Monday, 28 February 2011

already enlightened

Many of us find ourselves seriously unhappy with what this life on Earth appears to offer us. For so long we can lose ourselves in work, family, study, partying, sex, drugs, whatever, but there comes a time when we earnestly seek revelation or insight, a deeper understanding of why we are here and what we should be doing with our lives. Over 20 years ago I had a series of epiphanies, which I will describe in future posts: these led me on a great voyage of inner discovery, which is still unfolding. For now, here are extracts from another man's eloquent account of his first epiphany (from "Underneath It All" by Mark Flaherty):

In a state of stillness and receptivity, I recognized that I was in my heart: I had consciously connected to it for the first time ever in my life... I had been looking everywhere for it without success. The instant I gave up searching, the split second I stopped trying to find it, I encountered it.

In that moment I experienced love for the very first time in my adult life. Immediately everything made sense... I saw the entire Universe, right there, inside my heart. It was beautiful beyond description. I saw the perfection of creation and recognized that the answer to every question I have ever had, and will ever have, was in my heart, always. My heart always knows what to do in every situation.
By remaining present, by bathing in the blissful state of being, all that exists is love, and love unifies everything. Love makes everything OK. There is no need to fix anything because nothing is wrong. I just needed to love it. I just had to remember love. That's all. In love there is no struggle, no conflict. Love is love is love is love. What could be simpler?

Love showed me that there was nothing to heal, that I was perfect exactly as I was. Love removed all discord, gently and effortlessly. There were no thoughts, just a direct experience of life. I saw it for what it really is. Life is eternal. I am eternal. In this space there is no linear time. The mind creates time. When thinking stops, time disappears and eternity is revealed. I was never born and can never die. With that realization, my fear of death dissolved and I felt as light as a feather.

There is no past, there is no future. Since there is no past, there is nothing to heal. I realized that every time I think of something that I believe to be in the past, I am actually re-creating it in the moment. The only thing that exists is what I am experiencing right now. The entire universe is constantly manifesting in every moment. The world literally re-creates itself every moment.

The absence of time means that there is nothing to achieve, nothing to do, nowhere to go. There is only being. I realized that as human beings we are already enlightened, and our hearts already know this. It is simply something we are either realizing (by being in the heart) or not realizing (by being in the mind) in any one moment.

I relaxed deeply as my whole body bathed in love. It soaked it up. It had been desperate for it for so long. I cannot be separate from love because I am love. "Just look for love and you will see it everywhere," the spirits told me. "In a flower. In a smile. In music. In food. The whole world is made of pure love. Your only job is to look for it and follow where life leads you. This will take you into deeper and deeper experiences of love, if you will only relax, surrender and allow it to."
Life is so much fun and so simple when you are in your heart. Get out of the way and life flows through you in a never-ending stream of beauty and love.

"Do not try to live life, let life live you," I heard the spirits say.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

call it love

from Be Love Now by Ram Dass:

If I'm identified with my ego, the ego is frightened silly, because the ego knows that it's going to end at death. But if I merge with love, there's nothing to be afraid of. Love neutralizes fear.

Awareness and love, loving awareness, is the soul. This practice of "I am loving awareness" turns you inward toward the soul. If you dive deep enough into your soul, you will come to God. In Greek it's called agape, God love. Martin Luther King, Jr., said about this agape, this higher love: "It's an overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless and creative . . . the love of God operating in the human heart."
Souls love. That's what souls do. Egos don't, but souls do. Become a soul, look around, and you'll be amazed-all the beings around you are souls. Be one, see one.

When many people have this heart connection, then we will know that we are all one, we human beings all over the planet. We will be one. One love.

And don't leave out the animals, and trees, and clouds, and galaxies-it's all one. It's one energy. It comes through in individual ways, but it's one energy. You can call it energy, or you can call it love.

Monday, 14 February 2011

true love

true love, is love that is given freely and unconditionally without expecting reward in return. Love that hinges upon the other person doing everything we like or want of them is not true love, but rather based on attachment, conditions and control

Thich Nhat Hanh quoted on The Buddhist Blog

Sunday, 13 February 2011

the angel on the shoulder

The ego is based on fear, but the soul is based on love.
(from Be Love Now by Ram Dass.)

We all have an inner self - a part of the soul - which observes (or "witnesses") the outer self - the ego - in action. In Christian tradition these two characters are represented as an angel on one shoulder, taking in one ear, and a devil on the other shoulder, talking in the other ear. The angel (soul) is calm and humble, while the devil (ego) is forceful and rough. It is our choice which voice we listen to. If we don't make this choice actively and with determination, then it will be made for us, as the voice of the ego is much louder and much more insistent than the voice of the soul. The devil is happy to mock the angel, drown it out, and generally take control. The devil dictates a steady stream of instructions, and tempts us with many illusions and promises, all of which turn out to be hollow and empty. Meanwhile the angel sits there quietly, unperturbed, giving advice only when asked. The angel is effortlessly more powerful than the devil, and has immeasurable comfort, peace, love, and bliss, on tap for us, whenever we want it - we just have to turn to the angel and accept its' gifts. But the angel is too humble to force itself on our attention. We have to make that choice ourselves, while ignoring the blandishments of the devil.

If you are not comfortable with the Christian personification of soul as angel, and ego as devil, then just think of it as soul and ego, true self and false self, inner self and outer self, or whatever terminology and characterisations work for you. Every philosophical or religious tradition has its own equivalents of these two characters. The gameplay is always the same. One quietly seeks to liberate us, while the other seeks to chain and enslave us. Generally we listen to the wrong one, and this is the old paradigm.

The human race has been on a long dark journey, in slavery to our own delusions. The ego or devil is not real. It is our creation. We have built it up through recurring patterns of thought. We have learned to mock and shun the very idea of spirituality, of divinity, of inner light. We have created a dark and dismal false self and allowed it to rule us. Now we simply have to turn our attention to the angel on the other shoulder, quietly sitting there, radiating light, love, peace, comfort, bliss, and harmony. This is the the true self, the soul, the inner self, our saving grace.

If we make just a little effort to give more attention to this angelic observer, we can easily free ourselves from the illusory chains of the devilish ego. As Ram Dass puts it:
as meditation deepens, you identify less and less with the ego and begin to touch and enter more deeply into the space of love. You begin to experience love toward more and more people and find love in the experiences that come into your field of awareness... As you keep giving up the habits that hold you back from loving, the ego's fear of letting go dissolves in the love. From the ego's vantage point you surrender into love. From the soul's vantage point you are coming home, the boundaries of separation are fading, and the two are becoming one. As you begin to enter into Oneness and to become love, instead of perceiving from your ego, you're perceiving from your soul. You are shifting your identification from ego to soul. You don't kill your ego, you kill your identification with your ego. As you dissolve into love, your ego fades. You're not thinking about loving; you're just being love, radiating like the sun.
Your awareness has then moved from the old paradigm to the new paradigm. Fear has been replaced by love.

Sunday, 6 February 2011


The events in Egypt are beyond breathtaking, that a people so long oppressed have by themselves risen up to cast off their oppressors. Surging through the streets in uncountable thousands, burning police stations to the ground, convincing army troops of their commonality, spontaneously organizing themselves to protect property, direct traffic, and deal with emergencies, smoking out Mubarak’s attempt to capitalize on the inevitable looting and violence, they are revealing to the world a new national template: self-organization. A template we know operates in biology and ecology but have never before seen realized on such a scale among human beings.

Because above all, beyond struggling to get rid of Mubarak and free themselves from their addiction to American money and armaments, the Egyptian people have glimpsed the possibility that they can do all this without falling back on traditional political parties. Even as an idea, even as an ideal, this is the most extraordinary aspect of what is taking place. A movement born out of youth and led by youth, without recourse to professional leaders, the Egyptian revolution presents us with the possibility of living in an entirely new way, of circumventing a 6000-year-old model in which “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
It’s not surprising that, filled with emotion, the demonstrators wrap themselves in the national flag. Oh, the flag, the flag! In Tunisia and Egypt and every other country, this piece of cloth held up as a symbol of national identity, conflating who we are with an abstraction for which we must be prepared to lay down our lives. But sooner or later this too will fall by the wayside.

Sooner or later, without feeling in danger of losing our national identities, customs, and languages, we will understand that our allegiance belongs to something larger than those symbols which separate us, symbols co-opted by warring nation-states for perpetuation of the status quo. Sooner or later, without the paranoid fantasy of one world government, a new flag—the image of a luminous globe floating in black space—will be raised over the planet. And we will perhaps begin, at long last and as best we can, to organize our lives around our common humanity.

What the Egyptian Revolution Means by Michael Brownstein