You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life. By Jiddu Krishnamurti
“Come to the edge, He said. They said, We are afraid. Come to the edge, He said. They came. He pushed them… and they flew.” Apollinaire, Guillaume
When we follow our growing edge we sometimes have to step into the unknown. We can’t get to a place we’ve never been through a door we’ve already been through. We need trust or deeper still, faith in something much deeper than our fears, logic or personal preference to step out from our comfort zones and take that leap into the abyss.
See ‘Tales of Power’ the fourth book by Carlos Casteneda. However, I strongly suggest you read his books chronologically in order to be taken into their world, their teaching and to benefit by them. Buy Casteneda’s books at Amazon
It horrifies me and saddens me to see the poor and the marginalised condemned in the name of JESUS. There was no talk of birth control in the Gospels, let alone condemning it. There is no reference to abortion or Jesus condemning the poor or the homosexual. Jesus appeared to abhor it when we let RULES overpower our HUMANITY! He placed LOVE at the centre of all our relationships, decisions and actions.
Jesus taught LOVE to ALL people. He walked among the poor and the sick and talked about becoming rich in Spirit. He challenged doctrine and attempted to bring alive those fundamental principles Love of God and Love of each other. He didn’t pick out certain ‘deserving’ strata of society. He spoke of everyone and he explained that to find this internal heaven we have to give up greed and selfishness. He would be horrified to see that doctrine has been built in his name; horrified to see himself as an object of worship and described as God (remember he was a Jew…a Rabbi) and horrified to see the sickness that has been perpetrated in his name!
LOVE….what is there about LOVE that you hateful condemners of the poor and the marginalised (Jesus lived among the marginalised and how do we know that he wasn’t gay) don’t understand? “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath”, Jesus said. In other words, don’t let the word of doctrine guide you if it means acting without compassion.
Jesus WAS NOT a Christian! He was a Jew who was trying to wake up Jews from their dogmatic trance! The irony that his legacy should be millions of people acting hatefully because they are in a dogmatic trance that makes Jesus the Awakener the figurehead of the entranced!
A beautiful story that leads to the sharing with us of this multimedia journey of powerful inspiration! Great musicians from around the world united through their contribution to a single piece of evolving music blended with inspirational words of spiritual teachers, scientists and artists focusing on all facets of the human experience. To sit (or dance) and listen and watch this adventure opens the heart and mind to the wonder of our world and what it means to be a human being…a human race! I can’t recommend this enough!
Mastering oneself is true power. Power over others is dependant on others and therefore, in a sense, isn’t power at all. Also, true power doesn’t need power over others; it can afford to be humble and sit quietly in the background.
Jesus said “Beware of False Prophets.” There are many Spiritual Teachers around these days guiding those who find themselves embarking on a spiritual path or road of self-inquiry. In the 60s and 70s, due to the influence coming over from India, in particular, we had a huge influx of Gurus. After a while, we gradually learned that these Gurus were simply human with human urges and many were caught with their pants down…quite literally! A true Guru would never appoint themselves as such. Only a hugely inflated ego would do that!
A true Guru, the kind of men described in Paramhansa Yogananda’s ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ are rare indeed! In my view, a true Guru doesn’t advertise themselves as such, they are very unlikely to promote themselves and their ‘Guruhood’ only comes into play in a spontaneous meeting with the one who will learn from them. They aren’t eager to take on disciples and are more reluctant than enthusiastic. In Jewish scripture you would find these masters working at humble jobs such as cobbling shoes and the people who would bring in their shoes for repair would sometimes notice something about the man repairing their footwear. It might be something he says or a peace felt in his presence, a sense of something deeper while in their company. Often the Master would be asked to teach by his customers and when enough people asked he might hold meetings after a day’s work.
I remember many years ago, after a difficult and disappointing evening where I had arranged to teach a meditation workshop and nobody turned up, I ordered a cab to take me home. I got into the cab and the driver turned to me and asked me what I had been doing this evening. I told him I gave spiritual guidance to people and this particular evening nobody turned up and I was very upset. I didn’t realise it at the time but I was guilty of ‘spiritual ambition’ and ‘spiritual ego’. I liked the image of myself being this powerful, wise teacher with people hanging on to my every word. There’s nothing wrong with being a spiritual teacher but it is the drive behind it that is very important to understand. Anyway, this can driver started to say things (unfortunately, I can’t recall exactly what he said) that were simple, wise and deeply penetrating and exposing of my ambition. Yet, he wasn’t talking directly about me and he wasn’t being in the least harsh or judgmental. Simultaneously, I felt my spiritual egotism exposed while a profound peace descended over me and joy awoke in my heart. In a few simple, down to earth sentences this man shone light into my shadows, revealing my arrogance and humbling me, while transmitting to me a deep self-acceptance. He also described to me his own ordinariness and his own weaknesses. I was sitting in a car with a Guru in drag as a cab-driver!
I realised that every day this man had people sitting in the back of his car absorbing his palpable aura of wisdom and peace. He didn’t call himself a guru or a spiritual teacher. He didn’t set up lectures and workshops for people to come sit at his feet. No, he was a cab driver living basic spiritual principles and reaching the people who came to him for a lift…in both senses of the word! In the time it took him to drive me home (15 minutes approx) I felt transformed! He helped me see my ambition and the arrogance that turns a good teacher into a false prophet. He also unhooked me from my deflation and sense of failure. He taught me something important about being a spiritual teacher, and there, in his cab, he opened me to a powerful force of peace. I left his cab feeling wonderful and deeply grateful…deeply touched by Grace. I never saw him again!
Of Gurus and Spiritual Teachers, I learned that there is more likely to be a humility and reluctance about the Guru than an arrogance. A spiritually enlightened person usually has had the arrogance knocked out of them! I went on to teach more workshops and people one to one but gradually I realised that there was more humility needed and as sincere as I was I also liked the role a bit too much! Eventually, I retired from the role and decided to fix computers instead! I had fulfilled the Spiritual Ambition and I needed to come still more down to earth. This was another stage on a journey that began since I was about 20 years old (I’m nearly 60 at time of writing).
The journey began with profound awakening and channeling of Knowledge and wisdom, Love and Light and gradually turned into a process of coming down from the lofty heights, and integrating the knowledge and getting my feet on the ground.
After I gave up the Teacher role I decided that if I ever returned to that role it would be because I felt called to it. It could no longer be because I liked the image of myself in the role. What I wanted to teach was good and important and vital but it was the teacher who was flawed. The biggest flaw was in not owning up to my flaws!
There is science as an avenue of exploration ( the outward looking approach) and there is meditation and self-inquiry (the inward looking approach). Both approaches are important and compliment one another. I have an interest in science and enjoy reading and watching documentaries. I have a passion and a drive for meditation and self-inquiry and read a lot of literature concerning the process and the fruits of meditation. Furthermore, the practice of such an approach has paved the way for discovery and has reaped rewards and an understanding beyond anything that I could have anticipated…yet there was something staggeringly familiar and obvious in the epiphany, It is axiomatic and undeniable and all encompassing and the fundamental answer to everything I had been consciously and unconsciously yearning for. It is as profound as it is simple and the most appropriate word that described it was, surprisingly, the word ‘God’. It just made complete undeniable sense. It first happened 40 years ago and it happened again and again over the years in different ways. It has never left me and continues to grow, It is not a belief. It is as immediate and undeniable as the movement of the breath and the taste of an orange except more fundamental than either. All argument about whether or not there is a God ended at that point. I knew what God was and it doesn’t lead to separation or divisiveness or argument. It is the reconciliation and celebration of all differences. For the most part, I never mention it. Never talk about it …except with some people who are searching (although I don’t try and get them to believe anything I say) or with people who have had similar insight. In the latter case, nearly all the people I know had already rejected their religion or religion in general, had abandoned any belief in a God or after having such a revelation no longer felt the need or relevance of religion. If I have any belief, it is don’t believe what you read…especially with regard to religion. Stay open to possibility and make your own discoveries, if you can. In the end, if it doesn’t gradually strip you of ego and selfishness and increase your capacity to give and to love then a revelation of God has served little purpose other than inflate an ego. If it really does it’s job, it deflates the ego. A spiritual awakening isn’t the end of the road…it is just the beginning. Unlike religion or any belief system a Spiritual awakening has nothing to prove!
We all want to be accepted as we are but beware! In relationship, this is a common escape from intimacy, a refusal to be vulnerable, to own up to our mistakes, to learn from our partner. Taken even further the statement: “This is who I am, take it or leave it” has the ring of psychopathy about it…an impenetrable shield of control! Most of us don’t even know who we truly are and the journey to such a discovery begins with the self-inquiry ‘Who am I?”. If our starting point is ‘THIS is who I am’ then we will never get beyond our egoic armouring and all ‘growth’ will be little more than shifting the furniture around or adding a new painting on the wall. Real growth is a complete deconstruction and reconstruction of the entire house…and it takes hard work, courage, patience and time!
In this consumerist society many people tend to see spiritual growth as a kind of business opportunity…sign on the dotted line and in just a few short steps you will be enlightened and liberated. Spiritual work is not a commodity! Liberation cannot be bought! There are no shortcuts to an embodied enlightenment…and besides, the EXPERIENCE of enlightenment is merely a preview of possibility and just the beginning of the work.
The great spiritual awakening furnishes us with the astounding overview of who and what we truly are. To integrate and embody this realisation, however, requires time and patience and courage and work and an honest self-inquiry while facing up to our darkness and pain. Oftentimes the heart must break in order to open.
Positive affirmations, the inflated currency of commercial ‘spirituality’, take us away from all that we’d rather not confront.
The broad brush strokes of our spiritual ambition paint a confident smile across the anxious face of our uncertainty thus bypassing uncertainty’s real opportunity to pass through the doorway of our doubt and onto the road that is less travelled and onwards still across the unmapped territory of our soul.
The spiritual life has moments where you have to face into the shadows before illumination and peace is established. (Article to follow)