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eternal life explanation
Apr 07

What’s Eternal Life Got To Do With You?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Weapons cannot cut It, nor can fire burn It;

Water cannot wet It, nor can wind dry It.

This Self cannot be cut, burnt, wetted or dried up.

It is eternal, all pervading, stable, ancient and immovable.

Bhagavad Gita

You may be of any faith, or no faith. You may have not been raised a Christian, such that the concept of eternal life is empty of meaning for you. Yet chances are that you are spooked, or at least bugged, by personal death. Why should we have to lose people we love? What happens to me after I die? What’s it all about?

You can’t stomach most religions, but you are convinced that there is far more to it than meets the eye. What do you do?

The True Meaning of Easter

Every year we go through Christmas and Easter. Christmas is always a national holiday, while Easter, falling on Sundays, is given second-class treatment. You don’t really get a day off. For many of us, it is chocolate-colored bunnies and beautifully tinted Easter eggs that you crack open just for fun.

Most of us have encountered the idea of the Resurrection, of the crucified Christ who triumphantly rose from the tomb. Many of us have even dealt with the claim that He died to save us from our sins. But few of us can get with the implications of being wretched sinners.

Yet every winter is followed by spring. Even under acute environmental stress and runaway climate chance, life seems to continue. What died in fall and winter comes alive in spring and summer. Death is a part of life; yet never the last word. Creation dances. Even perpetual human folly cannot stop it.​

Eternity Is Always NOW

Those of us who follow Western religion see eternity as everlasting life after you die. You get 80, 90, maybe even 100 years before you transition. After that, maybe you get a million, a billion or even a trillion years, who knows? The Greek word for everlasting puts it, “unto the ages of the ages.” For sure, everlasting life is a long time.

What few suspect is that eternity has nothing to do with time. You can experience eternity in a moment. It is completely outside and beyond time. We have no less an authority than Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John:​

And this is life eternal. To know You, the only true God,

And Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent.

When we speak of God, we speak of the Infinite. God has no limits, because, ultimately, there is nothing BUT God. To know God is to know the very Source of the Universe. To know Jesus Christ is to know the ultimate expression of Absolute Love. What more could we ever want?

Eternal Life Process: From Caterpillar to Butterfly

What we are actually talking about is the developmental process of going from caterpillar to butterfly. Your identity as a creature that crawls melts down into a chrysalis, and emerges a creature that delicately flies, savoring the flowers in the Garden of Eden.

receive eternal life

You go from one legitimate form of life to an even more legitimate form of life. You go from an egoic thought structure to a transcendent thought structure without any limits. You go from being a crawling, victimized creature to the glorious Creator whose greatest delight is to create.

We have all wished to have wings to fly, not realizing that the high frontier is our visionary nature. We were designed to reach out to the stars.​

We were programmed to dream the impossible dream. To do any less is to frustrate our very reason to be.

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Think of it as becoming a new species and getting a whole new set of genes. We are becoming a new humanity, a breathtaking expression of divinity.

Why the Good News Never Quite Got Out

Alan Watts, one of the 20th century’s greatest theologians and philosophers, ironically suggested that the true Gospel was never really preached. It got squashed early on when we simultaneously pedestalled Jesus while totally putting down our fellow men and women, practically sending them to hell.

The profound meaning of the Gospel is that we are ALL saved, and we are ALL divine. God, as Jesus of Nazareth, died for us as an expression of His love for us, because we have Infinite worth in His eyes. Salvation is already an accomplished fact. Salvation is unconditional and universal.

It is simply a question of awakening people to the underlying truth that nothing and no one has ever been lost.

The world at the time of Christ wasn’t ready to accept that God loves us absolutely and unconditionally. There is nothing we can do to ever alienate Him. It wasn’t ready to accept that the very moment we grasp that love, we turn to Jell-O. Nobody is strong enough to resist that kind of love.

It is the most powerful force in the universe. You might say it fires the stars.

Eternal Creator within Your Creation

The deeper meaning of the narrative of the Word becoming Flesh and dwelling among us is that Jesus of Nazareth is Everyman and Everywoman. He is each and every one of us. WE so loved the world. When we gaze at a Bodhisattva, an Avatar or a Messiah, we are gazing into our own Truest Self.

It wasn’t just Jesus coming into the world as Creator within His creation, it is each of us coming into the world as little infants, and beholding a world that we somehow create.​

observing eternal world

Contemporary physicists tell us no less. There is nothing to observe without an observer. We live in a participatory universe. The universe, itself, consists of relationships between observers. Jesus Christ, of course, became the ultimate archetype.

Whether your creation adores or crucifies you, it is YOUR CREATION. When you begin to take responsibility for it all, you can begin to play on an exalted level. You discover the Life Divine. How can you NOT love all these creatures around you? They are just another expression of YOU.

You Eternally Caught Up in a Divine Love Story

History makes no sense to me apart from a love story. Why would anyone choose to enter this world, and experience all the ups and downs of it apart from love? Weren’t each of us biologically created by an “act of love?” Was this all simply an accident?

History is a divine love story. We all know the vicissitudes of human love. It can bring us heaven or hell, but we can never totally rely on it, as it is inherently conditional.​

If you scratch my back, I will scratch yours.​

creating meaningful life

The moment you break one of my rules, you’re out. And I get to define my own game book, as well as my own love frame. Sorry if you don’t fit my preconceptions!

Most of us, at one moment or another, have experienced at least one moment of pure love, a love that is so pure that it is perfect and holy. That love, itself, IS GOD. All we need do is become infused with that love. We need to channel it.

Who cares about fortune telling, chatting away with all the departed souls when you can have ABSOLUTE LOVE, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW? Find a way to channel divine love, and you are truly free.​

The Final Secret: YOU ARE THE LOVE

What most of us are totally unwilling to admit is that we are already God incarnate, that Jesus Christ came as the supreme example to wake us all up. Buddha used wisdom. Jesus chose love. You can ignore wisdom to your peril, but who does not find infinite love utterly irresistible?

Jesus as the Word is a stand-in for all of us. The truth is, WE loved the world to such an extent that we would gladly give our own life that those who fight us might finally awaken to who they are.

Think of Gandhi. Was he a Christian, or what? Think of Martin Luther King? Is his spirit not with us today? Think even of American Presidents, such as Ronald Reagan, who threw his sword down, and heartily embraced his opponent, Mikhail Gorbachev.

If the truth be told, YOU are utterly magnificent, as Marianne Williamson put it…

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

A Return to Love

Are you willing to stop acting like a shithead, and showing the world who you really are?

Experience Eternity: See God in Everyone and Everything

If you have ever wondered if you are saved, enlightened or transformed, when you look at the people and places that always surround you, do you see only GOD?

experience love

This requires a new pair of glasses. Fortunately, this pair of glasses is without money and without price. All it requires is opening up your heart to infinite love.

When you own up to the fact that you are the CREATOR gazing at his or her own creation, you will unleash infinite power. You will be magnetic to others in a way you never dared imagine.

When you take greater joy in their joy than your own, and greater sorrow at their sorrow than your own, when everyone around you is magnificent, and you wouldn’t possibly have it any other way, you will discover that you have ever, only, always been THE GREAT I AM.

evil exists
Mar 24

Is Evil Real?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

For most of us, evil begins with the old, old story of the serpent in the Garden of Eden tempting Eve with the golden apple, the Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve bought the serpent’s argument, shared the goodies with Adam, and both Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden for good.

Whatever you may think about the historical accuracy of this narrative, its symbolic import is all too clear. To know good as good experientially requires an encounter with evil. Before the serpent, Adam and Eve knew good, but they had nothing to contrast it with. They couldn’t know good as good.

Humanity thus entered the realm of duality, and all spiritual paths seek to bring us back to that primal unity, this time all the wiser, knowing good from evil, and consciously choosing the good as good.

The Devil Made Me Do It!

Back in the early 1970’s, the delightful Black comedian, Flip Wilson, coined the ultimate excuse that everyone instantly recognized and loved. “Don’t blame me, the Devil made me do it!” In a single phrase, Flip brilliantly captured our individual and collective irresponsibility. Everyone got it that this was the ultimate cop-out.

against eternal damnation

In the Early 2000’s, Bishop Carlton Pearson, a close friend of the legendary faith healer, Oral Roberts, and a personal advisor to both Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, got thrown out of 299 churches in his Holiness denomination, barely holding on to his own church for declaring: 

“There is no such thing as eternal damnation. The devil himself could be saved.”

Oral Roberts had begged Bishop Pearson not to do it, but the bishop’s own conscience would not let him go on preaching fire and brimstone, even though his own congregation rocked to the rhythm of hell hot and heaven cold.

The good bishop dispelled forever that the doctrine of hell had a solid scriptural basis with his classic, The Gospel of Inclusion: Reaching Beyond Religious Fundamentalism.​

How Can You Possibly Have Good without Evil?

The ultimate symbol of Taoism, the Yin Yang circle, reveals to all who contemplate it that the dark half contains the white half, and the white half contains the dark half. Each side turns into the other in a perpetual dance.

In life, we alternate between happiness and suffering until we realize that ultimate bliss lies beyond both.

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Carl Jung gave us the image of the Shadow, the unassimilated part of us, that in us which we refuse to consciously own that has command value over all of our actions. This Shadow is not the light, but that which is hidden from the light.

The Gospel of John puts it even more dramatically: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness overcomes it not. Only the light is real.

When the light penetrates the darkness, it is instantly cast out. Darkness cannot possibly extinguish light, because it has no reality of its own. The light, itself, stands for both life and love - pure consciousness.

good versus evil

Look Who Is Calling It “Evil”

When does evil become evil? Does it have an easy definition? You could conveniently declare that evil is whatever causes harm to other people. But what about plants and animals? What about our planet’s ecosystem? Suppose that you hold a zero carbon footprint. Does that get you off the hook with your fellow human beings? Is there not collective responsibility?

As you will quickly see, once you start calling this “good” and that “evil,” you will find that there is no end to the process. Whatever you don’t like instantly becomes evil, even if it is for your own good. If you are not careful, everybody and everything will end up being considered evil.

Look at the larger picture. Does God get off the hook? As the Prophet Isaiah once declared, “I create good, and I create evil [adversity].” That same scripture tells us that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he refused to let the children of Israel leave Egypt, inadvertently bringing devastation to his own people. Did God do all that?​

Beyond Evil: Step Back and View the Vast Panorama

Whenever we have a true, mountaintop experience, we see that everything ultimately fits together.

see beyond evil

There are no real mistakes. Everything that ever happened had to happen to bring us to this very moment of infinite possibility.

How could we even learn without making mistakes? It is only through mistakes that we ever learn anything.

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Could it be that we are all of it, the good and the apparently evil, and that together, it is all perfect, just as it is? True, we will always prefer the good, but adversity makes us stronger, and pain in the body is a useful warning signal.

Life is evil only when we have lost all perspective.

To realize our divinity, we have no other choice but to stop pointing fingers. To be a victim is to disempower ourselves. To believe in the Devil more than God is absurd. It is interesting that, in the most revealing scripture ever written on the subject of suffering, the Book of Job, Satan is seen as His Majesty’s loyal opposition, whose role is to test humanity in order to better reward it.

How could you win the laurel crown in the Olympics without fierce competition? In that context, your opponent might actually be considered your friend.

Freeze Time and You Are Free

The most unbearable suffering is tolerable when we can abide in the Eternal Now Moment, and flow with everything that is happening around us. The great 20th century mystic, Sri Ramana Maharshi, underwent surgery for cancer. Ramana refused anesthetics, maintaining, “Who is feeling the pain?”

There is pain, and there is Ramana Maharshi. No need to confuse the two.​

We are, indeed, living in an era of maximal stress, with disruptive climate change, widespread religious terrorism and financial instability. It is no accident that Eckhart Tolle has become a spiritual superstar with a single, simple message around the Power of NOW. Once he stopped his monkey mind, he was forever transformed.

To be truly free, all you have to do is BE. Every moment has a pleasure of its own. You can see hidden beauty all around you and everywhere. It is just that you never bothered to look that closely until NOW. All we need to do is take a few deep breaths and go with whatever is happening. Every single instant is perfect just as it is.​

Only Love Is the Ultimate Answer

I was early into working with my best friend to develop a book on the topic of perfection: Awaken Perfection: The Journey of Conscious Revelation. She tried to share this insight with a colleague of hers, who recently lost her son in Afghanistan. My friend and I realized that, from an experiential standpoint, the truth of ultimate unity and perfection was not enough to quench the inner sorrow and pain of this woman.

Siddhartha Gautama once went into a village where an extremely distraught mother brought her recently departed son, begging Buddha to bring him back. Siddhartha didn’t have the gift of resurrecting people. However, Siddhartha urged her to go back into the village and find a household that had never been touched by sorrow and death. The mother came back all the wiser, with a profound appreciation for the incomparable insight of the very first World Teacher.

Saint Paul, who underwent every form of suffering imaginable to share the Gospel in the early Roman Empire, including being whipped to near death, intermittent imprisonment, acute hunger and shipwreck, having nearly drowned. Paul shared with the Church at Rome his secret for a life triumphant over any and all forms of apparent evil:​

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,

neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth,

nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God.

St. Paul
spiritual versus religious
Mar 03

What Are the Spiritual But Not Religious Really Saying?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Are you a spiritual tourist? Do you have a keen interest in the latest gurus, practices and paths, but shun hanging out in a church, temple, synagogue or mosque? Are you afraid of “getting married and settling down,” given the long string of abuse that stigmatizes so many religious institutions?

If you could spend an hour with His Holiness, Pope Francis I, and you could really speak your mind, what would you tell Him about the Church?

If you could spend an hour with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, what advice would you seek from Him on how to find a truly enlightened spiritual community?​

Who Are The “Spiritual, But Not Religious”?

In the U.S., nearly a quarter of the adult population is religiously unhoused. Less than 10% have grown up without any kind of religion, and less than 10% are either agnostic or atheist. The majority believes in some kind of “God,” but they have difficulty in relating to the established traditions, or confining themselves to a single path.

The spiritually independents average 36 years of age, compared to an overall average of 46. They skew more towards men than women and more towards whites than other ethnic groups. Only half consider religion unimportant, and even atheists are beginning to have an interest in spiritual practices, with an increasing respect for consciousness, itself.

With increasing ethnic and religious diversity in the U.S., an ever-larger segment of the population has shown interest in such thought leaders as Dr. Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle.

A full 20% of the population might be characterized as Cultural Creatives, or Greens, who are much more apt to be religiously homeless than the Fundamentalists, or even the Modernists.

Why Are the Spiritual Independents Growing So Fast?

In the last decade or two, the Millennials have increasingly become unaffiliated, currently around 35%. Even older generations are becoming increasingly unaffiliated, Baby Boomers currently at 17%, with Gen Xers at 23%. For many of them, religion has become totally irrelevant. Those who are spiritual seek fulfillment in unconventional ways, including psychoactive drugs.

Globalization has proceeded at a relentless pace since the end for the Cold War in the late 1980’s. The Clinton Administration commercialized the Internet in the wake of the World Wide Web, and cyberculture emerged as a real force. This was accentuated by broadband Internet, followed by mobile media, via the smart phone, and social media, establishing meaningful community among people throughout the world, regardless of location.​

The militarization of the George W. Bush Administration, closely identified with Christian Fundamentalism, further served to alienate the youth, much as the Johnson Administration did to their parents through escalating the War in Vietnam. While President Obama was initially promising in his commitment to global citizenship, he got hopelessly embroiled in various wars in his second term in office.​

Religion or Spirituality or Mysticism?

When we look closely at the whole notion of religion, we increasingly identify its institutional aspects, the outer housing of an inner core of truth. You can spend an entire lifetime in a religious environment without being deeply spiritual. One can only look at people who have gone through Parochial schools.

Spirituality refers to the inner aspect of religion. Spiritual people are concerned with experiencing what it is all about and following a practice that might make them more loving and realized human beings. Typically, the spiritual are unclear about where the path leads. They just want to get there somehow.

Mysticism is the experiential, transcendent aspect of spirituality where you “get it” in all its implications. Rather than becoming a Christian, you experience BEING CHRIST, BUDDHA OR KRISHNA. Your identity expands to include the entire planet, and beyond that to fill the universe. Ultimately you realize the very galaxies, themselves, spin within the context of your Absolute Being.​

religion vs spirituality vs mysticism

**Above image was used from the book Awaken Perfection.

Awaken Perfection

All the great traditions started with profound mystics. One need only think of Moses on Mount Sinai, or Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount or Muhammad with his Night Flight atop Jerusalem. Spirituality emerged from following the paths they pioneered, and eventually got hardened into doctrine and dogma, for better or worse.

East + West = Planetary Transformation

In recent decades, planetary consciousness has emerged, where among intelligent, well-informed people, only a global context is sufficient to deal with the challenges of contemporary life, such as climate change or religiously sanctioned terrorism.

We are now a planetary society, but most of us are still anchored in ancient traditions that were initially tribal in orientation.

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Since well before the Beatles’ Maharishi, gurus, rishis and saints from South Asia and the Far East have flooded America. In addition, increasing numbers of Asians have immigrated to the U.S. shores, following World War II and the War in Vietnam. Asians now comprise over five percent of the general population. More and more people relate to terms like Karma, Dharma and Reincarnation.

India and China, however, could greatly benefit from the focus on divine love from the Abrahamic religions. These religions have, indeed, already made considerable impact all over Asia. The problem is that the Western religions are only beginning to see the Light of the East and listen deeply to its unmatched wisdom and insight.​

eastern vs western spirituality

**Above image was used from the book Awaken Perfection.

Awaken Perfection

Western religions have a deep appreciation for the historical dimension of humanity, while the Eastern religions are very clear that we are God’s dream. If you put them both together, you will begin to realize the Great Story and the Great Dream.

Every one of our stories intersects every other story, and every one of our dreams intersects every other dream. Ultimately, there is only the dance of INTERBEING. The faster we realize this, the faster we can begin to save the world.

What the Spiritual Independents Want the Churches to Hear

Spiritual independents deeply care about matters of ultimate concern, but they don’t feel that their contemporary religious options are sufficient for them to find spiritual community in any institutionalized faith. They would ask us:

  • Why don’t you build a church where all faiths and traditions are equally respected and appreciated?
  • Why don’t you actually LIVE YOUR FAITH, turn the other cheek, and stop inadvertently destroying the planet with your carbon footprint and your unreflective reliance on missiles?
  • Why don’t you show me a way that I can directly experience God for myself, rather than relying on an elaborate belief system?
  • Why don’t you give me a philosophy or theology thoroughly grounded in contemporary science, showing appreciation for both the relativity of Einstein, and the quantum mechanics of Heisenberg?
  • Why don’t you become thought leaders, rather than thought laggards, showing us how all final meaning and fulfillment are impossible without coming to terms with our Ultimate Source?

How the Religious Establishment Can Best Respond

Established traditions have hardly been asleep. Both the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis I have broken all boundaries and become ultimate spokesmen for humanity. They are joined by any number of luminaries, such as Bishop Tutu of South Africa. Their Buddhism and Christianity defy boundaries, and they are unfettered from religious prejudices, such as suppressing Gays and Lesbians.

As Pope Francis I put it, “Who am I to judge?”

Religious traditions have rich lineages going back literally thousand of years, and all of them have significant mystical traditions, although India unquestionably takes first place. They are beginning to take comparative religion seriously. It is noteworthy that the Catholic Church picked up Centering Prayer by improvising on the Maharishi’s TM Technique.

Most importantly, the churches, mosques, synagogues and temples have a global community that is becoming more and more interesting with the Internet, mobile, social and digital technology. We will see significant offers in virtual reality within the next year or two.

If the Establishment begins to realize the value of the spiritually independent, they will recruit them like there is no tomorrow, and actively seek their advice and perspective.

How You Can Enter the Great Conversation

You, yourself, can contribute to the new global dialogue opening up among all faiths. You can follow the Parliament of Religions, or back the United Religions Initiative, that actively matches people of diverse faiths seeking a common perspective, and works on pressing initiatives, such as rebuilding inner cities, and reconciling people caught up in racial, ethnic and religious tension.

Who knows? As a “spiritual tourist,” you might even end up getting “married!”

... Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments area below.​

reincarnation meaning
Feb 24

Is Reincarnation for Real?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Let me take you down, ‘cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields...

Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about

Strawberry Fields forever.

John Lennon & Paul McCartney, “Strawberry Fields Forever”

Have you had a loved one pass away any time recently? If you have, chances are you remember the bitter twinge. Even if you were long expecting the transition, you may find yourself obsessed with the big picture for another two or three weeks.

During such times, people find comfort and solace in religion in a way they never did before. This should come as no surprise, as religion was designed exactly for that.​

Asking the Eternal Questions

We live largely in presumption that we are going to make it through the day. We have done this for so long that we begin to forget the eternal questions: Who am I?  Where did I come from?  Where am I going?

We could choose to live in total gratitude for each day as another precious gift from God. We could open our hearts and minds to everyone we meet in total love. We could remember Who we all truly are and commune with all sentient beings. But we don’t.

Mostly, the day-to-day grind all but takes us over, all the cares of this world. We get so caught up in the game that we totally lose touch that it is only a game, and that we are here to play and celebrate. Then, when we lose someone irreplaceable to us, all that changes.

Four Models of What Happens When You Die

We don’t really know what happens after we die, at least, not all the details. However we have a fair idea, based upon when and where we grew up. In recent years, four models have emerged to explain why it all suddenly shuts down.

During the modern age, which abruptly ended around 9/11, our common sense suggested that we are here today and gone tomorrow. No soul survivors. Live for the day, for tomorrow we die. This is based on a couple hundred years of rational materialism that remained unquestioned until Einstein introduced both relativity and quantum mechanics.​

reincarnation evidence

For most of human history, people held to some kind of afterlife, but differed considerably as to what it meant. All cultures recognized a soul or spirit that had some kind of existence independent of the body. The question was where it went.

Did it go up to heaven or down to the lower earth (hell)? Or perhaps it hung around and re-entered a newborn babe.

Since the wave of Eastern philosophy and religion following the Beatle’s Maharishi, the idea of reincarnation has been increasingly hip. It is no longer very cool to think you go to heaven, or you give your final breath, and that’s it.

Life is looked at as a curriculum in consciousness where you get many tries and pass many grades before you graduate.​

1. Reincarnation or Annihilation?

The idea that you check out, and that’s it has been increasingly weakened, as we are learning too much from globalization. Communism as an institution has suffered what appears to be an irreversible demise. A more expansive form of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is reviving universalism, where everyone eventually comes to God. Thus, religion is becoming much more palatable.

There is increasing evidence for reincarnation, based upon thousands of well-documented cases of children remembering former lives in detail. When taken back to where they claim to have lived, they identify the exact house in painstaking detail. Not only that, they often share birthmarks closely resembling defects of the deceased in question.​

Annihilation seems less and less credible as we begin to realize that matter is instantly convertible to energy, and that we can’t have either matter or energy without consciousness. Einstein even ended up deeply questioning just how real are time and space. He entertained the possibility that they are just mental constructs.

2. Reincarnation or Resurrection?

In the modern age, resurrection was all but incredible to the scientifically minded. How many people have we empirically observed coming back, with the possible exception of Jesus Christ? Surely resurrection is, at best, purely symbolic. Life goes on, even in the face of death, just as every springtime gives us a fresh start on life.

This presumption has steadily eroded as we increasingly realize that there is only consciousness at the foundation of our reality.​

Our body and the world are experiences within the field of our awareness.

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It is increasingly hard to prove they have any independent existence apart from us as observers. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle took care of all that.

Resurrection becomes increasingly plausible as we construct virtual realities, and watch computers create three-dimensional people interacting with us, using only a few hundred megabytes.​

If consciousness, energy and information are at the basis of reality, why can’t God remember us any time He wants, whether or not we are living or dead? As Saint Paul put it, “For in Him, we live and move and have our being.”

3. Reincarnation or Transcendence?

If we take a close look at reincarnation from a cultural standpoint, it is ironic that highly educated Americans finds the idea extremely comforting, while the average Hindu considers it a simple matter of fact. However, Hindu or Buddhist seeking enlightenment looks at it as samsara, the endless, futile wheel of birth, death and rebirth. They are doing everything possible to once and for all get off the wheel!

reincarnation buddhism

Americans like reincarnation because it implies karma, that everything that ever happens to us, in this world or the next, is simply our own doing. Also, it goes well with an educational perspective against a crazed notion of a punitive God who is about to, once and for all, swat us, who enjoys bringing us utter agony every bit as much as a mean little boy enjoys pulling off the wings of a butterfly.

However, once the punitive notion of God is replaced with Infinite Love, then the idea of going through life after life can seem a bit dismal. We need a more enlightened conception; such as we are here to play and celebrate.

4. Reincarnation or Going Back to Being God

There is both a lower and higher conception of being born again. In India, a second birth is never referred to as reincarnation, but a higher birth, a spiritual awakening to your divine nature. The sacred thread given to the higher castes at their adolescent initiation ceremony provides a continual reminder.

Also, in Christianity, the born again passage in the third chapter of the Gospel of John refers to a spiritual rebirth, as Jesus Christ makes clear. “That which is flesh is flesh, that which is spirit is spirit.” In all likelihood, Jesus had heard of reincarnation through Buddhism. There were many Buddhist missionaries throughout the Mediterranean.​

The whole point of being born again is to…​

…remember our divine nature, that we are already God having a human experience.

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When you step back far enough, you will see that there is ONLY GOD, and God (Supreme Being) is our ONLY TRUE AND ULTIMATE SELF.

Ultimate Self

Near-Death Experience Introduces a Wild Card

What all but destroys a rigid, materialistic perspective on life is the emergence of literally millions of documented cases of Near Death Experience. This is the experience of people who have flatlined, encountering clinical death, or, at the very least, a protracted coma where there was little or no chance of recovery.

The vast majority of cases involves the person seeing his or her body from above, looking at the entire room, and then being sucked up into a tunnel, much like a birth canal into the Great White Light. In that Light, they typically see loved ones who have transitioned, hear glorious music and witness indescribable beauty, such as idyllic pastures or stunning forests and lakes.

What many, if not most, highlight in their accounts, as did Dr. Eben Alexander whose brain flatlined for seven days, an experience of incredible love that overwhelmed their entire being. They were enveloped in an ultimate sense of well-being.

All is One. It’s all good. It’s all perfect just as it is.​

Then they are given a choice to come back, usually to complete their mission. Typically, they exhibit transformed lives, being vastly more open and inherently spiritual than before. You might call them Beings of Light.

reincarnation stories

Only Love Answers the Ultimate Question

Recently, I lost two people rather close to me… an immediate family member and a long-term friend who helped me grow up while fresh out of college. It is no fun dealing with funerals, informing relatives and going through all the business of transition.

For a number of years, I have also enjoyed a revival of my childhood faith, only from a Universalist perspective, informed by the immense depth of Hinduism. I have all the passion I did as an adolescent; yet I have a mystical understand that changes everything. Salvation has become Transformation.​

What has shocked me is that my assessment of the Love of God has gone to infinity. We can simply find no limit to that Love. It is absolute, omnipotent. No one and nothing can possibly overcome it. I recognize in that Love the Eternal Life that Jesus spoke about in His earthly mission.​

How to Smile in the Face of Death

You may be confronted with ultimate issues, either now or in the not-too-distant future. You may wonder how best to deal with them. You can take an academic approach, such as studying comparative religion. You can also take an introspective approach with meditation and contemplation, whether with a mantra or centering prayer.

However, there is a faster approach that may be more deeply satisfying. You can be in a cathedral, the forest or by the seaside. Simply Presence God. For that, you simply need an open heart and mind. Call upon the particular form of God that most profoundly resonates with the core of your innermost being.

From my own experience, I assure you that, if you call upon God, God will come. I can also assure you that when He / She / It comes, you will be overwhelmed. At that moment, you will know that Love is stronger than death. At that moment, it will no longer be an article of faith. YOU WILL KNOW THAT YOU WILL LIVE FOREVER.​

stress reducing remedies
Feb 22

Quick Natural Anxiety and Stress Relief Remedies

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Anxiety and stress have recently become popular words in our daily language. Think about it… anxiety, worry, stomach ulcers… they all have become the norm and part of our daily routine. Rather disturbing, right?

On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be that way. When a tough situation suddenly hits you, you have some control over the way you deal with anxiety or stress. You can tackle this issue in the following ways:​

1.   Consciously work on your inner game and its association with the outer world (non-medicinal methods).

2.  Quick fix – herbal therapy that you can carry around in your pocket.

Let’s look at some of the therapies and remedies up closer.

Treat Anxiety the Natural Way

None of us need carry around chronic anxiety, as it can greatly distract from the quality of our lives. However, you need some kind of treatment to counter it. While many people rely on prescriptions, mental health medication carries considerable risk.

Fortunately, we have a number of alternatives for curing anxiety that don’t involve medicine.

What We Mean By "Natural"​

When we use the term “natural,” we simply mean without chemical additives. Numerous natural substances have healing properties, especially flowers.

natural stress relief

Quick Fix To Your Anxiety or Stress Attacks

Here is one natural remedy that you should carry in your briefcase or purse.

Dr. Edward Bach, an English homeopath, isolated 38 separate treatments using the essence of a variety of flowers, all helpful when dealing with stress. For those with no time to select the proper treatment, Rescue Remedy was created to deal with extraordinary stress, such as job interviews and final exams, or handling an accident.​

This combination of essences helps you calm down, relax and get centered.​

best stress reducers

Rescue Remedy is a combination of five of the original Bach Flower Remedies which are especially beneficial when you find yourself in traumatic situations, such as stress, emergencies, after getting bad news, before an exam or job interview and all other kind of situations where we suddenly lose balance mentally. The Remedies quickly get us back in our normal balance so that we calmly can deal with any situation.

Impatiens: For those who act and think quickly, and have no patience for what they see as the slowness of others. They often prefer to work alone. Teaches empathy and understanding of and patience with others. We've found it very fast-acting in alleviating an impatient attitude and lowering stress.

Star of Bethlehem: For trauma and shock, whether experienced recently or in the past. Teaches the ability to recover from traumas and to integrate them into the present life.

Cherry Plum: For those who fear losing control of their thoughts and actions and doing things they know are bad for them or which they consider wrong. Teaches trust in one's spontaneous wisdom and the courage to follow one's path.

Rock Rose: For situations in which one experiences panic or terror.

Clematis: For those who find their lives unhappy and withdraw into fantasy worlds. They are ungrounded and indifferent to the details of everyday life. Teaches one to establish a bridge between the physical world and the world of ideas; may foster great creativity. It is also used to bring clarity and alertness to the present moment.

Recommended by Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil

*** The claims for this (these) product(s) are based on traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.*

Bach’s products come in spray, droplets (where you add two drops to your drinking water) and tablets. We recommend the spray version. You can pull it out of your bag or pocket at any time, and with a single squirt, you are done (no need to carry water).

rescue remedy spray

Rescue® Remedy Spray has been used successfully on stressful days where we suffer from impatience, tension and pressure. It has also been used successfully with children to stop a tantrum, before a speech or job interview. Rescue® Remedy helps us relax, get focused and get the needed calmness.​

Many people chose to carry Rescue Remedy® Spray in their purse, at the office, in the car or in the diaper bag. You never know when you might need it.

Once again, the ingredients are as follows:

5x (HPUS) dilution

Star of Bethlehem – Orithogalum umbellatum

Rock Rose – Helianthemum

Cherry Plum – Prunus cerasifera

Impatiens – Impatiens gladulifera

Clematis - Clematis vitalba​

27% Grape-Based Brandy as a preservative​

Non-Medicinal Methods in Treating Anxiety

How about other alternatives and ways to control stress?

A quick fix to treat symptoms does not replace the need to resolve anxiety on a much deeper level. For that, you need to focus on the cause and get in touch with your inner world. You might want to look at both alternative therapies, as well as more conventional approaches.

We now have a host of alternative therapies that are now taken honored by physicians as “complementary medicine.” They entail a close correlation between body and mind. Examples include:

  • Hatha Yoga
  • Mantra Meditation
  • Kundalini and Deep Breathing
  • Swedish and Esalen Massage
  • Acupuncture, Reiki and Acupressure
  • Biofeedback

More conventional approaches are worth considering, as well:

  • Gestalt Psychology
  • Depth Psychology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Light Therapy
  • Sound Therapy

Please bear in mind that ongoing stress and anxiety demand a long-term approach, beyond the relief that herbal medicine can provide. You will want to look at the spiritual dimension of life, and sources for finding inner peace independent of circumstances.

Finally, you may need to make actual life adjustments, such as moving, changing jobs or even careers, and adjusting existing relationships. It is vital that you find appropriate support from close friends, mentors and professionals.​

Rescue Remedy At Your Fingertips

You can always explore other non-medical therapies when you have the time as an addition to the Rescue Remedy.

stress reliever

Having a Rescue Remedy Spray bottle nearby whenever you need it is most convenient.

In a way, this product will give you the peace of mind that, should you need rescuing in any given moment… it is right there… by your side.​

Now, what if you are not concerned about your own anxiety attacks, but your kid or other little buddy (cat or dog) needs help?! Well, Bach has a Rescue Remedy for Kids, as well as Rescue Remedy for Pets.

natural stress relief for kids

Bach Kids Rescue Remedy an alcohol-free formula in a kid-safe plastic bottle and dropper created to help children during times of stress and anxiety. Safe, gentle, non-drowsy formula.​

Directions:  Four drops may be taken directly from the bottle or added to any beverage. Take drops a minimum of four times per day. Do not use if tamper-evident seal is broken.

Ingredients include:​

5x (HPUS) dilution

Star of Bethlehem – Orithogalum umbellatum

Rock Rose – Helianthemum

Cherry Plum – Prunus cerasifera

Impatiens – Impatiens gladulifera

Clematis - Clematis vitalba​

Inactive Ingredients:  

Water, glycerin derived from palm and coconut oil.

Plus Gluten Free.

Here is the Rescue Remedy for Pets Formula

stress relief remedies for dogs

"Rescue Remedy Pet is a combination of five Bach Flower Remedies to help your pet deal with stressful situations such as: going to the vet, the groomer, thunderstorms and during fireworks. We have heard fantastic stories from people giving Rescue Remedy to their dogs when having seizures.

This product is preserved in Glycerin, and comes in two sizes 10 & 20 ml.​"

Five Bach Flower Remedies and their benefits:

5x (HPUS) dilution

Star of Bethlehem – Orithogalum umbellatum. Helps animals that have experienced abuse, trauma and shock, whether experienced recently or in the past. Helps the animal let go of the trauma and enjoy life.​

Rock Rose – Helianthemum. For situations in which the animal experiences panic or terror, such as an accident, going to the vet, thunderstorm or fireworks.​

Cherry Plum – Prunus cerasifera. Helps animals that seem to have lost control of their actions, such as constant barking, scratching or licking.​

Impatiens – Impatiens gladulifera. Helps those animals that are impatient and can’t wait for their meal or going for a walk.​

Clematis – Clematis vitalba. For animals that seem to be sleeping too much and aren’t really paying attention to what’s going on around them.​

Inactive Ingredients:  80% Vegetable Glycerin deprived from palm and coconut oil, 20% water​

Direction:  Add 2-4 drops of Rescue Remedy Pets in your animal’s drinking water, and you’ll see how quickly they return to normal. You can also add a drop to a treat, on food or rub it on the paws or ears.

***The claims for this (these) product(s) are based on traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.

Stress Relief Choices for Your Entire Family

This natural Rescue Remedy Spray is very handy and useful to have in any situation. While alcohol is used as a preservative (adults formula only) (kids formula is alcohol-free), it shouldn’t be an issue for most people when in kept to small quantities. No need to overdo it!

In sum, we believe that you will find this spray a source of continuing comfort, and the perfect resource to carry in pocket or purse.

feeling enlightened
Feb 17

How Will You Know When You’re Enlightened?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Through the unknown, unremembered gate

When the last of earth left to discover

Is that which was the beginning…

T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets, “Little Gidding

If you are on a path, you may have wondered when you will arrive… or if ever you will arrive. You may have heard that we are all already enlightened. This will seem as far fetched as claiming that it is all already perfect, just as it is.

Yet many of the greatest spiritual masters maintain this, including the incomparable Ramana Maharshi, who woke up as a teenager and wandered off to a sacred mountain. While the whole world came to Ramana, he never returned to his birthplace, for he found that wherever he was, that was home.

Ramana was deeply puzzled why the rest of us don’t simply get that there is only God, that there is nothing but God, and we are already God. Quoting the Old Testament, he reminded us, “I AM,” and “Be still.” If we recognize the “Great I AM” within us, and we become still, we will see God, just as he once did.​

What Is Enlightenment?

There are many different words for enlightenment, based on the great religious traditions, all initiated by mystics.

“Enlightenment” is the Buddhist term, meaning waking up. “Awoken” is frequently used, as well.​

Self-Realization is the Hindu term, meaning that you come to realize Who You Really Are.​

“Salvation” is the Hebrew, as well as Christian, term, referring to being bought back and brought back…body, mind and spirit.​

Christianity went on to introduce “Born Again,” as being born to a whole new world, as opposed to reincarnation.

Islam added, “Remembrance,” you remember that God IS, and There is Only God. (The mystical reading of “There is no God but Allah,” is “There is nothing BUT God.”)​

Transformation is a contemporary term, introduced by Werner Erhard, which refers to a sudden shift in Self-Identification, from that which is NOT Self (the content of your life), to that which IS Self (the context, or space of your life).​

You are the Space out of which everyone and everything streams forth from your innermost being.

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Four Paths, or One Path to Enlightenment?

As we find a path and embark, we come across other paths, and start asking questions.

Are we all going up the same mountain? And if so, is there ever a peak to Mount Everest or Mount Kailash? Or is there always another peak to climb?

enlightened definition

Bhakti, or fervent devotion, is adoration of our Creator until we find ourselves becoming our creator. The Eastern Christian Church calls this a process of divinization.

Karma, or loving service, is unattached action whereby we recognize everyone we encounter as divine, as witnessed by the Hindu greeting, “Namaste!” This means, “I salute the Deity within you.”​

Raja Yoga, or union with God, is a process of merging with the Shakti, or sacred feminine energy. Out of this tradition came Hatha Yoga.​

Jnana Yoga, or inner knowledge, is a direct means to God by using the mind to transcend the mind, and realize that there is just “THAT” (Aum), the inexpressible.​

What most of us fail to appreciate is that each path, which appeals to a separate group of people, is intertwined with every other path, such that you can’t have one path completely devoid of the others.

For example, the path of devotion and the path of knowledge are frequently juxtaposed, one against the other. But a devotional mystic will eventually have knowledge, and the knowing mystic will eventually have love and devotion.​

Contemporary Trinity: Three Channels of God

Many, if not most, Christians have regarded the Holy Trinity of the Roman Catholic Church as a hopeless anachronism, much like the appendix is regarded as a useless organ in the body. Recently, a whole new perspective has emerged that makes this concept of Three-in-One highly relevant.

1.  God as First Person equates with The Father, the Source. I AM.​

2.  God as Second Person equates with The Son, the Logos, or Divine Word. YOU ARE.​

3.  God as Third Person equates with The Holy Spirit, the Sacred Presence that permeates all of creation. THAT IS.​

experiencing god

The breakthrough realization is that we can directly experience “God” through each channel, and each channel necessarily implies the other two.

Three channels in One. You can switch channels any time you want.​

Love Is the Big Ticket to Heaven

Saint Paul was more responsible than anyone who has ever lived for putting Christianity, numerically the world’s largest faith, on the map. Late in his ministry along the Mediterranean Sea, Paul maintained that, without Love, he was nothing. He maintained that mystical knowledge, the ability to work miracles and extreme acts of altruism were completely subordinate to Love, which he defined in great detail.

We may legitimately wonder if the ideal path is to find a cave, meditate for 10 years and disappear into the Void, much like the original Buddhist Theravada tradition. Within several hundred years of inception, Buddhism developed a powerful counter-current, called Mahayana, or “The Great Vehicle,” which maintain the opposite.

A buddha is not simply someone who escapes the suffering of the world and vanishes, but rather a bodhisattva who finds the Gates of Paradise, and then goes back into the world to bring everyone else with him.​

enlightening everyone

If you ever experience a direct hit of divine love, you will be very clear that this is the ultimate, that nothing is comparable to that. It is of greatest interest that recent accounts of Near Death Experience (NDE), such as those of Dr. Eben Alexander and Anita Moorjani, emphatically maintain that the defining characteristic of the afterlife is ABSOLUTE LOVE, a love that is forever, and has no limits.

Now It’s All of Us, or None Of Us

What has irreversibly changed in our post-modern, planetary era is that enlightenment has no more meaning unless it is universal.

There is not a Buddhist enlightenment, nor a Hindu enlightenment, nor a Jewish enlightenment, nor a Christian enlightenment nor an Islamic enlightenment. There is just enlightenment. As Dr. Deepak Chopra defined it, the religions of the West simply have different hues than those of the East. It’s the spiritual equivalent of Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors.​

As the remarkable charismatic evangelist, Carlton Pearson, maintained, a Gospel of Inclusion is the only gospel worth talking about. We need a Greater God, and a Greater Christ. Perhaps we weren’t ready for it when the Avatar, Bodhisattva and Messiah first appeared. This is accordance with the great shift in humanity, from, as Judith Anodea brilliantly put it, the love of power” to “the power of love.”

We might remember the Beatles’ words, “When all of the people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, ‘Let it be. Let it be.’” I would maintain that, when people of every path realize that they are each calling the same God by a different name, the world of humanity will awaken, and our planet will be transformed.

Returning to Source

enlightened being

Dr. Steven Wolinsky, a passionate disciple of the late jnana master, “Nisargadatta Maharaj,” recounted how, early on in his pilgrimage to India, he asked a master, “How will I know when I am enlightened?” the master quipped... 

“You don’t want to be enlightened, because if you were enlightened, you would not be there to enjoy it.”

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We are God’s dream. We are the precious characters in His creation that He loves, with His very own absolute love. We are not here by accident. We each have a destiny to fulfill.

To be happy, we only need consider Werner Erhard’s final aphorism, “If you really knew what God wanted you to do, you would be happy doing it, no matter what it was. What you are doing IS WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO. Be happy!”

All we have to do is remember Him, and then remember Who We All Really Are. At that moment, He and We will disappear into THE ONE. Out of THAT ONE, all things are possible.

vivid dream
Jan 20

Meaning Of Dreams: From Wet to Wild to Sweet

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

You have most certainly had a brilliant, vivid dream in your life, perhaps even in Technicolor, where it was as real as life. Afterwards, like the Taoist master, Chuang-Tzu, you may have harbored deep doubts as to how real is this waking dream of ours.

As Chuang-Tzu asked, “Am I dreaming that I am a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming he is Chuang-Tzu?”​

Welcome to the Great Dream!

We are all living in a dream of dreams, where every dream intersects every other dream and every dreamer intersects every other dreamer. To top it all off, there is only One of us, Whom is dreaming all of us, That Whom we call, “God.”

While this might all sound totally outlandish, cutting-edge physicists have left their materialist foundations over a century ago.

At first, the physicists recognized, with Albert Einstein, that matter could be equated with energy, that matter, as was shown by the atomic bomb, was instantly convertible to energy.

Then, the more they tried to arrive at the smallest particle, they began to recognize, with Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, that they had to bring consciousness into the equation, that without consciousness, there is no matter.

Ultimately, in the age of String Theory, the physicists awoke to the reality that there was no smallest particle, that every particle was a wave and that what they thought was a particle was an event created by the observer.​

dream creator

The more mystical physicists woke up, around the time of the Beatles and Maharishi, to the possibility that…

…we all live in an ocean of consciousness, Consciousness equates to energy, and energy consciousness.

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So, in our current era, we can speak of two kinds of dreams, our waking dream, and our sleeping dream.

We have a prolonged intermittent dream that we mistake for our life, and we have short, discontinuous dreams that remind us every night that we all always only dream.​

What Dreams Tell Us About Our Inner Fears and Desires

It is as if we go on stage every day, around 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM or 8:00 AM, and then we exit around 9:00 PM, 10:00 PM or 11:00 PM.

When we go off stage into our green room, we can relax, play around and not take it all quite so seriously.

types of dreams

Our nightly dreams are too incoherent to stand on their own, and our daydreams are, at best, soap operas. TV series and commercials—that’s the very fabric of our lives!

Our daily dreams and nightly dreams have a different set of rules.

The physics seem completely different. During the day, we appear to inhabit the old, lawful Newtonian universe of billiard balls, where there is a cause for every effect.

During the night, on the other hand, we seem to occupy the space age universe of relativity, where time and space are a flexible fabric and bend to our every caprice.

In order to have a dream, you need both a stage and a story. In order to have a story, you have to have black and white, up and down, good and evil.

Everything must seem to move to a climax where you can really win or really lose. It would all be meaningless apart from our fears and desires.

Fears and desires are the price tag for the show.​

At nighttime, we get to rehearse, or play around with both desires and fears. During the day, our characters never quite capture their ultimate desire, and rarely meet their final fear, but they come close.

In a nocturnal dream, you can weave back and forth in time or space. You have no real limitations. It is just that nothing ever stays put. If you are lucky, you enjoy recurrent dreams, where you can play with the various themes until you get them right.​

Wet Dreams

As the original psychiatrist, Dr. Sigmund Freud, revealed to the world in his masterpiece, The Interpretation of Dreams, much of our dream life is sexually motivated.

wet dream

During our daydreams, we need to play it fairly cool. Orgies are frowned upon in even the most decadent of societies. Sexuality is vital for humanity to keep perpetuating itself. Better not mess with that too far!​

So Freud suggested that every concave, or hollow surface in our dreams is feminine, and every convex, angular surface is masculine.

Thus, keys and cathedrals penetrate, while holes give way. Freud held that our sexual psyche, or Libido, was wild and untamed, part of the dumb, unconscious Id.

Our fragile Ego helped keep us in line during the daytime. We also had the Superego, or Parent, to spank us and give us a sense of propriety.

While much of Freudian psychology has been debunked, many of his original insights are profound and provocative, worthy of review. We can best find our sexual fantasies during the night. Wet dreams are a clue to interpreting many of our most provocative moments.​

Wild Dreams

Dr. Freud’s star pupil and would-be successor, Dr. Carl Jung, felt Freud had gotten a bit carried away with all that sexual stuff, living as he did in the late Victorian age.

wild integrated dreaming

However, Jung was interested in the higher chakras of love and meaning. Dreams reveal the Self, and they are a means for us to work with our shadow, or undeveloped side, and begin to assimilate it, to become whole and integrated.​

Jung systematically studied all the world’s mythologies and preferred astrology to analysis. He even built a house by the lake with his own hands to stay in touch with the elements. He discovered Archetypes, or master images, whether Superman or Marilyn Monroe, hero or goddess.

A hero of magnificent proportions lies latent within every one of us. Our journey begins at infancy and never ends until we awaken to our own divinity.

Jung welcomed wild dreams. We can swim to the bottom of the ocean or fly beyond the stars. We can wrestle wild beasts and prevail. We can go back in time and become a Roman gladiator, or a medieval knight. Night dreams are a way for us to flex our wings, to keep trying on new possibilities.

Sweet Dreams

On a good night, we can surprise ourselves with a sweet dream, no matter how infrequent. We succeed at everything we try. Everything we do works out. We marry the boss’s daughter or mistress, much like Michael J. Fox in The Secret of My Success. We find ourselves in the dream world in a perpetual state of grace, staying in the flow.

sweet dreaming

If we are spiritual, we might, in such a dream, join John Lennon in his anthem, “Imagine,” where he sings of a world with no heaven above, no hell below, only the sky above us, the people all living together in peace, and freedom. 

Or we might join John Denver in his “sweet, sweet dream” where sometimes he is there, and flies like an eagle.

Sweet dreams motivate us.

They get us out of bed wanting to change the world. For a few minutes, for a few hours, we feel the urge to obey the Great Commission, climb the rooftops and preach love to all of our brothers and sisters. Without sweet dreams, if only on the rarest of occasions, we would have no impulse to carry on.​

Lucid Dreams

As we begin to meditate and tune into the spiritual dimension, we begin to consciously dream at night.

We become aware that we are in a dream state, while experiencing the dream, itself.

We might even wake up to go to the bathroom, and then go back to bed, close our eyes, and be right back where we left off. With any luck, we can begin editing the dream and bending the dream closer to our heart’s desire.

clear dream

In recent years, I, myself, have had lucid dreams, picking up books I have never seen and reading them in great detail. I wondered where they came from. But there they were, right in front of me. I have found myself for a short time in a world every bit as real as this one, the one we all know in our waking dream.​

Lucid dreams are our portal to revelation.​

Very often they happen at that magical period of night between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM, when all is quiet, the time when many of the yogi’s, and such masters as Dr. Deepak Chopra or the Dalai Lama like to start their daily meditations.

Some of the most gifted ones will learn ultimate truths or successfully discern the outline of the future.​

Dreams as Revelation

Of greatest promise are dreams that actually serve as revelations from our Higher Self.

In the Book of Genesis, you see Joseph, the son of Jacob, or Israel, interpreting Pharaoh’s dream of stalks of wheat flourishing for seven years, and then fading away for seven years.

In the story, Joseph successfully predicts seven years of feasting and seven years of famine. He advises pharaoh to store away silos of grain during the prosperous years to feed the people during the years of famine. Pharaoh makes Joseph Prince of Egypt.

You don’t have to be a priest, prophet or king to have a revelatory dream. I have had several during my lifetime.

dream interpretation

They linger on with you for decades and bring clarity to the Big Picture. Somehow you know that you have enjoyed a divine visitation, the kiss of an angel, that this dream was more than a dream, but a gift of prophecy.​

In my dream, despite all appearances, we all eventually make it. The love that emerges is overpowering. The curtain finally closes. The audience bursts out in wild applause.​

We are all far greater than appearances. It may take a lifetime to wake up to the magnitude of this glorious truth.

types of human emotions
Jan 16

Types of Emotions and How They Control Your Actions

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

The heart is deceitful above all things,

and desperately wicked:

who can know it?

Jeremiah, The Prophet

Have you ever let things build up in you until you found yourself with a colleague with whom you had a long-standing grudge and suddenly blew up right in front of him, for no good reason? Chances are, your colleague muttered, “What’s gotten into him?”

Later, you felt like a fool and shrunk back from further social interactions. You wondered, What’s wrong with me?  Why can’t I control my own temper?”.

What Are Emotions?

We may, indeed, wonder about emotions, as did the prophet, Jeremiah. We would like a life filled with flowers and light, but it doesn’t usually always out that way.

You would think the therapists and psychologists have it all down, but even they have greatly differing interpretations and approaches to controlling emotions, and how to appropriately express them.​

Emotions are central to our humanity, every bit as much as our intellect.

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One only need think of the classic nerd, such as Sheldon Cooper in the hit TV series, The Big Bang Theory. While Sheldon as a character is most amusing to us for being totally blocked from his emotions and insisting on being totally intellectual in every context, guys like him are total bores in actual life and social pariahs.

We want to be with real people who feel, just like us.

There are three kinds of feelings, but only one of them is emotion. First, we have body sensations, which we refer to as feelings, second, we have intuitions, which we also to refer to feelings, and third, we have emotions of every kind, which, of course, we refer to as feelings.​

No wonder the confusion!

emotions definition

When we refer to emotions, we are talking of a state of consciousness that comes more from the heart than the head, which is closely aligned with the body.​

Emotions are feelings that lead to action. They demand physical expression. While you never physically see them, you can easily perceive their impact on our body language. The way we talk. The way we walk.​

Positive and Negative Emotions

Emotions may essentially be looked at as our impulse, as a baby, to either move toward, or shrink away from an object or person, to express fear or desire, as the case may be.

As we grow up, this polarity may be seen more in terms of love or hatred. Perhaps it is easiest to look at our survival reflex in the jungle of Fight or Flight.​

If a ravished, wild lion comes our way, it may come down to kill, or be killed. Primates need sticks to fight. Flight comes natural, and some of us are good at running up trees.

examples of emotions

Key to our emotional happiness is to focus, as much as possible, on our positive emotions and altogether eliminate our negative emotions.

On a high level, our emotions come down to either Love or Fear.​

Napoleon Hill, in his classic guide to prosperity consciousness, Think and Grow Rich, broke them down in two categories:

The Seven Major Positive Emotions​

1. The emotion of DESIRE​

2. The emotion of FAITH

3. The emotion of LOVE

4. The emotion of SEX

5. The emotion of ENTHUSIASM

6. The emotion of ROMANCE

7. The emotion of HOPE​

The Seven Major Negative Emotions

1. The emotion of FEAR​

2. The emotion of JEALOUSY

3. The emotion of HATRED

4. The emotion of REVENGE

5. The emotion of GREED

6. The emotion of SUPERSTITION

7. The emotion of ANGER​

Of course, there are infinitely more emotions than these, such as joy, ecstasy, amusement, playfulness, caprice and wistfulness, but these were spotlighted for their ability to either facilitate, or interfere with, our ability to be highly productive and amass a fortune.

Napoleon Hill believed that we simply needed to switch our thoughts from fear to faith to move forward.​

He keyed in very well with the New Thought Movement, where our thoughts shape our reality and where humanity is master of its thoughts. As for our challenges in doing this successfully from day to day, he would advise to exercise your will and build a powerful habit of positive thinking.​

Mixed Emotions

Being human virtually guarantees that we will encounter situations where we have mixed feelings.

mixed emotions example

Our mixed emotions might have to do with a woman marrying a particular man she has been dating. It might be to interview a particular company known for lucrative pay, but whose culture may not be compatible with our own style. 

It could be for a Presidential candidate who is saying many of the right things, but we can’t quite trust.

If we could be 100% certain about everyone and everything, then we would never have mixed emotions, but this is rarely the case.

It may be a lot more dating before the woman has confidence this particular man is right for her. It may take interviewing employees of the attractive company for information on what it is like to work there day by day.

It might require investigating what the Presidential candidate has done in her past, or is actually doing in her campaign, as well as carefully reviewing what others say about her, before freely giving your vote to her, in preference to another candidate.​

Mixed emotions can actually be a good thing, cautioning us to slow down, avoid making hasty decisions and gathering more information.​

In this case, our head, our heart and our gut need to talk with each other.

When we have to move fast, it is usually best to go with our gut. This is true for many executives in crisis situations where the lives of others depend upon them. They have to act NOW and trust their inner mechanism.

Self-Conscious Emotions

A number of key emotions have to do with our perception of ourselves, in relationship to others, such as pride, shame or guilt.

The focus of our thoughts is on us, in contrast to the others, how we measure up to them. These can be shallow, or deep? How do I look to eligible bachelors in a college party or a social cocktail? Or, “How could I have hurt her so badly. What a rotten man I am!”​

One transformational seminar leader once asked his students to write down on a piece of paper, “What have I done to…?”.

He pointed out that the very phrase “done to” will evoke situations where you have hurt other people, either intentionally or unintentionally. By communicating to those people and taking responsibility for the damage, you clean up your life.​

You should be on the alert for self-conscious emotions. As they say, “Pride goes before a fall.”

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Also, powerful feelings of guilt or shame, whether you are from the West or the East, can eat you up. The real reason the Roman Catholic Church used to require confession by its adherents. Not to appease God or to exploit them, but to heal the parish members from the corrosive effect of these emotions.

Repressed Emotions

The most critical category of emotions is those that we repress, such as hatred, an emotion we can’t even bring ourselves to acknowledge within ourselves.

For examples, a wife can’t “hate” her husband, a mother can’t “hate” her son. In our society, such feelings are a disgrace. Yet they are often there, nonetheless. It takes a whole lot of courage to own up to them.

If it weren’t for repressed emotions, psychiatrists and therapists might have to go look for another job. However, we all have repressed our feelings to one degree or another.​

repressed emotions pattern

Often, they are associated with something that happened to us in our early childhood, such as an act of incest. Left unexamined, these emotions can severely limit our ability to love, such as a man or woman having a hard time responding to sexual intimacy.

The key is to open up and communicate. In many cases, it may take a transformational workshop or group therapy. You need a supportive social environment where it is OK to talk about your secrets without fearing censure or reprisal.​

If you go through the work this requires, you can unleash a burst of energy that will make you feel years younger.​

Controlling Emotions Before They Control You

We have discussed several different categories of emotion: Positive or negative, mixed, self-conscious and repressed. Each offers an important dimension to the myriad feelings that come and go throughout our lives.

emotions behind facial expressions

We have learned that they can have total command value over our actions if we are unconscious about them. This is especially true of negative and repressed emotions, such as fear and anger. Uncontrolled fear and anger can have us literally running down the street or savagely attacking another human being.

We need to boost our emotional intelligence. We need to HAVE our emotions, rather than BE them.

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Through meditation and prayer, we can gain perspective on our deepest feelings and start to take responsibility for them. I am afraid. I feel angry. But it doesn’t have to mean anything.

No one ever really CAUSES your emotions. Your emotions occur within you.

The best way to control your emotions, especially your negative ones, is to, not only open up, but also to responsibly communicate them to others. For examples, a wife needn’t call her husband a pig whenever he leaves his clothes on the floor. She can confide to him, “When you leave your clothes strew all over the bedroom, I feel like you don’t really care about me. When you put them in the hamper, I feel you truly love and respect me.”​

When we learn to value and respect our different emotions, for the good, as well as the bad, we feel freer to communicate them to the people who matter in our lives. When we do, we may be delightfully surprised to find that love awaits us.​

When you’ve said all the bad things,

and all the good things,

you haven’t been saying,

you will find that what you’ve really been withholding is,

“I love you.”

Werner Erhard
depression rage
Jan 09

Could Depression Be Self-Directed Anger?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Have you ever lost it for a time, lost every incentive for living, perhaps at the demise of a loved one or the sudden end of an important career or the best job you ever had?

Chances are you pulled out of it within a week or two through the care and concern of close friends or getting plastered for a night, and then moving on.

What do you do when your sorrow and despair persist, not for hours and days, but for weeks and months?​

Why Depression Matters

Suicide is the number one cause of death among teens and youth and a major cause of death in aging people. In the U.S. alone, someone commits suicide every 15 minutes. The rate is much worse for returning and aging vets, as well as vets who are people of color.

It has been estimated that, in recent years, more people die of suicide around the globe than die of all wars and natural disasters combined. Yet vastly less research goes into curing depression and preventing suicide than goes into finding a cure for breast cancer.​

All of us are vulnerable at one time or another to despair and depression.​

depression definition

I have had several bouts with it in my lifetime, and if it wasn’t for the grace of God and the compassion of other people, I wouldn’t be here today.

It is amazing how deeply people resonate to Shakespeare’s lines around life being “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” If that is the case, why go on, why even try?​

Depression Can Have Many Causes

While chronic depression can, or should be, the domain of clergy, physicians and psychiatrists, it is apparent that numerous factors trigger depression. It can be the result of biochemistry or even genetics.

Some people are more prone to depression than others. Pessimists with low self-esteem and who are not adept at dealing with acute stress are particularly vulnerable.​

depression causes

Also, not only military service, death in the family or divorce, but also continued exposure to an environment riddled with violence, neglect, abuse and poverty increase your susceptibility to depression.

My past experience with the human potential movement, as well as a little private therapy along the way, have pointed to a more basic factor that can bring us down emotionally: unexpressed anger that gets locked in, trapped energy that drives us to shut down.

Anger Turned Inward Can Bring About Depression

If we delve deeply into our past, we will often find people, living or deceased, with whom we are still upset.

We have a thwarted intention and an undelivered communication that has persisted for years and years that undermines our relationship. Often it is mom or dad, or a current or former spouse or lover.​

irritable depression

For example, in growing up, we have all had a moment where we interpreted our experience in such a way as to conclude that we were unworthy as we are, and had better play the game to survive. I remember several situations before I was seven or eight that took their toll on my well-being.

In our culture, a mother or father cannot easily tell their children that they hate them, and vice versa. A husband or wife cannot tell one another that they’ve lost all their original love without dire consequences.

So, they bury their feelings, fail to open up and express their frustration and end up shutting down.​

To Heal Your Depression, Deal with Your Unexpressed Anger

While medication and various kinds of psychotherapy can prove useful, even something as simple as light therapy in northern climates where it is constantly dark for half the year, it is liberating to realize that often you can simply get back in touch with the anger you repressed, and deal with it.

  • Is there something you are not saying to someone who matters very much to you that is killing you?
  • Can you continue to withhold without shutting yourself down?

Years ago, Werner Erhard, with his breakthrough enlightenment program, est, experientially demonstrated the power of communication to hundreds of thousands, even millions, of participants.

Werner put it that love is a function of communication. Communicate responsibly, and your anger and upset will disappear, and feelings of love will automatically rush up within you.​

This has happened so many times in my life that I am convinced of its efficacy.​

Related article:  Exit Endless Suffering​

Forgiveness Is Always the Way Out

Whatever other factors may be holding you down, forgiveness is always the way out, because it releases trapped energy.

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The word for forgive in the New Testament, means literally, to loosen up, let go, no longer hold onto a past condition or perception. It is not simply a question of turning your cheek and saying, “I forgive you for what you have done, but I will never forget about it.”

Rather, it is erasing the offense in your heart and mind and saying, “Let’s begin again. What’s past is past.”

Every great spiritual tradition stresses the importance of forgiveness, but none more than Christianity, perhaps because the Holy Land of Israel and Palestine have been the site of almost continual violence and warfare over the centuries.

It is significant that the parting greeting there is “Shalom!” or “Peace!,” because, so often, that has not been the case.​

Jesus Christ personally made forgiveness His ultimate message to humanity, not simply because we need forgiveness, but because we need to forgive others, God and ultimately ourselves.​

The hardest thing in the world is to love and forgive yourself, because you know yourself all too well.

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Perhaps it took a story as powerful as the Gospel to convince humanity to start taking forgiveness and pardon seriously, and most of all, live it day to day.

Show Compassion Towards Others Who Suffer Depression

If you have someone in your life who seems angry and depressed, pay attention to them, listen to them, encourage them, and when appropriate, guide them to seek professional help.

depression treatment

Sometimes a serious depression can hide underneath anger… and we, as outsiders, can mistake it for something insignificant (such as a character flaw). And when that anger is directed towards us, we get hurt and then… we turn our backs on our family and friends.

Forgive + Communicate + Listen.

I have lost a couple of acquaintances in my life, due to suicide. I have learned the hard way to avoid taking anyone for granted.​

We are reminded of Saint Francis’s matchless prayer:​

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.​

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;​

where there is injury, pardon;​

where there is doubt, faith;​

where there is despair, hope;​

where there is darkness, light;​

where there is sadness, joy.​

experience divine love
Dec 23

How Can I Access Divine Love Without Even Trying?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it. I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

St. Paul in his letter to the Romans, The Message

Have you ever found yourself totally misunderstood by the one you love the most? Every word you utter in your own defense is automatically interpreted as another lame excuse. You never seem to listen, and when you truly do listen, you just don’t seem to get it.

You begin to realize that your conditional love is just not enough. Sometimes on, sometimes off. You always find a self-serving angle in everything you think, say and do. Every gift has a hook. Every compliment can easily be brought in question.​

The Harder I Try, the Less I Love

In the holiday season, on special occasions, we always try to put on our best face and act kind and considerate. This can be challenging around stubborn relatives and neighbors that would ordinarily never give you the time of day.

In business, it is hard not to wish ill of competitors that try to do us in, as well as internal rivals within a large corporation. Sometimes you wouldn’t wish your closest colleagues on your worst enemies. Yet, somehow you have to play the game, maintain professional courtesy and seeming grace.

We begin to realize that we can’t make ourselves love anyone. We can think positive, but not feel it towards others. We can kid ourselves that the thought is what counts, not our feelings.

Yet in our hearts, we know this is nonsense. Love is a feeling. It may be more than a feeling, but it is most certainly a feeling.

Who I Fear I Am Cannot Possibly Love

Our close friends know that our social mask is not the real us, and can humor us through it. They have more than an inkling of our shadow, that part of us every morning when we wake up and make ourselves up in the bathroom.

We are half-convinced that our shadow, the mean, selfish, egoistic, obsessed part of us that never gives another person half a break is our real self.

We are just petty to the core. We seem unredeemable to ourselves. It dawns on us that our shadow self is not up to love. In fact, it can’t even fake love.​

repress divine love

Because we repress so much of ourselves in an effort to look “nice,” because we are such highly socialized beings in an ultimately complex post-modern global society, we can scarcely ever go deeper than the black sheep we are utterly convinced is us.​

Who I Truly Am Can Only Love

If we could just go a few feet deeper, we would touch that Sacred Self that lies within each one of us at the very nucleus of our being. We call that Self “God” for lack of a better word, the Creator of the entire universe housed within our own soul.

It has taken people thousands of years to even begin to hear the proposition that God is Love, and that You / We / All of Us ARE God. God is Love, and Love is God. We are God, and We are Love.

A few decades back, in most religious traditions, this would be considered utter heresy, even though the Christian Gospel majored in it.

When you start a spiritual practice where you invoke the presence, you give thanks, you forgive people and you bless people, you begin to get a hint that there is another you at play that is not a joke, that is truly divine, and who will definitely go the last mile just for the love of it.

You Can Access Divine Love Through Your Enemy

Your enemy in life, the person at the very bottom of your shit list, is often your greatest teacher.

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He or she is the person who most needs your love. They are consummate pros at pushing your buttons, whether intentionally, or unintentionally. They are here to make you all that you can be, to drag the divine out of you, even if you must go out kicking and screaming.

Your enemy is actually another form of God. Consider him a warrior angel, much like an athletic trainer, getting you to be true to yourself, while having ultimate regard for other people. If he gave you an easy time, he wouldn’t really be doing you a service.

When you start sending loving energy towards your perceived enemy on a consistent basis, prepare to see one of life’s greatest miracles. The villains on both the global and personal stage are dying for love. They would do anything… for your love… for YOUR LOVE.

Related article:  Can Divine Love Transform Your Relationships?

You Can Access Divine Love Through Your Lover

Your lover is anyone you choose to love, who reciprocates in some fashion, whether or not the form of your relationship fits your pictures. You are motivated to please her in everything you do. You go to sleep thinking of her and wake up to her loving eyes, if only in your dreams.

By showing love day after day in your own unique way, you enroll yourself in a school for love. You learn to love, not only the lady, but God. It can be challenging to love God in the abstract; it is easy to love a goddess in your arms.​

divine love self healing

Eventually, your lover, the lady, will help you realize that what you love in her is equally within yourself, although to a lesser extent. Likewise, you will help her realize that what she loves in you resides in her, as well.

As the love grows, you become one with each other, and in a very human sense, you become God.​

Love Is a Function of Communication

Werner Erhard demonstrated to a whole generation the power of communications to evoke love in all kinds of people to all kinds of other people with his original est training.

In a very safe environment, people shared their shadow with others, only to find that their partners had their own shadow. In the power of mutual acknowledgement, they discovered shadow was only shadow, and that love lay irrepressibly underneath.

If you say it the way it is for you, people will begin to listen. They will begin to hear beneath your irritation, hurt and anger who you really are.​

Hatred is part of love, love of hatred. They occupy a continuum.

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As you open up to others, you allow new possibilities to emerge. People are supportive when you really open up. [However, you still need to know when and where it is appropriate...] 

While this training can be found today in the successor organization, Landmark Education with its Forum, this principle is accessible in all kinds of humanistic and transformational organizations. It may be as close to you as your local community center.​

Step by Step, Day by Day, We Are Totally Transformed

It works to cultivate a devotional relationship with one of the ultimate avatars, be it Krishna, Buddha, Christ, Moses or Muhammad.

It also works to do one little thing each day to make life worth living for another human being, even it means picking up a dirty scrap of paper from the sidewalk.

Great lovers are not overnight successes.

They become that way opening up little by little to their divine nature in any way they can, until the trickle becomes a stream, the stream a river and the river an ocean.