Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Keep it simple....

I've been thinking about how easy it is to write terms like 'expansions of consciousness' and just leave it hanging there. It sounds nice but there is a danger that it doesn't help the reader because up to now I have not defined what I mean by an expansion of consciousnes or explain how they happen. Well... that is about to change. So hold onto your mouse.....

The simplest way I can define an expansion of consciousness is when something happens and the familiar is seen in a new way. If in the course of reading any of the entries in this blog you have a moment where you say 'I never thought about it like that before' That is an expansion of consciousness. Expansions of consciousness don't have to be big. The expansions of consciousness which result in Awakening and spiritual enlightenment are often tiny but when put together amount to alot.

Another way to consider it is to imagine that you are standing at the bottom of the ladder. It is difficult to see high up. An event happens which results in an 'A ha moment' and the consciousness shifts to look at something in a new way. This is the equivalent to moving up on the next rung of the ladder. From this rung you have a clear view of everything below and a little of the higher view. Each time the consciousness expands, it's like advancing up another rung of the ladder. On each rung as you get higher the views of the bottom become larger and all encompassing and those at the top become closer and more accessible. This is the clearest and simplest explanation that I can give to try to put across what expansions of consciousness means to me.

Expansions of consciousness do not always result in changes in behaviour, they can but often they don't. Of course if we suddenly think in a different way about something then the chances are that we will also act differently but it is not always the case. It seemed important to write about this today. I don't know why but on this path, to question and ask why an inner prompting is happening when the commitment has been given to follow this road is not productive. So I am writing without questioning.

I also realised today that the path of the spiritual is about being mindful of everything. Aware of everything. For most of the day today I have had a pain in my stomach. I was aware that the pain was separate from me. It was like I was watching myself having this pain. This gave me the understanding that I have feelings and emotions but I am not them. If I was my pain I wouldn't be able to see it as separate. The fact that I see it as separate and can view it like an observer means that something was watching and registering my pain.....but what?

Eckhart Tolle in his famous book 'The power of now' speaks of being in a deep depression. Suddenly he had a thought 'I cannot live with myself any longer' . Shocked by this he suddenly thought 'who am I and who is myself'. The immediacy and power of this realization was too much for his mind to take on and he lost consciousness. But when he woke up he saw everything he was familiar with in a totally new way. For Eckhart this was a major expansion of consciousness brought about firstly by the despair of depression and then the shock to the mind. Even little expansions of consciousness shock the mind because it jolts it out of its normal habitual way of thinking.

I have been intrigued with my pain today and it has shown me that the lessons and progress on the spiritual path are through the everyday trials and tribulations of life. The spiritual is not something that is pursued for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening but is something which has to permeate everything we do and say. This can sound tedious and at the beginning such vigilance and relating everything to some spiritual lesson or experience may seem to be verging on the obsessive. But it is what is required if a state is to be achieved which is calm, balanced, peaceful, magical and above all lasting and not fleeting. There is a saying that if we wanted this state as badly as a drowning man wants air that we would achieve it in a second. The tragedy is that we don't. I often wonder if the reason we don't want it is because we doubt its existence. From my own experiences I can say with confidence that this doubt is not warranted. This state exists as does the spiritual journey which the ancients have spoken and written about over the centuries.

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