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As we see in the news everyday, this is a world divided. What I mean by this is that it is polarized, and not just politically, but this world is dual by its very nature. It is a world of positive and negative. In fact, subatomically, the positive and negative forces within atoms give rise to all form in this world. And form includes not only the physical and the physical body, but the mental and the emotional bodies, as well.

So we have positive thoughts and negative ones; we have positive emotions and negative emotions. And very naturally we reach for the positive states while pushing away the negative. Why would we not?! Aah, but there is a profound spiritual truth that says:

Everything in time shall turn into its opposite.

In our limited ego-mind we teeter-totter between the positive and negative, spending some amount of time in one state before inevitably flipping to the other. With this constant flip-flopping, no wonder we often feel off balance and confused! We have no stable place to ground our awareness.

There is a way through, though. We each have access to a higher viewing platform, so to speak. This point of view rests outside of the dual nature of the mind and emotions. Called the neutral witness or the neutral observer, it is able to view the transitory nature of duality with detachment. Jesus said “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with Light.” In other words, beyond the two eyes of negative and positive is this third channel of awareness – the single eye – our neutral observer. The positives and negatives of life will still happen, but the neutral observer rests outside of the action and just watches. This observer avoids assigning a value to one experience over the other, remains detached, and instead chooses neutrality. Then something amazing happens. Our inner world of swirling mind and emotions comes into balance and a doorway is opened into an expanded consciousness, one of peace, light and Presence. Instead of flip-flopping between the positive and negative, we begin to ground on that which rests between the opposites of the world – our true, divine nature.

“But how do I get there,” you ask? “How do I find my neutral observer?” The initial step is to make it conscious – to acknowledge its existence and to open to it. We already very naturally observe the personality in action with its judgments, likes and dislikes, but now we add the intention to be neutral in the face of the ups and downs of life, rather than react to them.

When I mentor others and they come me in pain or feel stuck in their lives some way, it is this witnessing presence that I hold for them. We could say that they have lost the neutral observer by identifying with the transitory thoughts or emotions that are passing through them. In our sessions together we process and find our way back to the neutrality of this witnessing presence, anxiety is relieved and new ways of coping and perceiving are instituted.

Over time we build the strength of the neutral observer, reactivity is lessened, and we begin to discover the treasure that is beyond even the positive – an equanimity with all of life and the pure joy of Being.

The ground of being, awareness, presence – all names pointing to who we are beyond thought, time and space. In meditation we stop thought and this, our true nature, is revealed. In activity this ground of being or presence silently holds space, changeless and eternal and the substratum of all existence. Resting here, beyond thought, in meditation or not becomes a powerful place to direct our attention because it is our awakened state. The other day this question came up about presence:

“Isn’t presence like some sort of cheap escapism? I mean, I was having some restrospective thoughts, and sure I was feeling a little miserable, but then I felt better when going into presence, and yes, I feel OK now, but that doesn’t mean my problems aren’t still there, they are not going anywhere, I’m just basically ignoring them to experience this moment, I could very well be using this time to think about solutions, and try to punish myself into making some changes that could help me compensate for those regrets that won’t let me be happy. Also I’m sure once I stepped out of presence and start thinking again, reality is going to kick in, and it is going to remind me that I can’t change the past, and that the future looks tough, then I will feel miserable again until I find something else to distracts me. I don’t see how presence is going to solve anything, it only gives me a break, that’s all.”

Here is my response:

Ah, but presence is so much more than a break from our thinking minds – more than simply a moment of peace. Presence is an expansive field of awareness with infinite depth. As we spend more and more time here this Presence grows in us. We merge with it and become it, and we begin to know it intimately as our own true nature.

It’s not that presence itself solves our problems, but out of it can arise an intuitive sense, or even a direct knowing, of a way forward that is beyond what the lower polarized mind might tell us. By detaching from what Buddhists call the “monkey mind”, we begin to enjoy the peace, and also the heightened perception, that goes along with it. Our lives begin to change in expansive ways, and the practice of presence becomes our joy.

Poet and mystic Edward Carpenter in his collection of poetry, Towards Democracy, beautifully describes the quiet power of this inner presence in his poem:

NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME

Amid all the turmoil and the care – the worry, the fever, the anxiety
The gloomy outlook, fears, forebodings,
The effort to keep up with the rush of supposed necessities, supposed duties,
The effort to catch the flying point of light, to reach the haven
of Peace – always in the future –
Amid all, glides the little word Now.

As when the winds of March with their long brooms sweep the dead leaves from the surface of the ground, and the Earth in virgin beauty with the growing grass once more appears;
So when all this debris of thought from the Past, of anxiety about the Morrow, is at last swept away,
Does the vast ever-Present beneath reveal its perfect rondure.

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Photo: Rick Erbach

 

I received this email from someone the other day:

“At work there is this arrogant person who I find very annoying. Because you have taught me to see that there is no one “outside” of me, she must be a mirror for my own unconscious arrogance. I know I have the power to shift this, but where do I start? What is the core issue?”

Here is my response via email and Skype:

As I contemplate your question, Joni Mitchel’s classic song, Both Sides, Now comes to mind here. Her lyrics describe the futility of attempting to see the truth of life from a dual perspective, concluding, “I really don’t know life at all”!

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

 

 

To know the truth of life beyond the dual nature of the limited mind you will want to look deeply into both sides of any troublesome polarity. I see you are owning the projection of arrogance outside of you. That’s a start. Congratulations. The ancient teachings of the East teach us that the opposites of the world are inextricably tethered, so if you are seeing arrogance outside of you and are being triggered you must also accept that the opposite of arrogance – worthlessness – is inside somewhere as well. When we are in a push/pull dance with the opposites of the world we are unable to see what is true beyond the egoic and illusory; we are unable to see our true nature as a timeless, spiritual beings.

Down near the bottom of our dark void of negative states of mind and lurking in the unconscious, lies worthlessness. Because it is fundamental to our human egoic imprint into separation from Source we each have shades of it that must be cleared on our journey home to Self. Worthlessness becomes a program that can be triggered as we begin to make it real in childhood from negative messaging from our adult caregivers and teachers. Typically, it runs deep with many layers that require unraveling. Because both you and your co-worker have uncleared issues around worthlessness you are drawn together through the process of polarity in which opposites attract each other. When we are unable to see and own our unconscious feelings of worthlessness we will push them into the unconscious and act out the other side, which often manifests as arrogance and/or entitlement. (We see this being played out in our world now by our President “big league!”, as well as by most extreme leaders in the world with a Patriarchal consciousness.)

Conversely, when we are feeling worthless, inadequate, small, less than etc., we are pushing into the unconscious the opposite states of mind and our tendency to be arrogant and entitled. If we are heavily identified with worthlessness, initially, its opposite may be difficult to see and own. But you must proceed with the assumption that it is in there somewhere! What’s essential to accept is that you are both sides. Accepting that you have become identified, consciously and unconsciously, with both sides of any polarity is the first step in opening a portal between the opposites that leads you come to know your true nature, which is beyond duality.

Clearing the egoic dance between arrogance and worthlessness in your patterning requires that you make what is unconscious conscious. To do this make four lists: 1. My desire for worthlessness 2. My fear of worthlessness 3. My desire for arrogance 4. My fear of arrogance. Feel deeply into the energy around each state of mind. If you are having a hard time coming up with reasons for one of the lists it is because it is particularly unconscious to you. Meditate on it and ask inwardly to be shown what is not being seen. Remember to accept that all four states of mind are in you or you would be creating a different relationship with this person.

Making the unconscious conscious is a powerful and eye opening process. But to reconcile the opposites underlying your programming you must call on that part of you that is beyond the limited egoic self by surrendering all that has been seen and named back to Source. When you feel complete with your lists make a prayer offering your lists up asking for all of your conscious and unconscious patterning to be cleared and reconciled. Make an inner commitment to heal the layers of your childhood wounding around worthlessness. Remember, there is nothing outside of you, and when you have reconciled the schism of worthlessness and arrogance inside of you your world will reflect that integration. The arrogant person will cease to trigger you and your relationship with that person will eventually shift into one more aligned in heart and Truth.

I hope you find this helpful.

(For more on mirroring and projection please see the post “It’s all You!” from  October, 2016), and for more on the the Worthlessness Program read “Seeing through Worthlessness” from April, 2010 on this blog.)

We come into this world with a psyche that is split into separation from our true divine nature, and the blueprint for ego becomes instituted. The story of Adam and Eve describes this spilt as our fall from grace. But it never really happened! It’s all maya – illusion – and becomes our inner journey toward awakening to the truth of who we are. Beyond ego and the lower mind lies our true spiritual nature as limitless and timeless beings. But because the ego is defined by the electro-magnetic charges of negative and positive, duality, and specifically loss and gain, are born in the mental and emotional bodies. So loss and gain are programmed into our consciousness from the get go becoming an unconscious lens through which we view the world.

In fact, if I could distill into a single egoic construct all of the processes that people come to me wanting to clear, it would be loss and gain. This is true because the relative mind will interpret any negativity in one’s life as a loss, whether it’s a material “loss” of some kind, some heavy state in the emotional body, or simply a loss of happiness. Sure, losses and gains are part of life – they seem very real in this world. But this is only the mind’s superficial reading of what’s going on; it is the dual mind’s interpretation of the natural ebb and flow of life. In truth, our natural state of wholeness and oneness is complete in itself: paraphrasing my teacher, nothing can ever be added to or taken away from that which we are!

What if we could stand “outside” of the natural rhythms of life and just watch? Rather than getting pulled into and identifying with a story around loss and gain, we watch and witness the movement of energy in our emotional body. This neutral witness is grounded in being. It’s identity is as spiritual presence. When we know ourselves to be that still presence – unchanging and eternal – then the ups and downs of life occur, but they don’t shake the ground of being that we are. Our deepest knowing from the place is that the invisible realms always support us and that the Universe is the source of unlimited supply! Loss and gain are real for you only when you believe them to be true. Granted this is a paradigm shift in the way we see the world, and so it becomes a process of undoing and reprogramming the limited mind.

The witness, or neutral observer is our ally here. By pro-actively witnessing or catching the contracting energy in the mind or emotional body, and then consciously choosing not to buy into it we create an little expansion and an ascension. We are detaching from ego and opening to what is true beyond it, which is our divine nature waiting to be unveiled! It is also helpful at this point to remind our lower selves of our unlimited spiritual nature with an affirmation, such as I am Spirit, I am divine and I am always supported.

So, practically, this is how it might play out in your life: You seem to incur a material loss of some kind – the IRS notifies you that you are in errs and wants you to pay more taxes, perhaps. You can consciously choose from your neutral witnessing presence not to take it as a loss. Rather, you can choose to step out of an egoic response and see it as a temporary ebb in the flow, reminding yourself that the Universe has your back, always. You have faith because you know that the tide will turn eventually, and, especially, if you are able to remain open and centered and not contract emotionally, it will happen sooner rather than later!

Negative emotions will also feel like a loss to the ego.The entire structure of our emotional body is based on negative and positive, loss and gain. So even the slightest drop of our awareness into negativity, say self-doubt, perhaps, will register as a loss. Unless we are able to witness it! If we can catch self-doubt as it slips into our awareness and detach from the story we are telling ourselves about it, we won’t make it real and unconsciously feed energy in to it. We can, instead, align with our center and allow all feelings, however negative (or positive), to pass through the still Presence that we are – never diminished or increased, but always full, complete and content in itself!

imagesBeyond our desires and fears, our anger and our pain a place of peace, equanimity and love awaits us at the level of the heart and beyond. In this full day seminar you will learn about the beauty and power of living from the heart chakra, or the spiritual heart, and how it serves as the doorway into expanded awareness and higher consciousness.

Our minds are polarized in nature creating the familiar teeter-totter of emotions that we experience daily. We may feel good one moment or on one day, then bad the next in an endless cycle of pleasure and pain. Over the course of our day together we will learn how to walk the “razors edge” between the ups and downs of life and begin to live from the still center of our being and from the love that naturally resides there. Our time together will include guided meditations to ground our new awarenesses.

Topics we will explore include:

the chakra energy system and the shushumna (the core light within)
the Human Imprint and the upward and downward spirals
the Neutral Witness and the path of the Middle Way
practical techniques for clearing the blocks that keep us from our hearts

The seminar will be held in San Francisco at a quiet Outer Richmond district location. Suggested donation: $75. Please bring a lunch. For questions or to reserve your space you may e-mail Gary at: garysnote@bluebottle.com

                                           stopping the spin II

In this full day workshop we will learn three powerful, but easy-to-do techniques for clearing the spin of the emotions developed by Leslie Temple-Thurston and introduced in her book The Marriage of Spirit. Based in the ancient teachings of the reconciliation of opposites, the Polarities, Squares, and Triangles techniques help us to clear our confusing mental and emotional states, gently moving us into a place of balance, trust and equanimity.

Sunday, February 2, 2014 10am – 4:30pm

quiet Sutro Heights, San Francisco location

This workshop is offered in the spirit of service by donation. Suggested donation: $75.

Please email Gary at garysnote@bluebottle.com, for questions and to register. Space is limited to eight participants. Please bring a lunch and notebook and pencil

“If you want to shift your life, shift your consciousness”.  Leslie Temple -Thurston

Paul, a student (not his real name), asked “why is it I get in so many car accidents?” After a bit of self-inquiry he was able to name how he has a habit of identifying himself as a victim as he goes through life. We could say he holds the energy of victimhood in his consciousness, and that this energy lives as an energetic field or aura that inhabits and surrounds his physical body. Through the spiritual law of attraction this field acts like a magnet drawing to him people and situations (car accidents!) that victimize him.

Front_end_car_accident

I explained that if he were to clear his aura of this victimization energy his life would smooth out greatly. As we dug a little deeper he also noticed that, although he spends most of his time being a victim in life, he can also act out its opposite sometimes. He saw how, when push comes to shove, he can also be a dominator or a perpetrator (the energy of the Tyrant)!

Duality is the operating system that runs consciousness for most of us in the world right now. It is a consciousness divided, and it plays out in our minds and emotions and, in extreme cases, in our physical world as dance of opposites, or polarity. Although Paul identifies primarily with the victim, he was beginning to see how he flip-flops from being a victim to being a tyrant, depending on the situation on any given day. Victim and tyrant, in fact, all polarities, are inextricably bound to one another!

Spiritual law says that any polarized state of mind will in time turn into its opposite; we cannot have one without the other… When Paul is in victim mode this energy dominates his reality, and that’s all he can see. He feels small, inconsequential, needy and deprived. But his tyrant didn’t go anywhere! This character is just not conscious to him, and what is not in the conscious mind lives in the unconscious. Similarly, when Paul is acting out his tyrant energy, his victimhood lies unseen in his unconscious, nevertheless always present and eager to resume its starring role in his life’s movie!

The underlying energy that upholds and sustains the tyrant/victim construct in our minds is the energy of power vs. powerlessness, and like all polarities held in the mind, it is inherently unstable. So, as good as it feels to Paul’s ego to feel powerful, in control, and able to assert its will, it won’t last. Inevitably, tyrants become victims! On the world stage, they’re all too familiar: Look no further than Hitler or, more recently, Saddam Hussein; then there is Mubarak in Egypt, a tyrant to his people for thirty years. Now he sits in a jail with a sentence of life imprisonment; and we all know the fate of Osama bin Laden!

hangshoes

Because Paul is committed to growing his consciousness and  living his life from a place of balance, equanimity and inner peace, he must be willing to give up both his inner tyrant and his inner victim. Through a process of self-inquiry Paul’s work is to begin to name and own all of the ways he plays the tyrant and the victim, and to free himself of the exhausting and perpetual dance between them. He needs to make what is unconscious to him conscious, and then be willing to hang up his dancing shoes! He must make a bid for true power by surrendering both aspects of ego. Here is where grace will take over if he asks. In fact, it is the essential piece that will create an integration.

Paul’s consciousness with this polarity is boxed in by the seen and unseen attractions and repulsions he holds around it. I asked Paul to create four lists: 1. Why I desire to be a victim 2. Why I fear becoming a victim 3. Why I desire to be tyrant 4. Why I fear becoming a tyrant. What Paul will discover is that he spends some indefinite amount of time with the consciousness of each of his four lists before he inevitably flips to the state of mind of the next list, and the next, and so on in a never-ending loop of desires and fears.

InfinityAnimation

His flip-flopping consciousness between victim and tyrant is keeping him in a spin of opposites, manifesting adversity in his life and from the peace of mind that he seeks. By feeling deeply into and naming all of his desires and fears around being a victim and being a tyrant, and then surrendering them all back to Source, he will move into greater balance and equanimity with this polarity. And if he continues to scrupulously examine and release even the most subtle ways that he engages these self-defeating personas, he can be free of them. No more victims or tyrants need ruin his day!

How about you? Are you ready to give up the struggle between your victim and your tyrant? Your inner peace and true power await you there beyond all polarity…

I’ll meet you there!

This is a world seemingly divided into two. We have positive and negative, yin and yang, masculine and feminine. Good and bad! It is a world of opposites, of duality or Polarity. Life lived in polarity is a never-ending teeter-totter of emotions because in polarity we cannot have one side without the other. When we identify with one side of any polarity held in the mind we are bound to experience its opposite side at some point, as spiritual laws says “everything in time will turn into its opposite”. The opposite side is always present, but it lies in the unconscious. If we become ecstatic about landing that new job or winning the lottery, will that ecstasy last? Have we really found true happiness? Despite the relative improvements to our life, we will inevitably become disappointed at some point and the negative emotions we thought we had finally overcome will resurface. We just can’t have the ‘good’ without the ‘bad’. Or high without low!

Is there anything we can do? Read the rest of this entry »

I received an e-mail from someone recently who is beginning a new career that requires “clear thinking and efficient decision making”, but is feeling stymied by her continual self judgement: “the self critic (is) always on my shoulder, a constant turbulence beneath the surface… if I don’t have success over this, I will not be able to continue this job.”

Here is my response:

The inner critic that haunts you at work is an internalized parental authority figure. And this ghostly persona is tapping into a program of ‘worthlessness’ that was instituted over time throughout your childhood years. Read the rest of this entry »