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Zen Pathways to Enlightenment

 From The Zen Experience by Thomas Hoover

There is a Zen legend that a bearded Indian monk named Bodhidharma (ca. 470-532), son of a South Indian Brahmin king, appeared one day at the southern Chinese port city of Canton, sometime around the year 520. From there he traveled northeast to Nanking, near the mouth of the Yangtze River, to honor an invitation from China’s most devout Buddhist, Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty. After a famous interview in which his irreverence left the emperor dismayed, Bodhidharma pressed onward to the Buddhist centers of the north, finally settling in at the Shao-lin monastery on Mt. Sung for nine years of meditation staring at a wall. He then transmitted his insights and a copy of the Lankavatara sutra to a successor and passed on—either physically, spiritually, or both. His devotion to meditation and to the aforementioned sutra were his legacies to China. He was later honored as father of the Chinese Dhyana, or “Meditation,” school of Buddhism, called Ch’an.

The first patriarch of Zen, Bodhidharma’s pathways to enlightenment:

There are many ways to enter the Path, but briefly speaking, they are two sorts only. The one is “Entrance by Reason” and the other “Entrance by Conduct.”6
 
The first of these paths, the Entrance by Reason, might more properly be called entrance by pure insight. The path advocated seems a blending of Buddhism and Taoism, by which the sutras are used as a vehicle for leading the seeker first to meditation, and then to a nonliterary state of consciousness in which all dualities, all sense of oneself as apart from the world, are erased. This is an early and eloquent summary of Zen’s objectives.
 
By “Entrance by Reason” we mean the realization of the spirit of Buddhism by the aid of scriptural teaching. We then come to have a deep faith in the True Nature which is one and the same in all sentient beings. The reason that it does not manifest itself is due to the overwrapping of external objects and false thoughts. When one, abandoning the false and embracing the true, and in simpleness of thought, abides in pi-kuan [pure meditation or “wall-gazing”], one finds that there is neither selfhood nor otherness, that the masses and the worthies are of one essence, and firmly holds on to this belief and never moves away therefrom. He will not then be guided by any literary instructions, for he is in silent communication with the principle itself, free from conceptual discrimination, for he is serene and not-acting.7

Bodhidharma is given credit for inventing the term pi-kuan, whose literal translation is “wall-gazing,” but whose actual meaning is anyone’s guess. Pi-kuan is sometimes called a metaphor for the mind’s confrontation with the barrier of intellect—which must eventually be hurdled if one is to reach enlightenment. In any case, this text is an unmistakable endorsement of meditation as a means for tranquilizing the mind while simultaneously dissolving our impulse to discriminate between ourselves and the world around us. It points out that literary instructions can go only so far, and at last they must be abandoned in favor of reliance on the intuitive mind.8

The other Path (or Tao) he described was called the “Entrance by Conduct” and invokes his Indian Buddhist origins. The description of “conduct” was divided into four sections which, taken together, were intended to subsume or include all the possible types of Buddhist practice.
 
By “Entrance by Conduct” is meant the Four Acts in which all other acts are included. What are the four? 1. How to requite hatred; 2. To be obedient to karma; 3. Not to seek after anything; and 4. To be in accord with the Dharma.9
 
The first Act of Conduct counseled the believer to endure all hardships, since they are payment for evil deeds committed in past existences.
 
What is meant by “How to requite hatred”? Those who discipline themselves in the Path should think thus when they have to struggle with adverse conditions: During the innumerable past ages I have wandered through multiplicity of existences, all the while giving myself to unimportant details of life at the expense of essentials, and thus creating infinite occasions for hate, ill-will, and wrong-doing. While no violations have been committed in this life, the fruits of evil deeds in the past are to be gathered now. Neither gods nor men can foretell what is coming upon me. I will submit myself willingly and patiently to all the ills that befall me, and I will never bemoan or complain. In the Sutra it is said not to worry over ills that may happen to you. Why? Because through intelligence one can survey [the whole chain of causation]. When this thought arises, one is in concord with the principle because he makes the best use of hatred and turns it into the service of his advance towards the Path. This is called the “way to requite hatred.”10

The second Rule of Conduct is to be reconciled to whatever comes, good or evil. It seems to reflect the Taoist attitude that everything is what it is and consequently value judgments are irrelevant. If good comes, it is the result of meritorious deeds in a past existence and will vanish when the store of causative karma is exhausted. The important thing to realize is that none of it matters anyway.
 
We should know that all sentient beings are produced by the interplay of karmic conditions, and as such there can be no real self in them. The mingled yarns of pleasure and pain are all woven of the threads of conditioning causes. . . . Therefore, let gains and losses run their natural courses according to the ever changing conditions and circumstances of life, for the Mind itself does not increase with the gains nor decrease with the losses. In this way, no gales of self-complacency will arise, and your mind will remain in hidden harmony with the Tao. It is in this sense that we must understand the rule of adaptation to the variable conditions and circumstances of life.11
 
The third Rule of Conduct was the teaching of the Buddha that a cessation of seeking and a turning toward nonattachment brings peace.
 
Men of the world remain unawakened for life; everywhere we find them bound by their craving and clinging. This is called “attachment.” The wise, however, understand the truth, and their reason tells them to turn from the worldly ways. They enjoy peace of mind and perfect detachment. They adjust their bodily movements to the vicissitudes of fortune, always aware of the emptiness of the phenomenal world, in which they find nothing to covet, nothing to delight in. . . . Everyone who has a body is an heir to suffering and a stranger to peace. Having comprehended this point, the wise are detached from all things of the phenomenal world, with their minds free of desires and craving. As the scripture has it, “All sufferings spring from attachment; true joy arises from detachment.” To know clearly the bliss of detachment is truly to walk on the path of the Tao.12
 
The fourth Rule of Conduct was to dissolve our perception of object-subject dualities and view life as a unified whole. This merging of self and exterior world Bodhidharma calls pure mind or pure reason.
 
The Dharma is nothing else than Reason which is pure in its essence. This pure Reason is the formless Form of all Forms; it is free of all defilements and attachments, and it knows of neither “self” nor “other.”13
 

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The Nature of Thought

This topic came to mind when I was reading an article in Shambala Sun Magazine written by a person diagnosed with OCD.

When paying attention to your thoughts, they should appear as gentle impressions, not words.  The impression is a feeling sense which can be accompanied by an image or impression in your mind which feels like you are trying out the idea mentally.  As an example, if you think about music, you may have a gentle feeling sense of sitting with headphones on listening to your favorite songs.  If you are hearing words in your mind, it is because you are either talking to yourself, as in inner dialogue, or you are imagining talking to someone else.  Important:  if you are not consciously talking to yourself or someone else in your mind, and you still hear ‘thoughts’ as words, then a non-physical entity is expressing thoughts in your mind.  In this instance, try talking back as if you are talking to someone else who is generating those thoughts.  

Mindfully watch your thoughts to see if they answer back.  If you receive unexpected images in your mind which seem out of place, then they may be coming from someone else.  These someone elses are people currently not incarnated in bodies, but who exist as conscious beings like we do after our bodies die. The universe is populated beings such as ourselves in a less physically sense form.  These beings are more commonly experienced via channelling, such as Abrahams-Hicks.  They can perceive our reality by interacting with humans (which are the same type of beings, but currently embodied) and looking through our eyes or looking at the images we generate by looking.  They can also perceive through the eyes and bodies of animals.  They consist of people who were human at one time and who possibly have never been human.  If they are interacting with your consciousness, which can include your subconscious, you will perceive thoughts they want you to hear and images they want you to see.  By watching your mind and perceptions carefully, you can tell if an outside thought or image appears.  

For Example:  OCD (Shambala Sun Mag), Matt Bieber

“An OCD cycle typically begins with intrusive thoughts—unwanted, painful ideas or images that invade my consciousness, triggering profound fear and anxiety. This is the “obsessive” part of OCD, and it can arise anytime. Sitting here typing, for example, I sometimes feel modest pain in my fingers, and my mind kicks into gear: You’re typing too much and causing permanent damage to your hands. Feel those little irritations at the second knuckle of your left ring finger? Those are the harbingers of arthritis.

Then tension begins to build, and I feel as if I will drown if I don’t take immediate action. Here’s where the mental terrorists make their demands. Type slower. Put your wrist guards on. Stop typing altogether. Then you won’t have to feel this way. These are the OCD “compulsions”—ritualized behaviors meant to alleviate anxiety.

The whole process is immensely confusing, in part because I don’t have a handle on the source of my intrusive thoughts. Some of them do bear at least some relationship to reality—repetitive stress injury does happen—even if the fears and risks I imagine are unlikely. Sometimes, however, the intrusive thoughts part company with reality entirely. While putting my glasses on, for example, I might imagine that I’ve inadvertently scratched my eye with my fingernails. A whole host of potential repercussions is generated: an inability to read or write and finally, blindness itself. Terrified, I scan my memory. Do I remember any contact between my fingers and my eyes? Did I feel any pain? The fear flooding my system distorts everything, and I find myself unable to recall events from even a moment ago.”

If something feels like an intrusive thought, it probably is.  The fear comes in because it seems to be a part of you that is completely out of your control.  But it may be as simple as thoughts coming from another consciousness that is communicating with you.  If you establish a recognition that the thoughts are not your own, you reject them and address them as if they are coming from a visitor, then you gain more control over your own thought process.  The thoughts may seem negative because you are fearful and the interaction becomes one based on fear.  The consciousness communicating may be someone trying to bother you, which comes in the form of, ‘he hee, let’s play with the unaware person and see his reaction’.  I’m sure there are also positive interactions, but people don’t usually call it a disorder and take medication for those.  They may call it inspiration. 

The fact remains that we are eternal beings and once we release ourselves from these bodies, we still exist.  Some people remain attached to human life and want to interact with humans, but humanity doesn’t interpret these interactions as with anything other than themselves.  That is why psychological disorders exist, such as multiple personality and OCD.  We do not accept, as a common part of human life, that we are consciousnesses that are a part of a universe filled with consciousnesses that are both as physical as we are and less physical.  People who have very negative interactions with less physical beings call these beings demons.  Demons are basically dead people or consciousnesses that have never bee human who want to torment a human and possibly possess him.  Possessing would be done in a way similar to channelling where the other consciousness will come in and share your head with you.  You can actually perceive the other awareness looking.

If humanity can integrate the concept of interaction with all levels of reality into our Earthly paradigm of existence, we would reduce the fear of death, the fear of psychological disorders, the fear of the unknown, and increase awareness of our own minds, thought processes, and continued interaction we have even after incarnating.  We just need to become aware of it and mindfulness training is a great way to do it.  

Carry water and chop wood is a zen example of the path to enlightenment.  I believe this is so that you have simplified your life and slowed it down so much that you can now observe your every thought and impression.  Sometimes you may catch one that wasn’t yours.  Sometimes one may answer back.  

What do painful emotions really mean?

This is a great summary of what you need to pay attention to when beginning to become aware of yourself in order to become in alignment with yourself. Being out of alignment means you are betraying yourself and your emotions are your feedback. Thank you to Midnight Blahs.

Midnight Blues

I’m currently reading an intriguing book on the topic of authenticity and emotions. I’ve transcribed some passages that spoke to me and that I felt could help many others. Please find the bibliographical information in the footnote below.


Authentic power is alignment of your personality with your soul. Creating authentic power is dramatically different from the pursuit of external power.

The creation of authentic power is a lifetime endeavor. It requires becoming aware, moment by moment, of what you are feeling and the decisions that you are making. The creation of authentic power confronts you with the most unhealthy parts of yourself- the parts that blame,criticize,judge,resent,envy, and hate others, yourself, and the Universe. These are the parts that must be uncovered,acknowledged, and changed. They are also the parts that most want to change others rather than to be changed themselves.

Changing your life does not mean getting…

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Duality and the Split Mind

HOW WE APPEAR
• The identity I project to the outer environment
• Who I want you to think I am
• The facade
• Ideal for the world

WHO WE REALLY ARE
• How I feel
• Who I really am
• How I am an the inside
• Ideal for self

– Joe Dispenza, “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”

The mind is split between loyalty to the ego and yourself.  Your consciousness and the ego form the duality.  The ego is the you as you define yourself with a body, the I that you compare and contrast yourself against everything that is not yourself.  The ‘inner being’ that reflects your true self, or ‘higher self’, is the you that you feel when you look out at life while forgetting yourself.  To experience this version of yourself, you would be so absorbed in what you were paying attention to that you are focused on your experience of it rather than watching or feeling yourself experience it.  These two ways of experiencing yourself is the duality or split mind.

This split is referred to as the separation.  At some point in our existence, we decided to explore, ‘I’, and began perceiving life from the perspective of our own identity.  This need to define ourselves, contrast ourselves with all external things and beings is the source of the ego.  Our bodies enable us to perceive ourselves.  Without them, we would just experience without perceiving ourselves – we would just feel ourselves and explore who we are through interactions with others.  The others would perceive us based on their experience of us, but we would not be paying attention to how we appear.

Seeing ourselves via a body has led to a fascination with ourselves to the point where our existence is now defined by defining who we are.  Without bodies, or even with a body, but without perceiving via the ego, our existence would consist of experiencing interactions.  We would discover ourselves by discovering our preferences resulting from interacting.  With the ego, we are not exploring our true selves, we are trying to define ourselves, limiting ourselves by trying to fit ourselves into a pre-defined mold (like ‘I am a person who…’).  Without the ego, we would just say, ‘I like that’ or ‘I prefer something else’, not ‘I am that’.

Because of our focus through bodies, we are constantly in conflict between pleasing our ego, or need to define ourselves, and following our highest excitement that aligns with our true selves – the consciousness that perceives through the body.  Our minds are split between loyalty to one or the other.  Our deepest desires come from our souls, our true selves.  Our desires born of life in physicality which sees all as separate, considers only the ego, the ‘I’ you talk about as yourself to others.

This separation is only an illusion to enable us to experience the idea of being an isolated, completely autonomous being.  It is an illusion because our consciousness consists of energy that is connected to all life.  Consider that we live immersed in the conscious energy of God.  This alone connects us to an intelligence that is connected to all life.  Whether we perceive it in bodies or not, our consciousness shares thoughts and the energy of emotions with every interaction.  Our bodies die, but we live.  This illusion of separation and the bodies that make it possible gave us a new paradigm of mortality. Our souls know we are immortal.  Our ego knows we are mortal.  This is one of the primary conflicts that plays out in religion and is a source of fear.

Giving ourselves the illusion of separation makes us feel cut off from God, Source, the communion with life, the communion with the true selves of every person we interact with.  All emotions stem from this conflict with the exception of love.  We cannot experience real love until we shed our ego selves.  We come closest to this with the experience of having children and loving them without thinking of ourselves at all.

The goal of mindfulness is to return to a recognition that we are not our bodies.  That our minds are the source of how we feel.  That our minds are only sane if we think as beings that are bodiless, but are just using bodies to perceive physicality, not to define ourselves.  To do this we need to interact with our attention fully on whomever we are interacting with so that we are not aware of ourselves – how we appear, who we are in comparison, etc.

To become our true selves, we must essentially ascend from the perception of ourselves as individuals separated via bodies.  We must stop identifying ourselves.  We must let go and follow our hearts, our souls.  This is very difficult to do if you are enjoying life here with your current identity.  That is why a rich man finds it impossible to get into heaven and why so few people become ‘enlightened’.  Letting go of identification seems like letting go of a distinction of yourself as compared to others.  But there are people living among us without ego identification that are unique individuals as examples of how we don’t lose a sense of ourselves.  We gain a love of ourselves because we are finally living according to our preferences, without judgement and with love.  It is interesting to ask someone who does not identify with the body, ‘who are you?’.

Some quotes:

“The ego justifies this on the grounds that it makes you seem “better” than they are, thus obscuring your equality with them still further.”

“Do not allow the body to be a mirror of a split mind. Do not let it be an image of your own perception of littleness. Do not let it reflect your decision to attack.”

‘You dream of a separated ego and believe in a world that rests upon it. This is very real to you. You cannot undo it by not changing your mind about it.’

“The separation is merely another term for a split mind.”

“It is solely a device of the ego to make you feel different from your brothers and separated from them. The ego justifies this on the grounds that it makes you seem “better” than they are, thus obscuring your equality with them still further.”

“Do not allow the body to be a mirror of a split mind. Do not let it be an image of your own perception of littleness. Do not let it reflect your decision to attack.”

“A split mind is endangered, and the recognition that it encompasses completely opposed thoughts within itself is intolerable. Therefore the mind projects the split, not the reality. Everything you perceive as the outside world is merely your attempt to maintain your ego identification, for everyone believes that identification is salvation. Yet consider what has happened, for thoughts do have consequences to the thinker. You have become at odds with the world as you perceive it, because you think it is antagonistic to you. This is a necessary consequence of what you have done. You have projected outward what is antagonistic to what is inward, and therefore you would have to perceive it this way. That is why you must realize that your hatred is in your mind and not outside it before you can get rid of it; and why you must get rid of it before you can perceive the world as it really is.”

“God gave you the real world in exchange for the one you made out of your split mind, and which is the symbol of death. For if you could really separate yourself from the Mind of God you would die.”

“You cannot trust your own love when you attack it. You cannot learn of perfect love with a split mind, because a split mind has made itself a poor learner. You tried to make the separation eternal, because you wanted to retain the characteristics of creation, but with your own content. Yet creation is not of you, and poor learners do need special teaching.”

“In a split mind, identity must seem to be divided. Nor can anyone perceive a function unified which has conflicting purposes and different ends. Correction, to a mind so split, must be a way to punish sins you think are yours in someone else. And thus does he become your victim, not your brother, different from you in that he is more guilty, thus in need of your correction, as the one more innocent than he. This splits his function off from yours, and gives you both a different role. And so you cannot be perceived as one, and with a single function that would mean a shared identity with but one end.”

“Until the “separation,” which is the meaning of the “fall,” nothing was lacking.”

“A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct. This sense of separation would never have arisen if you had not distorted your perception of truth, and had thus perceived yourself as lacking. The idea of order of needs arose because, having made this fundamental error, you had already fragmented yourself into levels with different needs.”

Separation = a detour into fear

Letting Go of the Past

T- 13.VI.5. The miracle enables you to see your brother without his past, and so perceive him as born again. His errors are all past, and by perceiving him without them you are releasing him. And since his past is yours, you share in this release. Let no dark cloud out of your past obscure him from you, for truth lies only in the present, and you will find it if you seek it there. You have looked for it where it is not, and therefore have not found it. Learn, then, to seek it where it is, and it will dawn on eyes that see. Your past was made in anger, and if you use it to attack the present, you will not see the freedom that the present holds. – A Course in Miracles

This is dedicated to everyone we know in our lives with whom we have ever had an argument and now hold a less than ideal version of them in our minds.  Today is the first day I ever met you and have forgotten all past interactions, acknowledging that I never really looked at you when we were arguing so I wasn’t really interacting with you.  I was interacting with my own attitude.  Now I would like a second chance to know the real you.  I’m looking forward to our next encounter.

The Body and the Mind of God

The body and mind are co-creators of the physical incarnation of human consciousness. The body decays and dies without the nurturing energy of the human consciousness. You could say it dies when the attention of the human is withdrawn.

The body then is not made of the human conscious energy, but it, like everything within our perception is made of conscious energy. This is what quantum physicists learned when exploring the behavior of quantum particles and have termed ‘the observer effect’. For interesting reading, see ‘The Self-Aware Universe’ by Amit Goswami. What is this conscious energy that we co-create with?

Every human is interacting at an intimate level with conscious energy that is not their own via the body. Call this energy God. It’s as if we exist in the mind of God, the mind of a nurturing being that expresses love through what we perceive as ‘life’. Gurus like Mooji talk about observing your thoughts, stilling your mind and becoming aware of an observer watching the observer. Who is the observer behind the human observer?

To conceptualize, try closing the eyes (and I say ‘the’ because the body is a separate expression of life, not of our own consciousness) and becoming aware of everything around you. Every feeling sense you detect. Expand this awareness to include your immediate area, your block, your town, country, Earth, solar system, etc. This will take use of your imagination, which itself is inspired by the conscious mind of God. This expanded awareness simulates the all encompassing awareness of the conscious energy in which we exist.

Every interaction we have in these bodies is with the expression of this Mind – all of life, including us. We also express with our conscious energy in a co-creative manner. All the time interacting with God. If we open ourselves to this interaction. In acknowledgment that we are sharing every thought and experience we have with another sentient being, then everything has meaning. Everything is potentially an expression of Love. For God it is his expression of his love for life itself, including us. This being is a nurturing energy. Life always prevails and adapts. If we are his creations as well, he is like our parent. We are immersed in his supportive energy, never alone, never unloved.

Sunset At The Pier

I’m learning to paint as part of my artful meditation.

IMG_0847.JPG

The Body, Mind and Ego

The ultimate aim of the ego is not to see something, but to be something.
-Muhammad Iqbal

In a previous post I mentioned how the body is for communication and perception of the world and others.  People use the body to communicate with eachother and to interact with everything around them.  Because of this, it is easy to see why one might confuse their identity with the body.  But the true person, the one you see when you look into their eyes, exists independently of the body.  It’s the person who exists after the body dies.

The mind exists independently of the body.  Meditation enables people to access the mind while letting go of the body for awhile.  The mind thinks and the thought it thinks about are not necessarily ones that originate from the thinker.  Thoughts are of energy and to some extent, people are telepathic, but at a level beyond conscious awareness.  So thoughts can be received instead of originating within your own mind.  This can be inspiration and if accepted, might as well be thought of as your own thought.  The point of this is to illustrate how people are not the thoughts they think either.  They are not their body, they are not their thoughts.

They are their conscious mind which processes thoughts plus their soul.  The mind may even be considered as part of the soul.  The identification with the body leads to the ego.  The body mind is the ego mind.  When you think, ‘I’, and put you attention on yourself, you feel your body.  That is the ego.  When you put your attention on someone else and think ‘I’, you feel a different resonance.  

This leads to a very useful exercise.  Make a statement beginning with I and see how you feel resonance with the body,

Then,

Put your full attention on someone else, whether in imagination or not, and restate the sentiment while looking at them.  

Feel where the resonance is and how it changed.  The body resonates with the ego (when you think I with attention on yourself), and the mind and soul (you) resonate when your attention is outside of yourself.  Your essence is more truly expressed when you interact with your attention away from yourself and the ego, you are “in the zone” of yourself.

Karma, Soul Contracts and Self-Determination

There is nothing more dis-empowering than a spiritual ‘expert’ telling you that your problems are due to a soul contract and there’s nothing you can do about it.  It may be that your circumstances suck, but you still take control of your life by taking control of your mind.  If things seem to be out of control, then your thoughts about what is going on are being mid-managed.  When your ‘soul contract’ karma shitstorm is in full swing and you are being made to feel like you deserve it so suck it up and learn from it, the only thing within your immediate control is how you respond to it.  

You might recognize that you don’t deserve it, in the sense that you are a bad person that needs to learn a lesson, but you need to claim responsibility for your behavior and attitude that may or may not have contributed to it.  The idea of Karma suggests that there are no innocent victims.  Even children are fulfilling appropriate punishment from something they did in a previous incarnation that they deserve.  This mindset creates a callous outlook toward people who are suffering, giving them a ‘you earned it’ attitude.  Unfortunately, if it is some kind of payback, the complete lack of awareness of what they are being punished for makes the ‘lesson’ ineffective.  Karma ‘lessons’ would only work if the person in the midst of it was aware of what they are supposed to be learning.  This requires an attitude of, ‘well I deserve it since I am a sinner.’  So new age karma aligns well with the biblical, ‘we are born sinners’ philosophy.

A more healthy, empowering viewpoint is gotten from completely disregarding the past, looking at things as they stand right now, and deciding to take full responsibility for your life.  You may currently be receiving the short end of the stick, but who know what led to this point since you weren’t really paying attention (especially if it happened in a previous life).  It is my belief that our subconscious minds are filled with all sorts of good stuff left over from previous life experiences.  If we do not examine our behavior, responses, and thoughts carefully to understand what may be lurking in there, we may find ourselves living the same shitty circumstances over and over again.  If you find yourself responding in an unexpected way to something that, after careful review, might have seemed benign, but was transformed into a future karmic lash back because you were in full swing, unthinking reactive mode, then there may be a subconscious issue you have not examined.  The new age recommendation may be to settle into a meditative Yoga pose and channelling some uplifting energy while clearing the mind, but this leaves you without any understanding of what happened.  

When an unexpected, unpleasant response emanates from you, just stop, take a look at what was going through your mind, at what emotion you were feeling, and at what you were expressing.  Sit down and do a post-mortem slowly and deliberately.  Turn the scene over in your head to see it from the other perspective as well as yours.  What triggered the response?  If you can pin-point this, then you can trace that back to why the response happened and what belief is causing it.  We all have beliefs buried within our subconscious, safely out of our awareness, so that we seem out of control of ourselves sometimes, wondering why we are behaving as we are when we don’t want to be.  

Instead of calling our unpleasant circumstances Karma, we can call it subconscious programming and take back power into our lives.  Anytime we find ourselves in an unpleasant situation, you can decide consciously to change the course of your life.  Soul contract is to value ‘life’, not suffering.  No one needs to suffer if they decide they no longer want to suffer.  Your soul contract is to manage your mind appropriately so your soul doesn’t suffer.

Creation and God

T- 6.V.C.9

“Truth is without illusions and therefore within the Kingdom. Everything outside the Kingdom is illusion. When you threw truth away you saw yourself as if you were without it. By making another kingdom that you valued, you did not keep only the Kingdom of God in your mind, and thus placed part of your mind outside it. What you made has imprisoned your will, and given you a sick mind that must be healed. Your vigilance against this sickness is the way to heal it. Once your mind is healed it radiates health, and vigilant on God’s behalf. The ego speaks against His creation, and therefore engenders doubt. You cannot go beyond belief until you believe fully.”
– A Course In Miracles

Truth is a universal law or set of laws that applies regardless of belief.  Like the Law of Attraction.  Illusions are perceptions that result from beliefs.  Beliefs result from thoughts you keep thinking and experience.  Thoughts result from perception.  So illusion can be self-reinforcing.  To break free of an illusion, you to to apply conscious will to change a belief, by thinking new thoughts to create new experiences.  This re-inforces your new belief until it is some thing you no longer consciously think about and it recedes into your ‘subconscious’ mind.  Everyone one has a subconscious filled with unrecognized beliefs.  If you are happy, the beliefs are working for you.  If you are conflicted, you have a preferred belief arguing with your actual belief.  If you are miserable, you have beliefs that are betraying you. 

The ‘Kingdom’ referred to in the quote above is the physical reality in which we live.  The truths are the universal laws.  The physical reality exists due to the universal laws which can be regarded as the beliefs of God.  So say God is holding these beliefs as his truths.  He is like a person on Earth who created a society with a worldview, a thought system with a set of rules.  As he views his creation, he decides it would be nice to have someone to share it with and so has kids.  His kids are consciousness who for some reason we’re attracted to Earth to experience his world.  He loves his world and his kids.  He wants his kids to love his world or at least share in his love for it.  If they don’t, that’s ok because he loves them unconditionally.  They are free to be themselves, express themselves as they see fit.  It would hurt him to experience their rejection of him or his world, but as any parent would, he would still love them and wait for them to discover theirselves and eventually come to appreciate his world and him.  Like they did when they first decided to participate in it in the first place.  

In the quote, making another kingdom refers to the people who came into this world and rejected the rules, beliefs of the creator of it and made their own rules.  Their own rules were created from their thoughts which a rose from their perceptions, which formed beliefs and solidified illusions.  And are now self-perpetuating.  They are illusions because they can be changed with conscious will.  Maybe this world hurt and they weren’t use to hurt and so they fell out of sync with the unconditional love provided by the creator of it because how could he love us if this happened to me?  So their perception of this reality is now defined by their experiences which may have been misunderstood.  If you did not create this reality, then you do not have the knowledge and experience of the original creator to navigate it in joy.  Not until you start thinking like  a creator as opposed to one who looks to the original creator to take care of him or fix things for him, or just accuse him of creating a sucky experience.  The original creator, ‘God’ loves life, his creation, and matches that love with anyone who can feel it.

Think like a creator.  Think like an equal to God, as if you’ve finally grown up and you can look Dad in the eyes as an equal and say, ‘thank you, Dad for bringing me into this world, for providing me with loving care and supporting me as I struggled to learn about myself.  I know now that we are brothers.  I hope you can love my creations as much as I love yours.’

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