What Is True Authenticity?

If you can actually answer that spiritual question posed here of “What is TRUE authenticity?” then the next question would be “Then how do you define SELF-realization?”  (Wow, shades of Paramahansa Yogananda’s revelations on SELF-REALIZATION)—which is from the same ‘self-awareness era’ that A.H. Almaas reminds me of when I first read his “Diamond Approach” book a few years ago.  He was an early pioneer of self/TRUE SELF-realization back in the 70’s-80’s, when Yogananda’s epic Hindu philosophy was fairly popular.

The analysis of TRUE AUTHENTICITY all comes back to answering the basic questions of whoamihand (1).jpgWho am I?  What is my TRUE identity? Am I strictly a physical being ruled by my biology and pathology? Or am I an elusive spiritual entity seemingly trapped in an earth-bound physical body—constantly yearning to return to my True Higher Source from which I came?

These are all good questions, and ones I’ve certainly been asking myself for the last 30 years.

These old gems are surfacing again now because I’m currently understandingnarcissismst.jpglistening to A. H. Almaas (founder of the Diamond Approach®), on “how narcissism became an impediment to spiritual awakening”. (It’s Day 7 of the same “Understanding Narcissism” series from Sounds True, like the Caroline Myss presentation from a few days ago.)  According to Almaas,

“when you move from simply experiencing your spiritual nature, to BEING it—meaning, when you move from somebody who is experiencing the spiritual experience to BEING the spiritual experience itself—THAT is self-realization. …

…The Self here is NOT defined by the MIND in your self-identity—meaning: You are NOT who you erroneously delude yourself that you are—your self-identity may not be a pure representation of WHO you really are, but may instead be an aggregation of who you have been told that you are, who you wish that you were, and who you often act like in actual daily life.  It’s your self-representation—NOT your true self-identity.

Tami Simon pins him down pretty well here trying to sharpen his focus: “OK, and what you’re saying is this constellation of self-representations, self-images, self-identification with my body, with my name, with my place in the world, that this is all inherently narcissistic, because it’s not actually essential, stripped down, not what I actually AM in this moment without referencing memories and self-representations.”

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Almaas responds with “That is TRUE.  There is another way of looking at it,….it has nothing to do with instability and insecurity in the sense of self—a sense of false  identity. …now in spiritual work, the EGO is ultimately unstable and insecure because it is NOT who we really are.  So true challenges to our experience will show it (the EGO) to be fragile.  It may not be obvious in our experience, but when we come to something extraordinary or profound, the EGO is shaken. …because it’s NOT who we really are. …We are more than that.” …

…”In your old age, when you’ve lived your life and all that, when you come to the end of your accomplishments, where does your VALUE come from?  When you’re forgotten about, when you come to the end of what other people think of you, when you come to your actual self—where does your TRUE value come from?

For spiritually-realized people, value gushes out from inside.  It is inherent to the TRUE Self—that is SELF-REALIZATION.  The TRUE SELF is pure sense of preciousness, goodness, and beauty.  So its value is intrinsic and inherent. It does not need accomplishments.

…But in a realized person, those things are an expression of something deeper. And because of that, their actions and activities have a lot to do with benefiting others instead of simply benefiting oneself. ..So Ego is inherently self-centered. …But a realized person doesn’t think of others as different than oneself—they are naturally loving and caring, …not self-centered—self-focused.  …How do I feel? …I feel like my heart is full of some kind of richness, a richness, a fullness, a sort of sweetness, a kind of love, …a love that is an inherent higher value.  I, being ME, is PURE VALUE.  I don’t need others to see that value. I feel it—I am IT—which is a far cry from somebody who wants their value to be seen and acknowledged by others to feel a sense of value within themselves. … 

We are the SELF that is not created by the actions of time…. It simply IS—it infinitely exists as the ‘I AM’. THAT is SELF-REALIZATION—the direct recognition that I am the ‘I AM’. “

***

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When Things Go Wrong

Yes, we all have them—those times in our life when the normal doings of daily living go suddenly awry: the lawnmower blows a gasket mid yard, the water softener decides to whenthingsgowrongquote67.jpgregurgitate all over the basement floor, a beloved tree blows over in the wind, you are late for work and start to get in the car then notice you have a flat tire, …you get the picture.  It feels like the world is suddenly conspiring against you—and your bank account. 

You could get paranoid about it and start looking over your shoulder like someone or something has it in for you, or you can shrug it off as just some of life’s challenges that suddenly aligned together—all during the same strange week.

Well it does happen that way occasionally, but the other possibility is that there is something you may need to pay more attention to that you’ve been previously ignoring.  What might that be?

Where have you been focusing your energy? That would be the first thing I’d ask myself and I did ask myself that very thing since I’ve just had a week like that.  I’m still trying to make some sense of it.

Personal challenges for us are breaks in status quo—they are often wake-up calls to our consciousness to stay alert and pay more attention to what is transpiring around us because we might be missing something important happening to us or to our current situation.  And what have I determined?

For one thing, these collective energies at present are truly awful. I spend much of the day refocusing myself to be more simply observant and less reactive to people, situations and particularly to the news.  And it doesn’t surprise me that older appliances and machines are revolting now from years of excessive use because stuff doesn’t last forever. But when the overall energies are this chaotically bad—and lower frequency—you can usually expect more things to go wrong around you because conditions are so ripe for them to occur.

My advice for others, as well as for myself: Try not to take it personally—instead just take it in stride as examples of ‘stuff that happens,’ and move through the difficulties one by one until the ‘gone wrongs’ have been rectified.  Don’t fuss, don’t fret, just deal with them one by one until those problems no longer exist.

And know that you are not alone if you’re feeling the tenseness of the collective or the potential for explosive emotions in public settings.  It is simply a part of the energies of this moment in time.

Another suggestion: When you are in social settings, be prepared to be more patient and be more of a listener than a reactive respondent.  Hold your own energies as high as possible for you, and know that ‘THIS TOO SHALL PASS’ though not nearly fast enough for most of us.

Sometimes all you can say to yourself is, “Hang in there. You’ll get through it.”

And then really believe that it’s true.

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Pure Consciousness

The concept of pure consciousness is a hard one to fathom because we are beings of limited consciousness trying to make sense of something that exists far beyond our normal operating capabilities.rainbowgeometryvessel.jpg

When Joe is saying that if you take your mind off everything that you think you know or think that you are, and simply stop thinking in general and simply BE in the moment—NOT thinking, NOT doing, just sitting quietly and breathing in and breathing out—allowing your senses to cease inputting the nuances of your environment to the ‘awake mind’ that interprets sensory data; then in that momentary silence and stillness you can actually tap (or merge) into the realm of pure consciousness that you really are—an energy molecule connected to and riding the frequency waves of the quantum field.

He explains a bit below on the Facebook link shown; and I know that what he is offering here is not free, but at least I can share the info and opportunity with anyone further interested in what he might be offering.

I do believe that the more we consider the possibilities of our true nature (pure energy), the faster we comprehend how “changeable” our lives and our world really are.  Of anything that he teaches, he does stress that changability aspect—that the world we create is of our own making, so we have to change our way of viewing ourselves interacting with our world and with each other, to make this a better life for everyone, including for ourselves.

***

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Dr Joe Dispenza – OFFICIAL NEWS & FAN PAGE    (http://bit.ly/TheFormulaLivestream)

https://www.facebook.com/DrJoeDispenzaOfficialNewsFanPage/videos/3018042221804790/

“If you took your attention off of your body, your life, your identity, the thing things you own, the people you know, the places you go, and the concept of time, the only thing you’d be left with is pure consciousness. That means you’d be disinvesting your attention and energy out of this 3D reality and placing it on this immaterial realm called the quantum field—a place in which only energy, light, and information exists as frequency. And if where you place your attention is where you place your energy, and if you place all of your attention on this invisible field of energy that can’t be experienced with your senses—only with your awareness (or consciousness)—then you would be investing your attention and energy into the field. This is the realm that gives birth to matter. But how does matter take form?⁣⁣

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“If you stripped an atom down to its raw essentials, all that exists is energy and information, but the atom is not without design. Even at that quantum level, there within exists a structure and orderliness, so there must be some intelligence or force that is unifying and ordering them. The question then is—if you could get beyond your body, beyond the people in your life, the things you own, the places you visit, and time itself—if you took your attention off of everything material, could you connect to this energy? And if you could connect with this more organized, more coherent energy, would it not bring more organized and coherent energy into your body and life, both internally and externally?”   Dr. Joe Dispenza⁣
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The Softer, Gentler Person

At times I wish I were a softer, gentler person.littlegirlkitten (2).jpg

I wish I could look lovingly at what I consider the lesser behavior traits of others and smile with unconditional understanding and acceptance.

I wish I could just acknowledge how much inbred hatred and fear we all harbor for those who appear different than we are, and yet say ‘It’s okay because we are still quoteongentle45 (1).jpgblessed and mutually bound by our hearts to a greater Divine Love that connects us all.’

And actually mean it.

But I know I am not really a soft and gentle person, no matter how hard I work at becoming one.

That’s just not who I am. I’ve been warrior in too many lifetimes. This I know from my own hypnosis, past-life explorations.

Right now in this lifetime, I’m probably as soft and gentle as I’ll ever be, and that’s okay because it’s who I really am. You don’t tame warrior, you learn to redirect it toward constructive endeavors.

I’m probably more like this ornery, ginger-stripped cat who now shares my house, than I really want to admit.  While I often wish that he were more loving and cuddly—more quoteongentle45 (2)like our many other beautiful, sweet cats of the past—he simply isn’t, because that’s just not who he is and it’s not how he will ever be.

He’s a fighter—a tiger—a ‘tear into you with teeth slashing’ little, orange manic that really likes to do battle even against a much larger foe. (Which unfortunately in this house would be me.)

So I guess that despite how I tend to think of his fiercer, less-cuddly mannerisms as character deficits, I do live with the correct animal match for my true personality. It’s just not pleasant to see yourself reflected in your pet house-mate that way.littlegirlkitten (1)

And when he does decide to snuggle in under my chin, loving me up with his raspy red tongue while I cringe and shudder until he quits, I know that this sign of deep affection is his way of showing me his softer and gentler self, if only for a few, brief, peaceful moments at a time.

 

Be Yourself

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“Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just be. Just being in the moment in this place is the deepest practice of meditation.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Before long the humble Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn, who lived much of his life in exile from his home country of Vietnam, will “transition” from this earth to the spirit plane.

He is 92 years-old now and has been revered by the western world for the last 53 years, since he left his war-torn country and began an extensive tour of the world outside his previously limited domain.

He suffered a severely debilitating stroke in November of 2014 and has been fairly silent ever since. It is reported that he has recently returned to his homeland for his eventual passing.thichbeyourselfquote.jpg

As a mindfulness teacher, Thich Nhat Hahn is credited with popularizing that particular meditation practice in the west—also credited with the “walking meditation” practice that he would demonstrate with his many followers at Plum Village in France.

Over the years I’ve read a few of his books and followed his shared thoughts. He always amazed me with his emotional calmness and unwavering sense of personal peace.

At this writing, he is still with us physically although his health is deteriorating, but he will always be with us in Spirit memory long after his body finally relinquishes this earthly life.

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Shoshin – The Beginner’s Mind

Sounds a bit paradoxical, but I can easily say that despite lessIknow45.pnghow much I’ve often thought that I knew throughout my life, or how hard-won that advanced knowledge came into being for me, the older I get the better I appreciate how little I actually DO know.

In truth it seems that with every passing day I feel this almost humorous certainty growing stronger within me: a certainty-of-my-own-ignorance—that jolting realization that what you once believed to be truth, actually wasn’t, and you may never know the REAL truth no matter how old or knowledgeable you become because that TRUTH exists in a realm that is incomprehensible to your present existence.

This body shock of awakening to our own innate ignorance can be scathingly honest and quite humbling.

It certainly was to my ego.

But to those who study Zen, this isn’t some new concept—some might simply call it ‘cultivating the Beginner’s Mind.’

What is Beginner’s Mind?  Here’s a good explanation first from Wikipedia, then from a Zen master himself.

Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning ‘beginner’s mind.’ It refers to having shozinbeginnersmind.pngan attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.”

Text source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin

Master Shunryu Suzuki can explain it far better than I can:

“People say that practicing Zen is difficult, but there is a misunderstanding as to why. It is not difficult because it is hard to sit in the cross‑legged position, or to attain enlightenment. It is difficult because it is hard to keep our mind pure and our practice pure in its fundamental sense.

In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means ‘beginner’s mind.’ The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind…

For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our ‘original mind’ includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self‑sufficient state of mind.

This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.

The most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner’s mind. There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen. Even though you read much Zen literature, you must read each sentence with a fresh mind.

You should not say, ‘I know what Zen is,’ or ‘I have attained enlightenment.’ This is shoshinmaster.jpgalso the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner.

Be very, very careful about this point. If you start to practice zazen, you will begin to appreciate your beginner’s mind. It is the secret of Zen practice.”

Shunryu Suzuki
from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

 

So I acknowledge that here I sit in my own ignorance while trying to make sense of our life existence.

These are the very things I often write about: What is reality?—What is consciousness?—What are we doing here? Why are we here? Who benefits and how do they benefit from our incarnating here during this time period or ANY time period?

All those unanswerable questions come down to the battle in our minds over the relevance between our DOING and our BEING.

Here is a basic truth as I presently know it:  I AM.  I EXIST.  I EXPERIENCE.  I OBSERVE.

And I try like the dickens NOT to judge the value of what I am observing because to do so implies a comparative knowledgebase that I do not have—at least not from my humble human perspective.

the-older-i-get-the-less-i-know-by-that-i-mean-the-less-i-am-sure-of-i-view-p-403x403-nkb3nfSo each day I open my eyes and wonder what this day will bring to me. I wonder what new realization will occur to my sensing abilities. I wonder what type of sense I can make of whatever is happening to me and around me, but knowing full well that ‘making sense’ is a judgment in itself.

However, I also know that only through shoshinbeginner’s mind—can I simply observe all and note those observances without judgment or expectation—knowing I must simply allow all occurrences (and not labeling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’) to flow along with the river of life into the great sea of consciousness that connects us all and patiently awaits our return.

This I also know:  Beginner’s Mind is not easily achieved nor sustained for long unless you willingly intend it.

The VICTIM or the WORLD

“So the question is fundamentally, do you define yourself as a victim of the world, or the world?”  – Alan Watts watts meaing oflife56.jpg

Here in this short video narrated by Alan Watts,  he asks “What does it mean to spiritually awaken?”

video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7blUYJm6i-c

“So then, here’s the drama. My metaphysics, let me be perfectly frank with you, are that there is the central Self, you could call it God you could call it anything you like. And it’s all of us. It’s playing all the parts of all beings whatsoever everywhere and anywhere. And it’s playing the game of hide and seek with itself. It gets lost, it gets involved in the farthest out adventures but in the end it always wakes up, and comes back to itself. And when you’re ready to wake up, you’re gonna wake up. And if you’re not ready, you’re gonna stay pretending that you’re poor little me.”   – Alan Watts

Alan Watts is always interesting to hear; and his take on enlightenment is more direct and sometimes more cutting than the often gentle approaches of Eckhart Tolle or Deepak Chopra.  But Watts is usually pretty clear and concise in his talks.

watts univers quote.jpgHe gets to the point quickly, but with more ‘attitude,’ I guess you could call it, than the others. (Some might call it an ‘entertainer’s ego’. Others might say he simply loved to poke fun at others who claimed to be “enlightened,” as well as poking fun at himself for his “polished spokesmanship” on the many subjects that he discussed.)

His online biography is interesting and quite colorful. He died in 1973 at the age of 58, but his influence lives on in all the YouTube videos that are broadly shared throughout social media. He has presently entered a resurgence of popularity for his sharp frankness and critique of religious institutions in general.

His second video listed here is called “How to Wake Up”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAQ4FuKlY9g

I personally find it helpful to sample all the flavors of enlightenment that others offer to us. Perhaps our own personalities respond best to one over the others.

To me as an energy worker, the feel of listening to Watts is not as peace-inducing as Tolle’s more soft and gentle approach.  Watts affect is more like stepping naked onto the shower floor and then turning on the water—where the first blast sprayed from the showerhead is cold and shocking before the warmer water rises through the pipes.

But in the 1960’s and 70’s—during the rise of the ‘Flower Children,’ he was the man to hear.

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