“There are two mistakes one can make along the journey to truth... not starting, and not going all the way.”


Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Three Stages of Consciousness

Stage one: Ignorance
Stage two: Knowledge
Stage three: Integration

The three stages of Consciousness are reflected in all aspects of life.

It can be seen in the union of seemingly opposite yet complementary aspects of nature (male and female) which come together and give birth to new life.

It can also be seen in the development of any skill set. At first, you are completely unaware of the skill, you do not even know that it exists as a possibility. Later, you gain awareness of this skill and seek knowledge pertaining to it so as to gain further understanding. Finally, you take this knowledge and fully integrate it so that you can practice this skill in a masterful and effective way.

It is reflected in Christian teachings as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In Hinduism there is the One (one) who breathed the breath of life (two) and gave birth to all creation (three).

It is also reflected in the nature of conscious experience, as there is the universal dichotomy, which is reality, and there is the formless witness or perceiving Awareness of this dichotomy that observes this interplay of complementary aspects.

So Consciousness evolves in three stages. First, there is the stage of ignorance, which is a blissful contentment and pure awareness of the experience without there being any knowledge as to what the experience actually is. Secondly, there is the generation of knowledge, of mind, logic and intellect. This is represented in the biblical teachings, as Adam and Eve eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The third and final stage is the integration of this knowledge into a full awareness of the unity and Oneness which is the holistic experience that we call life.

The first stage would be represented by primordial man, cavemen who simply lived unconsciously and were controlled by their basic survival instincts. The second stage is the first human renaissance, if you will, where new knowledge, concepts and ideas proliferated. However, with this knowledge came the identification with thought and the attachment to polarity. Things were interpreted through a mental filter based on fragmentation and separation; experiences were perceived dualistically as good/bad, right/wrong, light/dark, positive/negative, past/future, me/other, etc... With this identification and attachment came resistance to opposing aspects, and conflict arose. I am me, you are not me, therefore I fear and resist you. Some identified with the “light” and attached to religious or spiritual ideologies and moral codes which gave them comfort in a seemingly disparate world. Others identified with the “dark” and sought power over others in an attempt to fill the void or the split they felt within. The third stage is the integration of these two seemingly opposite aspects. It is the realization that these are simply complementary aspects of the same whole. One cannot exist in an experiential reality without the other. They both have equal value and equal importance and together create the Universe. In this way, Consciousness transcends the identification with polarity and rises to a new level in which all is embraced equally and fully. Resistance is relinquished and one reaches the place which, in spiritual teachings, has commonly been referred to as enlightenment.

We as a race are currently still at the second stage for the most part yet are rapidly progressing to this third and final stage. The key to transcending stage two and moving into full conscious enlightenment is the surrender and embrace of all aspects of oneself and of this Universe, especially the unconscious aspects which you are afraid to look at. The only reason you fear these unconscious, un-integrated aspects of yourself is because you have identified with one aspect of the polarity, in this case the conscious mind and the conscious aspects of yourself, and you resent and resist the reverse side of the polarity, which is the unconscious. To fully integrate, however, you MUST shine a light on this darkness and integrate these fears into your conscious mind. In so doing, you become a whole and integrated being and then can transcend the current trappings of this apparent time-space reality. This is a gradual process so be gentle with yourself. You can go at whatever speed you like, whatever feels most self-loving. Just be sure to continuously seek the next level of expansion, to remain as conscious as possible, and to be willing to do whatever it takes to face those fears so as to transcend them and rise to ever greater heights in your Awareness.

This third stage can be most easily understood as a state of unconditional love. Unconditional love is a state of openness toward ALL things, not just those that are deemed right, good, or acceptable. This allows you to channel the divinity that emanates from beyond polarity, which is ultimately just a perception of the mind. Without thought and conceptualization, there is no polarity, there is just this. This moment, exactly the way it is. Ultimately, we are waking up to ourselves from within our own dream for the purpose of gaining a greater awareness of our true nature. A common misunderstanding is that our true nature is pure light, pure goodness, and pure positivity. This is not the case, because these ideas still exist within the dimension of polarity. The mind cannot comprehend our true nature because it originates from beyond the mind. When you fully integrate the unconscious aspects of yourself, when you shine a light into the shadow, you will feel the emanation of your true nature from within and without. This can best be described as a sacred peace, yet ultimately it is beyond words. So take the leap, shine the light of your awareness into the deepest and darkest parts of your psyche, and simply observe the transformation that follows. Peace : )

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Best Solution

A different way of looking causes a total shift in all that is perceived. The observer and the observed are inseparable, they are one and the same, as are the journey and it’s destination.

A problem is no different than it’s solution. In fact, a problem equals its solution. This is represented in mathematics. The problem or the equation equals the solution of that equation, which is clearly demonstrated with the “equals” (=) symbol. Therefore, a particular way of looking at or interpreting the problem brings one to the particular solution to that problem.

For instance, look at the simple math problem 5+2=7. Now why is this true? This is true because the principles of mathematics indicate that 2 parts in addition to 5 parts creates a total of 7 parts. In truth, this is pretty abstract yet appears quite specific when one understands basic mathematical principles. An onlooker could rightfully ask, at least from a philosophical standpoint, why 5+2 could not equal 8, or in fact equal 6? This is because the symbols 6 and 8 possess different qualities than the symbol 7, and the equation 5+2 does not add up to or reflect these particular qualities. 

So given this example, any problem in life adds up to a solution that possesses particular qualities, and the nature of the problem is directly related to the nature of it’s solution. Analyzing or interpreting the problem rationally using the foundation of certain universal principles will bring one to a specific solution which reflects the inherent nature of the problem itself.

A solution can be the solution to multiple problems, yet a problem only has one best solution. For example, 7 can be the solution to the problems of 5+2 and 4+3. Yet the best solution to both of these problems is 7. You could rightfully state that 5+2=6+1, but that is not the best solution. It is correct, yet not the most concise. So as any problem in life can have multiple solutions, yet it only has one best solution.

Let’s look at a real life example. Let’s say that you want to get to the store as quickly as possible. This is your challenge, or “problem”. Now, there are multiple routes to the store, but only one of these routes is the fastest route possible.

Now all three routes, green, blue and red, are viable solutions; meaning all three solutions work. But only one solution is the best. This is clearly the red path because it is the most direct and therefore the fastest route to the store.

This reflects the fact that all problems have multiple working solutions, but only one best, most specific, most precise solution.

So all solutions are simple reconfigurations of the original problem in a way that is more concise, more specific, more easily and inherently functional. Simply put, problems are more complex and chaotic whereas their solutions are more simple and orderly. A problem is completely open whereas a solution is fixed and concrete. The problem “What should I eat for breakfast” is totally open. There are infinite possibilities, infinite possible answers to that question. But only one answer is best. So you meditate on it. You feel intuitively what your body desires. Suddenly, an apple comes to mind. Okay. Apple is the clear and concise solution to this problem. All possibilities have been narrowed down into one. The problem is solved in the best way possible.

Everything in life can be addressed in this way. Most people have the issue of fiddling around with half-assed, mediocre solutions. They don’t bother finding the best solution possible. What is 5+2, you ask? Oh, that’s easy... 1+2+1+1+2. Great job. You just made the solution even more complicated than the original problem. This is what most people do, and they wonder why they are drowning in a sea of complexity and lost in a maze of confusion.

What should I eat? What is the best diet? Oh well I need my iron and my folate, my phosphorous, magnesium and zinc. I also need my b vitamins, vitamin a, c, k, d, x, y, and z. Blah, blah, blah. On and on it goes. Should I eat plants or animals? Lettuce or spinach? Dirt or asphalt? An infinite maze of complexities have arisen from the simple question “What should I eat?” Your logical mind has run away with the problem and is now spitting up various solutions the way a sprinkler spits out droplets of water.

Here’s a tip: instead of addressing the mind for solutions, address the body first, specifically the heart. This comes back to the idea of specificity, of a clear and concise solution that is best. The head, or the mind, is infinitely abstract, vague, and ambiguous. This is clear when you ask “What is the mind?” There is no clear-cut and specific answer. It’s like the cloud, the ether, or God. Too abstract to be defined in a definitive way. But what about the body? Well, that’s clear. It's right here, right in front of you. It’s the first thing you see when you look in the mirror. It’s the first thing you feel when you wake up in the morning (that and morning wood, if you’re a dude ; ). So if you want a clear-cut, specific, and definitive answer, it is best to first address the body. Feel on an intuitive level before going to the logical and rational mind. “What should I eat?” Feel it intuitively. “What should I do today?” What does your heart tell you?

It seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it? The intuition, the heart...they seem so abstract, so ethereal. Yet in reality, they will always bring you to the clearest answer, to the very best solution. Because the body is clear, it is defined, it is solid. It is not some etheric abstraction. It is present here and now. And it will always give you the best answer. Guaranteed : )