This is an antidote for the previous video.
A comedian for the new Age that is upon us.
- Bill Hicks Last Interview on Public Access TV (disclose.tv)
“We humans have existed in our present form for about a hundred thousand years. I believe that if during this time the human mind had been primarily controlled by anger and hatred, our overall population would have decreased. But today, despite all our wars, we find that the human population is greater than ever. This clearly indicates to me that love and compassion predominate in the world. And this is why unpleasant events are “news”; compassionate activities are so much a part of daily life that they are taken for granted and, therefore, largely ignored.”
~The Dalai Lama
Kalpulli Teocalli Ollin
~ Unknown ~
The Universe is the game of the Self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever
“When I see I am nothing,
that is wisdom.
When I see I am everything,
that is love.
And between these two,
my life flows.”
Castaneda, Don Juan, Tibetan Master Norbu, Parmenides, Liars, Infinity and Ayahuasca
Tibetan Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, world authority on Dzogchen Buddhism, about 3 decades ago, in the early 80′s, reportedly said – during a retreat in the very first community that he founded in Italy (Arcidoss, Tuscany) in 1982 – that “the way of Castaneda is the closest possible to Dzogchen Buddhism” (Cosimo Di Maggio, personal communication). Ten years later, in 1992, Norbu wrote “Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light”, and in 1993 appeared Castaneda’s “The Art of Dreaming”. An interesting coincidence.
“Whatever is profound, loves masks [...] every profound spirit needs a mask.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Scholars, journalists, academics and detractors alike all love the tale of Castaneda’s – and his main teacher, the Yaqui sorcerer Don Juan – being a fraud. It’s far too easy to stop to the first three books of Castaneda, and then think it’s all made up. There is much more than those three books and Don Juan – whomever he may have been – in Castaneda. There is a wealth of knowledge going through the very end of his work, through his last books, public seminars, all the way through “The Way of the Warrior: A Journey of Applied Hermeneutics” which non-specialist detractors might not be overly familiar with, not to count the previous (unauthorized yet intriguing) spontaneous “Nagualist Newsletter” platform.
What is fake? Saying that we live in a world where death is the hunter? That we are surrounded by infinity and yet do not have time? Or that we live in an unfathomable universe and in a very mysterious world? That sorcerers discovered the existence of the ‘flyers’, predatory creatures and energetic parasites? That our earth is a gigantic living sentient being? That a warrior should use death as an adviser and choose to walk a path with a heart? That we ought to be fluid, unpredictable, free from routines, practice ‘not doing’ and prepare ourselves for the final journey to infinity? Or else, more, that we should recapitulate our lives to free old, trapped energy? Or even that we ought to practice Chinese martial arts? This list could go on forever, and I will just add we were told of ‘Mescalito’ as being a teacher and a protector, then to loose personal importance, erasing our personal history, and the solidity of our world being, merely, an illusion. It’s the destiny of all profound spirits to be misunderstood and not be welcomed by their time. Our society, our world, our trapped consciousness and awareness is too immature and too unprepared to accept the full blow of the Nagualist teachings of Don Carlos and Don Juan to our consolidated sense of reality.
Sure, Carlos indulged with lots of women, and this might not have been really part of the Toltec teachings…but that was his predilection. So did ancient Chinese emperors, Taoist alchemists, masters and sages pursuing their path to immortality. True, he may have gone a bit too far in dismantling the sense of personal importance of his female “favourites”, often queuing up for the privilege of being the chosen ones, and have an intimate encounter with their enlightened master. At times it all looked much a power game. And may be – at times – it was. He exercised his personal power (of which, at some point, he had a lot). And – in the process – also manifested with them another attribute of the Toltec Nagualist teachings of Don Juan: ruthlessness.
There is a disturbing element out there – namely, the presumed disappearance and suicide of his female cohort-s, after his death (?) – an element this, which might not necessarily have been part of the original teachings of Don Juan, as they were passed on to Carlos at least.
We may choose to see this event in a few different ways. Either as a failed attempt to reach the Nagual and abruptly resulting in the physical (& energetic) death of all of his cohorts. Or else, as a partially successful attempt to reach the Nagual, however, resulting in the physical (& energetic) death of his adopted daughter, yet, accompanied by the ultimate flight to freedom of the rest of his female clan (their bodies, remember, have never been found and might have accomplished the supreme feat of turning into conscious energy and join the realm of inorganic beings). Or else more, we may choose to see this cult suicide-s as an act of blind loyalty of people – Castaneda’s female cohorts – who have been misguided by a sorcerer who indulged in dark practices and was warned several times by Don Juan not to mingle too much with the realm of inorganic beings.
But then, what do we know? Warriors burning with a fire from within and turning themselves into conscious energy (at the magical time of death) imply that their bodies will physically disappear? Or will their bodies and bones remain on this earth and decay, whilst their consciousness is transformed, maintained and transported on to other energetic levels and continues to exist in infinity, maintaining its individuality? That is, the final journey to freedom?
Aside from the bones shown in the BBC documentary made in 2008 no much is known about the final destiny of the ‘witches’. Did they reach Freedom?? It may take a Nagual to answer these questions, or perhaps some good, revelatory Ayahuasca sessions may do it. I just recollect the words of Don Juan: “Some men of knowledge deliberately choose death”. To live or to die made no difference to those people. He personally chose to live as he liked laughing, but not because this was better on an absolute scale of values. Yet, this is not to be taken as a universal truth for everybody either, as this is related to the ‘man of knowledge’, only. And at some point Don Juan also tells us that “to look for death is to look for nothing”. So, as in all great traditions of knowledge, there is ambiguity.
Even the ancient oracles, including the famous Greek one at Delphi, were intrinsically and dangerously ambiguous. This ambiguity is not Castaneda’s own trademark, is the ambiguity of teachings that come from other, non-human, worlds and realities. Parmenides was an initiate in the cult of Apollo Oulios (‘Apollo the Healer’, as well as ‘Apollo the Destroyer’) at Velia and also his priest. He was a healer, a scientist, a sage, a philosopher and expert in the ancient practice of incubation. He is more famous for being considered by modern scholarship as the “father of logic”, that is, for being with his rational thought and teachings, at the very fabric of our Western world. Yet Parmenides is the same man who received by an unnamed goddess, during his magical, ecstatic, shamanic journey of descent in the underworld, the revelation that the earth was a sphere. It was the fifth century B.C. For two thousand years this revelation was attacked as false, negated and ridiculed. Truth’s tragic destiny. Socrates, ‘the wisest and most just of all men’, was put to death simply for not recognizing the gods of Athens and introducing new ones. Castaneda – though he lived to tell the tale – shares his fate with that of many great men of antiquity, misunderstood and charged with falsehood, illegitimacy, untruthfulness, impiety.
Few years ago I received in dreaming a vivid vision of spiralling galaxies spinning at different speeds in the universe. Then I saw large glossy pictures of these colourful galaxies bond in an Album. This Album was essentially a book from Castaneda with lots of photos of galaxies inside it (nothing of the sort still exists, btw). Then I had a revelation: “Castaneda’s books come from the stars”, meaning, the Nagualist teachings brought to light and passed on to us by Carlos do come from infinity. Verify this with Ayahuasca, if you can. Not by chance, the kind of Nagualist Toltec teaching practiced by Don Juan, Castaneda and their cohorts was called “sorcery of infinity” (rather than simply “shamanism”).
As for the “authenticity” of Don Juan, it’s an old issue, and he may have certainly used a fictional name to protect a necessary the bond of confidentiality of his mentor, informant and teacher. There is, however, a big difference from using a fictional name to using a fictional character. Claudio Naranjo, interviewed by Massimo De Feo, when asked whether Don Juan Matus really existed or not, replied:
“I cannot doubt that Don Juan ever existed, because Castaneda, when he did not write yet any book, made me a proposal to go to see Don Juan, who – according to him – made an invitation for me to come to see him. Castaneda told me: ‘Enter in my car, we will reach Sonora in nine hours’, but I had a problem with the passport, with the visa for the United States, it was an entry-only visa, and if I would have gone to Mexico, I wouldn’t have been able to come back”. I did not know Don Juan but it would have made no sense for Castaneda – when he still wasn’t famous – to invent it, and then I was his confident, and was used to say: “You are the only person that I perceive as a journey companion; it’s not like in the world of anthropology, there they don’t believe me.”
Gregory Paul has been looking at trends in the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) and other polling data. We’re behind in some countries (I’m looking at you, USA), ahead in others, but the overall trend is good: atheism is winning out around the world.
(Note: These are predominantly ISSP results. Solid lines indicate atheists from absolutist to marginal, empty spaces to the right are theists from marginal to absolutist, and results for western and eastern Germany are combined proportional to their populations. Differences between the 1998 and 2008 ISSP results are indicated by dashed segments.)
It appears that Ameroatheists have expanded by 10 million since the turn of the century—representing about a million a year, and about a third of overall population growth, to a total of 60 million out of more than 300 million. Atheism has made large gains among the young, while congregation size has dropped by as much as a fifth. Even so, the ISSP results confirm that the United States is still the most theistic prosperous democracy—yet not nearly as theistic as some Second and Third World countries.
A multinational waxing of atheism and waning of theism seems to be occurring, and may well be universal in Western countries. The increase in Western atheism appears to be continuing a long-term trend that probably started in the 1800s, if not earlier, and has accelerated since World War II with no signs of slowing down, if the ISSP results are correct. Losses in theism have occurred in both Protestant and Catholic nations, albeit with the latter somewhat more resistant to losses. In most Western nations, the religious right is already weak, and in the few where it is a strong minority, it is losing ground. Demographically driven by a growing loss of piety among youth, the rise of secularism in the advanced democracies is in accord with the socioeconomic dysfunctionality hypothesis that predicts and observes that improving levels of financial and economic security in middle class majorities strongly suppresses interest in supernatural deities.
That last bit is what worries me. Atheism thrives on economic stability; religion prospers when people are desperate and ignorant. Here in the US, the theocratic party, the Republicans, have no interest in keeping the majority in good economic shape — they’d like to destroy the social safety net and increase economic inequity. I see an awfully strong correlation there between religiosity and economy-wrecking.
The thesis that popular secularism is dead, or at least dying, is clearly false. In the most advanced and successful nations, it is religion that is in the demographic ICU. Also entirely discredited is the premise that religion is universal to the human condition, like language—while theists vary from constituting nearly entire populations to less than a third, verbal skills are nearly uniform across the board. Demographic extrapolations that suggest fast-reproducing fundamentalists are on a statistical course to outgrow low-fertility secularists are proving flawed because they fail to account for mass nonchalant conversion due to modernity.
Yes! I have never been concerned about all the people moaning about how the fundies and Muslims are outbreeding us — I see them as busily making minds that will be ripe for reason and knowledge.
October 9th, 2009
From Zen Gardner
April 29, 2012
With kind permission from Zen
by Zen Gardner
It’s heartening to hear people’s reactions and their experiences during this shift and how similar we all are. While all this can be a real thrill, serious new challenges are obviously presenting themselves.
It’s clearly important to keep our guards up and be prepared for what’s ahead.
What struck me while reading some of the comments on the Cosmic Detox and the Crumbling Matrix post is an analogy with a serious implication. There’s an expression, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
I would add less poetically in today’s challenging world that might be more appropriate..”when a big wave is approaching, you better get your fricking boat out to sea!….because the marina and shoreline are about to get pounded!”
You may have read that several scuba diving excursions were at sea the day the Indonesian tsunami struck. They were thrown into a tizzy of whirlpools and cross currents but everyone survived. When they arrived back in port they were in absolute shock at what had passed over them and the devastating consequences.
The point is, they survived. Even underwater.
If we “push out to sea” in our understandings and attitudes about these energetic changes we’ll be a lot better off. That may sound like “ethereal cereal” but it’s “wholefully” true. Standing back and paddling to higher spiritual ground is a real life solution in this day and age.
And always has been.
It almost always seems to come down to attachment. Whether it’s to ideas, belief systems, a way of life, self image, or just plain stuff, it’s the attachment to it that becomes the problem.
And what does life invariably do to help us along the way?
Throw us a curve ball…or… break out the jackhammer. Or both.
Human nature is stubborn. It is anchored in this sensory reality of what it’s been told to think it is. It’s illusory, but nonetheless a very strong attachment that needs to be transcended.
It’s as real as our “silver cord” soul spirit that is attached to “us” through our nervous system. Only death separates us from our silver cord.
And we don’t want to let go of it. That is a big cause of motivation in human nature…fight or flight, survival, fear vs. faith etc.
Similarly, it’s death to self that separates us from the attachments we hold dear. But we have to do it.
This intrigue you? Me too.
It does get down to practical basics, any way you look at it.
Here are some practical ways to facilitate your “lightening up” on your journey out to sea (or however you manifest your “escape to freedom”).
A. Are you still in a big bank, or have substantial funds in any bank? Or are you in the stock market or have retirements funds tied up in the system?
Not a good sign. That could easily be lost forever overnight. And it’s something you’re attached to.
It also feeds the beast! Stop!
We all have to deal with banks to an extent for now, but please, don’t trust them with the bulk of anything. Get out now except for operational funds.
B. You still own crap you know you shouldn’t.
Sell it, or give it away. You don’t own things, thing own you. Period. Keep the practical and necessary and if you want, allow for arts and family and fun stuff and all. You decide. But follow your conscience. Read up on feng shui, you’ll get your mind blown on “stuff” from an angle that may help you.
C. Are you ready to move at a moment’s notice? Huge hint: Get to that point.
It’s a wonderful feeling. Team up with others on housing if you can: be with family, learn to rent and move around. It’s the perfect preparation as far as I’m concerned.
Some may differ. But I think we should be “footloose and fancy free”. That or be seriously hunkered down for the duration with community around you. Community is the key.
D. Where to be: Only you know this one.
You need to put your head on and make some good decisions, as necessary. Some people are set where they are and are saying “bring it on!” Most others are befuddled.
If you are in the second category, get thinking and getting in tune! Where do you wanna be and where SHOULD you be? You have to deal with it. But deal with it! Stop being such a wuss. That the in-betweeners are gonna get hammered is the over-arching message here.
We’re in a world of hurt…and healing. We have to take what’s coming, bravely, and come out on top as conscious entities. We will lead the new era eventually, but we have much to go through.
Do not fear, whatever the challenge.
Make your decisions and moves with assertive authority. Stand by your convictions. And follow synchronicity.
We’ll be fine.
Much love, Zen
With thanks to Bob at Bob’s blog
Greetings to the one that rules the 18 million internal
and external universes.
Greetings to the one who created everything out of itself
Who permeates and rules it and is the consciousness of and
and who dwells in me
Greetings to the one who is one alone and the many as one
Who is the substance of things unseen
Who is always more than there is
How much there may be
The rising sun that never hits the zenith
Greetings to the living light behind all appearances
Who composes the appearances and is not what appears
Greetings to the qualities and virtues that make up the personality of
The ineffable in the cloud of unknowing that shrouds the blinding world and
Humbles everything before it and which
Dwells in me.
Greetings to the unassailable unmoving center
From which spirals the galaxies and worlds
Like the spiral of a closed fist
Of perfect concentration
That holds it all in place that
Moves it all that forms and un-forms and does not
Begin or end and which dwells in me.
Greetings to that which endures and prevails
And is the life in everything
That meets and greets itself knowing and unknowing
That scatters itself into uncountable pieces and
Gathers them altogether again and
That dwells in me
Greetings to the dynamic animating principle.
Greetings to the one that does not know time nor size but
Does know sequence and form
Greetings to the one whose idea is complete in the genesis and
Is the intelligence behind evolution and design and not the result of them.
Greetings to what cannot be known but whose presence can be practiced
And enjoyed and who dwells in me.
Greetings in the before and after that both spill into the endless now
Greetings to the one who commands the superiors and inferiors
Whose every effort serves the entire
Who is the one who waits before
In the midst and at the end of every thought, word and deed
Greetings to the mind inside the mind of every architect in every dream
Who waits and watches forever and who
Abides in me.
Greetings from within the sleep that struggles for awakening
That cries out for union with the beloved
That cries in this moment for awakening to the one
Who dwells in me.
many greetings and
Greetings and greetings and
Since everything in this world is brought about by causes and conditions, there can be no fundamental distinctions among things. The apparent distinctions exist only because of people’s absurd and discriminating thoughts.
In the sky there is no distinction of East and West; people create the distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.
The world, indeed, is like a dream and the treasures of the world are an alluring image. Like the apparent distances in a picture, things have no reality in themselves but are like heat haze.
Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai
The Teaching of Buddha
The world is full of suffering. Birth is suffering, old age is suffering, sickness and death are suffering, To meet a man whom one hates is suffering, to be separated from a beloved one is suffering, to be vainly struggling to satisfy one’s needs is suffering. In fact, life that is not free from desire and passion is always involved with distress. This is called the Truth of Suffering.
The cause of human suffering is undoubtedly found in the thirsts of the physical body and in the illusions of worldly passion. If these thirsts and illusions are traced to their source, they are found to be rooted in the intense desires of physical instincts. Thus, desire, having a strong will-to-live as its basis, seeks that which it feels desirable, even if it is sometimes death. This is called the Truth of the Cause of Suffering.
If desire, which lies at the root of all human passion, can be removed, then passion will die out and all human suffering will be ended. This is called the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering
Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai
By the way: Here in North America Osho has been defiled, ridiculed, even jailed for his beliefs. I’m not a follower but read his words and ask yourself “what is so evil about what he is sprouting ?”
The new man accepts the whole man. It does not divide. It teaches an organic unity. Its fundamental philosophy is that you are one whole, not body and soul, not this world and that world. Your body is only the visible part of your soul. Your soul is only the invisible part of your body. This world contains that world within it. Just you have to go deep into it. In each experience, if you are intense and total, you will find within this world that world too. This contains that. They are not separate. There is no guilt, there is no sin. Yes, you can commit mistakes, which is absolutely human. And you commit mistakes because you are not aware. I say to you, you are allowed to commit mistakes, but don’t repeat the same mistake again and again. That means unawareness. When you commit a mistake for the first time, it is perfectly okay, because you have never committed it before, so how you can be aware of it. So it is a good learning. Learn something out of the mistake. And be aware that it is not repeated. So commit as many mistakes as you can. But they have to be always new, so you go on learning and you go on growing in awareness.
So all the rituals of religions, and all their prayers and all their mantras and chantings, are reduced to a simple method: awareness. All their sins are reduced only to mistakes. The original meaning of the word sin is good. It means forgetfulness. So don’t commit the same mistake again, otherwise it becomes a sin; it becomes a forgetfulness. But I would not like to use the word sin, because it has become so much associated with guilt, and guilt is the heaviest load on humanity. To take it away, we can make people so light that they can almost fly.
The new man will not have any guilt. The new man will not have any split. The new man will have only one religion; that is awareness. The new man will have only one world, this world. Because that world is hidden behind it. This world is like a circumference, and that world is the center. And I call the whole man the holy man; then he becomes Zorba the Buddha.
Then the whole life, with its whole spectrum, all the colors of the rainbow, you can live without any fear, without any guilt. You can dance like a Zorba, you can meditate like a Buddha, and I don’t see there is any contradiction. In fact, if you have danced totally, deeply, so deeply that the dancer disappears in the dance, that is the time to start meditation.
And when you have meditated, and you are full of silence and peace and blissfulness, so much so that not that you are blissfulness, but you can bless the whole world, that is the moment to dance. Your dance then will be a showering of blessings to the whole world. I don’t see any contradiction. That’s why I say, drop the old completely. It was sick, it was schizophrenic. And let us have a new man; organic, healthy, whole. And with the new man comes a new world into existence, which will not be divided by politics into nations; which will not be divided by religions into different sections, fighting, murdering, killing, burning living people.
We can make this earth a paradise, if we are together. If there are no nations and no churches, no religions, nothing dividing man from man. Then we will have so much energy available which is being involved into wars, into fighting, into organizing; that this whole earth can blossom into new flowers of consciousness.
The Last Testament, Vol. 5, Talk #27
Larger groups of people than ever before are reaching a higher awareness. As we become ever aware of our place in the world, so we become familiar with the vast array of techniques and methods that can help us live our lives in more effective ways. But which do you choose? Which parts of your existing life do you want to cut out to make room for a new way? How many practices have you put in to being? And how much guilt do you feel for the things you think you should be doing, but don’t?
For instance, I wonder how many people own books containing various practices and new ways of living that are either read or unread, whilst the information within is left unutilised. As a result, how many experts do we have that can ‘talk the talk’ but not yet ‘walk the walk’? Hands up, please…
I’ll start with mine. And I used to feel ashamed of that. I felt I had let myself down, because I had amassed a reasonable amount of knowledge about several practices, but for one reason or the other, decided not to carry all of them through into reality. There are some who would consider that a shame. But I have learned to see things in a different way.
Perhaps you have heaps of books you have put in to practice. And if so, that’s great. It’s a real achievement. But, perhaps, like I, you have a collection of resources that you thought would help you, but you don’t presently resonate with. If it is the latter, then I heartily recommend you to take the pressure off! Right now, just take a moment to reach an understanding that it’s all ok. Take a minute. Take five. Whatever it takes, just give yourself the freedom to be in the moment and accept that everything is the way it should be, right now.
If you managed to do that right there, then you should congratulate yourself. And you can feel pleased that you move on now – aware that the pressure is gone. You see, there is quite often an unconscious guilt and impatience, associated with awakening in to a new consciousness or a new way of living, swiftly followed by an aching desire to change everything all at once; or to attain a certain level of awareness as quickly as you can imagine it! A little impatience is no bad thing, but forcing yourself up a hill and then beating yourself up when you’re part way there, can be counterproductive. Whilst I am grateful for experiencing what I considered to be an awakening when I was relatively young, I had already been conditioned to feel a sense of failure or guilt for not reaching the high standards that had been expected of me. That I expected of myself. I have found that this is a rather common trait with those who are awakening and it can therefore be worthwhile breaking with our conditioning.
Breaking conditioning and past patterns can be a deep and solemn process, but it can also be a wonderfully self-empowering experience too. There are many ways that you can begin this process – you may even have some books on the subject – but I believe that the greatest remedy is first of all being true to yourself. But what does that really mean? There are many ways to look at this, but one simple way is to apply the following: If you are fully present in this moment in whatever you are doing and you feel a deep, uplifting sense of peace, then you are most likely, being true to yourself. It is as simple as that, no matter what you are doing. If you can start to apply that little test to every moment, then you can begin to break with your earlier conditioning.
Breaking our conditioning as consumers, the spiritual marketplace is filled with remedies, products, programmes, pamphlets and paraphernalia that are extremely helpful and useful, but that are at their most useful when they apply to us. They can however become fanciful collections for our egos. “That would really help me!” To become what? To do what? To experience what? It can be quite rewarding to challenge yourself about this. Why not try it the next time you think about getting something that you think will make you better, “Will this contribute to a greater experience of peace?”, or, “How will I benefit from this?” By challenging yourself in this way, you open up a window to a future free from unconscious impulses and an empowered ego.
But what if the conditioning applies to things you are giving up? As a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I was trained to practice self-hypnosis every day. It is a hugely rewarding experience that I loved, but after a time, I started practicing open-eyed hypnosis – just sitting peacefully in the moment and experiencing whatever I happened to experience. Later, I would evolve this and began composing music that helps evoke a concentrated consciousness, a greater awareness of the present moment. But rather than accept this, I began questioning things. I had begun to feel guilty that I had stopped practicing self-hypnosis! Was self-hypnosis not for me? Perhaps a different type of meditation would be better? So, I began buying books and watching movies about meditation – not necessarily because I had a soul-level calling to these things, but because I was motivated by the guilt that I wasn’t doing what I was ‘supposed’ to be doing. The guilt was also a fear that I had moved away from something good. Had I filled the void with something less good?
Through various conversations, I have been heartened to hear that all that analysis and ego-driven guilt, while consuming, is also commonplace. For a time, I was unaware that I was actually being shown another path that was bringing an even deeper state of peace! Since that time, I have shared the music I have channelled and composed, and it is used by meditation, Reiki and Yoga practitioners. Some, like I, just play it when they’re busy or when they want to centre themselves in the moment and recharge their energy.
Back to the spiritual marketplace and there are experts, therapists and authors who are all sharing their work diligently. I find this hugely encouraging and see it as a sign that, we are all evolving as a global community. It is not a criticism as such, but I have often found that in their enthusiasm for the subject, that their message can often override or not even acknowledge a certain simple truth. That being that the practice works for them and many others, but will not work for everyone. Not everyone will resonate. Not everyone will benefit. Admirably, some acknowledge this right from the start. Yet in the effort to market products, in which many online marketers shamelessly attempt to exploit our unconscious ‘buying patterns’, the consumer is often faced with a message of, ‘This will work for everyone…and that means you too!”
We can only truly recommend what we have experience of, so I appreciate that people will be passionate about their areas of expertise. Let’s take meditation as an example. You don’t need to meditate! To those of us who are awakening or evolving, this is greatest advice I can give:
“If you don’t resonate with something, then don’t do it. If you don’t feel a calling to do it, then forget it. If it works better for you, listen to some uplifting music, ride your bike, walk, write, sing, whatever brings you peace.”
All we are doing here is acknowledging the simple truth that some people will resonate with it and others won’t. The ego may interfere for a time, sucked in by all the features and benefits and the ‘need’ which is sold, but in the end, anchoring to what brings you the deepest peace will allow you to truly harmonise with your core values. If anyone tells you that you HAVE to do something to evolve spiritually, then they are quite likely delivering a grand illusion!
I have used meditation as an example because it’s a biggie – lots of people use it successfully – and some go as far to say that you MUST do it, but it really could be anything that isn’t working for you. I have heard so many people say to themselves, “I really should meditate more!” “I really should read more!” “I really should get outside more!” Maybe I should. I have said those things too. I’ve been told it in books! But I would hazard more than just a guess, that I should stop getting beat up and instead find something that brings with it a greater experience of peace. If that is watching the television, or reading a newspaper – allow it! Don’t judge yourself that these are lowly, devolved, or non-spiritual practices. Just enjoy the moment and feel the peace it brings you! That is just as valid a moment as any ‘spiritual’ practice.
So these days, I don’t practice self-hypnosis very often, nor do I meditate, although I enjoy both infrequently. Often, I tend to listen to high-energy music. I find it delivers that peace whilst taking away any stresses and worries. To stand on the soap-box for just a minute, music isn’t music as we have known it before. There are now a number of new-energy composers channelling music, which is firmly intended to awaken, speed up Earth Ascension, and re-energise each listener in the same way that other spiritual practices do. Admittedly it is more passive, but you can make it active too. For those of you who enjoy meditating whilst listening to music, when you are diaphragmatically breathing, by breathing deep in to your stomach, try breathing the music right in to your body. Its vibrations have the potential to cleanse, heal and lift your spirits. I believe that the music I channel and create is multidimensional. I believe it ‘speaks’ to our hearts, our minds and our interdimensional layer of ‘spiritual’ DNA, freeing us from past karma and energising us on our path to our highest potential, even when listened to when you’re doing other things. The intent you give each moment provides the magic, not necessarily what it is you’re doing. Surely, that will speak to some of you and if it doesn’t speak to you, then that is fine. It’s meant to be. The truth is, it is not meant for everyone, at least not all at the same time.
So if you have given yourself a hard time about not doing something you think you need to do, just deal with that guilt, if any, and forget that fear. If you can do it, literally, throw out or give away that stuff you know deep down you will never use! And in that simple act of self-kindness, it is likely that you will move towards a higher purpose more quickly than any book or program could ever provide. Do this and you will begin to naturally attract the tools and practices that most suit you. And you will, I am sure, experience a greater and longer-lasting sense of peace.
Incidentally, of all the books and CDs I had amassed that I did not resonate with, quickly found themselves in the hands of various friends who, when sharing their challenges, were drawn to a bookcase in the house where I live, and the rest is history. It would seem that even if you don’t have the courage to throw out the resources you have amassed ‘for a rainy day’, have faith – the Universe has a grand plan for them anyway!
Sam Joseph is a composer who channels multi-dimensional energy in to uplifting and inspiring piano works, intended for those who choose to take a voyage of self-discovery or simply want to unwind. He believes this music encourages increased imagery perception and gives each listener the potential to experience an increased feeling of presence, whilst unconsciously cleansing their emotions. Consequently, he believes that this music can help reveal the sunnier sides of peoples’ personalities! In his spare time, Sam is prone to pottering, telling anecdotes and is an occasional Hypnotherapist. For more information visit: SamJoseph.com
31st January 2012
By Dylan Charles, Editor Waking Times
As the world situation degrades further into oppression, war and wanton environmental destruction, we need as many tools as possible to protect our physical and spiritual health and well-being. Rather than being in poor shape, in a lousy mood and frightened by every uncertainty, one can use the time we have now to strengthen and purify the body, balance the emotions, and sharpen the mind for more effective decision making. After all, what good is it to be alive if you cannot enjoy your days, even amidst such chaos and uncertainty?
Yoga is an excellent physical practice of exercise that involves stretching and relaxing the body while emphasizing deep, rhythmic breathing. Originally a Hindu practice for attaining deep levels of spiritual awareness, Yoga has become very accessible to Westerners; Yoga studios can be found in nearly every town, big or small, in America. Many people practice it solely for physical benefit, but over time, most people begin to realize the potential of Yoga as a means of becoming a more positive and satisfied person who is more likely to laugh at adversity and thrive where other find frustration and agitation.
Yoga can be practiced by anyone, young or old, big or small, fit or not, as it can be performed as a gentle restorative physical therapy, or as an intense and challenging form of exercise. Incorporating the practice of Yoga into your life is an excellent means of improving your likelihood of finding happiness, motivation and inspiration while developing immunity to the myriad negative things occurring in our world today.
Firstly, Yoga improves the condition of the whole body. Being in good physical shape positively affects every area of your life, and a body in atrophy is a recipe for disease, depression and anxiety. Through movement and stretching while focusing on deep, rhythmic breathing, Yoga engages not only the muscular system of the body, but also massages and refreshes the internal organs, dramatically enhancing your ability to purge the many toxic wastes found in our polluted environment. The lungs become very powerful by circulating large quantities of oxygen during Yoga practice, helping you to eliminate smog and other harmful garbage.
An improved body means greater immunity to disease, and less dependence on pharmaceuticals to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and depression. In fact, Yoga can actually help you kick anti-depressants or even street drug addictions as it refines and balances the hormones and nervous system while creating a deeper awareness of the body and its needs. Yoga is also an excellent compliment to other exercise programs like weight lifting or martial arts because it acts as a very thorough means of stretching and rehabilitating stressed out tissues, complimenting more physically rigorous exercise practices. Having more energy, more confidence in your abilities, and feeling light and limber will put you in a position to be able to help others during a crisis rather than being dependent on the help of others.
Secondly, as a compliment to improved physical performance, Yoga improves the capacity of the intellect for making better decisions in frightening times. Sound decision making in difficult situations is critical, and one must be able to forgo emotional extremes and keep a cool head when faced with difficulty. Yoga brings the mind closer to its full potential by deeply engaging the mind in total concentration during practice.
The meditative quality of a Yoga practice acts as restoration and rehabilitation for the brain, and through this process an enhanced understanding of situations and purpose arises, allowing one to find more creative options and solutions. Through Yoga, one develops a keen sense of awareness of how the body is functioning and encourages better choices to support our natural drive for optimal health.
As an example, one’s diet tends to naturally evolve with regular Yoga practice and one’s inherent desire to eat more natural and higher quality foods in more appropriate proportions is awakened. This is especially important as a simple natural diet can be more affordable and is more easily reproduced at the local level should a disruption arise in our complex food system. Yoga will help you to make better decisions while supporting the mind’s ability to learn new concepts and skills in a time when old paradigms are changing and creative solutions are needed.
Finally, Yoga brings with it the ever-unfolding gift of greater spiritual awareness, inner strength and peace. Through this meditative practice one quickly finds a source of calm tranquility deep within that provides the strength to overcome the negative emotions of anger, violence, fear, and sexual compulsion. Our modern world is increasingly dominated by this negative energy and fear, and it seems we are told more and more to look at people and situations as ‘threats’ rather than challenges or opportunities. This cultural travesty leads people to view violence as a solution to problems. Yoga embodies non-violence and it offers a means to remedy this sad worldly condition by awakening the sense of mystery and awe within one’s heart and re-igniting one’s sense of self-respect, which in turn leads one to treat oneself and others with greater compassion.
Yoga requires that the body release physical tension and stress, which has a psychological counterpart as well, making it easier for one to let go of issues and states of the mind that are of no value to happiness or livelihood. Emotional attachments to physical things begin to loosen, the ego releases dated beliefs and ideas, and the sense of competition with our fellow man is replaced by a sense of universal abundance wherein survival becomes not something we fight for, but rather something that we love for. Being unattached to ideas, things and emotions is critical to living a fulfilling life in these complex times where everything is changing around us and none of our comforts can be taken for granted.
Having the peace and inner strength to let go willfully in frightening circumstance also gives us the courage and personal power to say ‘no’ in accordance with our conscience when the demands of society ask us to participate in warfare, our own oppression and group think. Yoga is a powerful means of elevating our consciousness at a time when great changes are needed to improve the condition of our world.
The joys and benefits of practicing Yoga are immeasurable and profoundly beautiful. One should consider this ancient practice as a powerful means of self-improvement and transformation at time when old ideas and institutions are demonstrating their monstrous failure in providing for the security and well-being of mankind. Yoga is peaceful personal revolution is the age of industrialized self-destruction.
VANCOUVER — On Vancouver Island, pagans are lighting cauldron fires and dancing through giant evergreen hoops to symbolize being reborn.
In Metro Vancouver, pagans are bowing to stag antlers, revering pentangles and burning cinnamon incense to mark Yule, which celebrates the “rebirth of the sun” at winter solstice.
Most of these pagan rituals welcoming the arrival of the “Winter-born king” on Dec. 22 take place on different days in undisclosed locations, far from the public eye.
Pagans, often known as Wiccans, do not believe the era of witch persecutions are entirely over.
So, fearing being misrepresented as Satanists, hedonists or just plain weird, most are careful to keep their pagan “magic” only to the initiated.
That includes in their celebration of Yule, one of eight key pagan festivals marking the changing seasons. Yule contains many symbols associated with Christmas, including evergreen foliage.
There are roughly 400,000 pagans in the U.S. and Canada, according to the American Religious Identification Survey. Their numbers have more than doubled in the past decade.
Even though pagans usually meet privately in unconnected covens or circles, B.C. and the rest of the Pacific Northwest is considered a cauldron of pagan, or Wiccan, expression. Like many residents of Cascadia, pagans revere the awe-inspiring wilderness.
Alison Skelton, who helped found the Thirteenth House Mystery School in 1993, will be leading at least 60 pagans through a Yule ceremony this week in Victoria at an undisclosed location.
One of their rituals involves jumping through a large wreath. The hoop is made of evergreen branches, she said, to symbolize the “wheel of the year,” and how “nature never dies.”
Skelton, 52, is daughter of the late University of Victoria poet Robin Skelton, who identified as a witch in his later years. From her father, Skelton, a psychic and painter, learned of the power of being transformed by the “spell-like qualities” of both art and Earth-based paganism.
Skelton maintains pagans were originators of common Christmas customs involving star-topped evergreen trees (with the lights signifying “spirit”) and seasonal gift-giving (“to redistribute wealth”).
“Pagan traditions are focused on the sacredness of nature. At Yule we want to encourage the light to return” from out of the creative darkness, says Skelton.
Skelton’s pagan circle, which includes children, will be collecting for the Mustard Seed Food Bank this Yule. Like other pagans, she says they follow the ethic: “Do as you will, and do no harm.”
Despite many pagans’ inclination to privacy, one spiritual organization in B.C. that won’t be carrying out its Yule ceremonies in secrecy is the Vancouver Unitarian Church, at 49th and Oak.
The large congregation has, for years, offered a 10-week course called “Paganism 101,” designed by Vancouverite Louise Bunn, 55, a Unitarian who has her artist’s studio on Granville Island.
The diverse Unitarian Church has an ongoing “pagan” committee, along with “Buddhist” and “prayer” committees. Its sanctuary is decorated this month with pagan wreaths representing north, south, east and west.
In addition, Vancouver Unitarians will again this year hold a popular pagan-style ceremony, in which participants write down wishes for the new year on flash paper before tossing them into a cauldron of flames.
Bunn readily acknowledges that B.C. pagans are “like a herd of cats,” virtually impossible to organize.
There is no shortage, she says, of outspoken “flakes.” Many function in isolation, she says, after buying a book or two on witchcraft at a place like Banyen Books.
Indeed, it’s exceedingly hard to keep track of the extremely eclectic movement.
Pagans claim to follow many different traditions: including the Druids (Celtic spirituality); Dianics (goddess-centred faiths, usually forbidding males); Norse mythology (revering Thor, Odin); Hellenistic paganism (gods of ancient Greece); Kemetic paganism (Egyptian) and Roman gods.
The largest pagan school is known as Wiccans.
However, Bunn emphasizes that modern paganism has more to do with what she calls “19th-century British romanticism,” including the poetry of William Blake and John Keats, than any ancient rural religion.
As her authority, Bunn cites the noted 1999 book, Triumph of the Moon, written by University of Bristol scholar Ronald Hutton.
The book inflamed some feminists and others by arguing most modern neo-pagan, Wicca and goddess religions were basically invented within the past 200 years.
That said, Bunn remains an enthusiastic follower of contemporary paganism. She loves how Yule helps her experience a spiritual “liminal space,” a contemplative zone between this world and the transcendent.
In addition to the Unitarian pagan events, she’ll join her own Wiccan circle for a Yule ceremony in Vancouver this December.
Asked where the ritual will be held, she says with a smile: “I’m not going to tell.”
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist