Nancy at The Zoo Fence

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Random Thoughts on Esoterica

If consciousness, through me, and of course through everyone else’s “me”, is God manifesting God’s Universe, then experientially, it ought to eventually become apparent whether this is true or not true. Indeed, if experienced directly, it is a kind of “proof” of the existence of God, isn’t it? At least for the individual experiencing it, it is. Well, in my own personal experience, I have found it to be true, and thus, the only conclusion I am left with here is that the full ramifications of this truth are staggering!

When this realization began to become apparent to me, I originally thought it was simply a case of coincidences. But now, sometimes it happens daily, sometimes hourly, that events coincide, things arrive in a timely manner, needs are immediately and sometimes miraculously filled, and previously inaccessible areas of consciousness are transparent and accessible. Indeed, in retrospect, I see that originally there were sporadic events where things seemed to gel, and events seemed to coalesce to create seeming miracles, which, when they occurred, were not perceived as miracles, but as normal and natural. This naturalness seemed to be a kind of stamp of authenticity to the event; it always surprised me that it seemed normal and mundane despite its delightful benevolence, revelation, and serendipity. And in fact, to the extent that I searched for super-natural manifestations or explanations, or for glamorous events of any kind, to that extent, “nothing” happened, and my world persisted in being mundane and opaque, filled with struggle and uncertainty.

Initially, these “miracles” were a rare event. Over time, they have become more and more pervasive. At the same time, I noticed that the less I was involved in my consciousness, and the more I surrendered or submitted to Consciousness, or God, the more these kinds of events spontaneously occurred in my life. The use of will was effective only in so far as I turned my mind to a predicament; further than that, and I seemed to get in the way of things happening rightly. Indeed, the will became a mechanism of attention, and nothing more. This surprised me, since the development of will, or what I thought was will, had always been a great struggle in my own life, since originally, I had virtually no will, but much stubbornness. I now understand the difference between the two; stubbornness is a buffer against vulnerability; will is a positive turning of consciousness toward one point of attention without wavering.

The question I ask myself is what has changed. Has the universe changed, or has my consciousness and understanding, my perception, my observation changed? I think it is the latter. I cannot help but conclude that the proper functioning of the universe in its myriad and miraculous ways is always and eternally true for all of us and for everything in the universe, as well as the universe as whole. And the only thing that is “different” for most of us and for those seemingly chosen few whom we honor as avatars, messiahs, and the like, is that they have somehow become fully conscious of this truth, whereas we are either totally unconscious of it, or conscious of it only sporadically from time to time. And when we are conscious of the truth, and anchored within it, the ramifications are so great and vast we cannot help but act responsibly, without malice, without selfishness, and with true love because of the implications of its truth. And of course, that truth, by some kind of fail-safe device, is not truly accessible until such time as we CAN act responsibly and without malice. (God is good!) And, conversely, those of us who are ignorant of the truth, are still beneficiaries of the truth, and our worlds will collide and appear malefic and horrendous at times because of that ignorance, which, in turn, generates fear, anxiety, isolation, and all the ramifications which THAT implies.

Incidentally, or not incidentally, time, and the experience of time, seems to be a very important factor within this process. As time shrinks, so too does difficulty, misunderstanding, suffering, and the like. In this context, I cannot help but remember what some of the great masters have alluded to in regard to the non-existence of time, and the totality of the universe, including all of us without exclusion. If time stops, and thus space with it (they do go together according to physicists), then all separation, distinction, difference and isolation disappears as well. Thus, outside of time (which is, we are told, a construct of the mind and useful for a universe to manifest, but, according to some, including Einstein, is malleable and thus more than likely arbitrary), events can be not only connected, but perhaps are simultaneous, and thus, miracles are natural and inevitable. Indeed, those masters who throughout time have claimed to have discovered the secrets of the universe, all, without fail, imply that time ceases to exist for them, and that time is a construct of the mind, and thus, ultimately, non-existent. And quite possibly, by extension, it is the mechanism of time that allows us the luxury of stringing out events to appear to be causative and related through the continuum of time, and thereby, become experienceable, when in fact, they may all be simultaneously occurring, and we pick and choose from among their infinite number to construct our apparent world. In other words, it doesn’t happen TO us, but it happens BECAUSE of us.

And within this context, I have recently observed that not only does this serendipity or synchronicity happen to the “great and only me” (I choose those terms with tongue in cheek!), but it happens to other people within my world as well. Their lives seem to “work out”, things seem to happen coincidentally in their lives. It is not that their lives work out because mine does, but it is that their lives work out because I love them and by extension, they are within my own consciousness, part and parcel of that consciousness, which, without time, is simultaneous and congruent. There is no separation, and if individuals within our lives are felt or considered within the context of love, the universe will directly express that love in their own sphere, seemingly individually.

How many years ago it was that I first read some thinker’s consideration of the power of consciousness and the mystery of love. At the time, because of my limited understanding and virtual ignorance, and my ego-centric and flawed vision of the universe, I could only assume that I could take that law and use it powerfully and willfully to affect my universe. That approach, of course, accomplished nothing of the sort. But, paradoxically, it relieved me of my presumption and arrogance, and subtly submitted me to a life-long pursuit of Spirit, that in turn turned me inside out and emptied me of the search for power by virtue of the flow of Power that is our birthright. Isn’t it grand and gracious?!

September 2, 1999

Hummer

The Winged Victory!

Hello?

As long as a man feels that God is “there”, he is ignorant.
But he attains Knowledge when he feels that God is “here”.

Sri Ramakrishna Q

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The Herd Mentality

The world is an incredible source of wisdom, anywhere you look you can find whatever you need to know! I have been reading a most instructive book by a psychologist who teaches folks how to trade successfully on the stock market. The man is Dr. Alexander Elder; his book is Trading for a Living. There, he writes,

  • People have been joining crowds for safety since the beginning of time. If a group of hunters took on a saber-toothed tiger, most of them were likely to survive. A lone hunter had a slim chance of coming out alive from such an encounter. Loners got killed more often and left fewer offspring. Group members were more likely to survive, and the tendency to join groups appears to have been bred into humans.
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  • Our society glorifies freedom and free will, but we carry many primitive impulses beneath the thin veneer of civilization. We want to join groups for safety and be led by strong leaders. The greater the uncertainty, the stronger our wish to join and to follow.

That just about says it all, I think. The great difficulty one encounters throughout one’s life in taking a stand, going against the grain, being eccentric or different, being “oneself”, is in the genes! It is a natural impulse within all of us, and it manifests itself in ALL areas of our lives, not just in the financial arena where, according to Elder, traders often lose money because they are unable to go against the crowd mentality.

And this tendency surely applies to us in the spiritual realm as well. Is it not the reason we seek out like minded others with whom to feel safe in the agreed perimeters of shared consciousness? Does it not explain the wars that are fought for religious reasons against other groups which appear to threaten us? Does it not explain the overwhelming fear that spiritual aspirants experience when they first set out to discover who they are individually, without recourse to group reinforcement? Does it not explain the extreme apprehension one feels when one begins to discover that one is truly alone and self-creative and thus responsible for one’s universe? Is this likely not the reason we tend to shy away from exceptional hermit-like thinkers and guides, as many monks, great teachers, and geniuses often are, no matter how wise we may know them to be?

The problem of course is that with the comfort that remaining within the group inevitably brings us, also comes the loss of momentum and freedom of spiritual discovery and growth, because with group behavior one loses one’s edge, the impetus that spurs one on to further growth. There is a powerful tendency within groups to reach a level of agreement or a median, and to discourage eccentricity, and thus, to limit growth or change that comes from growth. One finds this phenomenon in all areas of society ’ in the scientific community, in politics, and, of course, in religion. It may be expressed through malicious gossip, ostracism, even inquisitions, or worse, towards those who posit new, divergent ideas. Even children do this, maligning their fellows who are “different”, whether racially, culturally, or even simply better students.

Predictably, all esoteric spiritual disciplines stress the necessity that one go against the grain, turn away from the crowd, remove oneself from the comfort of the group “world” and its reassurances. This is simply another way of verbalizing the importance of facing the loneliness that is inherent and inevitable within the spiritual processes. Without encountering that loneliness (and its attendant inherited fear of harm that comes with being alone, even based on the very genes of the body’s need to survive), one will not turn with the sense of vulnerability and impotence that is so vital to the surrender and acceptance of “Grace”, of “God”, which in turn, allows the individual to open oneself to all that he or she truly is in fact. We have to walk through that fire in order to get to the other side. We cannot take with us the comfort of the tribe and the herd if we wish to commune with God. It is simply too noisy and too crowded there to allow God in.

Further, Elder’s conclusion that “the greater the uncertainty, the stronger the wish to join and follow (strong leaders)” may explain why, as spiritual seekers, we so often doubt ourselves, and look instead toward a master or a guru, sometimes just when we are at that very moment cracked open and desperate with fear after having seen just how vulnerable we are, which moment is itself the very beginning of wisdom, but admittedly very frightening! Fortunately, God is graceful, and so, often the individual to whom we turn will be benevolent and helpful. But sometimes not!

Ultimately, if we are each to know who God is and to know God intimately and personally, to become what we are truly made of, we must each of us become the leader, and not the follower. And if we are following a master or a guru, there will sooner or later almost certainly come that moment of great importance, when we must choose between moving on, continuing to grow, or remaining comforted by the group. It is a tough call to make, and a terrifying one as well. Fortunately, God being so Good, there will be other teachers and gurus readily available to us, to facilitate THAT move when we are ready to make it. That is the grace of the dance we all do throughout our lives, isn’t it?

The key for everyone of us is to recognize each teacher as he or she appears, and to learn from him or her the lesson he or she incarnates. THAT willingness, of course, goes against all survival instincts, and thus explains why so few of us learn the many, many lessons we are given throughout our lives, and the molasses-like, snail-like movement of humankind toward its ultimate destination. But, as Elder teaches, if you can train the psyche to resist the herd impulse, to turn away from the comfort of group membership, great things can be accomplished, not the least of which, as he perceives it, is the accumulation of much wealth! And of course, as seekers we know that wealth manifests in many different ways, but however manifested, it is still and always wealth!

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