The hope of cultivating and maintaining peace, understanding and happiness has been an ongoing struggle for humans forever. Teachers and teachings throughout history have attempted to permanently install their own awakening process into society. The idea of universal truth has come from these belief systems and methods, yet the experience of actual truth has been blurred. This blog post is a preview of the first chapters of the current draft of the upcoming book: FREEDOM. This book takes the core understanding of existence from the many different perspectives of spirituality from around the globe and simplifies it into the experience of true peace, understanding and happiness. It is my hope that with these words, you will discover the wisdom that lives inside of you waiting to wake up.
“Don’t believe anything.
If you believe in something,
you are automatically precluded
from believing its opposite.”
- Terence McKenna
I was raised in an evangelical environment that encouraged the rejection of misunderstood things. From a young age I have enjoyed challenging the judgements made by such groups of people and organizations. Unbeknownst to me at the time, a lifelong journey of self realization had begun. It started with deep explorations into eastern philosophy, western religions, esoteric practices, plant medicine, spiritual lifestyles, and so much more.
It has been a common ambition that the breakthroughs made from such demonstrations will bring new, hopefully “better”, ways of living the human life. The resolution to transform human behavior on a global scale has yet to emerge except for a very small collection of people. Fortunately, some of the messages from these teachings still have a profound truth hidden deeply within the translations.
Spiritual beings, both living and deceased, throughout history have provided teachings that have since become widely misunderstood and often distorted entirely. Some of the most powerful realizations come from Siddhartha Gautama, Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, and Ramana Maharshi to name only a few. The Holy Bible, Tao Te Ching, and Bhagavad Gita, and are incredible literary works that explore and explain an experience that can not be put into words. Explore their insights and methods. Research scientists and their discoveries. Find others that have had, or that study, spiritual and mystical experiences. With the suggestion that you become familiar with other bodies of work, it is the goal of this book that you will read it and not need to explore alternative teachers, teachings, techniques or methods.
You may be about to have one of the most beautiful and important epiphanies many religions, dogmas, and discoveries have been seeking to explain for all of history. Read slowly and take as much time as you need. Books are about where those books will take you. Follow the path but remember it may take more concepts to realize that it does not take more concepts. It may take more time to realize that it does not take any more time. It may take more suffering to realize that it does not take any suffering.
At the end of my life I aspire to have been a beacon of encouragement for others to take that leap that they have been both hoping for and perhaps fearing. It is my purpose to serve as a reminder to anyone that might cross my path, including yourself, that this life and the time that is in it, and this body and the mind that is in it, is here guiding you home to freedom.
With every step of this unfolding I experience intense gratitude to the circumstances allowing such a journey to take place. Thank you for being my mother and teaching me to live before dying. Thank you for being my father and reminding me to question everything. Thank you for being my love and encouraging me to live as an example. Thank you for being my pain and stimulating me to heal my wounds. Thank you for being here, now, with me.
“What lies behind us
and what lies before us
are tiny matters
compared to what lies within us.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
For thousands of recorded years humans have been curious in discovering the truths of reality and the universe. Many of these contemplations have led to breakthroughs and leaps in the evolution of mankind, however, most of them remain widely controversial, criticized and deeply misunderstood. These conceptions have manifested in the forms of realized beings, geniuses, religious doctrines, scientific theories, and so on. For thousands of recorded years these beings, geniuses, doctrines and theories have been attempting to curate the same experience within each individual. That is to reveal one universal truth to serve the cultivation of a favorable evolution for humanity.
The goal of these historical movements has always been to pursue peace, understanding and happiness. This is common longing for salvation, liberation, enlightenment, or awakening. It has been promised that realizing such an experience will bring an end to suffering. The searching for these ideas can become the motivation that drives all of life. This evolved with such convolution that the recognition of the true nature of life is assumed to be otherworldly and rare.
Freedom, salvation, liberation, enlightenment, and awakening do not describe some spectacular accomplishment, but more of an opening up to the true self, wisdom and unity that had been there all along. It is like finally breaking free of a trance. These words describe the result of a willingness to release the ideas of personal setbacks and transmuting them into an encounter with the expanse of universal wisdom. This is the process of beginning to notice how deeply hypnotized you may be and how far removed you may have become.
Humans have convinced themselves that the popular documented experiences and teachings are to be used as a means to an end of suffering. Finding freedom does not mean that you have cured yourself of suffering indefinitely. It simply means you are set free from the clutches of suffering, even with its apparent existence.
Connecting with the higher self has been important to humans for millennia. This has been for very justified reasons too. The reality that exists in the experience of these freedoms is undoubtedly mystifying. The etherial contact made with such experiences can transform ways of life entirely. This is also one of the reasons that these teachings are often rejected. They manifest in the forms of doubts and fears for the potential of having a personal transformation.
You are immensely powerful. The depth to which that power within is, is as deep as the universe is wide. Life is about discovering this and finding yourself. If you are ready, and you will know if you are, these words will facilitate an opening into the freedom of this power. If you are ready, this book will act as a guide for you to transcend the stages of the awakening process. For each individual who becomes free, it stimulates the collective and it becomes easier for others to become free as well.
The first stage of the awakening process is in having a curiosity for understanding the mind, body and soul. This is exercised best by exploring only small sections or single passages at a time. Read, reread, paraphrase, repeat. Read the section or passage again then sit quietly. Let your mind associate with it, then remain sitting quietly. Use as long as you need to realize a shift, then continue.
The second stage of the awakening process is reflection. Once you have fully investigated your curiosities it is time to let your thoughts work around the experience. Allow an opening to find how the messages apply to yourself and to others. Notice any thoughts that differ from the way you usually think about things. Consider which laws of nature are depicted in the teaching. With this awareness, the trajectory of mankind will lead to great transformations, and it begins with you. Freedom, salvation, liberation, enlightenment and awakening are words that all describe a single state of being. To know any of these is to know all of them. Be curious about the experience within, as you work your way along the path of self reflection.
You will be left with a feeling of inward openness and a growing interest in remaining open. You will notice the magnitude of this present moment with clarity and it will lift the veil from conceptual reality and show you the truth. The discovery of this truth, wisdom and unity leads to living a totally fulfilling and meaningful life. Waking up to that which this points is extremely contagious and it’s affect on your surroundings ripples outward infinitely.
In this unfolding comes the discovery of the true self. With that you will know the magnitude of what it means to be alive, to be life. You will transcend fraudulent beliefs about who you are and what it means to be a conscious being. You will realize what it is that causes any and all pain. Have courage, be fearless, and pay attention to moving through gently and slowly. The purpose of the words within this book is to encourage you to pause from time to time and consult with the immediate experience. Put the stories that you tell about life to the test as you work through. Consider the personal identity, education, religion, spirituality, political views, and so on. Nothing in this book is required to be accepted by faith. It can all be known through experience and a willingness to experiment within the playing field of this present moment. Be curious about the truth within beliefs and other habits or rituals.
The human condition is fabricated with the mind. This happens through thinking and believing things about thoughts and reality. Although the mind seems to be the one greatest obstacle when finding freedom, it can also act as the initial step on the journey inward toward it. The mind is where things are questioned and thought about, but rarely is it flipped back onto itself to explore understanding understanding, or questioning questions, or thinking about thoughts. With any of these something unexpected happens. An opening begins to appear.
It is with the sense perceptions that you observe these words. Mental images are created in reaction to these words. The same is true for a page of this book. You perceive the “page” and you are aware of the “book” yet these are labels painted with other nouns, adjectives, verbs, and other words within the mind. In effect the experience is clouded. Although this confusion seems to be the single most challenging part of discovering a universal truth, it can help point out the journey inward toward it. The insight needed is already here and it is waiting to be acknowledged. Once the mind has been observed, understood, and transcended completely, the next step in finding freedom is with the body.
There are tools available for you to utilize on this journey. Each individual is given a specific set of instruments at the moment of birth. It is important to rediscover the simple functions of the body. It begins with the breath and its ability to nourish the energy fields within. The sense perceptions are there as a basis for navigating and absorbing the universe. Bodily pain, however unpleasant, can even be a cause for finding an opening within. Awareness is the key for discovering it. With this realization comes a deep compassion for life and its various challenges. In this way, pain can become part of what guides you.
It is with the simple tools available to you now that you are able to find comfort and freedom from traditionally difficult emotions. The concepts of endings including death and annihilation turn out to be exciting glimpses into true power. They replace themselves with a curious reflection of truth, wisdom, and unity.
A strange thing occurs along this point of the journey. A deeper sense of self is emerging. It can be noticed as a floaty quality or a lifted sensation. Living in this way consistently depends on how you use the tools during “ups” and “downs” and how you will interact with the circumstances of these “ins” and “outs” along the path of unfolding. The way of it all is a constant ebb and flow full of these birthings and dyings. Keep an awareness throughout the miscellaneous changes. This observation is the next step in becoming one with the opening itself.
Releasing the self from the baggage of the mind and the pain of the body produces the experience of the soul. Freedom from suffering begins with a deep and curious skepticism of the mind. There is no reason that any single person can not achieve this freedom. There is no reason that any individual can not discover the existence of the soul. In fact, it is an essential ingredient to becoming whole. You will come to realize the magnitude of what the soul is. You will come to understand how to use it.
You will not find any truths in this book. Do not make the concepts presented in this book into beliefs. Rather, hold a healthy sense of skepticism throughout. All of the expressions, explorations and experiences illustrated in this book should not be regarded as the truth. You must find out for yourself. It is encouraged that you make attempts to challenge the ideas presented herein, as well as the beliefs you currently possess. This book is just a map. It only acts as a guide for reminding you of what you have forgotten. It is up to you to keep an opening and remain curious so that you may reflect on what the nature of the soul is.
The exercises associated with this journey are simple but the results are profound. To practice them diligently will unveil what your purpose is. The power of freedom is available to anyone who seeks it. This is not meant to be understood as a book on spirituality nor is it a religious monologue. It is not about facts or about beliefs or about science. It is not even about the mind, the body, or the soul. What it is about is the current state of consciousness and the perception of reality. This book is about you and the experience that you are having here and now, as life.
Techniques for resting in this present moment and remaining one with life will emerge naturally. New skills will develop on their own and manifestations beyond comprehension will be recognized. It will have a colossal effect on daily life, relationships, and well-being. It takes no more than a passive yielding to the flow of life and all that it contains. Do not make the journey into a complex or rigid series of steps to follow. Be open to exploring both new and familiar things along the way.
There are moments to reflect throughout this book. They are presented in the form of the following symbol. When it appears, take a moment to stop and ponder the experience of what has just been read. Observe the nature of the present moment with more depth. It can happen now.
Notice the space around you.
When you notice the opening of awareness, notice also the power and the freedom that it comes with. Recommit to staying open each time you become aware of closures. Remember that it is the flow of life that connects the myriad things with the whole. When this space starts to unfold within, you will realize the obligation for all to merge with this space. Submit to the rhythm and agree to work through any current challenge.
Nothing in this book is intended to diagnose or deny the existence of both psychological and physiological conditions. You will be urged to explore the perceptions of such conditions and to transcend them. If the topics in this book seem likely to cause considerable distress, please seek the assistance of a professional. There are no claims that support magic or miracles in this book. There is, however, quite a mystical profundity that comes with true freedom that is often overlooked. There are historical claims that logic cannot justify. Such claims are made by scientific experiments, religious texts, metaphysical documentaries, psychedelic experiences, and so on.
The messages in this book may be compelling, however, they are only peripheral. What is of central importance is the direct recognition of being, consciousness, or awareness. While reading, you might even discover the freedom that is already there hidden within. When you are aware of this, stop and become familiar with it. It is you acting as a reminder of what you are.
Approach the world with intense interest. Investigate with the purpose of uncovering the truth. Follow every lead that you find compelling. Connect with inner wisdom. Know it completely that you always have everything you need. Make peace with fears and remind yourself that they hold no power over you. Create a bond with the unknowable depth of experience. It is not in the symbols, but in awareness, that feelings of fulfillment are created. Let yourself realize what you most need to learn. Freedom can be found nowhere else but here and at no other time but now.
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