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Category Archives for "Inner Peace"

crop circle theories
May 25

Are Crop Circles for Real?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

You may have grown up with stories of flying saucers, starting with Spielberg’s timeless classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Hundreds of stories have been documented since a UFO crashed in 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico.

These episodes have been witnessed by lone individuals, as well as entire groups of people. Prominent people, such as the U.S. Astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, who went all the way to the moon, have gone on record that UFO stories are not simply fabricated. In 1997, Fife Symington, Governor of Arizona, publically testified to a mass citing.

The problem is that the episodes typically occur for a few seconds or minutes, and then vanish. You can never go back and verify the actual incident for yourself. Enter crop circles, which began to attract public attention back in 1978, focused around Wiltshire, England, where we find the ancient monument of Stonehenge.

Now you can travel to these sites and see for yourself phenomena that defy imagination.

What Is So Special About Crop Circles?

Crop circles have been occurring with increasing frequency around the world in exotic formations with gorgeous fractal patterns. Each one is utterly unique, like a snowflake. Every year, the patterns become more and more compelling. They occur in various grain fields, such as wheat and corn, with perfect symmetry and high complexity.

Since crop circles are typically formed overnight, few people actually witness their occurrence. It boggles the mind that they could be created simply by natural forces, as they demonstrate mathematical precision. University professors have actually observed intricate algebraic expressions in them that only they can appreciate.

This phenomenon evokes profound emotions of awe and fascination in people of every descript. The circles often seem to be expressions of a supernatural power, perhaps angelic beings. Of course, the most intriguing explanation would be that they are the work of UFO’s employ an advanced technology, such as EMP, or electromagnetic pulses. Often people who visit fresh sites feel strange vibrations and their skin virtually glows.

Are Crop Circles the Work of a Global Art Collective?

Then, after a decade or so, a couple people in England stepped forth and claimed to have originated dozens of circles. They got interviewed, and the videos got posted on YouTube. They even demonstrated with ropes and boards how the whole process could be done. A website, www.circlemakers.org, is devoted to their cause.

Circle makers have suggested that they were intrigued by the claim that aliens had created the crop circles. They wanted to try the process, themselves, in the middle of the night in local wheat fields. They would come by the next day and amuse themselves with the puzzled reactions of the observers.

Apparently, these environmental artists got quite a kick out of this and proceeded over the years to create more and more circles. As the crop circles spread around the world, through Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as well as parts of Asia, these mischievous artists realized themselves to be part of an international movement.

As time went on, even commercial artists designed corporate logos in the field, even whole cars for promotional purposes. The idea grew stronger and stronger that ALL the crop circles were nothing more than elaborate hoaxes.

Are Crop Circles Created by UFO’s?

A close inspection of some of the more striking and elaborate circles undermines the idea that they were simply the work of a bunch of amateur artists. As these circles were formed, they left stunningly clean outlines with no footprints. The stalks were bent, not broken, and could continue to grow. Some observers maintain they would grow even faster than before.

A whole group of researchers emerged, some writing doctorates on the subject. They would travel around the world and study dozens of circles with the most painstaking detail. They found that there was no comparison between the authentic circles and the artistic imitations. They embraced alternative explanations.

Even more to the point, video footage has been shown with dancing lights in broad daylight in France with beautiful crop circles being formed in a matter of seconds, with the shadow of a flying saucer clearly visible. Obviously, this could have been the footage of an elaborate special effects studio. Yet it makes us wonder.

Are We Targets of a Disinformation Campaign?

Another possibility emerges that these are not the artifacts of aliens, but of our military with highly advanced technology being tested out in the research stage. The problem with this hypothesis is that crop circles are a global phenomenon. Would departments of defense waste taxpayers’ money simply to fool around with a bunch of farmers?

As circle makers came forward and claimed many of the crop circles as their own, the mass media honed in on them, and played their stories up, discrediting any and all supernatural explanations. If we realize that the mass media are owned by corporate conglomerates, and the politicians are charged with maintaining civil order, it becomes increasingly likely that they have colluded to deliberately misinform the public.

M. Knight Shyamalan’s film, Signs, which came out in 2002, features crop circles in a deeply unsettling way, suggesting that they are warning signals from aliens that are about to invade our planet. It is no accident that Shyamalan is a protégé of Steven Spielberg. No wonder the powers that be are concerned about a massive panic reaction among their constituencies!

What Is the Most Likely Scenario?

It seems most likely that the crop circles aren’t simply created by a pack of zany artists. The matchless eloquence of these circles speaks to the work of a higher force. The circles’ early association with UFO’s was immensely appealing, and entrepreneurial artists tried their hand at matching them.

crop circles aliens

The ever-increasing environmental degradation of Planet Earth since the 1970’s gave cause for concern among conscious human beings. It is conceivable that angels, or benevolent aliens, wanted to intervene by establishing communication with masses of people in a way that would be undeniable. Yet, at the same time, they wanted to avoid terrorizing the human community, such as projecting strange patterns onto TV sets around the world.

Some people will jump at any chance to show off. This was a novel opportunity for them to win notoriety, even though they couldn’t safely step forward and claim credit. At worst, they could be prosecuted or imprisoned; at best they would be frowned upon. We need only think of the early hackers who broke into corporate networks for something less than a lucrative payout in dollars and cents.

What Is the Deeper Meaning of Crop Circles?

If we step back, what is most marvelous about the emergence of crop circles is not so much how they were made, as what they actually do to people. We need only think of the Miracle of Fatima Portugal way back in 1913 when several children insisted that the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of God, appeared to them periodically in the sky. Hundreds witnessed the phenomenon, and it revived their Catholic faith as nothing else.

We thrive on mystery and begin to wither away when everything is tightly rational and explained away. The human spirit is reflected in the slogan of Star Trek, “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” People come to life, stop taking things for granted and developed a profound sense of gratitude that they are no longer alone in the Universe. Infinite Intelligence is with them.

The great mythologist, Joseph Campbell, urged us to live within the mystery. The recent discovery of dark matter and dark energy supports his injunction. Only 5% of the Universe is known. All the rest is either dark matter or dark energy. Humanity’s vaunted knowledge comes to little. We have only begun to explore the higher dimensions.

If you want to stay fully alive, go for the mystery!

crown chakra opening
Apr 06

Crown Chakra: Your Gateway to Becoming God

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

He who has seen Me, has seen the Father.
I and the Father Are One.

- Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John

You may have plunged into various yoga practices, whether Hatha, Vinyasa or Kundalini. You delight in the balance, poise and inner peace they give you. You may be an active meditator with a very special mantra. Yet you want to go beyond simple peace to Full Realization, to Supreme Enlightenment, itself.

You have wondered about the various chakras, higher and lower, like steps in the temple to finding God for yourself, no longer dependent upon the beliefs of another. You want to experience God firsthand, to see God, to even touch Him. If it were possible, you would even BE God.

You have heard that it is supremely difficult to open up and make it to the very top – crown chakra. A Krishna, a Buddha and a Christ come only once, if ever. You must have the right stuff from birth onwards. You can only settle for second best, to become a saint or sage… never truly a son or daughter of God.

When You Reach Crown Chakra - You Will See Only God

The three higher chakras, the Fifth Chakra, or Cosmic Consciousness, the Sixth Chakra, or Divine Consciousness and the Seventh (Crown) Chakra, or Unity Consciousness, gradually empower you to become one with everyone and everything. You become one with the world, one with God. You emerge as THE ONE, beyond any and all distinctions.

In the Fifth Chakra, you see the world as an extension of your body. The gorgeous landscape is no longer just “out there,” it is equally in you. You are the world, and the world is you. In the Sixth Chakra, you can see God face to face, so close you can almost touch Him, but not quite. There is a six-inch window pane between God and You. In the Seventh Chakra, that pane is shattered. Not only can you feel, see and touch Him, but He is ALL you see.

crown chakra location

In the Sixth Chakra, people are translucent, you can see the light and feel the presence of God through them, but you still can distinguish them. In the Seven Chakra, people are utterly transparent. When you look at them, all you can see is God. You look for yourself, and only find God. God is all there ever IS, WAS or WILL BE.

What Chance Do You Have To Experience Crown Chakra?

When you look at the present geopolitical turbulence and closely follow the news, you begin to wonder how many people here are truly enlightened. Is it one in 10,000? 100,000? 1,000,000? Why all the religious wars? What about all the flagrant racism, sexism and speciesism? Who is genuinely pro-LIFE?

Then you look at your own shadow, how hard is it to break habits of food, drugs and empty sex! You seem to unconsciously attract attachments. Sure, you try to be a decent guy or gal and help others out, but you are security conscious. You see continuous violations of trust online and offline. Why stick your own neck out?

You may be dismayed at how much you hang out in the lower chakras of security, sensual gratification and power plays. You feel relief when you can lock into the fourth chakra, or human love, that allows for genuine empathy and appreciation, conditional though it may be.

Is it possible that you in this very lifetime can become divine? What you need is a sustained state of grace, an overwhelming series of breaks leading to total transformation.

Crown Chakra Experience – What’s It Like?

Stephen Wolinsky, leading disciple of the Advaita Master, Nisargadatta Maharaj, early on was advised, “You don’t even want enlightenment. Because if you were enlightened, you wouldn’t even be there to enjoy it!” The ticket to awakening is to give up all your attachments. Not just your possessions, but your personal identity. You are not your name tag, your nation, your race, your religion. You are neither your body nor your mind. You are not your intellect or personality. What then are you?

crown chakra symbol

You are the context out of which your life occurs. That space allows for all possibilities. When you identify with form, rather than emptiness, then you are a particular character in a global interlocking drama. You play a necessary part that perfectly complements all the others. In truth, you are every character and no character. You are your own character simply so that you can experience the show. It is an immersive simulation, much like a gripping game played out with helmet and gloves in virtual space.

If you experienced Unity, you would be very much at home. You would be very much YOU, but as God. You grow less and less attached to your limited identity, your small self. You play with it, rather than allowing it to play with you. The more you wake up to God, the more you can rewrite the script, even transform the past, which lives only in your present imagination.

Can You Even Entertain Becoming God?

With hurricanes, deep freezes, spontaneous wildfires and an endless stream of military conflicts and random terrorism, it would seem our Mother Earth is very upset with us. How much time do we have left? Can we afford to be spiritual when the only smart thing would be to fortify ourselves. Yet, the whole world is suffering. How can we not heed its call?

While from a phenomenal standpoint, our generation is facing unprecedented challenges, there is something far more important. The challenge is to become conscious ourselves, so that we can help others do likewise. The Mahayana Buddhists established that it is out of compassion that you seek enlightenment, so that you can enlighten all those around you.

crown chakra healing

Becoming God may seem infinitely remote or an impossible luxury, but it is truly the only thing that can and will save us. When we become God, when we become Who we truly are, we can love like God loves. That love sparks miracles. It knows no limits. It accepts no such word as “impossible.”

With the recent revolution in the global communication infrastructure, enlightenment is possible on a scale previously unimaginable. What is lacking is the inspiration, conviction and commitment to make it happen.

As the player of the ultimate adventure game, it is all up to you. Remember The Matrix? YOU ARE “NEO.” You are the “Chosen One.”

Focus Totally On God, and Then Let Go

Dr. Andrew Newberg, clinical researcher on enlightenment, identified a highly promising pattern. In nearly every case, the people blessed with a sudden awakening, such that it forever changed their life, usually were seekers who ultimately let go, and then let God.

It seems all the striving to become God is necessary for us to experience that we already are God. It is the sudden release that allows for the state of grace, when it all just flows.

Keep focusing on the Supreme Identity or Transcendent Mystery. Don’t be in any kind of rush to reach and experience crown chakra. Be infinitely patient with a keen sense of humor. Then periodically let go. Do something else. Take a vacation. Sooner or later, like the Prodigal Son being welcomed back to his father, you will awaken to your Christhood, Buddhahood and Krishnahood, just like the Masters said all along.

You can become God in this very lifetime, because you already are.
When you gaze at an Avatar, Bodhisattva or Messiah, you are gazing at the perfect image of Who YOU Ultimately ARE.

how to meditate
Mar 16

Can You Meditate on Nothing?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

You may be a seeker who has tried everything. You’ve followed gurus of every stripe, taken hatha and kundalini yoga, been initiated into Transcendental Meditation and even done Zazen, facing a blank wall with your eyes half-shut. Nothing has quite clicked!

Before you throw it all out, you might try a radically different approach to meditation. After all, you figured out that enlightenment means meditation. Why not just meditate on NOTHING?

Absurd, you say, how can you concentrate on nothing? Impossible? A waste of time? Hold on! You may be pleasantly surprised.

Meditation Only Requires Letting Go

Most of us conceive of meditation as an intense mental exercise demanding superior powers of concentration that only a wretched introvert can do. We have heard about counting breaths, gazing at a mandala and silently reciting a sacred syllable. We are supposed to concentrate on our mantra and let nothing distract us.

Of course, just the opposite happens. Our monkey mind faithfully springs into action. It has been described as a drunken monkey, stung by a wasp with Saint Vitus Dance. It won’t ever stay still. It is like a three-year old boy throwing a tantrum who refuses to grow up. The more you try to suppress it, the worse it gets.

*Related topic:   How To Meditate For Beginners: Sleep Better, Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Actually, this is an obstruction to true meditation. Meditation is about breathing deeply, relaxing your body and allowing whatever wants to come up to come up. In meditation, you go from the doer to the observer. As the observer, you experience every sensation as a sensation, every emotion as an emotion and every thought as a thought. As you let it be, it lets you be.

Meditation: as you let it be, it lets you be.

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meditation for beginners

Why Meditation on Nothing Is Never a Waste of Time

We all feel guilty whenever we think about meditating. Can we afford to give up 15 minutes, 30 minutes… even an hour every day? Think what we could do with all that extra time! Even worse, we could end up falling asleep, when we still have so much to do. That would be most embarrassing, and a disaster! Have you finished all your homework yet? If you don’t do it now, when will it ever get done?

Few people think about scheduling meditation, or starting out with just a five-minute block that you practice for a month or two until it really starts working for you. You may not arrive at the classic “relaxation response” in five minutes, but you will definitely be more present. Apple Watch now has an application that gets you to consciously breathe for just a minute or two. That’s all it does. Just take five deep breaths or so.

Meditation on nothing is the purest form of meditation. All the other forms lead to that. It is all about pure presence. Whenever you are truly present, your life starts to flow. Your relationships are smoother, including your family, your friends, your job, even your childhood chums. One of the greatest gifts you can truly give anyone is to be totally present for him or her.

The more tuned into the present, the more you give up judging and evaluating people. You accept them for who and what they are.

being present

How Meditation on Nothing Always Brings Something

Meditation is a way of being that allows daring new possibilities to emerge. You learn to stop imposing your will on everything and everybody. As you become more and more the observer, you are comfortable giving up your insistence that conditions be such and such, or that a circumstance turns out a certain way. The woman or man you have your heart set upon may respond, or he/she may not. Life goes on. Life, itself, is a miracle. It is precious.

If you are deeply religious, this will provide the context for God to actually talk back to you. You learn to profoundly listen, to empty yourself. In the process, you tune into the inner voices, one of which may be sacred.

With meditation, you start tuning in, not turning off and shutting down. Inner peace makes possible the deepest realizations and the most breathtaking revelations. I know this from actual experience. You will be stunned by the deep insights and inner knowing that you will find nowhere else.

Most of all, meditation on nothing opens the way for you to find out Who You Really Are. You gradually give up the notion that you are your body and your nametag. From there, you become comfortable that you are not your mind, either. You discover the ability to live in present time, only to discover that you already live in eternity, each moment unique, lasting forever. Pure Being, Consciousness and Bliss, that is what you are! With meditation, you can actually experience this for yourself.

Meditation on Nothing Is Easier Than You Think

Meditation on nothing doesn’t require you to learn a foreign language, worship somebody else’s deity or sit rigid until your seat bones crack. You don’t work harder; in fact, you start to play. You let your thoughts start thinking themselves. After all, they do that anyway. You just assumed for the sake of convenience that YOU were the thinker.

Whenever you simply witness, you observe what is happening right in front of you, or deep within you. You are meditating on nothing. In the Far East, Nothing, depicted by the color black, is highly prized, as you will see in Japanese art. Black is positive, not negative. Under the influence of Buddhism where form is void, and void is form, it is clearly seen that “nothing” is actually everything! Nothing is the matrix of creation, out of which everything emerges. Just think of the Yin / Yang symbol.

With meditation on nothing, you surrender to the present moment, letting go of your agenda. Whatever happens, happens. You may have strange thoughts, feelings, sensations. So what? This too shall pass.

Are you ready to give up all effort and allow things to happen by themselves? This meditation is that easy!

meditate buddhism style

How to Meditate on Nothing

With this form of meditation, you just have three basic steps.
1.  Sit down in a comfortable chair, or cross-legged with your spine upright, if you prefer.
2.  Close your eyes and take several deep breaths, which can include alternate nostril breathing, if you want to make it fancy!
3.  Now simply notice what happens. When a feeling comes up, see it as just a feeling. When a sensation comes up, see it as just a sensation. When a thought flashes, see it as just another thought. When you stop being here and remember what you did yesterday, see the memory as a memory. When you dream what will happen this coming weekend, see the dream as a dream.

You continue until the alarm goes off, or you notice five minutes, 10 minutes or 15 minutes has elapsed. You center yourself. Open your eyes and get up.

Chances are you will feel a little more refreshed. You can do this once or twice a day. After a few days or a few weeks, this may grow on you. You then have finally found a way to meditate that works for you.

I bet you will eventually find that nothing is more fulfilling!

atheist definition
Mar 09

Are Spiritual People Ever Atheists?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

With the rise of the millennials, we see a whole new generation distinctly less religious than their parents. One in three have serious doubts about the existence of God, although less than 10% would openly declare themselves atheists. One in four doesn’t go to any kind of church, and increasingly say that religion is totally irrelevant.

At the same time, we witness the emergence of militant atheists, as well as the new atheists. Richard Dawkins, in particular, has taken on himself the task of vehemently opposing all forms of religion as downright superstition and demanding equal rights for all atheists. Ironically, the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom OF religion, but not freedom FROM religion.

Can we take this all at face value, or can we discern a deeper trend? Are people become less religious while at the same time becoming more spiritual?

Atheism or Agnosticism?

Part of the problem is that contemporary journalists less and less distinguish between atheism and agnosticism, despite a huge difference. Technically, atheism requires a positive disbelief in God and religion. You know that there is no God, and only fools would believe in such a notion.

atheists religion

Agnosticism, on the other hand, is a very intelligent position. You don’t know if there is a God, and you may never find out. In today’s global, post-modern society, unless you trip out on psychedelics, have a near-death experience or an enlightenment experience through meditation, you have no reason to believe in God apart from a religious conversion.

Most of us in growing up and entering college go through an intense period of introspection. This is an essential phase of individuation, of becoming your own person. You learn to question your own preconceptions and beliefs. For those of us with a solid faith, our God re-emerges from such a journey all the greater. For those for whom God was a given, a belief system they did not dare question, it is an altogether different matter.

The Closet Atheist: Carl Sagan

We all remember Carl Sagan with great fondness, a passionate astrophysicist who brought the Cosmos into our living room and fired up our wonder and amazement at the Universe. Carl was deeply committed to the peace movement. His theory of Nuclear Winter had a decisive effect on accelerating negotiations between Russia and America in 1985.

In point of fact, Carl was an atheist. But he didn’t make it his business to assert his rights or try to crush other people’s faith. Carl was like the closet gay professor who has far too much respect for the intelligence of his students to impose his perspective. Carl’s profound appreciation of the physical universe was deeply spiritual.

When you read Carl Sagan’s Varieties of Scientific Experience, you might as well be reading Saint Augustine’s Confessions. The Cosmos is sacred and deserves the reverence that we normally reserve for God. You might even ask, “Is there really a difference?” After all, “God” is a placeholder word for Joseph Campbell’s “Transcendent Mystery.”

The Militant Atheist: Richard Dawkins

In recent years, perhaps in reaction to both Bush Administrations and fundamentalist activism at the highest levels of government, Richard Dawkins has emerged as the pre-eminent antagonist of religion. Dawkins was friends with the pioneering paleontologist, Richard Leaky, who helped establish Africa as the cradle of humanity. Growing up, Richard was an actual altar boy.

atheist beliefs

Entranced by evolution, Dawkins quickly lost his faith. He developed an anachronistic view of evolution and the inherent superiority of Western Civilization. He never seemed to grasp the implications of Relativity or Quantum theory. The modern mind is the only proper one for a highly educated man to have.

I saw Richard Dawkins firsthand at his book signing for The God Delusion. His book provides deep insight around the challenges of atheists. Richard is quite the gentleman with a delightful English accent and a razor sharp wit who keeps his audiences laughing. The only problem is that he keeps erecting straw dogs in the form of the most primitive types of fundamentalism. Richard never considers that the vast majority of religious people on the planet would disavow that perspective.

The New Atheist: Sam Harris

Sam Harris started out as a neurologist doing clinical research on brain patterns associated with people’s beliefs. Sam became deeply disturbed by 9/11 and took time out to write The End of Faith, in which he advocates reason as the cure for religious fundamentalism of every stripe.

Unlike many other notable atheists, Sam Harris studied philosophy and went to the East to study meditation. He regularly practices Vipasana and meets with religious moderates who share his commitment to end religious fanaticism. Sam actually co-wrote a book, Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue, with Maajid Nawaz. Sam is even invited to speak at churches to enlighten their congregations on the virtues of a secular, nonsectarian outlook.

Sam admits to never having a full-on enlightenment experience, while not discounting such a possibility. Watching him on video, you can’t help but feel his deep care for the world. You might say that Sam Harris is religious without being religious, most definitely spiritual.

Why a Mythic God?

Ken Wilber, as well as Sam Harris, has expressed his frustration with mythological elements in every religion, feeling that they are a stumbling block to authentic faith. As a reaction to this, people end up choosing a two-dimensional, scientific “flatland,” favoring the third-person perspective over first and second-person perspectives. It is much like draining all the art, poetry and music out of life. What is the point?

This was not always the case. Joseph Campbell had a previous generation reveling in mythology as “the song and the dance.” Joseph Campbell saw religious symbols from every culture, East or West, modern or traditional, as being pointers, “transparent to the transcendent.” When someone points at the moon, don’t stare at his finger, gaze at the moon!

The great irony is that sophisticated theologians never took the old man in the rocking chair seriously. They knew it was all symbolic. However, the more sensitive among them realized the power of poetry to explain what could not be adequately explained any other way. For example, Chapter One of Genesis can be taken as a poem about creation. If you read it in that light, it is exquisitely beautiful. To take it as a text in biology is to do damage to its original meaning.

Beyond a Mythic God

Sam Harris openly expresses his appreciation of church architecture and ritual and the warmth of people coming together to address matters of ultimate concern. What Sam objects to is having the mythic elements taken literally. He suggested that we need a universal, nonsectarian language to address that which pertains to God. Much like Neo-Latin in scientific discourse, this new language could unite us all in a common vision.

In co-authoring, Awaken Perfection: The Journey of Conscious Revelation, I discovered that in addressing a global post-modern society, it is all about developing a new conceptual language. It became clear that we must include all great religious, spiritual and philosophical traditions while transcending them.

unity in diversity

Think about this. If Christianity only took the Apostle John’s claim seriously that God IS love, then wherever there wasn’t love, we would know that the experience of God was somehow missing.

Imagine being focused on an unconditional love that applied to all people at all times everywhere. Religion would be a practice of probing into the depths of our being to find that love, and then manifest it freely.

Who could possibly object to that? Billy Graham, our matchless global evangelist, just passed away. It is ironic that the best spokesmen for humanity in his wake are a humanistic Buddhist, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, and a Jesuit-Turned-Franciscan priest, His Holiness, Pope Francis I. Both are distinguished by a boundless compassion the world can’t quite get enough of.

Time for us all to unite!

dance meaning
Dec 22

The Only Dance There Is

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

At the still point of the turning world, Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and futur​e are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

~ T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

The holidays in America are a time of celebration rarely seen at any other period, with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s unfolding in rapid succession. These days outweigh all others in importance. They serve as a pressure valve to keep one of the world’s most dynamic, high-pressured and relentless societies sane.

When we think of celebration, we think of movement and dance as we shed our usual inhibitions and make sport. Dance is not about getting anywhere in a hurry. To the contrary, dance is self-expression. It is ornamental. You do it for the sake of doing it. It can be tap dance, tango or break dance.

You might think of dance as conscious movement pulsing to the rhythm of the music. It can be primal drums, a rock band or an orchestra, as in the ballet and opera.

Dance the Ultimate Metaphor

When we think of the best metaphors for life, we immediately think of a story and a play, narrated or re-enacted. It always has a beginning, middle and end. If it is any good, it sucks you so totally in that the only action for you lies between the pages of your favorite novel, or spotlighted right on the stage in front of you.

conscious dance

Yet a deeper metaphor is the dance itself, conscious movement. All human culture emerged from the song and dance around the fire. All of our religious traditions and early entertainment entailed movement of some kind. People not only want to hear; they want to see with their own eyes. They want to feel with their own bodies.

Everything is in motion. The earth rotates. The seasons transition. We travel 24,000 miles in a day, while the earth plunges toward the sun traveling thousands of miles an hour. The sun, in turn, plunges towards the center of the galaxy. All of the stationary objects we behold, including the mountains behind us, are actually moving at breakneck speed.

Enter Shiva, Lord of the Dance

Of all the Hindu pantheon, no god is quite some mysteriously compelling as Lord Shiva. Shiva is in third place in the Vedic trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Traditionally, Brahma stands for the creator, Vishnu for the preserver and Shiva for the Destroyer. A deeper understanding reveals the destroyer is actually a transformer, bringing everything back to the beginning.

Shiva dance

Shiva destroys the illusion of separation by revealing that we are all ONE behind the curtain. In his sacred dance, he is Shiva Nataraja, encircled by a ring of fire. With every beat of the drum, he goes in and out of time. Shiva’s concentration is total, and everyone he encounters is thrown into a trance, much like a celestial rave.

Shiva can be incredibly still, meditating in full lotus posture millions of years. Yet when he awakens, his third eye is powerful enough to incinerate anything in sight. Despite all this, Hindus see him as “the auspicious one,” the remover of obstacles and the bringer of good fortune.

Enter Shakti, The Eternal Consort

Shiva without Shakti is unthinkable. He is intense, introverted and passionate. Shiva is a total nonconformist, living in nature and cherishing his time alone. He requires a free-spirited lover, one totally devoted to the spiritual. Shakti is his perfect match. She embodies the sacred energy that fills the Universe.

Shakti is Shiva’s hidden source of power. Often she is envisioned dancing on top of Shiva’s body, who has gone down into ecstasy. If Shiva is pure consciousness, Shakti is pure energy. Shakti brings Shiva to life, and Shiva informs Shakti’s every move.

In Hindu mythology, Shiva and Shakti enjoy many lives together, each one more satisfying. No other woman will satisfy him. No other man will satisfy her. They are hopeless romantics who couldn’t care less what other people think. Not only do they want to change the world, they want to move the stars.

conscious movement

Shiva / Shakti: The Sacred Celebration

The more intensely Shiva and Shakti dance together, the more they merge into a single being. You can behold in ancient Indian caves a Shiva who is himself on one side, and Shakti on the other. Both are perennial archetypes in the South Asian psyche.

Contemporary physicists have gone way beyond Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein into quantum, and then string theory. What we call the universe is an interplay of consciousness and energy. You can’t have one without the other. There is no observation without an observer. You can’t have stillness without motion, and motion without stillness.

Shiva is the divine masculine, the Supreme Being underlying the manifest universe. Shakti is the eternal feminine, the Divine Mother. Shakti personifies form, Shiva the formless. As the Buddhists put it around the time of Christ, “Form is Emptiness.” In Indian cosmology, there is only nama and rupa, concept and form. No matter, only spirit.

Vinyassa Yoga: Flowing Your Way into Unity

If you would like to make your holiday more conscious, try movement, try dance. If you are into yoga, you can try Vinyassa, which is a hypnotic flow from asana to asana done so smoothly that it appears to be a dance, just like Tai Chi Chuan or the Sufi’s whirling dervishes. Motion adds a whole new dimension to Hatha Yoga. After trying it, you may never want to go back to the old static form.

Shiva Rhea is a pioneer and master of Vinyassa with an exquisite intensity that does justice to her name. She studied world cultures and came up with her own interpretation of yoga. However, Shiva had a unique affinity to South Asian civilization such that you might see her as a blonde Hindu. She intuitively grasps Hindu dharma from within.

Shiva is committed to opening up people like us to the beauty of movement, dance and yoga. The more we learn to experience our own bodies, the more we can celebrate embodiment and realize what she calls “embodied love.” Imagine intermingling the sensual, the romantic and the sacred in a single sequence.

Fire and Ice: Lighting Up the Winter Solstice

You might visualize a winterscape in Iceland with fire and smoke seeping out of a volcano surrounded by a field of ice. Hot and cold intermingle. Paradoxically, the fire doesn’t melt the ice, nor the ice smother the fire. If you go further north towards the Arctic circle, you will encounter white nights of sunlight, as well as sunless days.

In the Winter Solstice, just before the birthday of Christ, we go from the shortest day of the year on December 21st to the longest day on June 21st. In snow country, the days are brightest in December, because the sun is reflected in the snow and ice with an incomparable winter glare. I remember actually seeing snow near the Grand Canyon for the very first time. Nothing seemed so white!

This holiday season, you might choose to focus on celebration as the end all and be all of creation. Celebration is not something we tack onto the end of our days when we have nothing else to do. Celebration is the very heart of life. When you realize that it’s all about awakening, creation, play and celebration, you will be ever more eager to push the body, go with the flow and dance, dance both day and night. Dance the unending dance of Conscious Energy!

healing within
Oct 27

Healing: Hawaiian Style

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Perfection as a living experience is available
to anyone at any time under any circumstances.

Recently, I took a brief vacation to clear my mind and came across a book on Ho’oponopono, the ancient Hawaiian process of forgiveness and healing in relationships (with oneself and others). I scanned through it and was immediately stunned by its unique approach.

At the time, my back was against the wall, having been given notice to move from my home of 15 years within 60 days. On top of that, my job was very shaky. August was a very slow month for me, and produced almost no results. I wasn’t sure what to do besides reach out.

As I slowly went through the simple book by Ulrich Dupree, Ho'oponopono: The Hawaiian Forgiveness Ritual as the Key to Your Life's Fulfillment, his words popped out and began to speak to me. I went through his book several times within a day or two, and a whole new empowering perspective dawned on me.

Six weeks later, my situation had totally turned around. I found a delightful new home much better than the one before at a reasonable price. I was complimented by my boss, and had become highly productive. My partner had gone all out in ingenious ways to make sure everything fit together perfectly.

How could so simple an approach make so profound a change in my life?

Look Within to Find Your World

The perspective of Ho’oponopono is truly a radical one, asserting that there is no one and nothing outside of you. Everything you experience, YOU experience. Everything happens within the context of your own ultimate being.

healing prayers

Everyone you meet is your mirror. What he or she experiences is what you experience. She emerges at just the right moment to reveal something about yourself that you don’t fully realize. If you want to help her, you must first help yourself. As you work on yourself, you heal her. Just the opposite of what you might reflexively suppose.

We all want to be reasonable about this. Surely, he or she exists independent of me. Therefore, what he goes through is not my problem. Quantum physics underscores our inseparability. We are all totally interlinked, whether we realize it or not.

Healing Begins: You Are 100% Responsible

In a relationship, we look for reciprocity, a 50-50 deal. I do my part, and you do your part. We are even. Don’t expect me to do it all for you.

However, in the Hawaiian Huna tradition, you are responsible for all of it with no exceptions. If someone hurts you deeply, you must forgive him and let go. To fail to do this will just add to your pain.

You are responsible, not only for what you do to someone else, but also what they do to you. You can never really plead justification. You are cause of both your actions and their responses.

However, Huna goes way beyond this. I am responsible for what another does to another, even if it is on the other side of the world. My world IS my world. Do I choose to own it? No excuses. No blame, shame or guilt, only responsibility. I caused it. If I want it different, I must work on myself.

Back to Zero, Back to God

The living master of Ho’oponopono, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, uses a clean white board to illustrate God as pure possibility. At Zero, there are no limits. As we add thoughts, ideas and attachments in our life, we migrate farther and farther from God, and from our True Self. Dr. Hew Len calls it programming, or data. To make progress, you simply delete the program and erase the data.

Dr. Hew Len must know what he is doing. He got famous by curing an entire ward of criminally insane patients, men who got there through murder, rape and child molestation. They had pled insanity simply to escape execution. Dr. Len didn’t do traditional therapy. In fact, he didn’t even see the patients clinically. He merely met them socially and had a good time with them.

On the side, Dr. Len would constantly review their records of misdeeds and get in touch with what was in him that caused their behavior. What painful, erroneous memory was playing within him to prompt them to do such horrendous deeds. It wasn’t them, it was the program pushing their buttons.

Within a few weeks and months, the patients were taken out of their shackles and isolation cells and put to work. They proved so responsible and cooperative that they were eventually released and sent home. Dr. Hew Len refused any credit for it. He claims God did it all, and Ho’oponopono was the means to let go and let God.

Dead Past or Living Present: Your Choice

In Ho’oponopono, we have no choice but to surrender, and open up to inspiration. Contemporary neuroscience suggests that our thoughts and intentions happen well before we are consciously aware of them. Experiment after experiment reveals people being aware of a thought a fraction of a second after it lights up in the brain. As the original est training maintained, we operate like machines.

The way out is to surrender to the present moment. By appealing to our Divine Self, and thus the Infinite, we open the way for the program to be deleted. In its place, we receive a flash of inspiration. You might say from a conventional religious perspective, as we keep turning to God in difficult situations, He continues to reveal his will for us, along with a way out.

As you get comfortable with this process of surrender, your entire life begins to seem magical, with synchronicities and breakthroughs on a daily basis. In the last few weeks, people have opened up to me in surprising ways I would not have anticipated. I no longer know it all, or pretend I have it all together. They thus feel more comfortable reaching out.

As you get comfortable with this process of surrender, your entire life begins to seem magical.

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Healing Process: Keep Erasing the Whiteboard

Dr. Hew Len got so wrapped up in this process that all he ever wants to do these days is clean, clean, clean. As you will notice, problems keep coming up for us on a daily basis, no matter how spiritual we reckon ourselves to be. He actually enjoys this process of surrender. He is totally centered deep within.

What is in me that is causing this problem for myself and others?

I repent of this damaging data and seek divine pardon to erase it, and set me free. This goes for international tension and who won the Presidency, as much as it has to do with my significant others and close friends.

healing definition

The faster we clean and erase, the faster life seems to move. Rather than it being a burden, it becomes a joy. This paradox has been observed in Buddhist monks, who, despite their self-imposed deprivations, can be joyous and playful, completely present to life, themselves and others. Just the opposite of what we might expect.

Four Miracle Phrases

Dr. Hew Len chose to popularize his work through Dr. Joe Vitale, star of the runaway hit book and movie combo, The Secret. When Joe came across his work he was stunned. A staunch proponent of the Law of Attraction, he saw a higher principle at work which he couldn’t explain. Joe learned everything he could from Dr. Hew Len and staked his entire professional reputation on Dr. Hew Len’s work.

There are just four simple phrases that you repeat in every kind of situation, usually silently within yourself:
1.  I’m sorry.
2.  Please forgive me.
3.  I love you.
4.  Thank You.

I’m sorry: We usually say this only under social obligation. Most of the time, we don’t mean it all that much, but mutter it to get out of awkward situations. However, sometimes we actually mean it, when we have blown it, and caused tremendous emotional pain to someone we truly love. For example, we can think of a teenager desperately hoping to get into Harvard blowing his final exam, only to face his parents. The reason you apologize is because you perceive that you suffer, which connects you to your deeper self, and your feelings. This way, you no longer reject the problem (blaming yourself or others), but instead, you know where you stand and recognize your learning task.

Please forgive me: Even if we are a born-again Christian leading a Spirit-filled life, we say this only occasionally. Since God forgives us for everything, we need not ask it. Good Catholics, on the other hand, with Mass and Confession, know the meaning of these words. If you have ever used these words to hold onto a precious relationship, you know very well just how powerful these words are. In other words, this phrase means: “Please forgive me for having until now judged you (or the situation), and in the past disregarded our spiritual identity and connectedness.

I love you: You may recognize “Aloha” from a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. Its core meaning is love, and recognition of the divine in another person. The spirit of Aloha suggests the utmost hospitality and consideration. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. You are uniquely precious to me. In other words, “I love you and I love myself unconditionally with all our weaknesses and faults.”

Thank You: If you have been to Honolulu, you have heard “Mahalo” over and over again. Profound gratitude is comparatively rare, and yet it can make all the difference in one’s life. It reminds me of the story of Jesus Christ healing 10 lepers from their horrible skin malignancy. Only one of them turned back to thank him. The Secret rightly pointed out that gratitude is the single most important factor in attracting what you want. When you thank someone, it invites more of the same. There is no easier way to more of what I want!

Ho’oponopono Online / Offline

Since Joe Vitale went around the world promoting this ancient art, it’s becoming familiar, and we now have a variety of ways to learn and master this process. I would recommend viewing online Dr. Vitale and Dr. Hew Len together in seminars he promoted. I would also highly recommend both of Dr. Vitale’s books on Ho’oponopono: Zero Limits and At Zero. Joe is conscientious, diligent and thorough. He holds nothing back. He wants, you, the reader to take full advantage of everything that he has learned.

Mabel Katz, a long-time disciple of Dr. Hew Len, travels around the world giving lectures and courses. You can find much of it online. Mabel, being both Argentinian and Jewish, offers a delightful perspective on this work. It is most revealing that she started out a sophisticated skeptic and found God in the process. Much of her material is in Spanish, but you can find books and videos in English.

Many people have begun integrating Ho’oponopono into their work, and offer classes of various kinds. The youthful Dr. Matthew James started Kona University and combines it with advanced NLP work. Matt grew up with meditation. His parents study under a Kahuna master well acquainted with the process.

Making Perfection the Context for Your Life

If you have a divine self, which Ho’oponopono maintains, then you are inherently perfect, even when the programming running through you separates you from that experience. Garbage data can result in profound dis-ease, where you are in need of healing. The sudden release provided through repentance, pardon and reconciliation can restore your sense of perfection.

Don’t let the idea of confession and pardon scare you away. These terms are freighted with negative connotations from religious practices that too often focus on guilt. They are actually meant to restore and release. Redemption in the Abrahamic traditions means to restore a person or thing to its pristine original condition, as though nothing had ever happened.

It just might be that the process of Ho’oponopono is the formula for healing our Planet and bringing us all together in divine love. Certainly, looking outside ourselves fails to satisfy. It is also futile to insist on reciprocity. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” It all starts with “I.”

You can make perfection the context for your life when you realize that the ultimate truth is that it is all perfect, just the way it is. Always was. Always will be. You can get there through divine revelation, or through practicing Ho’oponopono.

kabbalah teachings
Sep 15

Is Kabbalah for Everyone, or Just for Jewish People?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

You may have wondered if, in our post-modern era, we might find a truly universal faith that would include anyone and everyone. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find a faith that included every tradition while transcending the limitations of each of them?

Other than the New Age movement, you would most likely look to India with its native Hinduism and Buddhism. You might possibly look to Islam, which inspired the Baha’i faith, or to such a Christian group as Unity, or the Unitarian-Universalist Association.

The last place you might think to look is to Judaism, which traditionally has been limited to ethnic Jews directly descended from Abraham. You typically didn’t choose to be Jewish, but were rather born into it. How, then, could Judaism even hope to offer a universal outlook for all people?

Have you considered the Kabbalists?

What Brought the Stars to Kabbalah?

In recent years, some of the most prominent celebrities in Hollywood, such as Madonna, Demi Moore, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, not to mention Ashton Kutcher, have flocked to the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles.

They are not all Jewish, and they have more money than they know what to do with. Why then would luminaries like these engage in spiritual studies of what was once a very arcane field?

Actors and actresses are human. They work in an extremely competitive field. Hollywood is notorious for sucking up and spitting out talent. Precious few of them actually make it to the top. The fortunate few who do, the ones who have the means to do anything they want, soon find that there is more to life than conspicuous consumption. The more creative among them are hungry for something real.

kabbalah symbols

What Is the Kabbalah?

Kabbalah is a mystical form of Judaism drawn from the second century after Christ in the very region where He lived and breathed, Galilee, started by Rav Shimon bar Yochai, who spoke Aramaic. It came to life as a major discipline in Andalusian Spain, where Islamic, Christian and Jewish scholars all studied together in somewhat of a golden age.

Isaac Luria, in Safed, Israel made the Zohar, or Book of Splendor, famous among Jewish people. It focused on interpreting the five books of Moses, the Torah, from a higher perspective, focusing on the Creation Story of the first chapter of Genesis, as well as the Burning Bush and the Parting of the Red Sea in the book of Exodus.

Kabbalah introduced four levels of interpretation, which brought great depth to the sacred texts:
1.  Literal translation.
2.  Allegoric translation.
3.  Moral translation.
4.  Inner translation.

Gone was an angry god on a throne high above the clouds throwing thunderbolts down on all of us. Enter a God of Infinite Light, which equates to Life, as well as Love. It sees the entire Universe in terms of Light.

Beyond Judaism: Kabbalah Goes Global

The 20th Century witnessed the rebirth of the nation of Israel. It had been nearly 2,000 years since the Romans tore down Jerusalem, the Sacred City, and the Temple of King Herod. The language of Hebrew was revived, and many ancient texts were translated into Modern Hebrew, including the Aramaic texts of Kabbalah.

With the paperback revolution and online publishing, thanks to the World Wide Web, it was vastly easier to disseminate all kinds of knowledge, including the most sophisticated wisdom of Judaism. Traditionally, you had to be a married, male Jew over 40, who would privately go to a Rav, or Kabbalist teacher, either individually or in small groups for study.

kabbalah tree of life

After the cultural and social revolution of the 1960’s, and the emergence of the Baby Boomers, it no longer made sense to restrict the Kabbalah. Philip and Karen Berg started a center in Los Angeles that eventually went round the world. Under Karen’s influence, Philip opened up Kabbalah to women and children, as well as people of any race, nation or religion. You could be a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Humanist. They didn’t care. All were welcome to join them in studying Kabbalah.

Kabbalah’s Message: Mastering the Mystery of Life

Kabbalah explains the nature of creation, the Universe and humanity. Ultimately, there is only the Light, another word for Being, Consciousness and Bliss. Our Source poured Itself into human vessels, which got shattered. Although every one of us has an original spark of the divine, we all must find ourselves.

We are only fulfilled when we share that Light with others, and give of what we have. Greed is inherently self-defeating, as our greatest joy is to make others happy. We can beautify ourselves by bringing out the spark of divinity. Every time we resist the temptation to be petty and mean, we generate more light, which makes it easier for all the rest of us.

We each consciously chose to enter the game of life under a specific set of conditions. We even chose our parents, our bodies and our community. We each have a thorn in the flesh, a perceived limitation that can curtail our lives if we are unconscious. It is in overcoming our negative predispositions that we become truly great.

Tithing: The Secret of the Jews

Most Christians have been taught to give to their church, and a few practice giving a tenth of their income to God. It is counterintuitive that John D. Rockefeller, who built the oil industry, was a scrupulous tither, or that Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, memorized the Sermon on the Mount and made a pledge with his wife, Melinda, to give away all his money.

kabbalah celebrities

The concept of the Tithe, meaning tenth, came from ancient Israel before there were income and state taxes. Hebrews supported a class of religious leaders, the Levites, who would keep their faith forever alive. The idea was to support those who enlighten you. Jewish civilization has always placed a high value on education, which may partially explain the spectacular success of many Jewish people.

Counter to many stereotypes, Jewish people are often amazing philanthropists who accumulate money primarily so that they can give it away to worthy causes. If you doubt this, just go to New York. Particularly noteworthy are the endless contributions to education and the arts. Liberalism in America would be meaningless were it not for the hundreds of thousands of Jewish people who lived out its values over the decades. 

Tikkun Olam: Healing the World

With climate change, religious terrorism and nuclear proliferation, the world, more than ever before, needs healing. Kabbalah gives a clear explanation as to how things got this way, as well as offering a positive direction forward.

Karen Berg, for example, has been extremely active in the interfaith movement. Even though Jewish, she has spent much time with Muslim leaders. For example, Karen has spoken with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian National Authority and Dr. Jehan Sadat, President Anwar Sadat’s widow.

Many Kabbalists have intractable faith in the power of truth and love. It is deeply moving to see Jews, who, after the Holocaust, chose to share their faith with the entire world and love the very people who destroyed their ancestors. These people are, indeed, paving the way to a universal faith.

Kabbalah the Easy Way

In the U.S., you will find many Jewish Community Centers that can be helpful in referring you to a study group. Many videos are freely available on YouTube, including Secrets of Kabbalah.

The Kabbalah Centre offers many online and offline resources, including both books and videos.

The most useful resource to get started would be to read cover to cover, Yehuda Berg’s The Power of Kabbalah. Yehuda, as well as his brother, Michael, are extremely gifted at making the most abstruse concepts in this tradition instantly accessible and applicable to people’s personal lives. Encountering his work really opened me up.

Strangely enough, cutting-edge physicists brilliantly illustrate many concepts of Kabbalah. You might try Fred Alan Wolf, Amit Goswami or Brian Greene. You won’t be disappointed with Brian Greene’s exquisite video, Elegant Universe.

You will find that Light is the perfect metaphor for Who we all are and What this is all about.

alchemy findings
Sep 08

Alchemy: Transforming Matter into Consciousness

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Why such overwhelming success around the theme of alchemy, an antiquated prescientific art of turning base into noble metal, lead into gold?

You may recall the first movie in the multibillion-dollar Harry Potter franchise: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s [Philosopher’s] Stone. The author, JK Rowling, had written the novel for her daughter while on welfare in Scotland. Crafting her first manuscript in coffee shops, Joanne barely got it published. However, once she did, the demand never stopped, and she soon became a billionaire, herself.

You may have come across Paulo Coelho’s novel, The Alchemist, which has sold over 65 million copies to date. Like JK Rowling, Paulo barely got his novel published. It then floundered. Convinced of its potential, Paulo got it republished. His book then went through the sky, being translated into over 70 languages.

In order to be able to answer the question (why?) above, we need to get a better understanding of the word alchemy and how it evolved.

What Is Alchemy?

Alchemy derives from an Arabic word refer to the black, fertile soil of the Nile River Valley. It harks back to ancient China, India and Greece, where philosophers sought a means of immortality, and experimented with metals and other substances to create the “Elixir of Life.”

alchemy definition

During the Renaissance and European Enlightenment, many great philosophers and scientists made an intense study of alchemy, the list looking like a Who’s Who: Albertus Magus, Roger Bacon, Jacob Boehme, Paracelsus and Sir Isaac Newton.

Eventually, alchemy as it was popularly conceived developed into modern chemistry, thanks to Robert Boyle, John Dalton and Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier. The initial focus on inner processes to transform the base metals into gold shifted over to a preoccupation with molecules and atoms. Gradually the mystical element of the ancient art was lost.

Why a Sudden Revival in Alchemy?

Despite the emergence of Rational Empiricism, interest in magic and the miraculous survived well into the modern age and beyond. In the 19th Century, it was hypnotism, and in the 1960’s, it was the emergence of psychedelics where hippies could instantly witness a profound shift in their consciousness that undermined the materialistic paradigm.

With the digital revolution, people experienced the rise of the virtual domain, including augmented reality, with ubiquitous video and the ability to start a conversation with anyone anywhere in the world. Social networks developed that could bring people together in new ways to explore exotic interests. Thanks to Google and Wiki, all knowledge went online, including that of the occult.

With teenage suicide at an all-time high, youth now insist upon answers that incorporate their whole being. Robotics and artificial intelligence are not enough. People want meaning and purpose in their lives. Hence the interest in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, as well as Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, both of which powerfully speak of finding your True Self and fulfilling your ultimate potential.

How Carl Jung Opened Up Alchemy to the Modern World

Alchemy began to be relevant to in the last century thanks to the work of Carl Jung, who had studied under Sigmund Freud, only to break away. He was convinced that people are driven as much by their quest for God as by sex and power. Jung took dream interpretation to a whole new level, exploring the innermost psyches of thousands of patients.

Jung found a strange resonance between his own process of unraveling the chemistry of the mind, and the efforts of ancient alchemists to transform a substance. He developed a keen interest in both astrology and alchemy. Jung came to the conclusion that the alchemists used their obsession with turning metal into gold as a cover for their true passion of becoming divine.

Jung looked at various fairy tales and myths and found that they depicted the quest for The Self, which includes and transcends you as an individual. He pioneered terms like The Shadow and The Collective Unconscious.

When we own all of our projections, and become increasingly conscious of even our unconscious processes, we can breakthrough to enlightenment.

The Exoteric Meaning: From Water into Wine

It might be helpful to consider the life of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Gospel of John. Jesus began His ministry with a very practical miracle that He demonstrated during a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. The celebration had gone on for days, and the village family was running out of wine. Jesus’ mother, Mary, asked him to do something.

Jesus instructed a couple of servants to pour a large amount of water into a huge cistern, and then carry it over to the master of ceremonies. The servants dipped into the water, only to discover it had turned into wine… not just any wine, but an ancient vintage. Everyone was delighted, but Mary and Jesus knew it to be a miracle from God.

alchemy game

Here we have the idea of transforming a basic element, H2O, into wine, the fermented juice of grapes. Both water and wine are liquids, but wine is taken from the juice of a plant, and then put through an elaborate process of fermentation. There was no reasonable explanation as to how mere water could suddenly become gourmet wine.

The Esoteric Meaning: From Wine into Blood

Later in John’s Gospel, Jesus is celebrating the Passover before the Passion and His untimely death on the cross. Jesus takes a goblet of wine, and passes it on to His disciples. He declares that this wine is His blood, which is being shed to forgive the nations. Of course, this saying shocks his followers, and they wonder what He has in mind.

Here we have the fermented fruit of grapes becoming human blood, or a jump from plant life to human life. This is a much more shocking miracle, something that would be repelling to most people. The Church has argued for centuries as to whether this transformation was symbolic or literal.

The Passover celebration eventually became the focus of the Roman Catholic Church in the daily celebration of the Mass. Since Jesus was now recognized as divine, drinking His blood could, not only secure our forgiveness, but we could, in a sense, by imbibing the Real Presence. We could become Christ, become truly divine.

The Ultimate Meaning: Becoming God

Alchemy emerged with an understanding that a transmutation in substance was a metaphor for becoming God. If we have the divine nature within us in seed form, then it must eventually blossom within our lives under the crucible of experience. The Eastern Orthodox Church actually recognizes this process as divinization, becoming God.

Post-modern science has added a whole new dimension to this insight. Quantum physics took particle theory to an extreme, coming to the conclusion that even the heaviest, most solid looking object contains vast regions of empty space. When you observe the particle in an experiment, it momentarily appears, only to disappear into a wave. In other words, we create our reality in the very act of observation. Avant-garde physicists, such as John Wheeler, have maintained that we inhabit a participatory universe.

We create our reality in the very act of observation.

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We thus find that the ancient art of alchemy is about transforming matter into spirit, or consciousness. There is only conscious awareness with an eternal dance of form. We are left with Energy, Information and Intelligence. All else is a play of form. We ARE that Energy, Information and Intelligence.

alchemy is energy

How to Find Your Destiny Through Alchemy

Paulo Coelho’s hero, the Andalusian shepherd boy, Santiago, had to travel all the way to Egypt and meet the Alchemist before he could find his Personal Legend. He had ignored a hidden gift within him all the time, which he was destined to share with all humanity. It took the journey of a lifetime to prepare him for this realization of the genius already lying within.

We, also, have a profound mission to fulfill, but it takes a lifetime of experience to fully realize our mission. Like Jesus Christ, you are fully human and fully divine. Only as you tune into your divinity and start serving the world will you become the man or woman you have always wanted to be.

inner beauty definition
Sep 01

Inner Beauty: Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever fallen in love with someone who fell far short of a 10? He or she may or may not have had perfect bone structure or flawless complexion. The apple of your eye may be little better than average in appearance, if that. Yet there is something so magnetic about this particular man or woman that you just couldn’t help yourself.

Beauty is more than skin deep. It lies with the soul and spirit as much as the body.

What Makes You Beautiful?

You are beautiful when you true to yourself, transparent, open to the world. You are beautiful when you love yourself and others. You are truly on your own side, with a deep self-acceptance and toleration for all the quirks of others. You are not entirely absorbed with your own concerns, but equally there for all sorts of people. If you are a woman, you are a dame. If you are a man, you are a mensch.

You are beautiful when your life is about something bigger than yourself. You are animated with an overriding purpose, a dream that you want to actualize. You don’t suppress your spiritual side, because you know all too well that it is unavoidable dimension of life. You are conscious of a story, and you want to bring that story to a glorious climax.

inner beauty examples

You are beautiful when you are wholly in the now, not all wrapped up in your head. You observe the little things around you, and occasionally bend down to pick up scraps of paper along the sidewalk.

You are beautiful when you offer presence to everyone you meet, so that they feel a profound sense of ease, and their burden lightens up, if even for a moment.

What Is Inner Beauty?

Inner beauty is the flip side of outer beauty. You can’t really have outer beauty without inner beauty. No matter how well you dress it up, a corpse will never strike you as attractive. It is the person inside that gives expression to the clothes. I like framed paintings, but the picture, itself, is the point of interest.

You can’t really have outer beauty without inner beauty.

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People who admire media and sports stars that look very glamorous rarely see them in street clothes, and not under the lights with makeup. Many actors and actresses in Beverly Hills go out in public in disguise, not simply to avoid signing autographs, but to avoid disappointing their fans that they are just like everyone else.

It is intriguing to think of how much effort high-fashion models with classic features put into looking good. Sure, they may have the high forehead, wide eyes and perfect teeth, but they spend hours a day taking care of themselves, as well as preparing make up.

Many celebrities’ good looks are well-deserved, because they work very hard to maintain them, and bring out their inner beauty.

Inner Beauty in Women

Women have a powerful secret that men cannot even properly imitate: Femininity. Helen of Troy was said to have a face that launched a thousand ships, in that she inspired the Trojan Wars. Femininity is unmistakable to men, but very hard to explain. Some women, ladies, know how to make any man feel like a million dollars, like he can DO ANYTHING.

inner beauty vs outer beauty

Inner beauty in a woman goes beyond the Feminist Movement. Whether stunningly attractive, or average good looks, this kind of woman is totally happy to be a woman, and let men be men. She has nothing to prove, and thus men flock around her. In New England and the South, you once could find “finishing schools” where girls learned how to become ladies.

I had the great privilege of seeing Elizabeth Taylor live in San Francisco in the late 1980’s, when she was a close friend of Michael Jackson. Elizabeth had put on considerable weight and was obviously aging, and yet she lit up the stage. Her gorgeous eyes glistened. You could feel her love infuse your heart. She was on a mission to make it a better world, and I was made to feel very special, yes, little old me.

Inner Beauty in Men

My favorite actor is Richard Gere, who played an incomparable starring role in American Gigolo, before An Officer and a Gentleman and Pretty Woman. In all his roles, he plays an exceptionally intelligent, sensitive man who also is well-built and refined. He absolutely comes across as his own person with a deeply caring side.

In real life, Richard Gere plays a leading role worldwide in evangelizing Tibetan Buddhism. He even cried to free Tibet while onstage at the Academy Awards ceremony with hundreds of millions of Chinese watching. In actual fact, he has nothing against the Chinese, but Richard is profoundly devoted to the Dalai Lama and preserving Tibetan civilization.

Richard is a living example of how a man can be tough and tender at the same time, courageous and intelligent at the same time.

men inner beauty

Yes, this is what women desire most, not just classic good looks, but a man who is a man, and who also knows how to truly love a woman for who and what she is.

Make the Most of What You’ve Been Given

You may feel that you are just a nice guy or nice gal, the kiss of death in the hot and sexy department. You couldn’t imagine yourself on a Harley-Davidson or doing some water skiing or skydiving. People change. You can change also. To some degree, you can make yourself into what you want to be.

You can get into dressing well and grooming. You can develop both a formal and casual wardrobe, learn to manicure and pedicure and make your hair up to best advantage. This is not just for glamour horses; it can be for anyone. The very process of putting make up on an actress makes her more an actress. She then has the right mindset for the setting and the stage.

When we think of nerds, from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg, we learn that being geeky can be sexy. They are both brilliant people with a lot of initiative and integrity, out to change the world. Bill has his foundation with his wife, Melinda, and Mark is out to give complete Internet access to everyone in all the developing countries. Their being techno freaks turned into a huge advantage.

How to Bring Out Your Own Inner Beauty

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    Be cheerful: When you are happy, regardless of circumstances and don’t take life all that seriously, you are like pollen to honeybees.
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    Be gracious: When you are deeply understanding of other people, giving up demands and empathize with them, you make others prize you.
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    Be interested: When you are far more interested in others than in yourself, people often find you very interesting. People with interests are interesting.
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    Be curious: When you take each day as an adventure, wholly intent to learn something new, like Marco Polo in China, you can become irresistibly attractive.
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    Be open: When you meet people and go to places without preconception, and you relish others’ ideas and perspectives, you are considered an indispensable team player.
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    Be cultivated: When you learn to play an instrument, keyboard or saxophone, you open yourself up to other dimensions and worlds. People want you in their life.
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    Be playful: When you drop your pretenses, and open up and become goofy from time to time, other people do as well. You then find yourself the life of the party.
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    Be energetic: When you are good to yourself with diet and exercise and open yourself up to positive influences, you move people into action and you emerge a leader.
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    Be loving: When you deeply appreciate and value people, and you caress them with your thoughts and speech, they pick up on that and end up loving you back.
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    Be spiritual: When you recognize that there is more to life than eating, sleeping and procreating, you begin to ask questions and live answers. You make a difference.

The Master Secret: Come Fully Alive

Life is a miracle. Life is a celebration. Life is meant to be lived. In a sense, we are already in heaven, in that this earth and the Universe, itself, is our playground. We are actors and actresses assigned from Central Casting. We each have a unique role to play, and every part, when put together, leads to one amazing symphony.

deeper beauty in life

We created all this, and chose to enter into our creation. As we find ourselves in the living story, we can begin to rewrite it, to consciously create. In the process, we will awaken to our One and Only True Self.

Regret no more. Go for it!

today’s mystic
Aug 02

What Does It Mean to Be a Modern Mystic?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

This is it.

There are no hidden meanings.

All that mystical stuff is just what’s so.

A guru is someone who found out.

Werner Erhard, Aphorisms

You may be someone who keeps asking, “Is there more to life? What does this all mean?” You may have tried various paths and found you liked one of them.

You might have done a class in TM, Vipasana or Zen. You might have taken a class in Tai Chi Chan. You may have done a class in hatha, ashtanga or kundalini yoga. You got into all the exercises and found them incredibly relaxing and helpful. However, you wondered, where are they all leading? What is available to me now?

If so, you are a good candidate for a mystical experience, whether a peak experience that validates your entire life, or the bliss of sudden satori, where everything is as it is and is perfect being just that way.​

What is Mysticism?

Mysticism refers to the Mystery Cults in ancient Greece and Rome where certain citizens were initiated into the hidden order of the Universe in special ceremonies away from the public eye. You can think, for example, of the Masonic Orders, whose participants are forbidden to discuss what it is all about.

Mysticism came to mean a transformed consciousness, a deep awareness of how everything is one, despite how separate everything appears. Appearances are just that... appearances! People experientially realize unity with other people, with the world as a whole, with God, and ultimately attaining the realization that there is just the Self, without any distinctions.​

mystic definition

Mysticism increasingly refers to our ability to go beyond our rational mind and draw upon our intuitive faculties. Sometimes this requires turning off our digital appliances and taking a long walk in the park. Eckhart Tolle has brought into public recognition “The Power of Now.” He has described in great detail how, at the age of 29, his constant stream of thought short-circuited. He was able to BE, to truly experience his surroundings for the first time since childhood.

What Were Traditional Mystics Like?

Early on, hunting and gathering societies designated special people, usually male, as shamans who would both heal the tribal members and reveal the Great Spirit. They got their wisdom, not from authority, ritual or belief systems, but from going out into the wilds and having an encounter with the Transcendent. As heroes, they would then bring back the boon to their kinfolk.

In the agricultural civilizations, this was formalized into a priesthood accessible to very few. Emphasis was placed on special revelation given in a bygone era. Temples were built and sacraments administered, sometimes with psychoactive substances.

Most of the great founders of religion were mystics of the first order. When Moses went up to Mount Sinai to commune with God, his people didn’t dare to look at his face when he returned. Buddha, toward the end of his long career teaching enlightenment, focused on silent transmission, without words. Christ, in the Gospel of John, comes alive as a total mystic, using metaphors throughout the text. I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.​

Words move, music moves

Only in time… Words strain,

Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,

Under the tension, slip, slide, and perish,

Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,

Will not stay still.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

What Are Modern Mystics Like?

In the modern / postmodern world, people increasingly insist upon a direct experience, not dependent upon an external institution, authority or set of rituals. Where the mystical experience earlier on was available only to a select few people, it has broadened out. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, mysticism was exotic and cool. Going to India was the thing to do. Today, you can find any form of Eastern philosophy and religion you could possibly want within the U.S.

If we look at the supreme sage of the 20th Century, Ramana Maharshi, he enacted a near-death experience as a teenager, and instantly realized that the True Self never dies. He wandered off to a sacred mountain and lived there for the rest of his life. What is amazing is that Ramana had no guru. The most profound realization came to him spontaneously.

mystic wisdom

If we think of Dr. Deepak Chopra, who is the most brilliant exponent of enlightenment in a generation, he was an upwardly mobile Indian surgeon practicing in New England, given to smoking and drinking. Deepak took up TM simply to calm down his nerves. However, when he encountered the Beatles’ guru, Maharishi, his life suddenly took a different direction. He was privileged with close association with a great master, and became a master in his own right.

The Way that can be told is not the everlasting Way;

The Name that can be named is not the everlasting Name.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

How Do People Become Mystics Today?

In our global society, we see people of every nation, race and religion taking up spiritual practices, as ancient wisdom has become increasingly available through the Internet, as well as broad cultural diffusion. For example, over three million Americans are part of the Indian diaspora, and attend temples, occasionally wearing traditional attire.

You no longer have to be religious. You can get the real thing without resorting to drugs. Mystical experiences via peak experience spontaneously happen to people. Both Eastern and Western religious traditions are increasingly interested in experiencing God directly, and they are often informed by each other’s deepest insights.

More and more highly sophisticated people, such as quantum physicists, become mystics as they realize that the traditional Newtonian Paradigm of billiard balls is totally obsolete in the face of high-energy particle research. Not only is all matter energy, but also that energy requires consciousness to be experienced.

The Universe is as much in you as you are in it.

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Do You Have What It Takes?

Do you have an open heart and mind? Or do you have the entire Universe in a compartmentalized box, where you have it all figured out? Do you hunger for the Truth? Are you willing to do anything to address “matters of ultimate concern,” to find the Self?

​Are you comfortable with uncertainty, with the unknown? Do you like the Zen idea of a beginner’s mind, where you are constantly learning, constantly viewing the world with fresh eyes. Have you ever come to terms with Meister Eckhart’s claim that the greatest obstruction to God is “God?” Do you realize that your preconceptions about our Source may block direct experience?

Are you highly persistent about what you truly want, not what you think you want? Do you see beyond the house in the forest by the sea with a brand new Tesla and your own Lear Jet? Do you realize that you want pure awareness, the experience of unconditional love, joy and peace even more?​

mystical enlightenment

How I Became a Mystic

I came from a broken family as a child, and clung to religion as a source of inner empowerment. I became a charismatic and fundamentalist before I went to the university, where I encountered a broad range of people and ideas. As a Christian, I enjoyed marvelous peak experiences with my faith that would come and go.

I studied comparative religion, got into the human potential movement, doing encounter groups and the like, and then the transformational movement, where I did est and had a powerful satori that was undeniable. I experimented with a small amount of psychoactive substances; just enough to become utterly convinced that our popular conception of reality is bankrupt.

Later on, I worked with both the Japanese and the Indians. I noticed a fascinating way of being Japanese, impacted not so much by their belief or practices, as by their sensibility. With South Asians, I acted much like an anthropologist, and got to the core of Vedic Civilization. In the process, I read hundreds of books and ended up co-authoring a book on collective transformation - Awaken Perfection: The Journey of Conscious Revelation.

Today, all my groundwork is bearing fruit, as I am able to draw in a powerful experience of unconditional love that seems to have no end. I am very clear that this doesn’t come out of my ego. I am also now able to talk back and forth with God. I ask questions, and God responds. (The words are not audible, but emerge within my innermost being.)

How to Awaken the God / Goddess Within You

If you have gotten this far, you definitely have what it takes, the requisite hunger and thirst to open up to Who You Truly Are. The resources available to support this happening are greater than at any time in history. Consider the following options:

  • Go onto YouTube, iTunes or Amazon and play videos and audios of present day masters, such as Dr. Deepak Chopra, Father Richard Rohr and Marianne Williamson.
  • Read classic orientations, such as: Huston Smith’s The World’s Religions, Baba Ram Dass’s Remember Be Here Now and Les Hixon’s Great Swan.
  • Start a meditation, contemplation or prayer practice that works for you. For example, I daily review sacred scripture from many traditions, including the Bible.
  • Take an enlightenment intensive, and consider the Landmark Forum, which has a track record of delivering a life-changing satori to nearly every participant.

Zen Buddhists, from Hui-neng onward have maintained that we are ALREADY enlightened. We just don’t cop to it. Realize, “YOU ARE.” That “you” is big enough to fill the Universe… and then some!