The Huffington Post
“Avoid the Limited Knowledge, Unlimited Judgment Syndrome”
Incredibly, we often form our opinions and judgments with very limited knowledge and have no interest in looking any deeper into it. Oftentimes these judgments are a result of a first impression. The first impression of anyone or anything that is new is very difficult to get past. It becomes our assumption of truth…
Read the article.
“6 Insights to Increase Your Business Acumen”
In business, most of our focus is on what lies outside of us, but it is more important to pay attention to what lies within us and limits our ability to be effective in our profession. Whether we are communicating with others or are just having our own private thoughts, the acronym IPGACO can bring us awareness that makes all the difference between insight and oblivion.…
“How Our Rational Age Will Transform Religion”
Participation in organized religion has certainly been on the decline over the past several years. Church attendance is way down and atheism is on the rise. Why is this happening? Can and should we do anything about it?
At first glance, religiously minded people consider the decline to be a terrible thing. However even for the religiously minded, it can be understood as a positive thing. This can be a guiding light for a future spiritual renaissance, in which attendance at spiritual organizations could reach an all-time high. How could this be?…
The Huffington Post
“Everything Bends: When Life Defies Our Way of Thinking”
We live in a world of digital bits, bytes, and on/off switches. If it just stopped there, we would be okay, but it doesn’t. We project that kind of thinking onto our world views of everything from politics to baking to morality. Oh, if only life were so simple.
The truth is that life is not about black and white truths. Life is all about shades, hues, and contours. Life is not defined with straight lines. Everything bends…
“Science Informs Our Lives, Yet Meaning Lies Beyond It”
The American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson once said that when scientists talk to the public, they speak about what they know; when they speak privately amongst themselves, they talk about what they don’t know. The way I see it, if we lived a life confined strictly to what we can scientifically prove, our lives would be ridiculous.
I will not live my life attempting to defy science.
Nor will I live my life limited to what science has currently proven…
The Huffington Post just published one of my new articles that is very timely. It begins:
“Evidently, the Pope is considering allowing priests to be married. There is, of course, significant debate about this issue. Yet, there are several factors essential to the subject that I haven’t seen mentioned…”
“Celibacy, Sex, and the Church’s Dilemma”
Questions have come in regarding the Advanced Techniques. I hope to answer them here. With the Surya Ram Meditation, we dive into the Transcendent. As we become more and more familiar with the Transcendent, we move in the direction of what is called Cosmic Consciousness. Along the way to Cosmic Consciousness, the awareness naturally begins to gravitate in that direction and rest there. It is as if we discover the true home of our Selves.
However, there is a great deal more to human evolution and things get increasingly grand as we continue to evolve. In time, it becomes our direct experience that everything is the Transcendent. “I am that. Thou art that. All of this is nothing but that.” The Advanced Techniques naturally move our awareness in that direction.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras begin with the Sutras (“threads”) that weave together the tapestry of the deepest level of existence. The Advanced Techniques, in contrast, start with the physical world, and allow you to experience that level of existence as the Transcendent and, over time, expand out to ever deepening, expanding, and subtler levels of existence. It is as if the Sutras start at one end of the spectrum of existence and the Advance Techniques start at the other. Over time, you come to experience your physical body, energetic body, spheres of existence, etc. as all being the Transcendent… all contained within you… all one with you. Aspects of the psyche and physiology begin to resonate with a more refined level, a higher octave. In so doing, the structure of existence is discovered and explored. Daily life, your psyche, and your individual body become the field of evolution. Your own awareness becomes a research laboratory of the universe, as your physical body and all aspects of your being take on their rightful place in the scheme of existence. As other-worldish as that may sound, the experience in daily life is exactly the opposite. The Advanced Techniques enable us to integrate and function in our worldly lives with more comfort and proficiency.
To be completely candid, I wish I had learned the Advanced Techniques decades ago. They would have helped me assimilate with daily life in the physical world more seamlessly. Leaving the ashram decades ago, I was absorbed in the Transcendent. Assimilation with the ways of the world took time. These techniques would have helped greatly. But I was never taught them. I found them within myself and only then discovered the truth of them within the Vedic literature. It was admittedly an awkward path. The integration of the Transcendental level with daily life took a great deal of time.
However, I believe there was a greater purpose in that. I believe that these techniques can best and perhaps only be taught to another when one has found them within one’s Self. In that way, all the possible paths to discovery and experience have been explored and understood. This enables one to teach them not as an overlay, but as a cultivation within each and every individual. In so doing, the path of integration of the Transcendent with daily life is expedited. It has been said that Cosmic Consciousness is, in some ways, an awkward phase. I guess that is true. But these techniques offer everyone the tools to, as if, skip over that awkwardness and quickly attain the integration of life.
I was asked the following question: How is it not possible to identify with something…all those beliefs and notions? I am wondering what life is like when you move past that.
To which I respond:
This is an excellent and important question. In the first paragraph, we will briefly review identity in a rather cosmic sense. Then we will speak of it more pragmatically.
This entire universe is built upon identity. When Consciousness viewed itself as ‘other’ and interacted with itself over and over again, the universe was born. Identity with the resulting structure is the foundation upon which this universe rests. The term “Maya” refers to the illusion. It is identity with the illusion that keeps this universe going; it keeps the world spinning around. Without identity, this universe would cease to exist. However, ultimately, there is no ‘other.’ It is all One. Sometimes people may despair over the notion that this is all illusion. But there is no need to despair. It is simple the exquisite and fine fabric upon which the beautiful universe is founded. Lovely!
We are all identified with our notions, belief systems, paradigms, philosophies, families, and way of life. The point is that identity exists on many different levels, from the Cosmic to the superficial. Oftentimes, such identities serve us. They provide a reference frame for our lives. They create many beautiful things for us.
On the other hand, many of our identities limit us. They limit our understanding of life. They narrow our perspective. I think most of us like to think of ourselves as ‘open-minded.’ But in truth, we are open-minded only to the extent our identities allow it.
To be free from identity does not mean that we abandon all identity on every level of life. If we did that, we would cease to exist in this physical universe. However, we can awaken to the level of life that is beyond any identity. We can awaken to the Transcendental level of our being that lies beyond identity… the level of pure Consciousness before it is even lost to the notion of ‘other.’ At that point, we have essentially two things going at the same time. At the depth of our being, we are free from identity. Yet, on the surface of life, we are still functioning through our identities.
This does not reduce, for example, our love for others. In fact, it deepens it. By seeing more deeply, we love more deeply. At the same time, we become free to see and move beyond those areas where our thinking is limited. We become more open-minded. We do not lose our balance when things occur that throw our belief systems into doubt. We are spontaneously ready to look beyond the horizon, so to speak. So, being awake to the level of life that is free from identity, on the one hand, enhances our love for, and dedication to, many things. On the other hand, being free from identity enables us to see beyond those beliefs, emotions, and convictions that limit, and do not serve, our lives.
So, as with all concepts (all terms, all notions), identity takes on a different meaning as we refer to it on different levels of life. Yet, all of those meanings are transformed once we awaken to the Transcendental depth of our being. This is something not fully understood until it is experienced. But hopefully this explanation sheds some light on the topic.
In the past, I have been inclined to describe it by saying: “Everything is completely the same, but totally different.” We still love. We still have our likes and dislikes. We still experience the full range of human emotions. None of those values are diminished at all. Yet somehow, miraculously, we are awake to a level of life that frees us from limitation, narrow vision, and, as we say, “It frees us from identity”. We become infinitely free, but totally committed. We become infinitely flexible, but totally solid—just as a tree’s roots are fixed solidly in the ground, yet the branches move freely in the wind. Yet at the same time, the fixity of the roots transforms the freedom of motion of the branches.
Bruce Lee was clearly influenced by deep spiritual knowledge. His genius was in his ability to apply that understanding to his personal life, his personal interests, and his individual path. Within us lies the infinite unboundedness of our own true Nature. That place which is one with all of Nature. The Home, the source of all Knowledge and all that is. To be ignorant is to ignore one’s own true Nature and instead lose ourselves to limitation… to echoes of Truth perceived as Truth. Limitation is identity with those echoes to which we faithfully, devotedly, and passionately adhere. We call those echoes our belief systems, our faith, our truth, our philosophy, our love, our religion. Our freedom, our genius, our grandeur, our wisdom, our true nature… that is what we shroud with our devotion to such limitation. But we do not view our limitations as limitations. We view our limitations as our own self, our own freedom, genius, wisdom, love, truth, street smarts… call it what you will.
Spiritual liberation means liberation from such limitations. Yet we are not speaking of anarchy here. A true teacher assists us along the path to free us from that path. The bits of information and life experiences thusly provided are merely sign posts along the way. Ultimately, the Veda is not words, life experiences, information, facts or principles. Ultimately, the Veda is the infinite, unbounded nature of all life and existence that we find deep within ourselves… beyond all thought, all belief systems, faiths, philosophies, all we cling to in the name of Truth. That which can be grasped is not Truth. Truth can not be grasped. Truth can only be lived.
As Bruce Lee puts it:
“Learning is discovery, the discovery of the cause of our ignorance. However, the best way of learning is not the computation of information. Learning is discovering, uncovering what is there in us. When we discover, we are uncovering our own ability, our own eyes, in order to find our potential, to see what is going on, to discover how we can enlarge our lives, to find means at our disposal that will let us cope with a difficult situation.”
“We do not have to “gain” freedom because freedom has always been with us and is not something to be gained in the end through strict and faithful adherence to some definite formulas. Formulas can only inhibit freedom and preformations only squelch creativity and impose mediocrity.”
“Learning is definitely not mere imitation or the ability to accumulate and conform to fixed knowledge.”