Sunday, August 30, 2009

Catching a Glimpse of Oneness!

“ My question is this -- if Oneness is One and that means I am IT, why do I live such a limited life experiencing fear and separation?”

We are a Human Being and therefore seemingly live in the polarity of both Human and Being. It is this subject and object that have to be seen in their wholeness to get a glimpse of Oneness.
When we take a look at these polarities of Human (object) and Being (subject) we tend to identify with the object rather than the subject and it takes insight, intelligence, sensitivity and a ‘readiness’ to start seeing that the object, which seems tangible, solid and real is nothing more than ‘densified’ thought made real to our perception. In other words we live in mind.

What we call ‘soul’ is really mind and the world that appears so real and solid and material is nothing more than the One Mind making it seem so through the creation of senses.

Subject and object
We may well ask, “What came first, the subject or object?” or again we can ask, “What came first, Spirit or Thought?” and if we say, “It is Spirit that came first then thought followed…” then we are back in the same quandary of creation. When did matter start? When was the world actually created? In fact, when did it all start? Now you see, we are back in time.

Time and thought are synonymous.
When did time start? Could it be that it never started at all but was the creation of perception? How did perception start? Isn’t it mind? We can say that there is only One Mind and everything that seems to exist in time and space emerged from that One Mind, just like the great One big ocean creating waves from itself that seem to be separate, unique and different and yet all the same water. Are there really waves or just a movement emerging from the one big ocean? Do we have a mind that emerged from the One Mind or is it just a movement of this gigantic Mind that is collective and appears as individuals?
What if all this is just one big illusion that appears real? How can we find out and live from what is real? The next question is, “What is real?”

What is real?
Let’s stick to what seems to be obvious. We are here existing and we know it. This ‘knowing’ is in everyone, but who is it that knows this since everyone has that inherent capacity of awareness? Please see the difference between perception as our individual conceptual seeing and knowing from the ‘heart.’ This knowing that you exist is the ‘felt-sense’ of the Mind “I AM” that initially starts from the seeming individual framework. This ‘knowing’ that you exist is not a ho-hum subject but a “Wow! Gee Whiz” recognition. It is collective Mind recognizing its existence just like, as an example, a wave knowing it’s a wave because it is imbued with the ocean’s knowing. This Self-recognition is the wonder and mystery of existence. When we take it for granted then it is known as a state of ‘sleep’ and when we see its grandeur then we can say it is a state of ‘awakenness.’ When we look at the ‘obvious’ we have to arrive at the only conclusion – Oneness!
Oneness is limitless
One can never say, “I realize Oneness fully” simply because that very statement would erase the very one who said it. Oneness is a fact, and no matter how we look at it, or NOT look at it, we eventually awaken to the fact that it is the only ‘thing’ that answers every question and resolves every ‘problem.’
When people complain and say, “I am confused” or “I can’t seem to understand such questions as…
“Do we have free-will?”
“Do we have a choice?”
“Is there purpose to life?”
“What is the meaning behind existence?”

These are questions that every intelligent ‘person’ would ask and will not receive an ‘answer’ because such an ‘answer’ does not exist in mind except in Oneness. As long as you have the slightest belief that you are a separate person then these questions will elude you. The moment you start ‘seeing’ (knowing) that Oneness is Truth and Truth Oneness then here, probably for the first, you will see clearly what free-will, choice, purpose and meaning truly mean.

An ‘awakened’ teacher might say there is no free-ill, no purpose, no destiny and no choice since there is no ‘doer.’ That teacher would be correct. And hearing this we would feel helpless, hopeless and discouraged until we ‘see’ the truth that there has never been a wave to the ocean but the same water appearing in ripples.
There is no individual person separate from Life; there is only Life appearing as human. Therefore, look at the other side of the coin and for just a moment, for just one moment, see how grand you actually are. There are no waves to the ocean but ripples of its expression. There are no separate people in life but humans appearing as expressions of this One Life. Now stop and see that you are LIFE itself and therefore everyone you see is also. Your very awareness by which you experience life is the same, the very same, awareness that everyone else is. The seeming difference lies in perception, which is individually conditioned. And, please do not confuse perception with awareness. Awareness is the knowing of presence whereas perception is individual separate and conditioned seeing. As we recognize that we are pure awareness (Presence) then that very recognition ‘purifies’ or refines our limited perception so that we see a little clearer. And, there is no limit to our clarity. This clarity is known as unconditional love. The more we recognize Oneness, the more love awakens until like Jesus we become pure love.

Cause and Effect
We do not deny our individuality but simply ‘see’ it as our limited perception of what-is. In fact, it is through this acceptance of how things appear to be that we start ‘seeing’ how they truly are.
We start this ‘seeing’ by getting to know the experiencer. That is, who is it that experiences this world but the experiencer of it? If we have the courage we can move even deeper and ask, “How real is it what we perceive and experience?” It takes courage to ask that question sincerely because the very ‘asking’ is challenging to the ego conditioned perception. The ego (the seeming-separate individual) faces his/her conditioned state and is often frightening if not horrifying. The average ‘person’ deals with such confrontation by escaping, ignoring or simply (if intellectual) by finding logical excuses not to do it.

Assuming that you are sincere in your quest for what is real (which is Oneness) then you are faced with this question – who is this experiencer called Burt, Susanne, Karen? None will come to mind and understandably so. However, our honest inquiry will lead us to the obvious statement – we came from a cause. This cause couldn’t have a beginning because if it did then there would be another cause to have caused it. Now we come to the deeper conclusion “This primal cause had to be Causeless (beginningless and, of course, endless).” This automatically brings us to the question of time since the Causeless Cause (from which we came) has no beginning and therefore timeless. So, we have to see here that our natural state is timeless and causeless. Isn’t this enough to blow your perceptual mind away?

This Causeless Cause is the Source. And, since it is the Source of all then it is Oneness. Everything is interdependent, interconnected and interrelated to this One Source. Isn’t it logical to call this Source Oneness or that which is Real? Therefore this Cause produced an Effect, in other words, Spirit became visible as matter. Is matter Spirit then? What would you say? After all, all matter emerged from pure energy, and since all emerged from the same One Source then everything must be the Source in its natural state! Cause and effect are one!

Here’s the big question then – when we look at a form, what is making this effect seem real when it is the result of pure mind energy? Cause (Spirit) and Effect (mind) are One Source or Oneness.
When Einstein came out with the theory of relativity he pointed out how everything is relative to Light (Source). For example, when you walk in the sun your body casts a shadow, and so in this case the body is the source of the shadow? The shadow appears real even though one dimensional because cause and effect are one.
Now if we have seen how cause and effect are one then we also see that the world we see is the result of thought (perception). Just like when you dream at night and it seems real and vivid, yet when you wake up you see it was all a creation of mind. How real is this world you see about you? Isn’t it a creation of mind since in this case your mind created it?

If you have some insights about this then we can move on a little deeper how everything is One and that’s Oneness.

The frustration of human life
The human seeks meaning in life, why? The human seeks purpose and strives towards it. The human believes it has free-will, choice, control. This belief is inborn in the human, why? Look a little deeper into Oneness and you will begin to have insights. Just keep open as you read.
When we seek through the world, which is a creation of mind, we expect to attain our goals and find meaning but unfortunately even after a full lifetime one ends up believing the worst and hardness of heart, cynicism and sadness become one’s lot. It is not whether there is purpose, meaning or free-will but what are they? Why are we all the same? As we mature spiritually and explore as we are doing here we will find that the answer lies in Oneness. The human chases the Being unknowingly thinking it is chasing after some tangible goal in the world of illusion until it finally wakes up and finds it is a dog chasing its own tail. It is Oneness we are missing.

We believe we have many choices and, one after the other we find it is not what we wanted. One day we wake up and discover we never had any choice, and it is then that we discover our true choice – Oneness itself. We pursue goals with the hope of finding some meaning to our life ending up in disillusionment and unhappiness after years of struggle and seeking. Finally, hopefully we wake up and discover that the real meaning we were after was Oneness itself propelling us towards itself.

Polarities are one
Polarities meet in Oneness when you begin to see that everything you made real in this world was nothing. However, the moment you realize that everything is nothing then that nothing becomes everything to you.
We begin to experience oneness when we emphasize the nothingness; the emptiness of everything and see Spirit as the Source. It is in Silence and a tranquil mind that everything is revealed. When we cling to objects or effects rather than Source spirit then we lose everything and end up negatively empty, tired, old and deprived of life. When we go after the Source spirit as the truth of Being then we find we have everything.
The human ego wants everything and will end up empty, frustrated and futile. When, on the other hand, we realize we have no choice then we discover the one true choice which is Oneness and then have everything. Oneness is everything, does everything and appears as everything and yet it is but pure Spirit.

We have a choice between ego mind or spirit. If we choose ego-mind as most people unconsciously do then we live in fear and guilt that will haunt our dreams in both day and night. We’ll feel overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, unhappy and lost. When we choose nothingness (spirit) then we have everything we truly wanted above everything else…we had found ourselves.

The greatest ‘practice’
What is the greatest ‘practice’ for experiencing Oneness? There is only one direct way and it has been called LISTENING to what-is or FORGIVENESS. They are both the same ‘practice.
Please watch the video clip titled “The Great Secret” – here’s the link…

How do we listen? There are two voices inside us. The first voice is of the ego and all reactions, impulses and first words often come from ego. This is the conditioned perception that has seemingly molded our life into thoughts and emotional feelings. We really believe this is who we are. When I receive questioners about emotional suffering there is one thing everyone has in common in asking it – they thoroughly believe that what they are emotionally feeling is real. Statements like…
“Of course my depression is real!”
“How can you say that my emotional drama is not real?”
We do not realize that everything we feel emotionally is what we have bought-into through thought. It was this realization that created the founding of cognitive therapy – “People do not feel negative because they are depressed – they are depressed because they believe their negative perceptions.”
Ego acts like a robot based on its past and its beliefs according to how it feels about the world and itself. This voice believes in ‘wrong’ and often says to itself, “I don’t feel good enough” “I feel I am missing something” “I feel as if I have done something wrong without knowing what” “I feel a sadness without knowing its cause”
This egoic voice often takes over before we have a chance to see what we are telling ourselves. This is the voice of EFFECT. This is the voice of conditioning and brings about fears, anxieties and emotional suffering. And, it is all unreal and unconsciously created.

Then we have a second voice, which is the voice of the Holy Spirit. This is the true voice of Source and it speaks of love, happiness, win/win and balance. It understands your illusory pain and if you listen to it, it will help you to find strength.

We hear this second voice when we first allow our first voice to release itself and see it as simply conditioned automatic response and that we are in truth innocent.

This voice has no words but Silence, warmth, love, joy and harmony. It teaches us through pure feeling and not words. This is the voice of forgiveness.

Here’s how to start listening…
Take time daily to be still and just look at a tree as if for the first time and then listen to it. Sit on a bench or rock watching the sunset and just look and listen. Watch and listen to the break of dawn. In silence listen to a flower, to the moon at night, to the stars, to the bird singing and the rain falling and to the wind…just listen to what words cannot convey but the heart can feel. Then you will begin to feel a connection with all that is YOU…Oneness!! Recognition of Oneness does not happen through words but beyond them. It is in Silence and stillness of mind that our center starts resonating and recognizing its origin.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why do we seek Truth if it is true and already the case?

“Why do we seek Truth if it is true and therefore already the case?”
That’s the whole point. We keep seeking because we feel inadequate, insecure and incomplete. However, it is through understanding our seeking that we awaken our true nature which is complete, adequate and fulfills our every desire and meaning.

Let’s explore how and why we seek, and then, rising above seeking we see its futility and we find what we have always wanted.
Whether we realize it or not, we are always seeking love since love in its ultimate sense is the Oneness of all life.

The ways we seek love are the ways that guilt is built and have no idea, ordinarily, of this incessant seeking. We seek love through the need for approval; the need to be loved and appreciated; the need to be recognized as important; the need to be powerful; the constant need for attention (and this starts early in childhood); the craving for self-identity; the need to be better; the strategies and manipulations we use to gain advantage financially and socially; the hunger for knowing we are okay, feeling-good, have self-worth and so on – all these are the driving force of the human being towards his true Home called Oneness.

The unconscious drive to seek
The way we seek differ according to the type of sensitivity we have unfolded, for example, a physical-oriented person would seek sexual expression and/or physical contact. A mental-oriented person would seek communication, knowledge, information, being smart. An emotional-oriented person would seek security, warmth, love-relationship. A spiritually-oriented person would seek deeper meaning of love such as oneness, God, True Love and so on.

The paradox of seeking, which is the whole drive of the human being, is often unconscious. This drive is the very essence of being knocking at the door of its true goal – inner fulfillment or Home. While the human being cannot help this seeking, yet, it is this very seeking that creates all our dysfunctions due to the build-up of guilt inherent in the seeking itself. For example, one can’t help seeking love in any of its various ways simply because his/her nature is love knocking fo recognition. However, since the seeker is 95% unconscious to its acts, behavior, moods, emotions and thoughts there is the buildup in the subconscious mind that believes one is lacking love. The subconscious doesn’t know the difference between the real and unreal and produces (materializes) whatever we believe to be true. This means that we are telling our subconscious mind, “I need love because I lack it.” This is, of course, a lie, a great deception since it is our true nature of love (oneness) that seeks itself to bond with itself. Again, due to unawareness of this great truth, we feel we need love because we lack it. This lack-feeling creates a nagging hole in us that keeps saying, “I am not-good-enough” “I am missing something” “I feel incomplete but don’t know how” and so on. This is the guilt that emerges from seeking what we already are in our true nature.

What creates the problem?
What creates this problem? The ‘problem’ of guilt is created because we seek in the world what we already are inside us. Every act, thought, emotion and belief towards this need to fulfill a lack exacerbates our guilt – the feeling of being incomplete and not-good-enough. And, this is why every worthwhile teacher encourages us to look within for the ‘answers’ that can never be found in the world ‘out there.’ Also another reason why we can’t find the answers in the world is because the world is the creation of the mind. What we see in the world is what we have created in our own world.

Look at the world that seems so real and solid and you will see guilt in action – corrupt officials and governments; crime, violence, wars, dictatorships, and man’s inhumanity to man. When we look for answers ‘out there’ we end up frustrated, confused, bewildered, frightened and hopeless. We seek hope and meaning ‘out there’ where none can possibly exist.

Turning inward
When we start to awaken to our own seeking and its futility to bring us what we truly crave, it is then we start turning inward toward ‘answers.’ But then, we look for answers within the same way we did when we sought in the world. This is, of course, an inevitable process of conditioning. We believe that answers come in words and sentences. Our greatest ‘answer’ is One and it is known as the Silence of pure awareness. It is through this pure awareness that we find the meaning we had long overlooked for it is the Oneness itself.

We can’t stop seeking anymore than we can stop breathing, however, our awareness of our futile seeking is itself a pull inward towards the Truth of our Being. Our seeking doesn’t stop altogether but reaches deeper and finer forms of expression until it becomes directed towards the One Love – our true Beloved, which is the Spirit Being. It is all we ver wanted and needed but didn’t know it.

You are a human being
You are a human being. The human is a seeker for the Being. Since you are already a Being, the human part of you is seeking itself without your surface self (human) knowing it. This unawareness or surface self is called ‘ego.’ Ego may seek knowledge, practice and study but it can’t see beyond itself to what is Real. In other words…

The human is the seeker in us but it eludes the human how all it is really seeking is the very Being that is itself appearing as human.

This unawareness of how we seek the Being (which is love) creates the emotional suffering known as unconscious guilt. There are nine ways how we seek the Being known as love or Oneness (one and the same thing). We will discuss these in a moment, but first let’s explore the most essential knowing, which is this –

We do not seek or learn spirituality since it is already who we are – we unlearn the unconscious guilt built through the seeking ‘out there.’ It is through the healing of guilt that we find the Truth.

There’s nothing to do but SEE!
When Gurus and Teachers tell their students to study or practice or do many various things to attain true spirituality, they are merely giving the student something ‘to do’ because it is the ego that believes in ‘doing’ rather than ‘being.’ When a student is ‘ready’ (and any teacher knows and sees that in a student) then there is no longer ‘doing’ but inquiry into the nature of why we have to do anything to unfold that which we already are. It is this inquiry that awakens the inner LOVE we already are and leads to the recognition of Oneness.
The best Inquiry I have ever seen was advocated by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, by Byron Katie and by the Course Workbook lessons. They ‘force’ you to look at what is obvious here and now and thus wake up from the guilt through knowing one’s true nature as innocence.

What is the unconscious belief that compels guilt?
What you are about to discover is so unconscious that you might have never even considered it, and it is this – it is the belief in wrong! It is so subtle and devious that the guilt in us forces us to pretend and deceive ourselves into believing there is no wrong so that we can indulge in it. Here’s one example, a woman asked me, “Sometimes I feel sad and I want to cry, there’s nothing wrong in that, right?”
My reply was, “Of course not, there’s nothing wrong in anything. However, the fact that you are sad and want to cry, although in itself is not wrong, yet it is a clear indication that you believe in wrong”. In other words, The need to cry is itself coming from the belief that something is wrong.

The belief that something is wrong or could be wrong is the lurking unconscious guilt that is always ready to deceive us and trick us. Another instance is the great power of forgiveness, which is the most effective way to rise above guilt, and then guilt uses forgiveness to keep itself feeling guilty – How? By going through the motion of forgiveness so that one can indulge in self-concern, self-pity or sadness and crying spells.
In hearing about this belief in wrong a woman asked during a session, “Now whenever I feel sad or want to cry I will feel even more guilty because I feel I shouldn’t!”
Another devious deception of guilt is this continual need to keep feeling wrong – there are no ‘shoulds’ in reality. There is only what you are feeling in the moment and then to look at it without going unconscious into its story or conditioned response. Guilt will try to force us to feel guilty for feeling our feelings. There is no wrong in anything! To repeat, there is no wrong in anything but the belief in it. Therefore, if the feeling to cry arises, do not stop it or think anything about it but simply take a deep breath and LOOK at it. See what is propelling it into its existence.

The story of the Garden of Eden is a tremendous good story about guilt when both Adam and Eve were naked (innocent) and the snake (guilt) compelled them to eat from the fruit of good and evil and thus they were thrown into suffering. It is a story how the ‘devil’ is guilt and engorges us with its influence to the point of believing we are it.

Meaning of forgiveness
The true meaning of forgiveness is this – seeing clearly that there’s nothing to forgive since the nature of life is innocence. It is the subtle unconscious belief in wrong that sustains our egoic preoccupation.
Guilt is the unconscious belief in wrong. This is a hard one for the human to fully comprehend because when it looks at the world and sees what is going on, it convinces itself in wrong, and this conviction happens because of the unconscious guilt itself. So you see here how devious and cunning unconscious guilt is! The world is as it is because of guilt.
If we looked with innocence and clarity we would see that the world is a mess because it is motivated, directed and propelled by guilt.
The greatest healing is learning the true art of forgiveness, which is the undaunted drive for the truth. Truth is innocence; it is the ‘now’ without a past or future just like the sweet child who sees only goodness. In Reality goodness, love, joy and happiness are the truth itself. This sounds like polyanna to the human ego but to the Being in you it is Heaven itself. Forgiveness is the only sanity because it sees only the true spiritual essence behind the appearance of evil. The word ‘evil’ is the reverse of ‘live’ and there is no life as long as there is the belief in wrong.

Byron Katie, one of the purest spiritual teachers in our world wrote, “Happiness is the natural state for someone who knows that there’s nothing to know and that we already have everything we need, right here and now.”

Another subtle deception of the spiritual seeker is the belief that they think they know Truth, as if Truth was ‘something.’ Truth is Spirit-essence; it is not information from a book but an inner peace that our true essence is Oneness. Truth is emptiness, Silence, peace, love, happiness. In an nutshell it is innocence.

The question arises, “Okay, I have read this before but what can I do if Oneness is the Truth—there is no individual doer?”
That’s it! There’s nothing to do but to allow yourself to see that you are guiltless and innocent despite the sadness and emotional turmoil that still takes over. There’s nothing to do but see the momentary deception as it happens, to look at it with innocence and say, “It is forgiven because it is not the truth of who I AM!”
This continual vigil arises from your sincerity and honesty and with repeated affirmations of forgiveness when guilt is experienced, it will eventually become such a part of you that grace will bring you the awakening of your Being.

The nine ways we seek
The following are the nine ways in which unconscious guilt builds. Do not under-estimate guilt. When someone commits suicide it is always the overwhelming guilt that finally commits that act. It leads to insanity, dysfunction and criminal behavior when guilt reaches its summit. It is important to note here that your true nature is guiltless. Guilt builds by believing that there is something wrong with you. It projects this guilt outwardly into the world and blames ‘others’ for this deep feeling of unworthiness. The love sought becomes self-hate and reaches for its own self-sabotage. We awaken when we see this grand delusion of humankind. This is the only human suffering.

The nine ways we seek love and bring guilt:

1. We seek to be good and right in what we do. This need to be right becomes more important than happiness itself. It leads to perfectionism and the feeling that we are never satisfied. The Course asks us, “Would you rather be right or happy.”

2. We seek love from others by loving them hoping to get approval and confirmation of our sweet nature. It never works and this need for approval becomes an overwhelming need for self-identity that haunts us incessantly.

3. We seek to achieve, accomplish and success becomes important to us. We have believed as children that getting straight ‘A’ in school guaranteed love of our parents and teachers. This brings shallow values and attachment to body and image.

4. We seek emotional affection and attention for our authentic nature. We want to be real and believe we are special. This brings bitchy behavior for not being understood.

5. We seek knowledge through information and we are proud of our basic intelligence. We also seek privacy and aloneness but suffer identity problems such as inferiority or inadequacy.

6. We seek security and are very loyal. We make everything either black or white, right or wrong and do not see the in-between. We usually develop paranoia. Many policemen, firemen, government officials belong to this level.

7. We seek optimism and have future hope and dream a lot. These people are often shallow dreamers and can often resort to drink or indulgence.

8. We seek power and control. These people are often aggressive and extrovert. They can be in your face and they seek control over others.

9. We seek peace and harmony. This seeking brings fear of conflict and thus often escape facing the truth if it entails facing anger in others and oneself.

All humanity belongs to one of the above ‘seeking-modes’. This seeking becomes our natural way of being in the world to the point of believing it is the way to be.
When we start challenging our needs and desires without any attempt to control them or even overcome them (which is NOT necessary) then they start to fall away by themselves through the light of ‘seeing.’
To discover what has been troubling you is a great step. To discover that it is all an illusion is an even greater step, but to start seeing how beautiful and innocent you really are despite the thoughts and emotions, then you have taken a giant leap towards your true nature.

“Happiness is the natural state for someone who knows that there’s nothing to know and that we already have everything we need, right here and now.” ~~ Byron Katie ~~

Note: If you have questions or need guidance then email me for a face-to-face Skype interview and to arrange the time and fee required.
With love, Burt

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Three phases of Spiritual Seekers

This article is dedicated to the sincere spiritual seeker who have not yet awakened to peace and inner-knowing enough to live the truth of their Being. In other words, if you still feel that you are confused, uncertain, frustrated or still get caught in your egoic world then you are in phase one.

Phase one is not only common but most seekers do not know anything else despite the fact that they think they know. Paradoxically, it is this belief in thinking one knows that blocks further inner experience.
Phase one usually lasts several years to a whole lifetime simply because he/she is intellectually driven (trying to figure out; make sense of what you read or hear; looking for answers where none exist.
Spiritual answers only exist in Silence, in utter emptiness and deep listening.

There are three phases:

1. The information gathering phase (which often lasts).
2. Application.
3. Direct experience of Source.

1. Information gathering: Actually many of these seekers in phase one already know all the words; have been or still are with many teachers; they have traveled the road to different teachings, teachers, ashrams and applied methods and techniques. The worst part of this phase is the belief that one knows truth and, it is this very belief that keeps phase one unchanged for many years.
I keep getting email questions of this nature, “I know the truth but I still don’t feel at peace.” The belief that information can change your life is so strong and unyielding that even intelligence is not enough to make you aware of it. Here’s a fact – there’s nothing to know about truth – Truth is Being!! If you are NOT living the truth in daily life then you do not know truth.

A true teacher does not talk about Truth simply because there is nothing to say, there’s only to teach what blocks you from truth and, that’s the belief that there’s someone separate who knows. It is only in inner Silence that we can live in innocence (Truth).

This phase is a difficult one because there is a lust for knowledge but at the same time one can’t settle for any teaching enough to commit oneself to it fully. There is restlessness, uncertainty, often depression, frustration and confusion. Words in reading are taken literarily and when teachers make contradictory statements or simply seem to conflict from teacher to teacher they end up confused and even bewildered. In other words there is no happiness nor peace yet and the ego is strong in wanting, needing, craving and searching.
Another paradox is that even though they find genuine teachings, there is no listening yet…just more information.
These three phases are really phases of learning to listen…not to words but to their heart-meaning. If they are honest with themselves they will at least realize (which is a big step) that their theology, metaphysics and including Advaita teachings has not given them peace or true lasting joy in life.

A beautiful statement from ‘A Course in Miracles” states “You are at Home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality.”
This statement, if truly listened to, can break the first phase but chances are it won’t because the gathered information says, “There is no doer.” And so after reading it there is the intellectual thought of believing that one has no choice. The truth is that there is no individual separate person but there is the interpretation which takes place all the time. When one suffers, it is simply because one is following his/her own conditioned interpretation of what seems to be happening. In a way it is an unconscious choice to suffer. This is the delusion of the separate phase one. They can’t seem to apply the heart of listening which is often confused with making sense or figuring out.

Breaking free from phase one
Breaking free from phase one is simpler than imagined simply because there is no doing but the choice of interpretation. Phase one people love to debate even argue as if truth consists of words. Truth is love, period. You can’t make sense of truth because it is whole, complete and timeless. It can’t be understood by the linear brain because it is an experience of the heart. In other words, truth is Oneness.
You start to break free from phase one by the following reminders…
1. There are no answers to life; there is only love and forgiveness.
2. There is nothing to figure out; to understand; there is only the Silence of the heart at any given moment.
3. Choose one teaching that resonates with you and makes you feel good until you are convinced this is the road for you. Then commit yourself to it.
4. Whenever you feel confused, uncertain, frustrated or anxious just stop for a moment, take a deep breath and forgive it. Forgiveness is a term often misunderstood but for now it suffices to use it as you know it.
5. Remind yourself that whenever you are unclear or confused then you are using your intellect which can only complicate things. If ever you are not happy with anything then you are not in your heart, simply forgive it. It takes courage to let go but moving to phase two requires breaking free from the addiction of seeking.

2. Application: This is the most important phase because it will make phase three almost direct and effortless. This means that you take everything you have learned intellectually in phase one and apply it. Application means LISTENING to it even if you have to repeat it often until you actually hear it. This is a form of subconscious deprogramming from the past conditioned hypnotic beliefs in limitation. You had taken words like Love, Joy, Oneness, Silence, glory, beauty, Heaven, meaning, Peace as separate words and gave them your meaning. Now look at them again and with closed eyes LISTEN to their ‘feeling’ in your heart. When you discover that all of them mean the same thing then you will start opening to oneness. All is One. There is no individual doer but there is interpretation. There are two interpretations in life. One is from ego conditioned belief systems and the other is the Oneness interpretation which the Course calls the Holy Spirit’s interpretation.
Ego judges, intellectualizes, fears, suspicious, holds on to beliefs, prone to reaction and negativity and pain. We interpret through the ego every time we are faced with something we don’t like. The Holy Spirit interprets anything we don’t like as something that-simply-IS! The Holy Spirit does not judge, does not condemn or blame nor tries to negate anything. It is ready to love, forgive and be at peace with whatever is. We can ‘choose’ either the ego or the Holy Spirit in any situation – we have that option. When we indulge in judgment or pain then we have gone back to phase one conditioning.
When we make use of phase two here then we are ready for the direct experience of Oneness.

3. Feeling one with Source: All debates and arguments and harsh judgments and self-abuse and self-sabotage including anxiety are now a form of history. You have opened your heart to the moment to the point of LISTENING direct to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the eternal “I AM” of you and is One with all. It is who you are.
You enter this phase by asking “who am I?” and realize happily that you have no idea who you are simply because the mind can never know what is beyond itself. This becomes your ‘answer’ as being the vast space, a clearing, a borderless being, pure awareness which is unconditional love. This is also experienced directly in daily life as Presence. It is at this point that you feel complete, at peace and unafraid of life or death.

NOTE: If you have inner conflicts and want to move beyond them then email Burt for a possible face-to-face Skype session. You can agree on a payment before the session.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How do I apply inquiry in daily life?

Someone wrote:
“You have written a booklet that touched me deeply entitled, ‘The Way of Clarity’ which is about Inquiry. I have been applying it but have met with snags. Would it be possible to write a booklet as part two giving practical examples of inquiry to daily disturbing questions? Thank you for your writings.”

It was a wonderful suggestion and what I have done was to pick the theme of the day’s email questions that people all over the world have sent me that day and briefly INQUIRE into each theme.

Here are a list of themes received today:

“I don’t like the way I am.”
“I can’t figure it out and I’m confused”
“I keep falling back into negative thinking”
“I suffer from anxiety-attacks”
“I guess I don’t love myself enough”
“I don’t believe in anything anymore.”
“I’m so skeptical that nothing can convince me.”
“I’m emotional and changeable”
“What can I do to overcome my fear”
“How can I change myself”
“You talk about forgiveness, but how do you forgive someone who betrayed you?”

What do all these questions have in common? Isn’t it the need to control, resist, overcome or an attempt to improve? Have these ever worked?
What makes us balk under these ‘living-questions’ and what is it that we are after? We feel a lack propelled by unconscious guilt. And, here is a fact that many people refuse to look at – everyone who has not realized their true nature of Being suffers unconscious guilt. When we get fed up easily, feel bored, lonely, restless and afraid it is the unconscious guilt behind it. Here is a shocking fact – unconscious guilt that feels like inner emptiness or the feeling of ‘not-being-good-enough’ wants us to fail at life. This unconscious guilt has been labeled ego or the ‘devil’ in us, but behind it all it is an aching drive for our true Home -- Our Being or Spiritual essence.

Inquiry is the fastest way to our true-Being-nature because it is the simplest way to forgive our unconscious guilt. Forgiveness is not something we do but something we see clearly – seeing our innocence. We do not forgive ourselves or another but simply fore-give (give forth) our narrow view for the greater expanded innocent view.

Depression, apathy, indifference, lack of drive and ho-hum thinking are the symptoms of unconscious guilt. Unconscious guilt looks at the question “Who am I?” with the attitude of “well, what’s the big deal?” whereas innocence says, “Wow! Gee Whizz! How grand!!” Sincere inquiry helps us to confront our biggest fears and see their innocence. It is through innocence that we awaken our Being-Nature.

As you read the following ask yourself this question, “Am I willing to see how my unconscious guilt is running my life in reactive thinking, negativity, anxiety and fears?” If your answer is an honest ‘yes’ then you are on your way to the truth of you. If you answered ‘No’ then that’s okay, just leave this booklet.

This booklet is divided into four parts…

1. The Truth about Innocence.
2. How the mind creates what we think about.
3. Unconscious guilt and why we have it.
4. Inquiry into our questions.

1. The Truth about Innocence
The spiritual life is the truth of you. The spiritual life is honesty and innocence.
What is Being? It is ‘to be’ with what-is! ‘To be’ is your innocence, your wisdom, your compassion and truth. Therefore to forgive means to ‘fore-give’ (give forth) into Being. Being is this moment without a story, without judgment or interpretation and to see what-is as it actually IS!

What is the mark of a truly spiritual being? It is innocence. Innocence has been said to be the highest wisdom because it sees no wrong but equality, oneness and love.
In order to understand what innocence is, we have to rise above our concepts of it. Some people think of it as gullibility, weakness and Pollyanna-mentality. It is strange that what we think of innocence is ordinarily quite the opposite of what it is.

The best way to grasp this most beautiful quality is through the recognition of what it transcends, which is the unconscious guilt that is part of every human being who hasn’t realized their true nature. Unconscious guilt has been covered up and misunderstood by using the word ego to explain it. Unconscious guilt is so unconscious that there is no immediate awareness of it except self-consciousness and a form of constant unease about oneself. All stress, anxiety, unhappiness, fear, bodily concern, worry and the feeling-of-wrong are symptoms of this unconscious guilt. Unconscious guilt reacts in self-defense, in talking too much or a continual feeling of self-concern. In brief, unconscious guilt is a pre-occupation with the body whether about its health or image. Underneath this self-concern or even self-absorption lies the nagging fear, “I don’t feel good enough” or the belief in somehow being wrong or have done something wrong or something going to go wrong.

When Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago he was the epitome of innocence and his teachings were focused on love and forgiveness, yet a religion was built around him that focused on sin and punishment. Could that have been helped? I don’t think so. The teachings were more focused on his example and were never meant to create a dogma. Yet a religion was created and inevitably so because unconscious guilt survives through control. It focuses on its own feeling of guilt by controlling others. Early Christianity was based on this focus of overcoming evil even though Jesus’ teachings focused on love and forgiveness to undo evil. Yet the attention on sin brought the very thing into greater focus and thus the vicious circle of control and punishment replaced the sweet innocence of love. What is fascinating about unconscious guilt is that the very people who condemn sin are the ones that suffer most from it and thus the religion of abolishing sin became the sin itself.

2. How the mind creates our illusion
The mind creates what it focuses on because its very attention on it manifests it. Our subconscious mind does not know the difference between the real and unreal. It simply creates whatever the conscious mind focuses on. I remember in the seventies there were two nutrition experts who wrote books on the prevention of cancer through proper eating habits. Both these experts died of the very thing they wrote against because their focus was on the very thing they warned against. The subconscious always manifests what we think about most. Just like the president who wanted to control and overcome terrorism and focused on it so much that he created acts of terrorism himself.

Here is an important rule of unconscious guilt – anything we try to overcome or resist will manifest in our life. Just like the man and woman who complain that people are mostly bad exhibit these very qualities themselves. Just like the policeman who is resolved to stamp out crime ends up destroying himself eventually. The suicide rate among policemen is not often talked about but it’s one of the highest.
“What you see is what you get” is a precise rule to live by. Therefore it is through what we pay attention to that either kills us or renews us and it is that simple. The true spirit of the human being is sweetness, light, goodness, love and forgiveness. These qualities are not assumed but a natural outcome from focus on spirit. Yet, despite the fact that we want what we already are, namely, love and happiness, we keep missing the boat due to the unawareness of unconscious guilt.

Innocence is one’s greatest strength and power simply because it is without fear. Innocence is utterly fearless.
Those who got to know the transformation of Byron Katie received healing through her innocence. There were cases of holocaust survivors who were able to forgive the Nazis through the grace pf Byron Katie and healed years of suffering and pain.
Innocence heals through its power to rise above fear and guilt and thus create a heaven on earth.

Just as the world teaches us about shrewdness, manipulation, clever tactics and ways to gain control and power, it fails to bring happiness and peace but encourages greater suspicion, ulterior motives, shallowness and inability to feel the inner beauty of joy. Why? The world is the dream of the mind that is devoid of spiritual-knowing.

3. Unconscious Guilt and why we have it!
Someone asked me, “Why do so many spiritual seekers suffer from guilt?”
You are a human being. The human is a seeker and appears real because of the Being. However, the Being itself is forgotten and so the human, focused on his seeking of the ideal state, forgets the true state of Being. In other words, things become as ‘they should be’ rather than the way they are.

Did you know if we accept the way things are we return to innocence?
It is our attempt to control, resist, overcome, change and try to improve that creates emotional problems and suffering.

The unconscious guilt is always pushing us towards self-protection and self-improvement because of this inner feeling of emptiness that is trying to fill. It is this very attempt at trying to fill this emptiness that hides the Being. Therefore, the unconscious guilt will ask, “If we do not try to improve or overcome our faults we will get worse.” This is the belief that GUILT places upon you. Ask yourself, “Has your resistance and attempts at overcoming or changing your fears worked?” Such attempts validate the guilt, which is the culprit in the first place.
Look at the list of statements and questions at the beginning of this article that people are controlled by, and, do you know what you see? Unconscious guilt had taken over.

In our attempt to be spiritual we lose the point. One time Gary Renard, who is the well-known author of the “Disappearance of the universe” quoted how so many Acim teachers miss the point by trying to understand the Course text and even allow arguments in their meetings. He emphasized that the major theme of the Course is forgiveness (which is innocence) and if they happen to argue than there is no happiness, no forgiveness and love.

In Advaita teachings it is emphasized that all is Oneness and therefore there is no ego as such. In this context many seekers attempt to squelch the ego so that they can experience the oneness and thus the opposite happens.

It is true that in every human being there resides an “I” felt-sense and we acquaint our name with it plus our conditioning. This is not wrong or bad but simply a natural result of unawareness. There is no need to look upon this felt-sense of “I” as something wrong but rather as something right. This “I” is what-is and therefore by knowing sincerely and openly what it really IS then we find that there aren’t “I” and Oneness but only Oneness appearing as an “I.”

Through inquiry we learn to shift from effect into cause. By taking everything as it is, exactly as it is and, accepting it as it is then we can expand it and find the truth of Being. It is in control, resistance, manipulation, by believing “how-things-should-be’ rather than how they are that we stumble and fall into a precipice.

The whole journey on earth has one purpose and that’s the return to innocence, which is true love and joy of Being.

A common question by many seekers is this, “I know the Truth but can’t seem to live from it.”
This question is an example of self-deception. In Truth there is nothing to know for it is this moment itself as it is. Living truth is how you live with what-is! If you try to alter it, improve it or change it then you are creating problems known as the seven deadly sins.

The key question is – why do we resist what-is? Isn’t it because we want to change it, improve it or control it and fail to LISTEN to what it is telling us at the moment (which we can only hear when we listen to it as it is). And the next question is, “why do we try to improve what-is or control it? Isn’t it because there is a deep dissatisfaction within us that believes change can bring greater happiness or peace or meaning? Has it ever? Now you get the picture of what unconscious guilt is – a deep feeling of void within. This void within is the result of not recognizing the truth of our Being. What is the Truth? It is this – the “I” that you believe is yourself is in truth Oneness.

4. Inquiry into our questions
Here are the questions again as given and addressed briefly and directly, but before we tackle each one remember that asking “why” or “how” is the guilt’s way to avoid the directness of it. The “why” is an escape from looking at the truth directly as it happens and “how” is our escape from responsibility. In ‘Being’ there is no ‘how’ but only ‘what-is.’

“I don’t like the way I am.”
What is the way you really are? Right now without your story or such labels as ‘like or dislike’ what and who are you? It is all a story that you have made real. Ask yourself how real that statement is. If it still appears real to you then you are holding on to it. What do you hope to gain from holding on to this belief? What would you be without that belief?
(see how unconscious guilt wants you to dislike yourself).

“I can’t figure it out and I’m confused”
What is there to figure out. Be clear. What is confusion other than two opposing sides…the truth and your interpretation?
What is the reason for holding on to it? What would you be without confusion? (guilt wants confusion)

“I keep falling back into negative thinking”
What falls back into negative thinking other than guilt? What is negative thinking. Take a good look at it next time it happens. Find out where it is happening and who is making it happen?
What is the reason for holding on?

“I suffer from anxiety-attacks”
What is an anxiety other than the question “What-if?” And, what happens as you keep resist it (hoping it goes away)? Sit with it because you have resisted it long enough it has become an attack. Look at the sensation of it without its story or label ‘anxiety-attack’ but just something that is happening. Take a deep breath and watch it as it takes place in your body.
Guilt has a field-day with anxiety.

“I guess I don’t love myself enough”
Who is the person you call ‘myself’ and who is the “I” that says ‘myself’? Sit with this feeling without its story or label and feel what is taking place. Where is the self that you don’t like? The moment you see the absurdness of this statement you are healed.
Also remember, guilt won’t like it when you look directly at it because then it dissolves.

“I don’t believe in anything anymore.”
What is a belief? Why do you need to believe anything? Either something is real or it’s not. What difference does it make whether you believe a truth or not, either it is true or it isn’t. Truth is not a belief – it just IS true!! (guilt likes to discourage you from looking deeply).

“I’m so skeptical that nothing can convince me.”
The same goes here as the above. Skepticism is not bad when you want the truth but if it closes your heart then guilt has won another round.

“I’m emotional and changeable”
Emotion is change itself. Emotion is ‘motion of energy.’ When we believe a thought it becomes an emotion (motion of sensation in the body). The more we make emotions real, the greater becomes our instability, changeability and weakness of character. Strength emerges from looking directly at our inner discomfort known as unconscious guilt. Emotions are not wrong when they are fully accepted as what-is.
Learn to put aside the stories that emotions carry and simply allow the feeling to be what it is.

“What can I do to overcome my fear”
What is fear? It is guilt thrown into the future bringing worry, anxiety, concern, what-ifs, problems etc. Experience the fear sensation when it arises without its story or label ‘fear’ and then as you look at it see what happens. Remember that guilt will try to prevent you from looking. Once you know this then it’s your choice.

“How can I change myself?”
What is change? Who is it that changes? Your thoughts change, your emotions change, your interpretations and judgments change but the truth of you never changes and it is always happy, loving and innocent. Instead of changing yourself BE AS YOU REALLY ARE and that will be an enormous change. Guilt wants you to be other than what you are and that’s why we get confused.

“You talk about forgiveness, but how do you forgive someone who betrayed you?”
You love the story don’t you? Guilt likes to dwell on past stories of pain because it gives a sick feeling of meaning. You don’t forgive your ‘betrayer’ – you simply allow yourself to see that only guilt has brought you into this distressful feeling of an ‘enemy’ who in truth is part of you (as spirit). See this person’s innocence beyond the act and that’s forgiveness of yourself and the guilt.

Take a moment NOW!
Take a moment right now and sit still, close your eyes and honestly ask yourself, “What am I right this moment?” and you might get shocked at the obvious answer of not knowing…because all you are this moment is a clearing, an open space, an awareness of Being and anything else is a conditioned thought about it. This is it! Once you get over the shock and fully acknowledge and accept these obvious observations then you start seeing in a whole new way – your infinite greatness, the infinite possibilities and limitless nature. In this oneness-intuitive-knowing you awaken your natural innocence.

Next time you are troubled by a problem, situation or happening, take a deep breath and do nothing about it. For a moment witness how the story about it is the deception. It is the story that we are telling ourselves because the unconscious guilt is at it again. The unconscious guilt is vicious – it wants you to feel guilty and wants to punish you for not being good enough. It wants you to be ashamed of yourself. At this point uttering the word ‘forgiveness’ reminds us that we are not guilty but merely pawns of a conditioned ego known as unconscious guilt. Through uttering the word ‘forgiveness’ we remind ourselves that our true nature is innocence and we abide as that with no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts.’ If we succeed in looking at ‘what-is’ as simply what-is without a story and forgive it then we have taken a giant leap in consciousness.
With this new understanding (after a couple of months) you will see in retrospect the giant leap you had taken!