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.

Building Self-Awareness in Teens

Last month, I started an action research project in the classroom to help my 14-15 year-olds manage impulsive behavior and develop persistence during challenges.

When I started teaching, I remember being extremely sad that kids had so little emotional and “growing up” support in a school. I would observe vicious peer conflicts, inability to “fit in,” depression, anxiety, lack of interest in life, and a general feeling of “Why are we here just to suffer?” in those who are more self-aware. There were few to no adults these kids could come to for guidance and basic life-sanity.

My course load primarily includes 9th grade physics. These 9th graders must develop enough discipline to master the subject for a statewide test and prepare for future science courses.

They start the year strutting into the classroom, talking out of turn, interrupting others, not listening, not respecting others, and having no academic skills to speak of.

The transition for these students from middle school to high school is incredibly difficult and stressful. In addition, they have all kinds of personal drama that changes daily and ranges from homelessness, living in a foster home, parental abuse, too much responsibility for younger siblings, and relationships with peers.

To structure my vision for how to help them, I researched Costa’s 16 Habits of Mind and decided to explicitly introduce these in the classroom. Specifically, we have been working on Managing Impulsivity and Persistence. I wanted to see if simply building guided reflection time into the classroom routine would help these students be more self-reflective in their words and actions.

When I first inteduced the Habits, the more abnoxious students were dead-quiet. I could see their gears turning: Do we think before we speak? Do we say or do hurtful things to others and then regret it? Do we think that the world is mysterious and interesting? Do we feel proud of the academic work we produce? I asked students to reflect on the Habits with the entire class and was amazed at how much they shared, despite feeling psychologically unsafe around their peers – they wanted to talk about themselves reflectively so badly!

My intervention did not end up being simply reflection time. The Habits gave us a common vocabulary to talk about their benefits and implications for life. Each day, I projected a set of sample reflection quotes, which I constructed in a student voice based on my observations of students:

“I need to get attention to feel like I am real.

When no one pays attention to me, I feel like I don’t exist.

I do crazy stuff to get attention and that is impulsive. I can’t control it. I want to matter.”

“I think school is hard and I am not very good at it. But I want good grades.

When people don’t pay attention, I want to literally tear them to pieces. They act like they are the center of the universe.

When I see someone acting dumb, I tell them that they’re Dumb without thinking about it. It’s usually not a good move.”

I would ask students “What do you think about these?” and “How do you feel about these?” I remember that one student said “hash tag relatable,” referring to the Twitter tag for “I can relate.”

We spent this brief time at the beginning to hear any out-loud reflections and students filled out a reflection of their own at the end, ranking their application of Managing Impulsivity (for example) on a scale of 1-10, and writing a paragraph to give an example and to set a personal goal.

During the class, I continued to refer back to the Habit we were studying, and asked students to consider their behavior in light of the Habit. I also did my “Russian mother” yelling routine for particularly abnoxious actions, while naming behaviors as they occurred.

I have to act a great deal around kids – pretending to be angry or disciplinary, when – in fact – all I feel is love for these kids. I think they know it because my after-school help session is always full – for physics (which nearly everyone hates), and I have many students coming to talk to me, in general. I no longer feel emotions, such as anger, so the act is necessary because people are conditioned to interpret that display to pay attention.

It may sound like a lot of planning went into this, but it was post facto. I “planned” all of this in a flash instant of seeing the configuration I hoped to achieve on the other planes, and then translated what I saw to the language of this plane using the mind. Most of my confrontations, feedback, and support are in-the-moment and without any mental activity.

Yesterday someone called a student a “faggot.” I beamed them an intense look and asked if they heard of a poet, called Rumi. The student had not.

I quoted Rumi: “Before you speak, ask yourself – is it true… is it necessary… is it kind…” I had paused after each to give all students time to reflect. Then I asked, would they speak more or less if they considered these things before speaking? Many whispered “less.” I said “That’s what I thought…” and moved on with the lesson. Later, of course, I had to pull aside the two students to ask them what went on to warrant such language.

How did the project go? I saw a visible change in students during the month, as they were given descriptive language to consider their behaviors. Overall, the students were more attentive to their actions and caught themselves regarding the words they used. Their written reflections were quite deep. The classroom felt more together, rather than a bunch of bickering cliques. Even my paraprofessional said she felt more at ease and liked the humor.

I ponder my kids a lot throughout the day – their lives, their sense of self, and their crises. I also see them as being healed of their dramas and traumas. I am no different at home with my own kids. We have “life lesson” conversations frequently, and I carefully observe how they feel before, during, and after.

Kids do need to learn how to talk about what they feel, and in a way that helps them release and reflect. Schools are moving in the direction of being more open to building social emotional intelligence (SEL), and I am happy the climate is more accepting of this kind of work.

Things I Find Boring

When my high school students tell me about feeling bored in certain classes, I respond that boring people are easily bored. By this, I mean that nonboring people always find a way to engage – even in unstimulating situations.

There are two types of boredom I’ve seen: a) boredom due to not seeing the possibilities, and b) intolerance of repetitive pathways that have been trodden countless times before.

In the first case, possibilities are there, but one lacks the creative awareness to see them. In the second case, the creative possibilities of something have been exhausted, but one perseverates on such saturated experiences in hopes of getting more – trying to get blood from a stone.

The world has nooks of unfettered creativity, which are collectively known as “art.” The wealthy know the value of art, to some degree, and will pay huge sums to possess someone’s dynamic bursts. However, the vast majority are looking for fomulaic pleasure stimuli, guaranteed to tickle – a paint-by-numbers approach to movies, books, visual art, dance, music, and spirituality. In such template “art,” anything that touches well-mapped pleasure centers is exploited and voraciously consumed. Building novel relationships to life is not something most know how to do, or even miss not doing. After having a pleasant experience, one simply wants to repeat it over and over.

Is washing dishes or brushing teeth boring? Only when one does these without conscious connection and is, instead, just lost in thought.

I am never bored. Direct awareness is never boring. In truth, nothing authentic is boring. Life is ever-evolving and unfolding at all scales, but we fixate on things in a way that precludes clear vision and ability to appreciate nuance. When we move our bodies or minds and connect to the truth of others, life is magical in the seemingly most common tasks. The moment itself is creation.

However, I view people’s efforts to transcribe the inherent wisdom of life as inherently boring. “Why are we here?” is an inspiring question, but someone’s explanations and quotes and memes about why we are here is – in fact – mostly trite limmerics or minds-on cleverness, lacking the depth needed. Repetitive (and limited) interpretations of age-old questions about existence trample the underlying inspiration that catalyzed wondernment in the first place.

How many study Descartes’ statement: “I think, therefore I am”? Not only is the phrase myopic, the words themselves are tired of carrying the weight of pedantism.

Philosophy is fertile for mind-oriented people who prefer metalife to actual life. They are stuck in grooves, and their words are heavily analytical, biopic, unoriginal, and filled with self-preoccupation. Philosophers debate facts and scenarios that are meaningless when these do not bring any new insights or awareness to what the world now needs.

The population often engages in activities that are masturbation of the various bodies – the emotional and mental bodies can be masturbated just like the physical. People arguing, making points, aligning vocabulary, and fashioning counterpoints. Unfortunately, the mental circuit is its own loop and is disconnected from direct awareness. Hence, one can’t transform using the mind.

Almost everything that has been said was said before – and countless times. Almost all actions are familiar to the point of being unconscious. Daily life, when viewed from this perspective, is a track on single-repeat. This is the distorted and mass-produced life, where I no longer set foot.

Boring people look for extreme experiences, lights, colors, and intensity, to hit their pleasure centers and un-numb themselves. So, they miss the possibilities that are unfamiliar and subtle – mostly veiled – to the casual observer.

If I were to speak to you, what would I hear? How you have loved and lost? How hard everything is? How unfair life can be? How brilliant you are? How unfortunate or happy you are? The human-race echo chambers ring with the collective conversations that are calcified and empty. In fact, people sacrifice true originality in the name of self-aggrandizing aches and pains, and identify more with their diseases and lacks than with the possibility of freedom. You don’t need to be your aches and pains, but people glom on to illness as an identity.

I spend very little time with humanity digesting and regurgitating the individual so-called ailments and confusion, unless I am working with teens. They need a great deal of support and lack sane role models to carry on more than the standard and usual conversations about work ethic and behaviors. No one asks how much past history they really need to know to create something new. So, they repeat all history and do not sufficiently push beyond its envelope.

I write because words are my paints and brushes. I write because it makes no difference to me if anybody reads me. I write. I also sing, speak to audiences, rap, and gesticulate. My being is my medium, and I work via this medium, full bodied.

Working primarily on the other planes of existence, while also multitasking with people here, leads me to choose actions that release me from this realm while, paradoxically, still allowing me to be here. No one needs to entertain me or get my laughs – although I laugh with people a lot. No one needs to understand me. I don’t listen too long to people making excuses or trying to convince me what they meant – I knew them at “hello.”

What catches my attention are the sparks of life who destroy their fabricated self-image as they create – like living sand mandalas. People tend to have a negative attitude to life (“I want to curl up and die”) and also too positive “Let’s go shopping and party!” – neither state is conducive to transformation. Both extremes are well-mapped and understood, and I cannot imagine being part if conversation with people in these states about specific situations. Few are capable of truly reflecting on their attitudes with greater depth.

I have no interest in people looking to further elaborate to me about the why’s and how’s of their blatant constriction, especially when they are constantly defending what they think they have attained. Their supposed freedom and happiness are partial and…to me…boring.

Why the Ego Is So Tough

The human ego is incredibly challenging to see in action. This mechanism has the ability to blind us to our behaviors and to mask the real intentions under what we project. The ego is so convincing because we think that it is who we are and that it is us who is deciding what to do. In fact, our true yearning remains something we can dismiss or rationalize away. Thus, it is incredibly difficult to transcend the ego.

Nearly every person has an ego whether the person accepts this or not. In fact, it is a rather pointless discussion to convince anyone of this fact. By its nature and function, the ego does not want to be seen – let alone dismantled as the primary driver. While it is more comfortable to believe that one’s ego is “gone,” premature claims just postpone further growth. A person who is ready to move into the work of dis-identifying with ego will know the truth of the situation on some level.

There is also a difference in transcending the ego and dissolving the ego. Transcending the ego relegates its status to a tool, rather than one’s identity-shaping mechanism on the lower planes of existence. Dissolving the ego invokes other processes to configure one’s relationship to life.

The ego is a lens through which we forge an identity that is separate from others. It can be a useful lens for developing oneself in the world. It is necessary to evolve one’s body and mind such that they integrate with the life day-to-day. Without a critical mass of this integration, one cannot feel the boundaries of one’s perception at all. Although our boundaries exist, these boundaries define who we are and we do not feel any calling to push through anything. The majority of the human race is at this stage of not recognizing that one’s entire perspective is custom-made to build a powerful identity.

People without a fully formed identity are seen as unsuccessful in the world – they don’t have good “luck” with earning an income, romantic relationships, and succumb to fear of real-world pressures. Ironically, one first needs to realize one’s ego to be prepared to transcend it. Enlightenment, even in the earliest stages, requires humility. If you think about it, one must be willing to be wrong to be capable of humility. The ego does not like to be wrong, to be “below,” or to be anything other than self-concerned and comparative.

Some common tactics of the ego include fear, hiding, making excuses, blindness to reality, defensive or offensive maneuvering, control of people or situations, and attempts to convince someone of something. These behaviors are so prevalent in humanity that it is easy to assume these behaviors to be “just human nature.” Only when the ego is close to being trascended can one see through it and engage with it on a different level. Then, the ego becomes truly obvious.

The ego is so custom tailored to each being that it must be “decoded” for each being individually. However, it cannot be “diagnosed” by the mind by matching specific behaviors to conclusions. An enlightened being may seem agressive, but the aggression is only the tip of the iceberg of what this being is doing in the moment. An enlightened being may counter a statement without being defensive. Only the intuition of a transcended being can see deep enough to understand the observable behavior, tone, or words. Even written words root down to the person’s core and the ego is visible.

What is a human being like beyond the ego? Open to what’s possible, comfortable with the unknown, both confident and self-questioning, strong, quiet or vivacious, creative without judgement that down-plays the creativity of others, or rational or intuitive. Just like with the egoic persona, it is hard to “see” an enlightened being. The difference is, an enlightened being isn’t bothered by this or any other projections on him or her.

Oddly, one does not need to dedicate hours to meditation, yoga, or chanting to let go of the ego. What happens is that attention becomes tuned to this device throughout the day – maybe on and off – until it is finally felt as something “other” and not oneself. This attention is incredibly difficult to sustain. Unless a teacher is helping to bring internal dynamics to the fore, people eventually convince themselves of a comfortable truth and move on. That is the dilemma.

The ego is not only localized to an individual consciousness, but operates on different scales. Groups have an ego. The human race has an ego. However, without seeing the personal ego, it can be difficult to imagine what is going on at these scales. Each person that is free can assist with global transformation in a way that can be described as one’s unique life, but without all the drama.

The Oldest Story Ever Told

You are this…

Are you looking at the reflection, or is the reflection looking at you? It’s not obvious.

You are the Milky Way reflected in the myriad spiral galaxies all around…Does this seem different from watching the world from atop a mountain? From inside a living cell? What are atoms, really?

Perhaps you think enlightenment looks like this…

But, that’s too limited a view. Stereotypes are too easy. There is no archetype for freedom.

We start keeping a journal at about this point. There are endless seeds and we think it all belongs to us.

Here is another way of saying the same thing…

The next is just another Fool, perhaps further down the path. Many Fools camp here for a grand old time, reveling in their ability to manipulate the unseen…. It’s a common rest stop and a trap, stalling further evolution.

The campground has many of these too…

The next guy looks cute… Got most of the anger out and stopped trying to “save” himself by trying to save and fix the world, whatever that is….

We might as well be aliens when there is a shift in relating to reality, seeing things with unfettered eyes.

A Life of Transformation and Enlightenment