Tag Archives: Enlightenment

The Door to Enlightenment Is Always an Inch Away Part 2

Originally posted as the second part of February 9, 2012 blog post

In the prior post, Part 1, we analyzed the concept of Enlightenment and some of its meanings from Kant to SRI VALS to Eastern philosophy, and pointed out that it is not an attainment but a maintainment, as one keeps slipping back out of it, with very few making it a permanent state. In this post we’ll focus on the practical steps one can take to beat the odds of spending more time in that state.

It’s okay to be a saint, in other words. It doesn’t mean you are NOT Enlightened. It simply depends on why you are acting saintlike. If there is any trace of ego motivation, you are merely in the highest attachment area before Enlightenment, which is not bad at all. Especially today when Acceleritis™ has us on the brink of our own mass destruction and already practicing it actively against other species of fauna and flora. If you count insecticides that have caused awful cancers and brain diseases, we are already practicing mass destruction against our own species, so caught up in Acceleritis are we.

So if you want to be a world saver, or caregiver, or an otherwise unselfish actor, consider that a degree of Enlightenment already; go ahead and give in to it. We need more of it anyway. It will lead you all the way.

And so as to technique: what techniques can be engaged in order to have these brief epiphanies of Enlightenment?

Why would a saint be taken out of Enlightenment if primarily motivated by the desire to please God?

Because this takes one out of the moment — doing the moment for something outside of the moment — something that exists in the future. Flow, which contains Enlightenment at its top end, does not work that way. If one is doing something for any outcome, one is out of Flow.

One is even out of Flow if one is grading one’s own performance. This is one of the biggest blocks to Flow. This is part of the herd mentality. You are only worth what others think of you. Each moment you have to be attached to what they think of you. This is drilled into us with reward/punishment (“Good Billy! Bad Billy!”).

This goes deep and starts at the first moment of dissociation, the first descent from Flow singularity/pointedness into a divided sheaf of self — the moment Freud referred to in Civilization and its Discontents when the Ego (manager-intermediary) first forms. Freud saw the id (the self that one is born with) as being a primitive, animal-like tabula rasa (a blank state) rather than being the single Consciousness of the Universe — the pure state of Selfness — the singularity of experiencing  — the Observer.

Whatever the parts of consciousness that exist when one is divided, as has become the endemic (and to Freud, natural) state of our race — the point is that a divided mind is the opposite of Flow. Our hypothesis is that our race could have existed mostly in Flow at some point far back enough in time, before Acceleritis set in.

Not being divided inside manifests as there being no distinction between your self and the moment. It is all one piece. You are not observing it from outside. You are experiencing it from inside while being totally immersively aware of the moment. You are not rating your own performance. You are not focused on success. You are not trying to remember technique. You are not narrating your own life novel. You are not making smart alecky comments although they may occur to you wordlessly. Feelings and ideas are happening quickly without being seized upon by the muscle of the mind. They do not take away attention from Flowing with the moment. You are not trying to figure out why you are doing this, or what techniques you are using — you are just doing what comes naturally.

When in Emergency OversimiplificationProcedure (EOP), we are living as though watching a rear view mirror, facing backward all our lives, with breaks to look forward. Only once in a while are we lucky enough to see/be the moment as it happens, not seeing ourselves and the moment as different things. This is to be cultivated.

The looking backward is all about slave mentality — judging your own performance in sublimated attachment to what others think of you. Such attachment is a form of dilemma perception — seeing everything to always be in a world of permanent dilemma, imperfection, hence the need to strive for something outside of the moment.

The word dilemma is all about being divided — “two postulates” is the Latin root meaning. Of course if there is more than one postulate there is the potential for a conflict between them, hence the uneasiness of having a dilemma. Dilemma, dissatisfaction, striving, attachment, all of these are the same thing — EOP. The state the great majority of us are in virtually all of the time. Our leverage to get out of that state and into Flow state is through these little windows that are only an inch away.

Here’s a recap:

  • If one is doing something for any outcome, one is out of Flow.
  • Grading one’s own performance is one of the biggest blocks to Flow.
  • A divided mind is the opposite of Flow.
  • In Flow, there is no distinction between your self and the moment. It is all one piece.
  • In Flow, you are not trying to figure out why you are doing this, or what techniques you are using — you are just doing what comes naturally, in the moment.

Jump through!

Best to all,

Bill

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Upon Enlightenment, One Stays Infinite All of the Time

Originally posted February 2, 2012

Growing up in a Western culture, one hears and reads the phrases, “seeking Enlightenment” and “the path of Enlightenment”, sees movies like Lost Horizon and The Razor’s Edge, and eventually questions whether maybe there is something real going on.

What is this Enlightenment they speak of so often and so seriously in the East, and which comes up in Western discourse more humorously and as part of entertainment fiction? Is it something real that we in the West ought to wake up and discover?

Enlightenment is a stage in a process. Sages in antiquity observed human beings going through a progression during their lives. Enlightenment is the stage most rarely reached, and self-evidently to those reaching that stage, the final stage in the process.

In other words, the idea of Enlightenment is derived from observation, just like the observation of modern science.

All of the earlier stages in the progression end in dissatisfaction, and are characterized by chasing after a different something in each stage. In this final stage of human personal evolution, Enlightenment, there is no longer any chasing and no longer any dissatisfaction.

Modern Western science in fact has rediscovered the progression. Maslow was the first to crystallize thinking in the West about this built-in human pattern, which he expressed as “The Hierarchy of Needs”. One born in extreme poverty for example seeks satisfaction of his/her physiological needs all of the time, until somehow working oneself out of that extreme poverty. When this happens the physiological needs start to get taken care of easily and the individual begins striving for the next needed thing which is safety and security according to Maslow’s model. Stage three is belonging/social/love needs, then self-esteem, and finally self-actualization. As each need becomes more automatically satisfied in a person’s life, the person expands the sphere of wants to include these new areas, in these various stages.

Maslow was aware of the ancient sources, and his five-stage model was his own intuitive and observation-based attempt at a more scientific reintegration of the seven-stage chakra system of ancient India. Yet it is possible the latter original system could be the more precise. We shall come to it in a moment.

More recently than Maslow, SRI International (originally founded by Stanford University as Stanford Research Institute) used a survey and statistical clustering techniques to discern 23 underlying factors driving human behavior, i.e. values. (The study of human values is called axiology.) From further reclustering they developed a scale similar to Maslow’s but with more levels and two ways to get to self-actualization — a Westernized reduction of Enlightenment — at the top.

One recent interpretation of Maslow’s description of self-actualization lists these words: Vitality, Creativity, Self-Sufficiency, Authenticity, Playfulness, Meaningfulness. These are some of the characteristics that in the East would be attached to Enlightenment, but they are not the essence of it.

The essence of Enlightenment is that one no longer strives for anything. It is no longer necessary. One no longer sees any lack, therefore no need for desire. Love is strongly present, and the intuition is working at such a level as to cause ESP/Psi researchers to note statistically significant above-average accuracy rates. The Enlightened being brings a sense of peace wherever he or she goes, affecting others as iron filings around a magnet. Such a being appears to be continuously in great joy, and this is also infectious to those around. These observations have been replicated time and again by scientific/journalistic/scholarly Westerners who have traveled to the East and have seen and met such Enlightened human beings, some of whom are now in America. Some of us have experienced those states but the condition has not become permanent. That is not yet Enlightenment.

The first known system for reaching Enlightenment, embedded in Hinduism — one of the earliest institutionalized schools of thought — has four stages through which an individual passes as he/she evolves personally. Huston Smith in his classic The World’s Religions  describes these four stages as Pleasure, Success, Duty, and the pursuit of Enlightenment. The latter stages may not be reached in a lifetime, and Hinduism allows for the self to come back again and again to complete this course. Huston significantly describes the fourth stage as the attempt to make oneself “superhuman”. Indeed the Enlightenment stage that is sought appears to be a stage above the human both when one is experiencing it — even if for impermanent flashes — and when one is observing it in someone else.

Flow State as we have described here before has its own sub-stages within it, the highest of which corresponds to Enlightenment. All stages of Flow State appear to be super-human when one is experiencing them. In martial arts, one appears to have become invulnerable. In performing arts as well as martial and athletic arts, everything seems to be happening perfectly without any effort on one’s own part. During Flow State, the Universe appears to be favoring you. More than luck, it feels like the fix is in. This has a supernatural, numinous feel to it.

At the highest stage of Flow State, i.e. Enlightenment, one is no longer seeking Enlightenment, service/duty, success, pleasure, or anything else. All of those are finite and would require stepping down from the infinite, from the sense of letting go, having let go, long past trying to control, stopping oneself from the endless flowing with the Universe in a love relationship, that is Enlightenment. And in fact there is no going back, because by definition Enlightenment is when the world can no longer suck you back down into dissatisfaction with some element of it and re-attach you egoistically to striving to save the world, reduce suffering, one of the last of the finite attachments from which one reaches through to the permanent state of Enlightenment.

Back in the day, I had my own interpretation of the natural stages of personal evolution, which I had based on the seven major chakras. This Sanskrit word meaning “wheel” and “turning” refers to seven intuitively perceived organs of a subtle nonphysical body within each of us. Perhaps the Enlightened sages/saints of ancient India, Tibet, China and the rest of the Far East were actually able to see something that really exists, a body of consciousness within our body of matter, and perceive its organs — and perhaps not. In any case, inspired by this model, I conjectured a progression of personal evolution in, naturally, seven stages.

Those seven steps along the way being: Security (physical safety as well as money), Pleasure (including sex), Power (including consensual validation), Love, Creativity, Self-Knowledge, and Service. When I conceived this model I was not thinking clearly about Enlightenment actually being the eighth stage, and I confabulated it with the seventh or Service stage. But as I’ve since found, trying to be of service to the world is not yet Enlightenment. One still gets caught in EOP while in the seventh stage. The ego still brings you down out of Flow State while you are caught up in the drama of trying to make a positive difference in the world.

There are other esoteric traditions in which I perceive ideas similar to those of Hinduism, Maslow, and SRI, i.e. the idea of there being a characteristic sequential pattern of development for human motivations. Although I’ve not read any other student of Kabbalah as making this same interpretation, in studying the Tree Of Life I see a progression as follows:

  1. Until one gets one’s love and work in balance, one does not rise from the mask/persona/personality/projected image to others (“Yesod”) into one’s essence/truth with oneself (“Tif’eret”).
  2. Until one balances severity and mercy, one is not enabled to have flashes of insight/intuition/inspiration coming as if from above or from some hidden wellspring of wisdom (“Da’at”).
  3. Until one balances wisdom (knowing what’s right) with understanding (forgiveness), one’s consciousness will not be able to rise to transparency with the One Consciousness (“Keter”) — aka Enlightenment.

Recall that these ideas going back thousands of years — and still being reinterpreted and reinvented by new minds today — have also been validated by SRI’s field research: surveys reveal the same underlying axiological structures as predicted by Hinduism and Maslow, and possibly by the Jews in Kabbalah. There are people just motivated to survive physically from one day to the next (“Survivors”), and there are Belongers, Achievers, and Self-Actualizers. This is no longer just theory. In the last century science has rediscovered some ancient principles and validated them. Or perhaps re-validated them, since wise people long ago were convinced by the ability to make good verifiable predictions (“science”) regarding the innate progressive nature of human motivation.

As Huston Smith says, for all the harm religions have done, there is also all the good. And he refers to the wisdom wealth of the world that is stored up in religions. In fact, one does not have to be religious to reach Enlightenment, but it may help, if only by gaining contact with good ideas that are more practical and psychological/philosophical than theological.

We may look back and say that Hinduism for example was not a religion after all, but an observation-based science focused on the life of the self. Hinduism also postulates that the Infinite is within each of us, a statement Logical Positivism declared meaningless gibberish but which The Theory of The Conscious Universe re-words in terms of information theory so as to thwart dismissal by Logical Positivism. We may look back and say that Abraham was in an Enlightened flash of Flow State when he heard the One Self and made a covenant with It. In other words, it may all be true. What all religions believe may actually be real, in a way that denies none of the essentials of any religion, but which reflects the simple fact that there is only One Consciousness, and the rest is detail.

When the One Consciousness fully realizes Itself as The One Consciousness, within the life of one of us, that is what Enlightenment is. It is real, and yes, we ought to wake up and discover it.

Wishing you Stay Infinite,

Bill

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Originally posted 2012-02-02 08:41:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Unified Level of Flow State

Volume 4, Issue 11

On this, one of the first springtime days, finally, I was able to clamber through the woods to the stream and meditate in Nature. Back at the house, a horde of tiny yellow birds flood the side deck feasting on the thistle seeds we put out for them.

We’ve been exploring the higher states of consciousness in recent posts and in this post we reach the highest level I have experienced — though probably not the highest state that exists in the Universe for Someone. In this state there is no separation between the current individual and the ageless Conscious Experiencer or Ultimate Self of the Universe. One is aware of that true identity directly, not simply as a concept.

In this level of Flow state it is impossible to be attached, that is, fixated on something needed for self-completion. One is already irrevocably self-complete. When it becomes ingrained as the omnipresent state, where there is no turning back, this is that ultra- rarest of states known classically as Enlightenment, Liberation, Moksha, and endless other names. It is not a myth.

I have experienced this level of Flow only at rare moments and briefly each time. A couple of those experiences are recounted in You Are The Universe: Imagine That.

After having experienced this state, I was firmly convinced that my intuition was correct, everything jibed, and it felt right. Nevertheless, I continue to fall back to lower states, as Acceleritis™-driven distractions engage the robot part of my mind into habitual attachment programs.

Even though once I was at the peak of the mountain, where I saw there was no sense at all in getting that sucked into the drama of the current incarnation, the pull of the gravity of repetition-ingrained reactions in the brain, with their powerful chemical effectors, drug the intellectually-aware mind into acting as if it does not know it is already complete, whole. The intense feeling and intuition of Oneness with the Creator fades while only an intellectual awareness of it remains. Over time, one spends more time in the upper levels, driven by awareness of the process, and by spending one’s days doing or transitioning to one’s passion work.

In this uppermost level of the Flow state, one has all of the benefits of the earlier stages on the stepladder of higher consciousness: objective perceptiveness in the Observer state, then the Flow state levels of self-perfect action, then self-perfect affect (bliss), then self-perfect cognition, then self-perfect precognition, and then fully merged back into what One Really Is.

While in that awakened state, the current life on Earth is seen as something like a dream from which one has awakened. Not exactly a dream because all of it counts for something and is of enormous cosmic significance, but now one is looking at it from a wholly different perspective, as a piece of art within an infinite tapestry — one is the spider spinning that multidimensional rainbow web.

In the prior Flow level of precognition, one experiences telepathy, precognition, and remote sensing. In this potentially-ultimate-for-humans state, add telekinesis. One actually wills events and they occur with unlikely predictivity.

This probably sounds like the Force in “Star Wars”, much like it did to George Lucas when he created the movie, out of his personal experiences no doubt.

Each of us has more power to create future reality than we realize. Even in the lower states of consciousness this is true, though often to our detriment.

Being part of the One Self, the One Consciousness, the One Energy Biocomputer that is the only thing that exists, why would we not have such powers?

Best to all,

Bill

My new book, You Are The Universe: Imagine That is now available.

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The Total Ineffectiveness of Negative Moods

Volume 2, Issue 4

Our motivations are the original rock that starts an avalanche. Motivations turn into goals, and then cascade into emotions that flare negative or positive when events/people are perceived to interfere with or enable us in reaching our goals. This all happens whether we are aware of any of it or not.

When we are in a state of negative emotion our capabilities are reduced. Brainpower is being distracted away from effective action clarity. The very thing that caused our negative emotion guffaws in triumph at our helpless self-attack, which leaves the irritant unscathed. The very thing we need most when the negative alarm goes off is to turn off the alarm and use all our brainpower effectively. So from the standpoint of adult commonsense logic, our indulgence of wallowing in negativity for more than an instant is totally unjustifiable and indefensible — in a word, ineffective.

People say they have no control over negative emotions. This is the archetypal self-fulfilling prophecy. If you refuse to give up control to your own habituated robot circuitry and instead fight it (the true meaning of jihad) eventually you win and then you feel very good forever after that. This is called Enlightenment. Think of it over-simplistically as gaining control of your own castle, your own motivations, goals, emotions, and everything else that is you.

What is a man?

What has he got?

If not himself, then he has not.

—   Excerpt from the lyrics of My Way, sung by Frank Sinatra

Once you have that control it is easier to give up control to the Flow state, where things seem to be doing themselves spontaneously and perfectly while we watch as observers from the inside. This often has the appearance to outside observers of you performing so perfectly that you even seem to know what other people are going to do next. Your motivations-goals-emotions-ideas-actions system is performing as a whole in Flow state, which is why the actions are so perfect. This is where you eventually get by rejecting negativity and getting down to solving whatever is the cause of your negative emotion.

I hypothesize that our being trained to cry for rescue in infancy sets up a circuit that sublimates into the same thing on more invisible levels throughout life. Parenting around this would be a good idea, for example by soothingly reminding the infant every time he/she cries that it is more effective to call for us more pleasantly, perhaps even musically, and we will come just as fast. Then we have to remember to pay off that promise ardently so as to reinforce the non-anguish appeal over the rescue me syndrome. I see all negativity as coming from this rescue me circuit. It is a construct that helps me overcome it.

Any construct that works to gain control of habitual counterproductive programming is a useful tool. A more extreme version is my imagining that an alien spy is the source of the negativity — it is not coming from the true me. Such constructs appear to resonate with the animal parts of ourselves or perhaps at the cellular level of consciousness and certainly with the oldest parts of our brain including the limbic system. At any rate negativity deflates in the presence of such mental toolware, which emerges from imagination in the marketplace of the inner mind. Imagination is a great source of energy and leads to clarity.

The Human Effectiveness Institute offers such toolware but we achieve our own highest success when we inspire individuals to get into the game of creating their own toolware in response to their own observed moments of EOP and their own observing of what works to overcome it.

To return to our first point, motivations are the base of your being, so it is good to start there as you re-inspect your “SELF” from these perhaps new points of view offered here. What are your motivations and why? What are the goals that serve these motivations? What is helping you reach those goals? What is impeding you? What do these insights imply in terms of action decisions?

In the absence of protracted negativity — using it just as an appreciated alarm system — enjoyment of life is the natural levity remaining once the weights have been lifted. Let’s levitate into levity!

Best to all,

Bill