Why wolves?

 

There is an ongoing debate in norway about whether we should have wolves or not, and how many. The fault lines – as so often these days – seem to go between the urban and/or more educated, and the rural and/or less educated.

Here are some of the arguments against wolves, and my comments.

They take livestock. They do, but they take far fewer than trains, traffic, and disease. And the farmers receive compensation from the state if any are taken.

They are a risk to humans. No, they are virtually no risk to humans. The real risks are what we all know about, including traffic, suicide, poor lifestyle and food choices, and much more.

They are evil and scary. Yes, we may culturally have learned to see them as evil and project our shadow onto them, and they may trigger fear in us. That’s no reason to get rid of them. (I suspect this is what’s really going on since the apparently rational arguments are not very strong.)

And here are some arguments for having wolves.

For the benefit of the wolves. They have as much right to be here as we do. They are sentient beings just as us and wish to live.

For the ecosystems. Our ecosystems evolved with large predators, and healthy and thriving ecosystems depend on large predators.

For our benefit. Just as ecosystems, we need the wild. We evolved with and in the wild, and with high level predators. We need it for our own health and well being. We need it as a reminder of who we are, in an evolutionary context. We need it to feel alive.

Why are people really against wolves? I suspect primal fear of wolves is one aspect. Specifically, fear of losing animals to wolves may trigger a more primal fear than losing them to illness or trains. Another may be instinctual competition. Humans and wolves are both large predators, and it’s natural to try to eliminate the competition.

In my view, the arguments against don’t hold up well. And the arguments for are far more important – for them, for us, for nature as a whole.

As usual, I can add that this view is very predictable for someone with my background. I grew up in a well educated urban family. I love nature. I want to consider the rights and needs of other beings, including nonhuman species. I am liberal in terms of politics. If I had grown up as a sheep farmer in an area with wolves, my views may well have been different. And that doesn’t mean I won’t speak up for wolves. They need someone to speak for them.

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You need to look at that

 

And this is definitely not something to use against others to deflect from our own behavior and for us to avoid feeling and seeing things in ourselves. Some folks will say “you got triggered, you need to look at that”. There is a grain of truth in it, of course, but it’s also cheap and very often used by the person to avoid taking responsibility for something they themselves did or said.

From the previous post. If I think you need to look at something, I need to look at something.

In some situations, it can be helpful to point it out, but only if both people are invested in exploring these things, and only if the person takes responsibility for their side of the equation and look at their own behavior and words, and what they may try to avoid feeling or looking at in themselves. My general rule is to avoid saying these things altogether, because it can easily get messy. People get hurt and feel that they are treated in a patronizing way, and there is some truth to that.

We are what we fear

 

In the classic cave scene from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back, Luke Skywalker meets his nemesis and representative of the dark side, Darth Vader. After a brief sword fight, Luke decapitates Darth Vader, and sees his own face inside of Darth’s helmet.

Luke is what he fears the most. He is the dark side.

That’s how it is for all of us. We are what we fear. And that’s true in a few different ways.

It’s happening within and as what I am. It’s all happening within my world. It’s happening within and as (my) awareness. When it’s here, in awareness, it’s what I am.

The world is my mirror. Whatever I see “out there” in the wider world or someone else, is what I know from myself. Whatever stories I have about the world and other people, I can turn them around to myself, and find specific examples of how it’s true. (It may not look the same, or be expressed the same way, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find the same here as I have stories about in others.)

It pushes back. When I try to push something away in myself, and in the world, it tends to push back. It wants in. It wants to be acknowledged. Life is kinder than allowing me to reject something for good.

And why? Because life invites me to see what’s more real and true than my initial beliefs about it.

Life invites me to…. Recognize it as happening within and as what I am. Find in myself, as a human being, what I see in others and the wider world. Realize we are all in the same boat.

Life invites me to…. Meet it – the fear and what I fear – with respect, kindness, curiosity. Take a closer look and examine by beliefs about it, and how my perception of it is created by my own mind.

Life invites me to see that what I fear is not how it initially appears. (That doesn’t mean we become passive bystanders to injustice or cruelty, or approve of it. On the contrary. We are in a much better position to do something the more clear and mature we are in our relationship to it.)

How does it push back? We may find ourselves in situations where we encounter it again. We may replay a situation in our minds. We may have certain qualities or emotions surface in ourselves.

For instance, if I see anger as bad and try to push it away, I’ll still find myself in situations where people are angry, perhaps even at me. I’ll still replay memories of people being angry, or imagine someone being angry with me in the future. I’ll still experience anger, even if it’s pushed down and perhaps comes out as frustration or restlessness, or even feeling flat. It doesn’t go away.

P.S. I am aware that the usual interpretation(s) of the cave scene is slightly different. I imagine the more standard interpretation is that Luke has the potential to go over to the dark side, just as his father did. He has the anger. The impulsiveness. The restlessness. He is his father’s son, in that way. The cave experience is a warning, and also an invitation for him to recognize this in himself and take it seriously.

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In the same boat

 

Whether I work with clients or teach a group, or am a client or student, there is often a sense that we are all in the same boat.

The roles, there and then, are different. One is a facilitator, the other a client. One is an instructor, the others students. After the session or the class, the roles change. They even change during the session or class, sometimes.

Behind the shifting roles, we are all human beings. We are all exploring universal dynamics. What I see in you is what I know from myself.

When I work with someone, as a facilitator or client, it’s often with a sense of a shared exploration of universal dynamics.

Of course, it may be that the person in the facilitator or instructor role has more experience or skill in a certain area. But even that may not be the case.

This makes it much easier. We are in the same boat. I don’t need to pretend.

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Fox News

 

I happened to watch a few minutes of Fox News the other day.

I have known about them for a while, of course. Including that Fox News viewers tend to know less about the world, and have more inaccurate factual information, than those who take in any other news source.

I was still struck by how toxic it seemed. Divisive. Angry. Humorless.

I know there is a grain of truth to their views, as there is to any view. And that the groups I tend to identify with – progressives, liberals, greens, integralists – don’t have all the answers.

And yet, I am amazed that anyone would want to take this in. It seems that it would make for a quite unhappy mindset. But perhaps many who watch it already see the world this way, so it feels familiar and comforting – in an odd way.

It’s perfectly possible to hold conservative views and still be sane, rational, and even reasonable. (Although in the US, that tends to be the type of conservatives that are less vocal and less visible these days.) I have to remind myself of that after this glimpse into the world of Fox News.

I don’t mind people with conservative views. I know there are very good evolutionary reasons why some are more liberal, and some more conservative. We need both groups to survive as a species.

And I also tend to prefer a more sane approach to politics, no matter the political orientation.

It did seem quite insane to me. Or rather, I felt a bit insane while watching it, so I projected that onto Fox News.

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Whose stuff?

 

Whose stuff is it?

When something appears in my awareness, perhaps something that feels uncomfortable, where does it come from? Is it all mine? Mine or yours? Humanity’s? Does it matter?

For me, it’s a yes to the three first and mostly no on the last.

It’s all mine. (a) It’s all happening in my world. It’s all happening within my awareness. It’s all happening as what I am here and now.

(b) It’s all reflecting what’s here in me. If I recognize it “out there” it’s because I know it from myself. It’s reminding me of what’s here in me, in my human self.

So it’s all mine as (a) what I am, that which all happens within and as for me, and (b) who I am, this human self.

It’s mine or yours. Some of it seems more clearly mine. It’s familiar to me. It’s from my own background, my own history. It’s familiar hangups, wounds, traumas. Some of it may seem more like yours. It’s familiar to you.

This is how we conventionally differentiate between mine and yours, and it can be quite helpful in some situations. It can, for instance, be used to prioritize.

And it’s all differentiated by my thoughts, somewhat arbitrarily, and based on my own assumptions. (And perhaps even fearful or wishful thinking, in an attempt to uphold a fearful or wishful identity for myself.)

It’s all of humanity’s. The more I am familiar with the dynamics in me, and also in others, I see it’s all quite universal. It belongs to humanity. It’s shared, and also personal since it appears here in me.

Does it matter? Not really, most of the time. If it’s here, I can take care of it. Can I find love for it? What do I find when I examine the beliefs responding to what’s here? Or even creating it? What do I find when I try to find the threat, or the deficient self, or the compulsion?

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Depictions of Native Americans

 

This is a topic that came up in conversation yesterday.

Many or most “white” depictions of Native Americans will be seen as offensive by some or many actual Native Americans. 

The depiction may cast them as primitive savages or villains, especially in the books and movies up until the 70s(?). As noble savages or heroes. As damaged alcoholics. Or as wise people in tune with nature, as in the modern new age mythology. 

In most cases, the depiction will be of an imagined Native American which may not ever have existed in that way. It’s a generalization, a cardboard cutout, often based on myths and fears and/or wishful thinking. And this generalization is across time, groups, or individuals. 

That’s almost a given since few westerners have actual and in-depth personal familiarity with their lives and culture, either in the past or now, and there is also a great deal of cultural and individual variation among Native Americans, as there is within any reasonably large and diverse groups of people. 

And due to the Native American history with Europeans, they are understandably sensitive to how they are treated and depicted. If they were and had been the “top dog” in the relationship, they would probably see it as mildly amusing, but as it is, it’s understandable if some or many of them are more sensitive to this. 

(When I see how Norwegians, or vikings, are depicted in popular culture outside of Norway, I see the misconceptions and often find it amusing. And that’s because it’s not a sensitive topic for me. Norwegians do well, and there is no history there for me that would make it a sensitive topic.) 

It’s understandable if this is quite emotional for some, and come out in the form of anger. 

It may hurt even more since what’s happening *can* be seen as a continued colonization. White people use the imagined Native American as subject of books, movies, music and visual art, and make it into entertainment, and also make money on it. That may be experienced, by some, as rubbing salt in the wound. 

There is another aspect to this. For many of European heritage, and especially those who idolize or feel connected to the (imagined?) Native American, it’s well intentioned. They see something there that’s attractive and they would like to bring more alive in their own life. It could be a simple life, connected to and in tune with nature, and with close connections to your tribe. All of that is lacking for many in the modern world, so no wonder that many wish for it, and the traditional Native American is a good projection object for this type of life. 

It may not be entirely accurate. It may sometimes be experienced as offensive. And yet, it’s often well intentioned, and comes from caring about a certain way of life. 

In other cases, the projection will be more of a shadow projection, as in the old west books and movies where Native Americans are the primitive savages. I assume that’s happening even now, through stereotypes of contemporary Native Americans on reservations as lazy, or alcoholics, or running ethically dubious operations such as casinos.

One may even shift into the other, for some. Some who idealize the wise and nature-connected Native American may be disappointed by the reality today, and even get caught in shadow projections. And the reverse may be possible too.

I imagine there are a few ways for Native Americans to relate to this. In a reactive way, publicly rejecting it and seeing these people as having malicious intent. Rejecting it from seeing it as misguided and not “getting it”. Ignoring it, as much as possible, and perhaps only talking about it in private. Actively educating people about the reality, as you see and experience it. Recognizing it as projections. And I am sure there are other ways too.

I am very aware that what I have written here can also be seen as offensive. For instance, I could have used the term First Nations instead of Native Americans. I make many assumptions here, which may not be accurate. I am getting into a topic that’s not really my business. (Apart from being aware of my own imaginations and projections, and how it may be perceived.) And I am exploring this without having checked with people of Native American heritage. (Their responses would probably make me change how I write about this, and would probably also be quite varied.)

It’s all here

 

Some spiritual teachers and teachings makes it sound either/or, or black and white.

The other side of it, is that it’s all here.

Whatever I see out there, in others or the past or future, is already here. What any concept refers to is already here. It may appear small, and take some looking, but it’s here. At least, that’s been my experience so far.

Both ends of any polarity is here. It happens within and as life, awareness, what I am.

Either of these ways of talking about it – as either/or or all here – are teaching strategies. Both have truth in them. Either one can be helpful for some people in some situations. Neither is, or even points to, any absolute or final truth.

And for me, the it’s all here pointers resonate the most, and is more interesting and juicy as an exploration. At least so far.

Putting fear and hope out there

 

It’s sometimes easy to put fears “out there” in others, or the future. And also to do the same with hope.

And we do it in many different ways, including these:

It’s difficult now, but it will lead to something good, because…..

A woman will save me. A good job will save me. More money will save me. God will save me.

Technology will save us. Sustainability will save us. God will save us.

One I know from myself……

I am in a dark night of the soul, a kundalini process, an awakening process. It’s difficult now, but will lead to something good sometimes in the future.

And another from people into new age thinking:

Humanity is in an awakening process. It’s difficult now, but it will lead to a bright future.

Human evolution will bring us into a golden age, one of peace and prosperity.

When I notice I do this, I can ask myself: What is it I don’t want to feel right now? What would I have to feel if I didn’t go into these stories? And then feel it, rest with the sensations.

Also, I can see if I can find this future anywhere in immediate experience. Can I find it outside of these images, words, and sensations?

I can ask myself: Is it true? Can I know for certain it’s true?

I can examine what happens when I believe those thoughts. How do I live my life? What is it I avoid feeling or doing?

I can turn the statements around, and find specific examples of how that may be as or more true. For instance, what are some of the specific and realistic options for what may happen to humanity, ranging from what I hope for and fear the most? Can I really know? And does it really matter if I cannot know?

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Conspiracies

 

I sometimes run into people who have strong feelings about certain possible conspiracies.

A couple of things strike me about this:

If there is a charge around it for the person, it’s a sign of projections. (AKA velcro, identifications.) That’s fine, but good to notice. And I can use it as a mirror for myself in two ways: (a) How am I doing the same, perhaps even in my view of them? (b) What does it say about me? What does it say about me that I sometimes have to endure such people?

The conspiracies many are focused on often seem (a) questionable and unsubstantiated, and (b) minor. Why not instead focus on the conspiracies that are (a) undeniable, and (b) major? Why not focus on the influence multi-national corporations have on international and national policies? Why not focus on wars started, for a large part, to benefit corporations? (Such as the Iraq war.) Why not focus on the influence of money on politics? Why not focus on the fact that we all participate in destroying our own life support system? Why not focus on how our current ways of organizing society is harming future generations?

I realize that there are answers to these questions. Some just want an outlet for their frustration, and quirky conspiracy theories does that. In some cases, there may be a grain of truth -or more – in their views. Many don’t resonate with a bigger picture view – one that includes the Earth as a whole and a timeline that span generations. Essentially, going into conspiracy theories – with a charge behind it, comes from attempting to not feel what’s here.

Inquiry: A relationship will save me, complete me

 

Even during the initial opening, it was clear that any hope and fear is a projection. Anything that appears “out there” and not also “in here” is a projection. Any idea of a being, existence, separation, is a projection.

Any idea that anything can save me, or that there is anyone who needs to or can be saved, is a projection. Any idea of lack of completeness, someone or something that can complete me, is a projection.

It’s all created by images and words, apparently stuck onto sensations, and made to appear solid and real that way.

I have seen this for a while now.

I also notice that any idea that I can find fulfillment or completion in a nice house, car, education, work, travel and so on are seen and felt to not be true. At least to a large extent.

What’s left right now is the idea that a relationship can or will save me, make me complete, and make me come alive.

There is a partial truth to this. A relationship, and perhaps especially a new one, can trigger all of these experiences. Still, it doesn’t last. And it’s like taking a pill, it’s dependency on something to make it happen. (Neither is wrong or bad at all, it’s just an inherent limitation.)

The invitation is to examine these identifications and beliefs. And often it’s the pain of relationship loss that brings us to it in a more whole hearted and sincere way.

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Things to keep an eye out for in the awakening

 

Early on in an awakening, and even much later, there may be several things that are a bit “off”, and that’s part of the process too. It seems that most or all (?) of it is from (a) holding certain ideas as true, and (b) projections. Here are some of these:

I am here to save people, the world. They need me to save them. They need to be saved. (Don’t recognize that no-one really needs to be “saved”, and that a simpler way is to make myself available to support when asked.)

I need to share my insights. I need to tell others about it. I need them to “get it” too. (An attempt to hold onto and solidify any insights and seeing that’s here. Fear of losing it.)

I am awake, they are not. (Don’t recognize it’s all already awakeness, and that awake is an idea.)

Humanity is on the verge of mass awakening. (Projection of what’s here. A projection of the awakening here onto “the world out there”.)

I am special, chosen. They are not. (Don’t recognize how we are all chosen, in a sense.)

Other people bore me. They are caught in delusion. I don’t find them interesting. (Projection of delusion on others.)

There is only emptiness. Only awareness. (Holding ideas of emptiness, awareness etc. as solid and true. “Stuck in the absolute”.)

Life will take care of me. I don’t need to take care of my own life the way society tells me to. (Don’t recognize that we are still invited to be a good steward for our own life.)

This is “it”. I have arrived. This is a full awakening. There is nothing more. (The mind is trying to find a sense of security and safety in these stories of “permanence” and having “arrived”. Don’t recognize that (a) we don’t know, and (b) the unfolding – of reality revealing itself to itself – seems to be ongoing.)

It’s possible, and even quite common, for there to be a mix of awakening (reality awake to itself, to some extent) and beliefs, wounds and deficiency stories. These wounds, beliefs and deficiency stories seek the light, they seek to be loved, felt, and seen through. Note: I listened to an online satsang, and saw a few of these from both the main person and the people calling in. It’s all happening within my own world of images. It’s all reflecting me as a human being. It’s all for me to look at here, and in my own life. (more…)

My tradition is the best

 

Why do some think that their tradition or practice is the best?

I can think of a few different reasons:

It’s the typical in-group / out-group dynamic.

This creates a sense of cohesion within the group. We are better than them. We know how things are. We are the chosen ones.

It also makes people feel better about themselves. I am with the right group. I’ll be saved.

It may come from ignorance. People may be misinformed about other traditions, or may not know much about them.

They may have a good point. Each tradition has its strengths and weaknesses, and the strengths may well be stronger than in some other traditions.

It also seems that this attitude may be increasingly more difficult to maintain, for a few different reasons.

We are better informed about other traditions and practices.

We encounter more frequently people from other traditions and practices, and see that they are as smart as us.

It simply looks pretty stupid to think that your tradition is the best (!). Especially considering that most people know that such an assumption is typically (a) used to keep people in the tradition, and (b) is often based in fear and insecurity, and is an attempt to feel better about ourselves.

I have always been eclectic in my approach, and see the value in all the main spiritual traditions and a wide range of practices. They are all medicine for people with different backgrounds, from different cultures, and at different phases in their process. So although I seek out practices that seem the most effective for me, I also realize that they are not inherently or absolutely “better” than other practices out there. And they are definitely not better than what’s possible, and what will most likely be developed in the future.

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Mirror

 

There are two ways of using situations and other people as mirrors.

What do I see out there? How would I describe it? Where do I find it in myself?

What does that situation say about me? What does it bring up in me?

For instance, I see someone as fearful and demanding. Can I find that in myself? Can I meet those parts of me with love?

And, I see someone as fearful and demanding. What does it say about me?

The first one is the typical “world as mirror” approach. The second is used in the Living Inquiries. And both can be very helpful.

Highly sensitive

 

As part of a spiritual emergency, it’s common for people to be highly sensitive – to the energies of other people, places, the land, food and more.

I have certainly experienced my share of it.

There is a gift in this sensitivity, since it provides us guidance (what to do, what not to do), it can give us insights and inspiration (for writing, art), and it can help us help others.

It can also be very challenging – and even painful – at times.

Here are some things I have found helpful:

 Recognizing the difference between the sensitivity, and my reaction to or relationship with it. The sensitivity itself is OK. It’s my reaction to it that sometimes is stressful and painful (and it comes from my own wounding and unexamined assumptions).

Inquiring into my stories about what’s going on, including the trigger and what’s triggered. Help myself see more clearly what’s really going on.

Finding in myself what I see as “out there”. Owning it. Embracing it. Healing and finding my own wholeness as a human being.

Taking care of myself. Allowing myself to leave situations that feel uncomfortable, if that seems the most kind choice. (And owning that I am doing so at least partly because I am not quite healed and whole yet.) For instance, if I sit next to someone on the train whose energy triggers something in me, I give myself permission to stand up and go somewhere else.

Spending time in nature. Healing physically and emotionally. Finding nurturing environments, people, activities etc. Find grounding psychologically (healing, wholeness) and energetically (nature, gardening, tai chi etc.). Allowing the soul level to work on me – through prayer and meditation – infusing my human self and inviting it to heal and find its own wholeness.

Byron Katie: Pain is a projection

 

Pain is a total projection, and it prevents us from noticing that it’s all love.

– Byron Katie, paraphrased from a webcast

I see this for myself, and these days especially when I use the living inquiries.

When words, images and sensations combine into the appearance of pain, it’s experienced as painful, whether it’s emotional or physical pain.

Examining each of these separately, I see there is no threat in the words, in the images, or in the sensations. (And if there appear to be, I can – for instance – look for underlying images and ask if there is a threat there.) The stickiness of the idea or experience of “pain” is reduced or falls away.

There may still be words, images and sensations, and more of an allowing of these, and a noticing that they are already allowed. The sticky conglomerate of words, images and sensations called “pain” is not there anymore, or it’s faded and in the background.

I get to see that “pain” is a projection, and that what’s here is love.

 

 

This is it

 

This is it, for two reasons.

What’s here is all there is. What’s here includes my images of past, future and present, of time and space. Any images of something somewhere else, or in the past or future, is here.

What’s here includes (the essence of) what I desire. When I track back my wishes and desires to their essence, I find that their essence is some variation of love, trust, rest, engagement, connection, aliveness or some other characteristic of what we are. Is it true that love is not already here? Is it true that trust is not already here? Is it true that aliveness is not already here?

So this is it, because (a) this is all there is, and (b) what I desire is here.

These are questions and pointers, at most. And they may also serve to bring up beliefs for inquiry.

There is something out there. Where is my evidence?

What’s here is not as good as what I wish for. It’s better when it comes from someone else. What do I find when I look into this? Is this really not as good? Can I get anything from someone else?

Projecting into the future

 

Projections are really quite simple. There is an image or thought here, another set of images of space and time, and the first image is placed somewhere in space and time.

It’s very helpful and functional for the mind to do this. As long as it’s recognized for what it is, and held lightly, it’s stress free.

And as soon as these images are solidified and mistaken for reality, it’s stressful and painful.

For me, I see a tendency to project fears and hopes into the future.

A thought says that I feel good or am in a good situation, it’s projected into the future, solidified, and when the situation shifts it’s painful.

A thought says that what’s here or what will be is bad or undesirable, this is projected into the future and solidified, and that is painful too.

The same happens with my images of the past. A thought says that something in the past was good and is not here anymore, and when this is solidified it’s painful. A thought says something in the past was bad, that is solidified, and that is painful too.

And the same happens with my images of space. A thought says something out there is good and what’s here in me or my life is bad, it’s solidified, and it’s painful. A thought says something here is good and what’s out there is bad and impacting what’s here that’s good, it’s solidified as real, and that’s painful.

And it all hinges on the image of a me or I here in the center of it all, in the center of space and time, and a wider world outside of this me or I. When those images – of space and time, and a me and a wider world – are solidified and taken as real, it’s painful.

Movie: Kumaré

 

I watched Kumaré the other day, and thought it was – or at least turned out to be – a quite beautiful and heart centered story. Many of his essential pointers were very good, especially the reminder that any guru “out there” in the world is a mirror of what’s in me. He or she is a reflection of my own wisdom, clarity, joy, love.

I also enjoyed how he had his followers take his role, and give advice to themselves from the position of the guru. That’s something I have explored for myself. If I was a guru – with great wisdom, love and care – what advice would I give myself?

Projections

 

I keep noticing and being curious about projections.

Something is here in my experience, my field of awareness , for instance a feeling, emotion, images, thoughts.

Another thought comes in and labels it, for instance fear, sadness, joy, generosity.

And yet another image or thought locates it, either in me or someone else.

Of course, it’s all happening within my own field of awareness. It’s all me. Even if an image or thought says “it belongs to him” it’s still all me.

It’s a projection in two main ways. A thought may say it belongs to someone else or the wider world, and yet…..

Looking at the content of the story, I can find examples of how it applies to me as a human being in the world.

It’s all – the images and stories and what they refer to – happening within this field of awareness, within what I am.

Projections are very useful. We couldn’t function without them.

And it’s also helpful to recognize them for what they are. That helps me hold them a little more lightly, more as questions and pointers to what’s here in me as a human being and this field of awareness creating my whole world.

 

Healing my images of the world

 

When I do ho’oponopono, tonglen, hold satsang with what I see in myself, others or the world, or pray for myself or others, what I do is heal my images of the world.

I invite in healing for my images of myself, others and the world.

For instance, I see what I imagine is fear in another, and hold satsang with it. You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting (me, the other). How would you like me to be with you? What would satisfy you forever? What are you really?

I find it’s already allowed (by life). I find how it comes from love, and is love. I find it’s innocence. I find that it already is Spirit.

And in that way, my images of it are healed. My images align a little closer to reality.

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God

 

It may be obvious, and yet perhaps not completely for most of us. It may not be seen thoroughly, felt thoroughly, and lived thoroughly. There is always more to explore and let sink in.

God is a projection. God is an image that’s here. The qualities and characteristics it refers to is here. The image of me and God is here. The image of here and there is here.

And the same with the world. That too is a projection.

My world is a projection. My God is a projection. The image and what it refers to, and all the other images it rests and depends on, they are all here.

And the same with time and space. And me and I. My perception of time and space, my perception of a me and I, are all filtered through my own world of images. Whatever image I have of it all is my images. The images are here. What they refer to is here.

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What’s sought is what’s seeking

 

Real longing is usually for some deep emotional place, happiness, peace, forgiveness, love. Even our mundane desires are connected to longing. If I get this thing, I will feel this way. You don’t want the thing, you want how it will make you feel. [….] Longing comes from an absolute fullness. The longing comes from its completion, it comes from absolute abundance…. that you are unconscious of, however. Longing is sent into consciousness, it’s a way of pulling you back into your own fullness. It comes from fullness and pulls you back to fullness, if you follow it back from where it came. It brings you back from where it came. And you find, it came from fullness. The longing for happiness came from happiness. The longing for enlightenment came from enlightenment. The longing for peace came from peace.

– Adyashanti, The Red Thread of Desire, disc 2, sections 7 and 8.  (Slightly edited for clarity.)

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Projections

 

What comes up for me around the word projection?

The simplest is that my images and thoughts about the world is an overlay on simple perceptions. There are sensations, sights, sounds, taste and smell, and then an overlay of images and thoughts creating labels, boundaries, interpretations and stories.

These are, in a sense, projections. It’s all happening within and as my world of experience, within and as awareness. And I have an image of a car, and imagine it’s out there in the world. I have an image of a situation, and imagine it’s in my past or a future. I have an image of me and I, and imagine what these images refer to is here.

Sometimes, these images and thoughts are recognized as just that, as an overlay, as an innocent question about the world, and temporary and practical guidelines at most. And sometimes, they are taken as true, solid, and real, as inherent in the world, something I can’t – at the time – even imagine question. (Until I do.)

So the simplest and most basic way of looking as projections is this overlay of images and thoughts, essential for functioning in the world. And the next layer is whether it’s recognized as just that – in view and also emotionally, energetically and in behavior. Or taken as real and seen, felt and/or lived as real.

The way the word projection is often used is in the last way, when these images and thoughts are taken as real. That’s when I see something out there – in others, in the world, in the past or future, and not (also) here in me now. And that’s really just one subset.

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Shadow of a thought

 

I usually don’t use the words shadow or projection these days. And that’s perhaps a good reason to see what these words  would mean to me now.

For instance, shadow is usually defined as:

A dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface. (Physical definition.)

In Jungian psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” may refer to (1) the entirety of the unconscious, i.e., everything of which a person is not fully conscious (2) an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not recognize in itself. Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of ones personality, the shadow is largely negative. There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in ones shadow (especially in people with low self esteem). (Wikipedia.)

For me right now, focusing mostly on The Work, I see that any thought – when taken as true – comes with it’s own shadow.

The shadow of a thought is, to put it simply, (a) the truth in the turnarounds of the thought, and recognizing (b) that it’s just a thought, an innocent question about the world, and has no absolute or final truth in it. This is what’s not recognized, especially at a felt level, when a thought is taken as true.

If I – in a certain situation – think that life is unfair and take that thought as true, then it’s shadow is examples of (a) how life is fair and (b) how I am unfair (in my thinking about life), and (c) that it’s a thought, an innocent question, and I honestly cannot know.

If I think that M. is caught up in conspiracy theories, and believe that thought, then the shadow is examples of (a) how M. is not caught up in conspiracy theories, (b) how I am caught up in conspiracy theories (about him, life), and (c) that it’s a thought, an assumption, a question, and that I don’t know.

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The dream of the ego

 

Adyashanti – and I am sure many others – sometimes talk about the dream of the ego.

The dream of the ego are the thoughts we, in our confusion, may have about a permanent state where what we see as good and desirable is present, and what we see and bad and undesirable is absent. This dream may take many forms: A paradise after this life. A permanent state of enlightenment in this life. A life with money, house, family, success, admiration and so on.

It comes from a series of beliefs and assumptions: (a) There is time and space this can happen within. (b) There is an I here that this happens to. (c) It’s possible to find a permanent state, something within content of experience I can rely on. (d) Life – situations, experiences – are inherently good, bad or neutral.

What does “ego” refer to here? It may sound like an entity of some sort, and yet, it’s really just the dynamics created when a thought – any thought – is taken as true: The identification with the viewpoint of the thought, and the sense of I created from this. The assumptions that the boundaries and the labels inherent in the thought are real and solid. The shoulds that may come from the belief. The emotions created from the belief, especially when life aligns with the belief or not. The life that comes from the belief.

So what’s a more realistic approach than pursuing the dream of the ego, thinking it will solve all problems and give me a state of permanent bliss? For me, it’s to find peace with what’s here, whatever it may be. Examine my beliefs about it and find what’s (already) more true for me. Perhaps even recognize what’s here – whatever it may be – as the divine, just as it is.

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Garden of Eden

 

There are of course many ways of understanding the story of the garden of Eden and the “fall”, each with some validity to them.

Any story, including the ones from mythology and religion, can be seen as reflecting something here and now.

So one of the simpest ways of understanding this story, and one of the almost literal interpretations, is that eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil is a reflection of taking stories – specifically stories of good and evil, right and wrong – as true. When I “eat” the stories of good and evil, I take them as true and somehow inherent in reality. It’s something that happens here and now for most of us, and it is a “fall”, a loss of paradise.

All that’s needed is clarity about the stressful story that’s here now. Christ may represent that clarity, and Christ may especially represent clarity around the story of I. When any story is seen for what it is, Christ reveals itself to some extent. The wisdom and kindness that’s always here can shine through our lives a little more clearly. And when the story of I is seen for what it is, Christ reveals itself even more clearly to itself and in our lives. Even here, there may still be beliefs in stories. There may be a fall, being thrown out of paradise, and (the opportunity for) another redemption through clarity.

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Hess

 

I listened to The Psychiatrist and Rudolph Hess, a BBC Witness podcast, and it seems the British psychiatrist evaluating Hess was quite eager to label him insane and even weak. I wonder if this comes from a desire to see him as much as possible as “other”? It seems that some try to do something similar with Breivik.

It’s understandable, and yet, the drawback is that the normalcy of it may be overlooked. Their actions makes a great deal of sense from within their worldview. It’s quite logical, as it is for most of us. And both of them mirror each of us. When I turn around each of my beliefs about them, I’ll find examples of how I do the same. (Of course expressed, on the surface, in a different form.)

Open to energies of others

 

I had a phase where I felt especially open to the energies of others. I could pick up their discomfort, inner struggle, war with themselves. It seems that this is quite common early on in an awakening or opening process. I still occasionally notice this in my life, and I also know it’s just a story.

What’s really going on here?

As with anything else in the world – people, fairy tales, dreams, aliens, God, the universe, reality – these people are perfect mirrors for me.

I may have beliefs about them:

They are crude, unconscious, unaware.

They have inner conflict, they are at war with themselves.

They are disturbing me. They are disturbing my peace. It’s my peace. It’s a problem for me. It hinders my life. I am a victim of their confusion.

And I can inquire into these stories to find what’s more true for me. (I may find that the discomfort I experience is from my beliefs about them and the situation, and the resistance these beliefs create, and not from them or the situation.)

These people also mirror perfectly what’s here.

(a) The images and stories I have about them are my images of stories. They are right here. They are created by me.

(b) These people mirror my own discomfort, tension and unease, my own struggle and war with myself. They mirror my own tension and struggle as I go into my beliefs about them, and my own tension and struggle in other situations in life.

(c) It’s all happening within my world of awareness, within and as awareness itself – as any sensation, sight, taste, smell, sound and any image and story. Even the story of a person out there and a me here happens within and as awareness. There is an image of a person out there, a me here, struggle in the other person, an impact on me, an I observing it all, and identification or not with these stories, and this all happens within this world of awareness.

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UFOs

 

For the record, what Pitts endorses is the “unidentified” aspect of an unidentified flying object. “I have never seen a UFO myself,” he says, “and I am not saying that UFOs are ET spacecraft. I am saying [that] here, there is some mystery, and we should be able to address it scientifically, without all the stigma involved.”
– Astronomer Derrick Pitts quoted in ET, Phone Derrick Pitts

As most boys, I was quite interested in UFOs and was even a member of the UFO organization in Norway. In my teens, the interest shifted into exploring UFOs as projection objects (especially after I found Jung’s book on the topic), and later on, I have occasionally read up on what’s happening in the field.

UFOs are interesting to me for a few different reasons:

Some appear to be natural phenomena not very well understood by science, or entirely unknown to science.  The Hessdalen lights in Norway may be one example.

They are excellent projection objects – unknown, rare, ephemeral, mysterious. They are great for putting our fears and hopes on and create beliefs around. (They will save us, they will eat us, I will dismiss it and don’t take it seriously.) This in itself is a very interesting phenomenon, and well worth exploring.

Some – a few – may be crafts of nonterresital origin. The universe may be populated by many different civilizations, and although the chances of any one actually visiting us may be miniscule considering the huge distances and enormous space, it could happen. After all, our modern scientific exploration of physics is very young, what we don’t know will always be infinitely more than what we do know, and what we have discovered so far, through for instance quantum physics, shows us that reality seems much stranger than what we could have imagined. It’s worth keeping an open mind, take the possibility of visits seriously, and do some serious investigation.

And then there is the military and national security reasons. Independent of origin, some may be crafts. This is one reason most or all governments take UFOs seriously, whether or not they admit to it.

The rational approach is to take and investigate the more well documented reports seriously.

UFOs clearly exist. People see unidentified flying objects all the time. The question is, what is it in each case? The answers may range from the mundane to little known natural phenomena, and may also include possible ET visits. I don’t think I would be surprised either way. If we are visited, the implications are significant. And if there eventually is contact – in the open and at a large scale – then it’s the beginning of a new phase of human civilization.

Here is a good interview of author Leslie Kean by Michio Kaku.

One of several documentaries, I Know What I Saw:

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