On the Nature of Consciousness

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In this video Deepak Chopra, MD, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD., were discussing “the Nature of Consciousness” in front of a large in-house audience. https://www.facebook.com/1975293189394717/videos/2006140909643278/

Kabat-Zinn was talking about his parents who, through their own careers and pursuits, kabatzinnport.jpgboth held very separate views of what reality meant to them, and how he, as a child and then a man, used his parents’ disparate reality views to steer his own late-adolescent life into the subjects that he pursued during his academic endeavors.

If you are into meditation or meditative philosophy, you are familiar with Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose first book that I read way-back-when was Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.

These two were talking about many of their early-academia influences such as quantum physicist David Bohm and religious scholar Huston Smith, and the Indian mystic/intellectual/philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti whose subject matter included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, and how the group psyche must evolve to meet the needs of this world now awakening. “I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. … The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

So basically during this conversation between Chopra and Kabat-Zinn, I’m chopradialog.jpgcomprehending that all these previous influential thinkers mentioned by them provided the scaffolding from which each of them constructed their own personal views on life in general, and showed them how best to perceive and interpret this reality experience for themselves.  They each created their version of reality through the influence of others who had previously affected them in some way—a newly shared perspective perhaps—a new way of thinking or considering the world around us.

And while I’m writing this, I realize that I’m doing the very same thing in my blog posts—I’m charting the history of my early influences and how my personal philosophy now reflects those influences and the thoughts first expressed long ago by others. Perhaps most of us are mere synthesizers of other’s original thought.  Possible, I suppose.  Or there is NO original thought, just periods of time in which that thought surfaces for consideration from various humanpreceiverconscious.jpgreceptors of consciousness who interpret it in their own ways.

So back to the nature of reality and consciousness: Here you have two meditation masters discussing the process and benefits of meditation, but also how reality is a personal creationan intention of how you focus your consciousness.  Okay but…..

 So what is consciousness?  (I thought that’s what they were suppose to discuss but didn’t.)

What is consciousness?  Wow—that’s a tough one (which must be why they didn’t get into specifics), other than to say consciousness is awareness of self and the greater surroundings.

Awareness is simply sentience—the ability to feel, perceive, or experience.

But interpretation of that awareness is what shifts the perception to judgment or opinion, and makes for subjective reality, which is how each of us interprets the reality experience for ourselves.

the-nature-of-human-consciousness.jpgSo then does that mean that the nature of consciousness is simply the aware observer observing that whatever is, IS? 

Or is consciousness an infinite ocean of Allness from which our meager perceptive abilities can sample only droplets at a time without flooding our sensing mechanisms (blowing our minds)?

I think Eckhart Tolle referred to this previously somewhere, that consciousness is NOT a “thing”—it is EVERYTHING—ALLNESS—the Source of us individually and ALL other possibilities.

Consciousness is that infinite, ever-present ocean—ever churning, ever pulsing, ever being, wave after wave, in indescribable vastness and indeterminable immensity—substance, void, material and non, presence, imfiniteocean56.jpgessence, simply ALL possibilities both imaginable and inconceivable.  

For humans, consciousness refers to our material processes of being alive and aware of our surroundings, including the awareness of ourselves.

But consciousness in general is indefinable and indistinguishable from what we refer to as God or Source.

No wonder Chopra and Kabat-Zinn avoided the details on the nature of consciousness in that hour discussion.

 

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“If Not Now, Then When?”

(Thanks to Tao & Zen on  May 25  for this posting from Lama Surya Das in 1994)

(I personally align to no particular religion, but am open to quality spiritual thought. I like Buddhism for its psychological depth and self-examination aspects. I like Hinduism for its ancient Vedic Seers (as well as more modern saints) who were capable of parting the veil obscuring our perceptions on this life. I like agnostics who claim that we can’t possibly know God based solely on our limited comprehensions. And I especially like the wisdom of our own Higher Self aspects that define our life experiences within the context that this human vehicle is capable of understanding.  To me, this article expresses all of those ‘likes’ by simply discussing Dharma—the way of awakening to one’s fullest potential.)

“Buddhist meditation is the heart of the path of awakening. It is called Dharma… the way of awakening to one’s fullest potential, in Western terms.buddhamedpic5.jpg

‘Awakening from what?’ you might ask. Awakening from the sleep of semiconsciousness, the dream of delusion. Awakening to enlightenment, illumination, freedom, nirvanic peace, inner peace as well as outer peace.

This is a path that we travel. It is not a dogma or belief system that we need to accept. In fact, as a very wonderful wise friend of mine, an American lama, once said, “It doesn’t really matter what we believe. It only matters what we do and are.”

I found that interesting. In Buddhism we usually say it doesn’t matter what we do, it matters how aware we are. It shows that the outer and inner are totally inseparable. It is what we are that counts, but that is what we do, actually. Our inner state shows up in our behavior…

If we practice this path, we experience the fruits, the results. Each of us innately has that Buddha potential or Buddha-nature, enlightened perfect nature.

Not just in us, like a needle in a haystack, so hard to find; rather, it is us, just waiting to be realized fully, or actualized. So this path of meditative practice, of self-inquiry, of cultivation of awareness is a practice path that we travel ourselves. Not a dogma we need to believe.

This meditative practice is like a mirror to help us see ourselves, to better know ourselves, thoroughly — our true selves, not just our superficial personalities and conditioned social selves, our persona, but our true nature, our true selves. To unfold and realize that is possible. That’s what we call awakening the Buddha within.

An ancient rabbi, Hillel I think, said, “If not you, then who? And if not now, when?” If you are not the Bodhisattva, a selfless spiritual activist or hero serving the welfare of beings, who will be?

And if not now, when? This is a call to action–not just worldly, compulsive busy-body-like activity, but a call to Buddha-activity, enlightened activity, enlightened living… ifnotnowwhen7.jpg

Not just living wisdom from the eyebrows up, totally cerebral and intellectual. Rather, embodying truth and living it.”

~ Lama Surya Das ~ Excerpts from “Dharma Talk,” October 24, 1994; Cambridge, MA.

 

On Creating Your Reality

I really hadn’t planned to write today but when I listened to this interview with Wendy Kennedy from yesterday’s “Beyond the Ordinary Show” (April 3, 2018), I realized that wendykennedy4.pngshe was eloquently elaborating on what I have been saying in this blog about ‘creating the reality you desire by holding the energy frequency that makes it possible for that reality to exist.’ To get the message directly, use the link I provide, but otherwise I’ve paraphrased below as she spoke. (And yes, much of this is channeled info—just saying, if that bothers you. But channeled or not, it felt like TRUTH to me.)

https://www.beyondtheordinaryshow.com/replays/?inf_contact_key=8874ac10566758a7743475da9173ed503f445e7d6e05e4e054555eb4ef208abe

“Your reality is based on your belief systems. And you place yourself on a NOW moment that is aligned in that.  If you change your frequency, you change to different versions of your reality—so your reality is all of your own making.

It’s about you—not other people. It’s about what YOU are doing that creates your reality, not what others are doing. Put yourself back into personal power and build for yourself what you want to see in your life. You are NO ONE’s victim. Stand in your own power. Build it—but be inclusive—build your own reality—the reality you wish to live in.

WendyKennedyS14-main-graphic-1024x1024.pngYou aren’t separate from others and yet you are not dependent upon them for your Spirit growth, or for the reality that you create.

Work on your state of BEING. Consciously and intently, work on your state of BEING. Live in love, not fear. Live with the highest intention for goodness and light. BE that person you wish existed all around you. BE the love, BE the light. Hold that frequency you desire to create the reality that you wish to live.

You are inherently safe. But what you believe about your present reality is what attracts the things to you that you fear. What you truly believe about yourself and the world around you is what you attract to you.

This is a continuing process. This is not a one-time effort. Every day and throughout the day, you consciously bring yourself into that higher frequency of Divine Light and Love, and HOLD that frequency as long as possible. Then later in the day, do it again; then later, do it again.  Day after day throughout the day you keep doing this—keep raising and holding that higher frequency. You keep releasing your old limiting beliefs, now allowing yourself to feel your Oneness with everything and everyone.

Let go of the old. Dream a NEW dream. It is time for NEW dreams. Vision the New dream. Feel the NEW dream within you. What would it feel like to live this NEW experience? How does it feel inside to be safe and secure, to be loved and aligned with Spirit’s highest intentions? THAT is the emotional energy you hold in your consciousness to call that more desirable reality to you.thinkingfeelingreality.jpg

To create the NEW dream, you have to not only envision that future reality, but you have to feel the emotions of it as well—you must feel the joy of living it. Your emotional energies (these are the frequencies that your body generates) are what substantiate the reality that you call to you. …

Watch your attachment to the ‘form’ of how you think something should materialize for you. Instead, watch for the energy frequency that comes to you that matches the frequency of what you wanted—don’t be as concerned with the manifestation ‘packaging’ as to what is IN the package. Don’t discount the content because it didn’t come in the package that you expected it to arrive in.  caycerealitythought

Get quiet to recognize the frequencies that are around you and that you attract. You have to be able to read subtle frequencies, and you can’t do that when you are madly interacting with your environment.

Stop. Get quiet. And FEEL what is happening around you. Be ready to receive what you had requested, but be ready to receive something other than what you might have envisioned for yourself. Don’t look for the matching form of your desired reality—look/feel for the matching frequencies of that reality to know whether what you have requested has arrived. …”

***

Personally, I (RAH) thought this interview was worth hearing and only wanted to share the opportunity to do so with you.

Yearning for Normalcy

 

I think we’ve reached a point in our personal/group evolution where we are nearly overwhelmed at the constant chaos in every aspect of our lives and yearn for something more stable and calming.choasmess

That calming influence could mean shutting off media sources or isolating ourselves from the masses; or it could mean simply saying “No,” to attempts to constantly disrupt us. I personally am thankful for the mute button on my TV control.

If you are sick of listening to lies, then stop listening. Meditate, sit in nature, exercise, listen to music, watch inspirational channels or videos that help you reach a deeper part of who you really are.

We always have a choice in what we do and what (or whom) we allow into our lives.

I often talk about how environmental energies are always affecting us, like the energy ocean we swim in daily—the unseen effects of rampant emotions and deliberately sown discord, not to mention the cosmic or solar energies that bombard us 24/7.  Those energies are still strong at present—powerfully disruptive, and they can take a toll on us if we rainbow fractalswirl.jpglet them.

It is documented that full moon energies affect people in strange ways, as do solar flares flood us with higher potency frequencies that disrupt more than radio transmissions. We are all tiny wavelets in a massive ocean of electromagnetic frequencies that ripple about our own little centers while affecting all others nearest to us. When the solar winds whip up, that energy ocean can get pretty choppy.

And yes, in truth we are tired of being so disharmoniously affected by everything we experience. We yearn for homeostasis—a state of equilibrium—a more soothing sense of normalcy.mlkquote normalcy.jpg

However, and there is always a however, what we are daily experiencing is NOT genuine normalcy unless you consider chaos to be the NEW normal, which I refuse to allow as my state of normalcy.

So if you likewise refuse to accept constant chaos in your life, then make the necessary changes in your environment and in your relationships to create for yourself a more stable sense of normalcy. Create a routine that nourishes you, that calms you, that satisfies your need for greater stability. Strategize a plan to provide the creativity from chaosvery feelings and more enjoyable specifics that are presently missing in your life.

Don’t be so acceptant of how chaotic things are at present. Instead, CREATE your life the way you wish it to be.

You have the potential and the ability to do that very thing. You are the main creator here in your life. Those powers are up to you to use or to ignore, but don’t blame others for your lack of something when YOU have the creative juices to produce it for yourself.

As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Be that person who creates the life she desires.creatorofyourlife

Be the force for good—the force for sanity—the force for peaceful coexistence with your neighbors.

BE the NEW NORMAL!

And others will follow you.

Recommending Halpern’s “Deep Theta” for Transcendent Meditation

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Looking for peace amidst the current nonsensical, political storm, I was going through my meditation playlist and ran across some oldies but very effective “goodies;” one of which was Steve Halpern’s “Deep Theta” set.  Very nice indeed!

I highly recommend this “Deep Theta” set (CD or Streaming) for regaining serious quietude.  Lovely tones clear and sooth the mind with beautiful sonic resonance that allows for deep brain coherence.  It’s reminiscent of undulating atop a placid lake on a tubular raft during summer’s warmest embrace.

I’d forgotten how nice that CD/mp3 set was.

If you prefer more melodic phrasing, another nice one to relax into is Halpern’s halperninnerpeace“Inner Peace”.  But the “Deep Theta” set is definitely my choice for reaching a higher level of being. This is a transcendence path. If you want to travel out and beyond your personal boundaries, the DT set is the one in which to listen.

What I’m personally finding more so in the last couple months is that you just have to shut out the external noise to remember who you really are at your soul level—which is far more than the BS we are currently experiencing in physicality.

So get quiet and go soul deep. That’s where you can really change things in your own life, as well as change the world around us. It’s all about higher harmonic resonance and the frequencies that we choose to hold for ourselves. The higher the frequency, the more personal control you have over your own health and the quality of your personal experience.

More on that later.

At present, these “Deep Theta” tones are helping to shift my vibration higher, and I’m sure they will help you to shift your own as well.

Peace.   (Which is the whole point.)

The Beautiful Mystery

This title could be referring to LIFE itself, but here it refers to a book I just finished by Louise Penny called The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.beautiful mystery.jpg

Why I mention it is because it describes a fictional, secluded Canadian monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups (Saint Gilbert Among the Wolves) where an ancient order of Gilbertine monks reside and produce the most transcendent Gregorian chants imaginable in the modern world.

The book was okay—no literary masterpiece, but it did inspire me to look for my old CD of Gregorian Chants just to recall hearing the actual sounds of harmonious devotion sung in lower keys.

No luck.  Not even in Billy Joel’s hidden location. So I went online to Amazon to hear a few samples just to remember the vibrational feel of the monk’s chanting. Back when I first purchased my set of Gregorian Chants, I remembered them as interesting, but not awe-inspiring or ephemerally transcendent—or trance inducing as the book had claimed. I’m sure if they had been, I’d still be listening to them.

But I was at least inspired to keep playing Amazon samples of various Gregorian chants and other choral music until I heard some that did feel more ascendant and heavenly. ericwhitacher gold.jpgHowever, they weren’t Gregorian. They were in Eric Whitacher’s hauntingly-beautiful choral album called Light and Gold.

Check that out on Amazon if you get a chance. The very first song sample sold me. It was called “Lux Aurumque” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs) .  This Virtual Choir has to be the most amazing thing in the world. The sound on the album Light and Gold is beyond ethereal, but the YouTube version is pretty close to it as well.

Just wanted to share that little discovery I made today with anyone if interested.

This time of year with our political situation in the states, we need all the ethereal assistance we can muster to shift our energies higher and beyond the level of these far lesser beings controlling our world.

How to Reset the Mind

As I mentioned previously, new info sources are really flowingdeepak2.jpg before me now. Saw an article this morning by Deepak Chopra, MD, who most everyone on the planet who is and has been into spirituality for the last 20 years, knows in some way.

I’ll post a few way-too-long excerpts before I make my own comments:

 “Does the Human Mind Need a Fresh Start?” By Deepak Chopra, MD

In SF Gate – On November 20, 2017

https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/article/5915?sso_code=eyJpdiI6IlNPZHBsUDljdUZZcHpwUFpRZlFcLytBPT0iLCJ2YWx1ZSI6IkZFY245OUFGNGQwWHlLcXQ3Vm8zXC9UMjBYTlR6YlJLTXJHb0tXWGM4N1dOWTc1Z1lIbmR4ZnkrXC91cWU3Y1hSaW9kcERCdmNsUE5EdENnbzNXRUhtbWcwVk5EZUF0Z3Yza25YV1BlSlYzWDQ9IiwibWFjIjoiN2NmMWI0OGZhYTUyZTFjMDk4ZDlhNjMxMjE4YjZhNzlkZDY5OGM3NWY1ZDE4MWE5MDc1MDUyZGMzNWJkZTU3ZSJ9

“Most people would agree, even without a degree in psychology, that many if not most problems are created by the mind. …

resetmind“Medicine aims to relieve people of mental distress, with the goal of addressing a mood disorder like depression, for example, and returning the mind to a normal state. But this only highlights our confusion over what “normal” means, because there are plenty of ills created by people who would pass the test for normality. …

“It isn’t the brain that has created such misery and confusion, such lack of self-awareness; therefore, neuroscience and psychotropic drugs aren’t going to save us. It’s the mind’s status in everyday life that lies at the heart of the dilemma.  Here are the basic areas of confusion and conflict that remain unsolved.

  • Is human nature changeable? If so, why is history a litany of the same oppression, war, and strife repeated century after century?
  • Are we inherently good or evil? Where do good and evil come from?
  • Is the unconscious a dark, fearful realm or the source of inspiration, insight, and love?
  • Why is it so difficult to curb the tendency toward anger, fear, envy, and insecurity that lies just beneath the surface when people are put under stress?
  • Why are whole populations addicted to us-versus-them thinking? What makes common humanity so feeble in comparison?
  • Finally, why is it so difficult to find happiness? Is happiness ultimately a fleeting state, a blip in an existence ruled by every kind of unhappiness?

“One reason that these questions remain unanswered is that modern society has devised no kind of answer that seems to fit. These aren’t medical questions, nor are they within the domain of scientific problems.  Psychology as currently practiced is about relieving the mental distress of people who need it, not diagnosing and treating “normal” people. Philosophy and religion are on the wane so drastically that they have little influence, and it’s not clear whether religion in particular is part of the problem or part of the solution. Secularism based on reason has its advantages in dispelling myth and superstition, but rational, dispassionate science gave us atomic weapons and ever-more-lethal means of mechanized death. ….lifechange.jpg

“These vexing problems aren’t being laid out to sound gloomy, but to place a proposition on the table, the proposition that the human mind needs a fresh start. This is the only path to redefining what it means to be human. Despite the evolutionary argument that would make us prisoners of the past (violent because of the lower brain, predacious because of the need to compete for food and mating rights, afraid because of the need for continual defense in the harshness of natural surroundings, etc.), there is an equal argument for free will, higher consciousness, our so-called better angels, loving kindness, and everything else one associates with enlightened humanity. …

“No one doubts that such qualities exist, and they too are mind-created. So at bottom we aren’t talking about the human mind, or human nature, as inherently evil, ignorant, and self-destructive. Instead, the human mind and human nature are divided, and the division exists in everyone. Realizing this fact, most of the solutions to human ills come down to the same thing: coaxing people to identify with the positive side of human nature and denying or releasing themselves from the negative side. …

“In this case it refers to the mind but not to the totality of awareness—that’s the clue to a workable solution to the divisions created by the mind. Awareness is the foundation of thought but it isn’t a thought. It is the foundation of good and bad behavior, positive and negative impulses, but awareness doesn’t behave or feel impulsive. By analogy, awareness is like color. Horrible and beautiful images use color, but color itself isn’t horrible or beautiful by nature. …

“This single fact allows us to know ourselves in a new way, to give the mind a fresh start. Everything we call innate about the mind is conditioned, learned, constructed, inherited, reinforced, and struggled against. …

universalconsciousness3.jpg“It is inevitable that consciousness wants to know itself, unlike the mind, which spends endless time and energy not knowing itself. The inevitability of consciousness is the second greatest insight of the world’s wisdom traditions—let’s see how it expresses itself in our time.”

***

Ok, ….so aside from the fact that I wish Deepak would condense his article a bit more into a few specific thoughts to explore rather than defining the entire human condition in one blog post, the key point I got from it was all of humanity’s problems stem from our conditioned responses to every aspect of the world that we inhabit, and that we need to reset our minds to change the inevitable conclusion that we default to, which is our being preprogrammed for violence and self-preservation.  (“You want to be good—then stop being bad” sort of thinking.)

The main questions that he raises here on humanity’s potential for changing itself are important ones to consider further:

  • “Is human nature changeable?
  • Are we inherently good or evil?
  • Is the unconscious a dark, fearful realm or the source of inspiration, insight, and love?
  • Why is it so difficult to curb the tendency toward anger, fear, envy, and insecurity that lies just beneath the surface when people are put under stress?
  • Why are whole populations addicted to us-versus-them thinking?
  • Why is it so difficult to find happiness?”

Here are MY bullet points pertaining to that:

  • I’m sure that every therapist in existence today makes a living dealing with those same key issues.
  • Self-help gurus make their fortunes providing palatable answers and working solutions to those same questions for the crowds who follow them.
  • Philosophers and theologians have staked their life’s work on providing theses and institutional hypotheticals pertaining to the countering of man’s innate badness tendencies with man’s potential qualities for goodness.
  • There are real-world ego/financial-based reasons shown above that may stymie genuine progress in evolving mankind’s earth-based consciousness.

everyconsciousne.jpgAnd if I understood what Deepak was trying to explain, he is saying that “consciousness” (here meaning the Great Awareness—Universal Existence—GOD) is the infinitely larger reservoir of ALL THERE IS TO KNOW, while the human mind is more finite and self-focused on its own perpetuating state of existence within the human vessel.

So when we can expand our awareness beyond the limited self and tap into the larger UNIVERSAL AWARENESS consciousness, we have the potential for changing the human condition and humanity itself for the future.

At least I hope that’s what he was saying.meditationsit.jpg

He’s been pushing meditation and spiritual transcendence for decades, so focusing on connecting into the Higher Aspect Consciousness is his suggestion to resetting the human mind to recognize its potential for goodness and maximum co-creativity for our world.

But retraining ourselves also involves lengthy undoing of previous training (from our infancy onward by parents, teachers, religions, peers, media, etc.). That’s why there are so many practicing psychotherapists, and I bet they do way more untraining than retraining.

reset button

Too bad we aren’t like our computers in that respect. You hit the reset button with your fingers crossed and your mouth held just right, and hope for the best.