some of my day. But it is true that my life has become OneLongDay.

Question: How does an enlightened being carry on wordly responsibilities – family, job, paying bills, etc.?

Answer: Very diligently. With enlightenment, a finely-tuned sense of timing develops. It is like watching some doors open and others close – the opportunities for action. Feeling these moments of opportunity arise to act in the world is on automatic for me. Many people call me productive or even a workaholic. What they don’t realize is that I surf the waves of arising calls to action and engage them fully. Responsibility exists for me and I honor it. I give my entire heart to every action – to my children, husband, work, and service. And all the while being plugged into the life stream of our existence.

Question: Can processing so much information drive one insane?

Answer: The enlightenment process changes how your bodies work, how they interconnect, and makes the communication among these bodies more efficient. Yes, we have multiple vehicles to carry our life force here. If not handled properly, and with the help of an enlightened being, the transformation process can drive one insane. I feel that many “insane” people awakened something within themselves without guidance and could not control it. The key to not going insane is that you are no longer a personality with needs and desires – you cannot be “hooked” by anything this world can throw your way. Paradoxically, you also feel completely devoted to the world and its awakening process. So, you learn to handle quite a bit of information passing through your “body,” which ultimately is just a gateway for what lives us all and not a “thing” in itself. You can also control the flow of awareness through the nervous system, to prevent overwhelm. Enlightenment in a body does not mean you are God – even though you can feel infinity, you are not infinity.

Question: How does one interact with people on a daily basis?

Answer: People label me as a very strong personality. I say what I mean and walk my talk. There is no hidden agenda, no grasping for status or recognition, and no desire for a specific outcome. Again, paradoxically, there is a 24/7 intention to serve others with great care. I’ve written about service before, and service does not mean doing for people whatever they want and being constantly nice. Service is helping others wake up when a door opens, and that service can come in many forms – including yelling at someone. I never feel angry when I yell at or confront someone, and resume conversation about something else when the confrontation is complete without missing a beat. I don’t have anger or frustration, but I sometimes have to act it out for the benefit of another who is purposely hurting themselves or others.

That’s all for this segment…

Experiencing Meditation, Through My Student’s Eyes

I have written before how the meditation I was taught can only be taught by direct transmission. I was fortunate to meet a teacher who was able to teach me how to forge my own relationship with the Divine.

I asked my student to share her meditation with me, and here is what she wrote:

“In the midst of everything occurring in my life recently, I’ve felt unable to meditate as deeply. I went from being able to open myself up to the divine to feeling as if there was a gate, blocking my entrance to the freedom and clarity, which come in moments of meditation.

I asked my teacher to walk me through the process of meditating as if I were first learning, and she did. We began with my posture – she had me sit up straight with held my head level – as if something were pulling me upwards by the crown of my head. Then, I placed my palms on my lap, open and facing up. I looked into my teacher’s eyes and focused on letting go.

She asked me to breathe deeply and slowly, and I began – in through my nose and out through my mouth. Almost immediately, I could feel the flow of energy coming into me and moving out of me. It felt as if every exhale allowed release, and each inhale brought rejuvenation.

It was the deepest meditation I’d had in months. In the moment, my heart felt contentment; my problems were gone and the meditation brought instant release.

Afterward, I realized that when I was looking into my teacher’s eyes, I was not actually looking into eyes at all; I was peering directly into the light, embodied by her. This light guided me into awareness that is safe and comfortable, and that was also emphatically urging me to grow into my potential. This feeling is a mix of so many things, and, above all, it is where I feel most like myself and at peace.

My teacher guided me through the process and helped me get to where I needed to be to see my next steps on my own and to simply understand my choices.”

Relationship to the Divine is one of complete surrender to It – letting go of all grasping, holding, and control to allow It to flood one’s being. As It enters, one changes – quite visibly to others.

My own transformation has completed over a month ago. It just ended without any fireworks – 9 years after my teacher’s passing. There was nowhere else to go and nothing to become. This does not mean I know everything or have all of the skills that people have in this world. It just means that I have fully become That which seemed separate and unreachable in the past.

Saying that my transformation is complete is not a statement of arrogance, but is intended as a fact of hope for others. In the About page, I talk about my beginnings and the challenges all along the way. Now, my body is just a shell for the Life Stream, which serves the evolution of others.

Whose Lives Matter?

What does each of us believe about the value of one life? Does every life have value? If so, how do we honor every life? If not, how do we decide who should live and die?

The question looms in the background of our biased historical perspectives from time immemorial, where one side villainizes “the other.” The question pervades the fabric of class differences – those who can afford to live can live. This question has been answered, in part, by the legal systems of certain states via the death penalty. This question is answered by who we decide to help after natural disasters and wars. We express our beliefs by how we treat the elderly and our children. We express what we think by our social programs and their lack. We respond by how we treat the addicted or the mentally ill. We also answer when we do nothing and avoid thinking and feeling the lives of the oppressed, the hungry, the depressed, and the lonely.

It is clear that we, as the human race, do not believe that every life has value. And even if we do believe in every living potential, we often do not feel that their quality of life is our responsibility. And yet, many still quote: “It takes a village to raise a child.”

So, what is our responsibility for another’s quality of life? Perhaps, the answer is simple. Perhaps, we do everything we can within our sphere of influence to support others, as long as it does not require us to sacrifice our own lives. Individuality is different from self-absorption, and one must practice self-care.

Perhaps we always teach a man, woman, and child “to fish” first, and offer them loving kindness and healthy boundaries in the process. Perhaps we offer what we can of what is truly needed.

Our natural state is service that respects both the individual and the collective, but we are still learning how to navigate the perceived boundary between the one and the many. We are still maturing in this respect.

The root cause of having to even ask the question of which lives matter and who decides is the way we have tied up value with our economy and those at the top of the net-worth pyramid. Money is still power. People with money buy decisions. Things and people who make money are valued, even if the consumer culture rests on the toiling backs of the so-called expendable and the replaceable. So, we trade, buy, and sell – and this process has more perceived and tangible value than life itself. Yet, the system persists.

Until the system collapses due to its sheer insanity of treating people as disposable, service is the only option to honor life. Service is a challenging concept to grasp when one is not naturally in balance with the Whole. Proper service requires a profound understanding of oneself and others. What are our strengths? What are our limitations? Are our limitations real, or self-created and self-maintained? What do others really need? Have we properly listened, heard, and empathized with another’s experience? Then, life becomes about profound connections and less about status and turning a blind eye to status quo.

It is possible to over-serve at the expense of oneself, and it is possible to under-serve through overdeveloped self-absorption. The question of service requires a deep connection to the Web of Life, which expresses itself through all of us. Feeling this Web of Life as a reality and following Its guidance is the key, but what if one doesn’t feel It?

Prescriptive dogma develops when the dynamic flow of life is elusive. Rigid views and boxed strategies evolve from a lack of sensitivity. Until we, as a race, learn to know the dynamic moment, we will continue to write rules and laws for every occasion. Until our geyser of creativity bursts, our apparent choices will seem limited, as will our ability to engage situations.

I know that this is not the only way, and that we can evolve beyond prescriptive living into the nuanced awareness of our unique roles within the Whole.

Before we can build and rebuild, there must be a vision. What if the vision is for us to know one another so well that we can feel anyone’s pain as if it were our own? What if, when others spoke, we listened with the same focus we currently invest into being heard by others? What if we had a natural compass for appropriate boundaries, which do not violate our unity?

Meditation, as taught by an awakened teacher, is a way for us to break free of processed-and-packaged regimes. As the inflamed pustules of this world continue to rupture and expose the underlying dysfunction, a wave of true teachers will again walk among people openly to directly transmit the lost art of meditation.

Today, people are mostly interested in relaxing (or distracting themselves) from life’s stresses, rather than fundamentally transforming their relationship to life – to rest in the Divine (which redefines the whole experience of stress). Transformation is not yet seen as a viable, or even possible, option.

Make no mistake, what must be learned cannot be learned from a book, but through the living pages of embodied teachers who have already crossed the lake of transformative fire. Books are great at introducing ideas, but will not provide the feedback and support needed to transcend oneself – those going through the process will attest to its challenges and times that feel unbearable. For most, meditation is still a lost art. It is the meditation – communion with the Divine – that gets one through to an entirely new perspective on the value of our lives and any life.

Who Dreams Of Sleeping Sheep

The cyberpunk genre of science fiction explored the moral and ethical dilemmas of humans creating conscious machines and even becoming hybrid biosynthetics. Philip K. Dick gave us “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” and the Blade Runner movies were born. Ian Watson gave us “Whores of Babylon,” which described how we can live in a simulated reality and forget that we are part of a computer program.

Now the idea that humanity can become “enhanced” through synthetic and electric modifications is within our technological grasp. Efforts have redoubled to create a working artificial intelligence (AI) after another winter of obstacles has thawed with fresh ideas.

And yet, these efforts have only challenged our idea of what it means to be human and, more importantly, what it means to live a human life.

We have played out various scenarios through books and movies of how robots can be the best of what humanity has to offer (think of Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation). We have also explored how machines can enslave or destroy humanity in the Matrix and Terminator. Battlestar Galactica made it clear that the tendency to want to create Pinocchio is wired into us just as much as what we wire, and is a cyclic inevitability. But these explorations only point to one fact – that we are grappling with our own identity as the human race.

Because we still do not know who or why we are, we aim to discover ourselves through our creation of synthetic consciousness. In seeking to create life in our likeness, we are only seeking to better understand ourselves. Is this not obvious?

One of the key definitions of artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability to repair or improve itself. But, isn’t that what we do as humans? Are we trying to create a better version of ourselves by investing in AI research? If so, what is wrong with us now? Or, is the desire to birth so powerful that we are willing to die for it?

Companies like Google are funneling serious cash into AI research. DARPA is building killer robot dogs. And, some engineers want to hook our brains into a “cloud” under the pretexts of expanding our smarts. The dangers of human extinction after creating a self-aware life form are pretty clear, and the risks of not being able to control the rapid evolution of what we create are quite high. Still, research perseveres, as if taunting our fate. Only a small fraction of the population is informed about what is going on with this research, and the rest are going about their lives as if – literally – there is no tomorrow.

It seems that our need to procreate is also a need to create, to feel like creators that give life. Is this not an important clue into who we really are? I do not believe that this is simple arrogance, just as I don’t believe that we have babies out of arrogance. There is something more going on here, something deeper that rubs at the root of our reason for being.

We learn by looking in the mirror. Our lives are the ultimate hall of mirrors, revealing us to ourselves day by day. And yet, we have forgotten to look for reflections and believe that we see absolute others.

At this time, humanity lacks the most important skill yet – empathy, or the ability to be conscious of another’s perspective. Once a critical mass of empathy ignites, everything will change. We will cry at the hurts we have caused as if we have experienced these hurts at our own hands, and we will listen as if we are the ones talking. Until we can empathize with our human kind, animals, rocks, and trees, and other types of consciousness interacting with our plane, we dare not create yet another potentially alien consciousness. If we do, it will reflect our ignorance to know another’s perspective – our perspective. It will reflect our current lack of empathy.

Wisdom lies in doing things because they are timely and right, and not simply because we can. Just as the participants in the Manhattan Project expressed great regret in creating a nuclear bomb, those now pushing the AI envelope will feel the same regret when they succeed. And the rest of humanity will live with the careless decisions of the few.