Tag Archive | new age philosophy

Love Your Ego!

RobotLike many on the spiritual path, for a time I was afraid to love my ego. It seemed like the goal was to push it away, even to “kill” the ego. It seemed that ego was the enemy. But then I also began to realize that this type of relationship with the ego was one of resistance, and I was committed to releasing resistance in all areas of my life. I realized it was strange that I should have resistance to something that was, after all, part of me. I realized this resistance to ego was causing me to be at war with myself.  So I began instead to send unconditional love to my ego. Once I was able to do that it was like I could see ego with more clarity than ever before, which makes sense since love is a kind of light, so the ‘darkness’ of the ego was no longer present in the light of that love. What was present was the pure distilled nature of ego, which is not evil, it is made of love just as everything in the universe is. The purpose of the ego, the reason for its original creation was simply to be a mechanism for spirit to experience separateness, the delicious separateness which allows two people to become lovers, which allows two people to become friends, which allows the human to stand in awe of the night sky. Without ego we are simply a unified flow of energy, which is what we truly are anyway, ego only allows the perception of separateness after all, since true separateness is not possible. The ego is simply a tool for creating the experience or illusion of separateness so that spirit can see itself from another perspective. It is no more or less than that. There is no sense in hating that or pushing it away. It simply is. Furthermore, this separate perspective that the ego creates allows us to learn, explore and create. When I looked around I saw that none of what I was looking at would be here without ego, it is a tool for creation itself.

I saw that when ego was first created, we were able to experience the illusion of separateness through ego, yet we had full memory and full consciousness of what we actually were – a divine flow of energy choosing a temporary form – we never lost sight of that and so it was the true Eden. We were able to play in the divine flow of creation while enjoying the beauty of it all from various distinct points of view. Resistance is something that was completely foreign to us. It was all love, and the ego was part of that, we loved the ego equally to everything else, but we were not attached to ego either, and could move into and out of form with relative ease, almost like putting on a new costume. The ego was more like a beautiful painting in a museum, that you would look at and appreciate, then move on to the next one, equally beautiful and totally unique, without feeling any pain of ‘leaving’ the first painting, just easily appreciating and loving each one that came into your experience. The “fall from grace” was a process of losing our divine memory, our link to the consciousness of our true nature. When we lost this consciousness, the ego then went from being a tool for creation to being perceived as the whole nature of our being, and the illusion of separateness then became complete. The ego was still not evil, but its purpose was to create separateness, and without a link to the wholeness of our true nature as a flow of divine energy, we became lost in the ego state.

I think of it like this – you know all those movies and books about robots taking over the world? In the beginning, the robots are always good. They are good because the serve a purpose, they are built in order to serve humanity in some way and they do it well. When they take over however, everything goes wrong, things are no longer good because the robots can’t really handle the responsibility. Without their connection to the “programmer” they run crazy, but it is more because they don’t know any better, they have no link to any greater consciousness – they are robots after all, just designed to run a program, not designed to be connected or understand the subtleties of love. So it is like that with the ego – when it was a tool to assist us all was well, when it took over however it did not do such a good job because it was never designed for that purpose. Its programming, its original purpose, was separateness, and separateness was never meant to be the force that runs the universe. The ego’s “programmer” is the soul, which is the extension of divine source. So here we are now. Our purpose now is to recover our divine memory, while still in ego. Ego is not something we can give up completely in this physical dimension, it is not designed that way. Therefore as long as we are in this physical dimension we must make peace with ego, we must reconnect to our source, and from our source we turn the infinite love back onto the ego. When we do that it sheds its darkness and we see its grace and its purpose. All things in the universe respond to love, so the ego is no different.

Love and Light,

Rhea Jamil

Joy and Purpose

Rainbow-2The reason for all creation is the joy of creation itself. To create and know the joy of sharing divine unconditional love with the creation; creation so that love can be expanded within the created form, this is the purpose of all existence. Consciousness, existence, is meant to be unfettered joy, it is meant to be love beyond love. What, then, has created this particular reality where we experience many things which seem to be the opposite of unfettered joy and love? Why do we suffer in this universe based on joy? Consciousness can choose any experience, including the experience of being unconscious (meaning unaware of its own nature). It chooses that in order to expand and discover more about itself. Just as light expands into darkness and the darkness must scatter, so consciousness expands into unconsciousness.  The problem, is that many have become ‘stuck’ in unconsciousness. We are like light which has forgotten it is light and does not realize it can make the darkness scatter simply by virtue of its nature, as light. We think we need to be something else, we think we need something, or someone, outside ourselves in order to be ‘saved’ or in order to ‘see the light’. In actuality, all we need to do is be who we really are and the darkness will scatter.

How do we remember and become who we really are? By following our joy. Find what gives you joy and focus on that. The reason this is hard for many of us is that we have been trained out of this. When we were children we followed our joy quite naturally, but at some point we were made to think that doing this was wrong. You were told to do your homework instead of doing what made you happy in the moment, so you began to put aside your joy in order to fit in with the rest of the world. This is why sometimes we have to go back into our child self in order to find our joy again. There may be things that gave you immense joy in your childhood that you put aside and forgot about. Sometimes you need to search through your childhood memories to find that again and bring it back into your reality of now. Perhaps you loved to sing, or to dance, or to watch fish, or to do flips on the trampoline. So when you remember that, then what? If I loved to sing do I quit my job and put everything into singing? Maybe, but in most cases that is not necessary. Just begin singing again, maybe just in the shower, or maybe join a choir, then see where it leads you. It could take you places you never expected, and if you are following your joy and allowing your joy, it will not lead you astray. Once you line up with your own joy, you will find your purpose unfolding, and be forewarned it may not be what you expect, but it will always feel good, and right. This is why allowing is important, if you set up too many expectations or ideas about how it should or shouldn’t look in this process, then you are getting in your own way. Forget about how it should or shouldn’t look and just follow your joy. Your joy and your purpose are the same thing. Let me say that once again: your joy and your purpose are the same thing. When you find your joy, you have found your purpose. Joy is the purpose of the universe, it is the purpose of consciousness and therefore is your purpose.

Blessings on the journey,

Rhea Jamil

The Book of Job

ImageI started thinking recently about the story of Job in the Bible.  I don’t know about you, but I always disliked this story.  The story always left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I think many people feel that way about it.  However I recently began to see this story from an angle which makes more sense and teaches us about the nature of the human condition and the nature of suffering.  So the story of Job in a nutshell is:  Job is a happy guy who loves God, has a loving family and lives in abundance.  The devil one day challenges God and says that Job would not love God anymore if he did not have the abundance and happiness that God had given him.  To prove the devil wrong, God allows the devil to take everything from Job.  Job loses his family, his wealth, his land, his health, everything – except his own life.  When Job challenges God asking why, God answers him by telling him that he cannot know the depth and greatness of God, that he cannot understand the infinite nature of God.  So on the surface this appears to be a story about a mean God who would rather win a bet with the devil than protect one of his own.  But let’s go deeper and look at it from the higher perspective of oneness.  First, we know that in actuality God and self are not separate.  Thus God in the story can be seen as the higher self of Job.  The devil is therefore the lower self of Job.  One thing to notice is that things only start going wrong for Job when the devil enters the picture.  When it is just him and God everything is abundance and happiness, it is the devil’s willingness to bet against happiness that starts the cascade of negative events.  I do not believe in the devil, but there is an energy which the devil represents.  The devil represents the polar opposite of the higher self.  The higher self is always in alignment with the universe, the ‘devil’ is that which is not in alignment, it is that which allows you to believe that you are separate from God, separate from your higher self.  Sometimes this part of oneself is referred to as Ego.  To be clear, Ego is not evil, but Ego is the aspect of you which allows you to perceive yourself as a separate entity in the universe, and therefore can lead to a belief that you are separate from God (though it does not have to).  Ego is the ‘lower self’ not because it is bad or wrong, but only because distinct from the whole, rather than the connection to the whole itself, which is what the higher self is.

Many of us live in relative abundance while simultaneously worrying that if we lose what we have, that we would lose ourselves too.  Who would I be if I lost everything?  How would I survive?  If my happiness is gone, what is the purpose anymore?  In other words, if I lost everything, if the things that make me happy go away, would I ever be able to align with my higher self again (and recognize that ‘aligning with higher self’ could be considered another way of saying ‘love God’)?  We think it’s easy to align with our higher selves (i.e. – be ‘happy’, or ‘love God’) while we are in abundance, and that it would be hard if we are not in abundance.  This however is backward thinking, because alignment with source, with higher self, is where abundance flows from.  Abundance is not required first in order to have connection to higher self, rather connection with higher self is required first to have abundance.  Abundance means happiness, it does not mean material wealth alone.  Remember many who are very wealthy are also very unhappy, so that is not true abundance.  True abundance extends to all areas of life and translates into true contentment, joy and peace in life. 

Back to Job.  This is essentially a story, a cautionary tale of you will, of what occurs when the lower self (ego, played here by the devil) is allowed to challenge the higher self (God).  Because we are free beings, we are allowed to do this, we are allowed to follow our ego instead of our highest selves if we choose this.  From this perspective, Job is not a victim, rather this is a choice Job makes on another level.  This leads to disastrous consequences, in a word – suffering.  Job suffers when the ego is allowed to challenge his alignment with higher self.  Then when he is at the bottom, the lowest point, he asks a logical question: “why?”  God’s answer is that he cannot understand the infinite nature of God.  This is Job’s higher self trying speaking to the ego, the higher self trying to re-integrate with Job’s ego, by making him realize that the infinite aspect of who he is, is the part which truly has the power in this universe, and that the ego’s power is an illusion.  The ego of Job is disconnected and cannot know abundance, and will only know suffering.  The ego believes in limits, therefore it cannot know the abundance that the highest self does. 

I always find it interesting to put a new spin on an old story.  This story like many in the bible is easier to understand when we look at the symbolic nature of the story rather than trying to take it literally.  Humanity has evolved since this story was written, and the original way it was presented worked for people of that time perhaps, but it does not work for people now because we have evolved past this notion of the human as separate from the rest of the universe.  We have evolved past the notion of a punishing God.  This story still has a fundamental truth hidden within it, but needs to be looked at from a new angle to see it.

Love and Light,

Rhea Jamil

Karma and the Law of Attraction

SpiralThe law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of cause and effect are all essentially descriptions of the same law in different terms. What you put out you get back, what you sow, you reap, yadda yadda. Although these laws are framed in different ways, and people hold different beliefs around them, they are in essence the same. Karma is unique mostly because it’s proponents believe that it follows you from life to life; this is not generally what people think about the law of attraction or cause and effect. However, whether you believe in reincarnation or not, and whether you believe that Karma follows you or not, no matter how you look at it, it is undeniable that there is a force which attracts to you the energies which you put out. These ‘energies you put out’ can be thoughts, intentions, words, actions, or a combination of all of the above. I believe that Karma is more forgiving than most people think. This is evidenced by the fact that positive thoughts seems to have so much more power than negative thoughts. Positive intentions often manifest in ways that are greater than what was ever imagined. Most of us have examples of this in our lives if we are paying attention. Aren’t many of the truly good things in your life even greater than what you would have expected? Aren’t many of the bad things in your life not really all that bad when you look at them in perspective? The system is rigged toward the positive. Positive feelings and thoughts will always create more and create faster than the negative. The problem is that most of us are caught in the negative so much of the time that we are still manifesting the negative – what we don’t want. We are still creating negative karma even though it is easier to create positive karma.

Karma often seems like something that we are a “victim” of, but that is only because the negative karma we create is usually done in unconsciousness. It happens when we are not paying attention. Lama Surya Das gives an example of a pickle jar. Imagine that you open a jar of pickles and become distracted after opening them (the phone rings, you get a text, etc.), then while you are distracted you put them back in the fridge without sealing the lid. What happens? The next time you go to the fridge to get the pickles, the lid comes off and you drop them. Now you have shattered glass, pickles and pickle juice all over the floor. You probably curse. If you don’t remember doing this yourself you might even instantly blame someone else like your spouse or child for being careless. Most of us have experienced something like this. Our action that we do in unconsciousness, (while we are distracted) causes an effect that is undesirable. In “The Secret” they discuss how the law of attraction is working all the time, even when we are not paying attention. Karma is the same, since we are essentially talking about the same law in different terms. It is working all the time, each moment of each day, with each thought, each action, each reaction, we are creating new karma, new manifestations. Thus, when you drop the pickle jar, remember that you still have a choice. You can react in anger and blame, or you can simply clean up the mess and move on. The latter decision will not create any more bad karma on top of the mess.

The unconscious stream of dialogue that most people have running through their heads is creating their karma, it is setting the law of attraction in motion. For most of us, it is difficult to pay attention 100% of the time, but regular meditation can help you learn to quiet and control your thoughts. What is going through your head most of the day? Are you thinking good thoughts about others? Good thoughts about the past or future? Or are they disparaging thoughts about others, and negative or fearful thoughts about the past or future? Whatever you are thinking will create more of the same, your thoughts are an energy which will attract like energies. Your feelings are a feedback system, so if you have trouble tracking your thoughts, which most of us do, pay attention to your feelings. They will tell you if what you are thinking in any given moment is in alignment or out of alignment with your highest self. When you feel “bad” it is generally because the thoughts you are having at the moment are not in alignment with your highest self. How do you turn that around? Listen to your favorite music, take a bath, meditate, breath, slow down, laugh, whatever you need to do to find your center. From the still place inside you, from the place of pure presence and awareness, you can hit the ‘reset’ button. Once you’ve made a new choice on where to focus your thinking, you are instantly creating new karma, and attracting new manifestations to your reality. Thank goodness for the ‘time delay’ of these laws. The effects do not happen instantly, and this gives us time to stop and hit the reset button when we need to, in order to create something new and better. This allows us to create from a place of consciousness instead of unconsciousness. That means no more broken pickle jars, it means you become aware that all things are your own choosing.

Love and Light,
Rhea Jamil

What is Love?

Fire-heart Ah, love. It is a simple little word that encompasses so much that it becomes nearly impossible to pin it down with a definition. I love ice cream. I also love my cat. I love my daughter. I love orchids. I love to dance. I love my husband. I love God. (Note these are not in any particular order). Each of these feelings I just described using the same word, has very different qualities. I can tell you that the feeling I have for ice cream is very different from the feeling I have for my husband, and yet I use the same word to describe it. This is in part a fallacy of our language. Some languages have different words for love which distinguish romantic love from platonic love, from God-like unconditional love. But even these distinctions do not capture the full diversity of feeling that is expressed by what we call Love.

Love can be defined in many ways, but in the end the definitions themselves are hollow, because love is something intuitive. It is not something that the left brain can fully quantify or clearly define. It simply is. You know it when you feel it. However, if I were to attempt to define love, I would express love as any reflection of the unity behind the duality. It is a deep longing for connectedness, fueled by the soul-level recognition of oneness. It is a desire to merge from separateness back to wholeness, equally matched by the desire to remain separate in order to share the space which allows the delicious experience of loving another. Any feeling that reminds us of the connection to divine essence from which we all emerged and to where we all return, we then call ‘love.’ This can express itself in many ways, and thus we have many different varieties of love, and many different qualities to the feelings which are associated with love. Even my simple love of an orchid flower is a reflection of the unity behind the duality. Every small act of love draws one closer to their source and to oneness, for no type of love is greater or lesser, all love is from the same source. When love is expanded even to the point that one learns even to love the enemy, then love becomes truly limitless, an ocean of unity within duality. There is a Sufi saying that love is the glue which holds the universe together. That is very accurate, as without love, in our state of separateness all would drift apart, there would be nothing to hold it together. Love creates the glue, it is the divine connection which holds all things together so that even when we are in the illusion of separateness, we know through the experience of love that we are still one, connected, united being.

Namaste,

Rhea Jamil

All As Truth – Wisdom from Story Waters

Rainbow-2
Freedom is not superior to limitation;
with this realization I am able to choose freedom.

Happiness is not superior to suffering;
with this realization I am able to let go of suffering

Abundance is not superior to poverty;
with this realization my abundance flows.

Nothing is superior to anything;
with this knowing I step out from
hierarchy, competition and struggle.

In this state I do not judge life;
therefore I do not feel separate from it.

I am so glad of the diversity in the world;
in its reflection I see my own freedom
to be whatever I wish to be.

We are not here to be one;
we are here to be many.

Through seeing that beyond this illusion we are all one,
we free ourselves to be the many.

I am not tied to any singular path to be a certain way.

I am diverse.

I am ever changing.

I am an explorer of All As Truth

~Story Waters

Non-Judgment and Self Love

nonjudgementThe Dali Lama has said “love is the absence of judgment.” Indeed, judgment can be seen as the opposite of love. Many of us have become conditioned to the idea that love comes with prerequisites; that someone else must behave in a certain manner to be deserving of our love. If we are honest with ourselves we can all admit that we find it hard to love some people, often including ourselves. The reason it is hard is because we are in judgment. Judgment is also a state of being unaware of our connection to divine source, and being in non-judgment helps us remember that source connection.

The traits we deem as ‘lovable’ vs. ‘unlovable’ are defined by our egos, and also by those extensions of our individual egos which include things like the larger society, culture, or religious dogma. These larger collective egos are very good at judging other societies, cultures or religions, even to the point of waging war with them. These collective egos, however, are reflections of the dominate individual ego. If the individual ego disappears in favor of love and non-judgment, then the behavior of society, culture and religion will begin to change as well. World peace begins with us, as individuals, choosing love instead of judgment.

Ego is the domain of the mind, and when we are in judgment, love gets caught up in the mind. In the mind love must be justified, which is what the mind is good at doing. If we can’t justify it, then we reject it as not being worthy of love. Those who fall outside of this matrix of worthiness then become the enemy, the ones we judge, and this can include ourselves. We become our own worst enemies. Often the reason we are so hard on others, the reason we find fault with others and judge them so quickly, is because we don’t love ourselves fully. The others are reflections of us, they will reflect back to us what we often don’t want to face in ourselves. When you move out of your head and into your heart, and you let go of judgment altogether, you find that love has no conditions and no boundaries. This is where you find your connection to source and to all things, this is the place of unconditional love. Unconditional love is love without judgment, love without the pre-requisite of “worthiness.”

The most important person to love unconditionally is yourself. Self love is not selfishness. Selfishness is a focus on lack, a belief that there is not enough to go around and so you must take from others to be complete; but then of course you never are complete because in selfish mode you continue to believe in lack, and thus lack will keep showing up – no matter what you take from others, it will never be enough to fill the void. This is why selfishness is a very unhappy state of being. Self love, on the other hand, is really the opposite of the state of selfishness. Self love is the state of being fulfilled in yourself. You no longer need to find fulfillment in the outer world when you truly love yourself unconditionally. Your relationships then deepen because others are “off the hook” from having to complete you, and they sense that. It makes them feel more at ease with you. Others feel free to be loving and to express themselves around you. In other words, show yourself the love that you wish you were getting from others, and you will attract others who reflect that love back to you.

Namaste,
Rhea Jamil