Coming to Terms with Authenticity

Who we think we are is not always in alignment with how we present ourselves. The discord between our self-perception and the feedback we get can be jarring.

I don’t write to give advice. I just share my experience – that is really all any of us can do. For over 30 years of my life, I imagined myself as being different than what I really was.

I remember wanting to be someone kind and gentle who looked like a supermodel and spent every second of life “saving the world.” However, the feedback that I got from the world was that I was obsessive, blunt, and generally too intense to be around. I had the persona of someone who always wanted to be right and to have all the answers. I also had a self-righteous streak and couldn’t just let people be to do their thing – I wanted to “fix” them too.

I always joke with my students that we are all students at the “School of Hard Knocks” – with free tuition and universal enrollment. Life is constantly giving feedback about what any of us actually project despite our self-views.

After years of listening to life and letting go, it’s now easy to accept myself the way I am. That’s been a difficult journey, for sure. I am still pretty intense, but lost my obsessiveness somewhere. Rather, now I care about some things and couldn’t care less about others. Generally, I value people’s abilities to experience their lives the way they want to and don’t look to “fix” them or much of anything else.

While being sweet and nice sounds good in theory, it has never worked for me. As a high-school teacher, I deal with nearly 150 students daily – many of whom don’t want to learn anything. I also have kids at home, who occasionally throw attitude my way. To deal with people’s obstacles, I tend to throw flames in their direction. Despite the intensity, my classroom is always full of kids – even during my “off” periods. Students tell me that they are terrified of me and also feel that I am kind and “hilarious.” That’s feedback. Perhaps not how I imagined myself being, but that’s what I am.

It was hard for me to go through the time of incongruency between what I wanted to become and what I actually was. I no longer wrestle with myself. I do have a gauge for when I have less patience with people and their drama, and I isolate myself until my patience returns. It’s become obvious that I need a lot of time to myself and I take those signals seriously.

As a child, a psychic told me that I would have two blonde boys. This came to pass. That psychic also told me I would not have lasting marriages. I know it sounds odd that I talked to a psychic as a kid, but that’s not so abnormal for Russians.

My kids are a very important part of my life – I naturally want to make them strong and independent, but I am also sensitive to their emotionsl needs and help them deal with stuff as it comes up.

As for having a partner, I don’t even think about it now. In fact, my prior marriages feel like they happened to someone else and not to me. “I” was never married. Maybe I somehow traversed time lines into a different reality….

It may be interesting for some that we live in multiple realities simultaneously, and having somewhat different experiences in parallel. It’s not uncommon for our attention to refocus across these realities into another “version” of ourselves. Unfortunately, this idea is not well captured in movies – we don’t need physical portals to travel across timelines and only our “attention” shifts to a different possibility. Occasionally, our dreams can be bleedthroughs from other realities – especially recurring dreams.

I jumped timelines about a year ago into this one. It wasn’t a conscious jump. It was just life taking me here. This is where I will unify all my other existences and complete my karma. The wisdom of the jump is obvious.

Would it make sense to willfully jump across timelines? My sense is probably not. However, we can expand our awareness to heal ourselves in all our existences. It may be beneficial to meditate on the root of ourselves that sprouted into different realities – many very foreign to our current imaginations. There is something to be said for achieving congruency of who we are and merging all of ourselves into a unified consciousness.

Living simultaneously in different “realities” is another layer of complexity to rebirth and having had past lives. Knowing or living this is not necessary for our individual and collective evolution, and most will gloss over what I describe here as either a “cool idea” or just imagination.

It may sound like insanity to live with conscious awareness of past and parallel existences. One existence is challenging enough. However, enlightenment does pretty incredible things to broaden our awareness of reality and makes our brains capable of processing all this information without overwhelm. Enlightenment is more than just a figment of the mind and is quite physiological, changing and adapting our nervous systems.

I’ve written before about flash awareness that can take snapshots of fairly complex structures and instantly comprehend these. For me, this ability to process existence continues to open. Changes are still occurring and the transitions are so smooth, I barely notice. Growth is exponential after enlightenment.

In the meantime, here I am – describing an old habit of wanting to be different from what I actually was. It seems so odd now to even have that thought, let alone waking up – morning after morning – and trying to be something other than what I was. I don’t remember how that felt anymore, but I do recall how uncomfortable that was – what a way to live.

Artists talk about the vanishing point when they draw perspective drawings. Similarly, I see a possibility of convergence of all my lives – my expressions. Paradoxically, I will “vanish” when this occurs, remembered by some and completely forgotten by others.

Restorative Awake

Sleep is restorative, balancing our physiological processes and brain function. Until this day, I saw no way to restore my being to balance because even deep sleep does not serve the same purpose for me anymore. Because I had no answers for how to regain my health so that I could be fully here, I just resigned to the potential for the rest of my life to be one of great discomfort.

But, when I was talking to a friend today about the potential imbalances resulting from incorrect giving and receiving, she responded that Buddha spent half of his time in meditation to be able to participate in this world. Later in the evening, I realized that this is what I have been missing – the restorative “awake.”

I crave complete immersion in my state of wakefulness. However, most of my time – for years – has been spent taking care of situations that I have largely outgrown. Somehow, I had moved on but expected that how I function would remain the same. Maybe that’s typical.

My life has been set up such that 2019 is the year when I release my karmic obligations. My divorce will be complete. My legal case to get my son from a prior marriage his college tuition from his well-off father will also be put to rest. I will complete my second Masters degree and will not be pulling all-nighters to do homework. A few other loose ends will be tied up. I can feel the karma unwinding and releasing me to truly live. This is exciting!

If it were not for my friend talking about Buddha meditating, I don’t know how much longer it would have taken me to make the connection that I can be alive here and I need ample time in my nonphysical bodies.

I am no longer built to continuously attend to this world, stealing occasional hours to engage in what is now more natural for me. This is why I have been physically breaking down. I am so grateful for this understanding.

Illnesses are indicators of an imbalance and bring us to attention to opportunities we ignore. There is no manual for how to live an easy, carefree life – we all have different requirements for our existence. What I have been missing is time to be in my true form, which is barely physical. It is not deep sleep, but an awake state of complete immersion in being.

In the meantime, I will still be caring for my children and the students I teach. To be able to give what I can and wholeheartedly want to give here, I need to have the time to spend in a state of restful wakefulness – where every cell of my body is cradled by the sparks of creation and I am unhindered by physical form. It is so simple!

I am glad that my previous situations will stop running my life and, instead, I will be able to rightfully claim my existence in freedom while still in the body.

Years ago, a teacher told me that I should not be hiding in a monastery, and challenged me to be in the world. I also knew, in my heart of hearts, that I had to be among people and sharing myself with them. I just didn’t know how that would work, given that I daily felt like I was swimming in mercury. Yet, it was obvious that my customary way of engaging with reality was not going to work.

When our eyes close, sometimes something altogether new is being made ready to be seen…

Atlas Shrugged and Idiocracy

I watched Atlas Shrugged this weekend – a movie based on Ayn Rand’s book. I also watched the movie Idiocracy. As per usual and without conscious planning, there was a theme for me related to these movies – how much does any one being need to give society, or to the “greater good”?

Atlas Shrugged appeared to have a key message: Altruism and charity are OK, as long as these are neither guilted out of nor forced upon an individual. Here, the individual’s rights are primary and no person need feel obligated to society. Those who create or discover, including inventors, artists, philosophers, and scientists, need not feel pressured to offer up their creativity to the “greater good” unless they are fairly compensated in some way. What do you think about that?

Atlas represents the practical creators who prop up the world. If the world forces or manipulates Atlas to continue to support it, Atlas can simply shrug in response. Otherwise, the needy just get needier and the competent would just have to pick up more slack for everyone else. People do get lazy and complacent when they feel that someone else will take care of things. As a high-school teacher, I see this fact clearly with my students.

Idiocracy was about what would happen to the world if all intelligent, creative people were bred out of existence. It’s actually a known fact that cultures placing a high value on education also reproduce less! According to the movie, the world would literally degrade to garbage in this case. In the end, “average Joe” does not save humanity, but does give it a solid kick in the right direction – the “average Joe” is not so helpless after all!

I’ve often pondered how much I can give to others. My tendency was to give everything I had and expect nothing in return. If I had something that others wanted or needed, I would give it away with no consideration for myself.

Eventually, I realized that I would die if I kept that up – I was constantly tired, became ill, and generally started to fade from life. It was a wakeup call for me to realize that if I did die, the very people to whom I gave would not care much or at all. That didn’t feel right – was I really expendable?

In everyday-life terms, I always had a job and was able to solely support my family on my income for nearly a decade. Many assumed that I was built to do, accomplish, and ensure everyone was taken care of. In addition, I had this deepseated wish to help others in need and provided emotional strength and support to anyone who crossed my path.

It was my difficult lesson to begin to accept that, just because I could do something didn’t mean that I always need to do it. It even began to feel wrong to want to take away people’s suffering because, on a deeper level, I was taking away something they needed to grow.

I willingly took responsibility for anything and everything I could, incorrectly thinking that this was the right way to live my life. But, I was wrong. I chose too quickly to sacrifice myself until it became impossible for me to continue. I had to learn when to help and when to step aside and let others take responsibility.

The wisdom required to discern when it is correct to help is much more profound, as it turns out, than Ayn Rand’s thesis. After all, almost all of us have unresolved karma and obligations from this and other lives. At times, we are rightfully in the position to give more than we receive. However, when balance is achieved, it is utterly wrong to continue giving.

Similarly, wisdom is necessary to discern when to receive from someone. When someone may appear to be giving, they can actually be giving mostly resentment and guilt – which does not serve anyone. In fact, such giving is actually a form of further taking.

The intention behind giving is more important than the superficial act. I’ve had people in my life go through the motions of giving, but in reality just unloading their resentment onto me for whatever reasons their perception concocted. I had to learn when it was necessary to refuse such “gifts.”

There can be an entire teaching around the art and science of giving and receiving! This is the dynamic at the core of human relationships.

Unfortunately, it took me becoming completely drained and exhausted before I learned my lesson. Interestingly, I also became more attuned to situations where it was undoubtedly still OK to give to others and I would not be drained.

In my case, I often had to reach a point of great discomfort before I realized I needed to make a change. I guess I am a bit dense. Now, the pendulum has swung the other way and I enjoy my much-needed solitude. It is my time to recouperate and to undo some of the damage from overserving. My body is very tired and barely functions – I did that to myself and I take full responsibility for allowing this to happen. Fortunately, I may have caught this in time and now just wait for old karmic connections to be severed.

The Mahabharata talks about one’s duty – the kind we develop over lifetimes and for which we must take responsibility. If we do this, life is clean, free from imbalance, self-loving, and appropriately giving to others. It took waking up to the value of my own life to recognize the reality of the need for balance.

In practice, it is not necessarily good to serve everyone we meet. Also, the “greater good” is much more subtle than people having all their needs met. The bigger picture is much more nuanced, where telling someone off may very well be serving the greater good.

I had to learn this using my own life and body as sounding boards. It never ceases to amaze me how our bodies are such sophisticated devices for intuiting the correct response or actions. The more we listen to our intuition, the easier it becomes to hear.

I am OK shrugging now when there are cries for help. My life has as much value as I see in the lives of others, which is significant. It’s important to know, without any illusions, when we don’t owe someone a single thing.

The Great War

I was reflecting on human history, and a dominant pattern stood out for me as defining the human struggle over millenea. This is the dynamic where a certain group of people feels superior to others and aims to establish its supremacy.

Racial and ethnic tensions and battles continue to tear at life even now in numerous regions on Earth. Why does this pattern of establishing dominance arise? Is such a dynamic inevitable as our collective growing pain, or is there a different – untapped – approach toward embracing all people as one human race?

When a group of people believe that they are superior, these individuals adopt an unshakable confidence in their position. Such a group walks, talks, and behaves as if the entire planet Earth is at their disposal – literally. Furthermore, the ones taking a dominant position develop derision for those who do not belong to their proclaimed order. Derision and the resulting aggression ultimately breed rebellion of the castigated groups, and war ensues.

Not all wars stem from establishing dominance based on claims of superiority, but it is these types of wars that tear up the fabric of our existence like no other wars. While we may battle over limited resources, it is genocide that decisively wounds and degrades our entire way of life – no matter which side we are on.

Just as we have individual egos, there are group egos, and the energy of ego-bound groups is reflected across multiple planes of existence. Truly, the resulting conflict is one of Heaven and Earth, as portrayed by our oversimplified fairy tales about the fight between Good and Evil.

I see the ethnic and racial wars as archetypal wars of evolution out of the ego-trapped state, but played out on a larger-than-individual scale. Similar to the way individuals experience an internal battle of feeling separate versus embracing connection to the Divine, this same conflict unfolds for a cluster of egos.

There is also the planet-scale Ego, but this process (although quite vivid on the higher planes) remains mostly invisible to humanity on the Earth plane. Thus, there is nothing more to be said about it at this time.

The key to healing group-ego conflict lies in the way we would approach our individual enlightenment. After a soul realizes that the Divine is living it, that soul feels its connection to group souls. Do we need to wait for each soul to attain enlightenment before ego-groups and the entire human race feel Divinity as its root?

The answer is “no” – we do not need to wait for each individual transformation. While each individual is cultivating awareness and identification with its unique root, the ego-groups are also evolving their consciouness, and – similarly – so is the entire human race. This work is ongoing and relentless, and each individual being continuously feels the totality of these influences at play – even if unconsciously.

Self-awareness took time – cycles of iterative development, group awareness takes time, and planetary self-awareness takes time. Where is this all going? What are we all evolving toward at these different scales and planes of existence?

The vision for our evolution has been built into our collective unconscious since the beginning of our time as human souls. Yes, soul-groups have differences from one another. However – intuitively, we all know that all individuals are to wake up to their potential, and each has equal inherent value – no one is superior. If an individual does not know this, they will – eventually.

Faith is the trust we place in the ultimate unity of unique and individually awakened parts. While this end state does not yet exist and is unknown (because it is being created by each of our lives and collectives – as we live), we already know that such a state is free of fear on all levels. Thus, whatever fear is on the physical plane, its counterparts on the the higher planes must also be seen through, understood, and surrendered. Faith is what happens when we let go to what is known unconsciously before it has become conscious.

While our current tendency is to predominantly focus on ourselves, we do have times when we feel our ego-groups and intuit the direction of evolution of these groups. We even experience times when we consciously move across boundaries of species and consider animals and plants. This is all evidence that more than our individual process is occurring, and collective and universal processes are ongoing.

Individuals can awaken groups, and group-consciousness can awaken individuals. The awesome nature of our existence is all-inclusive, whether we recognize this yet or not.

It may or may not be obvious that enlightenment is both for our awakening and also the awakening of groups at various scales. We all benefit from such a multipronnged approach. No one is left behind.

Each ethnic war awakens all of us a little more to Human Rights and its higher-plane counterparts. The idea that superior races are possible is dying – we are over the hump.

By working on our individual awakening we also learn to access consciousness at different scales. Each of us participates on many levels simultaneously, and this participation accelerates the whole – just as the whole accelerates each of us.

In the meantime, we must continue to unite in the Earthly processes of establishing human rights for all. This is a messy process and often seems difficult and hopeless. We must trust that, beyond our self-absorbed tendencies, greater forces are at play. By simply attending to such ideas, we are helping to ignite the whole into a conflagration of both individual and collective consciousness.

We must continue to engage our attention with what we know is true. We must learn to actively listen to the universe, for It is never silent and speaks in languages fit to each of our multidimensional bodies.

Within compex systems, there is always emergence – an unpredictable state of organization from a seemingly chaotic state. This emergence happens frequently in both natural and synthetic complex systems, as frequently discussed in scientific literature. This is happening to all of us, and we are happening to It. No one will be left behind and honed attention is what is mostly needed.

Psalm 23 – Reflection

Psalm 23, to me, is an example of inspired spiritual writing that speaks from beyond the physical earth plane of existence and reminds us of our root source.

On the surface, the Psalm is about a human being praying to a separate God somewhere in the distance. However, I hear it as the essential insight that we are fundamental expressions of the Divine and, thus, supercede any earthly occurrence – such as “enemies,” or forces opposing our physical survival.

We lack nothing when viewing our lives from the perspective of the whole.

From King James version…

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

I have completely surrendered my life to the Divine. Now, I lack nothing and feel complete.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

It is the Divine living me, and not the other way around. The Divine will guides my every thought, word, and action. I have surrendered to this completely and feel uninterrupted peace (peace is itself a higher-plane template). I rest beyond the turbulent waters of the lower planes.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

By surrendering to the Divine completely, I am restored to correctly seeing my physical life as Divine expression in all its forms.

The name of the Divine is unspoken because we cannot speak it – it does not exist here and has only approximations on our plane. This name, or “word,” is the essence of creation.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Physical life inevitably ends in death. I do not fear death because I know death does not really separate me from my source. Evil is only perceived separation from the perspective of my physical existence, but I have since shifted my perspective.

True comfort is the Divine root I feel supporting my very being, moved by the Divine as It lives.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Amidst all the ups and downs of life, I am an expression of love and enjoy this feeling. I celebrate life, no matter how dire my situation may appear here.

The initial reminder, enlightenment to the reality that we are Divine at the root, comes in as a palpable feeling of something pouring in through the crown of the head and taking hold of the brainstem.

Ultimately, we transform into a mode of continuously shining and giving (“my cup runneth over”), while receiving everything that we are from our source. I am consciously aware of the true exchange on the higher planes of existence.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Now that I know my true nature and feel the Divine living me, I cannot unfeel This. I can never forget again.

I will live my physical life from this vantage point with full knowledge of my true home.

Inspired writing is ultimately felt and not analyzed by the mind. Who is it, truly, that feels inspiration?

Why Spiritual Writing Is Both Futile and Priceless

Spiritual language does not use words that can be understood in terms of daily living, but speaks the myriad blueprints that construct and influence our evolution.

Human beings primarily adjust their attitudes and behaviors based on what they can get from life, no matter how outwardly altruistic their actions appear. Spiritual writing does not speak of or prescribe how to control such a life. Instead, spiritual writing speaks of the spiritual world that aims to give, rather than to take. Such a giving and radiant world is only attained after transformation, and remains invisible to the rest until then.

The language of spiritual writing does not aim to convey ideas that will help everyone take for themselves the most comfortable and pleasant life, which is what people want – including pleasant beliefs about themselves. Thus, in a way, spiritual writing may be seen as largely useless to the majority and is guaranteed to be misinterpreted through the lenses of the ego. You can certainly want what you want, but you’ll get what you’ll get. Can wisdom be discerned in what appears incomprehensible or even off-base to an untrained observer?

A true spiritual text will not teach people how to take a seemingly negative situation and turn it to their individual advantage. Spiritual forces, to be understood, must be seen clearly from the level at which they operate – and they do not make sense to ego-trapped perspectives. So, why bother writing about spiritual worlds at all, which are completely foreign to daily affairs?

Simply put, spiritual writing from the transformed level serves as a bridge that invites humanity to yearn for nothing short of transforming out of the self-absorbed, egoic state. Invitation is a term that is used loosely here because it is not necessarily the vision of a cozy and lit cottage on a snowy mountain! The essence of the spiritual will is transmuted to words that singe the mind, which only aims to negotiate for wealth, sex, appetite, and the full cornucopia of the physical realm. Spirituality, in its purest form, inspires the yearning of the heart to such despair that one is satisfied with nothing less than transformation and alignment with the ever-radiant and giving Divine, also known as the Light (which is not the same as what comes out of a light bulb). Then, one receives from the Divine and simultaneously gives back to the whole.

We need to become these forces that do not revolve around individual attainment but provide the corrected, impersonal view of daily and universal “events.” Note that the impersonal is not cold or heartless, as it could be interpreted in everyday terms, but is passion and creation itself. Whether we know this or not, it is this impersonal and whole-oriented creative passion that is wanting in egocentric life.

Spiritual writing may irritate, cajole, and taunt limited perspectives to challenge what people hold most dear, which is likely to also be false. When spiritual texts are read from the perspective of the limited mind, they seem frustratingly incomprehensible.

Spiritual beings who have moved beyond the operations of the ego will also appear irritating and, likely, crazy, to a consciousness that believes it is mainly on the Earth to experience a smooth and comfortable life. The sleeping hearts are, as yet, unaware that all experience that does not prioritize complete letting go and alignment with the force that lives us will be ultimately found empty. The lower realms based on getting something from life are designed to show humanity the futility of seeking to control life because that is impossible. Why? So that we would want to evolve out of that stay and not remain trapped.

Every single being will eventually come to the understanding of the reality that nothing is separate from the great force that lives all of us. Until that point, handfuls at a time will rise out of the feeling that they are islands and into the continent of true existence.

A spiritual being will never pray for situations to take a certain turn to produce a desired outcome. A spiritual being will not negotiate with blind dysfunction and the lust for pleasure spripped of the Divine spark. Rather, the spiritual being will growl and strike when, from the human perspective, it would seem that subtlety would manipulate more effectively the desirable earth-bound results. Certainly, a being that behaves contrary to quiet manipulation that achieves specific ends may seem crazy to most.

It makes no difference that there is an apparent war of perspectives of the spiritual and the ego-bound. All will eventually arrive at the same place – a potentially long long time, in earthbound terms. Yet, each awakened being shares that awakening with the entirety of humanity because we are all intricately interwoven into one fabric of being. With each awakened individual, all are brought closer to a truth that will continue to evade everyday, descriptive language.

Catalytic spiritual writing is never about the happenings on the physical planes, but about the template-like counterparts in the higher planes. The writing is not intended to be understood and compounded as knowledge, but to raise humanity out of the illusion that the ego can see and know.

Spirituality makes no sense to the ego. However, it is only until an individual exhausts his or her pleading with life and lets go that evolution can progress. Secret texts are only secret because people have not yet sufficiently changed to understand them.

One truth that will fly in the face of most belief systems is that we have truly limited free will. We believe that we can change or create our circumstances, when – in reality – we can only control where we place our attention. Hardships will be borne as “punishment” until one rises above this plane of existence to see the larger picture of the mass return to the Divine embrace.

One thing we can control is the rate at which we awaken via our yearning and accepting the help of those who have awakened – one lifetime or more? I laugh at those who feel they have attained spiritual awareness on their own because such statements imply that individuals can evolve in isolation of the myriad forces – internal and external – pressing upon us. Those who make such claims (except for the few, rare, personified droplets directly of the Divine who emerge here at times) have not really transformed, but learned to mimic transformation. They are only fooling themselves. My laugh will sound crazy to most in such situations.

I have let go into the Divine and it lives me, not the other way around. I now answer to no individual. I am destined to walk a fine line of endearing and/or pissing off those in contact with me because I appear like a person but have ceased to be that for nearly a decade now. I couldn’t give a good goddam about accumulating, wielding power, or explaining to an ego-trapped soul why I move through life the way I do – and people do demand explanations and even accountability.

Most people I meet will not speak the same language as me or understand me. Why would I care? A being is a spiritual text and more, eventually.

Surprisingly, I’ve noticed that I endear more often than piss off these days. This wasn’t always the trend and I’ve since learned to tame and channel the fire. On some level, authenticity is even more powerful a pull than my lack of apparent respect for people’s need for “perfect” lives, which meet all their wants.

A life that is unfulfilled is empty of that which it truly wants. It is when you cease to live for yourself that you begin to live for all, whether most “get it” or not.

Simplicity

When it’s time to die, both the unnecessary and the essential in life become obvious. Little details, previously missed, suddenly seem so prominent in the moment when life is acknowledged as temporary. Most noticeable is the love that comes into focus. Simple, direct love.

Maybe a ladybug lands on your hand and you finally notice it’s cute little legs…. Maybe a friend’s hug touches a depth you previously would have skipped over, like a thrown rock skipping on the water surface…. Maybe you notice how everything lights up when there is genuine laughter while playing with a child…. Why “maybe”?

For many, when life is seen through the lens of death – an ending – it becomes simple and clear. But why wait until you have only a short time to live to recognize that life is beautiful in all its forms?

It can be tempting to spin off into drama and minutiae when life feels like it will last forever. But drama is not simple. Conflicts, gossip, bitterness, resentment, and unfulfilled expectations can all adorn life to the point that they become all there is to life. Situations can overtake existence, but they are not the essence that lives us.

Children grow up and watch adults to learn what is valuable. Maybe they will learn that relationships are about fighting while watching their parents argue, or that one should be in love until one partner dies. Perhaps they’ll learn to value money. They may even learn to value intelligence or being persistent above all. How many parents bring humor and fun to situations, or prompt their children to feel existence beyond the myriad events occurring constantly? How many children learn to anchor themselves to spontaneity – without the frills of forgetfulness?

Human beings like to personify everything as a way of relating. Building a robot? Let’s give it a face with expressions. Such a robot is easier to relate to than a Mack truck or a lawn mower. Children’s cartoons have talking rocks and dancing toothbrushes with eyes and flailing arms and legs. Even animals are often “humanized” in media. But relationship to life is much broader than the human perspective. Everything is Spirit, and the human way is only one of the countless ways Spirit manifests. To recognize Spirit is to feel connection directly, without having to give something eyes and a talking mouth. Everything does have “presence,” even if it’s not a humanoid presentation. That presence is life.

Happiness is Spirit. We can feel That during peak experiences when we let go of the dead weight of identity. Timelessness feels real when the instict to collect and preserve dissolves during a moment. If you have awareness of the moment, you know eternity, and death itself is seen with fresh eyes. You wake up to the moment rested and energized and know that “your time” is “no time,” and It has always been there. You wake up to the moment from a sleepy life, drowned into bare-consciousness by all that stuff. You suffer because you forgot.

Just as death sometimes gives meaning and restores feeling to life, simple and bare-bones awareness can give a new perspective to death. Moving through life too fast bypasses feeling and begets the need to have charged experiences all the time. Intensity and passion are faked to conjure intoxication, and repeated over and over to add “spice” to living. Such loud experiences, then, feel necessary because life was never felt to begin with! In reality, the need for adrenaline is invited by encroaching numbness. Numbness begets more numbness and continual craving for stimulation.

One doesn’t have to live a fast life to be numb and “boring.” Those who live a slow life can become numb and bored too. At the core, boredom stems from a lack of creativity. Guarded, careful people move slowly to mentally calculate all possible moves. Their minds are like tentacles grasping at known possibilities. The mind is limited because it deals with what is already known – the mind lacks the capacity for originality. While there are different levels of Mind, creativity does not run on the mental circuit – Inspiration pours through altogether different wiring.

After we get inspired, then the mind steps in and tries to make sense of insight. But, insight is always the primary and not the pedantic thinking. I was one of the people living in the trap of constant thought years ago – now the mind is quiet and just lays ready to be active when I need it to function.

The mind is limited and inspiration is open-ended. Why not live the Inspiration circuit continuously, instead of just using the mind – who cares whether the mind is Higher or Lower? Everyone taps inspiration at some point. Imagine if we all lived inspired lives, and the mind’s tendency to dissect and reduce was relegated to a tertiary role….What, then, would our lives become?

But if I stop using the mind, I won’t be able to function.” Well, that’s obviously not true. If all you know is the mind, then the unknown does not exist to you. If you want life to sparkle, you must be willing to leap into the unknown – instead of clutching at everything with the mind. If the mind was all you needed, you wouldn’t feel that longing and yearning for more.

The fear of death runs deep in nearly everyone’s unconscious veins. When someone dies, people close to that person begin to tussle with this fear. The dying can also waste their opportunity to engage life in a new way by wallowing in death’s imminence. Death can quickly become unnecessarily complicated.

We don’t talk about death simply. Instead, we pussyfoot around the topic, feign condolences with pat phrases, and secretly lose our shit at the thought of losing someone or dying ourselves. Sadness and fear parade in full glory. Death is personified as the Grim Reaper, complete with the scythe of massive proportions.

In reality, death is a poorly understood process – and that is all. Simple. We bring too much of our own baggage when facing death, drum up drama, and – yet again – forget to live.

If it takes living like you are dying to wake up, then why not do that? Pretend you have a terminal diagnosis and have only a couple of weeks left. Try it, but without feeling sorry for yourself or others. Strip away the layers that want to dramatize death into sadness and loss, and just plunge into what remains. Where does your focus go? Who or what feels most important?

You’ve been programmed to experience death as morbid, so stop making it something that it isn’t. After all, this is a hypothetical exercise in awareness and you’re not necessarily going to die in a couple of weeks….

As you live your “couple of weeks,” notice what comes to the forefront as being essential. If you succeed, you may have tapped that Inspiration circuit and surrendered the mind. Then, just stay there and see how your life changes. Your life may turn upside down, but was it right-side-up to begin with?

What Does It Mean to Be “Spiritually Advanced”

In spiritual networks, it is common to label someone as “advanced,” be it the teacher, another practitioner, or oneself. It is pretty common to see someone presenting themselves as spiritually advanced. But how many go further to clarify what being “advanced” really means?

“Spirituality” is a loaded term that is contextualized to philosophy and religion, and conjuring images of crystals, candles, 5 am meditation, yoga, tarot cards, organic foods, and chanting. Yet, it just so happens that true spirituality has no props and all the aforementioned objects and practices do not define spirituality.

A spiritual life is available to all and is independent of one’s background and belief systems. If this were not true, some of us would be somehow superior to others, and one life would be considered more valuable than another – how is that possible?

“Advanced” is a strange term to use with spirituality because it implies being above and even beyond. To the ego, which loves to compare everything and everyone using its meter stick, “advanced” means either “better than me” or “beneath me” (ego is fairly binary). Comparison for purposes of fortifying oneself is a game children play on the playground, picking teams consisting of those most like themselves.

Something more unified than the individual is living all of us and, like a light beaming through a prism, is refracting into a rainbow of colors as each of us. The reality is that we can transform our perception of and relationship to what lives us. We are a differentiation of the One living consciousness that is experiencing itself through its many facets. Do we know this? If so, to what degree?

Spiritual evolution is a matter of shifting one’s attention to identify more and more with the Life that lives us, rather that our bodies, emotions, minds, diseases, and other conditions. No one is faulty at the core. The shifts seem to follow a pattern with common milestones.

To identify with something means to know that you are That – not separate, not worshipping something outside of yourself (and not worshipping yourself either), and not striving toward or pulling in anything because you are That.

I understand an “advanced” state as being increasingly identified with the unifying principle while maintaining an individual expression of that principle. We can be unique without being separate.

Our bodies express our degree of identification with this unified Consciousness through verbal and nonverbal communication. Our bodies are also valuable instruments for accessing and integrating the countless aspects of the one consciousness by happily handing over any clinging to a separate self. The more we surrender ourselves to That, the less we believe we are something superior or extra special. Thus, one naturally becomes humbled by existence as one evolves, while simultaneously understanding more deeply the value of all life. This is not even close to the practice of comparing, labeling, or either celebrating our superiority or wallowing in our self-perceived low attainment.

People who don’t use “spiritual” terminology may very well have undergone a transformation where they have peeled off the layers of separation – perhaps even more so than those who deftly toss around Sanscrit terms. This fact is often overlooked by those looking for superficial markers of a spiritual life. Someone who did not read the Vedas may be closer to reconfiguring their perceptual mechanism.

Transformation, as the name implies, is a fundamental shift in how one experiences life and relates to its processes. Perception changes to the degree that one begins to invent words and imagery to describe what one lives because such concepts do not exist in spoken languages. True transformation is not imagination because the descriptions of the so-called sages (as far back as ancient times) actually match at various key milestones.

For example, I have read Buddhist texts about the Watcher after going through several transformations myself to identify with these successive layers of consciousness. The Watcher is a palpable presence that seems to be observing “you” thinking, speaking, and doing until you identify with that observer. Then, one finds yet another Watcher. Eventually, there are no more Watchers. How do I know? Because in the incomplete state, a Watcher is tangible – there is clearly someone watching and seems to be other than yourself. Mostly, people claiming to be aware of their “consciousness” are aware of one of such Watcher layers. Once you’ve felt one Watcher, the rest are more easily recognizable. Their absence is also very obvious, which happens as one goes futher in letting go into Life. The One Life lives us and breathes us, not the other way around.

Transformation is a fundamental change in the configuration of our multifaceted body, rather than a honing or refining of an existing configuration. To someone who has gone through the change, it is obvious who else has or has not.

An “advanced” being cannot prove to others anything – nor wants to. But such a being can easily see where others are in their evolution toward unification and reidentification. Most important, such a being will not casually make claims about his or her state, lightly choose to become a public figure, or even subtly put down anyone at whatever level of life.

I have run into a number of people claiming something about themselves when it is clear that they have not transformed but simply got their life on stable footing. Also, highly tuned intuition or access to certain nonphysical planes of existence are no indicators of how or whether that being identifies. If “advanced” means seeing auras or reading people’s minds, then we are talking about different types of evolution – many who have not freed themselves can develop these skills but still remain removed from absorption as the One Life.

I am not at all implying that any life stage is more valuable than another. We all have equally important parts to develop by living. We will all make different and valid contributions as our lives unfold.

Someone asked me once why bother evolving or transforming if we are all valuable. The answer is simple – those poised for change will do the work to change – this will feel like the whole point of their existence, while others will have no interest in doing so. In any case, change is just that – something different, and neither superior nor inferior.

If someone is poised for change – especially at the critical points of early transformations, a teacher may come and invite one to complete the process. The teacher is an accelerant for something that may take lifetimes to do by oneself. For someone who is on the cusp, why wait aeons when the opportunity presents to move faster? There may be good reasons.

A clear expression of oneself supercedes any transformed state. Many advanced beings were seen as faulty because they did not express themselves clearly. Maybe they presented themselves as greedy opportunists or just horny, and this detracted from their contribution to humanity.

“Advanced” beings, whether hidden or in public view, contribute many things most people will not recognize as contributions by a certain person – beyond their spiritual talks and pithy wisdom. As one transforms, certain acts of service go on automatic and cannot be not done. In simplest terms, such beings make a difference to multitudes simple by being. They do not care if anyone knows what they really do and who they are.

I am a regular Joe. A mom with a job and two kids. I will remain that until my death. Most people won’t see me as anything else and it doesn’t matter to me. While my intensity is evident, it will be just “intensity” to most observers, chalked up to my personality.

In the meantime, I work on healing and clarifying my own expression. I want no gaps between my authenticity and what I present in everyday life.

Be wary of those who put down the human race or talk about it like a plague – this is not “advanced” behavior. As one gets closer to unification of life, it is impossible to hate or resent it, even while regularly confronting any dysfunction in no uncertain terms. Asserting truth may be seen as anger, but it can be very different from anger – although the intensity may be easily confused with anger at first glance.

Unconditional love becomes not only fundamental, it is simply one’s natural state and has little to do with the sticky, clingy “love” in most couples. “Unconditional love,” despite being misunderstood, is a phrase that still brings hope to humanity and continues to function – for now.

Spirit Is Not Human

Our “human-ness” is a particular expression of spirit, but spirit is not human. Spirit transcends species and enlivens all forms continuously. Our birth is an ongoing process of creation and is not marked by the time-stamp of exiting the womb.

Spirit is omnipresent and, thus, it is informed by all forms that exist.

Spirit is the medium of the life process and is, in turn, imbued by all the unique perspectives of life. Spirit “knows” the rock, the plant, the insects, and the animal kingdom. Thus, by opening our awareness to spirit, we can know directly the nuanced variety of life. Empathy is only a hint of what we can become. Want to know how a lady bug really sees the world? You can know this directly via spirit – not just out of sheer curiosity, but out of the natural yearning for union.

What is fascinating is that the form that identifies with spirit knows other forms. We are One only when a form awakens to spirit and begins to gradually integrate spirit knowledge – only then, separation is seen as an illusion.

The gradual nature of expanding awareness to countless perspectives is due to the fact that we must awaken dormant organs of perception to properly process and integrate the whole.

When spirit expresses through a particular form, the form uses spirit to shape an identity bubble. Then, the form becomes aware of its constriction and is inspired to unwind its enclosure – the ego – while still maintaining uniqueness. The form moves through phases of pulsing expansion until it literally is spirit using a body, rather than a body reaching toward spirit. This pulsing shift of consciousness is much like the birth of a star, preparing to ignite its nuclear fusion.

After awakening, it quickly becomes clear that the brain and the nervous system are multidimensional. The physical brain is only one aspect of a more comprehensive organ that translates spirit into expression through form on this plane. And, the form’s perceptions are translated to spirit.

This is a profound process still unknown to the consciousness of most living beings. The entire universe is continuosly birthing, pulsing, and breathing as its myriad sparkling reflections scatter about.

Without differentiation into diverse forms, the universe could not evolve. The universe itself is approaching enlightenment on a grand scale. Our universe is only a fragment of an even more unifying principle.

Each part has access to the whole, but only if the necessary “organs” of awareness are awakened, aligned, and ignited. The process of identifying with the whole must not be forced, but allowed to unfold with a natural rhythm of creation.

As the human body undergoes transformation and stabilizes, it is not accurate to call that being human anymore. Although a form appears human, the transcended awareness it emanates makes it trans-specied to the degree that it has integrated existence.

Busyness vs. Life Immersion

Someone asks: “How have you been?” People like to respond: “Busy!”

From a 50-thousand-foot view, the human race looks like a giant ant colony, moving piles of dirt from one place to another.

As a child, I once asked my father why he worked so hard. In my ignorance, I said to him that he resembled an ant. At the time, I did not understand how much work was required when one was trying to rise out of poverty. Frankly, I did not understand why anyone would want to live at all, given that life looked like some kind of voluntary slavery. The instinct to cling to life at all costs was never a part of my composition.

People who were content with their situations didn’t inspire me either. They projected an image of having everything they needed and maybe even wanted. However, they lacked that spark of spontaneous and creative joy. I knew even back then that what most called happiness did not even come close to the real thing.

Contentment is a fragile state, heavily dependent on life circumstances. If things don’t go well, contentment shatters and is supplanted by tears, prayers for help, and suffering. If happiness were real, it had to be independent of life’s ups and downs. But how many can say that they are happy when their situations go south and find winter?

I was convinced, for awhile, that the answer to happiness was in detachment. I wanted to be immune to emotions completely, and fantasized about being like Mr. Spock on Star Trek. If I felt nothing, nothing could hurt me. And yet, I was highly emotional and mercurial, which frustrated me to no end.

Had I not met my last teacher, I may not have ever known what real happiness looks like. It is so much more than even-tempered contentment and detachment. And it requires nothing less than a full-being plunge into life – an immersion from which there is no return.

For nearly a decade, I have been naturally immersed in life. In every daily detail lies an immense opportunity. Every moment is so rich, and our natural state is to be in this “zone,” in this “flow,” and authentic. This state is truly limitless and unbridled by doubts.

At the end of the day, I reflect. Every moment was spent giving of myself spontaneously and fully, and receiving the kind and heartfelt gestures of others. I have no time for anything else. Am I busy, or am I inseparable from living by superficial task orientation?

How many use tasks to escape the moment? The day – and I – feel full. Nothing is amiss. Nothing is lacking. Although I am sleep-deprived, attending to many daily details, and constantly running around, there is an unshakable stillness and joy. In my household, my kids and I never miss an opportunity to laugh and celebrate connection.

It turns out that the journey is all the fun and there is no destination. The destination is an illusion – a temporary marker for some next step. After the illusion is stripped, it is obvious that evolution is endless, boundless and – paradoxically – uniquely customized to each of us.

In an awakened state, we are the Divine in motion. We coruscate and gleam an embodied life process that leaves no room for false niceties, tight-lipped smiles, tough fronts, or know-it-all rigidity. Our natural state is freedom. Thus, it becomes literally impossible to waste time or to view tasks as an end goal.

Every moment spent being fake or detached is a waste of time. Every moment that is steeped in fear, worry, delusions of grandeur, or false humility is lost forever. Authenticity removes us from time by weaving us deeply into the fabric of existence, and time itself is surrendered. The clock stops or becomes irrelevant, and One becomes lost in service and feels no need to be found. Simple tasks transform into continuous, conscious actions. We transform by letting go of all safety nets, which were really mechanism that bypass life using closed-loop self-absorption – busyness.

The majority of people need to be reminded quite often that their lives are unfolding instead of waiting for a “working” routine. It is easy to get into blind habit and lose awareness of what is fresh. Once one embraces their authentic nature, any worry about being ill-fitted for life disappears and only pure awareness and expression remain.

Expression is life. It is the dance of a unique soul realizing its relationship to the whole while embodying the whole. When a being is guarded about their expression, they are not free. When a being minces words and is easily embarrassed, they are holding on to something that isn’t real. In the full state, there is no concern with being understood or misunderstood because one knows where thoughts and words are born, and how to imbue them with intention.

More than a vehicle, the body is a mechanism for constructing conscious relationships. Life is truly all there is, even in the seemingly lifeless. Surrendered awareness knows that nothing is dead and that there is no death. Absolutely everything is life.

Busyness is dull. As a child, I wasn’t wrong to question task-orientation as a way of living. Neither did I miss the mark when I thought that humanity was sleepwalking and dreaming, but not living. People call death the point when the body gives out, but I see death as a continuum of the degree to which one is immersed and connected to life. One could be highly active but dead, or laying down to rest and vibrantly alive.

We all have miles to go before we sleep. But our lives are measured in how authentic we are while moving through the moment. Our busyness is irrelevant when it is an avoidance of life.

Life is not indifferent to whether we embrace it or avoid it – it will continue to communicate the truth until we are ready and able to “hear” it. We eventually see through empty acts and discover our natural yearning to let go completely into our unfolding process.

A Life of Transformation and Enlightenment