Monday, 13 August 2007

Contentment which does not depend on external circumstances...

I walked to work this morning and I had such a feeling of contentment. Walking through the park I was struck yet again by the beauty of nature. I didn't experience any merging but this didn't make the experience of walking through such beauty any less of a privilege. I become more and more convinced that the key to contentment lies in total acceptance of what is at every moment. As I said before this doesn't mean that we have to like what is at that moment. The skill is not to resist and the way of not resisting is to accept. In this way it is possible to have a contentment which is not dependent on outside events.

It seemed so important today to sort out the money for my brother. Usually I don't go out at lunchtime. I prefer to sit and read a book. Not today, my mind was relentless with its demand to go to the building society and sort this out. On this path it is so important to trust yourself and listen and act on the inner voice. I spoke to people about this matter and most said I shouldn't pay it, or I should tell him that I wasn't consulted and therefore wasn't paying. What was interesting and touching to me was how upset and angry people became on my behalf. In the end though, I did what my inner prompting told me which was to send my share without any questions. The time for questions of this nature may come later.

You will always know when you have acted on the inner prompting and it is right, because there will be an experience of tremendous relief which is what I felt. And it's not the relief that comes from guilt. It's the relief that comes from having the integrity to do the right thing. Everything was different at work in the afternoon. My computer performed like a dream. My emails flowed and work was a truly pleasant experience. Gazing out of the window at the blue sky I thanked the universe for giving me the choice to take this path when I was a young girl.

As I write this I am listening to an Elvis Presley CD and he is singing 'Amazing Grace' and the resonance of his voice is making the hackles stand up on the back of my neck. He was a deeply spiritual man. That talent was spiritual but he was also a tormented soul. The torment of a soul that wants to touch that elusive presence but is in conflict with a mind that wants the decadent things of life. This inner turmoil reflected itself in his body which became obese. There is no mistaking the power of his voice in his gospel music. I often find myself singing some of the lyrics when I am walking and I know that this is meditation and is necessary to keep alive the practice that is necessary for this path. It is a form of constant mindfulness.

Richard Dawkins has a programme on later on Channel 4 called 'Enemies of reason' which I will write about afterwards because I have a lot of time for him. I was bowled over by his latest book 'The God Delusion'. In it he hammers home the disservice we do to children by indoctrinating them in some religion thus depriving them of the free will to choose. This really resonated with me. I would have loved to have had knowledge that Buddhism existed when Catholicism was being beaten into me (not physically but psychologically, which in my opinion does more lasting damage). There was so much about the Catholic doctrine and dogma which didn't feel right. I remember a blazing row with my mother when she wanted me to go to confession. I refused saying 'he's just a man, I'm not going to a man'. My mother is a staunch and devout Catholic and this challenge to her raison d'etre and her belief that priests were God's ambassadors did not go down well. But even at that early stage I could see a difference between spiritual and religious. I had an early and deep connection with something I called God and I didn't believe in going through a middle man. To this day I still do not believe in going through a middle man. The spiritual is about going direct through the inner world. All the answers are within. As long as you keep looking outside of yourself for answers that are within yourself so long will the search go on in vain. The answers will never be found outside of ourselves.

The human personality is composed of 3 kinds of energy which are held within three planes. The physical which gives the human body, the astral plane which gives us our emotions and the mental plane which gives us our thoughts. For many years the energy of the astral plane has largely dominated spirituality The astral plane is the plane which is next to the physical plane and gives paranormal powers to mediums and clairvoyants. It operates on the principle of emotion and desire. If you want to see or hear something badly enough, then you will and you can make it fit and be more or less accurate. In the past this was largely how people validated the spiritual. I used to wonder why a Catholic medium would never contact Buddha or Mohammad. It seemed to be always culture specific which I found interesting and wondered about. But I see something changing. I don't see as many psychics, tarot card readers, mediums. It's like the influence of the astral plane is weakening and this is causing the breakdown of these powers such that they are not as powerful. I have noticed from friends who have gone recently to mediums that they don't seem as sure of the information they are bringing through as they would have done in the past. I think that this is part of the larger picture of planetary evolution. The next plane is that of the mental plane with its emphasis on reason and spiritual discernment. It is this that is starting to make its presence felt. Most recently through the writings of people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.

At the last mind, body, spirit festival I went to because I wanted an aura photograph for my book I was struck by how few psychics there were there compared to other years. I was also struck by how fat the majority of them were. This is always a cause of suspicion for me because the body is not designed to be fat. There is energy deep within the body which requires a light frame in order for the vibration to reach a high enough level to rise safely. There is something not quite right about an overweight medium. To say this is not me being judgmental, it is to be spiritually discerning. The spiritual path is strewn with human wrecks. Being discerning will guard against this. If something about something doesn't feel right, then I will honour this and look more deeply, gathering reasons for why this might be. It is the quality of reason which determines how fast or slow one goes on this path. It's not obedience. Obedience will get you nowhere. You have to be alert, aware and ask questions and then go within to listen to the answer. It is there and will be shown to you if you ask with a sincere and open heart. Humility is also very important. Ego cannot be present at the same moment as humility. Politeness in all circumstances and to everybody is one practice which keeps down the activity of the selfish ego mind. The ego-mind is anything but humble or polite so to make this a practice is good for controlling the influence of the ego-mind. Every time we are polite the ego-mind gets weaker and the soul influence becomes stronger.

Richard Dawkins programme 'Enemies of reason' has just finished. I found some parts of it so funny. He looked so out of place in a spiritualist church. I was delighted to see that he interviewed the famous illusionist Darren Brown. I have great respect for Darren. I respect his honesty. At the beginning of all of his programmes he lays out where he is coming from in that he says he is a magician, illusionist who achieves what he does by a mixture of psychology, hypnosis, suggestion. He never suggests paranormal powers and for that I really respect him. His power for me is not diminished because he doesn't claim a divine link. It is because he doesn't that I would feel far more comfortable in his presence than in the presence of any psychic who claims to have that direct link.

What was interesting for me watching this programme was how the attitude of those being interviewed changed when Dawkins went in with some specific targetted questions. There was a level of defensiveness which only happens when there is a challenge to a belief. Those who are confident in what they do and say will never go on the defensive when challenged. Defensiveness is always a sign of fear. I found Dawkins quite open and willing to listen to the views of those he interviewed. He was measured in his responses and without much emotion, unlike some of those he interviewed. Emotion tends to distort. He used much of the programme to attack astrology which I also don't have much time for. The planets are a fact but their possible or claimed for effects cannot be scientifically proven and so for me the effects are story's which have been made up around the planets. It is important to distinguish and separate what is truth from what is story. Living life from stories is like living a life that is built on shifting sand.

I was a little concerned that the programme opened with a vignette of people reciting a Buddhist mantra which is from a specific Buddhist school. Mantras are not in the same category as psychic and the paranormal. Mantras are aimed at quieting the mind so the body can become relaxed. The theory is that while the mind is focussed on one thing i.e. a mantra that it can't also be thinking about other things. It is the focussing on the mantra which brings the attention directly into the present. This then stills the mind. But I am aware that this is just a view I hold. I don't know that it is true, it is just the way it seems to me.

At the end of the 1st programme in this series. I'm not sure what effect the programme will have. I disagree with his fears that science and reason are going to be drowned by irrational superstitution and the paranormal. I really don't feel that this will happen. It appears stronger now because it is dying. The astral plane which gives the energy for this is fading. The dragon is always at its strongest when it's dying. It is the same with the whole area of psychics, mediums, tarot card readers and clairvoyants.

It was interesting that he also visited a psychic fair and had his aura taken. The aura is meant to be the energetic blueprint which shows our spiritual nature. I understand his frustration because I share much of it. But what Dawkins does not appear to give any credence to is the power of an experience. I can go to great lengths to explain a banana the texture, it's taste and other qualities but unless I can actually taste the banana, then all I have is an idea a concept. But once I taste the banana then I have the experience. As a result I will never confuse a banana with another fruit. After the experience must come reason and the search for evidence. The problem with too many people is that they become so absorbed in their experiences. They add to the experience a story about what it means and then live the rest of their lives from this story of what they made the experience mean. In the process losing all objectivity. Dawkins has concepts and ideas but does not appear to have any direct experiences which is a pity because much could be learned from the reason that he would apply to such subjective experiences. Experiences are also transformative in that they shift consciousness and so alter one's view of the world. This is what many of the people he interviewed on the programme were trying to tell him. I commend him on his stance on reason. The world of subjective feeling is cunning and out to trap. Reason for me is the only true indicator of reality.

When I experienced the rising of energy from the base of my spine which gave me such a different outlook on life. I looked for a reason for this. My lazy right eye meant something had happened in my brain was one reason. I didn't get absorbed in the experience and its effects to the detriment of reason. Reason is a huge safety factor on the spiritual path. Without reason one loses all objectivity and gets trapped and addicted to one's own subjective ego mind. It is this loss of objectivity which Dawkins is fighting so hard against. .... The 2nd programme is about how the faith in the supernatural is affecting watch this space. This is a long blog this evening but then there was a lot to write.......


Anonymous said...

Great post, I am almost 100% in agreement with you

Margaret Dempsey said...

Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to read my post. It also gave me the opportunity to re-read on something I wrote a long time ago and reflect on how my journey has been since then.

All the very best to you for your journey.


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