FROM HELL TO PARADISE

“The schizophrenic is drowning in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight.”~ Joseph Campbell

it is extremely difficult for us to imagine how a hellish experience can turn into a paradise… It defies all our rational and logical thinking.

However if we consider the skillful surfer, we will notice their excited anticipation of a very huge and threatening wave…while those who are not familiar with the skill of surfing perceive the oncoming waves as a hellish experience, the surfer finds great delight by intuitively flowing with the wave and overcoming its challenge… They go through a flow experience commonly known as “being in the zone”… It is a time of complete concentration on an activity in which they lose the experience of self and sense of time… .. there are many such activities particularly in the field of athletics offering a similar experience of “being in the zone ”

More importantly, it is the universal approach in the spiritual experience… Like the surfer when faced with an extremely threatening situation we may find we cannot escape but instead must move to its center in complete surrender… The loss of self through an act of surrender turns out to be nothing more than giving up control and resistance… There is ecstasy in being liberated from the heavy weight of self-consciousness… and just as the surfer is dependent on their intuitive powers to guide them through a turbulent wave, the liberated person finds the same intuition will lead them through a turbulent life experience.

The surfer must go through a long period of practice before they can become masters of surfing … And this is also true of the liberated person who must go through extensive spiritual practice before they can fully transcend their personal self …. Just as a surfer needs very challenging waves to fully experience their mastery, the liberated person also needs very challenging life experiences to be fully aware of their freedom.

THE INTUITIVE PERSONALITY

Source: Discoveries Unlimited

In a psychological study published in 1968, Malcolm Westcott, outlined his findings on intuitive qualities in his book, “Toward a Contemporary Psychology of Intuition,”

Qualities associated with an intuitive personality
1. Creativity
2. Originality
3. Flexibility
4. Independent of judgment
5. Self assured
6. Highly motivated non-conformists, who tolerate ambiguity, change and uncertainty
7. Willing to risk looking foolish or being wrong

Intuitive personality also tend to be;
1. Unconventional and comfortable in their unconventionality
2. Confident
3. Self-sufficient (they didn’t base their identities on membership in a social group)
4. Emotionally involved in abstract issues, either in intellectual, academic terms or in human values
5. Willing to explore uncertainties and entertain doubts, and able to do so without fear
6. Willing to expose themselves to criticism and challenge
7. Willing to change in ways they deemed appropriate
8. Resistant to outside control and direction
9. Independent
10. Foresighted
11. Spontaneous

RITE OF PASSAGE

“Maturity is the ability to sort the portions of truth from the accepted lies and self-deceptions that you have grown up with.” ― Alexei Panshin

All living organisms have an inner guide, more commonly known as “instinct”, which seems to be in harmony with their natural environment… however humans have a higher level of “instinct” referred to as intuition…it includes extraordinary qualities such as imagination, creativity, and spiritual feelings…but most importantly it offers us guidance in finding our own natural path.

Unfortunately, modern society believes each person is separate with the individual ability to control our own destiny… As a result, we tend to ignore our special gifts of intuition and its ability to point in a direction most natural for us…we learn to identify instead with a socially conditioned self with its role-playing and stressful goals.

We often feel a lack of authenticity including a sense of alienation… Many search for a deeper meaning in life and there are some who rediscover the natural experience of following their own intuitive feelings …. It can bring about a radical change in their personality with a whole new set of values and an openness to more meaningful experiences.

Often it takes a deep failure of our socially conditioned self before we can give it up…It will not happen through some intellectual understanding but requires an emotional experience which persuades us to “let go”…Over our lifetime we have digested many social beliefs and they are deeply embedded within our mind …Thus the intellectual mind by itself cannot bring about an experience of transcending the socially conditioned self.

Transcendence occurs when we are no longer dependent on an outer social guide but instead begins to follow our intuitive inner  guide…it is a rite of passage bringing about a maturity  in which many falsehoods and foolishness simply disappear.

THE LIBERATED PERSONALITY

‘The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.’ — Albert Einstein …

The liberated personality are those who follow their own intuitive feelings in activities which are enjoyable to them without having any other purpose or goal beyond the enjoyment… It is activities which consume their attention in the “here and now” allowing them to often forget themselves and lose track of time.

They are relatively free from the expectations and goals of the social environment… If possible, they also seek work which is enjoyable to them while making financial factors secondary… They have come to realize that the meaning of life is through enjoying their own special interests… And also know this can only occur when they are free from the expectations and competition so important to be successful in society… Although their behavior is different, they do strive to live in harmony with others in the social environment.

An important part of the liberated mind is its creative imagination… Since the liberated personality does not conform to expected standards in society they are able to allow their imagination to flow beyond those who have identified with social goals… The freedom of imagination is perhaps the most enjoyable of all for it allows them to frequently become aware of new perceptions and life exoeriences.

Boredom is not a problem to the liberted personality even when they are alone for they realize their most creative time is often when in a state of solitude and free from all the distractions of the social environment… However their creative imagination is free to participate in many social activities including family life, entertainments and being with others.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” ~ Steve Jobs

LIBERATING IMAGINATION

“If you want your children to be smart read them fairy tales…and if you want your children to be more smart, read them more fairy tales.”~ Albert Einstein

Scientist now believe our brain imagines what we perceive in the environment, and they conclude we do not really know what exist beyond our own body…they also believe our perception of space and time are only more creations of our imagination.

It is easier to understand the quote “reality is an illusion” when it is stated “reality is imagination”… Buddhist believe life is a dream and awakening is the spiritual experience…Hinduism describes the material world as Maya illusion.

It is rather easy to understand that our “self image” is only an extension of our imagination…. but interestingly we accept our self image as our primary identity along with its imaginative personal story including past memories and future goals.

Shocking as it may seem, we could really be nothing more than imagination or a dream pretending to be a person…and there may be no one nor anything but imagination…

We tend to accept the social dream (American Dream) as reality…and many live their whole life within this dream box fearing if we move outside it, we will experience a disaster…and if we fail within our social dream box, we can experience life as a nightmare….the intuitive personality can see through the illusion of our imagined and socially conditioned boxes.

Freedom of our imagination is open to the spontaneous joys of flowing images and ideas as we well remembered during our childhood…it is the essence of playfulness and creativity…as Albert Einstein said, “Our imagination can take us everywhere”…. it is important to realize imagination does not move in a meaningless direction but instead our intuitive compass guides it along a very intelligent path.

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” ~ Albert Einstein

OUR INTUITIVE GUIDE

“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great, pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature, and is manifest in each of us through intuitive knowledge.”~Deepak Chopra

All living organisms have an inner guide, more commonly known as “instinct”, which seems to be in harmony with our natural environment… however humans have a higher level of “instinct” referred to as intuition…it includes extraordinary qualities such as imagination, creativity, and spiritual feelings…but most importantly it offers us a sense of guidance on leading our life.

Unfortunately, modern society believes each person is separate with an individual ability to control their destiny… As a result, we tend to ignore our special gifts of intuition and its ability to point in a direction most natural for us… Instead, we learn to identify with a socially conditioned self with its role-playing and stressful expectations.

We often feel a lack of authenticity along with a sense of alienation… And many search for a deeper meaning in life and there are some who rediscover the natural meaning of following their intuitive feelings …. It can bring about a radical change in our personality with a whole new set of values and openness to many enjoyable activities.

Often it takes a deep failure of our socially conditioned self before we can give it up… It usually doesn’t happen through some intellectual understanding but requires an emotional experience which persuades us to “let go”… Over our lifetime we havee digested many of our social beliefs and they are embedded deeply within our mind … Thus the intellectual mind by itself cannot bring about an experience of transformation… When a transformation occurs it does bring about a change of experiencing our self as dependent on a social guide to the freedom of following our inner intuitive guide.

OUR IMAGINARY GHOSTS

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old child, you do not understand it well enough” ~ Albert Einstein

Young children naturally believe in ghosts but this belief gradually fades out as they get older… However when children enter school they are taught about socially conditioned types of ghosts… they are beliefs in ghosts who haunt us when we fail to meet social expectations… And these ghosts often remain with us during our lifetime.

A ghost is a member of a larger community of ghosts sharing similar beliefs… There is the ghost of failure, the ghost of rejection, the ghost of isolation and many, many other related ghosts acting together to control our life.

We make every effort to satisfy their goals hoping to avoid their haunting us with anxiety and guilt feelings… We generally do not realize that the ghosts within us are imaginary but instead factually believe we have realistically created these goals within our self .

At some point in our life we may be unable to fulfill our planned goals and give up out of exhaustion… We then simply may accept failure, accept rejection, and accept isolation as just an unfortunate experience … When this happens our ghosts are unable to haunt us with their painful feelings… With no function to play, the ghosts simply disappear and we are then able to gain the freedom to be truly ourselves without the tyranny of ghosts.

BLESSING IN DISGUISE

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” ~Rumi

Unfortunately, when we experience failure or loss, we tend to separate it from the larger picture which can give us a completely different perspective on the experience… Perhaps the most disturbing part of failure is the threat to our personal self or ego… But rarely do we see the advantages of undermining all the illusions of our ego… Which can bring about a feeling of liberation to be truly ourselves… We can also look more directly at adversity not only as a threat but also an opportunity to find a new and creative life style.

“Yes, at the very bottom of my soul I feel grateful to all my misery and bouts of sickness and everything about me that is imperfect, because this sort of thing leaves me with a hundred back doors through which I can escape from enduring habits.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

“Sometimes in tragedy we find our life’s purpose – the eye sheds a tear to find its focus.” ~Robert Brault

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” ~Arthur Golden

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. ~Barbara Bloom

“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience.” ~Robert Fulghum

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall know the kingdom of heaven.”~ Bible

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SAYING “YES” TO LIFE

“The warrior’s approach is to say “yes” to life: “yea” to it all” ~ Joseph Campbell

There is power in saying Yes! Yes is positive, No is negative. When you say “Yes!” you are affirming something, you are letting something in. There is something inherently satisfying to the human organism in saying Yes, rather than saying No. Try it just now… say NO! to something you feel about your self and see how you feel, then say YES! and see how you feel. There is a natural release of tension when saying Yes.

Of course, this is only a simple example of the extraordinary power of saying Yes. ..However if you explore most spiritual teachings you’ll find that they have one common denominator which is learning how to say Yes to life experiences . ..And the deeper we are able to say Yes , the greater is our liberation . ..The response to No is an obstruction of the natural flow of life … The only time No is necessary is when a destructive action is occurring.

Yes and No are judgments learned since childhood and identified as an essential part of our personal self and important in defining a path we are to follow … When we are able to ‘let go’ of saying No, we are finally free of judgments or any particular path to follow, but most importantly we are free of our separate self… We can move in whatever direction our intuitive feelings lead us… We have an intuitive compass which points in a direction appropriate for us but does not define a path… A path naturally occurs but can only be seen by hindsight.

“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. ..The “hero enters the dark forest alone where there was no path. This is the myth of the Hero’s Journey.” –Joseph Campbell

OUR INTUITIVE TREASURE

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” ~ Joseph Campbell

The brilliant spiritual poet Rumi wrote, “Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”… But what did he mean when he referred to ruin?… Was it our personal self or ego being in a state of ruin?…It is generally known we need to experience a deep despair about our self as a turning point in the transformation of personality.

We also cannot consciously make this happen but only occurs when we let go or surrender our efforts to bring about a desired change… It is the final collapse of our identity with a personal self or ego…And we find our treasure not by going “up and over” but being “down and out”.

The transformative experience brings about an extraordinary feeling of relief and freedom… it’s a time when we discover a new identity in being liberated to be our self in the present moment… Most importantly, we find the treasure within which Joseph Campbell and Rumi write about in their quotes…

Surprisingly, we find the sacred gift of intuition which Albert Einstein describes as “the only real valuable thing”… intuitive intelligence has the wisdom of an inner compass which points toward the direction most natural for us… It replaces our social expectations and goals embedded within us since early childhood.

In addition the intuitive mind is the home of playful imagination and thinking… It is the rediscovering of our inner child so well known in our memory but lost as irrelevant in adulthood… Intuitive energy is effortless as described in the “flow” experience…Most creativity flows from our intuitive intelligence since it is rather free from conventional and rational thinking.

Most significantly, we do not know the source of intuitive awareness but sense it comes from an unknown intelligence beyond our understanding…and has the feeling of being connected to everything around us… We no longer feel or perceive ourselves as being a separate individual responsible and in control of a planned life.

WORDS AND COLORS

“Words signify man’s refusal to accept the world as it is.” ~Walter Kaufmann

Learning the name of a color changes the part of the brain that handles color perception.

Infants perceive color in the right hemisphere of the brain, while adults do the job in the brain’s left hemisphere by seeing the word instead of a clear perception of the color.

Researchers Testing toddlers showed that the change occurred when the youngsters learned the names to attach to particular colors.

It appears that somehow the brain, when it has categories such as color, it actually consults those categories rather than looking directly at a particular color.

Researchers did a similar experiment with silhouettes of dogs and cats with the same result — once a child learns the name for the animal, perception moves from the right to the left side of the brain.

This is important to know because it’s part of a debate that’s gone on as long as there has been philosophy or science, about how the language we speak affects the way we look at the world… scholars continue to discuss the comparative importance of “nature versus nurture” or the right brain versus the left brain.

Researchers studied the time it took toddlers to begin eye movement toward a colored target in either their left or right field of vision to determine which half of the brain was processing the information.

Notice how the continuous changing colors in the image below frustrate our ability to label it with words,instead our eyes becomes open to its fascinating colors.

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