Another Arrow To My Bow


I have some news dear friends! I’m going to branch out in a new direction. It’s been in the pipeline for some time, but due to unavoidable circumstances it has not been able to come to fruition until now. On Sunday February 18 I am being ordained as a Spiritualist minister. Ah! I know what you are thinking… You are thinking that, “He’s only just announced that he won’t be working as a medium anymore, and now he’s being ordained”! Well I can understand how this looks on the surface of things. However, this is something I’ve had in the pipeline for over three years, and even though I have to do around half and hour’s mediumship as part of my ordination, I have no intention of going back on the circuit. No, there are other reasons for me taking this step.

I have no intention of retiring. But I’m realistic enough to understand that I’m not getting any younger. So being ordained as a minister will enable me to carry out weddings, funerals and naming ceremonies. I will be offering spiritual (non-religious) and non-spiritual ceremonies, tailor-made for the client. Being a minister will allow me to continue working in a capacity that will add value to people’s lives; which for me is what it is all about.

For the ordination, apart from having to do the mediumship, I will have to make a declaration (which is a kind of pledge or promise), I will have to give an address and I will have to do three readings. Originally, I chose my readings from Conversations With God – Book One by Neale Donald Walsch (2 passages) and one passage from The Yoga Of Jesus by Paramahansa Yogananda. But having given it a bit of thought, I decided to write my own readings, which I am going to share with you here. I have tried to cover as many angles as possible without making it too complicated, so I hope the following will do the trick. Comments are appreciated!

Reading One

Nothing exists except Consciousness; Consciousness is all there is. All experience, all-knowing, takes place within Consciousness. Indeed, even our physical bodies, which are incorrectly believed to be a housing for the spirit, are contained within Consciousness.
There are many names for Consciousness; spirit, the Self, bliss, knowing, awareness, God; to name but a few. However, the truth is that Consciousness has neither name nor form, neither birth nor death; it transcends pleasure and pain, joy and grief and it is what we are. There is never a single moment that each and every one of us does not exist in eternal bliss as infinite Consciousness. In truth there is nothing to do and nowhere to go, all we ever need is to Be.
So, what then is the point of this physical life; what purpose does it serve. The answer is very simple; the physical life exists so that Consciousness may know itself in its own experience.
Consciousness simply existed as itself in all-knowing infinity. It had no way of experiencing this infinite knowledge, so, using the power of its will, it created the illusion of the three-dimensional physical world, which is subject to relativity, cause and effect and other natural laws. It modulated itself into billions of seemingly separate pockets of intensified energy, thus creating the illusion of the individual soul, existing independently of everything else. Consciousness created certain conditions that went hand in hand with this, which meant that the super-conscious mind was temporarily suppressed and apparently replaced by a finite mind, limited by logic.
Another name for the logical mind is the ego; the bane of the human race, which prevents the individual soul from realising its true nature. The ego causes the individual soul to identify with the body as the reality, thus rendering it oblivious to its underlying truth.

Reading Two

The cause of most of the pain and misery suffered by human beings whilst experiencing a physical existence, is the lack of understanding of what constitutes the ego and how it tricks us into believing we are something that we are not. The easiest way to explain it is as follows:
At any given time here in the physical we are experiencing one of three states of being. The waking state, the dream state and deep sleep state. It is during deep sleep state that we return to source in order to replenish our energies. Upon awakening from deep sleep state, the first thing that happens, quite often even before we open our eyes, is that thoughts start to rise up in the mind. However, it is necessary to elaborate on this in order that we may gain a complete understanding of the process.
Firstly, what is known as the “I” thought, or ego, rises up. This is the thought that says, “I am this body”, “I am this mind”, “I have got limitations”, “I am going to die”. And it is from the “I” thought that all other thoughts rise up. The ego wants us to focus on objects in the world, because it wants us to believe that the world is the source of lasting happiness. The five senses also play their part, in that they pick up information externally and feed it back to the mind. The information is then reviewed. It is this review by the mind, of information received from the senses, that determines whether we experience happiness, sadness or indifference. What the ego does not tell us is that the world is subject to relativity, so any happiness that we find in the world cannot last; indeed, we realise in time that the source of our greatest joy is also the source of our greatest pain.
When we succumb to the tricks of the ego, we get sucked in and taken on a roller coaster ride; often a ride of pain and suffering. Having said all this, it is not wrong, neither is it a mistake to lose sight of who we are.

Reading Three

The great adventure of life is the experience of awakening and realising the truth of our being. We may go through many trials and tribulations en route, but this is exactly how it is meant to be. Life as we know it is nothing more than an elaborate game, played out in a theatre, a theatre of dreams; literally! Everything in the entire universe and beyond is never not in Divine and perfect order; and the play of life too is acted out in a state of absolute perfection. So how does it work?
Well, there has already been mention of the three-dimensional nature of the world; and this is how it has to be in order for experience to be whole and complete. Here are two examples. Firstly, the example of forgiveness. There is the one doing the forgiving, the one being forgiven and the actual process of forgiveness. Secondly, the example of joy. There is the subject (i.e. the joyous person), there is the object or the cause of joy (possibly receiving some good news) and there is the process of joyousness. Everywhere you look in the world you will see the three-dimensional nature of subject/object/process.
Paradoxically, it is by having these three-dimensional experiences that we eventually awaken to our true nature of Consciousness. Until we do, we look at the world from a dualistic perspective; dualism is the illusion that objects and people exist separately and independently of each other. The Indian sage, Ramana Maharshi was once asked the question by a devotee, “should I care for the needs of others”, to which he replied, “there are no others”. Of course it goes without saying that our true nature is also that of Love, and we should always be ready to give a helping hand where it is needed. The Maharshi simply answered the question from the perspective of absolute truth. In Consciousness there is no dualistic or three-dimensional nature and therefore, there are no others; there is only One.
What we can see in the world is Consciousness projecting itself into form, but all form is transient and will eventually sink back into its source. When we look out of the window and we see a tree, the tree does not exist as a tree; it actually exists as vibration. What we see as the tree is nothing more than our mind’s interpretation of that vibration.
Consciousness is that in which all experience appears, all experience is known and out of which all experience is made. When we eventually awaken, we realise that there was nothing to awaken from, that all the time we were awake; we just couldn’t see it. Rather like the sun being obscured by clouds. When the clouds eventually move away we say that the sun has come back, but it didn’t go anywhere, we simply couldn’t see it. We are Divine, we have always been Divine and we will always be Divine.
There is a Zen saying that is thousands of years old. “Be as a hollow bamboo”. That is all we need, to allow ourselves to simply Be (as a hollow bamboo), in order that the higher power may work through us. When we give up all ideas of having to “Do”, and simply allow ourselves to Be, then magic happens and life becomes Heaven on earth!

© Richard F Holmes 2018

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Who Am I? Epilogue

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When I first started writing this series of posts, what seems like an absolute age ago now, I never dreamed it would stretch to 35 articles. The whole idea was so that people who have only started following my blog in recent years could gain an understanding of where I’ve come from. Having said that, this story has been far from an ego trip, and apart from the spiritual implications of my journey, there is also a very real and practical message in here that I would like to get out. That message is, that in life we will all experience many things that will test us and wear us down. Many of those things will be extremely unpleasant. However, regardless of what we go through, we do not have to be victims. When you are going through pain, it is very easy (and understandable) to blame particular people or circumstances, and it is a common human trait to cling for dear life, on to things that cause us pain. But my point is that you can experience all manner of difficulties, but to be a victim of them, is unfortunately, a choice.

When I look back on where I’ve come from, I actually feel a little bit embarrassed. Because what I experienced seems to me to be very insignificant compared to what some people go through. However, at the time my pain was very real and I will never forget the depths of darkness to which I sank, or the excruciating emotional pain that I felt at times; pain that cut through me like a sword. It was only when I finally realised that the world was not responsible for the way I felt, that I was able to change things. No one but me was responsible for making changes in my life.

One thing that has really been brought home to me from my experiences, is the importance of our parents. Regardless of the kind of relationship, if any, we have with them, they are so important for our growth. As I stated very early in this series, I had extremely difficult relationships with both my parents, but for different reasons. I now understand that I was there for their growth as much as they were there for mine. I also now understand that both of them did a fantastic job in accordance with the understanding and level of consciousness that they had. So, Dick and Elsie, I salute you! I also have to admit that I must have been an absolute nightmare for them at times! Another thing that I now understand is that both of them were a reflection of me, and I of them; reflecting the good as well as the not so good.

My journey has been one of an awakening. However, I am the first to admit that I have some way to go yet. I know this because if I was a fully realized soul, I would not be talking about journeys and awakening, because in Consciousness there is nowhere to go and nothing to awaken from. I firmly believe that my chronic fatigue is a part of my awakening process, and there is something else that I know many of you will be able to relate to. If you are a spiritually minded person; and I’m presuming you are if you are reading this, have you noticed that several old and stale traits that you thought you’d dealt with years ago have started to rear their heads again? My understanding, although I’m not saying that this is set in stone, is that when we are awakening, we can only awaken in stages; very few souls have the traumatic experience of sudden and complete awakening. The process can be very painful indeed so we have to awaken gradually. When we become more and more evolved after clearing out what we believe to be all the debris lodged in the soul, it can be quite a surprise when “stuff” starts to pop up again. But this can be likened to the “exhaust fumes” effect that I spoke about in a previous article. After the vehicle has long gone, the smell of exhaust fumes lingers in the air until it too dissipates.

Speaking of sudden and complete awakening. One soul who went through such a process was the Indian sage, Ramana Maharshi; this is described in great detail in the book, The Mind of Ramana Maharshi by Arthur Osborne. I can thoroughly recommend this book, and indeed, all of the Arthur Osborne books on the teachings of the great man. My own awakening process has escalated greatly since I became aware of the Maharshi and his teachings.

So, this is it folks. Thank you for continuing to support my blog and please do “like” and leave a comment. I will now leave you with the answer to the question, “Who Am I”?, that I have asked 35 times during the writing of my story. But before I do, I just want to let you know that I have decided to put all this into book form, for release in 2018. The book will contain more detail and will be called, Eyesight To The Blind.

Yes, I have experienced dark times. I “suffered” with depression for an estimated 28 years, I have “suffered” psychological abuse, also for a prolonged period of time and I have been on the receiving end of domestic violence and “suffered” organisational abuse. One thing that I have not revealed until now is that I also experienced sexual abuse at the age of 8. It only happened once, but once was enough! I experienced my acute stress related illness too, which finally served as my wake up call. Throughout all this I chose to be a victim and suffered the consequences of that choice until I realised that all the answers were contained within me. I then embarked on my spiritual journey, which also had its ups and downs, the main focus of which was my work as a medium. Now as I type it is two days since undertaking my last ever booking in that line of work. I don’t know what the future holds, but I suppose the only true answer to that is, that the future will hold for me whatever my mind creates.

I have come to the understanding that there really is only consciousness, and nothing else, that there really is nothing to do except to allow oneself to be as a hollow bamboo in order that the higher power may weave its magic through us. I am a beautiful soul, a being of light, having an imaginary adventure; during which I will hopefully get to know myself in my own experience and love myself for the delightful soul that I am. In a nutshell…

I am that I am..

Finally….

Before and After

Me looking like an axe killer! Taken in Bielefeld hostel during my Who blasting days.

 

 

Silence


At the end of my last post, Who Am I? Part Fourteen, I said you would have part fifteen before you know it… Obviously, that hasn’t happened and I apologise for that. Unfortunately, since my last post my chronic fatigue has been playing up more than normal and I simply haven’t had the energy or the focus to be able to write. I really don’t like going too long without posting, so I thought I would share this beautifully inspiring piece of wisdom from Ramana Maharshi with you. Please bear with me, and I will write part fifteen as soon as I’m able. It’s only about another 16 days before I go off to Nepal for three weeks, so I’m hoping to give you parts sixteen and seventeen as well. In the meantime, here’s The Maharshi…

Silence is ever speaking. It is a perennial flow of language, which is interrupted by speaking. These words I am speaking obstruct that mute language. For example, there is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electric energy. Similarly also, silence is the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words.

The Language Of Silence

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Ramana 2Language is only a medium for communicating one’s thoughts to another. It is called in only after thoughts arise. Other thoughts arise after the “I”-thought arises and so the “I”-thought is the root of all conversation. When one remains without thinking one understands another by means of the universal language of silence.

Silence is ever speaking. It is a perennial flow of language which is interrupted by speaking. These words I am speaking obstruct that mute language. For example, there is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electric energy. Similarly also, silence is the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words.

What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known instantly in silence.

Ramana Maharshi

Yoga v Self-Enquiry


Ramana 2In the last few weeks I’ve been reading a book called “Be As You Are – The Teachings Of Ramana Maharshi”. It’s a very interesting book; although a bit difficult to grasp at times. In a nut shell, Sri Ramana Maharshi advocated a spiritual practice called “Self-enquiry” as a direct means to Self-realisation. It works on the principle that all that exists is the Self (infinite consciousness), and if you constantly enquire “Who Am I”, and go to the source of where the thought arises, then you destroy the mind and realise this Self. However, it’s not as simple as that in practice; or so it would seem. But before I go into more detail I want to touch on Sri Ramana’s views on yoga (I should probably say my interpretation of the great master’s views on yoga).

Sri Ramana did not recommend yoga as a means to realise the Self. He said that yogis simply suppress the mind through their yogic practice, as opposed to “killing” it. The thinking behind it is that if you suppress the mind in your meditative state, once you come out of your meditative state thoughts will once again arise; therefore, through the practice of yoga one can only flit in and out of Self-realisation. Whereas, through the practice of Self-enquiry the mind is obliterated and the Self is realised.

Self-enquiry is very simple in principle; and it makes a great deal of sense. If you go to the source of the “I” thought, or ego (this refers to the false “I” that states “I am this body”) the mind will simply disappear. Does it not stand to reason that if the false “I” arises out of the Self, if you go directly to Self, then this is what you experience; Self, or who you really are. This is why Ramana called it the direct means, because it meant bypassing all the other “stuff” in between. He said that meditation and mantras etc. are OK, but they cannot ultimately take you to Self-realisation because to practice them is to engage the mind and you cannot use the mind to destroy the mind.

He said ask the question “Who Am I” and go directly to the source of the thought, without actively seeking it; because to seek something means to engage the mind. This is where it gets complicated for me, but the great man assures us that it is possible. It would also be possible here to ramble on and on and on because there are so many permutations and possibilities depending on how you interpret Self-enquiry. But instead of rambling on I’m going to get to the point of this article.

It’s quite common for people to develop spiritual snobbery; even if they don’t realise it. You find that followers of certain gurus and teachers get feelings of superiority because their teacher is “more spiritual” than yours etc. But I saw this business of Self-enquiry versus yoga as an opportunity to make a point. Contrary to popular opinion, yoga has got nothing to do with sticking your foot behind your head! The word “yoga” means “union with God”. Therefore, if Self-enquiry is a proven means to Self-realisation (union with God) it is simply another form of yoga.

God bless you all and I’ll see you when I get back from Wales. I haven’t forgotten that I posted recently that I have another video project in mind, “Using The Voice To Enhance Your General Well-Being”. I’ll probably get this underway during the first week in June. Bye for now!!

We Are Beyond The Illusion Of Birth And Death


My recent trip away, although successful in many ways, did not however produce anything worthy of writing about. So, until my writing brain whirrs into gear again I will continue to post inspiration from other sources. That said, I really hope you enjoy this Monday wisdom from the wonderful Ramana Maharshi.

That inner Self is the primeval spirit, eternal, ever effulgent, full and infinite bliss, single, indivisible, whole and living, shines in everyone as the witnessing awareness.

That Self in its splendour, shining in the cavity of the heart. This Self is neither born nor dies, neither grows nor decays, nor does it suffer any change.

When a pot is broken, the space within it is not, and similarly, when the body dies the Self in it remains eternal.

Ramana Maharshi

Ramana

Thought For The Day #147

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The mind is a bundle of thoughts. The thoughts arise because there is the thinker. The thinker is the ego. The ego, if sought, will automatically vanish. The ego and the mind are the same. The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise – Ramana Maharshi