My first Blog…A Voice from the Light……From Ego to Beingness…A personal voyage into understanding the Soul of Myself.
I started writing the majority of this material at the end of 2010 but in truth it took me the previous 26 years to accumulate. What began as a series of notes that I casually took over the years to record my thoughts, feelings and dreams, has eventually led me to this deluge of words. I never intended to write this much at all, believing that putting perceptions down in prose somehow removed the freshness they originally had. How wrong I was. In fact the opposite is true, for me anyway.
I discovered these written observations are like photographs and songs, or smells that bring back into existence moments past, infused with the emotions of things long forgotten from conscious awareness, seemingly lifeless yet curiously still living within, like events in eternity brought to life by my imagination, and the power of memory. I must confess even now when I look at some of the writings, I’m hard pushed to remember if it was me that actually wrote them. At a glance they do seem a lifetime ago, yet when I actually sit and read them, it feels like only yesterday.
My reasons for writing in the first place began when I changed the way I perceived my life around the Spring of 1986. Before this internal transformation, I pretty much lived along the lines of everyone else, (or at least I think I did) in that you’re born, you live, you die, and within that experience, you’re educated, you learn, you work, you marry, (maybe) bring up your own family, or even someone else’s, labour the next to forty to fifty years to feed yourself, the children, (if you have any), pay for the house or rent, have a holiday twice a year, then retire. In between all this “living” as it’s called, you may try to figure out what this life is all about, or you may just accept it as it is, with nothing to question.
“Just get on with it”, as my maternal grandmother used to say, “be thankful for small mercies”. “If you fall down, just get up, dust yourself off and carry on”. (Confucius?) No need for government legislation to blame someone for the fall, you just fell over for goodness sake. Stop crying. And so, you hope everyone remains healthy and happy, especially the family, you have some good times with your friends and when you’re all done, you cash in your chips via disease, old age, accident, or suicide and say hello to someone allegedly named St Peter at the Pearly Gates. (Unless of course you are an atheist, an agnostic or you have a different religion, in which case you’ll probably see what you believe, or don’t.) Great, that’s me done. Time for the eternal rest I was promised!! Now, where’s me slippers?
So that’s about it then, three score years and ten, (if you’re lucky,) and we might see you on the other side so to speak. Does that sound good? Are you at the age now where the main questions in your head are “Where did my life go, and who the hell am I really”? Shocking isn’t it when you realise you know virtually nothing about who you truly are and sometimes cannot see the reasons why life turned out the way it did. But it’s never too late to find out.
The change I am alluding to about myself was the realisation that we (or should I say I, because I don’t know if it’s true for everyone else,) human beings are far more than just flesh and blood, and even the things we take for granted, are far more complex than I could ever had imagined them to be. I “discovered” there is in essence, two aspects to me that can be perhaps plainly understood as my “rational” mind (although that’s sometimes debateable) and my feeling self, a “logical” way of thinking and an innate perception, maybe my morals versus my ego, or perhaps to put it simply, my heart and mind, and their seemingly infinite expressions of life.
Now you might think, “well everybody knows that, nothing special there”, but the funny thing is, it seems they don’t. In fact, most people beyond a certain point don’t appear to have got a clue about what’s going on inside them. How do I know this? I’ve asked them, I’ve literally asked hundreds of people over the years why they think their lives are the way they are, and why they do what they do, and they either don’t know, or don’t want to! It seems they reach that certain point then stop from wanting to know more of who they are.
The usual responses I heard for why things turned out the way they did were a mixture of circumstance, fate, blame and time, and all of them are responsible too varying degrees. “Sometimes things are just meant to be”, they’d say. Time just ran out.
I’ve done it myself. I’ve blamed various situations that created the drama’s which then produced the fate (or outcome) that I subsequently blamed on the circumstances, which then afterwards I didn’t have the time, (or the inclination), to consider why they happened the way they did in the first place.
I’ve often wondered if we all have some sort of built in saturation point that can take no more of the ups and downs of life are so we just accept that it for what it is, and in doing so, we stop querying any deeper.
Part of my own reasons for the questioning everyone was also to do with the fact I wasn’t sure who “I” was anymore either, because I was now seeing life from an altered perspective. It was, as I was to find out many years later, a measurement and comparison exercise against myself to see if I was crazy, or should I say, outside mainstream opinion. I didn’t know that then, but I needed to see if these people were more or less thinking the same as me. They weren’t! Or didn’t seem to be. Some idea’s such as Karma and Oneness seemed to be very much off the menu of mainstream North East England at the time.
So is it me, or is it them I thought? These perceptive shifts had exposed me to a reality I never knew existed, a reality that I never gave any credence to because I was completely unaware of its existence. I now know it was, and is, what Yogi’s, mystics and Holy wo/men call “Expanded Awareness, or if you want to esoteric about it, I “Saw the Light”, not as a medium or a psychic, (because I’m not really either of those), but as it is; I had what is sometimes known as “A Transcendental Experience”, of which there were quite a few.
I perceived with a perception that was beyond what I now know as my ego self, or should I say my `ego-mind’. I saw that life was not just a succession of incidents and accidents, but that it also has a purpose, and a reason for being. It seemed I had comprehended the “essence of nature as it is, rather than what I thought it was”, and, as it turned out,
“That is the very heart of this book”.
I obviously didn’t fully understand all this at the time, but I knew something new had begun to happen. I actually thought I was indeed going mad, and although this may sound strange, I knew from those moments that this Universe we all live in is not only alive, but conscious too. Everything is interconnected. . I used to believe life was just a random process. I was wrong.
From a rational point of view, I thought this was an error because I had been led to believe that space is devoid of life, (as we “think” we know it) and evolution is supposedly random, yet “naturally selected”…. “Random natural selection”! Interesting contradiction!.. I somehow also knew that life exists everywhere regardless of external conditions, and it is, it seems, infinitely intelligent. (Is it because of Natural Selection I wonder?) I am, (when I need to think rationally), a great believer in science, and our modern age has unearthed some truly amazing discoveries that would seem like science fiction to our forefathers, but in my search to understand what life actually is, I have never found any definitive answers from any system of academia that could tell me why I’m conscious and why I have an awareness of the world around me.
This inability to find information from mainstream thought led me at the time to “accidently” discover Yoga, both as an exercise and a philosophy, and in particular, the stories from the Yogi’s of India had a profound effect on my thinking, yet I believe if I hadn’t been “ready” to comprehend their words, I may as well have been reading fiction. As I was to learn, many of the concepts described by their philosophies were unfamiliar to my “conditioned western mind set” at the time, and this “new information” was way beyond my understanding. To put it in a nutshell, these mystic yogi’s and adepts had over many centuries discovered that man’s personal suffering is essentially caused by us believing we are mind and body only and that nothing else exists beyond that.
It seems they came to realise that human beings are essentially a living duality that expresses itself either through what they term the higher non-physical mind or Higher Self or lower physical mind, The Lower Self. This distinction between the two is what I came to understand as the Soul’s Knowingness and the ego’s personality. The former is our natural or True Self, the latter our “mind-made personalities”, the ego-mask of the persona that takes complete control of our true selves because of our very strong attachment to our sensory and material world. Their goal it seems, was and is, to transcend the ego’s influence by reaching the True Self which, according to renowned spiritual teachers such as Ramana Maharshi, Yogananda, and Jiddu Krishnamurti etc, is “Pure Consciousness, the Uttermost Bliss”, otherwise known as Self-Realisation and /or Enlightenment. They state this can be achieved by anyone who is prepared to explore their true and natural selves, whatever their external learning.
In all this change I had thankfully “discovered” an amazing mentor who understood many of the concepts that I now do myself, and she, (Val), was absolutely instrumental in my progress. Without her guidance, I doubt I would be where I am now. As the saying goes “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. More on that later.
So, now that I had actually perceived some of these various diverse perceptions for myself, I realised many of the things I had questioned about life before, unexpectedly made sense and lots of loose ends seemed to fall into place like a giant holographic jigsaw. When you begin to perceive a new way of thinking and feeling about life after years of three dimensional conditioning, this landscape is at once, both beautiful and unknown, yet before that, I thought in my youthful arrogance that I had life figured out at the grand old age of 26. What a cosmic joke. All I had done was step on the first rung of the Infinite Ladder of Self, leading to god knows where.
In my quest to understand more, I voraciously devoured book after book, cramming my head full of any information that related to anything I perceived to be wisdom and truth. I literally went through everything I could find regarding different belief and thought systems, from Chinese & Hindu Philosophy, Buddhism, Tibetan and Zen, Theosophy, White Eagle, Edgar Cayce, Robert Monroe, Alice Bailey, Casteneda, Aivanhov, Krishnamurti, Yogananda etc long before the internet existed, and this is just the stuff I can remember. Over the years that followed I must have read in excess of 400/500 (a conservative estimate) of amazing books by amazing authors who have wrote some amazing things, yet I came to understand that the books themselves were not enough for a deeper comprehension of who I was. They sure had a lot of knowledge, but it wasn’t mine. It was, as I was to discover, “A borrowed understanding, not a living experience”.
As I now say, (usually to myself these days) “ I can read all the Buddhist Scriptures in existence, but it won’t make me Enlightened”. That State belongs in another realm altogether, far beyond anything science has yet uncovered. I used to tell our late beloved cat Merlin my deeper thoughts and I swear he would purr his approval. He had an uncanny knack of unnerving me many times with his stare. It was like he reflected eternity in his eyes, and I do believe they can. It was very strange. But then, Cats Know you see….
You (or should I say I again) gradually realise the “knowledge based information” that we accumulate through external learning, has virtually no reference whatsoever in the realm of my “Inner Self”, where my “No Mind” lives. A place beyond our ego based data that seemingly has no idea how to comprehend information that is abstract and ever changing. Conceptual understanding, logic and reason take a back seat as I wander through my own screenplay without any script.
It maybe that “all I’m doing” is inadvertently exploring my own sub and unconscious mind by relaxing my conscious mind and allowing myself self hypnotic access to these deeper regions. It certainly has credence to it. I suppose I could argue too it’s just the realm of my imagination, but even imagination has a conceptual definition to it, so it can’t be that either. Maybe I’m in a trance where my mind has switched to an altered state where my “normal” world is phased out and an imaginary or parallel dimension is amplified. It’s definitely a consideration. I know it isn’t Astral projection either because I’ve had out of body experiences before and I know what they feel like, albeit not to an advanced level like some, nor was it Lucid Dreaming, because I’m awake. I’ve also considered that I maybe delusional with the utter conviction and belief that what I perceive is real, but then again, what is “Real”. Science itself has uncovered many things we sometimes cannot tangibly perceive, yet they exist nonetheless.
The reason I mention these as possibilities is because I’m personally familiar with some of them and obviously aware of many of them, yet they still don’t really answer the key question of how do I consciously perceive. What is it within me that does that? How can you transcend the mind, yet still perceive?
You step into “The Void”, no up, no down, no left, no right etc, just vague feelings from an alien world right inside you without any logic as your guide, just a “gut feeling” to steer you into who knows where. In the first two or three years of my changeover I’d sometimes lay awake at night and feel like I was horizontally pushed out into the universe on a sliding bed. It was like being adrift in space and no, I’ve never taken drugs. Other times I would feel a presence in the room usually about four in the morning and tell it to f**k off!! for no other reason other than fear. I lived on my own at the time so I had no one to hang onto or wake up and tell. No the wonder it can scare the hell out of so many people who have experienced it, me included, yet for those who have felt this for themselves, even fleetingly, it seems they discover deeper things from within that they didn’t even know existed, and for me personally, it was life changing.
This hidden information of who we are is all around us, both visible and invisible, but to truly understand it, you have to uncover and decipher it yourself, and I, like many others, have discovered one of the most effective ways to access it is through silence and meditation as taught by the ancient wisdoms of antiquity. Slowing your thoughts and actions down with mindfull breathing and awareness is also very helpful because it definitely reduces the mental overload of scrambled egg in our heads. Slowing your thoughts by breathing to Alpha state seems to change the mind from conceptual thinking to creative visualisation, at least it does for me, but you would have to determine that for yourself. My version of reality may be different to yours on that level. Reading, thinking and sharing with like minded others also has a great benefit, but it’s not until it becomes a living process inside of you, that you begin the journey in over, and for me, also backwards and sideways too. To use a modern term from computers, it’s like doing a full scan on your internal hard drive and finding trojan horses and malware you didn’t know existed. The downside is that although these anomalies can seemingly be balanced out, some can take a lifetime to understand. The upside is the discoveries appear to be endless, so if you like travelling and finding new things, this is the path for you. So enjoy the voyage rather than the arriving, because the destination appears to be like the horizon. You can see it, but you’ll never get there.
On the abovementioned meditation and mind calming techniques, I have met many over the years who have sometimes spent years studying certain systems of thought and practice that they insist work, and I must admit, some of them are very illuminating, but I always had this peculiar inner resistance to these “methods” even though I could see their value. It literally took me years to figure it out why, but I realised for me, there are no “one ways” in life, and I now know why I personally struggled with seemingly “fixed” disciplines. I’m a great believer in synchronicity, or co-incidence, if you like. I like to feel my way through things that pertain to my own personal Inner Understanding. If I feel I need a Buddhist quote to remind me of something, I’ll find it. If I know I just need to walk in silence by a river or on a mountain top, then I will. Our Inner Intelligence is freely available at all times if we care to listen. Telling someone they are doing “something wrong” in their studies of self reflection is very unhelpful, even more so when the people in question appear to have very little self understanding themselves. I ask myself this simple question these days, and it is, “How do I know what another’s Soul Lesson is when I hardly understand my own”? Yet still I meet people who think they “know what’s best for you”, even though their own lives appear to be sometimes out of kilter.
A true Guide (and there aren’t many) would never tell you what to do, it’s more of a suggestion without expectation, yet I myself have sometimes overstepped the mark in my efforts to explain something I believed could be of benefit to others. I frequently get very clear insights into other people’s problematic situations, but what’s the use of me seeing it. You have to learn your own lessons. Having said that, sharing an insight may be all that’s necessary at the time to help someone who is actually asking for a different perspective, but it is the asking that’s the difference. Like I said, I have met many over the years who have announced to me I should be doing this or doing that, what to wear, what to eat, informing me my fourth chakra is at odds with my third eye chakra, that my aura is cloudy today, telling me some ascended master or spirit guide has just told them to tell me about it!! What a load of absolute bollocks. If it’s that important, they’ll tell me themselves won’t they? We’re all plugged into the same source, but you do have to listen within…
The reason I mention this again is because your own personal conscious discernment (not your ego) is the true key to understanding yourself. It’s attuned to all your own energetic frequencies because it contains all of who you are. Listen to its Voice…. it’s like a Whisper from the Soul…..
And so, I live and learn too. I discovered that my eagerness to help was often misunderstood because of many various reasons, but usually because of my questions. What a pain in the arse I must be to someone who doesn’t know me that well. I would tell me to f**k off too if I didn’t know me!!! And yet my curiosity still gets the better of me, and in my insatiable desire to understand myself and this life we all live in, the questions still persists. Alas, for me, some people can interpret this as prying, but it isn’t, and it never was…. I’m simply not that interested in anyone’s personal business, (unless it affects me). I am however, fascinated by how and why they perceive life as they do.
Externally, the structured rules of our physical world seem simple to follow because they are easier to comprehend, if you wish to learn them. Again the discipline of science is an obvious choice whereby once something is learnt, it can be shared and reproduced anywhere under the right conditions, but when it comes to understanding my Inner Self, thing’s aren’t so obvious. That may be my own lack of understanding or maybe it’s because the physical mind does not really comprehend the non physical Soul.
We are all wired up differently so you have to pay attention to your own experience. What works for you may be unique to you only. For instance one of my many coincidental experiential quirks over the years has been to open a book or magazine randomly only to find some quote, from some author, reminding or informing me about something that was on my mind at the time. This has happened literally hundreds of times, and I know it does to others to, and I believe it is more than mere chance. (Science says it isn’t, but they can’t explain how or why this regularly happens, or how and why it’s nearly always pertinent.)
It may surprise some who know me, that there are some occasions when I think what I’ve discovered and uncovered could be complete tosh, after all, our logical, factual mental left brains tell us/me there is no empirical proof (I really am a true sceptic, not a cynic) when it comes to new knowledge, yet I cannot dismiss personal experience either. (How can you validate that to others, and do you need to?) If I then shift to looking with imagination, intuition and feeling, in other words using the whole brain, something in me says, “this is very interesting”. And so I realized, on this level, to deduce something as absolute with half your brain, even if it is the logical side, can sometimes be a half truth, maybe even the aforesaid tosh.
And so I try and use all my brain, and obviously my mind, to perceive this experiential data, (which sometimes isn’t easy if you’re a predominant analyser or natural dreamer), after all, you may have missed something and the answer will elude you. How, for instance can you explain intuition with reason? Perception is far beyond mere seeing with one’s eyes, what about blind people, they still perceive. Sensory information does pass through your own experiential mind-window before you can make “sense” of it. The least you can do is make sure your screen is as clean as possible.
There are at the time of writing this, supposedly in excess of six billion people on the planet of ours and every single person appears to have a unique perception of how life is for them. I guess you could argue that the aforementioned systems of self understanding could be very useful in helping us shape a more understanding society, and that these methods would help the population to become a more civilised world, I personally think so, but what is very interesting about the more enlightened works that have come into print, is that the authors themselves understand you have to find “your own way”, even if you care disagree with what they themselves say. Most people who have reached a certain level of maturity of mind easily understand that, To use Native American Wisdom, “No man can tell another what to do”…..
It seems these extremely wise and Enlightened Souls understood that man’s “Natural Inner Knowingness would eventually become Conscious Understanding”, but you have to break, dismantle or transcend the grip and power of the limited ego-self to do so.
Insisting only one way or one system is the right way can be very confusing, in my humble perception. Life itself has infinite possibilities at every moment, far beyond the words of a book no matter how true those words are. The Masters of antiquity and modern day knew and know this. Being led by the nose into a system of thought that does not allow personal flexibility is nonsense. There may very well be extremely illuminating words written by many spiritual Adepts but it was Buddha himself who said something like,
“Doubt everything, find your own Light”
With that in mind, I am not asking anyone to believe what I write and I make no claims that any of this information is technically correct. It’s simply my own work in progress and it works for me. Exact classifications are impossible because I cannot completely define who and what I am yet. If and when I ever do, I may inform the world, but for now, I have no “Proof of my Truth”, so to speak. It’s not an academic paper up for scrutiny from my peers, so I have the luxury of not needing to insist it is.
The reason I state this now is because these following pages are of personal perceptions that have come to me over many years of self enquiry, personal research and everyday mindful living, trying to understand who and what I am. From being very young I realised that I was always drawn to that which is hidden from view, wondering how and why things appeared the way they do. The refusal to accept things at face value has gotten me into much mischief over the years, with family, friends and strangers alike, and I’m still fascinated as to what makes people, and me, tick, so the mischief continues. In my quest to understand my life, and how I fit in, I’ve finally realised that I, and presumably you, are as I said, much more than we could ever had imagined. Each of our stories adds to the tapestry of existence.
And so, without further ado, welcome to my world………