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Category Archives for "Inner Peace"

love impact
Jul 06

Can Divine Love Transform Your Relationships?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Are you recovering from a recent breakup, whether from serious dating, engagement or actual marriage?

Did you suddenly discover that your partner, who had once professed to truly love you, actually despises and hates you, regarding you as truly worthless?

Have you been verbally attacked and hurled a long string of abuses with slammed doors and broken glass, where you were too shocked to even pick up the pieces?

This is not all that uncommon, as today, in the United States, more adults are single than married, and serial monogamy is fast becoming the norm with lifetime fidelity the exception.

This is, of course, tragic when little children are involved. There are severe financial repercussions, such as selling houses and arranging alimony, as well as more human issues, such as fighting over pets and the custody of children.

Impact of Love

Whether a relationship can be saved, you must come to terms with a sudden loss of self-esteem and trust in other people. It is common to lose faith in everyone and everything; all the more so when you are an avid church, synagogue, mosque or temple-goer. When people can be so vicious, why not love your dog?

The problem will go back to a lack of discernment as to the type of love and the type of vows that were exchanged. Was it a marriage of convenience? Was it a glorified arrangement of, “If you scratch my back, I will scratch yours”?

Was it attraction, friendship or true love? Most importantly, what did God have to do with it? Was the final court of appeal your respective egos, or uniting your respective selves in our Higher Self?

The greatest evangelist who ever lived, Saint Paul of Tarsus, pioneered the Christian faith to the nations of the Roman Empire even before the New Testament was written. While these people had never seen Jesus of Nazareth, they were profoundly moved by His message of absolute love.

Saint Paul had started community after community in Syria, Turkey, Greece and Italy preaching and teaching out of people’s homes. These communities had flourished, as the faith filled a social vacuum.

Eventually, one of Saint Paul’s churches in Corinth became deeply divided, and got caught up in every priority but love.​

They were overpowered by mystics, theologians and philanthropists of different sects, each teaching a different message. The congregation had become worldly and hypocritical to the point where the original flame almost died out.

Paul then wrote one of the greatest passages in all literature, his hymn to Divine Love in the First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13. If the apostle had only written this one passage, he would have become famous throughout the world. He defines divine love in such a way that the reader realizes it is everything, that nothing is complete without it.​

Paul begins...

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.



Related topic: How To Detach from pain and Pleasure

Without Love You Gain Nothing

No matter how eloquent you may appear to be, if you don’t really love the people you address, you will come across to them as hollow and empty.

If you are a great mystic and reveal ultimate mysteries that no man or woman has ever heard, and though you are blessed with the highest faith to perform miracles on a routine basis, the apostle says that YOU ARE NOTHING.

He even goes on to say that if you give away everything you own, and sacrifice yourself as a religious martyr, and have not love, YOU GAIN NOTHING.

After the Apostle Paul makes it totally clear that love is everything, that without it we are nothing, he goes on to define how it operates in the real world.​

Love suffers long and is kind;

Love does not envy;

Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

Love does not behave rudely;

Love does not seek its own;

Love is not provoked;

Love thinks no evil;

Love does not rejoice in iniquity;

Love rejoices only in the truth;

LOVE BEARS ALL THINGS;

LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS;

LOVE HOPES ALL THINGS;

LOVE ENDURES ALL THINGS.

Paul the Apostle

Is Your Love Conditional?

  • Is Your Love Conditional?
  • If you envy her in any way, you are not there.
  • If you feel the need to trump up successes and display your trophies, you miss the point.
  • If you are rude with her, you don’t get it.
  • If you seek your interest at the expense of hers, such as remote job opportunities, you are far removed from her.
  • If you are easily provoked with a hair-trigger temper, you almost certainly don’t love her.
  • If you wish she dropped dead, your vows and commitment mean nothing.
  • If you find yourself rejoicing that she got what is coming to her, you fall far short of the mark.
  • If you would rather believe a questionable rumor than trust her own lips, you are not a true lover.

Paul tops it off by maintaining that LOVE NEVER FAILS. At this point, you might wonder if he was even human, or if anyone has ever lived up to these high standards.

The Fab Four, the Beatles, finished up their spectacular musical career with the words, “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.” They sang this much like a Hindu raga, having their minds blown by psychedelics and meditation.

They had done it all and tried it all. Rich, handsome, famous, adored the world over. They had discovered a vastly expanded version of love through the Maharishi, and each encountered God in his own way.​

Higher Love

Divine Love Will Transform Your Experience

Saint John, in his first letter, affirmed that, if you love not, you know not God, for GOD IS LOVE. If God is Love, well then, LOVE IS GOD. The only love worth having comes from God. The only way to access that love is to allow the Sacred Presence to express Itself through us. There are no short cuts.

When, through a spiritual practice with intense devotion, you drink deeply of God, day after day, night after night, that love will begin to spill out in your life to everyone around you, INCLUDING YOUR SPOUSE.

Strangely enough, you don’t have to be outwardly religious, but you must be inwardly spiritual. God is deep within you, in the very nucleus of your being. YOU ARE LOVE. The question is how best to penetrate your social masks and get underneath your shadow.

For most of us, the way is to let go of our conscious, egoic self, and turn over our hearts and lives to our Source. You can’t MAKE yourself love ANYONE.

True love is always spontaneous.

When you turn to your partner and admit that you don’t have it all together on the outward plane, but you have unshakeable faith in the God of Love, and what He is doing in your life, you will recruit her unquestionable devotion every time.

Broken hearts and broken relationships occur only as a means to bring us back to God. We need to live on a higher plane with a vastly more expanded love. You will know you are there when you see clearly that it is most definitely not your love, but another Love flowing freely through you.​

Don’t 'try' to love… instead… fall in love with every moment and every being. Ignore their differences and imperfections. All of them have something unique to offer. Fall in love with that…

The journey begins by invoking, or calling forth, the real presence of the divine, in whatever form speaks most clearly to you. Invite Higher Love to join you daily. You will begin to discover true love, because you will finally begin loving truly… and your relationships will never be dull or hollow.

egoic mind
Jul 01

How Your Ego Can Make You Blind

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever driven at high-speed down an open road and decided to turn into the next lane without looking back?

Occasionally, you may find yourself close to a wreck, as the auto hidden in your blind spot hits the accelerator, and you risk crashing into it.

Our ego is our “cognitive framework of the universe,” according to the great psychologist / guru, Baba Ram Das. It is how we see things, or quite simply, how we have it.

It is from this overarching perspective that we form our self-image. In youth, we make the common mistake that our perspective on things is the ONLY VALID PERSPECTIVE. We believe that we know it all. Usually it takes us into midlife before we begin to let go of this presumption.​

Most of us grew up with a Newtonian perspective that the universe is very much “out there,” and we are all much like billiard balls bouncing around in it. We hardly ever challenge this view until we either take mind-expanding drugs, have a mystical perspective or study Eastern philosophy and religion.

If we accept that we are much like a billiard ball, we must protect our body and mind, and keep others from knocking us into the hole.

We are driven by deep feelings of anxiety that we often refuse to admit to ourselves. Our life becomes a continuous game of survival, draining us from any experience of love, joy or peace.​

Most Damaging Ego Mind

With regard to knowledge, we encounter several possibilities:

1.  That which we know.

2.  That which we DON’T know.

3.  That which we THINK we know, but DON’T know.

4.  That which we DON’T know we DON’T know.

That Which You Know

If we can verbalize something, especially in the English language, we have a feeling we know it, such as subject matter in a textbook that we can recite or expound upon.

This is knowledge based on the left-brain, which corresponds to our right side, which expresses itself in words or numbers. In contrast, our right brain takes in an entire scene at once, much like a fast 35-millimeter camera and thinks in terms of pictures.

This corresponds to your intuition. You know without knowing how or why.​

That Which You DON’T Know

If we haven’t studied a particular subject, but we recognize its importance, we admit that we don’t know.

For example, American English is my mother tongue, but I am reasonably fluent in French on a basic level. I have heard about African Swahili and would readily admit I know nothing about it. The irony is that, when we go for a Ph.D., we quickly find out that we know more and more about less and less.

We never arrive at the point where we totally know any subject. The more we learn the more we discover how little we do know.

Like one saying goes…​

beyond egoic thinking

That Which You THINK You Know, but DON’T Know

When we pretend that we have mastered a subject where we still have significant gaps, we can easily be exposed.

For example, I studied French at the university and went over to Europe several times. I have French-speaking friends here in the U.S. with whom I practice with from time to time. Whenever I step into a serious business meeting or a technical or scientific discussion, I quickly fall apart. Almost everything I learned about high technology was in English. While French uses many English words for computers, there are many French equivalents, such as logiciels for software. On important occasions, I can suffer embarrassment for being rusty on that language.

This type of ego-driven mindset shows up frequently. When it is used blindly it can create some serious trouble in your daily life. It can help you jump to the wrong conclusions and make bad business decisions or health choices, and ruin your relationships.

However, the next level of egoic mind is way more damaging than this one…​

That Which You DON’T KNOW that you DON’T KNOW

If we are highly intellectual, we might speculate about intelligent life on other planets.

For example, Alpha Centauri A is the nearest star to our sun. Yet it is 4.34 light years away…that is the speed of light at 186,000 miles per second. This distance is difficult for us to even imagine. How would we possibly get there in our lifetime on the fastest rocket, which flies in terms of miles per hour? Possibly, like Star Trek, we can be accelerated to the speed of light, and then re-assembled at the other end. But that is totally stretching it!​

My speculations about life in other worlds hardly touch on the possibility of multiple universes, or the multiverse, as little as six inches away. The Multiple Worlds Theory is an interpretation of quantum physics that has been around for decades, and yet I never even encountered it, let alone imagined it, until the last few years. You might say that it is out of my experience.

All scientific progress has been based upon an understanding of creation beyond immediate appearances.

For example, Newtonian, or classical physics, is the physics of the eye. This worked just fine until humanity began high-energy physics and discovered that the most fundamental elements of matter, particles of energy, don’t behave at all like the physical world. We had to create a whole new physics to cover this, which, under experimentation, is the most accurate that has ever been developed.

I used more of a scientific example to explain this type of mindset, but imagine how damaging your outcomes can turn out to be if (or when) your ego is used in this type of situation.​.. where you don't know that you don't know.  

... Blinded and Dangerous.

Letting Ego Go...

Humility is our greatest ally.  It is no shame not to know.

A beginner’s mind is the starting point of all wisdom.

Do you remember how you were at three or four years old? Every single day was a daring adventure. You continually poked around the “real world” and constantly discovered new things. You observed everything and assumed nothing.

As we grew up and became socialized, we became more sophisticated and put on masks to hide what we didn’t know (more on this subject click here). We went to school where teachers drilled numbers in our head. We often stopped drawing and playing music and got “serious” about everything. It was no fun!

We can snap out of this self-defeating act, stop playing “God,” and begin to see people and life newly. We never learn better than when we readily admit we know nothing about a subject, and deeply hunger to master it.

This can be true in school, businesses or even relationships. You can see your partner with fresh eyes and experience romantic love all over again.

The moment we recognize that we are blind, we truly see again.​

define presence
Jun 29

Presence Definition – Like No Other

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Presence is far more than the fact that you are there, that your body shows up at a certain time and a certain place.

Presence has to do with a state of being, existing on more than one level. For example, when you are in love with someone, you don’t have to see him/her to feel that you are with him or her. He/she is always with you, and you can’t help but think of him/her. Which is more real, your love or his face?

Definition of Presence in 3 Simple Ways

1

Presence is often recognized when a certain someone walks into the room. You may not be looking her way, but your eyes are drawn irresistibly to her, even without her saying a thing. It is not always the words she uses, but what she does with her eyes.

You will see a kind of aura surrounding her and feel her energy radiating outward. We may think of celebrities and great politicians who seem to ooze on stage.

I have been privileged to see extraordinary people for whom there could be no mistake: Elizabeth Taylor, Steve Jobs, the Dalai Lama, Dr. Deepak Chopra and Werner Erhard. Even without their being formally introduced, you knew that they are the speaker for the occasion. I have even walked into a large auditorium, where Sri Chinmoy, former chaplain for the United Nations, was giving a concert where my eyes immediately teared up for the entire show without knowing why or how.

2

Presence is often experienced when you enter into a deep conversation with someone, whether business or pleasure, and you immediately feel at ease, truly at home with them. (Versus, when you have a conversation with someone, but they are not totally there… as if their mind and soul left the room and you are talking to the wall).

When someone is present, they hear every word you say without anything seeming to go on with them. They smile and throw their whole attention on you. They seem to radiate compassion; not pretending their life or agenda is of any great importance.

Throughout my life, certain people, male and female, have been there for me where I felt much more myself around them. During a summer while going through school, I worked with an older woman who later became a college president. She studied people closely as a professional interviewer and drew me out in such a way as to express myself. My confidence grew, both in person and on paper, and I found my whole life orientation shifting as I began to grow up.

3

Presence is supremely realized when, being together with an individual or a group, you lose all sense of space and time. It is a much deeper way to experience presence. As if everything falls into harmony.

Whatever preconceptions and agenda you might carry with you suddenly evaporates. You look at the other people around you and see yourself, and you see them in you.

You feel an uncanny intimacy and a complete openness to the point of vulnerability, where there is just US, just I AM. In this state of being (present) things flow and you usually don’t experience any resistance. This could even happen in cyberspace, on a telephone or videoconference.

The Self that emerges includes all the people, and yet is more than all the people… where we no longer separate or look at each other differently, but care about each other and our values.

In spirituality, this is thought of as a Sacred Presence where community emerges through a divine consciousness and true communion ensues.

I remember walking at night in San Francisco a few years back in a seedy neighborhood and yet felt completely safe. Billy Graham was speaking at the Cow Palace, and I felt total calmness as I approached the surrounding area. It was raining lightly, and an overflow congregation had been set up in the neighboring parking lot where I saw his face only through electrovision. Although I had seen this great evangelist live on two separate occasions, he never felt more real, even though he was in a building to which I had no access.

Presence adds charm and enchantment to life. It can take many forms, and there is no one formula. You will find yourself doing better at anything, including business negotiations, which will require a lot less effort to arrive at a totally win-win option (more on this topic click here) . All that is required is to be open to presence as a possibility. At any moment, you can be delightfully surprised by it.

These opening words from T.S. Eliot’s immortal Four Quartets capture it in a wonderful way:​

There they were, dignified, invisible,

Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,

In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,

And the bird called, in response to

The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,

And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses

Had the look of flowers that are looked at.

life journey
Jun 27

Why Your Journey In Life Matters

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever felt all alone and profoundly wondered if your life really mattered, or if you had any kind of destiny awaiting unfoldment?

As you go on, you will find that each of us has a unique life story that intersects every other life story, such that if anyone’s life story was erased, ours would be incomplete. If you press this thinking to its logical conclusion, you will realize that there is only THE ONE, and each of us mirrors that Self in a perpetual kaleidoscope.​

Every One of Us is a Hero

Each of us is a hero in his or her own way. We survived the trauma of our own birth, and went on to experience infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The great psychiatrist, Otto Rank, pointed out that this is not a trivial accomplishment.

We began as an invisible dot within our mother’s womb and began to take shape in a quiet paradise of amniotic fluid, only to be rudely awakened when we were forced out into the open air and the cord linking us to our mother was severed.

We start out with our family and home community, along with a particular set of talents and challenges, and must literally rise up and walk, learn words and just how to function in human society. We make childhood friends and sometimes enemies, and learn the adult game in an ever more refined fashion, until we feel ready to strike out on our own.

We go through a vast array of experiences to individuate ourselves to become the person we were meant to be in a transformational character arc, which becomes, both our story, and a universal story embedded in world mythology, literature, theatre and film.

We grow into adults through a complex process of initiation.

Finding a Powerful Map For Your Life

The great mythologist, Joseph Campbell, popularized this as the hero’s journey, starting as a professor at Sarah Lawrence, a woman’s college, and publishing “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Campbell pioneered the field of comparative mythology and taught the young ladies in his class the meaning of life, giving them the code to unravel the mysteries embedded in mythology.

Joe saw myth in a positive light, not as a lie, but as a way of expressing a truth that cannot be expressed as well in any other way. He married one of his students, Jean Erdman, a ballerina, and proceeded to plunge himself into the arts.

Years later, George Lucas, who stunned the world with his original saga, Star Wars, credited Joseph Campbell with making THE difference in his successfully writing and producing his ultimate space epic.

From there, Campbell’s fame grew exponentially. Campbell was immortalized in his mid-80’s by Bill Moyer in his classic, “Power of Myth,” the most popular documentary of all time and an instant classic.​

A standard sequence of adventures was disclosed to the public, which functions as a map to help each of us move through life with a keen sense of the nature of the adventure we have chosen for ourselves.

In this way, we can identify where we are and what to expect in any phase of our life. Campbell continually emphasized that we are here to follow our bliss, what makes us truly happy, and that the adventure we confront is our ticket to experiencing what it means to be fully alive.​

blissful journey

The essence of the journey entails an urgent call away from our everyday life and ordinary world to another, more exotic world, often an internal world.

Usually an inciting incident occurs that motivates us to explore this new possibility despite our initial reluctance. We encounter at just the right moment our mentor, who helps us cross the threshold into that new realm.

In this new world, we undergo tests, form alliances and combat enemies, approaching an inner chamber where we go through a foretaste of death, while discovering a whole new, transformed Self.

Often we receive a reward of some type that we carry back to us to share with our friends and family, becoming a guru or mentor ourselves. (The word “guru” actually means light bearer, one who holds the light forth for humanity).

Related topic: Who AM I?​

The Hero’s Journey Up Close

In brief, these steps are...

1.  Dissatisfaction with our ordinary world, as Luke Skywalker does at the opening of Star Wars.

2.  Receiving a call to adventure, as Luke does in receiving the holographic message from Princess Leia to join the rebellion.

3.  Refusing the call as crazy or much too dangerous.

4.  Meeting with the Mentor, as Luke Skywalker meets with the Jedi master, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

5.  Crossing the Threshold, as Luke leaves the ranch after his parents are incinerated by the Evil Empire.

6.  Encountering Tests, Allies, Enemies, as Luke goes to the cantina and meets the motley crew of space explorers, including Han Solo, boards the StarCraft with Obi-Wan and learns to fight with a lightsaber, as does any good Jedi Knight.

7.  Approach to the Inmost Cave, which, in Luke’s case, is the Death Star.

8.  Undergoing a Central Ordeal, as Luke meets up with Princess Leia, and they, along with Han Solo, both get caught up in the Trash Masher.

9.  Claiming the reward, which, in Luke’s case, is successfully detonating and destroying the Death Star, which had threatened to annihilate the Republic.

10.  The Road Back, which entails returning triumphantly to the Republic Freedom Fighters.

11.  Resurrection, which, for Luke, entails being reunited with Princess Leia, whom we find out in a future episode, is his sister.

12.  Return with the Elixir, which for Luke, Han Solo and Princess Leia, is ultimate honor and acclamation by the Republic, and the dawning realization by Han that he is in love with Princess Leia.

Most of us will go through a series of stages in life much like this.

What This All Means To You

You may feel that you are very, very far from being Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia in the ultimate sci-fi epic. You sure wish that you had one of their Jedi lightsabers! However, you have the ability to receive inspiration and become who you were truly meant to be and return to your world.

As Campbell once said: “Follow your bliss. Find it where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.”

Each of us is human AND divine. The journey is all about discovering our divinity, and the power of love to awaken that divinity in everyone within our own world.

Joseph Campbell referred to being a “master of two worlds,” or, as Jesus Christ put it, being “in the world, but not of the world.”

Nobel Prize-winning poet, T.S. Eliot, in Four Quartets, wraps it all up this way:​

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, remembered gate

When the last of earth left to discover

Is that which was the beginning…

T.S. Eliot

Are YOU following your bliss?  Have you figured out your life map? Share with us in the comments area below.

perception
Jun 24

Your Perception of Reality Is Holding You Back

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you every tried swimming upstream against the current?

You most likely found that it took every ounce of your energy just to stay where you are without slipping backward. 

The whole attempt is remarkably inefficient, because you are going AGAINST the flow, rather than with it.​

The question is… does it have to be this way? Are we being inefficient because we might not be aware of how to work or dance with this cosmic energy?

Things are not as they appear to be. The world is not made of things as we normally think of them… rather everything is a continuous flow out of nothing.

The ancient Chinese called it the Tao (the way). Mother Nature describes it in very paradoxical language:​

The Tao is empty

When utilized, it is not filled up

So deep! It seems to be the source of all things

It blunts the sharpness

Unravels the knots

Dims the glare

Mixes the dusts

       ... for more Tao Classics click here...

Mystical Reality

The pioneering Austrian Physicist, Dr. Fritjof Capra, studied at the University of California in the late 1960’s and got caught up in the counterculture, when the Hare Krishna chanters first made their imprint on American culture.

He had a mystical experience on a beach that opened him up to a whole new model of reality.​

Dr. Fritjof Capra said....

I was sitting by the ocean…watching the waves rolling in and feeling the rhythm of my breathing, when I suddenly became aware of my whole environment as being engaged in a gigantic cosmic dance.

Being a physicist, I knew that the sand, rocks, water, and air around me were made of vibrating molecules and atoms, and that these consisted of particles which interacted with one another by creating and destroying other particles. I knew also that the earth's atmosphere was continually bombarded by showers of "cosmic rays," particles of high energy undergoing multiple collisions as they penetrated the air...

As I sat on that beach…I "saw" cascades of energy coming down from outer space, in which particles were created and destroyed in rhythmic pulses; I "saw" the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in this cosmic dance of energy; I felt its rhythm and I "heard" its sound, and at that moment I knew that this was the Dance of Shiva, the Lord of Dancers worshiped by the Hindus. Original source....

Invisible and Everlasting Flow

Dr. Capra had fallen under the growing influence of Eastern mysticism emerging on such leading campuses as Cal Berkeley when the image of Lord Shiva, came to mind. Shiva is often captured in a gorgeous bronze statue dancing, holding his arms up high in syncopation to the rhythm of the Universe.

It is believed that every pulse of life is an expression of His movement through time, transforming the visible into the invisible, and the invisible into the visible. Everything is in perpetual flow. There is only the dance.

​Dr. Capra then seized on the metaphor of the Tao for his runaway best seller, The Tao of Physics, in which he first disclosed the new paradigm (or model) of quantum physics that nothing is really “out there” in the conventional sense. That all is pattern and interrelationships, or interconnections.

He drew on extensive research into particle physics where infinitesimal patterns collide with each other in high-energy tunnels, leaving only a pattern of fireworks.

We never actually see the actual particles, themselves, only their footprints.

The traditional notion that everything is made out of atoms and molecules, interacting like billiard balls, with electrons rotating around the nucleus as planets around the sun, falls apart as an adequate description of the physical universe at its most fundamental level.

Dr. Capra, in his best-selling follow up, The Turning Point, maintains...​

At the subatomic level, matter does not exist with certainty at definite places, but rather shows “tendencies to exist” and atomic events do not occur with certainty at definite times and in definite ways, but rather show “tendencies to occur.”

Your Perception Becomes Your Reality

In 1990, Dr. Capra released one of the most provocative indie films ever made, now playable on YouTube, Mindwalk, where a poet, politician and physicist walk around the enchanting medieval island of Mont Saint-Michel, just off the coast of France.

In the movie, they dare to explore ultimate questions like, “What Is Reality? and “What Is Life?”. In the impassioned discussion, it is revealed that the so-called particles that come to mind are actually removed from one another in “vast regions of empty space.”

It turns out that the only thing holding so-called “reality” together is interconnections. This is true, not only for rocks and water, but also for life, itself.

Everything is related to everything else in an infinitely complex web of vibration, much like a stupendous cosmic dance.

reality perception

Mindwalk goes on to explore the practical implications of this. The characters address the severity of our ecological crisis (today much more pressing), wondering what action an American President could possibly take to resolve these issues.

The protagonist, Sonya Hoffman (Liv Ullman), is an expatriate physicist from Germany who had dropped out when the US military appropriated her laser device designed for medicine for use in the Star Wars program. She continually harps on a crisis of perception.

We simply don’t see things for the way they really are, because we habitually dwell on the individual parts, mistaking them for the whole. We literally can’t see the forest for the trees.

Dr. Capra firmly believes that it is possible to see the whole, itself, as the fundamental reality, with all the individual objects, whether rocks, trees, animals or people, as patterns in the Infinite. Human being, conscious of being conscious, are able to see that their true identity is the Universe, itself. The Source of the Universe is expressing Himself through each of us AS US.

Dr. Chapra calls this, Systems Thinking, which, in subsequent years, has gained increasing recognition in both academic and professional circles, including fields as diverse as medicine and organizational change.

Impact of New Reality

How does this impact us as individuals?

We too often go through life taking offense at other people, blaming them for making life hard. We think that we can fix it all by using force to stop it. We refuse to take responsibility, as it seems all too obvious to us that the other person is “out there.”

When we awaken to the truth that it is all “in here” (within), we can begin to smile and surrender to the way that it is, going with the flow.

If someone is upset with us, we can admit that we have something to do with it, that we inadvertently shaped his or her behavior. By eliminating all blame, we reduce the resistance. We align with the other person, much as an Aikido master, so that, should he come at us, we skillfully deflect and neutralize his energy.

When we really get it, not just in the head, but in the heart, we will stop swimming against the river and start going with the flow.

We will become much more efficient, getting much more done with a lot less effort. The Chinese have a word for this, Wu Wei, or effortless effort.

Related topic: Finding Inner Peace and Happiness

It is significant that Dr. Capra’s work has had a vast influence, shaping President Clinton’s thinking around “the new paradigm.” (Bill Clinton ran for President just a year or two after the release of the film. It is known that he is highly literate.)

Just as we once thought the sun revolved around the earth, and then accepted the opposite, we can shift over from feeling we are a useless spec of dust in the outer world, to the realization that the entire Universe comes out of the totality of our being, that nothing happens totally by chance.​

ego mind
Jun 22

How to Lose Your Ego Driven Mind

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever gotten upset with someone or something and totally lost it, right in front of the very people you love the most?

It could be your spouse, best friend, even your boss. Perhaps you were a bit subtle about it. Rather than clobber those around you with a stick, or punch them in the face, you used words to beat them up. You frantically insisted you were right at all costs, that they were totally wrong and only you could see the light.

We have all been there.

No one is immune to getting angry and losing his or her cool. It is part of being human. What defeats us is getting all caught up in rationality. Obviously, if I am upset, it is because someone else caused it, meant me ill. Clearly they are wrong and I am right. I am always right…

That is the way to true insanity.​

Ego Driven Personality: Best Friend or Worst Enemy?

Our ego poses as our best friend, when, in actuality, it is our worst enemy. Although it is a total illusion, it can all too easily run our lives.

Our ego can assume many masks, even that of a nice guy or nice gal. Its essence is to see us as separate from everyone else.

It shows up through arrogance, impatience, greed, blame, stubbornness, mistrust and lack of authenticity. It invokes fear to move us into action, as if we were preparing to wrestle a tiger about to devour us.

Our mind is a wonderful servant, but a wretched master. And with it comes our ego.

We need our intellect to function in our high-tech post-modern world. We are encouraged to get an advanced degree, going for a Ph.D. if at all possible. The better grasp we have of words and numbers, both spoken and on paper, the greater value is placed on us.

Yet none of this has anything to do with happiness. The essence of hell is a sense of total isolation and abandonment. We trust no one and believe in nothing. There is not enough to go around, and we must get ours before someone else grabs our share.

I think you will agree with me here, that ego driven mind cannot create a prosperous and fulfilling future, because all of it’s flaws lead to a short term gain. Therefore, it is your worst enemy.

Your Ego Development: Three Selves

What’s the quickest way of recognizing and losing your ego? We begin to find our way out of this dilemma when we individually recognize that we have three different selves:

1.   Your mask: who you pretend to be with others.​
2.   Your shadow: who you fear you are… when facing the morning mirror.​
3.   Your Divine Self: whom we really are in our innermost being.
ego stages

On the surface is our social mask. We wear our mask to parties, interviews and dates where we put on our best act, showing ourselves in the best possible light. We know our best friends and enemies would never buy into it, but we are hoping new acquaintances will.

Right below the surface is our shadow self from which we try to hide. We face our shadow every morning, and those closest to us put up with this on a daily basis.

Our mask is consistently nice; while our shadow is consistently nasty. We feel rather hollow about ourselves and figure this is just the way things are. We want to do our rivals in, put down people who have mocked us and stand up for our rights in a world of selfish people.​

Both personas mentioned above function on the level of fake self and require a lot of energy to upkeep and maintain. And usually, we act them out subconsciously or unconsciously.

Most of us most of the time never get down below our mask and our shadow to discover our own innermost Self (our divine Self). This is the place where we don’t have to work at loving yourself and other people. This is the self that allows you to be and live on the highest level.

Very few of us get down to our core… intuitive and divine Self, where we ARE love. We see everyone as our mirror, and honor each person as a cherished gift.

We don’t need to justify a thing, because we have nothing against anyone. This is who and what we call “God,” and great sages, such as Sri Ramana Maharshi, suggest the entire universe is projected outward from this Self.​

It takes repeated probing into this divine Self before we are ready to dis-identify with our mask and our shadow.

We call this satori, or an enlightenment experience. We suddenly discover that we are the whole, that everyone we see out there is part of us in here (within you). We can do this through psychedelics, meditation, or a powerful religious experience, usually one of divine love.​

Ego Trip: Play God or Be God?

We begin to realize that we always have two choices: To PLAY God, or to BE God.

Playing God is to pretend that our isolated self, our body and mind, is the only thing that truly matters, and the other people who are “out there” are accessories to be manipulated in order to get our way. This is the Law of the Jungle: Kill or Be Killed. We take ourselves seriously, never laugh, and relish being RIGHT.

Being God is to realize that we are all of it… that our nametag, history, body, personality and mind are only our piece in the game to let us play with others.

We are not a pawn on the chessboard, but the entire game. Therefore, the Golden Rule:  Do unto others what you would have them do unto you, makes total sense. Since the other players ARE YOU, your loving them is actually loving yourself.

Your ego-driven mind is unconscious and highly reactive; whereas your divine mind in conscious and highly responsive.

The more you realize the ego-driven mind makes you increasingly miserable, feeling increasingly isolated from others…no matter how much money or outward power you accumulate, the more ready you are to let it go.

You HAVE an ego-driven mind, but you are NOT that mind. You begin to witness the drunken monkey within you rattle on. At some point, you may even crack a smile.

Catch yourself playing God sometimes. Notice when you start wearing a mask or living through your shadow self subconsciously… Let go if it (them all) and shift gears.

Lose those heavy chains that keep you locked up like a prisoner. It is time to live… through your divine self… the REAL you… and experience life differently…full of inner peace, joy, love and adventure.​

presencing
Jun 20

Presence: Listening to Your Inner Leader

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever come up with an insanely great idea to change the world, but you were unsure how to get started?

It might be a commercial project or a form of social entrepreneurialism. You have a network of friends, but need direction, not only in assembling a mastermind, but also in driving the process.

When we think of contemporary world-changers, we are most apt to think of people like Elon Musk, who, not only helped pioneer PayPal as a digital payment system, but also opened up housing, the automotive industry and space exploration. It is no ordinary entrepreneur to transform multiple industries with companies such as Solar City, Tesla Motors and Space X.​

Of course, you must work hard and throw your whole self into the project with every fiber of your being. But what about the social dynamic?

How do you galvanize teams so that you can tap into a higher intelligence and synchronize your efforts like a finely-tuned precision instrument?​

Presencing the Future

Dr. Otto Scharmer, Founder of MIT’s Presencing Institute, has developed a whole new framework that he is offering the world through his online courses.

Dr. Scharmer developed Theory U (the system to change unproductive patterns of behavior) over decades, teaching hundreds of students in this elite technology institution.

You can watch Dr. Scharmer explain his Theory U and Presencing in the 5 minute video below…​

When he perfected his theory, he decided to open it up to the entire world, and is now broadcasting these courses through the Internet.

From every continent, over 50,000 students have signed up, forming their own experimental groups. We are not just talking about Europe, North America and Japan, but Africa, Latin America, India and China.​

Awareness and Social Transformation

Dr. Scharmer is convinced that social transformation requires deep listening, breaking out of our habitual mindset, which he calls downloading.

The Voice of Judgment is a formidable block to developing and perfecting new ideas, followed by the Voice of Cynicism and the Voice of Fear. We have to begin by opening up our mind, then our heart and finally our will to whole new possibilities.

This opening up of our faculties requires surrender within a group context, best achieved by deep listening. We go from hearing the literal words as symbols to the living experience behind those words.

We start with our ego at the center of the circle, and then move to the edge of the circle “out there” to another’s position. We suddenly break out of the circle and leap over to where the other is, such that we ARE that other. Ultimately, we together define a much larger circle.

We are looking at a much deeper layer of awareness here, which goes way beyond a personal level of existence. As I see it, we grow and build from a higher consciousness… as “we” – not as “I.” This type of awareness comes with a lot of power behind it, which can create greater impact as well.

Like Buddha, who is said to have awoken everyone he met to their highest possibility in this life, in this incarnation, Dr. Scharmer encourages people to go deep within to imagine their highest Self, and that of everyone in the group.​

awareness

He also invites them to ask what is their work in life, NOT their job, but their purpose for being here in this dimension.

Dr. Scharmer calls this presencing, which refers to our ability to sense and bring into the present one’s highest future potential, both as an individual and as a group. We find this most often in romantic love and religious experience. To achieve this within a business or government context is revolutionary.

It is no accident that Dr. Scharmer was influenced by Zen Buddhism and gestalt psychology, as well as a variety of postmodern schools of thought.

He was originally inspired by Germany’s antinuke and green movement in the 1980’s. He sees a form of meditation or contemplation absolutely requisite to the process, of connecting to the Source.

You must arrive at nothing before you can clearly see a whole new future emerge.

From there, we can move from letting go (or surrender) to letting come, moving from crystalizing the new vision to prototyping it hands-on to performing it.

He uses such words as suspending, redirecting, enacting and embodying.

What becomes apparent is that Dr. Scharmer has freed the profoundly spiritual from the supposed monopoly of the world’s religious institutions. He has taken God out into the streets with the intent to start a world revolution, born, not of hate, but of love.​

Awakening Presence Within

How, then, can you personally get started?

I would recommend that you read his book, Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies.  You can also go onto his website where you can play all his videos, and personally reach-out to his community. Most likely, you will be able to sign up for one of his EdX offerings, or play back an earlier one.

In summary:​

  • Come up with a really big idea, one so exciting it keeps you up at night.
  • Recruit half-a-dozen friends that you respect, admire and with whom you would really like to play.
  • Recruit a mentor or two, possibly even a future board.
  • Pick up a copy of Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich.
  • Get out and participate in things/events that can shape our future – for example, vote, as the stakes in the world are now much too high to do anything less.
deja vu theory
Jun 17

Deja Vu: Haven’t I Been Here Before?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever met a lovely lady or a gentleman for the very first time, perhaps in another state, or even another country, and felt certain that you had already seen her/him before... perhaps gone out with her/him in another lifetime?

This may be more than an idle fantasy.

Déjà vu is French for having seen someone or something before. It is a disquieting feeling that you have been somewhere before, despite having no evidence that this is the case.

It is not a trivial feeling, but an overwhelming feeling. You know with every fiber of your being. When you see that woman/man or see that place, you feel totally at home without being able to explain why?

Over 60% of us have had this feeling before in one form or another. It has been recognized as such for over 150 years.​

What Causes Déjà Vu?

One theory or another has been advanced to explain it, from the occult to neurophysiology. Yet no one seems to have arrived at the definitive explanation, despite dozens of highly sophisticated attempts.

The most popular explanation is that we have many lives, and that this situation is a flashback from another lifetime, much like a time warp. Hmmmm. Possible.

In the West, we find the notion that we have life after life highly comforting. Ironically, in the East, this is not welcomed, as the whole thrust traditionally has been to transcend the phenomenal world, rather than being caught in maya, or illusion.

A more profound approach is the realization that each one of us is all of us. That we, as individuals, reflect one another.

Everyone you meet is your mirror. Everyone and everything lies in the sphere of our consciousness. This is true, not only of apparent space, but also of apparent time. I AM everything that is, everything that ever was and everything that ever will be.

Each one of us is a context, or space, for everyone and everything that we experience. Ultimately, there is only the Context of All Contexts, Whom and What we call God (the Supreme Intelligence).​

Constant Déjà Vu

Actually, all time and space is happening right now, in the eternal NOW moment. It is moving slow as Now…Now…Now, as the eternal pulse of being, much like a dance.

In order to fully relish this dance, this story, this play, this movie, we chose to incarnate, to take on a body and accept apparent limitation.

We experience this as a lifetime. We build a whole world around our choices. The world isn’t ultimately “out there,” but rather “in here.” Within.

Just like virtual reality, it is a lot more fun to be immersed in the drama. When things get too scary, we can choose to wake up.

However, from time to time we can remember a certain set of possibilities that we have already seen or experienced.

In truth, it is all happening right now.​

There really is no past or future. Yet, in order to function, we need to experience changes in a linear fashion.

Related topic:  Can the Human Brain Create Consciousness?

The Déjà Vu experience is a delightful validation that we are more than we take ourselves to be.

From time to time, we need to wake up in order to have perspective in our lives. This a very romantic and enchanting way to do it.

As the Nobel prize-winning poet, T.S. Eliot put it in his Four Quartets:​

Words move, music moves... 

Only in time, but that which is only living can only die.

Words, after speech, reach into the silence.

Only by the form, the pattern,

Can words or music reach

The stillness, as a Chinese jar still

Moves perpetually in it stillness.

Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,

Not that only, but the co-existence,

Or say that the end precedes the beginning,

And the end and the beginning were always there

Before the beginning and after the end.

And all is always now.

T.S. Eliot

Have you ever experienced Déjà vu?  Share your story in the comments area below.

coincidental events
Jun 15

When Is a Coincidence More Than a “Coincidence”?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever thought of someone, perhaps a cherished friend whom you hadn’t seen in ages, who calls you at that very moment right out of the blue? You wonder how he or she even found your phone number.

Or perhaps you decide to wear a purple blouse, and everyone you run into seems to be wearing the same color?

We often operate out of the assumption that our everyday experiences are random, that we are all on our own, and that it is useless to seek a pattern in events.

It takes a truly remarkable coincidence, or better yet, a whole string of coincidences, to accept the possibility that our lives are orchestrated in a way that we can scarcely imagine.​

A Hidden Pattern

The great mythologist, Joseph Campbell, in his 80’s shared with Bill Moyers, in Power of Myth, that his life had a hidden pattern that he didn’t detect earlier.

People would enter and exit at just the right moments to make events unfold that carried him to his destiny. Joseph could never have intentionally set it up to dovetail the way it did, yet it became increasingly apparent that this was what actually happened.​

Spontaneous Synchronicity

Dr. Deepak Chopra, in his Synchrodestiny video, as well as his book, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, narrates what he calls “Double Whoppers,” a series of highly amusing stories in his travels where he gets exactly what he wants, meeting just the right people who keep opening up amazing possibilities, and where he is highly valued and appreciated for bringing them just the right thing at just the right time.

Deepak offers the example of flying over South America where a lady was studying meditation, heard of his reputation and was overjoyed to be sitting next to him. Deepak, who speaks no Spanish, had just come from a sound studio where he had recorded a meditational tape in Spanish through extensive coaching of the staff. He was given a master tape for his own reference, and then handed it to the lady saying, “This is just for you.” The lady burst out in tears of gratitude.

Dr. Chopra goes on to suggest that if we have an open heart and mind, we will begin to notice coincidences in our lives.

As we pay attention to them and ponder their meaning, thoughts, ideas, and people will shortly emerge that will give them context. The more attention we pay to each coincidence leads us to further coincidences. He suggests keeping a journal to this end.

Related topic: Inner Peace: Escaping The Squirrel Cage

Just to stretch your mind a bit… here is a short video of Richard Dawkins explaining Why Coincidences Are Meaningless.

Coincidence, as a psychological phenomenon, was first popularized by the great Swiss psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Jung, who came up with the term synchronicity, where two or more events come together without any obvious causation, but which are perceived as highly meaningful, like a message from the Almighty.

Can coincidence be synchronicity… where you are actually being the experience (itself) of events (which may or may not be related) while at the same time, their occurrence together has significant meaning to you… as an observer?

In my opinion, synchronicity cannot be coincidental. The events in synchronicity cannot happen by chance; where as in coincidence they do… happen by chance. If things seem to be coincidental to you they hold no meaning.

In other words, if you undergo a group of random events they are considered to be coincidences. As soon as these events become meaningful to you (there is a message in them or they speak to you in some way) – that’s synchronicity.​

coincidence

Your Coincidental Destiny

In the early 1990’s, James Redfield picked this up in his landmark bestseller, Celestine Prophecy, where a series of coincidences are a catalyst for the protagonist to embark on a sudden trip to Peru to uncover a great mystery entailed in The Nine Insights.

He ends up in the sacred mountain palace, Macho Picchu, where the final secret is revealed, that as human beings move into higher and higher energy states, our bodies will transform into spiritual form, uniting the physical dimension with the after-life.

Redfield sees everything in terms of energy, and that when that energy is stepped up, it becomes sacred, awakening us to our own divinity.

Coincidences are signposts that the Universe provides to lead us along the way to our ultimate destiny.

By asking what each one means, we begin to experience romance, enchantment and adventure. We are lifted out of the ordinary to fulfill our ultimate potential.

I met James Redfield, and his wife, Salle, at their world premiere of Celestine Prophecy Movie in San Francisco, California. In his conversation with the audience, James shared his own conviction that nothing happens entirely by accident, that there is a right time to do anything. As I stepped out of the movie theatre into the night, I looked at everything around me for possible signs.

Create Your Own Coincidences Consciously

The best way to get started in this adventure is to ask the Universe a vital question, the answer to which would make a major difference in your life.

This could be whether you should marry a particular lady, pursue a certain major in college or start a new job. You find that rational analysis leaves you undecided. You require direct access to a higher wisdom than you can normally muster.​

You could try something like the following:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Let your thoughts settle down.
  • Ask a leading question.
  • Clear your mind.
  • Let the Universe speak to you in its own way.

Sometimes God speaks to us through an inner voice, even an outer voice in special circumstances. Most often, God speaks to us through other people and situations. Coincidences are a delightful starting point to begin your own conversation with God.

Why not ask an important question right now?​

who am I
Jun 13

Who Am I?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever wondered deep down inside yourself who you really are? Are you just your nametag, your wardrobe, your story, your neighborhood?

Are you just this character that keeps popping up out of bed morning after morning to go shower and put on her makeup?

WHO AM I? is the most fundamental question that you will ever ask yourself, tantamount to asking What is truth? You can’t really arrive at a final answer to this question without asking if there is a God, or what is the Universe. This question is the basis of all philosophy, and no theology has relevance apart from it.​

What Am I? versus Who Am I?

We need to ask What am I?, as well as Who am I?, to make any real progress.

What am I? is a lot easier, as it entails being a human being with a specific name, family, cultural background, country and occupation. What am I? addresses your body, personality and intellect. From that standpoint, you are simply one person in a world of other people. What am I? points to your story.​

Who Am I?, however, points to your ultimate identity. You need to look within to get a handle on that. You can answer What am I? entirely by looking outside yourself in the phenomenal world in which you play every day. Who am I? refers to your Self behind the scenes, your innermost being.​

Beyond You – The Big Picture

In a way, you and I live in the Universe of Doing AND the Universe of Being simultaneously. However, most of us spend more time in the Universe of Doing, which creates a perfect imbalance and makes our experiences (of our lives and who we are) move in a downward spiral.

The key is to find that perfect balance… between the Universe of Doing and the Universe of Being. A healthy balance of both worlds will help you find your inner peace (more on this subject click here).

Now, let’s zoom out even further and look at the bigger picture.

The Universe of Doing represents our story (not only you and I but the whole humanity). We like to call it the MagaStory. And the Universe of Being represents our dream (that is for the most part unknown to us, but we are all involved in creating it). We call it the MegaDream.

Now, let’s look at each individually.

On the highest level, we all live in a magnificent dream (the MegaDream). Everything and everyone is consistent within that dream, which has its own unique set of laws, such that you don’t jump off high buildings and expect to survive.

Every particular dream intersects with every other dream in one great dream. Ultimately, we come to realize that there is but a single dream and a single dreamer, the Universal Self, Creator of the Universe.​

Let’s have a closer look at the MegaStory.

We all live within a story where each of our stories intersects every other story in one great story. This story can be interpreted as literature, art, music, drama, or even as a movie.

Like any good film, you need characters, setting, period, theme and plot elements. Its purpose may be to entertain, educate or even enlighten. It can be any genre you want. Could this be a divine romance? That is what the world’s most popular religion suggests.​

Experience Who Am I While Starring in Your Own Movie

Within this context, I can understand myself as the Creator within His creation, where I am everyone and everything I encounter. You are an individualized expression of me, and I of you. I define myself in relation to you, and you me.

Without contrast, we couldn’t play together. We can see this as one giant play in every sense of the word.

We are here to play, or have fun, which requires action. Play requires an individualized self in order to stay in the drama interacting with other individualized selves. We are also here as recreation for our Universal Self.

Imagine a gigantic film projector in a vast auditorium that fills the whole earth with everyone in the audience also on the silver screen playing their respective parts on queue. The light that shines through the lens is pure consciousness, and the film is divine mind.

existence

Enlightenment on both an individual and collective level consists of coming to realize that we are the audience, as well as the actors and actresses on screen. The movie could have been shot eons ago. It doesn’t matter. We are enjoying it RIGHT NOW.

The whole trick is to re-enter the movie, the play, the stage, conscious that you are acting, that you are intentionally creating, then play all out.

For example, the great American boxer, Muhammad Ali, has been recently honored after his passing for being a multidimensional man who singularly gave his all and lived to his fullest. Rather than hold back, he consistently lived all out.

In essence, we are both the Universal Self AND individualized selves.

In order to have a game, a play, in order to make celestial whoopee, we had to divide ourselves up. The Creator had to become the creation and totally forget Who He was, in order to fully get into the play.

However, the play can be so scripted that the characters, one by one, and then, at the grand climax, all of them together, remember Who they really are. A game of entertainment becomes a game of enlightenment.

Discovering I AM Through a Greater Story

If this is so, then we each need to honor ourselves as divine, no matter how we look or dress, despite any perceived limitations. We are essential to the script, to the play running smoothly.

Our Universal Self deliberately assigned us from Central Casting to take on this particular role at this particular time in the drama. We soon realize that the play is not strictly about us as individuals, but rather, about our collective and Universal Self.

From here, it only makes sense to love one another, as every character on the set is another facet of Who we really are. By choosing to make this a love story, and a divine love story at that, we inject romance, enchantment, wonder and mystery to the story.

We depart our preoccupation with survival to make a difference, to make the whole production work. However the play goes, whatever another character attempts to do to us, it was scripted in advance. Whatever we do in response, was also scripted by the screenwriter and director.

We can decide to loosen up and relax. We can let it roll by playing all out. For example, if you want to put an end to environmental destruction, by all means, go and do it. It is perfect that you become an activist and play on the big stage.

Whatever your choice, remember, there is no business like show business! Show up... and in the process you will discover a greater I AM that I AM.​