Do Nothing To Achieve Nothing


It is said that at the final stage of Self-realisation the ego merges into the Self and disappears. However, this would imply that the ego actually exists in the first place. The ultimate reality is that nothing exists except consciousness in its blissful infinite state of pure being; therefore the separate self (ego) only exists from the standpoint of duality, which is an illusion.

The concept of a single, infinite and indivisible whole is not easy for everyone to grasp, so it is perfectly acceptable to approach spiritual practice from a dualistic perspective. However, all of our spiritual practices; meditation, yoga, chanting and the study of spiritual texts, to name but a few, are nothing more than stepping-stones to finding what is already there. I have come to the conclusion that the simplest way to spiritual evolution is to do nothing in order to achieve nothing.

There is a Zen saying that says, “allow yourself to be as a hollow bamboo”, or words to that effect. What it means is to simply allow that higher power, which is your true nature, to operate through you. It is only the ego, the small “I” that needs to “do”. It knows that it ultimately does not exist and is on borrowed time, so it will do all it can to trick us into believing that we are the separate self. The individual soul was formed out of the nothing of the silent and blissful wilderness of Self, but there is never a time when it is not the Self. The trick, for want of a better word, is to understand that it is the individual soul as an ego/body/mind that is the illusion, the individual soul as Self is very real.

So allow yourself to be as a hollow bamboo and let your true nature work through you(do nothing), in order to experience your true nature of nothingness (achieve nothing). Rupert Spira explains this beautifully as, “being aware of being aware”.

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It’s Nearly That Time Of Year Again – Part Three


002Well, we are now into December and the juggernaut that is Christmas is heading towards us in all its vulgarity at a rate of knots. What’s that I hear you say? You’re sick of mince pies already? But we’ve still got over three weeks to go! Never mind, put your feet up, relax and peruse my latest blog post.

It has occurred to me that religion actually contradicts religion. Although, I don’t know why it has taken me so long to see this as yet another wonderful paradox of the zillions that make up our world. I would further add that the arts are more religious than religion. Why? Well, to recap for newer readers, the word “religion”, can be broken down into two parts; “re” (meaning “again”) and “ligio” (meaning “to come together”). So, the true meaning of religion is the process by which the individual soul can realise its truth and merge (come together) again with the One Eternal Self. But the religion we have today, being man-made, relies solely on the presence of ego for its existence; and as I’ve written umpteen times throughout the pages of this blog, it is not possible to experience Self-realisation when the ego is present. You see, all religious practice is actually designed to prevent Self-realisation, because all religious practice involves the mind (ego) being engaged. This means that the practice of religion, can at best, be nothing more than a stepping stone to Self-realisation. The practice of religion generally means that one has to be indoctrinated, therefore the boundaries set by the indoctrination prevent the practitioner from looking beyond their particular chosen religion. The only way to break free of the restrictions is to become a rebel (be creative), which religion does not want.

Imagine what it would be like if the world’s artists, musicians, dancers and singers could only perform in accordance with a particular doctrine? Where would we be? Painting and performance art would be mechanical and pointless. All the great artists and performers get completely lost in their craft to the point where they virtually don’t even feel the presence of a body. In that time they have allowed themselves to become empty, free of mind, in order that the creative force can bubble up through them. In those moments the artists are performing from the soul, not the ego; therefore they have merged with God again, therefore in those moments they are pure religion. Not fakes, not carbon copies, but pure originals straight from the soul. People who perform a type of art or craft are closer to source than philosophers. The philosopher always has the mind engaged, otherwise the philosopher would not be able to philosophise.

We all have an abundance of gifts already. But if you want to give yourself a gift this Christmas… Be creative!

It’s Nearly That Time Of Year Again – Part Two


Yes, Christmas is about to rear its head again, so here are some more of my musings…

You can never achieve Self-realisation by practising organised religion. No matter how enlightened you think you are becoming through your religious practise, the time will inevitably arise when you will have to make a choice between following the rules and regulations of your man-made religion, or expressing yourself as the free spirit you are by following the guidance of your soul. It is even a contradiction to talk about having to “achieve” Self-realisation, as we are simply blind to the truth that we are already enlightened. But the purpose of religion is to control the masses through fear, not set them free from their blindness…

You have a double-whammy today. As well as my first tippy-tapping on the keyboard since my return from Cyprus, I’m sharing 2 shots of my latest painting with you. The light in my living room is so poor that these pics don’t do it justice, but I’m very pleased with the finished article.

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Why Psychic And Clairvoyant Powers Can Be A Barrier To Spiritual Development – Part Two


???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Following on from my previous post, Part One, I’d just like to tie up a few loose ends. (if you missed it click on the link http://wp.me/p1qAeL-rbk). I stated that when we become attached to experiencing clairvoyant, mediumistic and psychic phenomena, it can hinder our spiritual growth; as opposed to enhancing it, which is a widely believed myth. So, what then, is the best way to progress and evolve spiritually? Firstly, allow me to digress slightly.

I mentioned in the previous post a number of examples as to why such phenomena do become a hindrance. But using the example of mediumship to demonstrate my point, I stated that for mediumship to occur there needs to be a messenger, a receiver of the message and the message itself. This is duality, and as such, is nothing more than an illusion. So, thinking along the same lines, something else occurred to me recently with regard to my astral adventures. (please click on this link for an account of my most recent and, what was one of my most spectacular ever, out-of-body experiences http://wp.me/p1qAeL-rb2).

Even though my adventures are nothing short of amazing, in the grander scheme of things, they too are illusory. There is the astral experience and the one having the experience (me), this is also duality and therefore an illusion. In infinite consciousness the experience and the experiencer are One; there is no separateness. So, even though I’m having these experiences on the astral planes, they are still occurring below the plane of Self-realisation and are therefore only happening within my astral mind. I also stated that the astral planes are a vast extension of the physical plane and subject to the same natural laws. This means that as well as creating my physical life with my thoughts, actions and spoken word, I am also creating my astral life; as are you. The only unusual thing is that for some reason I am being given a glimpse of this whilst still having “business” to attend to on the physical plane. It’s possible that I’m evolved enough to have these spectacular experiences, but not yet evolved enough to consciously choose the experience. Anyway, back to spiritual development.

We grow spiritually through our actions and experiences in daily life; that is a simple truth, and probably the most powerful way to kick-start your spiritual development is to practice forgiveness. The practice of forgiveness is a most wonderful springboard from which we can go on to greater things. Forgiveness is the letting go of the past. When we let go of the past we are able to evolve, and when we evolve we grow spiritually. Also, carrying out simple acts of kindness in a selfless manner is another extremely powerful method of spiritual development. These practices bring us far closer to our true nature than you would imagine, and the closer and closer we get to our true nature, the more the veil of ignorance is lifted. As truth reveals itself, illusion dissolves away. This is a continuous process, the culmination of which is the realisation that not only is there nothing in existence except infinite consciousness, but that “I Am” infinite consciousness.

Why Psychic And Clairvoyant Powers Can Be A Barrier To Spiritual Development

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10497_487005687979215_193773654_nContrary to popular opinion, having psychic or mediumistic abilities is no indicator of spiritual advancement; in fact, it can actually be a hindrance to spiritual development. What many do not realise is that psychic and clairvoyant experiences take place at a level which is well below the plane of Self-realisation; therefore at best they can be nothing more than an illusion; just another game in the play of life. Most people who know me will be aware that I have worked as a platform medium for many years, and so may find that statement very difficult to comprehend; a medium saying that mediumship is nothing more than an illusion! What next? I’ve been aware of this truth for several years now and I realise that all I’m doing is going through the motions for the sake of appeasing the logical minds of those who wrongly believe they have “lost” loved ones. I suppose I’d better explain my thinking…

Firstly, I’m going to use an analogy my good friend, Michael Walters, coined a few years back. Michael says that life is like an onion; consisting of many layers. As we evolve, every now and then, one of those layers peels away and reveals a truth that was always there, it’s just that we couldn’t see it. As truth reveals itself, old, stale mindsets and beliefs simply dissolve away. They dissolve away because they are illusory and not true. They never were true; we simply made them our reality because we believed it to be so. With this in mind it’s fair to say that the onion, which is my life, has been peeling away layers in the last few years at an unbelievable speed.

So, what is clairvoyance? It is a series of temporary experiences that occur in the mind. This tells us that in order to experience clairvoyance we have to engage the mind. The mind is the ego, which falsely identifies with the body therefore what we experience is an illusion; it is transient and not true. If you have a clairvoyant experience there must be an object (your clairvoyant vision). If there is an object, there must also be a subject (the one having the vision). This is separateness (duality), which is an illusion. In infinite consciousness the object and the subject are one and the same; in ultimate truth nothing exists except infinite consciousness, which is One.

We also need to understand that in order to have a clairvoyant experience, the experiencer must be in communication with the astral planes. The astral planes are a vast, kind of extension, to the physical plane and are subject to the same natural laws. This means that the astral planes are subject to relativity, which in turn means that your experience of clairvoyance may be negative as well as positive. Similar conditions apply with regard to mediumship. You have a messenger, the one receiving the message and the message itself; this is another example of duality; in infinite consciousness the messenger, the receiver and the message are one and the same; there is no separateness.

As for psychic powers, they simply relate to the karmic pathway and like clairvoyance and mediumship, they will only exist when the mind falsely identifies with the body. Of course, it is true to say that if you are reading this and you have experienced any kind of psychic phenomenon, it is an indicator that you are starting to wake up to the reality of who you really are. Problems occur however, when people start to have these experiences and wrongly believe that they are the be-all-and-end-all. They develop attachments to the experiences and want them continuously, oblivious to the fact that such experiences are only ever going to be a stepping stone to Self-realisation. When we develop such attachments, and remain in the psychic and clairvoyant planes, it forms a barrier and keeps us in ignorance of our true nature.

Is it not a no-brainer? Why would you want to settle for a lettuce leaf when you can have a whole salad?

 

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!!

The Secret Garden Of The Soul


Here is an extract from my latest project From Logic To Enlightenment, which is going to be a kindle-only booklet of spiritual inspiration, with 100% royalties being donated to Cotswold Care Hospice. I’m hoping to publish by the middle of November at the latest.

What we are all seeking is closer to us than our very skin, but most of us are still ignorant of this most basic of spiritual truths. The secret garden of the soul is within us. Yes, contained within us is a boundless ocean of love and bliss with unlimited possibilities. As we go through this life and become more and more aware of who we really are, we are able to access our “God-Self” more readily. Some people achieve this via spiritual practices such as meditation, but it is also possible to reach God by the action of selfless service. Swami, Sri Sathya Sai Baba once said that the easiest way to serve God is to serve your fellow human beings; because God is resident within the hearts of all beings, therefore to serve humankind is to serve God. When you serve the Divine you are taking steps towards Self-Realisation, because with every step you take towards God, God will take ten steps towards you.

We are here in this realm of matter simply to have physical experiences. The body is nothing more than a vehicle that gets us from A to B. It is impossible to die. Even the physical body does not die; it simply changes form and continues to exist. Anyone who does not believe this should understand, and I recap, that all is energy. There is nothing that is not energy. You can neither create nor destroy energy; it is eternal. When the life-force leaves at so-called death, the body reverts back to inanimate matter. If you bury a physical body, over time it will break down or decompose, and merge once again with the earth. If you cremate a physical form, the cremation process causes the body to evolve into heat energy, which in turn is absorbed back into the total energy mass. So, the body does not die; in fact death is mythical and only exists in the mind.

DivineeeThe soul is indeed a secret garden of unlimited possibilities. But before we go any further, I want to ask a question; are the soul and the spirit one and the same thing? My personal view on this is that like everything else in this realm of the relative, the answer is paradoxical. In other words, yes they are and no they are not. Like the perfect Divine dichotomy, both answers are true. The way I see it is like this, at our deepest and purest level of being we are pure consciousness, which is the soul. At the first level of creation, where Divine thoughts start to materialize as form, we are spirit (energy). However, everything without exception is energy; there is nothing in any realm of existence, anywhere, which is not energy.  Therefore we can say that the soul and the spirit are not the same thing because one is pure consciousness and the other is energy, but on the other hand they are the same because consciousness is energy in its most subtle form. You could argue that it doesn’t really matter, but I threw it into the mix as a kind of food-for-thought exercise to kick-start this little series of thought provoking articles.