Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rhythm Of Grace

So long as our observation is limited to those conditions which preceded the opening of a disciple’s eye we cannot perhaps fully comprehend where lies the ultimate issue. Zen lies objectively among matters of everyday occurrences, so every one of us is a master before we are told we are.

D.T. Suzuki wrote those thoughts in his 1949 work Essays in Zen Buddhism. Most of us have some sort of idea about what Zen is, but it’s safe to say we don’t spend a lot of time trying to understand it. Many of us believe that Buddhism is a form of Zen, but Zen is not about religion. Zen is an action within the energy of our consciousness. Zen is the form of energy that makes us a master before we are told we are.

We don't try to create Zen thoughts because trying is not part of Zen. Zen is always part of our thoughts. It may be hidden or blocked by our beliefs and the associations attached to those beliefs, but it is waiting to express itself physically. Every one of our ideas has an element of Zen floating through it. Our thoughts move to the rhythm of Zen. When we allow Zen to play the music of life, we begin to graciously dance through our experiences.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Core

The core of every fruit is better than its rind:

Consider the body to be the rind,

And its friend, the spirit, to be the core.

After all, the Human Being has a precious core;

Rumi's words dance through the air like the music from a fine-tuned orchestra. His work Precious Core is brief description of the conscious mind and the inner self. The psyche is a complex form of energy that splits itself in portions, but never leaves the whole. That description is hard to imagine using our educated ego. The ego is the eye that see reality and the conscious mind sends signals to the inner self using areas of the brain. Our core or our essence receives those signals as well as sends them. The cycle of the being the subject as well as the object is not the typical way to describe the physical self so we create stories that make more physical sense.

But, Rumi does use those stories to describe the self. He senses different aspects of his core, and writes about them using 13th century religious beliefs. We all use beliefs to create stories we can understand and experience. Those stories come from our core. They hold elements of the whole in them, and they also contain ego elements that protect our physical image. Our physical image is a projection of our beliefs. When we consider the body our only self, we begin to believe that life after death does not exist. But when we believe that we are more than a body; more than an ego, and more than a conscious mind, we discover our divine inner self. That self is our core and the core of all consciousness.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Electromagnetic Reality

A man annoys me; I become angry and I want to hit my adversary. Let us analyze what takes place in me in the course of this scene. We will see that my inner phenomena are divided into two different reactions that we will call primary reaction and secondary reaction.

The primary reaction consists in the awakening in me, of a certain amount of vital energy; this energy was lying, latent, in my central source of energy until it was awakened by my perception of an energy manifested in the Non-Self against Self. The foreign aggressive energy stirs up in me the manifestation of a reactive force which balances the force of the Non-Self. This reactive force is not yet a movement of anger, it has not yet a precise form; it is compatible with the substance which is going to be poured into a mould but which has not yet been released. During an instant, without duration, this budding force, mobilized at my source, is not yet a force of anger; it is an informal force, a pure vital force.

Hubert Benoit, in his 1955 work The Supreme Doctrine, explains how our thoughts creates experiences. We are volcanoes filled with energy. We are constantly erupting and spewing energy into different belief molds. We call these molds experiences. The energy itself comes from the inner self. We can move this energy from one physical place to another using other thoughts. Any belief, and the emotion attached to it, can be altered or changed. We can move energy from one belief mold to another belief mold.

The inner sounds of our thoughts creates an electromagnetic reality. These inner sounds have an effect on our cells. We speak to our body and it listens. Inner sound is formed by intent. Intent and words merge, and when they do we experience this electromagnetic reality. That reality changes as our beliefs change. When beliefs change, intent changes with it. The inner sound value of our thoughts has been underestimated. We create inner noise polution when our thoughts are scrambled, self-contradictory and random. Those thoughts are products of our beliefs. The inner self always tries to maintain body and mind equilibrium, but our inner noise polution triggers an eruption, and we physically experience it in some way.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Educated Ignorance

A reality, or the world we all know, is only a description.

For the sake of validating this promise Don Juan concentrated the best of his efforts into leading me to a genuine conviction that what I held in mind as the world at hand was merely a description of the world, a description that had been pounded into us from the moment I was born.

He pointed out that everyone who comes into contact with a child is a teacher who incessantly describes the world to him, until the moment when the child is capable of perceiving the world as it is described. According to Don Juan, we have no memory of that portentous moment to compare it to anything else. . .

For Don Juan, then, the reality of our day-to-day life consists of an endless flow of perceptual interpretations which we, the individuals who share a specific membership, have learned to make in common.

Carlos Castaneda, the Peruvian born author, wrote those thoughts in his 1972 book, Journey to Ixtlan. Castaneda’s books are based on the teachings of a Yaqui shaman named Don Juan Matus. The teachings of Don Juan explain a different energetic configuration about the experience we call reality. There is a forgotten aspect of knowing in our ordinary reality. Other realities are part of our existence, but we only focus on one. These other realities are considered negative beliefs by some of us. The thought of being a complex form of consciousness is a very scary idea.

Ideas form our reality. But we block some of our ideas with our personal belief structure. We like to follow the beliefs of others because they feel common and we have been educated to be common. The description of reality has been pounded into us since the day we were born and that description is filled with the hot air of educated ignorance. We teach our children using our own version of ignorance. Our version of ignorance is in a constant state of change so our reality changes with it.

We are moving toward a natural state of grace. That state is an illumination where the conscious mind as well as other levels of the psyche are in balance with the body. It is the spiritual and biological recognition of our wholeness. We sense the power of our inner self and we enjoy the portentous moment when we know who we are.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Ego Actor

In the beginning, which is really no beginning. . . the will wants to know itself and consciousness is awakened and with the awakening of consciousness the will is split in two. The one will, whole and complete in itself, is now at once actor and observer. Conflict is inevitable, for the actor now wants to be free from limitations under which he has been obliged to put himself in his desire for consciousness. He has in one sense been enabled to see, but at the same time there is something which he, as observer cannot see.

D.T. Suzuki, the most respected 20th century expert on Far Eastern philosophy, was a prolific translator of Chinese, Sanskrit, and Japanese literature. He spent years teaching Buddhist philosophy at Otani University in Japan, and traveled extensively teaching and lecturing at Western universities. He was instrumental in helping Westerners understand Zen, although the complete understanding Zen can only be experienced not expressed.

Suzuki's thoughts about the separation of the conscious mind does ring a bell of knowing in our psyche. The ego is that portion of the conscious mind that rises to meet the reality of our physical existence. During our lifetime our actor, the ego, will change several times in order to interpret as well as organize the events we experience. The conscious mind is constantly reorganizing our awareness so we can handle various perceptions and choices. In physical life the soul or the inner self is clothed in chemicals, and we used those ingredients to to form an image of the physical self. That image is a composite of our beliefs.

The ego moves through time in a normal cycle of life and death. There is a synchronized flow to this cycle so we never seem to lose our orientation in our reality. When the nornal cycle is interupted, conflict is inevitable. We experience that conflict in various ways. The ego as well as the body is forced to respond in the best way it can, but the results can life-changing. When we begin to understand the nature of the conscious mind, we can appreciate the fact that we are the observer as well as the observed. We see through the ego, but there is a portion of the conscious mind that sees without the assistance of an ego.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Inner Thought Processes

In analyzing the inner processes which now condition our illusion of not living in the state of enlightenment, we will see that they are our imaginative-emotive processes in which our vital energy is disintegrated and we will try to define clearly what incomplete functioning of our attention conditions in its turn these imaginative-emotive processes.

Hubert Benoit wrote those thoughts in his 1955 book, Zen and the Psychology of Transformation: The Supreme Doctrine, which is considered a classic in Zen literature among Western thinkers. Benoit points out that we all live in a state of enlightenment; it is our eternal state independent of our birth and our death. We are constantly showered with inner gestures in the form of thoughts and ideas. We then conceptualize, objectionalize and divide them in a dualistic fashion. Benoit calls this process the imaginative-emotive processes. All material manifestations are composed interior light and sound energy that is woven in electromagnetic patterns. Ideas represent our psyche intent. Our emotions and imagination are fueld by ideas that activate interior patterns.

There is always a screen between one self and the enlightened self, as the ego wraps these impulses in beliefs that contain symbols,rules and maps of intention.These beliefs may not resemble the territory where they originated because the ego, which is the eye for the conscious mind has its own free will.

The question is: How do we allow our natural state of enlightenment to manifest in pure form without the influence of the ego? Benoit offers a solution in the same book:

My attention ought not to be awakened by the mobilization of my energy, but before that; and this is realized when instead of seeing the imaginative-emotive processes which are being produced, regard the processes which are about to be produced. This is realized when instead of being passively attentive to my mobilized energy and its disintegrating future, I tend actively to perceive the very birth of the energy. A new vigilance now superintends the mobilization of energy.

To put it more simply, an active attention lies in wait for the advent of my inner movements. It is no longer my emotions which interest me, but their coming to birth; it is no longer their movement that interests me, but this other informal movement which is the birth of their formal movement.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Psychic Flavors

Ye suffer from yourselves, none else compels,

None other holds you that ye live and die

And whir upon the wheel, and hug and

Kiss its spokes of agony,

Its tire of tears, its nave of nothingness.

Wei Wu Wei, also known as Terry Gray, certainly make us think about our thoughts. When we use rational thoughts, we believe someone or something brings suffering to the self in this reality. There are unknown forces at work, and these forces cause pain and suffering. But, what are these forces? We are clueless when it comes to understanding the nature of our psyche. We allow others to tell us what is good for us and how that goodness impacts our reality. We suffer from our own cluelessness. We suffer because we believe we deserve to suffer. We believe we are flawed and we kiss our own spokes of agony and hope others feel a portion of that agony.

There is a natural feedback system within the psyche as well as in the body. This system operates so we can grow and develop physically as well as spiritually. Narrow focus is a characteristic of the conscious mind. When we think about pain and suffering we allow it to invade our belief structure and our reality changes. That focus only includes our physical reality, but the conscious mind has the ability to focus in other realities if it chooses.

The conscious mind can believe a rose is a symbol of life or it can believe it is a symbol of death and sadness. Thoughts of a simple rose can create agony as well as happiness. We choose to feel the pain and the suffering in order to feel our desires physically. Suffering and pain brings diverse elements together and unites them in patterns. These patterns are colored by emotions and put in motion by our imagination. They serve as stimulation for a portion of the conscious mind that responds to the flavor of these psychic creations.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Esoteric Freedom

Here, in this very moment, we illusorily separate ourselves from our universe, our bodies, and even our thoughts. This separation, this fall, is part and parcel of our implicit faith that the universe proceeds in a line, in a one-dimensional sequence that we call time, and so our redemption is ultimately a release from the illusion of history, of the tunnel vision that presents eternity as strung out in a sequence called past-present- future. And here, no amount of history will deliver us from history, from that nightmare which all sensitive beings must eventually awake.

Ken Wilbur is one of the 21st century’s most recognized esoteric thinkers. His thoughts from his 1977 book, The Spectrum of Consciousness, demonstrate some of his esoteric thoughts. Esoteric of course means understood by a select few. Believing that we live in several dimensions falls into the category labeled esoteric, but that doesn’t mean that those thoughts are not valid. William James explains esoteric thought this way:

A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismiss as trivial until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.

Knowing takes place on the vast scale of human awareness. We all experience awareness and separation in our own way. At times we restrict our awareness in order to focus on specific experiences. Trying to explain the awareness that exists within our multidimensionality to a group of religious believers that practice total separation, but yearn for unity isn't necessary. The pure fact that separation and time exist, confirms our desire to live our beliefs. Our beliefs create our history and then others create their own history. History exists in linear time so we can recognize consciousness physically. Animals and plants are forms of consciousness that exist in our history. They also create their own form of history. Wilbur is defining these elements as expressions of the separation that exists within our self-created history.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Specs Of Knowing

However deep your knowledge of abstruse philosophy, it is like a piece of hair placed in the vastness of space; and however important your experience in things worldly, it is like a drop of water thrown into a unfathomable abyss.

Tokusan Senkan, the 9th century Chan Zen Master, was also known Te-shan Hsuan-chien when he became the abbot of Te-shan. Tokusan has a point. Esoteric theories and metaphysical philosophies continue to manifest like stepping stones across an infinite desert. A spec of knowing is a hair on the infinite head of our consciousness. Each one is a preview of the wisdom that flows through us. Specs of knowing drip through the cracks of consciousness, and the inner conscious mind as well as the conscious mind attached to the brain expand. Each experience we create is filled with specs of knowing. These wisdom drops are filled with the energy of all consciousness.

Our inner conscious mind is free to roam through the unfathomable abyss of consciousness and gather these specs of knowing. When we realize the energy we have within us, we sense the vastness of the self. Chokei the 10th century philosopher, explains it this way:

How deluded I was! How deluded indeed!
Lift up the screen and come see the world!