This I know

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runstrails
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This I know

Post by runstrails » Sat May 24, 2014 1:46 am

I thought it might be interesting to start a thread on personal exploration--I was kinda thinking of the NPR show 'This I believe'
I'll start:

What do I know for certain?
That I exist.
That I am aware reality.
That reality is whole (non dual, if you will).
That the only quality of reality that I can latch on to is awareness--beyond that I just don't know.

What can I speculate on?
I think that the world we see around us is largely a metal representation at so many levels. (including space, time, ego etc..)
I think that reality is fractal in nature and that gives us many clues on how the world manifests. For example, dreams have been a big clue to me.

What am I contemplating these days?
How does this world manifest so intricately?
Are there deeper levels of awareness or is everyday, ordinary, awareness 'it'?
What is love? What is compassion? Are they synonymous with acceptance?

How has life changed?
I have very little fear of death these days (big deal for an ex-hypochondriac!)
On the outside I'm the same, but internally there are so many moments of quiet awareness all the time.
I can see my reactions even as they happen or afterward and just shake my head and smile.
I know that nothing really matters more than self realization or self understanding.
I marvel on the perfection of the world.

What has not changed?
I still get bored easily (even as I sit in quiet awareness).
I do enjoy the self-created drama sometimes--but less and less so.
I worry about how to guide my child.

What has been (is) helpful along this path?
Advaita Vedanta (traditional teachings, not the neo stuff).
Being the witness.
Karma yoga.
Realizing that 'little me' controls nothing! It's a relief to let go for a control freak!
Realizing the lightness of being.

I'm sure I'll add more stuff as I go along.
I'd love to hear your personal explorations too. Feel free to add your own subheadings if you want. All points of view are welcome and informative. We all learn from each others journeys. That is the real strength of this forum!

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Re: This I know

Post by Enlightened2B » Sat May 24, 2014 9:55 pm

Fun game you got going here!

What do I know for certain?
That I exist.
That there is Consciousness/Awareness

What can I speculate on?
It seems more likely than a 'certainty' to me that Consciousness is fundamental to the universe considering Consciousness does not fit into any scientific model.
Each of us merely represents an evolved version of that Consciousness as a mind/body.
There really is no purpose to any of this reality, other than the mere experience of Consciousness itself.

What am I contemplating these days?
Is there any way to know for sure via our finite human minds?
Why does the world appear as it does?
Most of all, how was the universe Conscious before there were living beings (humans, animals, plants, etc)?

How has life changed?
It really hasn't. It did when I thought I was enlightened and then I realized I wasn't and now I'm back to square one.

What has been (is) helpful along this path?
Eckhart Tolle initially was life changing for me.
Vedanta in the use of self inquiry and some of the traditional teachings
My own experience
This internet forum most of all

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EnterZenFromThere
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Re: This I know

Post by EnterZenFromThere » Sat May 24, 2014 11:21 pm

This sounds like fun to me too! I'll write what I feel at this moment based on direct (myself) and indirect (another's) experiential and conceptual understanding.

what do I know for certain?

I'm not sure I know anything for certain.
I suspect that anything I feel I know for certain now will change before my time in this body ends.

what can I speculate on?

I am the non-physical Loving Light manifest into the form of body/mind/personality known to society as Jack.
I am one of an infinite number of Children of God, with whom I am One, United in the Source, whom is greater than I.
I am a Friend and Relative of all Beings, including Angels and Demons.

what am I contemplating these days?

How can I help?
How can I help in this physical world to bring Love.
How can I help Beings beyond the physical?
How can I further explore and develop consciousness in this Physical Realm?

how has my life changed?

I rarely experience fear or desire.
I stopped drinking.
I stopped smoking.
I stopped taking drugs and going to raves.
I began practicing celibacy.
I became self confident, outgoing and sociable.
I have rebuilt family relationships.
I am less judgemental.
I became vegetarian.
I exercise and eat healthily.
I experience spontaneous, unprovoked joy so sublime tears roll down my face.
I embrace what I used to fear.
I walk and explore new areas of London without making plans.
I stopped seeing former friends.
I began meeting awakened and awakening and awakening-curious people.
I don't fear death.
I believe I am eternal.

what has not changed?

My sense of humour (probably much more obvious in person than on this forum!)
My love of music, cinema, nature etc.
My playfulness.
My occupation.

what has been (is) helpful along this path?

The ultimate teacher - Life - containing within it:
Eckhart Tolle, whose videos triggered this for me.
'Who am I?' By Ramana Maharshi, for my first steps into self-inquiry and deeper stillness of mind.
This forum!!!, for showing me my resistance, nurturing my growth, and encouraging my expression.
Andy (aka SighClone), who guided me through the initial bumps of self-inquiry with swift responses, patience and kindness.
Gary Weber, who taught me self-inquiry and continues to guide the focus of my awareness.
Katie Brugger, for her spirit of compassion and refined philosophical mind.
Harri Aalto, whose Batgap interview opened my Heart - how can I repay this kindness?! - ...with Love...
Francis Bennett, who shows me how to Love.
SandyJoy, who nourishes my Light with her Radiance.
WebWanderer, who keeps me grounded, curious and focused.
The Silence, for offering the Wisdom to express the Love.
The resistance, for showing me what to face.
The Angels and Beings who hide in plane sight, offering guidance beyond my current comprehension.
The darkness, for the joy of finding the Light.
All Beings and Forces of this Physical Realm that have led me to this point.
The Source, for Creating this wonderful Experience.
RT, for starting this thread and allowing this expression to take place ;)

Much Love,

Jack / the Loving Light.

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starting
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Re: This I know

Post by starting » Sun May 25, 2014 4:40 am

Hi all,

What do I know for certain?
Nothing :)

What can I speculate on?
the energy and the capacity we have to change our journey based on our actions and conciousness

What am I contemplating these days?
to love and to be grateful for everything

How has life changed?
Seeing things from a different perspective
It is easy to forgive myself and others and to stop with judgments
I am not enlightened... But I can see the journey, maybe one day, to became a little bit better :)

What has not changed?
still thinking too much
still sad and feeling of loneliness (but Im feeling better than before :) )

What has been (is) helpful along this path?
ET books
This forum is very much important to me (thank you all)
yoga classes
the suffering I experienced before (yes, it was the reason why I started my new path)
“Your life is in transition from a caterpillar to a butterfly. Something may be saying: `Where is my leaf?’ Don't fear. Trust. All is well. How auspicious that Grace has picked you up like this. Hold this gratitude inside your heart” ~ Mooji

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Re: This I know

Post by KathleenBrugger » Sun May 25, 2014 9:32 pm

What a great idea Rt! I love what has already been shared and look forward to reading this thread over time. I can also imagine wanting to add new things over time.

What do I know?
Something's happening. Experience is occurring.
There is an ultimate, actual reality; "what is" (whatever it is).

What do I like to speculate about?
Why the universe exists--right now I think it's for the experience of being
How the human race can live in harmony and sustainability with all things

What am I contemplating?
1. A flipped view of humankind. I was raised to think of humanity as fallen, evil, flawed, sinful, etc. I am contemplating what would happen if we stopped thinking that way about ourselves and instead had the view that we are incredibly creative creatures, who are intensely sociable, excellent problem-solvers, and full of wonder, which leads us to greater understandings of the universe. How amazing we are really! What could we do if we stopped kicking our butts all the time and patted ourselves on the back instead?
2. What if there is no path out there waiting to be found, but I am on my perfect path already? For a long time I've heard people talking about trying to find their path, or wondering what’s the right path for them, or bemoaning that they haven’t found theirs yet. I'm realizing this is a lie and a guaranteed way to feel disappointment. I am on the path that is mine right now. My problems are, in part, caused by trying to walk another path—it's like I'm sticking my foot way out, trying to get onto some other path, which causes me to stumble repeatedly because I'm off-balance. What if I put all my energy into walking my path the best I'm capable of--I'm thinking I may be amazed where it takes me.

How has life changed recently?
I am pushing myself to achieve connection with everyone who crosses my path in a day, no matter how insignificant the interaction. Ensuring that there is at least a tiny moment of eye contact and being-to-being contact. And I'm someone who has self-identified as shy so this isn't easy but it's very rewarding.
I'm more willing to be wrong. I can laugh at myself when I make a mistake. I can let an argument go and not have to have the last word.

How has life not changed?
I am still a very curious person. I am interested in everything.

What has helped me?
My husband--he was my first teacher.
Books, including Alan Watts, Ken Wilber, and Eckhart Tolle.
This forum.
Honest introspection.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/

runstrails
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Re: This I know

Post by runstrails » Sun May 25, 2014 9:34 pm

Hi E2B, Jack and Starting,
Thank you for your wonderfully honest and heartfelt explorations. I really enjoyed reading them and we all appear to have so much in common! I also appreciate that all of you have highlighted this forum as important in your journeys. It's the most important anchor in my journey and I didn't mention it (and I'm a mod to boot!). Just goes to show how we can take this forum for granted.

E2B wrote:
Most of all, how was the universe Conscious before there were living beings (humans, animals, plants, etc)?
We can't know of course--but here is what I think (in case it helps). I've also pondered that since the universe and the earth and sentient beings took billions of years to evolve--- what was 'conscious' before then? But I've realized that 'time' may not be the object reality that it appears to be. Just like in a dream, time passes (years sometimes) in seconds or minutes similarly the scale of time from the human perspective may be quite different than from the perspective of consciousness. In fact in one of the videos you linked Stuart Hamerhoff gives an interesting perspective on how reality outside our mental construct may be quantum in nature. In that, the 'typical' rules for time and space don't quite apply as we have come to comprehend them. So the time scale of evolution (leading to beings who are conscious) may only be a couple of seconds (or outside of time completely) from the perspective of aware reality.
Same with space--I'd always wondered if there is no life on distant planets--what is 'conscious' of them. But space may be just as much of a mental construct as time. No 'out there' if you will.

Jack--I loved your list of ways in which you have changed. Pretty darn impressive and I love your emphasis on light. I too have always felt the 'light' quality of consciousness--but more so these days, it seems to be a lightness (lack of heaviness) of being. Do you sense that too?

Starting--I too love yoga and I think a lot too. I think contemplation and thinking are wonderful tools actually---as long as that thinking is not self-referential or recursive in nature.

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Re: This I know

Post by Enlightened2B » Mon May 26, 2014 12:12 am

runstrails wrote:
E2B wrote:
Most of all, how was the universe Conscious before there were living beings (humans, animals, plants, etc)?
We can't know of course--but here is what I think (in case it helps). I've also pondered that since the universe and the earth and sentient beings took billions of years to evolve--- what was 'conscious' before then? But I've realized that 'time' may not be the object reality that it appears to be. Just like in a dream, time passes (years sometimes) in seconds or minutes similarly the scale of time from the human perspective may be quite different than from the perspective of consciousness. In fact in one of the videos you linked Stuart Hamerhoff gives an interesting perspective on how reality outside our mental construct may be quantum in nature. In that, the 'typical' rules for time and space don't quite apply as we have come to comprehend them. So the time scale of evolution (leading to beings who are conscious) may only be a couple of seconds (or outside of time completely) from the perspective of aware reality.
Same with space--I'd always wondered if there is no life on distant planets--what is 'conscious' of them. But space may be just as much of a mental construct as time. No 'out there' if you will.
Hey RT,

Very interesting. It's definitely something I've pondered very, very deeply (not that I expected to find an answer :lol: )

I've come up with the idea (not that I hold it to any truth) that Consciousness is infinite and has always 'been here'. Perhaps, the big bang is where this universe we see, came into existence and what we perceive as 'evolution' is merely the evolution of Consciousness itself, where it has evolved to the point we are at now. Perhaps the universe itself is conscious in a way and it's grown more 'aware' with the process of evolution. I don't know, just an idea.

Hameroff and Penrose basically use the term 'Quantum' in the same sense as Universal Consciousness I take. But, the idea of it all being a 'mental projection' is something I've considered, but seems really 'out there' (no pun intended). We'd all be experiencing that same mental projection so to speak.

I'll try to wrap my head around it. But, I'm curious about your take on evolution. How do you see it fit in within the context of Consciousness? Peter Russell has some cool ideas about it too.

runstrails
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Re: This I know

Post by runstrails » Mon May 26, 2014 1:19 am

Hi E2B,
Fun conversations (as always).
We'd all be experiencing that same mental projection so to speak.
I think we do experience the same mental projections (at least within a species). All humans have a relatively similar mental projection of the world. Perhaps other species have different projections of the world around them (as constrained by their brain and biology).
But, I'm curious about your take on evolution. How do you see it fit in within the context of Consciousness? Peter Russell has some cool ideas about it too.
I've heard several people talk about the evolution of consciousness--but never quite understood what they mean. Perhaps you could explain what you mean by that? I'd love to learn about it. I'll look up Peter Russell.
If you go by the premise that everything is appearing to consciousness, it's hard to imagine that the awareness (to which everything is appearing, i.e., the screen) is evolving.

However, the brains of species are evolving for sure. That is, the brains through which the world is filtered are evolving and becoming capable of much more complex processes. But the awareness (to which the world appears) is always the same. It's just plain ordinary awareness.
Perhaps as brains get more complex, we become more aware of different aspects of reality that less evolved species cannot fathom.

I've always liked Anita Moorjani's analagy of shining a flashlight in a darkened warehouse. Initially you are only aware of certain parts of the warehouse. As the beam from the flashlight grows stronger more and more parts of the warehouse appear. But to whom they appear is always the same.

Or like a simple movie appearing on a screen vs. a movie with dazzling special effects...the experience of the movies is different, but the screen on which both appear is not fundamentally different.

Or if you take the Vedanta analogy (you knew I'd have to throw that in :wink:) of gold being the Self and ornaments being form. Some of the ornaments can be very intricate and others can be very simple. But the essence of the gold never changes (no matter the ornament).

Anyway, I'd love to hear your take on it too. This has been a very useful exploration as I've contemplated this deeply too. I guess its our human need to make sense of the world!

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Re: This I know

Post by Enlightened2B » Mon May 26, 2014 4:23 am

runstrails wrote: I've heard several people talk about the evolution of consciousness--but never quite understood what they mean. Perhaps you could explain what you mean by that?
Well, I think about it like this. Evolution is obviously happening. If Consciousness or Awareness or whatever you would like to call it, is the fundamental nature of reality, then anything we experience is only Consciousness itself, so it's really Awareness that is evolving. While our awareness itself, is never changing, the objects and the universe within consciousness is what is evolving. Meaning, exactly what you wrote here:
RT wrote: However, the brains of species are evolving for sure. That is, the brains through which the world is filtered are evolving and becoming capable of much more complex processes.
But, considering anything and everything is already a product OF Consciousness, that means, it is merely Consciousness itself that is evolving and I'm saying maybe it's a process of 'becoming more aware' as the brains become more and more complex through the process of evolution. That's just one way I've looked at it. I really don't know though.

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EnterZenFromThere
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Re: This I know

Post by EnterZenFromThere » Mon May 26, 2014 9:35 am

Hey RT,

I agree it seems there is a lightness to consciousness, as a lack of weight. Perhaps egoic contraction of universal consciousness reduced vibrational frequency to a denser, darker vibration, like an anchor in the ocean. Over time, and with openness to the higher vibrational qualities of the ocean we may let its light wash the anchor away, leading to greater and greater expansion of our individual consciousness. Relating this to the conversation you and E2B are having, perhaps we are here to guide the development of consciousness in the physical realm through exploration in our individual perspective which becomes unified with the universal perspective at the time of death. Raising our vibrational qualities in this lifetime through openness, love and compassion may be one of the more pleasurable and effective means of aiding the bliss of consciousness to take form as heaven on earth.

Just a concept open to change,

Jack

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Re: This I know

Post by Phil2 » Mon May 26, 2014 9:58 am

Don't know why exactly, but reading this thread reminds me a quote from Mooji:

"Don't tell me about your successes, show me your failures ... and let us look at it "
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

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Re: This I know

Post by runstrails » Mon May 26, 2014 3:55 pm

E2B wrote: But, considering anything and everything is already a product OF Consciousness, that means, it is merely Consciousness itself that is evolving and I'm saying maybe it's a process of 'becoming more aware' as the brains become more and more complex through the process of evolution. That's just one way I've looked at it. I really don't know though.

Hi E2B,
If I’m reading your post correctly, I think we are both agreeing that consciousness does not evolve per se but that the forms within consciousness evolve (become more complex). And then as forms become more complex they become aware of consciousness. And since reality is non-dual, another way of saying it is that consciousness is becoming self aware.

I think that's a plausible point of view.

The question I have is whether it matters or not that consciousness is becoming self-aware.

For example take the analogy of night time dreams. In some of your dreams you may be lucid (i.e.,conscious you are dreaming--akin to self awareness perhaps), while in other dreams you are simply unconscious. Either way, the dreams are all appearing to you. 'You' are unaffected either way. Just different experiences happening within consciousness.

But personally I do tend to agree that for some forms to become self-aware (self-realized) is part of the plan, so to say.

But then I have another question: There may be highly realized tantric yogi's or mystics or some one who has had a profound NDE and are now aware of more dimensions of reality. I don't doubt this. But what I am questioning is whether this is a more 'evolved' state. Are deeper experiences an indication of greater evolution? What do you think?
Jack said: I agree it seems there is a lightness to consciousness, as a lack of weight. Perhaps egoic contraction of universal consciousness reduced vibrational frequency to a denser, darker vibration, like an anchor in the ocean. Over time, and with openness to the higher vibrational qualities of the ocean we may let its light wash the anchor away, leading to greater and greater expansion of our individual consciousness
Love this, Jack. I feel this lightness now. For example, I'm a runner who does pretty long, hard endurance runs (up and down mountains etc..) There are times when I feel physically tired and unbelievably mentally grouchy. Anyone whose done a marathon will know this familiar feeling in the last few miles. Then I just calm my mind and become present and there is is lightness which happens and I feel mentally and physically lighter (I may not be faster)--just lighter! It's like stepping into a different dimension.
The above may sound completely goofy to most people---but then this is a thread of personal exploration!
I like your idea of expanding that to more areas of life. I will see what happens and report back.

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Onceler
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Re: This I know

Post by Onceler » Mon May 26, 2014 6:13 pm

"But then I have another question: There may be highly realized tantric yogi's or mystics or some one who has had a profound NDE and are now aware of more dimensions of reality. I don't doubt this. But what I am questioning is whether this is a more 'evolved' state. Are deeper experiences an indication of greater evolution? What do you think? "

Good question Runstrails. I would say no, from my limited experience. I would say these experiences are a gift or a savant- like endowment. I believe most of us are meant to be knee deep in samsara learning and processing consciousness as it arise in front of us.

I also like your shared running experience. I'm not running right now due to a chronic running injury, but I got a bit of secondary fulfillment from your story. Can't wait to get back out and try your technique.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: This I know

Post by dijmart » Mon May 26, 2014 6:30 pm

runstrails wrote: Hi E2B,
If I’m reading your post correctly, I think we are both agreeing that consciousness does not evolve per se but that the forms within consciousness evolve (become more complex). And then as forms become more complex they become aware of consciousness. And since reality is non-dual, another way of saying it is that consciousness is becoming self aware.

I think that's a plausible point of view.

The question I have is whether it matters or not that consciousness is becoming self-aware.
This is what I've thought also, that consciousness in human form has evolved to be able to become conscious of itself. I know some think we are here for just for the experience, but I think we are here as consciousness in human form to become one day conscious that we are that conscious awareness itself. That would be the higher purpose of awareness to know itself directly. Of course, all forms are probably not capable of this, but I would call those forms supportive forms. Forms needed to create the world, so that other forms can evolve.

But then I have another question: There may be highly realized tantric yogi's or mystics or some one who has had a profound NDE and are now aware of more dimensions of reality. I don't doubt this. But what I am questioning is whether this is a more 'evolved' state. Are deeper experiences an indication of greater evolution? What do you think?
Siddhis-(supernatural powers) can be developed or happen spontaneously to an unrealized person or sometimes gained spontaneously through self realization. The difference is that when trying to develop these powers or if they happen spontaneously to the unrealized person, then the mind and ego will most likely latch onto these powers and create a story around them and inflate the ego, where as when they are spontaneously gained through self realization (sometimes), hopefully at that point they are just seen as a by product of realization and no attachment to them or ego inflation is felt or needed.

So, I don't think having these powers means that one is more evolved, since they can be developed or happen spontaneously to the unrealized.
Jack said: I agree it seems there is a lightness to consciousness, as a lack of weight. Perhaps egoic contraction of universal consciousness reduced vibrational frequency to a denser, darker vibration, like an anchor in the ocean. Over time, and with openness to the higher vibrational qualities of the ocean we may let its light wash the anchor away, leading to greater and greater expansion of our individual consciousness

To take this a step farther, perhaps between the non-vibration of pure awareness and the denser vibration of solid form, there lies the even lighter dimension of what people call the after life. For those that have not raised their vibration qualities high enough in this lifetime or still are run by their ego?
Last edited by dijmart on Mon May 26, 2014 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: This I know

Post by beginnersmind » Mon May 26, 2014 6:34 pm

I've had many "mystical" experiences. Dreams that have come true. OBE's and I am certainly not "realized". I'm often knee deep in "spiritual poop" and what I know is that I don't know as much as I thought. :mrgreen:

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