Others know something fundamental about life

 

Other people know something fundamental about life that I don’t.

That seems to be a common thought or feeling, and one I recognize from my own life as well.

It is easy to understand why we have that assumption. We are more familiar with the facade of others than what is going on internally. And that facade is often one of being in control and knowing what is going on.

The sense that others know something fundamental about life is also a projection. Others are a mirror for myself, so it is a good guess that I know something fundamental about life, but I don’t quite notice or “own” it.

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This is it

 

this_is_it

A sentence from any source can be used as a koan, a question for own exploration.

It is most interesting when the statement appears mundane or counter intuitive, and even if it is a familiar reminder, it can be an invitation to look in a fresh way and perhaps a little further.

This is it.

This is all there is. All my images of the world and myself is my own world of images.

All I see “out there” – in present, past, and future, is here now. All goals, dreams, qualities, dynamics, whatever it is, is here now.

It is an image here now. The feelings and atmosphere it evokes are here now. The qualities and dynamics I see out there is here now.

Even the images of present, past, and future themselves happen in my own world of images.

I can notice and get familiar with this in the usual ways. I can inquire into my beliefs. I can explore my sense fields. I can recognize my images as images as they happen. I can notice my emotions as here now, and not belonging to anything out there in the past, future, or present. I can recognize my goals as stories here now. I can find the qualities and dynamics I see in others here now, in myself, including in how I relate to that person. I can ask myself if what I seek is not already here.

In this way, I get double benefit from my world of images. I can use my images, goals, and so on as guides for choices and actions in the world. And I can recognize it all already happening here now.

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Gifts of projections

 

There are many gifts in projections.

The most obvious is that projections allows us to orient and navigate in the world. Our world of images create a sense of space and time, places whatever happens in the sense fields in space. connects images of past, present, and future events, places boundaries to create the appearance of objects, filters, interprets, and makes sense of it all. This can most easily be noticed through simple sense field explorations. Without our world of images, we wouldn’t function.

This world of images also creates an infinitely rich world. We can place boundaries anywhere. Find connections anywhere. Look at any (imagined) object from any number of perspectives. Create any number of contexts which dramatically changes how we see something. We quite literally create our own worlds through the images we place on top of the sense fields.

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Three facets of spirituality

 

Spirituality can refer to many different things.

When I look at the type of spirituality I am most familiar with, I find three facets. And one, two, or three of them can be present at once, it seems, and in any combination.

First, there is fascination. We can be fascinate by many things, including the idea of what we may get out of spirituality (awakening, healing, peace, good rebirth), our own path and experiences (insights, dreams, glimpses), the stories in the tradition (cosmology, teaching stories), the teacher (personality, what they represent), more peripheral aspects such as reincarnation, supernatural powers, and auras, or even more peripheral things such as astrology, foreseeing the future, reincarnation, and also anything unexplained and weird such as UFOs, crop circles, ghosts and so on.

Fascination can be very helpful. It can make us feel good, hopeful, and inspired. It can help us stay with a path. It can be a needed temporary escape from problems. And it brings up projections, inviting us to find here what we see over there.

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Insults and reason

 

flag_burning

The Mohammad caricature saga continues, and it is all quite predictable. Extremists on one side go out of their way to insult traditional Muslims. Extremists on the other side allow themselves to be insulted and try to retaliate by burning flags (pretty hopeless) or violence. And the media, always looking for a good story, focuses on the extremes and not the large middle ground dismayed by the whole spectacle.

Deliberately offending or hurting someone seems a poor strategy, and in this case, it only serves to inflame an already too hot and dangerous situation. Can we expect others to gain respect for “freedom of speech” when what they see is the most misguided and infantile examples of its use? Much better then to say what we have to say, with clarity and respect, defend freedom of speech through laws and regulations, and demonstrate responsible use of free speech.

It may also be good to notice that we have taboos as well, and there are places where we are hurt in a similar way, the boundaries are just located differently. When a discourse treads close to our own taboos, we expect respect and sensitivity, so we may as well treat others with that same respect.

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If everybody knew

 

The recent Tiger Woods story is a reminder of a simple pointer:

Would I do what I am doing if everyone knew about it? What would I do differently if everyone would know it?

In our digital and highly connected age, it is very possible that everyone will know, and that gives an added reality to the question.

Here is another take on those questions: When I am alone, do I behave as I would if others were here?  How would it be to act as if others were here? When I am with others, do I feel and act as free as I do when I am alone? How would it be to feel and act with the freedom that is here when I am alone?

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Significant mirrors

 

As we move beyond childhood and teenage years, it is common to recognize in ourselves what we see in our parents, and especially what bugged us about them. And this can also be a good exploration in a more structured way.

What is it my parents do/did that bugs me? In what ways do I find myself doing the same? What are some specific examples? How does it feel to let that sink in? Is there more compassion? More understanding? More of a sense of us being in the same boat? An impulse to take more responsibility for how I act?

What is it my parents did or do that I admire? What are some specific examples? How am I doing the same or something similar? How does it feel to take that in?

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Creating our own dilemma

 

turkanaboy

Its a common dilemma: We imagine a boundary, elevate our side and devalue what is on the other side, and make it difficult for ourselves to recognize it as an imagined boundary.

It is easy to see among some Christian fundamentalists. In their own minds, they elevate humans as being made in God’s image, and devalue non-humans as a lesser category of beings. From within such a mindset, removing the boundary means that humans ends up in the same group as beasts, and it is not a very attractive proposition.

The solution is of course to elevate non-human species and gain a more realistic view of humans. We can recognize the immense beauty of the natural world. The intelligence, caring and fit to their environment of all species, come about through millions of years of evolution. Our shared ancestors and close kinship with all life. How we are all expressions of a seamless process of evolution of this planet. The ways our evolutionary past is played out in our daily life, and how a recognition of this can be a great help to us.

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Cruel game

 

There are many reasons why I wouldn’t be a good teacher, at least not of the traditional type. Apart from not being qualified in any way, not being trained, and not enjoying projections coming my way, I often feel that traditional spiritual teachers play a cruel game with their students.

There is a reason for that cruel game, of course, and it is a quite innocent one. When there is an awakening, it is natural for many to want to share it. And when there is an absence of awakening here, combined with neediness at a human level, it is natural to seek something that will fill that hole, and spirituality can be one of those things.

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Simple explanations

 

angel_memling

The Norwegian princess recently published a book about angels and how to contact them, and someone I know just sent me an email with a story about how I had helped her in a past life.

As usual, these things are an invitation to explore, in this case explore ways of relating to these topics, and some possible effects of each of these ways of relating.

I can dismiss it, which can be fine, but I also miss out of insights.

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What I see is what I am

 

What I see is what I am.

That is true in three ways:

What I see in the wider world – in others, culture, nature, fictional and real life stories, science, dreams – is a mirror of what is here now. It is a mirror of the characteristics and dynamics here now.

My world – the world I relate to and live within – is my own world of images. It is my own overlay of boundaries and interpretations on pure perception.

And it all happens within and as what I am and everything is.

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The energy of others

 

It is quite common to hear people say they are sensitive to the energy of others. It may be especially noticeable – and sometimes uncomfortable – in close quarters with others over time, and if the others have relatively strong internal conflicts going on. I notice it mostly on the train or bus, and I know many others notice it – among other times – when giving bodywork.

There are lots of ways to work with this. Visualize a cocoon around oneself. Working on grounding. Visualize roots down the earth. Visualize clarity. Pray for the other and yourself. Visualize healing for both of you. And so on. All of these may work fine to some extent and for a while, but they won’t work completely or always because they are just alleviating the symptoms.

When I explore this for myself, I find that the discomfort I experience has one source, and that is my own beliefs about what is going on. Here too, I find that the discomfort I experience comes from friction between my stories of what should be and what is.

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Caveman Logic

 

caveman_logic

This book looks interesting:

Caveman Logic: The Persistence of Primitive Thinking in a Modern World.

(Via Integral Options Cafe.)

The press release makes some good points, and it is an interesting exploration. Why do we sometimes resist a more rational view? And what can be done about it when we notice it in ourselves, or encounter it in others?

It is also interesting to note that the author appears to mix in his own beliefs which muddles the logic slightly.

Davis laments a modern world in which more people believe in ESP, ghosts, and angels than in evolution. Superstition and religion get particularly critical treatment, although he argues that religion, itself, is not the problem but “an inevitable by-product of how our minds misperform.

It is not quite ESP, ghost and angels versus science and evolution. It is about how we relate, not what we relate to.

It is perfectly possible to be curious about ESP, ghost, UFOs and other mysterious phenomena, and take a pragmatic and scientific approach to it. We can study it through science and be quite receptive and open to whatever we may find.

And it is also perfectly possible to have a blind and irrational belief in atheism or particular scientific models, pretending those views and models are true when we know that atheism is just another unproven philosophy and any scientific model will be outdated and obsolete at some point in the future. (And that goes for our most basic worldview as well, and our most basic assumptions about life and existence.)

When we mix in our own beliefs as Davis does, it is also easy to be caught up in shadow projections. To get caught up in the “I am right, you are wrong” dynamics and all that comes with it.

And as always, this is a mirror for myself. I see Davis being caught up in his own beliefs, so how am I doing the same? How am I doing the same in relation to him right now? Can I find other specific examples from my own life?

In this case, it is perfectly possible – even likely – that I am horribly unfair and assign views to the author that he does not hold. I haven’t even read his book. I am just using it to make a point.

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Michael Jackson

 

michael-jackson-london-concerts

Some people and situations are especially good projection objects. They express qualities we are not in touch with in ourselves, characteristics outside of our conscious identity. So when we see it in others, it fascinates us. We may even be caught up in blind attractions and aversions to just those qualities, expressed in these people and situations.

Michael Jackson is a good example. His genius for music, dance, image and marketing gave him attention, and in itself made him a good project. Add eccentricity and scandals that never were resolved, and you have an irresistible and explosive mix.

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Any advice is for myself

 

Any advice is for myself. Any advice that comes up for me is primarily for myself, even if it initially appears to be for someone else.

When I take this as a question and a pointer, I find that it is a starting point for fertile exploration. What do I find when I investigate it through my own experience?

When advice comes up in my thoughts, what happens if I take it to be primarily for someone or something (life, God, a situation) else? How do I treat the other? How do I treat myself? Where do I experience it in my body? What do I fear would happen if I didn’t hold onto that advice as for someone else?

What happens if I take the advice as primarily for myself? Can I find the grain of truth in it? How is it a helpful advice for me in this situation? In what other specific situations can it be helpful advice for myself? How would it be to live from it?

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When with others, as if alone

 

Two simple and helpful questions:

When I am with others, am I free to act as if I was alone?

When I am alone, do I act with the integrity I aim for when I am with others?

This exploration is a help in finding more authenticity, to not blindly act from roles and from trying to impress myself and others, to not feel I have to present a certain image. It helps me find beliefs and inquire into them. And it helps me shift in real time, in the situation, through the question and where attention goes because of the question.

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Whoever believes

 

Whoever believes that the All itself is deficient is (himself) completely deficient.
Gospel of Thomas, verse 67.

This can be seen as referring to projections.

What I see in the world says more about me than the world. In a conventional sense, it says a lot about me and little about the world. In a real sense, it says all about me and nothing about the world.

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Shift

 

Something I keep noticing….

When I feel a need to defend against a story, it is because it doesn’t fit with stories – and their corresponding viewpoints and identities – that I take as true. It creates a sense of having to protect and defend certain viewpoints and identities. A sense of separation. Tension. Stress. Reactive emotions. Precariousness. Making some stories true and other false. Making others wrong and myself right. 

When I instead find the truth in the story and allow it to sink in, there is a shift. I find specific examples of how it is true. I take time to feel it. I find appreciation for it. And there is a shift into a sense of fullness. Coming home. Receptivity. Curiosity. Connection. Deep relaxation. No need to defend stories. A sense of shared humanity, of all of us in the same boat. 

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Forgiveness

 

Some things about forgiveness…

Forgiveness comes from seeing that we all are in the same boat, recognizing myself in others. An open heart, kindness, clarity.

Forgiveness comes from investigating stories and finding what is more true for me than an initial belief. 

Forgiveness comes from recognizing that all is already forgiven, all is innocence. When we take a story as true, we have to act as if it is true. All has infinite causes, the local expressions of movements of the whole. 

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Clarity of knowing I am doing it for myself, and all is OK

 

In both giving and receiving any form of help, I notice how much difference it makes to be clear about two simple things.

First, that I am already doing it for myself. And then, that all is OK as is.

And these two can easily co-exist with the everyday appearance of helping someone, and also inviting in certain shifts to help alleviate suffering and finding joy.

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Conventional views keeping it real

 

I find that there is a great support from conventional views. Here are a few that comes to mind right now….

Sanity looks sane even from a conventional view, and awakening is all about sanity. If my actions looks anything but sane to others and in a conventional view, and especially if I notice it as a pattern, it is a reminder for me to take a look at what I am doing. Which stories do I take as true? Which views are fixed? Where do I need healing and maturing? (There may be exceptions to this, where an action from clarity and kindness may appear less sane to others, but those are rare and very occasional.)

People don’t want to be made inferior or wrong. It may look like they are just protecting an exclusive identity, which is true. But there is also another reason: it is not true that they are inferior or wrong. We are all the play of God so completely equal there. Our views and actions are the play of God. Delusion and awakening, clarity and confusion, equally God and Ground. Within the realm of ideas, it is of course possible to create hierarchies and boxes of inferior/superior and right/wrong, and place actions into those. But those are only tools and have no truth to them.

People don’t want to be proselytized. Again, it may look like there is a defense of an identity. But there is also more to it: there is no need for it. There is absolutely no need for anyone to wake up. (For awakening to happen through certain individuals.) And yet, when the interest awakens, why not do what we can to support it, with whatever skills, clarity and kindness is available to us?

People like to hold onto beliefs and identifications, finding a safe imagined little world – that reality doesn’t conform to. It is a reminder for me to investigate my own beliefs and identifications, including about them, and find more clarity for myself.

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Don’t look outside of yourself

 

Don’t look outside of yourself for answers, or for something to complete yourself.

It is common advice, and can be understood in a few different ways.

First, in a conventional sense, it is an invitation to find in myself what I am looking for outside of myself. I may be looking for advice, and remember to (also) ask myself and find it in myself. I may be looking for something to complete me, and remember to give it to myself and find it in myself. It is a way to learn to trust what is here, see that it is already here, and that something outside of myself – teachings, people, situations – can remind me of what is already here. The world is my mirror.

It is an invitation to not get caught up in blind projections, in blind attractions and aversions. I may get advice from others, and enjoy things I am attracted to in others, but also remember to find it right here now. I can see it. Feel it. Find appreciation for it.

Then, I can notice that it is already happening. It is already that way. I may be looking for answers outside of myself, I may be looking outside of myself for something to complete me, and it may be outside of myself in a conventional sense, but is it really outside of myself?

It is all happening within my own world of images. The wider world and me that I see all this in is my own world of images. There is no outside and inside here.

The qualities and dynamics these images refer to are also here now. The wider world is a reminder, a mirror, of what is already here now. There is an inside and outside, but they mirror each other instantly and perfectly in this way.

And it is all happening as what I am and everything is. As that which all experience happens within, as and as an expression of.

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I am somebody who…

 

Here is a shadow-quickie.

I notice an aversion/attraction to somebody/thing in daily life, find the specific quality that brings it up, and then tell myself:

I am somebody who …

I am somebody who is a loser. I am somebody who is loud. I am somebody who is inconsiderate. I am somebody who is insane. I am somebody who is ugly. I am somebody who is angry. (Aversions.) I am somebody who has elegance. I am somebody who is smart. I am somebody who is clear. I am somebody who is friendly. (Attractions.)

I find at least three specific examples of how it is true in my own life. Times when I lived those qualities.

And I then take time to feel it. To let it sink in, get a bodily felt sense of being somebody who has those qualities. Taking time to allow my self image to reorganize to include this too, in a real and genuine way.

If I need to, I can do the same with the reversals of those qualities. In that way, I find both here now, and there is a freedom from both.

This simple practice probably works best if I have experience with projection work already, for instance from The Work.

The effects are often quite noticeable. From being caught up in aversions and attractions, and not immediately finding it in myself, there is a shift.

The world becomes a mirror, what is out there is also right here now. Tension melts. A sense of separation melts. There is a sense of fullness and wholeness. A sense of coming home. Of being complete here now. Spaciousness in all directions. I experience myself differently.

And then appreciation for those qualities, because they so clearly are part of the wholeness of who I am. Recognizing them here now, and feeling them here now, is the gateway into finding that wholeness. There is an allowing of them, an appreciation for them, a kindness towards the qualities and those expressing them (all of us including myself), even a love for them.

So I see these qualities right here, through specific examples of how they are expressed in my life. I take time to feel them here now, allowing my self-image to reorganize to include them. And from here, there is a sense of wholeness and gratitude for the qualities and the process.

Wholeness

 

I can find wholeness as who and what I am.

As who I am, this human self, I can find wholeness by noticing here what I see in the wider world. I can see, feel into and eventually find appreciation for it, whatever it is. The world is my mirror.

And when what I am notices itself, I find that there is already a wholeness there. It is that which all happens within and as.

To the extent I find the first form of wholeness, there is less neediness, less looking for something to complete me, less being caught up in attractions and aversions. This is an ongoing process before and within what I am noticing itself.

Life as is invites such a reorganization, it invites us to grow up. And when what I am notices itself, the invitation is even more pronounced.

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All for me

 

A few ways it is all for myself…

Whatever I do, I (already) do it for myself. I only need to notice.

When I help others or live in a way that seems good for the larger whole, I see that I do it for my own satisfaction. It feels good. It gives me joy. I do it for my sake.

Even when I follow a belief I have, I do it for my sake. A story seems true for me, so I act as if it is true because it seems right. As I find what is more true for me than the initial belief, I may change my actions or not, but I still do it for my sake. (The Work.)

And when I complain about something I am doing, I can do a simple inquiry.

For instance, I can make a list of things I do that I complain about, in a “have to” format. I have to pay taxes. I can then go through the list and change it to I want to… because. I want to pay taxes, because… I don’t want the consequences of not paying. (I am actually happy to pay taxes, but it is an example.)

So here I am seeing that I am already doing it for myself. I thought I was doing it because the government made me do it, but I now realize I am doing it out of kindness to myself – I don’t want the fines and possible jail time for not paying taxes. As I become more clear in this way, I may continue to do what I am doing, I may change the strategy, or I may decide to not do it anymore.  (This inquiry comes from Marshall Rosenberg.)

Also, any advice that comes up for me is for myself, even if initially a story tells me it is for someone else. He should be more open hearted > I should be more open hearted. That feels more true. That is what I want for myself.

This goes for advice I tell myself comes from myself, and advice that comes from someone else – even if it appears to be for yet another person. It doesn’t matter. It it all for me. I can always find how it is true for me, and how I want it for myself.

And anything happening is an invitation for me to grow and wake up, it is for myself. For instance, anything happening is an invitation for me to investigate my beliefs around it, and find what is (already) more true for me.

It doesn’t matter what it is, where it is, or who it apparently is happening to. It is still all for me, as an invitation to grow and wake up.

And finally, all is the play of God, for God. All is the play of what I am – that which all happens within and as, for what I am.

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Hollow earth

 

agharta_map

I went into a bookstore earlier today and saw an interesting book on the history of the Hollow Earth ideas.

It is often interesting to explore these types of ideas, since they do not conform with mainstream views and so are more easily recognized as projections.

So what about the hollow earth ideas?

They reflect a fascination with mystery, with anything that makes life seem a little more magical. Life as is, is inherently mystery, but if we don’t recognize it due to a story of “life is mundane”, we try to add it to life. We project it out.

They may reflect a wish to poke the establishment. I know something that those in power, including scientists, either don’t know or try to cover up. It gives a feeling of I know, they don’t. The game is precarious in this case the hollow earth stories cannot easily be supported.

More interesting is our tendency to fill in white areas of the map, any map. We don’t know something, so project our stories in there to fill it in. In this case, it is a literal white area on the (3d) map since nobody has been down there to take a look. In other cases, we don’t really know in spite of lots of data and maps, and there too project stories and take them as real.

And we can work with the hollow earth stories as with any other stories we have. We can inquire into them. We can recognize them as part of our world of images. We can find their content right here now, and not (only) out there.

In a more traditional psychological view, subterranian may indicate the shadow. Something hidden below us, something here that doesn’t fit my story of what is, something that doesn’t fit my stories of who I am. And this can in some cases even include ascended masters – our inherent wakeness and wisdom.

Or since the Earth is a sphere and contains everything we are familiar with, all life and what life depends on, it can have to do with our wholeness as humans. The wholeness of our body-psyche which is a whole world in itself. Whatever I see out there in the world mirrors qualities and dynamics right here.

When I look at my own wholeness, I indeed find that it is alive (awake), it is spiritual (awakeness), it is mysterious (cannot know), it is terrible (shadow), it is hollow (no thing appearing as something). It is all that the hollow earth stories tells us about.

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2012

 

strieber_2012_100407a

What will happen in 2012?

Will the mysterious planet Nibiru enter the local solar system and wreak havoc with Earth?

Will the sun rise in conjunction with the milky way and strange things happen?

Will the completion of the thirteenth B’ak’tun cycle in the Long Count of the Maya calendar coincide with a major shift in collective human consciousness?

Will nothing special happen, proving the folks holding those beliefs as kooks?

2012 – like UFOs and other good projection objects – is fertile ground for exploration.

First, what are the practical effects of taking certain stories about 2012 as true or as guidelines for actions? Do I relate to others and myself differently? Do I become more or less engaged? Do I become more receptive or more entrenched in holding certain perspectives and identities? These stories are just tools anyway, so what type of tools are they and what are the effects of using them?

Then, whatever stories I hold about 2012 or others’ beliefs about 2012, I can find it all right here.

I can notice that it all happens within my own world of images. My own stories about it and what I see in others, the wider world and in 2012 is all happening within my own world of images.

I can find the characteristics and dynamics I see in others, the wider world and in 2012 right here as well. How do they happen right here, as I hold onto these stories? How do they happen in my life otherwise?

I can notice all as happening within and as awakeness.

Another way to explore this is to identify and inquire into my beliefs around 2012 and others holding certain ideas about 2012.

2012 is doomsday. 2012 means a major shift in human consciousness. People who think 2012 is doomsday or means a shift in consciousness are flaky kooks, with little or no grasp on reality and science. I know what will happen. My views are right. I am right, they are wrong.

When 2012 arrives, I can notice what happens whether my expectations are met or not. If my expectations are met, do I take it as proof that I was right all along? That I am better than others? If my expectations are not met, do I try to explain it away? Do I take it as an opportunity for inquiry?

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I get it, they don’t

 

One of the basic ways we pretend is to attach to a story of I get it, they don’t, or its reverse I don’t get it and they do.

Of course, there is a grain of truth to both. They have validity in a conventional and very limited sense. But it pales in comparison to the ways it is not true.

Some of the ways it is not true, here specifically in an awakening context….

We are the truth. We and everything are truth. We cannot escape it.

And we all know. We know from daily experience, and we know from what we are. We all know, even if we don’t always notice, take it seriously, or take the consequences of it. We know that…

Resistance = struggle and drama. (When I resist experience, there is a sense of struggle.) Allowing = clarity, receptivity and release of struggle. What we are = everything happening and that which it happens within and as. (It all happens as awareness.) Stories = not true, in a conventional sense and also in the context of reality. (I never know anything for sure, and reality is more than and different from any story.) All = no thing appearing as something. (It is all ephemeral, insubstantial, awakeness itself.) What I see in the wider world mirrors myself. (I see myself in others, and it all happens within my own world of images.) All advice is for myself. (Whatever appears as advice for others is really for myself.)

And finally, those two perspectives are not true because there is only God. It is all the play of God.

There may be a me here, as this human self, who appears to get it or not. But there is no separate I anywhere.

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Seeing the Earth as a whole

 

nasa-apollo8-dec24-earthrise

Forty years ago this Christmas, something amazing happened: we visited the Earth’s moon for the first time.

It was the first time humans saw the Earth as a blue marble floating in space, and it gave us the first photo of an Earthrise. (Here is a recent interview with the three Apollo 8 astronauts.)

For the last forty years, we have been familiar with photos of Earth from space. And also the often  transformative experiences of astronauts and cosmonauts. (Especially the ones who left Earth orbit.)

It has nudged us to recognize the Earth as one whole. As a living system. And as tiny even in the context of our own small solar system.

In many ways, seeing the Earth from the outside is a recent step in our collective deprovincialization. It is an invitation for us to grow up a little more as a species and global culture.

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Tara emerging from a rock

 

During the last 35 years people around Pharping in the southern part of the Kathmandu Valley have noticed that an area of a cliff began to slowly bulge out. It began to look more and more like Tara, the female buddha. At the same time the form of Ganesh also appeared. The place is just below the Asura Cave, sacred to followers of Padmasambhava. I have seen it many times over the years, and can attest that it has gradually become more distinct.

– from Blazing Splendor, the blog of Erik Pema Kunsang 

Anything happening is an opportunity to investigate…

In this case, I can explore this emerging Tara (and Ganesh) as a projection. I can find whatever I see out there also right here. 

What do I see there? Do I see Tara, an aspect of the Buddha mind? Do I see mystery and magic there? Do I see deception? Do I see gullible people? 

If I see Tara, can I find it here? Can I find a compassion that is unfiltered by stories? A kindness towards whatever is happening… towards experience, myself, others? Can I notice what arises in each of the sense fields as emptiness? As awakeness itself? Insubstantial? 

If I see devotion, can I find it here? Yes. I can find devotion to stories, whenever I take them as true. And I can find devotion to truth, to sincerely find what is more true for me within the realm of stories, and also what is more true for me than any stories. 

If I see mystery and magic, can I find it here? I find mystery in… Anything existing at all. In whatever is happening. In awakeness. In the play. 

If I see deception, can I find it here? Yes. I deceive myself whenever I take a story as true. (In this case, if I take any story about this as true, I deceive myself.) 

If I see gullible people, can I find that here? Yes. Again, I am gullible whenever I take a story as true. And I am gullible when I am not smart about how I go about certain situations. And again, I can find several specific examples. 

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Reincarnation as projection, guide and question

 

A few things about reincarnation…

As any other story, it is a projection of what is here now.

A story is projected into the past, present or future. An idea of a past, future and even present life is projected and appears solid and substantial out there. Can I notice it as just an image, a mental field creation happening here now?

Qualities and dynamics are projected into the past, present and future. Maybe a life of blessings or of hardships, and details about each. Can I find it here now? See how it plays itself out? Feel it? Welcome it?

And among these is the dynamics of rebirth itself. In what way is rebirth happening here now? Can I notice that my stories are being reborn here now? My images of myself are continuously being recreated here now. Continuously maintained, fueled, enhanced, rehearsed, elaborated, in different ways.

(Whether those stories align with data and consensus reality or not, and appear to reflect something in the wider world, they are still also a projection of something here now. I couldn’t see it out there if it wasn’t also right here.)

And as any other story, it is a guide of temporary and practical value (or not). Helpful in some situations. Less helpful in other. When I use it for myself, what effects does it have? Does it help me take responsibility for my actions here now? If so, it may be quite helpful. Does it bring stress and tensions? If so, it may be less helpful.

And finally, as any other story, it is a question.

I may have images of past lives (for me, a life as a Russian intellectual in the 1850s and 60s, and a Taoist master in Xian in the 900s? during the Tang dynasty) but did those lives really happen? If they did, was something associated with those lives reborn in this one? If so, what is that something? And if something is reborn, is there an “I” in that something? If I can’t find an I here, anchored in this human life, would there be one then?

And it is also a question for us collectively. A question we can do studies and research on. And that research may well be worth doing, especially since its findings may help us open up our current science based world view.

So the story of reincarnation, as any other story, is a projection, a guide and a question.

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Mind made in two ways

 

Here are two ways the world is mind made…

First, through ordinary projections.

There is a story here about the world. An overlay of images that creates my world and guides how my human self functions in the world. All drama happens within these images. If I get caught up in it, it all seems very substantial and real. When I recognize this overlay as it happens, this overlay is just a set of innocent questions about the world and sometimes a temporary guide for action. 

My world, as represented by these images, is mind made. It is a mind made overlay on the sense fields. 

The world is also mind made in another sense. In the divine mind sense. Everything happening in all of the sense fields is Ground imagining itself into form. Evolving. Always new. Different. It is Existence manifesting, experiencing and exploring itself as form. 

So at the levels of who and what we are, the world is mind made. First, as ordinary projections. Then, as Existence itself imagining itself as and into form. 

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