Journaling My Journey: 5

mup

Dreamcraft is, for me, an experiment. I believe all spiritual beliefs and practices ought to have effects that can be clearly noticed.

And yet I am almost shocked by the ways Dreamcraft is working for me. In some ways the results are beyond my wildest expectations. When one engages in co-creation, things really do begin to change. Naturally, noticing the effects of my practice generates the fuel and fire to continue, and to aim even higher. It does not and should not feel like work or willpower.

I am simply stepping into my soul, my authentic self.

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How to Transform Into the Authentic Self

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I believe the authentic self is the same thing as the soul. In this post I have described how the soul`s true desires and its values are hidden under a layer of ignorance, habit, and conditioning. Some would say we have to battle the Shadow Self, but I think that is a needlessly esoteric way of looking at it. You really just have to fight your own ignorance of who your soul is and what it really wants.

If I were to construct a workbook about transforming into the authentic self, I would break it down into three parts:

Part One: Discovery

  • Discovering the nature of the authentic self and the soul’s desires
  • Discovering the soul’s values and beliefs
  • Discovering the soul’s purpose and the soul’s sense of meaning
  • Discovering your potential, skills, and true power

Part Two: Decontructing

  • Deconstructing ignorance of the authentic self that makes one behave against the soul’s true nature
  • Deconstructing conditioned or habitual responses
  • Deconstructing desires that negate and oppose what the authentic soul really wants
  • Deconstructing choices that negate the soul’s purpose and satisfaction

Part Three: Transformation

  • Developing the soul’s skills that help align one’s perspective to that of the authentic self, in any moment or situation
  • Growing in awareness of the soul’s potential and the soul’s perspective of consciousness
  • Learning to be the authentic self naturally, without willpower or effort, but out of knowledge of what the soul wants
  • Learning to step into the soul and being a soul even in this Earthbound life

 

To me, these are the steps to true healing and transformation. One must release the misguided desires of the confused and wounded mind. One must draw upon the soul’s awareness of its infinite potential and power, learning the skills to be satisfied in the moment.

And for me, a moment of what I call “soul transcendence” is the most powerful natural high we can achieve. I will describe my way of achieving it, but you may certainly find your own practice.

Soul Transcendence Practice

  • Close your eyes.
  • Let go of the physical moment; let go of time, space, and all worries and thoughts attached to it.
  • Visualize the physical moment and its concerns like a flow of water streaming from your feet, into the Earth.
  • Try to feel the sensation of this release.
  • Now, imagine a light above your head. Can you see or feel this light with your eyes closed?
  • Connect with the fact that you are a soul. Let this fact amaze you in its power and freedom. BE a soul.
  • Feel the flow of power, potential, and freedom rush in through the crown of your head.
  • Be free; be your authentic self.

The Self and the One: Beyond Good and Evil

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In complementary duality, all can be separate and all can be one, simultaneously, without any troubling contradiction. From the perspective of the self, we are each participating in co-creating our own experience of reality. But when we speak from the perspective of Oneness, there is only creation, whereby oneness is an ultimate sort of god-being, expressing its whole self without any mistake. Oneness is everything and there is nothing separate from it, therefore it is impossible for Oneness to be judged. No “higher morality” exists other than what the state of Oneness enacts.

Oneness is not truly neutral. When we suggest that the multiverse is on the whole “neutral”, we instinctually think it is therefore less wonderful than we can imagine, since we can imagine a paradise where our own values are beautifully fulfilled. Therefore, we try to judge Oneness ourselves. But Oneness is beyond judgement — who would judge it but itself? And to call Oneness a neutral state is actually a judgement. It is not good, it is not bad, it is not moral or immoral; it is simply everything and therefore it is perfect in its expression of everything.

When you ask from the perspective of self why “bad” things happen in a state of Oneness, you are really asking why everything possible has to happen. Why can’t just the “good” things happen?

First off, there is a logical answer: Oneness includes all potential, in which case everything that is possible must happen. If only good things happened, there would exist a separation between what could happen and what does happen, in which case Oneness would be incomplete and not whole.

A more satisfying answer is this: potential, the ability for anything imaginable to happen, is what creates this rich experience of life that thrills us. For if everything that happened was limited to what we value as “good”, there would be nothing to do, no purpose for us to work towards, and no real freedom of choice — in this way you would be forced to be good, and would face almost no challenges, in which case would your life really matter? Who wants to play a game where you win at the beginning and nothing much happens for the rest of the gameplay? Many people intuit that the concept of heaven sounds boring and visions of utopia are really endgames where nothing much happens. There can be no success without the chance to fail. There can be no achievement without the chance for disaster. The fun in this game of experiencing the universe as an individual is precisely in the potential for things to challenge us, to scare us, to require change and need healing. Otherwise what mission would you have if everything were already perfectly fine?

Furthermore: how can the concept of goodness be understood without the possibility for evil or negativity anyway? You could not truly value compassion without understanding cruelty. Cruelty must be possible or else compassion is actually meaningless. Your values are only powerful insofar as they stand opposed to the possibility for things to be completely against them.

Otherwise, you are an automaton who must behave without free choice from the whole of your potential. And so there is some surprising purpose and benefit to the existence of negativity. It is actually necessary. That does not mean you ought to passively accept negativity and cruelty in the universe! But enjoy that you have these possibilities as an opponent to your own values.

For there are no heroes without adversaries.

 

*

Disaster days keep us alive.

We eat the dead. We burn the dead

and build from the dead, a fate

no cry of compassion can quit.

Disaster is the elixir of life, bringing

us to boil with adrenaline

until we feel on fire, so alive.

Complete peace only stagnates, dulls and deadens

as cunningly as poison,

and small sips make us all think we’re immune

but real salvation lies

in the terror of existence, where we live

just atoms away from death, always.

Here, there’s nothing to do but dance

between every breath

that could be our last.

Anything could happen.

It’s the disaster days that throw

us onward through time; it’s death

that gives us life until we die.

What is the Authentic Self?

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What is the authentic self? Is it our character, created by our experiences and circumstances and fears? I believe this is not the case: I believe the authentic self is the exact same thing as the soul. And if our authenticity comes from the soul, not learned and habitual “character”, what does that mean for how we see ourselves? Who are we, really, if we are not the sum of all our knowledge and learned behaviour and fear-based responses?

If you don’t believe in the soul as the authentic self, what you are saying is that all the habits and social conditioning that influence your actions are somehow things to be honoured. You are therefore defining your very self as what society, your family, your teachers, and your misplaced desires want you to be. Therefore you would have no reason to improve, even though in the back of your mind your true values (such as kindness) might not align with your behaviour. By honouring yourself as your current “character”, which is really just a bundle of defensive and self-benefiting responses, you are saying you need not and even cannot live up to your own values. For if you believe in kindness but have a habit of reacting selfishly unkind in some situations, you would have to say that either your authentic self finds it difficult to act according to its own nature (its values), or that your values do not matter to your authentic self. Neither statement is very reasonable or appealing.

However, if you believe that the authentic self is not your character as molded by society and misplaced desires, but that it is actually the soul itself, everything you do which is not aligned to your values is a curious mistake. It is a moment of confusion where you did not really understand all that your values mean and imply. These mistakes are not “sins” — they do not reflect that you are a bad person. They merely point to some disconnect between your authentic self and your actions.  For you ought to act and react from your authentic self as naturally as clapping your hands reacts with sound. It ought not require effort or self control at all.

The authentic self is that which would, if we were properly open and connected to it, act and react without needing to think about how to behave. The authentic self simply expresses what it is. Yet we do not really trust ourselves to exist and behave without controlling that behaviour. We feel we must always be making decisions, whereas the authentic self would know its authentic action or response in an instant, without the need for inner debate.

Why do we fail to understand and express our authentic selves? It is very curious, for it is like an apple tree that mistakenly produces a grapefruit. See, we react wrongly precisely because of habits and fears created by a lifetime of listening to what others have told us to do and believe. If we have been treated wrongly we will mistakenly adapt our reactions to how others treat us as a means of self defense. If we have been taught by society and circumstance that achieving wealth is true success, we will ignore our own values and fail to recognize what really satisfies the authentic self. And so, I imagine that if apple trees had schools and social institutions that taught about the importance of producing grapefruit, or if apple trees had wars and other traumas that made grapefruit growth seem beneficial as a defense or offense, the trees would ignore their purpose in creating apples and quite mistakenly grow (or try to grow) grapefruit. But of course in this world apple trees are not so influenced or held to expectations, so they produce their apples without thinking about it, for that is the nature of their authentic self.

The authentic self ought to express itself as easily as the apple tree produces its apples, with no notion of self control or making decisions. The only reason why we do not do this is because fear and misplaced expectations and outright ignorance have obscured our understanding of what our authentic self is. We tend not to know what we believe because we have been told what to believe, and we’ve also been told that we cannot discover our own beliefs but must stand on the shoulders of giants who have figured it all out for us. So we are taught to listen to teachers who are flawed themselves instead of listening to our own hearts. We are taught that we cannot react from a place of our own authentic beliefs but that we must deny our ability to know what to do in society and follow rules instead. We have been quite systematically taught that there is no use in finding out what we believe and value for ourselves. We have not been taught how to discover and develop an understanding of our own truths. Even mere logic classes would serve us better than teaching self control or religion. For our own beliefs ought to be perfectly logical to ourselves, to the point where no faith is required because no doubt would enter our mind about it.

I believe the authentic self cannot be “bad” or “evil”, for evil is just a failure of logical understanding. While I imagine we all need not believe the same thing — not at all! — I do think the authentic self is essentially a being of compassionate values, because logic leads to valuing co-operation and also the idea that we cannot be the absolute center of the universe, deserving all material success while being unkind to everyone else.  People who believe they are authentically evil, or who think they are justified in being selfishly unkind, have not really reached an understanding of their authenticity at all. There are no authentic serial killers, for instance. These are just people who are confused in their logic and their desires. There are no authentically greedy people either, for the fact they are greedy is some reaction to fears or else it is a mistake in their understanding of what actually satisfies them, for a greedy person is never truly satisfied and thus never truly succeeds.

I would urge everyone to figure out their own hearts’ truths, their own values, their own cosmologies of how the world works, and thus get to know their own soul. This is true freedom: shedding the misunderstandings that lead to behaviours that do not serve our authentic selves. It is not about self discipline at all. This is simply about self discovery.

Heartwork: Our Souls’ Desires and the Meaningful Challenge of Our Purpose

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Ultimately, the heart’s desires are entirely to pursue and fulfill the soul’s purpose. Thus the soul has no other desires except those that serve its purpose. The soul, unbound by time and space, is not hampered by “needs” such as the body has. The soul does not need anything at any one moment — not even seemingly good things that are “spiritual”, like meditation or time in nature. This is precisely because the soul pays little heed to time or space, such that physical circumstances are not burdens or particularly meaningful. If the soul exists without time, experiencing everything at once, how could the soul really need to meditate for 20 minutes this afternoon? The soul only needs to attend generally to its authentic purpose, and the soul only desires those things which aid in doing so.

So in order to understand the soul’s desires, we must understand the soul’s purpose. Fortunately we do not have to dig into esoteric mysteries to discover our purpose. We only have to be honest with ourselves and observant of our particular skills. When you can identify your heart’s talents and skills, you can attempt to combine them into a single mission. And this mission-concept, even if you are uncertain if you’ve got it quite right, is enough for the moment. Perhaps as you grow, you will alter or further develop your soul’s mission statement. Do not obsess over knowing it exactly, just understand it as much as you can today.

We are all gods who have given up our souls’ godlihood in order to meaningfully fulfill our souls’ missions. Think about it: if we were all-powerful and could control everything, the game would be up in an instant. And it would be hardly satisfying that we did what we already knew we could flawlessly achieve: to create a utopia with the snap of our fingers. In fact, the soul does not want utopia at all. Not in the way that we think we do — which is why so many people comment that the concept of heaven sounds terribly boring. What the soul truly desires is a world in which it can do its work and sense that this work was meaningfully achieved. So it cannot be easy. When the game is too easy, after all, no one really wants to play.

The soul wants a challenge. Ideally, as Alan Watts once suggested, the odds ought to be mostly against us — perhaps two-thirds in favour of our failure.

This is why having a body and an Earthbound life is such a terrific “game”.  Our bodies (our experiences of the Self and what happens to it) and our social obligations (our experiences of the Other) are the two-thirds of forces that seem to conspire against us. Meanwhile, the soul is the one-third of power we have in which to enact our success. This is the nature of the challenge we face. And in facing such odds against our success, what we achieve becomes meaningful.

There is a lot of spiritual talk about enlightenment, as if we ought to live in a state of soul-attentive bliss at all times, accepting our circumstances and surrendering in such a way that creates complete joy. Yet as good as bliss sounds, ultimately the soul desires real struggle and the experience of failure, not nirvana. Accepting our circumstances and adjusting our perspectives in order to be less miserable in difficult times is an incredibly useful skill. But what is better is to have a reason to use that skill sometimes and to face challenges in using it: not to achieve nirvana, which is really an end of everything. We don’t want an easy way out of life’s difficulties, for such an escape would ruin the game.

We are, therefore, happier when happiness seems difficult to achieve. We must feel like we are mostly losing the game in order to find meaningful fulfillment when we do win. But we don’t have to pretend to enjoy the difficulties we face, such as getting sick or having conflict with another person. We do honestly dislike the challenges that our Earthbound life throws at us. If we thought everything was enjoyable, that would ruin the game too. Suffering therefore is integral to any meaningful pursuit.

And this leads to an interesting point. We ought not to resent the things that take us away from working towards fulfilling the soul’s desires. We ought not obsess over the soul’s purpose and the soul’s progress. I think it is likely that just as we must feel the odds are two-thirds against us, we must spend about two-thirds of our time doing things that do not immediately serve our soul’s purpose at all. Cleaning the house, doing jobs we don’t like, fulfilling social obligations that seem about as empty as watching a soap opera — all this, and even watching the soap opera, is good for the soul insofar as it takes our attention away from our soul’s purpose and thus creates a challenge. For if we could do whatever we wanted and spent all our waking hours in meditation, we would be stroking our soul’s ego and I believe after a while the whole thing would feel rather empty. It is better, then, to have “chores” and jobs that seem utterly meaningless. We cannot dwell completely in meaningful pursuit or else they would seem to lose their meaningfulness!

Paradoxically, attending to that which does not seem to serve the soul is what gives meaning to all that the soul does manage to achieve. Do not be fooled into thinking that the body and our Earthbound obligations are distractions or useless burdens. They create the challenges through which our soul finds meaning in expressing its purpose.

Thus the dream of pure contentment is not your soul’s desire at all. Our lives really ought to feel like it consists of two-thirds of work and effort that does not directly benefit the soul, and two-thirds of forces more powerful than our souls themselves are.

Again, you do not have to pretend to enjoy cleaning the toilet. However you ought not to resent doing it, unless you want to be so miserable. Instead, respect that these efforts provide challenges to the soul which allow the soul to have meaningful pursuits in the first place.

And thus, even failure is a beautiful thing.

 

 

 

Journaling My Journey: 4

mup

In a month I have almost filled a notebook of over 300 pages, learning and developing my beliefs. I find I have more energy to give (for love does all the work — love is a catalyst that does not get drained) and I find myself wanting to reach out to help others.

In my Earthbound life, I would love to help people find their authentic soul beliefs, and help people work out their souls’ purposes. I have done spiritual readings for people for years, often for free, but this is a new direction I am seeking.

I don’t even really know how to go about achieving this. I am not a very social person, so it is hard to imagine how I would reach out to people and connect with those that might need a helping hand in matters of spirituality. I know for myself the benefit of discovering one’s soul truths and living from the soul, and I just want to pass along what little I’ve learned.

Ideally, I would like to work as some sort of soul coach — but for free, because I don’t feel it is appropriate for me to gain from this financially. It is an idea that excites me, although as I said, I hardly know how to start.

Heartwork: Why Learn About the Soul?

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Why should we feel with our souls and use our soul powers?

Our physical lives are full of confused motives, but we are, and always will be, souls. Being souls, we ought to understand the nature of the soul at least as well as we know the physical body. The soul is our essential and authentic self, so if we want to learn anything about who we are, we need to understand how the soul works. In Dreamcraft the higher self is not some esoteric thing we merely try to contact — it is the soul itself, stripped of egoic confusion.

Our quest to understand the soul’s powers is not to make us powerful here on Earth, for this is a motivation of ego, but it is simply to know who we are, and live to our fullest potential. Our soul powers do hold advantages for this life, but their best use is in compassionate co-creation. Trying to use them selfishly only creates a selfish world that is against us — there is no such thing as egoic power, only egoic suffering.

We are used to trying to gain power to serve the ego. But letting go of this only opens the door to greater power in serving our soul’s purpose. This ought to be our ultimate motivation and just as exciting.