“People are constantly crossing over the threshold of Eternity. The door is open if you can stay Awake.” 
What does Rumi mean by “Awake”?
Surely not the first and most familiar dictionary definition; “to cease to sleep; to come out of sleep.”
No, it’s too obvious. There’s another; “to be roused from a state of inaction; to become active.”
If the “rouser” is us, it seems feasible that this inaction could mean sleep or lethargy. That’s normal. We also know what it is like to “awaken” from these states and, by comparison we become active. However, since Rumi wasn’t talking about our normal awake state, could this definition hint at something deeper? If so, who could this rouser be? And what is this state of inaction from which we are to be roused? And into what activity are we to be roused? Maybe we should look deeper.
Actually, there is a further definition;“to be invigorated with new life; as, the mind awakes from its stupidity; he Awoke to life’s higher significance.”
Ah, with this deeper definition, could the implication be that the active wakefulness, of which we are normally aware, is merely an idiotic stupor from which it is not only possible to be roused, but to be invigorated into new life? In the Greek language, the word for “Truth” is alethia, meaning “out of lethargy” suggesting there is no Truth to the stupor at all. If so, it certainly suggests that this new life has nothing to do with our normal “awake” state whatsoever.
It turns out that simply by Recognizing the stupor, We Awaken from it, because We, the Eternal Awakened Self, Is the only One who can Recognize it.
The door to Eternity is open, if you can stay Awake!
The use of mantras has become a widely accepted tool in meditation. But, are they a help or a hindrance?
The purpose of meditation is to develop Receptivity to Our Soul’s “Voice”, to become Aware of Our Spiritual Self beyond the mental realm. Mere repetition of a word actually keeps us bound to mentality unless there is a clear intention to rise above it. Sadly, that is not usually the case. More often than not, we just want to make our life happier, healthier or wealthier. And, repeating a word over and over, of itself, will not do that. It will only serve to put us into an hypnotic stupor.
It’s only as a particular word or phrase is contemplated for it’s deeper meaning, a meaning that we don’t know yet, that we rise above our normal thoughts and words into a state of Receptive Silence. This is the place where something Spiritual can enter our Consciousness.
So, if you are going to use a mantra,
Choose the word wisely. It’s no use contemplating a word that you already know the meaning of; that you are not drawn to; or, that is nonsensical. For instance; you would only use the word “om” if you were curious to understand it’s meaning. And, in that case, why repeat it numbingly? If “om” doesn’t do anything for you, it might be better to contemplate the word “Love”, “Wisdom” or “I”.
Don’t repeat the word mindlessly. On its own, it has no meaning whatsoever. It’s just a word. Instead, adopt a curious attitude as if you are waiting for an answer to “What is Love?”, “What is Wisdom?” or “Who am I?” Then wait. To continually repeat a word for repetitions sake would not only numb the mind, it would prevent you Hearing the Response. Moreover, you would find that you couldn’t maintain the repetition for long before you were distracted with other, more “meaningful” thoughts, like “what’s for dinner?”
Do it privately. Our Soul speaks to Us through Our Individual Mind, never as a group. You can be in a group, but the group will not rise together. Beware of so-called spiritual activities like chanting. They can actually hinder your Spiritual progress by bolstering the ego. This was the reason why Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount…”But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” Matthew 6:7
Therefore, mantras can be useful, not for the words we repeat, but for the Spiritual inner meaning of which we become Aware.
For those of us seeking Spiritual Enlightenment, we are constantly being reminded that the hurdle to our goal is “resistance to what IS”.
Surely then, the first question that arises is what is “IS”? And the second question follows – who or what is resisting this “IS”?
Let’s answer the second question first because it is the “who” that doesn’t understand the meaning of “IS” that “causes” the unenlightenment in the first place. The reason for this is that ignorance of what “IS” produces the appearance of duality which keeps humanity in the dark about the Principle of Oneness, “IS-ness”. You cannot know Oneness while entertaining twoness in your consciousness. Therefore, to tell this “who” that it is resisting what IS, is like telling the dark that it is resisting Light. Dark is a state of resistance which produces a “me” that thinks the dark is its reality. Consequently, dark isn’t resisting the Light. The dark doesn’t even know that the Light exists, so how can it be resisting it?.
Dark is just an absence of Light. That is, dark is without substance or law. It only seems to have power and jurisdiction in the absence of Light.
Nevertheless, human consciousness accepts duality, effectively giving evil (the dark) power over Good (the Light). Consequently, humans think disease, crime, natural disasters, poverty and all other discords are part of “what is”. So to tell humans to practice non-resistance is to tell them to submit to these conditions in the hope that, by accepting these conditions, we will somehow miraculously understand what “IS”. But this is like looking for Light in the dark, trying to find what “IS” in what “isn’t”, which simply feeds fear, despair and hopelessness because it can’t be done!
Therefore, from the position of duality, non-resistance only embeds the very conditions that we are now expected to not-resist.
So we come back to our first question. What is “IS”? IS is Oneness – Perfection, Peace, Love and Harmony. This is our True Nature, in fact our only Nature. Therefore we cannot reach Oneness through non-resistance because it would imply the reality of a nature lacking perfection, peace, love and harmony, thereby blocking Consciousness of what IS!
If we are not Conscious that Perfection IS, then we are effectively being instructed to not-resist imperfection.
If we are not Conscious that Love IS, then we are effectively being instructed to not-resist hate.
If we are not Conscious that Health IS, then we are effectively being instructed to not-resist disease.
If we are not Conscious that Abundance IS, then we are effectively being instructed to not-resist poverty.
If we are not Conscious that Peace IS, then we are effectively being instructed to not-resist war.
Now we can see what Jesus really meant when he said “Resist not evil”. He meant that by resisting evil, we give it reality. He didn’t mean submit to evil. In the Consciousness of what IS, non-resistance is seen as a natural result of an Enlightened Consciousness, NOT a means to gain Enlightenment. Because you can’t gain something which already IS through not-resisting something that isn’t.
Dictionary.com defines “consciousness” as the “state of being conscious; awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.”
Notice how “consciousness” depends on a “one” being conscious, otherwise there would be unconsciousness. We are the Subject being conscious of our own existence, comprising our own sensations and thoughts in what seems to be a world of objects. In other words, we are conscious of a physical and mental world.
In neolithic times, cave-man was probably more aware of his physical needs; finding food, a mate and a place to sleep. Nowadays, as well as having concern for our physical needs, our minds are occupied with theories, opinions and concepts. That is, our consciousness has expanded. Now, presumably, since consciousness has expanded from the physical to the mental, is there any reason why it should be limited to that? The folly of assuming such a thing was well illustrated in 1899 when Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of the US Patents Office apparently said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented”. Clearly the inventors in the areas transport, aeronautics, electronics and communications technology had other ideas.
So Consciousness is obviously unlimited. And since We are the “ones” being conscious, Our Consciousness must be Infinite.
Now, this supposition immediately presents a problem because Infinity is impossible for the human mind to comprehend. You see, the human mind interprets through concepts and funnily enough, “Infinity” cannot be conceptualized. Try it now! Try to imagine infinite space, going on and on forever. It can’t be done. It is outside the capacity of the finite human mind. Therefore the conceptual understanding of Infinity is incomplete and unknowable by human thought. Therefore, there comes a point where we must let go of “our” limited thought and allow the experience of the Infinite Invisible to unfold from within our own Consciousness.
Artists, designers and inventors have always known to sit still and wait for ideas…from where? Consciousness! Since Consciousness is already Infinite, It must contain every idea that has ever manifested, or is ever going to manifest. However, we can only become conscious of new ideas as we are capable of accepting them into our mind. The typewriter had to come before the computer, the horse and buggy before the car, analogue before digital.
As Consciousness unfolds, we develop aptitudes, proficiencies and talents as a result. Some of us have a consciousness for business, some for language, some for humour, some for science, some for law, some for literature, some for beauty, some for art or a combination of these. Once we have a consciousness of a particular area, we don’t lose it. For example, once we develop a consciousness for driving, we can drive any vehicle. Prior to that, we must repeat the exercise until it becomes automatic.
Similarly, we could develop an appreciation of music by listening to different genres of music. If we wanted to go further we could learn to read music, play an instrument or learn to sing. This would take physical and mental effort, but with persistence and practice we could become quite proficient.
Eventually music would become so automatic that our body and mind would not need to be consciously concentrating. With the mind free, Inspiration could flow out from the Infinite Invisible. New ideas for songs, genres, instruments, equipment or whatever was necessary for expression at that moment could fill our minds. Our bodies would follow the instruction from the mind to bring the idea into visible expression.
The more we rely on Infinite Consciousness, the more the ideas flow in Abundance.
Now comes the crunch! Up to this point, our discussion about Consciousness has been confined to the Infinite flow of new ideas. This is the result of Consciousness. It doesn’t tell us anything about its Nature. Consciousness, being Infinite includes the Universe…from the tiniest atom to the dust, the plants, the insects, birds, fish, animals, oceans, mountains, planets, stars and beyond. It includes our amazing bodies and our incredible minds. (Notice I didn’t say Us because We are Consciousness) Nothing is outside Consciousness. To keep all this working, Consciousness must be Infinitely Intelligent and Loving.
I can sense you doubt this…and there it is – our reason why we can’t comprehend Infinity. You ask, “how do discords such as disease, poverty and war fit into an Intelligent and Loving Consciousness?” They don’t. Due to a belief that we are excluded from Infinity, we suddenly believed we were separated from our needs. Our minds obliged and projected this belief in lack outwardly to produce the appearance of lack of health, lack of prosperity and lack of peace. Consequently we lost consciousness of Infinite Abundance and believed we had to provide for our needs by our own efforts. The ego was born…but not really because the ego is only an hypnotic influence believed to be real.
Nevertheless, being a consciousness of lack, the ego doubts the possibility of permanent Abundance in Health, Wealth and Peace. We can allow a consciousness of Art, Literature and Science because it doesn’t threaten the ego. On the other hand Consciousness of Health, Wealth and Peace become subject to the limitations of human consciousness. Why? Well, the ego can’t die from lack of art, literature or science, but it thinks it can die of illness, insanity, lack of money to buy food to feed its self or war. Therefore it can’t let go of its reliances on the health system, its investments or the protection of armies. The ego doesn’t realize that its outer circumstances are merely a reflection its false “state” of consciousness which then reinforces its fear of death, and around and around it goes.
If We only knew that the Infinite Invisible, our own Consciousness, looks after all our needs, if only we would let It. What stops us? It’s too risky. Infinity might be dangerous!! Well, guess what? Human consciousness is the only “state” of consciousness to experience fear because it has separated its self from Consciousness…a vicious cycle.
Let’s get off the merry-go-round. Our Consciousness is Love, Infinitely Good. The “One” being Conscious is not the ego. The ego is unconscious, ignorant, a dummy! Be still and Know that You are Love and watch the discords of humanity evaporate before your eyes.
I was pondering the promised strategies for effective meditation, and realized there needs to be some further Consciousness around the “ego”. Because without that foundation, the ego will thwart your meditation efforts. So, haha, i guess this is the first strategy for effective meditation….
The definition of “ego” varies enormously throughout philosophical and psychological literature. To add to the confusion, there is an Ego with a capital “E” which seems to pop its head up in Spiritual texts.
So, what is the difference? The one with which we normally identify is the ego, but the Truth is, You, We are the Ego. Let’s examine some differences:
There is only One Ego, I. Infinite, Eternal and Immortal. On the other hand, There are around 7 billion egos, all competing for their share of what they believe to be a finite, time-poor, dying universe.
When we start the sentence with “I”, in thought or speech, we are referring to the ego. i says, “i want this food”, “i need that car”, “i want this success”, “i need this holiday”. It’s motivation is to “get” because it believes it doesn’t have enough. Wanting and needing are the mother of envy and jealousy, maturing into corruption and greed. By contrast, I Is the Source of Thought and can only be Heard or Discerned. When the ego generates thought, that isn’t Truth. So when “you” think or speak, be aware that you limit yourself.
i has endless opinions about everything, derived from a sense of lack. i says,”i hate that politician”, “i despise that celebrity”. i is always right and the other ego over there is wrong. Bigotry, prejudice, xenophobia, injustice and inequity follow. On the other hand, I Is neutral.
i is afraid of not getting what it wants and needs, or losing what it has. Ultimately it is afraid of death. “i fear that illness”, “i’m afraid of snakes” “i’m anxious about that exam”, “i fear old age”. I cannot fear if I am already All.
i blames others for its flaws, failures and vices, but claims credit for any talents, successes or virtues, a recipe for failure. I cannot succeed or fail. I just Is.
i’s motto is “it’s all about me”. it craves attention and praise. Fame is its goal. Humiliation is its fear. I Is Oneness, so there’s no need to pump Its Self up or put others down.
i’s modus operandi is self-preservation. It will manipulate, cheat, steal or even kill to save its self, its ideology or its nation. i gets away with murder whereas I can’t kill or be killed because there Is only One Ego.
The Ego transcends the ego and is in fact our True Self, diametrically opposed to the limited and lacking ego with a small “e”. The Ego Is the One Universal Consciousness individualized as each one of Us. Its nature is Love. You know it as the Still, Small Voice, Your inner Voice. But we can only Hear it, if we are quiet enough. Remember, don’t speak or think because you just encourage the ego.
If we are silent and patient we can discern the Love of our Ego. It reassures us that we will be alright. Can you imagine Love needing or wanting for anything? Can Love be hateful or afraid? Does Love draw attention to its Self? Or leave others out? Does Love kill or die? If we answered “No” to these questions, we begin to realize the ego is not us. Love Is All there Is and We are that! Only that!
ego verses Ego. There’s really no competition. With which one do you identify?
I started meditating in 1974 when i was in my teens, but then i had a break of 35 years! That first experience was extraordinary. (See the full story here) but as life intervened, i got busy and i lost the knack. i tried many times over those 35 years to reestablish the connection but, for some reason, the technique i had been taught didn’t work for me anymore.
One of those times i went to a meditation class which taught visualisation techniques. We would follow the facilitator down an imaginary garden path, into a “safe place” in which we were encouraged to “rest”. This was all very well as a calming technique but it didn’t seem to get to the root cause of the unrestful mind.
About 4 years ago, i had an intense inner – what i would call a push – to take up meditation again. It was overwhelming. It dropped books in my lap. It poked my thoughts. It even woke me up in the middle of the night almost yelling “Be Still”. In bed i thought i was being still, but no, apparently i had to be still-er! Of course, it meant “stop thinking” but how? My life was so busy doing… being a mother, wife, shopper, cleaner, cook and business woman that i didn’t have time to think, let alone stop thinking!
Anyway, eventually i stopped and read the books “The Art of Meditation” and “Practicing the Presence” by Joel Goldsmith and these books changed everything. i would thoroughly recommend them to everyone wanting to meditate. They are gentle and profound. Through my own practice, i worked out some reasons why my efforts to meditate had failed.
My top 5 reasons why mediation can be difficult are:
Too many rules. Every meditation teacher has their own set of rules. Setting aside 2 hours a day, at a specific time; setting up a sacred space; buying the right cloths etc. If these rules don’t fit into your lifestyle, there’s no hope that you’ll stick to them. Instead they turn into excuses.
Not frequent enough. Meditation trains the mind to do something new. Would you only allocate 20 minutes a week to your exercise program? If you wanted to stay unfit – yes. If you hope to benefit, you need to allocate time every day. Make it part of your life, like brushing your teeth. (more about this in my next post).
Trying to visualize. Visualization is very good for calming the thinking human mind but it is NOT a meditation to develop Consciousness.
Trying to make your mind a blank. This seems to contradict the previous point, but it is just as unhelpful to force anything, whether it’s visualizing something or trying to stop thinking. Meditation is a letting go of your agenda, let go of “trying”, totally.
The intent isn’t Spiritual. This is the single most important reason why meditation fails. Most meditation is trying to turn a bad outer situation into a good one. Ask yourself, are you wanting something from your meditation? Are you trying to change your life to be more peaceful, well or abundant? All good reasons, but they are not Spiritual! They are still your agenda. i know, what else is there? The ego is a wolf in sheep’s clothing!
In my next post I will give you My top strategies for successful meditation.
As humans, there is something that we have missed that has prevented us from experiencing Permanent Health, Prosperity, Security, Justice and Love. Without this something, every effort to attain these conditions is futile and the experience will continue to elude us.
Yet, this something is so fundamental, so simple, so close at hand that you will laugh out loud when you Realize what it is. It Is Consciousness and Consciousness Is You.
However, if you are unconscious that You are Consciousness, a sense of limitation and lack become your experience. In My last blogpost, I said I would explore the reasons why the ego was inevitable. Well, Man (not gender specific) is the only species that can refer to its self as “I”. i says, “i am strong”, “i am intelligent”, “i am good”. But in thinking this about its self, it became unconscious of its Source. I, Consciousness, wouldn’t say these things about My Self. I Embody these things. But as soon as i quantifies and qualifies its self, it sets its self up for lack of these things. All of a sudden i can be weak, i can be stupid, i can be bad…and the list goes on…i can be sick, i can be poor, i can be injured etc.
Unconsciousness of Our True Identity “causes” all the discords of our life – sickness, poverty, loss, injustice, insecurity etc. Then why haven’t we recognized it before? Well, the “we” asking that question is human consciousness, the ego, i, and it must be exposed as false for Consciousness to be Realized. Understandably, the ego doesn’t want to be annihilated. Therefore, the few times in history that the Truth has been Revealed, human consciousness has rejected it. The irony is that we are hanging onto an identity that, from the outset, was obsolete. There Is only One Consciousness and You are, I Is, that.
You See, Consciousness Is All there Is. There can’t be anything separate from Consciousness or it wouldn’t be conscious. If You can accept this, then you must agree that there is only One Consciousness and It Is Infinite (It must include everything and everyone). Furthermore, Being Infinite, Consciousness can’t include anything destructive or limited or it wouldn’t be Infinite anymore. If there is no destructive or limiting influence, then Consciousness must Be Abundant and Permanent. Consciousness embodies all your Good: Love, Peace, Health and Security, Abundantly and Permanently. We embody All this!
This is where I’ll share the Thoughts that are coming through on the subjects of Consciousness, Meditation and other Spiritual stuff.
Why do i say they are coming “through”? Well, i doesn’t know anything about these subjects, but I do.
You may notice an unconventional use of upper and lower case letters in certain words. This is intentional and meaningful in that they point to two different states of consciousness, the theme I will develop fully in future posts in this blog.