Like Begets Like

This morning in the bathroom, while she was getting ready to go out for a run, my friend told me that she must be in one of those phases where she’s “low-energy”. If you so dared, you might even say it was kinda like PMS. You could tell she had a short-fuse and was easily annoyed.

Then in the late morning, returning from the supermarket, walking into the elevator, her car-keys spontaneously flew out of her pocket (perhaps by an accidental push of her hand) and slid across the floor and went right into the gap at the front of the elevator. Gone.

She walked in and said “You’re not going to believe what just happened!”. In fact I did believe it. While eating some hummus, I googled “keys dropped down elevator” and watched the first video that appeared. It seemed simple enough. I taped some wire to a stick and grabbed a flashlight. Off we went.

We saw the keys, but the stick was a few inches too short. We came back with a stick taped to the original stick and successfully fished out the keys. Mission Accomplished.

I was amazed at my friend’s ability to externally manifest what she was feeling on the inside. And what she was feeling, was “annoyance”. PRESTO! her wish of annoyance was granted. Seek and ye shall find — it really works! I’m pretty sure I manifest annoying things too, but of course it’s much easier to notice these things in other people than in yourself.

Moral of the story: The external world directly reflects how you feel inside. In other words, as you walk through the world, the surrounding scenes are programmed through your internal thoughts and feelings. This world is a simulation after-all, and someone has to program it — perhaps that programmer, is you.

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Path of Presence

I just finished reading The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle. I liked it. It definitely aligned with my current perspective of existence. The primary difference though, was his insistence on the need to get to now. In other words, if you’re not striving to become present within each moment of the day, then you’re doing enlightenment wrong — and I think he has a point.

One of my longtime goals has been to reach “enlightenment”. Growing up, I was attracted to the martial-arts and Asian-mysticism — I wanted those sweet kick-ass powers you get when you become a Kung-Fu Master. But even after I stopped wanting chi-powered fireballs to shoot from my hands, I still held on to the goal of enlightenment. And instead of kung-fu, I saw meditation and ancient spiritual texts as the gateway.

But intermittent meditation and the occasional reading do not enlightenment make. You need a practice. You need a path to walk. Currently, I blip in and out of deep spiritual understanding and spend most of my time lost in life. I’ve been waiting for enlightenment to kick-in. But through the goal of presence, there’s genuine practice, an actual path to take.

And so presence is going to be my practice for the time being. I’ve been trying it out since I started reading the book and I like the results so far. I was also highlighting a lot while reading, so I’ll be going back over the book for the purpose of taking notes and studying the material a bit more — plus it reminds me to remain present.

Path Not Taken

I’ve been told there are two lives you can select from. One is self-directed by the mind and its many thoughts. The other is an elaborately crafted grand-narrative directed by life itself.

The first one is typically chosen by those afraid of what life has to offer. And perhaps they’re a bit boring in their tastes and don’t want to participate in an awe-inspiring adventure. The problem with this route though, is the mind isn’t the best storyteller and comes up with weak storylines and lame tangents. The mind also tends to rely on cheap-tricks like jump-scares and cliches. And of course the story won’t contain any amazement since the mind is both author and audience — it knows what’s going to happen after all.

The second one takes consent and trust, a leap of faith. Do you dare let life take you on a roller-coaster ride? Where will it take you? Which characters will come and go? Who will you be? What will you have to do to play-out your role? When is the next thrilling drop? Oh boy, it’s making me sweat just thinking about it. Obviously you can tell which life I chose.

But if you do select the self-directed path, life is more than willing to fill in any blanks or even take-over at any point. If you simply surrender your control, life will continue from there, crafting a tale to delight and amuse. And of course you can retake the reins and go back to a stinted and somewhat suffocating story of your own — if that’s what you really want.

Life Level

What if there’s another level to life that you’re missing out on? And the way in which one enters said level, is through a cultivated perspective?

Consider this: You’re watching a man use his bare hands to violently rip apart the appendages of a defenseless life-form, what he tears off he inserts into his salivating mouth. Red liquid pours down his chin as his teeth cut and gnash. After swallowing, the man smiles in delight. He performs this act over and over, seemingly enjoying the brutality of it all.

Later on, you learn that the man was in a field of ripened strawberries. He was eating the freshly picked berries and loving every bite. He then invites you to join him and you experience the delight of munching strawberries right off the bush. All of a sudden, what seemed like a horrible travesty turned into a wonderful time for you and the man.

But what if you never accepted the benevolence of consuming strawberries? What if you insisted on the brutality of the situation? What if you remained sickened by what you saw: the violence and the sadistic delight of the man? Why couldn’t he leave those plump and juicy fruits alone? They had a right to exist, and he had no right to destroy them.

That’s life on two different levels. One is a harsh and brutal level in which creatures are fueled by violence and injustice. The other level is one in which fun-seeking beings frolic amidst fields, delighting in fruits offered forth from the Earth and nourished by the sun. And the free-will with which you’re equipped, allows you to choose the level you experience.

Coma Theory

Dear Rich, spirituality-stuff just doesn’t gel with me. I don’t get the god-stuff nor the fragment-of-god stuff. I’m not technology-oriented so Simulation Theory isn’t helping. I don’t understand vibrations or frequencies or lightwaves or whatever. And the lucid-dream analogy isn’t quite workin’ for me. Ya got anything else?

Okay dear reader, try this one on for size. You had an accident and you’re in a coma, your body is currently lying in a hospital-bed. The world you’re experiencing right now is occurring in your imagination. The higher-intelligence that designed your imaginary world, is you. You pretty much based it on the physical world that your body resides in, but there’s a few key differences.

For one, it’s completely non-physical. Because it’s formed in your imagination, you can make drastic changes at-will. If you don’t like how the story is going, you can just blip something into existence. For example: Is the nightly news a little boring? Ha, now look what you did! It’s crazy out there! Or did a character get hurt in your coma-world? Look, they’re miraculously healed!

Second, you’re now a helpful higher-power. In other words, little-you can appeal to big-you for help. For example: little-you finds himself in a bad situation and doesn’t like where things are headed. Little-you says, “Dear Creator Big-Me, please fix this mess!”. Big-you obviously hears this plea because you’re the one creating the story. You take pity on little-you and craft a better outcome with a happier-ending.

Third, time isn’t a thing. Because the world is taking place in your imagination, time is fluid — events slow-down or speed-up as necessary based on however you want to add detail or speed through uninteresting parts. And death comes whenever the story calls for it — it’s not random in any sense.

Fourth, technological limitations aren’t a thing. There are no limits in a non-physical imagined world. Do you want commercialized space-travel to happen? Sure, no problem. Robotic self-driving cars? Yep. Video-phoning across the globe? Sure. How about wishing things into existence? Yeah you can do that too.

Oh, and you know what else dear reader? You might even get bored while imagining a mundane story. You might purposefully add a bit of drama and chaos to your tale — just to make it thrilling.

So there you go dear reader, a different, more physical way to approach spirituality.

Parts of the Mind

There’s consciousness, which is just pure non-judgmental awareness. This is the watcher. This is the part that without, your life would be lived unobserved. If a tree falls in the woods i.e. when something happens in your life — the consciousness is what witnesses the sound and the action of it all. This is the part that sits quietly in the audience taking it all in. And as an open-minded audience member, the consciousness is there to enjoy the show and doesn’t criticize the scenes unfolding before it.

Speaking of which, the thinking-mind, the part that’s responsible for the incessant and unrepentant internal-dialog, WILL criticize — as well as disparage, denigrate, and condemn. This part of the mind is the source of negativity that oftentimes spoils the experience of existence. The goal of meditation for instance, is usually to quiet the thinking-mind. By focusing on something in particular, the mind becomes engaged, and no longer allows thoughts to flow in freely (this improves with practice).

Then there’s the part of the mind that’s the source of creativity, the inspirational-mind. This is the quiet-kid that sits in the back, ignored because of the chatter-box class-clown stealing all the attention i.e. the thinking-mind. But when the class finally calms, this is the part that pipes-up and says something so profound that everyone turns around and says “whoa”. This is another reason why we want to dedicate ourselves to the practice of quieting the thinking-mind: to encourage the inspirational-mind to speak.

The thinking-mind isn’t such a bad kid by-the-way, it just lacks discipline and an appropriate outlet. It’s amusing when properly contained — but when running rampant, it causes chaos by clinging to anything that captures its attention. It should not be allowed to takeover and become the forefront of the mind. And this of course is the role of the deciding-mind, the one with the power-of-will to direct focus. This is the part that instills discipline through concentration and choice.

An unbalanced mind is one in which the thinking-mind influences the deciding-mind — it’s letting the class-clown run the show. But the better approach is to let the path-finding-mind lead the way. This is the part that is imprinted with preferences and knows just where to go. This part is temperamental, so the deciding-mind has to stay out of the way and let the path-finder do its thing — otherwise there will be pain.

The worst possible scenario is allowing the inspirational-mind to be drowned-out by the thinking-mind who proceeds to advise the deciding-mind who then ignores the path-finding-mind. If that happens, you’re rekt while the poor conscious-mind sits helplessly watching the shit-show unfold. Whereas the best possible scenario is the one in which the deciding-mind focuses up, disciplining the thinking-mind, allowing the inspirational-mind to contribute, letting the path-finding-mind steer the ship — all while the conscious-mind enjoys an interesting tale of fun and adventure.

To summarize:
Conscious-mind: the awareness that watches.
Thinking-mind: the boisterous bigmouth that must be contained.
Inspirational-mind: the creative artist that thrives with silence.
Deciding-mind: the keeper of the calm.
Path-finding-mind: the scout that knows the way.

Evolution of Belief

Preface: For many years, perhaps decades, I believed in a chance-based physical reality that incorporated concepts such as big-bang, survival-of-the-fittest, evolution, medicine, and matter. I’d label it Scientism: the misapplication of science as a belief-system. Because of the intensity associated with that philosophy, I was afflicted with anxiety until the stress eventually forced a retreat.

After examining the world from a more objective perspective, I’ve come to the conclusion that the world is a magical fantasyland of wish-fulfillment (I seem to have went in the extreme opposite direction). The very fact that a change of worldview can happen lends evidence to the idea that we are not living in an obvious reality — otherwise the truth would be apparent to all upon initial inspection.

I wonder though, why would I ever accept Scientism in the first place. But like any extremest fundamentalist, I grabbed an idea and held tight, shutting-out all evidence to the contrary. I brainwashed myself into a shitty-belief system. And I suppose I’m surrounded by people that don’t enjoy debate or arguing, so no one challenged my ideas to any great degree.

But when I was finally beaten by my own beliefs, my long-time friend’s perspective of the world welcomed me in. She has always believed in magic and spirituality of all sorts. Because of her, I read the Bible, I started watching Oprah, I learned about The Secret and the Law of Attraction, I started investigating spiritual topics and reading associated literature — as well as watching videos and shows of a spiritual nature.

Of course, under Scientism, I thought my friend was just being silly with her beliefs. Obviously they weren’t true, they were for entertainment-purposes only, a way for her to amuse herself while dealing with the harsh realities of life. But it turns out that she ACTUALLY believed that stuff. And oddly enough, it aligned with her experiences. In other words, the circumstances of her life defied my beliefs and supported her own. What could I do at that point but surrender to the evidence before me?

And so I have. Spirituality is my reality now. Yes, I recognize that I tend towards the extremes — but that’s just my nature, I’m fine with it. I should also mention that Simulation Theory helped in the transition of my beliefs — it seems to serve as a palatable pathway to spirituality for those of us well-versed in technology. Through Simulation Theory, I found it much easier to grasp the concept of a non-physical semi-deterministic reality that’s created and maintained by a higher intelligence.