A new dawn: the end of co-dependency

I dream that everyone would just step back for a few moments and simply stop investing (read: wasting) time and energy into others and thus start dealing with their own life.

No drama, no dependency on others – just natural flow of Life.

It has been a long and lonely dream.

 

I found this text on FB, grear work Jeff, I love it:

 

 

“You cannot save anyone.

You can be present with them, offer your groundedness, your sanity, your peace. You can even share your path with them, offer your perspective. But you cannot take away their pain. You cannot walk their path for them. You cannot give answers that are right for them, or even answers they can digest right now. They will have to find their own answers, ask their own questions or lose their own questions, make friends with their own uncertainty. They will need to make their own mistakes, feel their own sorrows, learn their own lessons. If they truly want to be at peace, they will have to trust the path of healing that reveals itself step by step.

But you cannot heal them. You cannot diffuse their fear, their anger, their feelings of powerlessness. You cannot save them, or make things right for them. If you push too hard, they may lose their own unique way. Your way may not be their way.

You did not create their pain. You may have done or not done some things, said or not said some things, triggering pain that was already inside them. But you did not create it, and you are not guilty, even if they say you are. You can take responsibility for your words and deeds, yes, you can grieve over a past, but you cannot erase or change what happened, and you cannot control the future. You can only meet them in the here and now, your only place of power. You are not responsible for their happiness, and they are not responsible for yours.

Your happiness cannot come from outside of you. If it does, it is a dependent happiness, a fragile happiness that will turn to sorrow so quickly. And then you will get caught up in a web of blame and guilt, regret and persecution. Your happiness is directly related to your presence, your connection with your breath, your body, the earth. Your happiness is not small, and cannot be removed by fear, or anger, or the most intense shame. Your happiness is not a state, or a passing experience, or even a feeling that others can give to you. Your happiness is vast, ever-present, the boundless space of the heart, in which joy and sorrow, bliss and boredom, certainty and doubt, loneliness and connection, even fear and longing, can move like the weather, like the rain and the sunshine, all held in the hugeness of the sky.

You cannot save anyone, and you cannot be saved if you are looking to be saved. There is no self to save, no self to lose, no self to defend, no self to make perfect or perfectly happy. Let go of every impossible ideal. You are beautiful in your imperfection, outrageously perfect in your doubts, loveable even in your feelings of unloveability. All these parts have been given, all are parts of the whole, and you were never less than whole.

You are breathing. You know you are alive. You have a right to exist, feel what you feel, think what you think. You have a right to your joy and a right to your sorrows. You have a right to doubt too. You have a right to walk your path. You have a right to be right and a right to be wrong, a right to this giant happiness that you knew when you were young. You are breathing, and you are inseparable from the life force that animates all things, knows itself as all beings, discovers itself in every moment of this impossibly wondrous existence.

Your self-worth is not tied to what others think of you. It is tied to the moon, to the infinite expanse of the cosmos, to comets blazing towards unknown destinations, to the forgetting of time and the love of solitude and this unspeakable gratitude for each new dawn, unexpected, given.

– Jeff Foster”

Dr John Rowan on Authenticity

Dr John RowanAuthenticity is the natural expression of having made the move from first-tier consciousness – what Ken Wilber calls Mental Ego consciousness, and what is often called conventional consciousness – to second-tier consciousness, or what Wilber calls Centaur consciousness, and which is often called post-conventional consciousness.

This is quite a normal and natural progression, but it often results from a crisis of some kind, which shakes us out of the comforts of conventional consciousness.

First tier consciousness is dominated by formal logic, based on the premise that A is A. This is the logic often taught in schools, and it has been named variously as Aristotelian, Newtonian, Cartesian, Boolean and mathematical logic. It is used very successfully in computers, and is highly suitable for working with inanimate things.

Second tier consciousness is dominated by dialectical logic, the logic of paradox and contradiction, whose basic premise is that A is not simply A. This is the logic we require for dealing adequately with human beings. And it is only if we embrace this form of logic that we can understand authenticity.

Authenticity is fully embodied in most of the forms of humanistic psychotherapy, including Person-centred, Gestalt, Psychodrama, experiential therapies, Primal Integration, radical therapy, feminist therapy, several body therapies, dream work and so forth. They are very much at home there, contributing essentially to the humanistic emphasis on the whole person and the authentic relationship. The humanistic view of authenticity is broader and more inclusive than that to be found in existential analysis.

James Bugental has written two books about authenticity. He says that authenticity is a combination of self respect (we are not just part of an undifferentiated world) and self enactment – we express our care or involvement in the world in a visible way.

Here is a key quotation:
“By authenticity I mean a central genuineness and awareness of being. Authenticity is that presence of an individual in his living in which he is fully aware in the present moment, in the present situation. Authenticity is difficult to convey in words, but experientially it is readily perceived in ourselves or in others.” (Bugental 1981, p.102)
In other words, what we in humanistic psychology are saying is that authenticity is an experience.

As Rollo May has said so well: “Freedom is a quality of action of the centered self.” (May 1979, p.176) Ž
The humanistic view is that action is the acid test of experience.

What it seems so hard to convey to many people is that the real self, the self which is to be actualized in self-actualization, is not a concept but an experience. It is not something to be argued at a philosophical level, it is something to be encountered at an experiential level. Otherwise it becomes an abstract and useless concept.

Some existentialists embrace this, as for example here:
Authenticity consists in having a true and lucid consciousness of the situation, in assuming the responsibilities and risks that it involves, in accepting it in pride or humiliation, sometimes in horror and hate. There is no doubt that authenticity demands much courage and more than courage. Thus it is not surprising that one finds it so rarely.
(Sartre 1948, p.90)

It demands so much because it involves moving beyond the confines of the familiar mental ego. To get away from the abstract argument, let us take a concrete example.

It comes from a book by Allen Wheelis, and it goes like this:

Look at the wretched people huddled in line for the gas chambers at Auschwitz. If they do anything other than move on quietly, they will be clubbed down. Where is freedom?… But wait. Go back in time, enter the actual event, the very moment: they are thin and weak, and they smell; hear the weary shuffling steps, the anguished catch of breath, the clutch of hand. Enter now the head of one hunched and limping man.

The line moves slowly; a few yards ahead begin the steps down. He sees the sign, someone whispers “showers”, but he knows what happens here. He is struggling with a choice: to shout “Comrades! They will kill you! Run!” – or to say nothing. This option, in the few moments remaining, is his whole life. If he shouts he dies now, painfully; if he moves on silently he dies but minutes later. Looking back on him in time and memory, we find the moment poignant but the freedom negligible. It makes no difference in that situation, his election of daring or of inhibition.

Both are futile, without consequence. History sees no freedom for him, notes only constraint, labels him victim. But in the consciousness of that one man it makes great difference whether or not he experiences the choice. For if he knows the constraint and nothing else, if he thinks “Nothing is possible”, then he is living his necessity; but if, perceiving the constraint, he turns from it to a choice between two possible courses of action, then – however he chooses – he is living his freedom.
This commitment to freedom can extend to the last breath. ”
(Wheelis 1973, ‘How People Change’, pp.31-32)

For humanistic psychotherapy, authenticity is a direct experience of the real self. It is unmistakable, it is self-authenticating. And if we want to know how to use it on a daily basis, we can go to the excellent book by Will Schutz entitled ‘Profound Simplicity’ (3rd edition 1988).

There is an important link between authenticity and genuineness as described by Carl Rogers.

“It is my feeling that congruence is a part of existential authenticity, that the person who is genuinely authentic in his being-in-the-world is congruent within himself; and to the extent that one attains authentic being in his life, to that extent is he congruent.”
(Bugental 1981, p.108)

Again it takes Bugental to draw our attention to the heartland of the humanistic approach, which is also the heartland of the existential approach. Both Bugental and Rogers are clear that congruence is difficult and demanding, and recent writers like Dave Mearns have made it clear that it cannot be taught as a skill.

As authentic beings, we recognize our individuality.
Further, we recognize that this individuality is not a static quality but is, rather, a set of (possibly infinite) potentialities. As such, while in the authentic mode, we maintain an independence of thought and action, and subsequently feel ‘in charge’ of the way our life is experienced. Rather than reacting as victims to the vicissitudes of being, we, as authentic beings, acknowledge our role in determining our actions, thought and beliefs, and thereby experience a stronger and fuller sense of integration, acceptance, ‘openness’ and ‘aliveness’ to the potentialities of being-in-the-world.
(Spinelli 1989, p.109)

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

– Dr John Rowan
Text re-posted from:
www.johnrowan.co.uk

Nobody can hurt you without your permission

And so I am more in contact with the humanistic world view for the last few weeks, joyfully attending and sharing NVC seminars.

The upcoming weekend I will share a seminar “Exploring the power of self-empathy”. The concept and empirical skill of self-empathy is the most important element of the whole NVC art of living, in my experience…

…and so in this blog I would like to share a few thoughts on the subject.

So, my idea (and indeed experience) is that no one can really hurt you (or me) without you (or me) somehow allowing it.
It is a delicate subject, I think, so lets tread gently.

Let us first take a look at the scientific facts. Biological psychology and neurobiology affirm that the life as we know it actually takes place between our ears, not out there. Yeah, holy sh*t! 🙂
It is the brain that interprets the sensor input and so the perception is thus inevitably (and always) subjective. I have spent almost three years studying that exact fact (I wrote a paper on the subject and then some, check it out here >>, new page opens up). Interesting stuff, to say the least.

If interested, do look into the work of Dr. Benjamin Libet; lots and lots of mind boggling research results there. Also, these volumes were of great help to me, maybe they might add to your clarity of the subject as well:
– Fundamentals of Cognitive Psychology, by Ronald T. Kellogg,
– The Student’s Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience, 2nd edition, Jamie Ward and
– Understanding Biological Psychology, Philip J. Corr.
All titles can be bought at Amazon.

And so the hard core science, neurobiology and cognitive neuroscience, affirms that we all live our lives based on interpretations of what we perceive as “out there”. Well, wonderful.

What has that got to do with self-empathy and the Mahatma Gandhi’s statement “Nobody can hurt you without your permission.”?

Well, here comes the tricky part:

No one can DIRECTLY cause your inner pain or happiness (or any other emotional or mental event). Let me say this again: I can not possibly DIRECTLY cause your pain / happiness. Even more: even if I tried really hard, I could not do it, not without your “help”.

You see, the perception (one of rather important cognitive processes) is always subjective, meaning that it depends on the subject, you (or me). If we try to follow this line of thought to the conclusion, where does it take us?

Maybe here:

The pain, happiness (or any other emotional or mental event) is unavoidably subjective and is happening in you alone, and moreover, it is experienced only by you, independently of ambient stuff. And your experience of some “outside” event might be that of slight pain or maybe indifference or even happiness.

Yes?

So, how is it than possible for your wife, husband, child, parent, boyfriend, girlfriend, boss, postman, police officer etc. to hurt you?
No really, I am asking you this now.

It is not possible. It is a neurological impossibility. It is just not possible in reality.

Seems to me that Mahatma Gandhi understood this neurological fact, he said: “Nobody can hurt you without your permission.”

What is the trick here?

It is up to me how I perceive and experience the “outside” events. It is me. Always me. I am allowing something to influence my inner psychological climate in a way that results in pain or sorrow or frustration or anger.
It is not on the outside.

And here comes the wonderful self-empathy to the rescue, like a knight on a white horse in shining (read: gently and lovingly offering help) armor.

If a certain person triggers me, meaning that I react with emotions that are not really pleasing me, it only indicates that I have lost conscious connection with my inner deeper reality which is the only real cause of all kinds of emotions.

If something or someone is influencing you in a way that is displeasing to you, it only shows that your inner psychological climate is under stress, as it were. And it happens so fast that your conscious mind simply notices it not.

So what to do?

Well, Marshall Rosenberg has said it many many times: slow down, relax, breathe. Give yourself a break and take a huge dose of self-empathy.

When my batteries are full, when my capacity for self-empathy and contact with my inner unlimited potentials is fully actualized, well, all is well. In that state, it is very difficult or even impossible for me to even conceive of others trying to hurt me.

And when the said capacity is not present (which happens often, I admit), well, in such situations I actually give my power away, I literally allow “outside” events to hurt me.

And this awareness, this knowledge is so precious to me. It is like a soft and thick woolen blanket, rendering me open, vulnerable (not as a victim) and willing to participate in Life fully.

What about you?
Are you giving your power away to others?

 

Embracing the ego (III.)

Embracing the egoAnd so, embracing ego & everything else inside the chest and head is what may as well be the single most important strategy for me, besides meditation, that is..

It is the power of human consciousness (which is far beyond body, emotions and thoughts) that does the work. It is the total Abstract Potential, The One Source of everything. Even more, IT IS everything, even anger, fear, disease, pain and pepsi. So why not embracing it?

(please, read the previous two Blogs on the subject, here: Embracing the ego >> and Emberacing the ego (II) >> )

I offer an interesting and quite relevant point of view for your consideration. It is a point of view of a Jiddu Krishnamurti (you can check out the whole text here >>)

Here we go:

Questioner: Is there any difference between awareness and that of which we are aware? Is the observer different from his thoughts?

Krishnamurti: The observer and the observed are one; the thinker and his thoughts are one. To experience the thinker and his thought as one is very arduous for the thinker is ever taking shelter behind his thought; he separates himself from his thoughts to safeguard himself, to give himself continuity, permanency; he modifies or changes his thoughts, but he remains. This pursuit of thought apart from himself, this changing, transforming it leads to illusion. The thinker is his thought; the thinker and his thoughts are not two separate processes.
(you can check out the whole text here >>)

I would like to close this “Embracing ego” series with the sharing of wisdom of one of my favorite Buddhists, Thicht Nhat Hanh.

If we replace word anger with the word ego (or any other element of inner psychological dynamics), well, that is more or less it.

Thank you for reading my Blog.
🙂

Here we go:

 

 

Embracing the ego (II.)

Embracing the egoSome relevant new questions regarding the topic of dealing with the ego (please see my previous Blog on the subject, here >>) have arisen and I am grateful for it. It is a very serious and important topic for me and I am more than happy to write about it.

OK, here we go:

Q: In your Blog you say that there is no real need to renounce the ego. Most spiritual masters claim quite the opposite. Why do you think that is?

A: Well, thank you for reading my Blog. You rise a very good question. Thank you. I will try to explain my understanding of this important topic in as few words as possible.

Dealing with personal aspects of spiritual development is a matter of choice, in my opinion. It is all about the levels of psychological-spiritual identity development, you see. Some deal with personal levels and some do not.

Most truly liberated spiritual masters (say, Ramana Maharshi or Anandamayi Ma) are conveying their teachings from the level which they attained (the Causal or Nondual, both Vedanta nondual and the Buddhist one). And in most cases, the level which spiritual masters speak from is faaaaaaar above any personal level (Mental ego and Authentic levels). For example, my dear Anandamayi Ma is reported to have laughed when one of Her devotees came to Her in distress due to a death in his family.

In practice that may mean that a simple guy from the street will have a very hard time both understanding and implementing such teachings. An average level of attainment on this planet is not even the Authentic level, what to speak of the transpersonal ones, in my estimation. So go figure.

So, while from the highly liberated states of awareness (the Causal and Nondual) ego indeed seems like an illusion, from personal levels this can not be the case. Well, at least not for me. What it comes down to, in my experience, is what path one took to reach the purely transpersonal states of awareness.

I can not speak about the others, nor do I want to, and as far as I am concerned, my path is the Tantric one. That means, in real practice, not only in theory or on the intellectual level, that I deny nothing. In other words, the Tantric path is all about accepting, embracing and tolerating, well, everything.

Q: What do you mean by “accepting, embracing and tolerating, well, everything”? I don’t understand.
In practice, what does that relate to, please?

Yes. Again, excellent question. 🙂

Well, in practice that means that I am open to every single thought and emotion in my awareness. I resist or deny no troublesome experience from the past, for example. And, above all, I do not involve others in my dramas. I know perfectly clear that it is neuro-biologically impossible for others to directly trigger anything in my inner climate. So I do not bother with others in this regard.

There is only One Life for me, only One Living Consciousness that is simultaneously the Source or the Witness and the manifestation.

Well, there is only One Life, meaning that there is only One Being breathing in me. And my thoughts, emotions, intentions, fears, hopes, pain, regrets and aspirations are His thoughts, emotions, intentions, fears, hopes etc. There is no duality involved here. No separateness.

In fact, the ego is as real as it can get. It is no illusion, nothing is. All is Radiant, Alive and Eternal continuous Flow of Life. All is Divine, nothing is non-divine.

And that being the case, why on Earth would I want to deny anything? Everything is part and particle of the One Whole.
There is none else besides Him/Her.
See?

Q: Well, on the intellectual level, I get it.
In practice I think I am very much used to focus on the positive side in my life.

Yes, I hear you. I can relate, for I have been there. I was in self denial for the longest time, rejecting the personal aspects of my life. Basically that means that I was in relative pain most of the time.

Anyway…I do realize that the notion of embracing the pain, sadness, regrets etc. is a radical paradigm change for most of us. It is not a newly fresh notion, though. Tantra has been teaching this for thousands of years.

When the sadness (or any kind of “negative” emotion) arises, a “normal” and habitual reaction is to divert the attention to something else, or to seek out help with the aim of getting rid of it.

Well, what I am talking about here is that embracing the sadness, taking time to assimilate it, to integrate it into awareness is so much more effective in the long run. Human awareness is transpersonal, transcendental and has an enormous power and potential.

There is a source, a cause for all emotions and thoughts in our lives. And contrary to the popular opinion, that source is in our hearts. Humanistic psychology has labeled this, the needs or potentials.

From the Authentic level, I might say that our transpersonal nature wants to express itself, the Soul is trying to flow the Life into our lives and we can become aware of this Life by becoming aware of our innermost needs/potentials. When the needs or potentials are not really expressed, negative emotions manifest from within.

So the strategy I employ is to embrace all emotions and by embracing them, I can penetrate deeper into the Heart by becoming aware of the potentials or needs in my Heart.

And the Heart is not any heart, it is the Source of everything, it is the Causal self, the Eternal Being, which is only playing. It is all Lila, a play. And most of us seem to suffer because we are aware of neither the Player nor of the Play.

And the path, my path, to becoming and staying aware of the Player and the Play is to embrace the Play, to embrace and emphatically relate to the every single element of my inner life. And it works.

I would also like to invite you all to watch Wilber explain the Ego development. Some really good and important points he makes in this interview.

Here we go:

Embracing the ego

Embracing the egoIn this Blog I want to touch upon an important and controversial topic: dealing with the ego.

Ego in this context means the basic principle of human mind, which is a base of everyday personality. There is the mind and at the core of the human mind there is the ego – that basic notion of I and Mine (and I am me and you are you; my needs are mine and your needs are yours etc.) that is usually driving the car of our mundane and spiritual existence.

Various spiritual traditions usually offer only one option: cutting off the ego and everything that goes with it (attachment to power, money, sex, enjoyment etc.).

Christianity has an interesting opinion on the subject it seems and while maybe intellectually “sin” is an appealing concept, I don’t want to go there.

Buddhists seem to point in the same direction: transcend the mundane pleasures as soon as possible, for all life is in fact, suffering.

Most Hindu traditions (Vedanta doctrines: Jnana yoga, Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga etc.) suggest similar strategies: renouncing the ego is the way. Sri Ramana Maharshi himself has often spoken about the ego as enlightenment enemy number one.

I am not really familiar with the Islam teachings, so I will refrain from commenting that tradition.

New Age movement, well, their exclusive focus on the Light and Positive vibrations kind of rules the ego (with its negativity) out by definition, it seems.

It seems to me that all of the aforementioned traditions perceive ego as something negative, some kind of a burden that needs to be eliminated or at least ignored for the greater good, of course (greater good being spiritual awakening or at least one way ticket to heaven).

Even modern psychotherapy practice, in general, seems to be focused on eliminating the problems and personal issues forgetting in the process that eliminating negativity from inner psycho-dynamic climate is only one side of the coin.

Well, while most of population on this planet (and most of readers of this Blog, I take it) might subscribe to one or more than one tradition mentioned above, I would nevertheless like to rise these questions:
– What is the ego, really?
– If ego is a part of our mind and part of the whole being, why eliminate/negate/ignore it in the first place?

No, seriously, if the ego is a part of my whole being and psychological-spiritual identity (which actually is the case), cutting it off would amount to cutting off any other part of my whole being, would it not?

I have been down that road, you know. Surfing on the high waves of my previous spiritual attainments, I was dealing with my ego mindlessly and rather ruthlessly. Like a jealous despot, invaded by the scarcity thinking, I was pushing away the most important elements of my inner climate: desires and attachments to material side of life. Desiring only transpersonal existence, I was ready to renounce everything that offered me a mundane scent.

What a fu**ing idiot I was. LOL

Of course, now that I am older and maybe a bit wiser, I can see that it was only a process. A process that needed to unfold as it has. No problems there.

Kali TantraWhat I would like to offer in this Blog, however, is that there is no real need to deny anything. No ego is responsible for any kind of trouble along the spiritual path. Besides, how can I really renounce something which I don’t really own?

Having a strong and flexible ego means I will very easily integrate it when the right time comes.

Ego is only as strong as my aversion to itself is. That means that ego as an obstacle is an obstacle only as long as I am denying it.

Ego and its fateful subjects: power, pleasure and attachment to pleasure, money, sex, good food, fancy cloths, fear, aversion, sadness,  anger etc. are only what they are: a part of the overall being.

There is no point in denying my desires, attachment to pleasure, money, sex etc. Why on earth would I wanna do that?!

If God is everything, isn’t S/He in pleasure as well?

My point is that denying anything really only adds to inner conflict. Scriptural injunctions, prohibitions, rules, hard core discipline etc. – is all of that really REALLY adding to the beauty and joy in the current flow of Life in my awareness?

The ultimate Truth, the Absolute state of awareness, according to self-realized individuals (Ramana Maharshi, Lahiri Mahasaya, Buddha etc.) is non-different from everyday life awareness.

So, my path is a Tantric one: embrace everything, integrate each and every thought, emotion, feeling and inspiration, no matter how mundane it may seem.

Offering tons and tons of empathy and love to my own “material ego”, lovingly sitting with and tolerating and integrating even the most incredibly negative tendencies in my inner climate –  in short, embracing the ego and all it stands for has brought me inner peace, freedom and joy and free flow along the all possible stages of human awareness (as per Wilber map).

All Life is One. Goddess Kali is Everything, All in All.
Embracing the ego may instigate or invite Her blessings. And when Her blessings manifest, everything just falls right into place. Easily.

One story I would like to share with you. At one of our group meditation rituals a dear friend of mine has shared his insights into levels of existence, he said:

“There is a soul which is incarnated in the body, conditioned by the limited brain functions and sensory input. And the Lila, the game of the Gods, the mundane existence, is unfolding in front of the soul. And the trick is to turn away from the Lila, from the mundane play and to direct the attention to the Originator and the Source of everything. Focusing on Absolute adds to the soul and her awakening.”

Well, our Sitaram has nailed it yet again.
🙂

I would like to add, though, that there is no real need for turning away.
No need to turn my back to the mundane play, for the Absolute truth is also in the relative elements of the worldly play. And focusing on these elements of our relative existence, responsibly  and carefully employing advanced rituals – that is and has been called Tantra for ages. Embracing everything and integrating everything along the spiritual path.

I wish someone would have explained that to me years ago. It would have spared me a lot of needless suffering and self denial.

What about you?
How do you deal with your ego and mundane tendencies?

Q & A: Wilber map, the Causal level

In this Blog I share my answers to the questions about the Causal transpersonal level. Some questions were received via this Blog and some are from my students at the TCT Academy.

Q: What is the Causal level?

A: It is complete One-ness, non-differentiated awareness beyond duality. In practical terms, it is the complete freedom from cause and effect. Why? Simply because there is no difference between inner and outer realities; the Source, the thoughts, emotions, words and deeds – all is only One. There is none else besides Him.

Q: I don’t understand. What do you mean by “beyond duality”?

A: Yes, duality (right-wrong, here-there, me-you, sorrow-happiness etc…) seems to be based on something, right? And the sense that we are something, somewhere in time and that we do things (which is basically the ego, the I & Mine sense deep within) is doing the differentiation. Well. at the Causal level of existence, the ego is recognized as a part of the Source, right along with everything else. Hence: there is none else beside Him (Him being the Causal Self, the I am presence, God if you want to believe in Him).

It is as if the Pristine awareness, the Pure potential of the Causal Self shines through all that we see before us, overshadowing the previously perceived “duality”, eradicating even the most subtle traces of separateness and duality clean.

At the Causal level, there is only One. And That is the only Reality that is really Real.

Q: Does that mean that the world is an illusion?

A: Well, according to Vedanta teachings (propagated by Ramana Maharshi, for example), the answer to your question is, yes.

On my planet, however, the answer is, no/yes. It is not that the world is an illusion, it is only that the duality is not the final reality. It is all a matter of perception, a mental, authentic or subtle one, or the Causal one. At the Causal level, only the Causal Self IS, everywhere.

It is true (according to my experience), however, that while aware of the Causal Self, all else seems to fade away. But then again, that exact Causal Self is also every thing else, inner, outer, everywhere. So, my answer is yes and no. 🙂

Q: Would you be willing to share what the Causal level is like?

A: Yes.This level is one of the experiences on my spiritual path that I value the most. It is also the state of consciousness I can enter at will, thanks to my spiritual master and mentors.

It is the fullness of awareness, the totality of existence where everything is all right exactly as it is: there are no problems at this level, no issues and challenges. Nothing needs to be added or altered; even more, it is not possible to alter anything as there is only One, perfect and eternal.

It is the Witness, the Choice-less Presence, the I am presence, the only One that really exists, for all eternity. It is He that does everything, Is everything – it is the ground Reality. And I am one with Him. And so are you, whether you are aware of it or not.

It is also the so called transpersonal state, above the personal impressions in our awareness. I mention this because I have observed that for some people the impersonal or transpersonal aspect of the Causal level is quite a challenge. It seems that they are used to the personal (read: material) experiences to the extent that negates the impersonal and transpersonal (read: non-material, transcendental) experiences.

The irony is that the Causal Self is the most intimate and up close and personal thing there is. Way more personal and fulfilling than the most intimate feeling from the bedroom, for example. It is THE Self, the only really real, completely beyond the changes of time and space (read: our daily life) and at the same time in complete Oneness with time and space.

It never ever changes, It is Formless, the Un-manifested and is the Pure Being which alone is. Hmm. I speak as though It is something elsewhere, something different from you and me, while in truth it is Me and You beating as One.

Q: How to attain the Causal transpersonal level?

A: You can’t, at least not on your own. No way you or me can enter that realm for good only by our own efforts. It is like trying to capture the Atlantic ocean in one glass. No way. What is needed (along your sincere and firm effort, of course) is a blessing or mercy from above (directly from the Source or through someone who has already been there).

There is a difference between attaining the Causal level or stage and having temporary experiences of that level. The latter is available to anyone, anytime, of course. It is very very easy to enter the Causal level, due to only one reason: it is already attained. There is nothing and none else beside It.

That been said, the meditation on the Formless Reality is one of the ways, in my opinion. Mantra yoga is another way. Enlightenment Intensive technique also tends to help a lot.

Q: What is the value of the Causal transpersonal level in your daily life?

A: That is an excellent question!

Well, to start with, my first experience of the Causal level back in 1993 was the turning point in my life. After the experience, it was as if I viewed the world for the first time. My existence finally received something solid to build my daily  life on. I finally knew what and who I was.

AnandamayiA lot of water has flowed below the bridge of my life since then. Nowadays, the picture is different: the Causal level has been integrated into my daily existence thanks to my mentors and Gurudev. It offers peace, freedom from dualities of life and above all the Presence that is always, well, present no matter where. It is only the scenery that is changing, the Witness is always the same, changeless and free.

I would also like to mention that the Causal level insights have added a lot to my life in terms of detachment. It is very easy to see through the dramas of this world from the Causal level; and so the detachment has become pretty much constant in my daily life.
So much so that I may come across as distant, dispassionate and not very compassionate.

Free access to this level has also provided me with the insights into what all great teachers (Ramana Maharshi, Anandamayi Ma, Ramakrishna, Yogananda etc.) are speaking about. No secrets anymore.

The One Presence also endowed me with almost complete disregard for any kind of activism, elaborate strategies for elevating suffering from this planet and/or trying to master my mind and helping others to master theirs (strategies that belong to personal Mental / Authentic levels, in my opinion). Only one reason I see behind this: why make stormy waves in the perfectly calm lake?

In short, the Causal level brings freedom and peace to my life.

Q: Does God exist?

A: I don’t know. All I know is that there is a level of human psychological-spiritual identity development, a transpersonal one, which amounts to what more religious oriented person might call God.
It is a purely subjective state of awareness and although very well described and sought after in virtually all religious doctrines on this planet, it needs to be experienced to be really understood.

It is the Causal level of existence, the Source of every thought, emotion and everything else.

Q: What is the difference between the Causal and Subtle transpersonal level?

A: Well, according to Wilber map (which is empirically validated by many persons I met and also by my own empirical knowledge), the transpersonal levels of human awareness are as follows:
– Subtle,
– Causal and
– Nondual level.

The Subtle level is in turn experienced as lower and higher. Lower Subtle plane is full of elemental spirits (gnomes, undines, sylphs, and salamanders), souls of persons who passed on from physical reality, our ancestors, animal and plant spirits, lower “demons”, angels, duality.

At the higher Subtle level, there are more spiritually evolved and liberated souls, masters of wisdom, forms of gods and goddesses, arch angels etc…

Subtle level is one of the polytheistic nature, where diverse non-material and spiritual beings dwell…

…and yet, even the most exalted gods and goddesses have their Source. Everything originated somewhere.

And that Origin is the Causal self, the Pure potential, the Un-manifested.

It is as if the One manifested Himself/Herself and transformed into many. From the Causal Level down to the Subtle level.

Q: Is the Causal level of any use in psychotherapy?

A: Yes, yes!
Very much so.

The directness, sharpness and dispassionate insights that the Causal level may offer, can and indeed does help a lot in practical settings of psychotherapy sessions.

Dispassionate and direct insights into dramas of the client can help much more than long hours of soft and compassionate climate in sessions. If and when client is ready, of course.

 

Question about the Causal level?
Contact me here >>

 

No escape

“Our ability to offer empathy can allow us to:
– stay vulnerable,
– defuse potential violence,
– help us hear the word ‘no’ without taking it as a rejection,
– revive lifeless conversation, and
– even hear the feelings and needs expressed through silence.”
— Dr Marshall Rosenberg

In my experience, there is no mysticism, no secrets and no escape from eventual realization that empathy may as well be a manifestation of our true, transpersonal and eternal nature.

My previous training (Zen, Kali Tantra etc…, which in my case usually translates to serious lack of heartfelt empathy) resulting mostly in the Causal level of awareness (as per established Wilber map) is still being felt in my everyday experiences of others…but even the most abstract transpersonal experiences can not eradicate the quality that binds together, well, everything. That quality is, for me, empathy.

I only wish I had more self-empathy at my disposal. The more self-empathy, the better and more heartfelt empathy can be offered to others, thus building more harmonious, peaceful and respectful relationships.
And that too, is inescapable (for me).

🙂

Nothing else matters, ever

“So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters.”
– Metallica, Nothing else matters

 

We Weren’t Born To Follow

I love this song, mostly because it pretty much sums it up what it may mean and may take to be authentic,
which (to me) translates to we weren’t  born to follow anyone or anything really.

“…
This one’s about anyone who does it differently
This one’s about the one who cusses and spits
This ain’t about our livin’ in a fantasy
This ain’t about givin’ up or givin’ in
….”

 

Whom or what do you follow?