Archive | January 2013

Union of Opposites

English: Yin & Yang

Nothing can come into being or be sustained without the union of opposite forces: male and female, life and death, day and night, joy and suffering, yin and yang… Between each of these pairs of opposites, there can be union, balance, harmony and truths, or there can be discord, intolerance, imbalance and disunity if one of the two forces is out of balance with the other. What would cause opposite forces to be out of balance? The answer is simple: fear creates imbalance, love creates balance. Think about a simple pare of opposites: male and female. If you are in a relationship, you can easily understand and appreciate how love keeps the relationship balanced, while fear – often fear of loss of the relationship itself, causes all kinds of imbalance. These fears can cause jealousy, possessiveness, or can cause one to shut down their hearts to the other, resulting in “falling out of love.” When the love between the two is unconditional, harmony in the relationship is then possible. So it is with all opposites. The harmony, balance and union between the two can only be found in love.
Let’s look at a pair of opposites which are a little harder for most to reconcile: life and death. Although most of us may wish there was no such thing as death, let’s play out that scenario for a minute. If there is no death, we cannot grow because our cells cannot die and renew themselves. We cannot eat. The caterpillar cannot become a butterfly, in fact nothing can happen at all. Nothing can evolve, nothing can change, nothing can be born because nothing can die. Death is the opposing force that creates life and gives it meaning. Death is what sets everything in motion. This universe was created from the union of life and death.
All that said, I’m now going to say something that will seem completely paradoxical but bear with me: there is no death. Everything is energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed. That means that everything is eternal. So in that sense there is no true death. The problem is in the way in which we think of death. We think of it as an end, when in actuality it is a transformation. Thus, death in the way that most of us think of it does not exist. It does exist as the force which transforms energy from one form into another. Death is not something to be feared; just as a caterpillar should not fear becoming a butterfly.  Our fear of death is what causes us to become out of balance with life, since fear is the root of imbalance.  Learn to love death – not as the end – but as the gateway to new beginnings, as the impetus of new creation, and life becomes more joyous, as it was meant to be.

-Rhea Jamil

Advertisements

Taming the Ego

woman-horse-mystical   What is this Ego which creates the illusion of separateness?  Ego is multi-faceted, which makes it tricky to define. Eckart Tolle defines the Ego simply as an identification with the mind. I agree, but also I think this is just one aspect of the Ego. The identification with thought and with the mind is indeed the root of suffering. The mind always exists in the past, and can only predict future events based on past experiences. Identification with the mind keeps you stuck in loops, in cycles of self-destruction, in circular thinking. Releasing your identification with the mind is key in the process of enlightenment. The essential self (also referred to as the ‘higher self’), is the part of you that sees life from the highest perspective, is connected to the unified whole essence of creation, can see the biggest picture and knows without needing the mind.  This is what one should be identified with, not the mind. The mind should just be a tool, for the role of the mind should be exclusively to receive information from this essential self. Instead most of us have put the mind in the driver’s seat and thus we repeat the past over and over because that is all the mind can do. The essential self only exists in the now moment, not in the past or future. What you call your ‘intuition’ is a direct link to this essential self. When you have had moments of just ‘knowing’ something, without interference from the logical mind, at that moment you are connecting with your essential self and bypassing the logical mind. The key is to do this more often than not, to be connected to that knowing which is beyond the realm of mind and does not need the past to make decisions in the now. Everything we associate with clairvoyance stems from being in this state, and all humans are capable of it.
     Thus, ego is in one sense this identification with the mind. This is why the quickest way to enlightenment is to stop thinking. When you stop thought, your pure, essential self can be expressed. Most of us think that we are our thoughts. We subscribe to the philosophy “I think, therefore I am.” This is not the case. Thought is what gets in the way of who you are. Thought is what creates the illusion in the first place. Thought creates the idea of “you” which is separate from “me” and separate from the rest of the universe. When you get outside of thought, you are the universe. Thus, Tolle is not wrong, however there is another aspect to Ego which should also be acknowledged. Ego is also that which allows you to perceive yourself as a separate being. Without ego, we would be one unified wholeness, as we were in the beginning. For some, that is the goal. But there is a way in which the wholeness also longs for separateness, since it is only in being separate that we can share in love. It is only in separateness that we can experience the divine lover / beloved relationship. This is Ego’s gift. This is the aspect of Ego which can be maintained even when identification with mind is gone and connection with the essential self is achieved. As long as you are in a human body, you can never fully let go of this aspect of the Ego, except perhaps in moments, but this does not mean that enlightenment cannot be obtained, it is just the opposite. You can be fully aware of your essential self and how it is connected to the unified whole, and yet maintain a separate identity which allows you to continue to be human and to share in love. This is a beautiful state of being. As my Sufi teacher Alim Thompson once explained to me, the goal is not to get rid of the Ego, the goal is to tame the ego. I began to think of the ego as a horse. It can be a bucking bronco, completely in control of you and tossing you around in life. This is the scenario of being totally identified with the mind and unaware of your essential self. The goal is to take the bucking bronco and turn it into a well trained thoroughbred, one which willingly follows your direction out of love and respect for you. Riding such a thoroughbred through life will be exhilarating and fun.
-Rhea Jamil

Here is a video from Bashar lays out the role of the essential, or higher, self more clearly than anything else I’ve come across:

Child of the Universe

thThe impetus of creation was the universe’s desire to know itself, to create itself and live through many different forms. When you think about it, it is somewhat like having a child. One of the reasons people have children, though not the only reason, is that they have the opportunity to live through them, to re-experience childhood. Suddenly Disney World is fun again because you get to experience it through your children’s eyes. It awakens a remembering of the magic you experienced in your childhood, so in a certain way you are living vicariously through your children. This is not a perfect analogy, but it is similar to how the universe creates you in order to experience itself from another perspective, to see itself through new eyes. However, as we know with children, they also have free will. At some point, they may turn and say “screw you mom and dad” and go their own way. Then, you will have to watch them as they make bad decisions and suffer the consequences of those bad decisions. And though you are always there willing to guide them, if they do not want to be guided there is not much you can do. In the end, you have to let them learn through the experience because you cannot control them (no matter how much you might want to). At some point, if they begin to realize the mistakes they’ve made, they may come back to you, at which most parents will be there with open arms. A parent capable of unconditional love will understand that the bad decisions they made were part of their growing process and necessary to help them find wisdom, rather a personal insult to the parent’s world view. For this parent, welcoming the “prodigal son” back home is a no-brainer, it is as natural as breathing. The bible and other Judeo-Christian texts are full of “parent child” analogies to God and self, to the point that God is commonly referred to as “father.” This analogy works to a point because it is very reflective of this relationship. We do have free will and can turn from our source. When we do, we learn lessons which then bring us back to that source, which could be seen as a parent. The downfall of the parent-child analogy of God and self is that it also can make God into an authority figure, one who punishes, when in actuality God and self are equals. The difference is that “self” has free will, but no matter how far “self” strays into the illusion of separateness, God is always waiting with open arms, and will always be there for guidance, as a quiet voice within.

-Rhea Jamil

Love and the Law of Attraction

Love

The law of attraction may be the most powerful law in the universe. Love is also the most powerful feeling in the universe; one could argue it is all the universe is.  There is a definitive connection between love and the law of attraction, for love is the cause of the law of attraction and in that sense is the law of attraction. Many of you are probably familiar already with the law of attraction, which is detailed in “the Secret” and other new-age books. It states that what you focus on is what you will attract into your experience. One of the tricks is that this “focus” may not always be conscious. You have thoughts, emotions, and energies which are all in your space right now. You may be fully aware of some, partly aware of some, and completely unaware of most. The work of digging out all of the energies, thoughts and emotions you do not need and releasing them is part of the work of achieving higher consciousness. In the meanwhile, the thoughts, emotions and energies (which are all connected to each other) are attracting things into your experience. Why are all of the things they are attracting not good? Because the messages are muddled, some are deeply buried and confined in fear, they are in the dark and do not have the light of consciousness (your light of consciousness being connected to the higher consciousness, or what we could call God consciousness) to guide them. They are in fear so they are confined in an energy that is the opposite of love, since fear and love are opposite forces. The universe knows the desire deep within your heart, the desire that is pure and comes from the place of love and connection to source. For example, the desire for abundance. The universe will gladly help us manifest this desire, but what happens is that we send it mixed messages. On top of the desire for abundance, we have the fear of loosing what we have, the fear that there is not enough to go around, perhaps some resentment for those who have more, etc. etc. The happy desire for abundance is locked in a prison of fear and resentment, and therefore it cannot clearly communicate with the source.

Think of it like this. When you look in a mirror, you see a clear reflection of yourself. Now, break the mirror. What you have then is a distorted picture of yourself. The universe is always trying to perfectly reflect what you want, it is trying to perfectly reflect your desire. What is getting in its way is, well, you. You are the mirror that the universe is looking in to see what it is, and if you are broken into a zillion pieces, the universe will only be able to reflect a shattered version of itself back, much as it may want to reflect perfection. The good news is that we can put the mirror back together. We do that by letting go, and surrendering to the higher self, the light of consciousness, and embracing the moment of now.  We do it by loving ourselves, others and the world unconditionally.  We do it by not being in resistance to our current situations, but instead brining the light of consciousness into the present moment.

-Rhea Jamil

Love and the Law of Attraction – Part II

Illusion

 

Perception of a Reflection

Perception of a Reflection (Photo credit: AGrinberg)

How can this experience be illusion? How can something that seems so real not be real?  Think about looking in a mirror. Is your reflection real? In a sense it is, you can see it, you can make it move, so in a way it is real. But does it have any power? No. You have the power, you can make the reflection do what you want, but the reflection cannot make you do anything, it has no power over you. Now, imagine that you decide that your reflection is real, and you don’t recognize your “self” which is looking in the mirror, you identify completely with your reflection. You will see your reflection doing things, and you will wonder what is making it happen, it will feel like you have no control, it will feel like you are a passive victim, because you don’t realize that you are making the image in the mirror move. If the image in the mirror starts slapping itself, you will not realize that you have the power to stop it from doing that. This sounds insane, and yet this is the state most of us live in. We do not realize where our true power lies. We are focused on the illusion and think that the illusion is real, and in that state we feel powerless, because in that state we are powerless. It is the state of believing that your reflection is the real. Your true self, which has the power to create the reflection, is completely ignored. The reflection is ‘real’ in the sense that it is what we experience, but it is not real in the sense that it is all there is. There is much more going on ‘behind the scenes’ and that is where the true power lies. You will never have power in the illusion, in the reflection. Your true self, acting behind the scenes, behind the mirror, is the ultimate reality and where the power lies.

How do you access this true self? This true self is most easily accessed in the stillness. It is the part of you that does not need anything, it does not need to be fed with recognition or accomplishment as the ego does, it does not need to be right and is not worried about being wrong, it does not have an agenda. Its nature is pure love, and it simply is. This is why meditation is so powerful. When the mind is quieted the true self comes through, because it is beyond thought. The true self can communicate through thought, but so much of your thinking is obscured by the false ego self that it can be hard to sort it out. The easiest way to sort it out is to follow beauty. The true self is beauty, since all truth is beauty, so your true self is the most beautiful part of who you are. Everything else is part of your illusionary self. When the true self begins to take the helm of one’s life, things begin to change, and always for the better. True self will always bring you joy, bliss and freedom. The ego self will always have a dark side. The true self itself has no dark side, it is pure light, pure being, pure love. If you stay in touch with true self through everything, you will always be steered in the direction of joy.
-Rhea Jamil

Welcome to the journey

Phoenix

Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water.
The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken.
Although its light is wide and great,
The moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide.
The whole moon and the entire sky
Are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.
~ Master Dōgen

Inside you, this moment, is peace. Inside you, this moment, is joy. Inside you, this moment, is unconditional love. Stop looking for these things in the outside world, they will never be found there, they are only found within. Having trouble finding them? You’re not alone.

Within is not a small place, it is not confining. Within is incomprehensibly vast. Many people avoid going within thinking that it is a limited place. We think it means ‘inside our bodies’ or ‘inside our heads’ and we know our bodies and our heads have limits, so how can all we the answers be in there? But this is a fallacy of our perception and exposes a flaw in our own idea of what the ‘self’ is. We think we the ‘self’ is a limited being, when in fact it is limitless consciousness itself. You are consciousness which has chosen form and will soon enough chose to move out of form, but the form itself is a temporary construct which creates an idea of a separate reality. An ego then latches itself to that separate reality, identifies with it as ‘me’ and solidifies an illusion of separateness. We then find ourselves in these limited forms, believing ‘I’ am here and ‘you’ are there and there is no deeper connection between us. When we find our true unlimited self again, within this form, then we are set free from this limited ‘me’. Then we remember our vastness. Then we know that all we see ‘out there’ is really ‘in here’, because it is simply an extension of consciousness itself, which is what we are, and as such we are one with all of it. That is why the answers are only found within. The ‘out there’ is a concept, not a reality. It is a concept because we believe the ‘out there’ is separate, when it is not. The reality is that the ‘in here’ is what creates the ‘out there’ to begin with. Eden, which I define as divine peace, can only be found when we lose this illusion of separateness and reconnect to the truth of our divine nature, to the fact that we are one with everything. Humanity is on the path to reconnecting with this truth. If you are reading this, you are on that path.
Rhea Jamil