Tag Archives: Wisdom

The Relationship Between our Individual and Collective Spiritual Journeys

Our spiritual journey is unique. It will be different than anyone in history who has ever undergone this transformation before. Such a realization can be incredibly lonely and frightening.

When we start down this path we find our first guru and we read about the circumstances of their enlightenment. We understand their suffering deeply and believe that we feel exactly as they did prior to their shift. We read about their dark night of the soul, or their dramatic shift in perception, and helplessly try to recreate it for ourselves.

We start out treating enlightenment as if it comes with a manual. Sometimes even the most profound spiritual texts initially sound like this. We all know the instructions. You must surrender. You must accept the present moment. You must be still. You must be the witness. It’s almost like a to do list that we need to scratch off to become enlightened.

And after numerous attempts at mimicking the transformation of spiritual gurus I came to the realization that my journey is completely my own. I don’t know if, or how, I will become enlightened so I can not walk on the path as if I know where it’s going. I can not do something and know if it is helpful or a hindrance to my transformation.

It’s at this point out of sheer desperation that we reach out to the collective. We share our experiences and listen to the experiences of others. We scour the internet for wisdom and then share it with those like minded souls. We meditate, do yoga, have a realization, and then have this powerful instinct to communicate with those undergoing the same struggle.

It is this desire to share with the collective that fuels my individual journey.

What if I couldn’t blog? What if there was no YouTube? No Twitter or Facebook? Many of us may think that the world would be a much better place, and to a large degree I believe they may be right. But from another perspective social media has enabled me to create this huge community from which I find wisdom, and hopefully to which I contribute some myself.

The simple existence of this community has kept me moving forward. It has propelled me deeper into spirituality than I ever would have gone without them. Through my community I find encouragement, compassion, empathy, guidance and knowledge.

However, there is most certainly an element of sharing that strengthens the egoic “I”. It is the part that feels good when a post gets a lot of likes, or the part that feels excited when an original quote gets retweeted. The irony can get quite thick when you get a large response on some wisdom you had shared about not being your thoughts, and as a result start thinking how clever you are.

But perhaps the ego has a vitally important role to play in my personal journey. That as my ego seeks validation through a increasingly larger spiritual community I am also pulled deeper into the realm of spiritual seeking. As I surround myself with vast amounts of spiritual texts, lectures, and gurus, I increase the chance that I will ignite my transformation through encountering the right person, or hearing the right bit of wisdom.

Or maybe, and this is what I believe now, the greatest lesson I will learn through immersing myself into all things spiritual as a means to enlightenment will be its complete and undeniable failure. Perhaps this is where I will finally learn what surrender, acceptance, and stillness truly is.

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Travelling At The Speed Of Truth

My mind was blown this morning when I found this article after googling “Why does time slow down at the speed of light?”

But it turns out that time doesn’t slow down at the speed of light, it doesn’t exist at all! The article goes on to say that “Everything in the Universe travels at light speed. Always.” Only it is our combined speed through both space and time that is considered. The faster you travel through space, the slower you travel through time.

I found another article on the topic of light speed that really got my mind melting. It’s a blog post on the site ‘Ask A Mathematician‘ Speaking about relativity it states the following:

“Whenever there’s a “time effect” there’s a “distance effect” as well, and in this case we find that infinite time dilation (no time for photons) goes hand in hand with infinite length contraction (there’s no distance to the destination).”

Since time and distance go hand in hand not only does the photon not experience time, it does not experience distance either!

From the perspective of the photon it is everywhere in the universe at the same time!

Wow.

Just wow.

If a photon does not experience time nor distance then they also could not have had a beginning. Photon’s must have always existed. And without a beginning, there will be no end. At least from the photon’s point of view. We may well see a big crunch (not literally of course), and then a subsequent big bang. But this can mean nothing to the eternal photon.

What exactly does it mean to not experience time? Does it mean to be frozen at a particular point in time? We have all heard the story of the man who left earth travelling near the speed of light for 3 months only to return and everyone is 50 years older. This seems to hint that time is getting compressed.

However, in the distance analogy above I inferred that to not experience distance means that the photon is everywhere. So if the photon does not experience time, is it not in every time rather than a single, infinitely compressed point?

In spirituality we often speak of the light of consciousness. It is that part of your true self that doesn’t experience time, and doesn’t experience distance, but it is the pure witness to both.

Is there a link between this light of consciousness and this eternal photon light described above or is this analogy meant purely metaphorically?

Perhaps they are mirrors of each other. As photon light illuminates the universe it is reflected as a form through perception within my consciousness. But does it do more than that?

To perceive an object, or form, the light first enters our eyes, shapes our minds, and then creates an image.

Think about it for a moment. This series of eternal photons that exist everywhere, and at every time, has penetrated our bodies and shaped our perception of absolutely everything!!!

This certainly hints at much bigger things about light than just physical properties. When Eckhart Tolle underwent his transformation one of his first realizations was that there was much more to light than we could ever imagine.

I am drawn to think that light may be the ultimate source of our true selves, of infinite wisdom, and of peace and joy. Jesus said “I am the light of the world”. And if he was, then we all must be.

A Collection of Quotes for These Troubled Times

“If you want peace and harmony in the world, you must have peace and harmony in your hearts and minds. Such change cannot be imposed; it must come from within. Those who abhor war must get war out of their system. Without peaceful people how can you have peace in the world? As long as people are as they are, the world must be as it is”

– Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

-Gandhi

 

“Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try as you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to prevent it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.”

– Ramana Maharshi

 

“When people get taken over by the ego to such an extent, there is nothing else in their mind except the ego. They can no longer feel or sense their humanity– what they share with other human beings, or even with other life forms on the planet. They are so identified with concepts in their minds that other human beings become concepts as well.”

“Once you have conceptualized a person, violence becomes almost inevitable. This is because you are not seeing them as a human being anymore. It becomes impossible for you to have any kind of empathy with another individual who does not fit into your collective mind structure.”

– Eckhart Tolle

 

“There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.”

– Albert Camus

 

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

-Albert Einstein

 

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

-Martin Luther King

The Curious Case of OSHO

I have never been drawn to OSHO as a spiritual teacher. From what little I had read he seemed to be embroiled in controversy. From organized violence at his ashrams, to a biological attack on US soil planned by his secretary, and tales of Rolls Royce’s purchased for his use (not to mention the nice watch he wears in the video below!).

It would be silly to judge a spiritual teacher for making money at their craft as it is the way of the world we live in. However when it gets to be extreme some responsibility falls to the seeker to determine if there is some deeper meaning that impacts the authenticity of their teachings.

The reason I am even talking about OSHO is that in a brief trip to Chapters yesterday to pick up ‘Elf on a Shelf’ for my youngest daughter I stopped in the spiritual section and for some reason immediately picked up his book ‘Emotional Wellness’. I would normally just glance over the spines of his paperbacks, but today was different.

I opened to a random page and started reading and immediately his words were resonating in a deep place within. I stood there for 15 minutes (something I never do) totally engaged in what I was reading. In this brief period I experienced a shift, a greater trusting in my own nature. There was a new freedom that enabled me to release my mind from the exhausting task of separating right from wrong.

I suppose it is a lesson in itself that words of wisdom and clarity can come from any source and that we shouldn’t turn them aside because of any preconceived judgement about the orator. I surely would have missed a great opportunity.

As a result I went to YouTube in search of an OSHO teaching to share on my blog and I came across this one in which he talks about authentic love, and authentic hate. Enjoy!