This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little rantish. And some may be made into a regular article in time.
USING INSIGHTS TO FEEL SAFE
Someone on the periphery of my life came to my mind, and I thought: She is using her insights to feel safe.
She is someone who does have some insights, and her job is to consult and give advice to others.
At the same time, I have noticed that she latches onto a small piece of information and jumps to one her insights as a remedy, without having a fuller sense of the situation. She tends to insist that the other adopts her particular solution. And she does this uninvited.
So although I don’t know the full picture (!), I imagine she is using her insights to feel safe. She may latch onto them to feel safe, and she tries to get other to agree and adopt them so she feels it’s supported by others.
And, of course, this is me. I do this too. It’s a different and perhaps slightly amplified version of how I am.
I sometimes latch onto insights – aka ideas – to feel more safe. I am happy when I find others who agree and – sometimes unwittingly – support me in latching onto these ideas for safety. And I sometimes give unsolicited advice, perhaps not so often in real life but certainly in my mind.
Click READ MORE for more of these brief notes.
FINDING COMFORT IN BEING ALONE EVEN IN A RELATIONSHIP
One reason many of us seek intimate relationships is to fill a(n imagined) hole in ourselves and feel more loved and safe.
That’s OK. As I often say, it’s natural and comes from innocence.
At the same time, it can be very helpful to explore this imagined hole in ourselves, find another relationship with it, and perhaps even invite in healing for the issue behind it.
We can do this whether we are in a relationship or not. And it helps us whether we are in a relationship or not.
In many ways, it’s one of the best things we can do for our relationship – whether we are in a relationship or will be in the future.
If we are not yet in a relationship, it helps us be more comfortable being alone, not chose to go into a relationship in order to remedy a sense of lack in ourselves, and chose a relationship because it feels right and enriches our life.
In a relationship, it helps us be more real and honest with ourselves and the other person. There is less need for manipulation, at least rooted in this particular issue.
And that’s a great gift to ourselves, the other, and the relationship.
AUGUST 24, 2020
EMBRACING MY INNER TEENAGE GIRL
My partner introduced me to this song which I like a lot while also noticing I feel a bit embarrassed for liking it. Why would I feel embarrassed?
What I find is that I imagine it’s a song that mostly teenage girls would like. When I see that, I also see that it’s probably not true.
And even if it was, so what? Why not embrace my inner teenage girl? I may be a grown guy with a big beard, but I still have a teenage girl in me. I probably have many different versions of teenage girls. And it’s good for me to embrace these sides of me too.
AUGUST 27, 2020
MAGIC TRICKS: EFFECT & METHOD
As many have pointed out, the way we perceive reality has similarities with how magic tricks work. And that includes how we take ourselves to be a separate being.
In stage magic, they often talk about the effect and method. The effect is the magic trick as it is experienced by the audience. The method is how it’s done and how it’s experienced by the magician.
Sometimes, knowing the method heightens our appreciation of the trick, for instance with certain mind reading performances that require a high level of skill and years of practice (developing and learning to use a system). Other times, knowing the method can be quite disappointing. (Often the case with some well known street magicians.)
So how is it with how our mind performs its magic and creates the appearance of matter, objects, and being a separate self? Does knowing the method heighten our appreciation of the magic trick, or is it a bit disappointing?
At one level, it’s a simple trick. It’s created from the mind associating sensations with thoughts so the thoughts appear solid and true. We can investigate this for ourselves through, for instance, Living Inquiries.
On the other hand, there is so much more to this simple trick. It exists in and was made possible through a vast and mysterious universe.
ANDRÉ BJERKE & IDENTITY THROUGH LANGUAGE
André Bjerke is one of my favorite Norwegian authors, and I listened to two biographies about him this summer.
He was involved in the language debate in Norway some decades back, between those who spoke “proper” Danish-influenced Norwegian and those who wanted a more native Norwegian version of the language. (The two are very similar so it seems a bit silly looking back.)
It seemed his involvement in the debate took a lot of energy and time from his regular writing. So why was it so important to him?
Although neither of the books mentions it, I suspect it has to do with identity. He grew up on the east side of Oslo, which is traditionally where laborer and the less well off lived. And he adopted the language and culture of those on the west side, which is where those with money lived and live. He also set is stories in the west side of Oslo and his characters are from that area.
So his engagement to protect and promote that (more Danish) language may be an attempt to build an identity around it. It may come from a wish to abandon his roots and take on an identity as someone cultured from the wealthy side of town.
Perhaps he wanted to protect and build up this new identity, and he found a way to do it through this debate.
In my teens and early twenties, I had a plan of creating a well-rounded education for myself. And this included learning about astrology. (I found the lunar nodes most interesting.)
How do I see astrology?
It all depends on how we relate to it.
If we take anything from astrology as a literal truth, it’s perhaps not so helpful. It can create stress, disappointment, misguided choices, and so on. Wanting to take it as true can be an attempt to find safety and predictability, and may be a reaction to (unmet, unloved, unbefriended) fear and sense of lack.
If we have a lighter touch, it can be useful in several ways.
What comes out of astrology are pointers and questions. Does this fit for me? How does it fit? What doesn’t fit so well? How can I use this to guide my life, relationships, or own healing?
Also, whatever I see in astrology is a mirror of what’s already here in me. The signs, houses, planets, relationships and so on are all qualities and dynamics in me. It doesn’t matter if it’s my own birth chart or someone else’s or just a general description of something in astrology. I can use it all as pointers to notice how these dynamics play out in my own life and get it in touch with it more in my own life. I can also chose an archetype from astrology and see how it is to bring it more into my life.
And is there something in astrology in a conventional sense? That’s a question for science and it would be interesting to see what comes out of it. It shouldn’t be too difficult to study. For instance, we could give the birth charts of people to astrologers to interpret and give a personality profile, and then match it with results from a conventional personality test. (Or whatever else would make more sense depending on what astrologers say they can say something about.)
SEPTEMBER 2, 2020
DO HEALING FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT THEIR APPROVAL?
In a recent Vortex Healing class, the teacher repeated the official view in Vortex Healing: It’s OK to do healing for others without asking them. The divine won’t let it happen unless it’s for their highest good.
I understand the reasoning. Part of Vortex Healing is to do healing for issues in humanity, groups of people, places, and the Earth as a whole. In these cases, it’s clearly not feasible to ask everyone for permission.
And yet, it’s different when it comes to people in our life. These are people we can ask for permission. The healing may be for their highest good (whatever that means), but if they, at a personality level, don’t want it, that’s something I want to respect.
Yes, it’s all happening within and as the divine. The divine is doing the healing. The divine locally here is inviting the healing in. The divine locally over there may benefit from it as some level, whether they think they want it or not. And that doesn’t automatically excuse ignoring people’s wishes.
Personally, I prefer to ask before doing healing, as far as possible.
SEPTEMBER 5, 2020
IS MY TRUE NATURE THE SAME AS THE TRUE NATURE OF OTHERS, AND THE TRUE NATURE OF EXISTENCE?
When we find ourselves as capacity for our experience – of this human self and the world, then that seems like our “true nature”. It’s difficult to imagine anything much more basic than being capacity for our experience, and what our experience happens within and as.
Within this, there is oneness. All experience happens within and as what we are. There are no boundaries inherent in anything. Any boundaries come from an overlay of thought.
And since all happens within and as what we are, it appears that all is what we are. We can call this consciousness, or awakeness, or we can call it Big Mind, and we can label it Spirit, the divine, or even God.
This human self, other beings, our physical surroundings, and existence as a whole all appear as consciousness, or awakeness, Big Mind, Spirit, the divine. And it appears that way to us because to ourselves we are that and all our experiences happen within and as what we are.
The question then is: Is this the true nature of other beings? And is it the true nature of all of existence?
The true nature of others
Is it the true nature of others? After talking with and reading and hearing from a lot of others, I have to say it looks that way. It seems we all find ourselves as capacity for the world as it appears to us. We may use slightly different words to describe it, but the findings seems to be mostly the same.
When I look at others, I see someone appearing within and as what I am.
I also chose to assume that this is someone whose true nature is the same as what I find here. Over there, this true nature may notice itself or not, and that’s not so important. The true nature is the same, as is the potential for this noticing.
The true nature of existence
Is it the true nature of existence?
We can say that the most basic nature of existence must be capacity. Existence is capacity for itself in whatever way it shows up.
It’s perhaps more of a stretch to say that existence in itself is consciousness, awakeness, Spirit, or the divine. Yes, it appears that way to us in our immediate experience. We can’t say it for certain. And there are some hints that suggests at least the oneness of existence, if not awakeness. (Synchronicities, distance healing, ESP etc.).
It’s also possible that existence is consciousness, and that there are varying degrees of awakeness at different locations and levels of existence. This may be the more common way to look at it among people into spirituality.
Does it matter?
Not really. All I need is to explore what I am in my own experience and explore how it is to live from it.
Also, it’s good to acknowledge these three different facets of the world and what we can and cannot – for certain – say about each.
What does this say about life beyond this life?
It’s another question that doesn’t matter so much. I cannot know for certain. I can just live this life as best I can here and now.
And yet, how we see my true nature and the true nature of existence does suggest different things about what may happen before and after this life.
If I keep to the first – my own true nature – I see that time and space and everything else happen within and as what I am. What I am, in a sense, is timeless and spaceless and capacity for time and space.
To myself, I am timeless and spaceless and time and space happens within and as what I am. That doesn’t mean I am eternal. I have no idea what will happen when this human self dies. Perhaps “I” am gone forever. Perhaps something continues. I don’t know. And that’s OK. I don’t need to know.
How it is for others doesn’t matter so much here. But the true nature of existence does matter. If the true nature of existence is the same as my true nature, then it’s more likely that what we are continues after the death of this human self.
DIFFERENT POINTERS FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND CONDITIONS
Don’t be a seer, be the seeing. To be a seer is to be someone, somewhere; to be the seeing is to be no one, everywhere.– Rupert Spira
The intention behind these type of pointers is to help people notice something they may not have noticed before. It’s medicine for a particular condition. And as we are all different, this type of pointer probably works well for some.
It doesn’t really work for me, but that’s me. For me, more structured and guided inquiry works better, for instance the headless experiments, Big Mind process, and Living Inquiries.
Why doesn’t it work so well for me?
The “don’t be” admonitions don’t work very well because identifying one way or another is not a choice. We cannot chose to stop identifying. For me, a wording that makes more sense is “notice how it is to be seeing”. Or, even better, help people shift into it through, for instance, the Big Mind process.
Also, when he says “to be the seeing is to be no one, everywhere” is only partially true and can easily be misunderstood. It doesn’t mean we are omnipresent. It just means that in our current field of experience, we are not located anywhere in particular. I just looked out the window at some clouds, and in that moment, I am the appearance of those clouds as much as I am the appearance of this body. Whatever happens in my field of experience happens within and as what I am.
I am sure he clarifies this when he talks about these things, but – again, for me – the way he talks about it is too easily misleading. It makes it sound more weird and special than it is.
Also, why not use structured inquiry to help people find it for themselves here and now? Why talk about it when you can lead them to it so they can find it for themselves?
And, as I said, these pointers are medicine for different conditions. It may not be for me now (or ever), but it seems to work for others. After all, he has quite a few dedicated students and I assume they wouldn’t listen to him if it didn’t work for them. (Unless they are fascinated by his words and their fantasies about it and wait for something to happen in the future, which then is part of their path and process.)
SEPTEMBER 7, 2020
CYNICAL VS HEARTFELT
In modern western society, what’s cynical and problem-focused is sometimes seen as more real, substantial, and deep than what’s more heartfelt and solution focused. This is perhaps most obvious in the news media that tend to favor problem focus over solution focus.
In working with ourselves, we may find the reverse. Cynicism and problem focus is an outer protective layer. And behind that is heart, warmth, love, compassion, and solutions.
Our nature is love and warmth and finding solutions. And what’s more cynical and addicted to problems is the outer protective layer.
Of course, maturity, experience, and so on combines with this protective layer or the more clear heartfelt and warm. We can be relatively insight and mature and either cynical or heartfelt.
It’s explicit in much of modern visual art that it reflects a more intellectual and disembodied approach, and it often uses synthetic materials. The other side of the spectrum is art that’s more heartfelt, earthy, and uses natural materials. I imagine the second approach will become more popular in time, especially as it’s a needed correction to the overly head-oriented and somewhat cynical orientation of modern western society.
USING WORLD EVENTS FOR PERSONAL HEALING
These days, with all that’s going on in the world (and my former west coast home areas in flames), I am even more aware than usual of the interaction between the collective and the personal.
World events can bring up a very natural and healthy sadness, fear, anger, and so on. These move through us in respons to what we see or experience, and they can help us deepen in empathy, revise our view on something, and lead us to take action.
World events can also trigger our own unprocessed material. They can bring up something old in us we haven’t seen, felt, or completely processed. This component of our response is often more reactive and can seem a bit out of proportion to the trigger.
Often, when we respond to world events, there is a mix. Some of it is a natural and clean response. And some comes from a triggering of our own old issues.
This means that we can make use of world events in several ways. We can use them to deepen in empathy and understanding. We can use them to motivate us to action. And we can use them for our own healing.
We can take it as an opportunity to welcome and feel whatever comes up in us around it. We can identify painful beliefs triggered by the world events. We can find old emotional issues and meet them and invite in healing for them.
ASSERTIVE IN DEALING WITH BULLYING
I happened on an article about Rooster Teeth and how they, among other things, chose to not address or take action against online bullying against their own employees. This is the classic mistake in dealing – or, in this case, not dealing – with bullying.
The way to stop bullying is to directly address it, call it out when it happens, talk about how and why it’s hurtful for individuals and the community, be very clear that it’s not acceptable, and model and actively cultivate inclusiveness, kindness, and compassion. And if someone still persists, then ban them from the community.
I don’t know much about this particular situation (I am not into computer games etc.), but it seems that in the case of Rooster Teeth, it reflects a more general problem with the company culture.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2020
How does spiritual maturity come about?
Spiritual maturity comes through experience with exploring what we are and how to live from it, and often also experience with spiritual practices.
Spiritual maturity and maturing as a human often go hand in hand, although not necessarily. We can be mature as a human being and less mature in spirituality if we are new to it. And we can have some degree of spiritual maturity, through experience, while being relative immature as a human being.
It’s supported by engagement in our spiritual exploration, sincerity, curiosity, noticing we are our own final authority, time, and also inquiry into anything in us that holds us back from maturing – specifically emotional issues, hangups, and traumas.
And how does it look?
What we consider spiritual maturity will vary a bit with our culture and spiritual tradition, and also our personal preferences and inclinations.
It’s difficult, at least for me, to make a list of signs of spiritual maturity. It’s something we recognize and it may not be so easy to write a formula for it.
As I started exploring signs of spiritual maturity as it looks to me, I realized how ridiculously biased this list will be, and also that each of these pointers can be understood and applied in a more or less mature way. When we are more mature, we live them. I’ll still write a few.
Living from love. Noticing what we are. A pragmatic approach to practices and pointers. The world is my mirror. Using situations to notice what’s triggered in me, and explore it further. We are our own final authority. Practices and pointers are medicine for different conditions. We are all in the same boat – in terms of the universals of deepest longings, what we are, and so on. We need different things at different phases of the process. What works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you, or for me next week. Thoughts are tools for orienting and functioning in the world, and for finding very provisional and limited truths, their function is not to find any final or absolute truth. There is some truth to any view, and that doesn’t mean they are all equally useful or useful in the same way. Big picture and long term view on the world, society, and our policies.
GIVING UP ON THE MATHEMATICS
When we have regrets about something, it’s natural to look at the silver lining, the upsides, what we can learn from it, and so on.
Early on, and when we are ready for it, this can be healthy and healing.
And, at some point, it’s good to give up on the mathematics. To just let it be as it is. To acknowledge more fully that we don’t know. We don’t know how our life would have been with a different choice. We don’t really know what we learned or didn’t learn. We don’t fully know what it did for or with us. We don’t know the bigger picture.
Any ideas about upside and downsides and what could have been and what would have been better are just that, ideas. It’s not something inherent in reality.
At a certain point, we are ready to give up on the mathematics, and we can find a new freedom.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO STEP OUT OF THE AWAKENING PROCESS?
Is it possible to step out of the awakening process and have a “normal” life?
Someone asked this question in a social media group for Vortex Healing.
There are many answers to this question.
One is what Adya says here: “You are the vehicle for what wants to happen, not for what you want to happen.”
Life may want awakening to happen here. Then perhaps a period of “normal” life. Then perhaps back to focusing on the awakening path. Or not. It’s all life’s process, unfolding through this life.
Another answer is that the awakening path and normal life are not mutually exclusive. They may seem that way at first, but then the apparent boundary between the two dissolves. The awakening process happens within and as a normal life, and even sometimes through and as apparently shallow activities.
Also, at first, it may be natural to deeply delve into the awakening and set much else aside. Then, the awakening and ordinary life becomes more one.
Finally, if we have this question, it’s an invitation to find what we really want and live in an authentic way. What’s my deepest wish and motivation? When I trace my surface longings and wishes back to their essence, what do I find? How can I best bring that into my life, or bring my life into alignment with it?
SEPTEMBER 21, 2020
RECEIVING WORDS ABOUT AWAKENING
Words about awakening can be received in different ways.
When the awakening is alive for the recipient, there is recognition and the words often make immediate sense. It’s immediately obvious what the words point to.
If the recipient aspires to awakening, they may use the words as practical pointers for their own exploration. And they may also – a little less helpfully but often a natural part of the process – hang onto every word, try to figure out what it means, compare what different people say and idealize and reject based on personal preferences, and perhaps see what the words are about as something amazing and mysterious and something that will save them.
If the recipient has little interest in awakening – which is perfectly fine and natural too – the words may appear to reflect an abstract philosophy, and also reflect fantasies and dreams and something that doesn’t exist.
MY RELATIONSHIP TO RELIGIONS
Someone asked me if I consider myself Christian. When the question comes from a more conventional view, it’s difficult to answer. No, I don’t identify myself as Christian. And, yes, I find value in the Jesus story.
How do I see religions in general?
Religions are organizations. Their main purpose is to maintain themselves and that takes priority over truth or anything else. And there are also all the human dynamics that come with organizations, hierarchy, and power.
Most of them have elements of real insights. I can find valuable pointers in any religion. I can find valuable spiritual practices in each of them. I can use the mythology within each religion as a mirror for myself and way for me to find it in myself.
And that’s really enough for me.
As organizations, I don’t really feel I need to get involved. And I appreciate those who do since they allow the traditions to go on and future generations to benefit from them.
As a repository of pointers, I can find a lot of value in each of them.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
THE SIMPLICITY OF AWAKENING
Separation consciousness is often complex and convoluted because it’s created by belief in any number of different thoughts. It’s a rich fantasy world.
Awakening is simple because it’s what we are noticing itself, and thoughts are recognized as practical tools for navigating the world and not reflecting any final truth.
Of course, in reality, there is often a mix of the two. Even when there is a general awakening, we still have bubbles of separation consciousness in us – and these color our perception and life even when they are in the background, and they sometimes come to the foreground.
OUR INNER SEASONS
This is something poets and others have pointed to for millenia.
We have our inner seasons. More than that, the daily cycles of day and night mirror our own metaphorical light and dark, and the changes over the seasons mirror how the balance of light and dark in us can shift over time.
ALLOWING – FOR SELF, AND THEN OTHERS
–––– NOTES ––––
WHAT AM I?
I find it useful to differentiate between what I am (Big Mind) and who I am (this human self). And since reality is one and words divide, the boundaries can be fuzzy and definitions varied.
So what am I? ….
DO WE OWN ANYTHING?
TOO AWARE OF THOUGHTS?
My response to question in a social media group:
There is also this side to it:
“You are the vehicle for what wants to happen, not for what you want to happen.” – Adyashanti
That may be going fully into an awakening process, or apparently stepping out of it for a while, or whatever combination and process it is.In my case, there was a strong opening/awakening in my teens followed by years of Zen and other practice, then some years with more “normal” life without too much attention to spirituality (I focused on community and sustainability), and my life then turned back towards awakening etc.
I never really felt that any of these shifts were a “choice”.
Also, there isn’t really a different between being on an awakening path and living a “normal” – and even sometimes shallow – life. For me, it seemed like a difference early on, and then the boundaries dissolved.