Religion or Spirituality?

“We need to distinguish between two crucial terms: religion and spirituality. The word religion has many meanings; in particular it implies a concern with the sacred and supreme values of life. The term spirituality, rogerwalshquoteon religionon the other hand, refers to direct experience of the sacred. Spiritual practices are those that help us experience the sacred for ourselves.

For thousands of years wise men and women from all traditions have sung the praises of the many benefits that flow into the lives of practitioners as they progress along the spiritual path.

Gradually, the heart begins to open, fear and anger melt, greed and jealousy dwindle, happiness and joy grow, love flowers, peace replaces agitation, concern for others blossoms, wisdom matures, and both psychological and physical health improve. Virtually all aspects of our lives are touched in some way.

Within ourselves we find our deepest self, our true Self, and recognise that we are not only more than we imagined but more than we can imagine. We see that we are a creation of the sacred, intimately and eternally linked to the sacred, forever graced and embraced by the sacred. This is the greatest of all discoveries, the secret of all secrets, the priceless gift that is both the source and the goal of the world’s religions…

These traditions suggest that the [primary cause of human suffering] lies in our false sense of identity. They claim that we are separated from the sacred and thereby unaware of our true nature. This separation is described in various ways. In Judaism and Christianity it is called “the fall.” In Hinduism and Buddhism it is specifically a fall into the semiconscious state of maya, while in Taoism it is the apparent deviation from the Tao.

But whatever it is called the underlying message is the same: in falling into illusion we have forgotten our boundless spiritual nature. Consequently, we underestimate ourselves terribly, believing we are merely little egos isolated in our fragile bodies, and that we are fundamentally deficient. How could we feel otherwise when we have constricted ourselves so terribly and torn ourselves away from our Source?”

~Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D.
Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices to Awaken Heart & Mind

 

 

“Ultimate Manifestation”

What on earth is Ultimate Manifestation?

I’m alluding to a blurb in the book jacket of Paul Selig’s newest book soon to be released, called: Beyond the Known: Realization. seligbookcovrealization.jpg

Here’s the description:

“Expanding on and transcending his previous work, Realization, the first volume in the Beyond the Known trilogy, is composed of the pure, unedited words of the Guides as they share their wisdom and knowledge through Selig. It serves as a psychological-spiritual guide to take readers beyond the perceived limitations of accepted reality and open their minds to ultimate manifestation.

 

Maybe the erroneous words in my previous question were “What on earth…” because the book jacket interior mentions hypnotically ascending into what shamans would term “Upper World”—the higher dimension from earthly life where our energy bodies (spirits) go when the physical body dies.

Christians call it Heaven or the Kingdom.  Shamans simply call it Upper World.  I often upperworldshaman.jpgrefer to it as Spirit-world to avoid any religious associations.

So my next question would then be, if this blurb is referring to something called: the “Ultimate Manifestation,” does that mean that we are manifesting the Upper World dimension into this present earthly dimension, or are we somewhat “materializing/manifesting” some aspects of ourselves into Upper World?  Or is it a hybrid of both possibilities that is created when we actually shift our collective dimension into a somewhat higher-frequency plane than earth is, but not actually reaching the Upper World dimension?  Like a newer version of our reality, such as “Earth Reality 2.1.”  Maybe we are being upgraded?

I really don’t know.  Hard to say what it means especially since the book isn’t yet available to read—and I’m sure to some it’s hard to even imagine the possibilities of any of those options occurring.

Had I not visited Upper World myself a few times during my own shamanic journeys, I would have no idea to what he was referring.  But I have seen some aspects of Upper World—although my visits allowed into it were limited.

I’ve even guided hypnosis clients into that higher SPIRIT WORLD dimension where they met with their personal guides and discussed the “life lessons” that they had received prior to that particular past-life death that we had just explored from the vantage of a recliner in my hypnosis office on earth. etheralshamanicworld.jpg

One aspect of what I do in hypnosis is to guide a client into a Past-life Exploration or do a more in-depth Spirit-World Exploration.  From my various experiences (both personal and in helping others), I can say that when we all die, we go into Spirit-World (Upper World) where we assess the life just lived for lessons learned and for realizations made through living that previous earthly life.

We are instructed/assisted there (in Spirit World) by a master teacher or guide on better understanding why we just experienced what we did in that earth life; and we assess how those experiences best (or worst) affected us.  In most cases, we are then taken to a healing location in that Spirit World dimension where we are cleansed and purified and revitalized to cleanse our previous-life-lived, energy-body of traumas and emotional wounds (which is basically repairing any residual energy damage to our overall energy field) and to set the stage for what will happen next for us to explore/learn in subsequent incarnations into the earth plane classroom.

The explanation I’m providing on this subject matter may seem more simplified than it actually is in Spirit World; and some aspects spiritworldwebofspirit.jpgof that higher-frequency dimension are truly unrelatable to this earth dimension, so these descriptions often don’t translate well for our present comprehension levels, but… overall, I can readily say that I am personally aware that such a place as Upper World (or Spirit World) does exist, as are a few of my clients who also have experienced their own visits there.

And knowing that a place actually exists is half the battle to aspiring to reach it.

So when Selig says: “…It (the book) serves as a psychological-spiritual guide to take readers beyond the perceived limitations of accepted reality and open their minds to ultimate manifestation.”  …I’m guessing he’s referring to helping readers experience that nearly-incomprehensible, higher-frequency dimension for themselves so they can aspire to create it in their own minds and then make it their own reality.

If that is the case, when the book does come available just sit back and enjoy the journey as you read it.

 

 

The Power of Story

Who doesn’t love a good story—a tale of mystery and inspiration?roaringfirecamplog.jpg

Well gather round the roaring fire my friends, and let us willingly partake of this storyteller’s narration:

“Long ago—long before there was written language, people gathered at night by their own camp fires for protection and warmth and to hear tales of bravery or to hear of fearsome encounters with all sorts of beasts.

Or maybe they gathered to hear of a far-away land of abundance and easy reaping of food sources that could get the family through from one day to the next, or from one week to the next; or to those who watched the changing sky at night, a place of such sufficient food supplies that the family could live from one full moon to the next because with limited resources available to them in more rugged and barren environments, there was no assurance that the family would survive for any length of time. Survival was the motivating force for everything the family did.

This was the sum of their life—everyday a constant focus on survival—simply staying alive and keeping those they cared most about, alive as well. Family member’s days were often filled with hunting wild game that they could catch and gathering any edible plants to share with their family group.   When two or more family groups gathered together for safety and shared hunting responsibilities, they became larger family units known as TRIBES.

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Often when larger tribal groups or clans were formed, a natural division of labor occurred among the people because some tribe members were more resourceful or more intelligent and/or made better hunters/providers than others did. Some tribe members were proven stronger and more powerful than others, and often larger groups were ruled by those who could hold leadership positions because of their physical prowess or intimidation abilities.

Women had many varied functions in small and large family groups; and since size and physical strength were often more male-dominated traits, it meant that women often held subservient positions to the males in the tribe unless it was a matriarchal society who valued the act of creation and giving birth to new tribe members.  Where wisdom, acquired through age and life experience, was more valued by the tribe, women were often considered the desired leaders.

When different family groups joined forces and first began communicating with each other, it required a commonly-understood language to describe the necessary workings of the situation and the environment—especially a means to signal danger or to communicate the need for cooperation to complete a group task, like for group hunting or defense strategies.caveartearlyhuman.jpg

With the development of a commonly-understood language among tribe members, came the glib-tongued tribal member who could best relay information around the nightly gathering at the campfire—the one who could relay the excitement of the day’s hunt or warn of approaching danger from other competing tribes, or speak of the possibility of better hunting if the group changed locations and simply followed the herds of animals as they migrated across the landscape.  Today we take common language for granted but it was once created for the purpose of basic survival.

The best-at-communicating tribal member was often designated as the tribe’s nighttime historian and/or storyteller—the one who could remember the tribe’s exploits and history of its members both existing and past. Storytellers relayed information to the others, but sometimes storytellers simply created their own stories for specific reasons, such as to fill the void of knowing WHY a particular thing happened when people couldn’t see valid reasons for what had occurred. Creating a ‘makes-sense’ reason eased group anxiety, and a less anxious group meant that people got along better with each other for longer periods of time, which meant less internal fighting.

Another important tribal member with specific functions was the healer/medicine woman or man, or sometimes that member was called the shaman—the one who earlymedicinemanshaman.jpgdealt with the unknown around them—talked to the animal spirits—communicated with the unseen spirits of the land and the sky.

If the shaman and the storyteller were one and the same person, then the fireside tales could become less historical focused and more philosophically oriented. This meant that “ORIGIN stories” were then created that described the reason for their life, death, and even the WHY of their existence because shamans can easily get information input from unseen forces—spirits in particular—possibly even from other intelligent beings since shamans had that 6th sense ability to communicate beyond the human realm.

Sometimes the shaman/storyteller created an entire set of beliefs on how the tribe members should live their lives, how they should focus their efforts to best appease the presently disgruntled nature spirits that had foiled their latest hunting effort; and sometimes the shaman even told the rest of the tribe what to aspire to or what to avoid for their personal best interest.

And sometimes the shaman just ‘made stuff up’ for their own personal reasons such as to gain a higher tribal status or personal favors from other tribe members.

The tribal leader—the chief—usually the strongman, bonshamanmongwas a powerful force in the group and often determined whether the tribe survived or became extinct, but the shaman/storyteller set the tone for their lives and often guided the members with tales of warning or tales of victory if all pulled together as one strong unit.

The most basic religions were started by shaman/storytellers—visionaries who claimed a connection to higher powers beyond earthly life, and who told their tales to others in such a convincing way, that the other tribe members believed them and then changed their own behavior to match that behavior prescribed by the shaman/storyteller who later became known to the tribe as the Holy Man/Holy Woman, or the Priest/Priestess.”

***

While it has certainly been proven over the eons of our human existence that stories have power over all who listen to them, stories are more easily believed by those who most need to hear their message.

Stories touch us in ways beyond our basic comprehension because they appeal to our inner vulnerabilities and to our innate desire to feel safe and secure.

Stories often speak best to our need to feel loved and protected—to feel a part of the larger group—to feel an integral member of the larger family to which we all belong.

The most powerful story that we always long to hear is the one that defines the purpose of our lives.

So maybe it’s time for a NEW ‘origin story’ so we can create that NEW life for the betterment of our human tribe.

I think that’s what I’m trying to do by gathering all these various information sources together in this eclectic blog. I think we need to recreate the HUMAN STORY.

And while it might not be easily done, I think this is something we ALL must do together for our personal betterment and for the survival of the greater tribe.

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THAT is the true POWER OF STORY

it defines our life.

 

 

 

The Quantum Field

“Based on my knowledge and experience, I believe there’s a self-organizing intelligence that is energy, and it is observing all the universes joequantum field quotr.jpg and galaxies into order. Sometimes people say to me that this idea seems a bit unscientific. I always answer with the same question: What happens after an explosion-order or disorder? Their answer is always that that disorder results. Then I ask: so why after the Big Bang, which was the biggest explosion ever, has so much order been created? Some intelligence must be organizing its energy and matter into form and unifying all the forces of nature to create such a masterpiece. The intelligence, the energy, is the quantum or unified field.”  Dr. Joe Dispenza

***

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“Everything emerges from and returns to a fundamental field of information that connects us all.”  – Nassim Haramein

 

 

***

 

“Transformation of Consciousness”

Excerpt from the Worldview Dimension of Gaia Education’s online course in Design for Sustainability
(https://blog.usejournal.com/transformation-of-consciousness-6a911712da62?fbclid=IwAR0hcR0RHCpngi9uFt1o3sgWGsN_8o1W4HESxWTGKFStNtyIlFFI7UJW65I)

“The materialistic consciousness of our culture is the root cause of the global crisis.. Our whole civilization is unsustainable. And the reason that it is unsustainable is that our value system, the consciousness with which we approach the world, is an unsustainable mode of consciousness.” —Peter Russell

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“Both individuals and the western ‘financial success driven’ society as a whole seem to find themselves in a situation described by Joseph Campbell as “getting to the top of the ladder and finding that it stands against the wrong wall…” Our very nature is far more caring, loving, and empathic than we have been educated to believe.” —Daniel Christian Wahl

“Csikszentmihalyi believes that the next big evolutionary change in human consciousness may simultaneously acknowledge the self as separate from and fundamentally interconnected with the complexity from which it emerges. The individual, its culture, and the natural environment are simultaneously differentiated from each other and united into a larger complexity.”

“We are at the cusp, I believe, of an epic shift into a climax global economy and a fundamental repositioning of human life on the planet. The ‘Age of Reason’ is being eclipsed by the ‘Age of Empathy’. The most important question facing humanity is this: Can we reach global empathy in time to avoid the collapse of civilization and save the Earth?

— Jeremy Rifkin (2010, p.3)

***

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes … but in having new eyes” – Marcel Proust

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Join Nassim Haramein and an international team of Resonance Science researchers on this voyage of discovery. The Resonance Science Foundation team invites you to explore and engage with us as a whole new phase of our growth and service in the world begins with a new website at a new domain:

resonancescience.org

“The name of the Foundation comes from our fundamental concept of resonance, a physics term in which energy (in the form of waves or vibrations) both reflects from and causes other objects to take on the same energy. For example, if you hit a large gong, other similarly resonant objects will also pick up that energy and start to ring. Similarly, if we resonate in our beliefs together, we will each share and grow that energy. And taking the concept even deeper, unified science shows that the concept of resonance is intertwined throughout our entire universe, and that these interconnections can be harnessed to uplift humanity, our planet and our universe.”

 

 

On Wisdom, Compassion, and Mindfulness

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I don’t describe myself using any religious term like Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Taoist, Gnostic, etc.  I am simply me, and I see the world through my own eyes and filter the world around me through my own senses using my personal, internal computing system in all its limitations.

Not aligning to a particular religious belief allows me unfettered consideration of how various religions tend to view the world and try to make sense of people’s lives. I find that some aspects of various religions seem to have a ring of TRUTH to them, but often their stringent rules and doctrines of required adherence for qualified “believers” of that particular religion, will quickly turn me off to it.

So I can stand here on the outskirts of all religions and simply admire what I like about certain ones. In truth I do like Buddhism for its psychological approach to the subject matter of why we are here and how we should be conducting our lives in non-judgmental full awareness of every moment.

And as I understand it standing on the outside, there are different forms of Buddhism, one of which is the Zen approach, which is appealing to me in many ways because its focus is on helping people to see life as it simply is and live your life from the purest form of moment-by-moment awareness.medalionfor peacereligions.jpg

I see the value in this approach to life just as I see value in certain aspects of other religions. What this condensed article is describing is pertinent to the human aspirations I most admire: Wisdom, Compassion and Mindfulness. And according to this author, that is the point of Zen.

But I also know that Zen is considered a fathomless concept, and none knew it better than D. T. Suzuki. So if anyone is truly interested in studying more about Zen, he would be a good starting point.

***

The quotes listed here are from the blog article: The Way of Zen – Wisdom, Compassion & Mindfulness  .    Posted on October 24, 2014 by Christopher Chase (https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/the-way-of-zen-wisdom-compassion-mindfulness/?fbclid=IwAR1baYMA9UAfRnPJliTnIjB7QWR4GUQAegOKV126aTsQV_vwmLMV1pXMY5g)

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“Much has been written about Zen, but there are 3 essentials that are especially important. These insights and practices flow from the Buddha’s teachings yet can be applied by people of all religious faiths.

The first is the awakening of wisdom, what Buddha called right view. It’s coming to see the impermanence and empty “self” nature of all that exists. Seeing through the illusions of compartmentalized thinking to a more holistic understanding of how every atom, river, planet, galaxy and living being in our Universe arise together and flow as one interdependent ever-changing whole. …

The second is ethical conduct and compassion, valuing love and life more than material things, power or wealth. Supporting others, seeking to reduce violence and suffering, cultivating greater kindness and equality in society. Prioritizing peace, love and compassion is at the core of what many wise beings have shared with the world down through history. …

Finally, Zen teaches mindfulness of the present moment, observing what is happening without attachment or aversion. Being aware of what we are doing right here, right now, where ever we are. The practice of seated meditation is meant to assist with efforts to concentrate and calm the mind, but it is moment-to-moment mindfulness in all situations that Buddha most strongly emphasized. …

These three essentials taught by the Buddha: wisdom, compassion and mindfulness—are linked together synergistically and interdependently. When we successfully prioritize all three each serves to strengthen the development of the others. Over time (and with practice) we become more compassionate, wise, mindful, loving, joyful and at peace.    –Christopher Chase”

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Watching History Burn

Like many others, I was transfixed watching flames consume Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.notredamefire45.jpg

Unlike many others, I was sitting there not so much in tearful grief at the enormous loss, but simply pondering a greater significance—wondering if this was some transformative metaphor for the masses, of an iconic religious structure whose ancient dry timbers were igniting to signify the destruction of the old ways of viewing cultural religious icons to make room for newer spiritual/cultural beliefs.

For certain I do not wish to condemn any faith or belittle the beliefs of others, but back when that cathedral was first designed and construction had begun in 1160 then largely completed by 1260, the intention behind the religious structure was far more than simply worshipping a deity and set of beliefs in a particular way. There was a lot of engineering genius and human grandiosity designed into that structure, especially for that time period in history. And I’m sure it will be rebuilt to closely match the original designs. I have no doubt that it will rise again as the Parisian icon that it truly is. There should be no worries to the contrary.

beforefireapr2019notredame78.JPGBut I want to reconsider WHY that iconic cathedral was created in the first place.

Back in 1160, the 1st set of Holy Crusades had ended and the 2nd set of Holy Crusades were underway (and I use the term HOLY only in the recognition that this warfare was sanctioned by the European Kings of the land and the Popes of that time period who governed the common people using their papal religious authority as reasoning for killing all who were not Christian, and reacquiring land that had previously fallen to those who were not Christian.) Lots of unholy deeds were done under the jurisdiction of and sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church through the ages.

So back in 1160, this massive French cathedral was built to honor God, Jesus and The Virgin Mary in one sense, but also to honor the hubris of men of power during that time, who believed that one religion was superior to others and this cathedral should signify it northrosewindowndc56.jpgby its sheer structural magnificence—the grander, the taller, the more beautiful and amazing, the better.

This religious structure was so significant that the French King and Pope of the time were even in attendance at the foundation setting.

“The chronicler Jean de Saint-Victor [fr] recorded in the Memoriale Historiarum that the construction of Notre-Dame began between 24 March and 25 April 1163 with the laying of the cornerstone in the presence of King Louis VII and Pope Alexander III.[17][18] Four phases of construction took place under bishops Maurice de Sully and Eudes de Sully”  (Wikipedia)

So there are a lot of reasons why Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is historically and spiritually significant.

But in terms of true religiosity, here is another quote from Wikipedia:

“French census data does not contain information about religious affiliation.[168] According to a 2011 survey by IFOP, a French public opinion research organization, 61 percent of residents of the Paris Region (Île-de-France) identified themselves as Roman Catholic, though just 15 percent said they were practicing Catholics, while 46 percent were non-practicing. In the same survey, 7 percent of residents identified themselves as Muslims, 4 percent as Protestants, 2 percent as Jewish, and 25 percent as without religion. [169]

insidenotredamecath345.jpgSo the current significance of the Notre Dame Cathedral is now more cultural and iconic (rather than religious), especially as a well-known Parisian landmark with amazing architectural consequence.  It represents many things to many people, and it should be and WILL BE rebuilt.

But please recognize it for what it truly is in its historical significance as French Gothic architecture rather than the symbol of present day Catholicism.

A lot of folks had deep feelings of loss over the structure fire. In fact while watching it, even to me it felt like a part of our western history was burning to the ground before our eyes. But more than that, to some it felt like the symbolic heart of the Roman Catholic Church was being Divinely purified from within.

And to those who felt this was an amazing Divine Cleansing of original corrupt patriarchal/papal intentions and deceitful practices in the name of religious belief, it was truly quite the sight.

 

 

The VERB

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“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.” – R. Buckminster Fuller – I Seem to Be a Verb

 

I’ve been a R. Buckminster Fuller fan since college. One of my art professors was a huge “Bucky” fan and brought the entire spectrum of Fuller’s genius to our budding awareness.

In class we made mock-up, walk-in domes and read many of his books.  I Seem to Be a Verb was even required reading for our Art Aesthetics class. It was my first realization of Fuller’s intellectual scope and cultural affectation at the height of his career fame.fulleranddome55

After all these years, and long after his death in 1983, I’m still a fan.  He is one of my all-time heroes for many reasons.

 

Another great quote, was the “trim-tab” comment:

Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary — the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trimtab. boat

It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trimtab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go.

So I said, call me Trimtab.”

In fact, there are so many excellent Bucky Fuller quotes, I’ll just list a few for this post.

“You cannot change how someone thinks, but you can give them a tool to use which will lead them to think differently.”   Buckminster Fullerdont changebyfighting it34.png

 

“You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe. The significance of you will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume you are fulfilling your significance if you apply yourself to converting all you experience to highest advantage to others. Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.”   Buckminster Fuller

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“We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.   Buckminster Fuller

“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. buckytombstone trimtab.jpgAnd never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.”   Buckminster Fuller

 

“Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous social behaviors that will avoid extinction.”  Buckminster Fuller

“We are now synergetically forcedcomprehensive-design-science-55-728.jpg to conclude that all phenomena are metaphysical; wherefore, as many have long suspected — like it or not — “life is but a dream.”    Buckminster Fuller

 

And if you are really into a challenge, read Fuller’s two tomes on Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (Vol. 1 & 2).

His overall theory is that LIFE is proven to be well-designed. but by whom and for whom, he doesn’t say.