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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Army of Christ - New Group of World Servers

Many thousands of people are celebrating this week, from December twenty-second to the twenty-ninth, the New Group of World Servers. What is the New Group of World Servers?

This group is not a political group, nor is it a religious group. It does not belong to any religion, any party. It does not even have a name. The people who are in the New Group of World Servers do not even know that is their name. It is a very interesting group.

How are we going to know these people? These people have no dogma, no doctrine, and they do not belong to any church, any party. They do not put labels on their forehead and say, “I am this, I am that.” We can know them by one thing: “By the fruits of them you will know.” What are their fruits? Their fruits are love, light, and beauty. If a man, or a woman, is working for light, to increase the light in the world, the light in his consciousness, in his family, in his group, in his nation, and in humanity, he is a member of the New Group of World Servers. When he is trying to increase the light with light, love, and beauty, these three things, he is a member of the New Group of World Servers. You can know them.

...the New Group of World Servers takes its inspiration from the Higher Worlds, from the Hierarchy. Their power is increasing from the Renaissance until today, thousand, ten thousand times. In every department of human nature, especially now in the young people, you can find a strong drive for life, a strong drive for global love and right relationships, a strong drive toward beauty. We can see it everywhere increasing, and eventually the balance will be shifted, and the New Group of World Servers will be able to bring to life greater light, greater love, and greater beauty.

We are told that the members of the New Group of World Servers know that, in every department of human endeavor, even in politics, in religion, in the darkest churches or religious organizations, which are so narrow, they are living in a little candlelight. They cannot see beyond that. Yet the New Group of World Servers is increasing. The increase of the New Group of World Servers is the hope of humanity.

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The Teachings of Christ, Vol. 2, pp. 181-183.

***The Teachings of Christ is a series of four volumes on the deeper meaning of the work of Christ, including birth and Christmas, Resurrection, Parables and stories, and how to use the Teachings of Christ for transforming our life.

***Torkom’s Legacy continues to thrive through your generous donations. Donate online here...
Please read Gita Saraydarian's End of the Year letter to see the great strides TSG Foundation has made in 2012. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World

Are you using knowledge, or is knowledge using you?

There are 360 degrees of possibilities surrounding you. This point – this now – is your potential. To move forward in any direction is to make a choice; you say yes to something and no to all else. This is true regardless of whether or not you are aware of the infinite possibilities in each moment….

The more attached you are to something, the more your vision is obscured and narrowed, sometimes to the point where you are convinced that there is only one way to proceed. Your attachment to a belief cuts off your ability to let go of attachments that no longer work for you, your options seem to grow and expand. But what you are really doing is increasing your perspective, as all possibilities are there all along.
We have all unwittingly made agreements about how we choose to live our lives and what we believe our personal truths are.

But what we may not realize is that each one of these agreements represents an attachment, a limiting filter on who we think we are, and what the future could hold.

We call these attachments “knowledge” without ever questioning if that knowledge is necessarily true for us.

If you are looking through life and translating it as it goes along, you will miss out on living it. Your knowledge has to become a tool that you will use to guide you through life but that can also be put aside, do not let knowledge translate everything you experience….

Level One: The Authentic Self
We are living beings regardless of our knowledge, which exists only because we exist. The Authentic Self is a name given to that living being that is the full potential of life. It is the name that describes the force that not only animates our body, but also gives life to our mind and our soul. The Authentic Self is always present, and it is only our attachment that keeps us from remembering this is who we really are.

Level two: Preference
We use knowledge as the tool by which we engage our preferences in life. At the second level of attachment, we move with the awareness of the Authentic Self and recognize our ability to invest ourselves in something the form of an attachment as we engage in the present moment. We are still able to let go of the attachment when the moment has passed. Seeing ourselves as a reflection of life in the Dream of the Planet, we attach ourselves with ease, and detachment is simply recognizing and letting go of that reflection.

Level three: Identity
We identify myself with our knowledge; we use it to see and understand the world. Identity is the grounding sense of self that allows us to have our place in the Dream of the Planet, giving us a point of reference by which we engage other people. But this identity is a mask that blurs our awareness of the Authentic Self, and attachment at this level means we identify ourselves with our knowledge and forget that it is a mask.

Level four: Internalization
Our identity, in the form of knowledge, gives us the rules and guidelines by which we live our lives. In the Toltec tradition, this is known as Domestication. This level of attachment to knowledge means our identity has become the model by which we accept ourselves. Our sense of self comes directly from our beliefs. Our will is subjugated by the need to fit in with our Personal Dream and the Dream of the Planet, and though our mask may not be in the form of our passion, we will wear whatever mask we think we need to be accepted.

Level five: Fanaticism
Our knowledge controls our every action. We hold beliefs as more important than human life. Fanaticism describes a rigid attachment to knowledge with an excessive intolerance of opposing views. Anything that contradicts or puts into question a fanatic’s beliefs is a direct threat—and they will defend the belief at any cost. Prejudice, intolerance, and violence are the instruments by which the belief is imposed onto the Dream of the Planet.

It is easier for us to attribute a power to something outside ourselves than it is for us to see that we are the power that gives things in our world life. We are the ones responsible for ourselves and our reality. We are the creators of our own dream…..The challenge I have for you is to change your agreement, to see yourself as a perfect human being, and to realize that there is no object, idea, or knowledge that you need to be complete. You are perfect because you are alive in this present moment, transforming continuously with life.

  • Become aware of how you confuse what you know for who you are 
  • Gain awareness of how your attachments have created your reality 
  • Stop creating your identity based on the opinions and judgments of others around you 
  • Let go of the fear of what you are without your beliefs 
  • Take back your power 
  • Make new Agreements that are more in line with your true Authentic Self

- Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to Overcome Vanity — If you can catch it!

Vanity is a thought-form of the false image of ourselves, and we literally live, move, and have our being in this image. Our mental body is empty of ourselves, as we are somewhere else, or in something else.
A vanity is a false image that we build about ourselves and then accept as ourselves. We operate in that false self. We think, speak, and act conditioned by that false self, and because we are identified with that false self, it is very difficult for us to know about the situation and detach ourselves from that false self.

Major vanities are:

You think you know things, but in reality you do not.
You think you have things, which in reality you do not.
You think you can do certain things, which in reality you cannot.
You think you have attained certain spiritual heights, which in reality you have not.1Whenever you feel proud of yourself and are full of vanity, consider the following:

1. Stop and think if there is someone better than you.
2. Stop and think if you can do better than before.
3. Stop and think if you can be better than before.
4. Stop and think if you can know more than before.
5. Stop and think how much you do not know and how many lives it will take before you are really somebody.
6. Read the life stories of great leaders, scientists, saviors, writers and reformers.
7. Visit museums and art galleries.
8. Go to the mountains and climb them.
9. Watch the midnight sky.
10. Think about great geniuses who have brought changes in human culture and civilization.
11. Take a retreat in the mountains and try to survive for twenty days.
12. Read physics and astronomy.
13. Remember how many times you failed.
14. Try to be aware of all who are more advanced than yourself.

Vanity tries to close our memory and makes us feel that we have never failed or done any wrong. If one diligently works on the above fourteen points, he will begin seeing the ugliness of his vanity and practice more discipline to annihilate it. 2
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1. Challenge for Discipleship, p. 147.
2. Spiritual Regeneration, p.206.
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Questions and Answers

How do we overcome Ego?

We overcome ego by thinking how imperfect we are. I used to do this. My ego would say, "Oh, you are great." One day when I felt so great, I went to my car and couldn't see why it wouldn't start. I said to myself. "You are a nut."

Seeing how many things you need to improve in yourself and reach your vision makes you increasingly humble. I once read a story about Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. When victory for the allied nations seemed assured, they became so proud of what they were doing. One day Roosevelt took Truman's hand and we to the balcony of the White House and said, "Let's watch the sky." After looking at they stars for a few minutes, they looked at each other and asked, "What is our greatness?"

You are a piece of dust in space. Who are we to have ego. Ego is not a psychological state of consciousness. Ego is a sickness like cancer and tumors. Get rid of it before it expresses itself in the body.

How do we increase our gratitude?

Gratitude increases when we see how life brought us to the stage where we are. Everyone and everything in life is helping us to be what we are physically, emotionally, and mentally. Think how many millions of people are working to educate you and how many people are making your life very difficult so that your shell is cut and the fruit is revealed!

Can you give an example of how you would work with someone in the present to get rid of past pain?

We are doing this through joy exercises. When something happens in your childhood and you remember it, you can become a child in your visualization and work it out. You contact the real child who is in pain, and create the new child who has found his or her joy.

When you re-experience your joy in an event of your childhood, you release the encapsulated joy and spread it into your present consciousness. The release of joy destroys the shells of pain and suffering encapsulating with joy. You have thousands of encapsulating joys. When you release them, you gradually fill your nature with joy. This fire of joy annihilates the formations of pain and suffering.

- Torkom Saraydarian (Happiness, Joy & Bliss).

Happiness, Joy & Bliss

The human soul has three aspects.
One if them is happiness.
The next one is joy.
The third one is bliss.

Happiness corresponds to light.
Joy corresponds to love.
Bliss corresponds to willpower.

Again, happiness corresponds to the knowledge petals of the Chalice.
Joy corresponds to the love petals.
Bliss corresponds to the sacrifice petals.

Happiness can be secured by observing the Law of Economy.
Joy can be secured by observing the Law of Attraction and Repulsion.
Bliss can be secured by observing the Law of Synthesis.

Happiness is related to personality.
Joy is related to the soul.
Bliss is related to the Spiritual Triad.

There is an inner Sun that is your Self.
It has Light.
It has Love.
It is the power of Life.

That Sun also exists in you.
Your Sun is the light of all your cells and atoms.
Your Sun is the magnetic power.
Your Sun is the circulating life in all your being.

- Torkom Saraydarian (Sedona, Arizona, 1990)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Crystallized Thinking

Those who are living in crystallized thought forms, traditions, and religions do not keep pace with the advancing life. 

Such though forms, traditions, and religious beliefs keep people retarded on the path of evolution and gradually create friction with the advancing life. This friction eventually reaches such a momentum that it begins to violate the laws formulated by the advancing life.

For example, the cruelties practiced by crystallized fanatics in politics, religion, or in other fields eventually make them confront the law and fall into endless troubles.

People who act through crystallization cannot generally change and be inclusive except by falling into trouble and facing themselves. Their misdeeds — viewed from the progressive viewpoint — become not only their judge but also their salvation.

It is observed that all crystallized thinking acts against the Common Good because crystallization becomes for people a shelter in which to pursue their egocentric interests. On the other hand, such people do a great service to humanity not because of their good deeds but because of their violations and J mistakes.

It is not easy to change the thinking of people, the laws, and the traditional ways of living by fighting against them, but a big violation of the law or the manifestation of a mistake can shake people and urge them to take actions to prevent future repetitions of the same mistakes.

Sometimes those who have done wrong are victims, but through their involuntary sacrifice they have changed many things in life.

The present method of dealing with wrong doers is to punish them. In the future this will change. Every convicted person will enter into schools of transformation where they will be subjected to various methods of a transformation process. "

People will not punish or condemn each other but will anxiously try to transform each other because, in the future, the intelligent people on earth will see that there are inseparable relations between all human beings and that everyone shares the conditions of everyone else.

They will see that humanity is one body, and the cells in the body share all that happens to the body as a whole.

In violating the Laws of Unity and Brotherhood, we impose upon ourselves heavier conditions of pain and suffering. And, because of pain and suffering, we eventually come to our senses and try to search for a way that leads us to happiness.

What we find in our search is nothing else but the Laws of Unity and Bfotherhood.

Some people believe that we need pain and suffering to come to our senses. But pure logic and reasoning can help us bypass pain and suffering and build a life of health and happiness. This will be possible when people will stand above their crystallizations and let the light of clear thinking illuminate their path.

Inclusiveness, tolerance, and sensitivity to new viewpoints and new revelations make a person a better thinker.

People often are afraid to think because they do not want to lose the crystallizations with which they have identified. It is through thinking with inclusiveness and tolerance that sensitivity is increased and new viewpoints are found. Sensitivity is the increasing magnetism of mental matter which attracts new revelations that create new viewpoints.

People must learn to stand above all their beliefs and knowledge. This leads to a creative freedom in which they can create a new self-image which is more progressive.

In the thinking process, a time must come in which the thinker will not be able to identify with his thoughts but instead will use them to meet various needs. He must even be able to destroy a former thought and build a new one.

When we develop the ability to stand above our thoughts, not only will we become better thinkers, but also we will see how ridiculous our thoughts were at certain times.

If one can discover how ridiculous he was on certain occasions, he can surpass his former level of consciousness. Humor is the moment of discovery of our former ridiculousness, preposterousness, and foolishness. With an attitude of humor, not only can we destroy our own crystallizations but also the crystallizations in others, opening a new life of freedom for them.

Thinking must be balanced by devotion. Without devotion, or the unfoldment of the heart, thinking can lead to black magic with dire consequences.

Devotion is the radiation of an unfolding heart. Through the heart the human soul tries to worship a transcendental beauty and serve that beauty by spreading its radiance all over the world to secure a world of freedom, joy, and safety.

Devotion thus guides the thinking process, making it .serve the Common Good and the transcendental principles, laws, and values.

It is not enough to penetrate into the laws of Nature and gain control of its energies. This can be the most destructive adventure. One must have direction, inspiration, impression, and a sensitivity to respond to the calls of everlasting principles'.'

Power destroys itself if it is not used for the welfare and progress of all that exists. Once power is used for selfish, separative reasons, the power increases your weight and smashes you against the rock. That is what happened to many civilizations which boasted about their knowledge, power, and technology.

It is the heart that shows the path of unending progress and the infinite glory waiting for all of us.

- Torkom Saraydarian.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Communication is Fusion

Communication is not necessarily a conversation, physical relationship, or being at a party, or even being married. Communication is a moment in which you fuse with someone and understand him, and make him understand you. There is a moment when you see his viewpoint and he sees yours, and you both see the common de­nominator in them.

Have you ever had such communication? If not, use your creative imagination and create one.

Exercise on communication:

Find moments in your life in which you had communication with people. You will see that most of our tensions, disappointments, sorrows, pain, and anxiety are the result of a break in our communication.


The moment you begin to communicate you find treasures in your nature and release them as sources of energy.

Of course there are many different levels of communication. There is communication with your Inner Guide, or even with your own core, with the cores of others, with a Great One, with Invisible Powers, and so on.

You can even communicate with a flower, a bird, a tree, a mountain, a star, an ocean, a river. See what is happening to you when you communicate.

After you understand what communication is, try to communicate with someone with whom communication was impossible in the past, and try to find what the obstacle is and how you can remove it.

Your creative imagination can do anything you want. Just use it.

You will find many obstacles to remove. For example, there is fear, or certain memories in which the person may have deceived you, or those times when you deceived the person.

In communication there is a moment in which you forget yourself and identify with the other party, while the other party is doing the same thing.

Trust and sincerity pave the way for communication. Joy illuminates the way. Freedom intensifies the unity. Beauty uplifts the communication to higher and higher levels.

People sometimes do not need time to learn to communicate. Some can communicate instantaneously. This is a sign that in the past they had close contacts with each other.

Communication is not necessarily the acceptance or rejection of ideas, visions, or viewpoints of people. Acceptance and rejection are lower mental activities. Communication starts on the higher mental plane and proceeds toward higher planes where people are not interested in differences but in similarities of goals and purposes.

Communication is the result of an intuitive feeling that the one with whom you are communicating is you.

by Torkom Saraydarian [Excerpted from Happiness, Joy & Bliss by Torkom Saraydarian]

                                              
Link to the book:Happiness, Joy & Bliss - Book Link

Thursday, October 18, 2012

5 Keys to Living in Balance

1. Know that the world “out there” reflects your reality “in here.” The people you react to most strongly, whether with love or hate, are projections of your inner world. What you most love is what you most wish for in yourself. Use the mirror of relationships to guide your evolution. The goal is total self-knowledge. When you achieve that, what you most want will automatically be there, and what you most dislike will disappear.

2. Shed the burden of judgment – you will feel much lighter. Judgment imposes right and wrong on situations that just are. Everything can be understood and forgiven, but when you judge, you cut off understanding and shut down the process of learning to love. In judging others, you reflect your lack of self-acceptance. Remember that every person you forgive adds to your self-love.

3. Don’t contaminate your body with toxins, either through food, drink, or toxic emotions. Your body is more than a life-support system. It is the vehicle that will carry you on the journey of your evolution. The health of every cell directly contributes to your state of well-being, because every cell is a point of awareness within the field of awareness that is you.

4. Replace fear-motivated behavior with love-motivated behavior. Fear is the product of memory, which dwells in the past. Trying to impose the past on the present will never wipe out the threat of being hurt. That happens only when you find the security of your own being, which is love. Motivated by the truth inside you, you can face any threat because your inner strength is invulnerable to fear.

5. Understand that the physical world is just a mirror of a deeper intelligence. Intelligence is the invisible organizer of all matter and energy, and since a portion of this intelligence resides in you, you share in the organizing power of the cosmos. Because you are inseparably linked to everything, you cannot afford to foul the planet’s air and water. But at a deeper level, you cannot afford to live with a toxic mind, because every thought makes an impression on the whole field of intelligence. Living in balance and purity is the highest good for you and the Earth.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Defeat or Victory

There are circuits in our mind which act as programmings and control our actions, words, and even thoughts. Some or these circuits are success-oriented. When they begin to be active due to certain causes, man enters the path of success and even attracts those individuals, events, and objects which guarantee his success.

There are also failure circuits, which unexpectedly begin acting in the midst of our path of success and slowly break our speed and introduce into our life failure factors in our speech, relationships, actions, feelings, and thoughts. Once these circuits begin to work, we feel a setback; things become complicated; problems increase; and we arrive at a state where two circuits in us carry on a strong conflict.

If a failure circuit is fed by failure impressions, we will fail. If both circuits are fed equally, we will struggle and go through a time of distress, conflict, and dissatisfaction. Usually, if the failure circuit reaches forty-five percent, failure is inevitable except if some positive interference takes place.

These failure circuits are formed by witnessing, hearing, listening to, or. reading about failure events, by having affairs with those who failed in their livesf or by accepting the attacks of dark forces, which usually try to impress failure images in our minds.

Positive circuits are formed in our auras because of success images, reading about successful people, relating with successful people, or using our creative imagination and visualization to create successful images and thoughtforms.

It is very important to reject any suggestions, stories, or thoughts of failure images. Seeds are very small forms, but soon they grow into big plants or trees.

There are several effective ways to fight against failure circuits:

1. Observe your thoughts, words, feelings, and actions and stop them if they are feeding the failure circuits. It is probable that such thoughts, words, and feelings sneak in through expressions such as

— I was right.
— He insulted me.
— It is his habit.
— I want to correct him.
— It doesn't matter.
— I can sometimes take it easy.
— I don't want to be under such pressure.
— It is too much.
— I need relaxation.

The worst attacks are those which use your self-justification and latent weaknesses or your jealousy or ego.

2. The second way to fight against failure circuits is to use your creative imagination and visualization and daily build thoughtforms of success, even using your temporary failures as moments of opportunity to put yourself on the path of success.

3. The third way is to develop a "habit" of gratitude and joy for each of your successes.

In using these methods, you will repulse most of your failure images and prevent the failure circuits from starting to function.

The same is true for our health. The cause of most of our health problems is the activation of negative circuits built over many lives. There are health circuits which are amazingly strong if they are fed by positive suggestions, trust, and hope.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Principles of Spiritual Psychology

1. We are not human beings with souls; we are souls having a human experience.

2. The nature of god is love!

3. Direct experience is the process through which belief or faith is transformed into knowing.

4. Since we are all part of god, our nature also is love, and we have the opportunity to know our loving nature experientially, here and now!

5. Physical world reality exists for the purpose of spiritual evolution.

6. Spiritual evolution (growth) is a process, not an event.

7. All of life is for learning.

8. An unresolved issue is anything that disturbs your peace.

9. Every time a single person resolves a single issue, angels rejoice and all humanity moves forward in its evolution.

10. All “becauses” are merely triggers to internal unresolved issues inviting completion.

11. Inner disturbances are themselves a major component of the spiritual curriculum you are here to complete.

12. Unresolved issues are not bad; they are just part of your spiritual curriculum and are an opportunity for healing.

13. Personal responsibility is the foundational key that opens the door to freedom.

14. Nothing outside of you causes your hindrances.

15. You create your future by how you respond to experiences now.

16. How you relate to an issue is the issue, and how you relate to yourself while you go through an issue is an issue.

17. What you believe determines your experience.

18. A life filled with acceptance is a life devoid of unnecessary emotional suffering. It’s a life filled with love.

19. Your primary goal is not to change the school; your primary goal is to graduate.

20. Healing is the application of loving to the places inside that hurt.

21. Loving, healing, and evolving are all same process.

22. Judgment is self condemnation. Self forgiveness is redemption; and compassion, acceptance, peace, and joy naturally follow.

Intellect and intuition

Intellect has the capacity to formulate, to appropriate and meet a need. The intellect gathers together all the elements and parts for a building, but it is the intuition that brings them together into a unified structure.

Intuition sees the future; intellect appropriates the future to the needs of the present. We need both of them; without intellect the intuition remains as a vision without any practical effect.

Intuition is the ability to see things from the viewpoint of the whole and in relation to all – not from the viewpoints of the parts , but in relation to the parts.

Some people think that intuition is a feeling, and this feeling is greater than intellect. This is not true.

You cannot create electricity through your feelings ; you cannot build a computer through your feelings . intellect is needed whether you have feelings or not.

Intellect transmits and translates the revelations of the intuition.

Intellect observes; intuition identifies.

Intellect explains; intuition knows.

Intuition gives ideas; intellect formulates the thoughts.

Intuition has the ability to see things without the help of intellect, but intuition cannot relate its revelation to the need—that is the work of the intellect.

So we must say to new age children: intuition is good, but intellect is necessary, and feeling is not enough. We must urge them to finish their education and get a degree, then work out their vision in practical and realistic ways.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to deal with Criticism well: 25 reasons to embrace it

“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle 

At the end of the day, when I feel completely exhausted, oftentimes it has nothing to do with all the things I’ve done.

It’s not a consequence of juggling multiple responsibilities and projects. It’s not my body’s way of punishing me for becoming a late-life jogger after a period of cardiovascular laziness. It’s not even about getting too little sleep.

When I’m exhausted, you can be sure I’ve bent over backwards trying to win everyone’s approval. I’ve obsessed over what people think of me, I’ve assigned speculative and usually inaccurate meanings to feedback I’ve received, and I’ve lost myself in negative thoughts about criticism and its merit.

I work at minimizing this type of behavior—and I’ve had success for the most part—but admittedly it’s not easy.

I remember back in college, taking a summer acting class, when I actually made the people around me uncomfortable with my defensiveness. This one time, the teacher was giving me feedback after a scene in front of the whole class. She couldn’t get through a single sentence without me offering some type of argument.

After a couple minutes of verbal sparring, one of my peers actually said, “Stop talking. You’re embarrassing yourself.”

Looking back, I cut myself a little slack. You’re vulnerable in the spotlight and the student’s reaction was kind of harsh. But I know I needed to hear it. Because I was desperately afraid of being judged, I took everything, from everyone as condemnation.

I realize criticism doesn’t always come gently from someone legitimately trying to help. A lot of the feedback we receive is unsolicited and doesn’t come from teachers—or maybe all of it does.

We can’t control what other people will say to us, whether they’ll approve or form opinions and share them. But we can control how we internalize it, respond to it, and learn from it, and when we release it and move on.

If you’ve been having a hard time dealing with criticism lately, it may help to remember the following:

The Benefits of Criticism:

Personal Growth: 

1. Looking for seeds of truth in criticism encourages humility. It’s not easy to take an honest look at yourself and your weaknesses, but you can only grow if you’re willing to try.

2. Learning from criticism allows you to improve. Almost every critique gives you a tool to more effectively create the tomorrow you visualize.

3. Criticism opens you up to new perspectives and new ideas you may not have considered. Whenever someone challenges you, they help expand your thinking.

4. Your critics give you an opportunity to practice active listening. This means you resist the urge to analyze in your head, planning your rebuttal, and simply consider what the other person is saying.

5. You have the chance to practice forgiveness when you come up against harsh critics. Most of us carry around stress and frustration that we unintentionally misdirect from time to time.

Emotional Benefits: 

6. It’s helpful to learn how to sit with the discomfort of an initial emotional reaction instead of immediately acting or retaliating. All too often we want to do something with our feelings—generally not a great idea!

7. Criticism gives you the chance to foster problem solving skills, which isn’t always easy when you’re feeling sensitive, self-critical, or annoyed with your critic.

8. Receiving criticism that hits a sensitive spot helps you explore unresolved issues.Maybe you’re sensitive about your intelligence because you’re holding onto something someone said to you years ago—something you need to release.

9. Interpreting someone else’s feedback is an opportunity for rational thinking—sometimes, despite a negative tone, criticism is incredibly useful.

10. Criticism encourages you to question your instinctive associations and feelings; praise is good, criticism is bad. If we recondition ourselves to see things in less black and white terms, there’s no stop to how far we can go!

Improved Relationships: 

11. Criticism presents an opportunity to choose peace over conflict. Oftentimes, when criticized our instinct is to fight, creating unnecessary drama. The people around us generally want to help us, not judge us.

12. Fielding criticism well helps you mitigate the need to be right. Nothing closes an open mind like ego—bad for your personal growth, and damaging for relationships.

13. Your critics give you an opportunity to challenge any people-pleasing tendencies.Relationships based on a constant need for approval can be draining for everyone involved. It’s liberating to let people think whatever they want—they’re going to do it anyway.

14. Criticism gives you the chance to teach people how to treat you. If someone delivers it poorly, you can take this opportunity to tell them, “I think you make some valid points, but I would receive them better if you didn’t raise your voice.”

15. Certain pieces of criticism teach you not to sweat the small stuff. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter that your boyfriend thinks you load the dishwasher “wrong.”

Time Efficiency: 

16. The more time you spend dwelling about what someone said, the less time you have to do something with it.

17. If you improve how you operate after receiving criticism, this will save time and energy in the future. When you think about from that perspective—criticism as a time saver—it’s hard not to appreciate it!

18. Fostering the ability to let go of your feelings and thoughts about being critiqued can help you let go in other areas of your life. Letting go of worries, regrets, stresses, fears, and even positive feelings helps you root yourself in the present moment. Mindfulness is always the most efficient use of time.

19. Criticism reinforces the power of personal space. Taking 10 minutes to process your emotions, perhaps by writing in a journal, will ensure you respond well. And responding the well the first time prevents one critical comment from dominating your day.

20. In some cases, criticism teaches you how to interact with a person, if they’re negative or hostile, for example. Knowing this can save you a lot of time and stress in the future.

Self Confidence:

21. Learning to receive false criticism—feedback that has no constructive value—without losing your confidence is a must if you want to do big things in life. The more attention your work receives, the more criticism you’ll have to field.

22. When someone criticizes you, it shines a light on your own insecurities. If you secretly agree that you’re lazy, you should get to the root of that. Why do you believe that—and what can you do about it?

23. Learning to move forward after criticism, even if you don’t feel incredibly confident, ensures no isolated comment prevents you from seizing your dreams.Think of it as separating the wheat from the chaff; takes what’s useful, leave the rest, and keep going!

24. When someone else appraises your harshly, you have an opportunity to monitor your internal self-talk. Research indicates up to 80% of our thoughts are negative. Take this opportunity to monitor and change your thought processes so you don’t drain and sabotage yourself!

25. Receiving feedback well reminds you it’s OK to have flaws—imperfection is part of being human. If you can admit weakness and work on them without getting down on yourself, you’ll experience far more happiness, peace, enjoyment, and success.

We are all perfectly imperfect, and other people may notice that from time to time. We may even notice in it each other.

Monday, July 16, 2012

How to Tell the Difference Between Your True Self and Your Everyday Self

It's important to be yourself. We're all told that, and it's true—we know the damage done by being false to ourselves and to others. But I'd like to suggest that to "be yourself" goes much deeper. Most people don't know how much wisdom and power resides in the self, which is not the everyday self that gets mixed up with all the business of life, but a deeper self, which I call, for simplicity's sake, the true self.

The true self isn't a familiar term to most people, although it is close to what religion calls your soul, the purest part of yourself. But religion depends upon faith, and that's not the issue here. You can actually test if you have such a true self. How? You know that sugar is sweet because you can taste it. Likewise, the true self has certain qualities that belong to it the way sweetness belongs to sugar. If you can experience these qualities, repeat them, learn to cultivate them and finally make them a natural part of yourself, the true self has come to life.

The trick is distinguishing what is your true self and what is not. If we had a switch that could turn off the everyday self and turn on the true self, matters would be much simpler. But human nature is divided. There are moments when you feel secure, accepted, peaceful and certain. At those moments, you are experiencing the true self. At other moments, you experience the opposite, and then you are in the grip of the everyday self, or the ego-self. The trouble is that both sides are convincing. When you feel overwhelmed by stress, crisis, doubts and insecurity, the true self might as well not exist. You are experiencing a different reality colored by the state of your mind.

At those dark, tough moments, try to get some outside perspective about what is happening. The qualities of the everyday self and the true self are actually very different:

1. The true self is certain and clear about things. The everyday self gets influenced by countless outside influences, leading to confusion.

2. The true self is stable. The everyday self shifts constantly.

3. The true self is driven by a deep sense of truth. The everyday self is driven by the ego, the unending demands of "I, me, mine."

4. The true self is at peace. The everyday self is easily agitated and disturbed.

5. The true self is love. The everyday self, lacking love, seeks it from outside sources.


7 Steps to Forgiving Yourself (or Anyone Else)

1. Responsibility

Tell yourself you will no longer assign blame for the action.

2. Feeling

Recall what the incident felt like at the time. Feel it in your body.

3. Labeling

Put an emotion to that feeling. Was it anger? Fear? Sadness?

4. Expressing

Write down what happened in the incident in the first person, then write it down as the other person. Finally, write it down as an objective 3rd person.

5. Sharing

Look at the person next to you and share your story, or share it with someone you trust.

6. Releasing

Tear (or burn) up that paper.

7. Celebrating

Stand up and celebrate the release. Maybe do a little dance.


Follow Your Spiritual Path.

There are natural stages of life and activities that suit each one:

Infancy: a dependent time, the basic needs being love, protection and nurturing

Childhood: a growing time, the basic needs being to playing, learning and physical growth

Adolescence: a transitional time, the basic needs being self-development, adapting to society and relationships outside the family

Early adulthood: a time for independence, the basic needs being deeper learning, acquiring an identity and deciding on a career

Middle adulthood: a time for increasing responsibility, the basic needs being for solid achievement, a secure family and social duty

Maturity: a time for wholeness, the basic need being to merge inner and outer life

Fulfillment: a time for wisdom, the basic need being to reconcile the deepest questions about life and death.

Get Over Your Negative Mind-set.

Any negativity in the mind must be worked through. The following stages are involved:
You face the negativity without shrinking or cringing.
You listen to what the negativity wants to tell you. You assess what you hear.
You get to the stage where you understand and at the same time feel what is inside you.
You send the negativity away and resolve it.
You atone with others as needed.
You celebrate and accept a self that no longer needs this particular bit of negativity.


Make Better Relationship Choices.

Certain obstacles are hindering you, and the list is fairly long:

Wanting to fulfill a fantasy.

Denying what is before your eyes.

Trying to reinforce a cherished self-image.

Buying into beliefs that don't fit reality.

Stubbornly insisting that your way is the right way.

Depending on others too much, or the opposite, trying to control others too much.

Acting immaturely.

Imitating your parents' relationship or the opposite, trying to have the opposite of their relationship.

Repeating the past because you distrust the future.

Projecting on to others what you cannot face inside yourself.

These are the big 10 ideas to keep in mind when it comes to relationships that repeatedly fail by falling into the same repetitive problems.

Friday, May 25, 2012

What Consciousness Is

Here is a simple way to think about consciousness:

Imagine holding a four inch length of electrical wire in your hand. Picture about an inch of the outer coating stripped away so that you can clearly see all of its components at a glance: the metal, any insulating material between the metal and the outer cover, and the outer cover itself.

Consciousness is every component of the wire and every aspect of its manufacture. It is the elements that evolved into the base metal; it is all of the knowledge that went into designing and building the machines that dug and hauled the metal and that is used in the wire factory; it is the science of metallurgy; it is the human intelligence that put this all together; and it is the current that flows over the wire once it is put into use. (Of course, it is also the “you” who is reading and thinking about this piece.)

You get the idea. The point is that consciousness is everything and everything is consciousness. It is the physical, the mental and the spiritual. And from an evolutionary perspective, because the physical predates the mental, and both of these are necessary to perceive the spiritual, the common conception of “spiritual” consciousness being somehow superior to the others is just not correct.

It is my hope that having a more unified idea about what consciousness is will add to everyone’s appreciation of how the universe is put together and what it means that we are all one.

Living Like a Window

There are several ways of describing and prescribing escaping the pull of Ego and the self that have been popular over the years. One that we use to epitomize gracefully letting life take its course is “going with the flow.” To go with the flow means not fighting the inevitable and always attempting to be at peace with the way things happen to be.

      Thus, when you encounter someone who seems to be just living life without overly planning it or trying to control the outcome of a lot of it, you might describe him or her as “going with the flow.”

     A somewhat more religious version of this attitude is “let go and let God.” This phrase suggests eliminating any attempts at controlling circumstances by allowing a more powerful being to take over. Since you cannot literally hand your cares to anyone, this phrase mainly requires just what the previous one does, which is to relax your conscious grip on things that seem beyond you and trust that you will be cared for.

     A comparable popular Asian expression of the letting-go sentiment that is fairly unfamiliar to westerners is “wei wu wei,” which translates as “doing not-doing.” This phrase refers to the practice of being so elegantly at-one with whatever it is you are involved with that it seems as effortless as just laying back and being still. As with going with the flow or turning things over to a higher power, the serenity implied in such a way of being is compelling.

     One more way of describing mentally stepping away from trying to be in control that may sum up what the effect of all such efforts might look like is the reflection “deeds are done, yet no doer can be found.” With this, the actor disappears in the action so that the outcome appears to have achieved itself. Such an experience is one that a participant may be aware of afterward as if coming out of a trance to discover that a certain feat has been accomplished and asking, “Was that me doing that?”

     In a sense, even if none of them actually recognize it, each of these phrases represents a prescription for disconnecting with Ego and suspending the self so that the evolutionary progression of awareness is unhindered. As all of them have great appeal to anyone who seeks a more peaceful way to go, any of them would make a great bumper sticker or would rate a place on the refrigerator door as a daily reminder of changing one’s approach to life.

     But, in truth, even with the best of intentions, for most of us a concept such as really letting go or doing not-doing represents an elusive ideal. There are two important reasons for this. One is that, like sound bites, they all contain an important truth in a compressed and manageable form which makes it seem familiar and eminently accessible.

     However, regardless of being able to handily bounce them around in our minds or in conversations about becoming mellower, they are not so readily transferred into action. As with most popular prescriptions, there are no instructions included. While it may seem as natural as falling asleep, if you really stop to consider it, there is nothing easy about visualizing the merger of deed and doer much less really turning our lives over to another being to sort out.

     The second reason is that an instruction such as “just let go” is basically at odds with Ego, and is therefore the target of all manner of resistance. Ego’s job is affirming and perpetuating the existence of the self. Therefore, it is only comfortable when it is running the whole show. If it had a slogan it would certainly be “let go and let Ego,” which means that, until we are really conscious of its workings, we are more likely to be in its control while thinking that we have control.

     There is something called the “wing-walkers’ axiom” that cautions: do not let go of what you are holding onto until you are holding onto something else. This is how Ego normally works. It just seems naturally unwise for us to not try to have control. So, when we do try to just give things over our minds fill with distracting thoughts and fears and what-ifs, and we find that as soon as we try to back away from one concern, we seem to latch onto another.

     Therefore, we find it hard not to watch the news, or check the weather. We keep praying that we receive help and release. We light candles and say incantations. We feel eerily superstitious about maintaining rituals and routines. We check and recheck, plan and go over the plans again. We resist delegating even when it would be more efficient.

     In the end, the basic functioning of the self makes truly letting go the most demanding of tasks. And there is a hidden irony, which is that the act of letting go keeps control where it has always been: we are the ones who control giving up control.

     We are in charge of the “letting” in the letting go. Even doing not-doing suggests the action of engaging in a process. And as we have seen, any supernatural being that we imagine who might take charge is also a function of Ego. We are trying to make something happen that really needs to just happen all on its own.

     The instruction to “live like a window” is a step up from all of these approaches. A window is simply an opening through which things flow. With glass in place, light, color, and all other visual phenomena pass. With glass removed, potentially anything can pass. Whatever might be present will just go by on its own.

    Living like a window is perfectly attuned to the evolution of consciousness. It allows the practitioner to separate from the grip of Ego in a manner that does not set off its alarms or cause it to automatically institute countermeasures. This is because there is no direct assault on Ego; in fact, there is no potentially disturbing activity of any kind at all.

     Being window-like allows the self to continue completely unchanged. It uses the self and Ego as contextual elements to play off of as a means to further growth.

     Window-ness suggests continuous, unimpeded movement; what happens to come our way is free to transit through. To live like a window means allowing the “flow” to pass through you. No having to let go; no turning things over to anyone; no doing anything. You are just an opening through which all things stream.

     The practitioner is free to participate fully in life while his or her conscious awareness remains independent of all activity.

(Adapted from “Live Like a Window, Work Like a MIrror: Enlightenment and the Practice of Eternity Consciousness”)

Recreation as a Psychic Development Tool

Here are just four of the many reasons why recreation is so important for psychic development. Read them, think about them and never feel guilty about having fun again.

1. Energy circulation: Any form of healthy recreation, such as playing a sport or a musical instrument, dancing, taking a walk, cooking, drawing, singing or taking a leisure drive, allows your body, mind and spirit to relax. As you relax, you loosen the aura and open the chakras. Energy begins to freely circulate in and around the body faster and more rhythmically.

2. “Re-creating” yourself: When you are engaged in recreation, you are literally “re-creating” yourself by purposely changing your thoughts from worry and work to focusing on fun.

3. Short term healing affect: The stresses of work and personal concerns are put on hold for a bit, allowing the mind, body and spirit a self-imposed short term healing and regrouping.

4. Shift in Chakras: Focusing on just work, sustains the energy in the lower chakra area. By engaging in recreation, you balance the lower chakras thus taking the energetic focus away from the lower chakras and shifting the energy to the higher chakras.

Think about the place recreation has in your life. Do you include recreation as a constant in your life, prioritizing it as important as work? If not, make some changes by including recreation as a requirement in your life.

Psychic Development Made Quick and Easy- Through Energy Adjustment

All you need do, is take a moment to assess how your energy feels. Close your eyes. Does your energy feel strong, weak, chaotic or balanced? If your energy feels strong, really alive and balanced, you’re doing well and psychic development should progress nicely on its own with little direction and focus. But, if your energy feels sluggish, chaotic or generally dull, you need to change it because negative energy is downward flowing energy. Few positive accomplishments, including psychic development, can happen with a negative energy flow.

Sometimes our energy can feel slow, because we may not be feeling well or we’re not sleeping as much as we should. Energy can be sluggish due to outside changes, changes that we have no control over, such as change of seasons. The transition from spring to summer, summer to winter can be hard on us energetically. Remember, as nature is changing, so are we. But if your energy is not in sync with the seasons you’ll feel energetically drained.

So how do you fix your energy and feel the vigorous and strong to take on newness in all parts of your life? A very simple way is by using utilizing the four F’s: flora/fauna, fun, focus and food.

1.Flora/Fauna: Getting close to nature is usually the simplest and easiest way to combat negative energy that is weighing you down energetically. Try to incorporate a brisk outside walk. The contact with nature is enough to change the negativity. Maybe try gardening. The direct contact with the earth helps to ground you and relax you adjusting a negative vibe to a more positive one.

2. Fun: Just smiling or laughing is enough to transform energy from negative to positive. Even a forced smile or laugh can change a negative outlook to a positive one.

3. Focus: Try closing your eyes, focus on the 7th chakra, visualizing that it’s open and receiving positive, healthy energy.

4. Food: The energy of meat and dairy are heavy, weighing down the body’s energy system. Simply by incorporating a natural diet of vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and fruit will lighten the energy making it more positive.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How To Deal With Criticism

“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle

At the end of the day, when I feel completely exhausted, oftentimes it has nothing to do with all the things I’ve done.

It’s not a consequence of juggling multiple responsibilities and projects. It’s not my body’s way of punishing me for becoming a late-life jogger after a period of cardiovascular laziness. It’s not even about getting too little sleep.

When I’m exhausted, you can be sure I’ve bent over backwards trying to win everyone’s approval. I’ve obsessed over what people think of me, I’ve assigned speculative and usually inaccurate meanings to feedback I’ve received, and I’ve lost myself in negative thoughts about criticism and its merit.

I work at minimizing this type of behavior—and I’ve had success for the most part—but admittedly it’s not easy.

I remember back in college, taking a summer acting class, when I actually made the people around me uncomfortable with my defensiveness. This one time, the teacher was giving me feedback after a scene in front of the whole class. She couldn’t get through a single sentence without me offering some type of argument.

After a couple minutes of verbal sparring, one of my peers actually said, “Stop talking. You’re embarrassing yourself.”

Looking back, I cut myself a little slack. You’re vulnerable in the spotlight and the student’s reaction was kind of harsh. But I know I needed to hear it. Because I was desperately afraid of being judged, I took everything, from everyone as condemnation.

I realize criticism doesn’t always come gently from someone legitimately trying to help. A lot of the feedback we receive is unsolicited and doesn’t come from teachers—or maybe all of it does.

We can’t control what other people will say to us, whether they’ll approve or form opinions and share them. But we can control how we internalize it, respond to it, and learn from it, and when we release it and move on.

If you’ve been having a hard time dealing with criticism lately, it may help to remember the following:

The Benefits of Criticism:

Personal Growth:
1. Looking for seeds of truth in criticism encourages humility. It’s not easy to take an honest look at yourself and your weaknesses, but you can only grow if you’re willing to try.

2. Learning from criticism allows you to improve. Almost every critique gives you a tool to more effectively create the tomorrow you visualize.

3. Criticism opens you up to new perspectives and new ideas you may not have considered. Whenever someone challenges you, they help expand your thinking.

4. Your critics give you an opportunity to practice active listening. This means you resist the urge to analyze in your head, planning your rebuttal, and simply consider what the other person is saying.

5. You have the chance to practice forgiveness when you come up against harsh critics. Most of us carry around stress and frustration that we unintentionally misdirect from time to time.

Emotional Benefits:

6. It’s helpful to learn how to sit with the discomfort of an initial emotional reaction instead of immediately acting or retaliating. All too often we want to do something with our feelings—generally not a great idea!

7. Criticism gives you the chance to foster problem solving skills, which isn’t always easy when you’re feeling sensitive, self-critical, or annoyed with your critic.

8. Receiving criticism that hits a sensitive spot helps you explore unresolved issues.Maybe you’re sensitive about your intelligence because you’re holding onto something someone said to you years ago—something you need to release.

9. Interpreting someone else’s feedback is an opportunity for rational thinking—sometimes, despite a negative tone, criticism is incredibly useful.

10. Criticism encourages you to question your instinctive associations and feelings; praise is good, criticism is bad. If we recondition ourselves to see things in less black and white terms, there’s no stop to how far we can go!

Improved Relationships:

11. Criticism presents an opportunity to choose peace over conflict. Oftentimes, when criticized our instinct is to fight, creating unnecessary drama. The people around us generally want to help us, not judge us.

12. Fielding criticism well helps you mitigate the need to be right. Nothing closes an open mind like ego—bad for your personal growth, and damaging for relationships.

13. Your critics give you an opportunity to challenge any people-pleasing tendencies.Relationships based on a constant need for approval can be draining for everyone involved. It’s liberating to let people think whatever they want—they’re going to do it anyway.

14. Criticism gives you the chance to teach people how to treat you. If someone delivers it poorly, you can take this opportunity to tell them, “I think you make some valid points, but I would receive them better if you didn’t raise your voice.”

15. Certain pieces of criticism teach you not to sweat the small stuff. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter that your boyfriend thinks you load the dishwasher “wrong.”

Time Efficiency:

16. The more time you spend dwelling about what someone said, the less time you have to do something with it.

17. If you improve how you operate after receiving criticism, this will save time and energy in the future. When you think about from that perspective—criticism as a time saver—it’s hard not to appreciate it!

18. Fostering the ability to let go of your feelings and thoughts about being critiqued can help you let go in other areas of your life. Letting go of worries, regrets, stresses, fears, and even positive feelings helps you root yourself in the present moment. Mindfulness is always the most efficient use of time.

19. Criticism reinforces the power of personal space. Taking 10 minutes to process your emotions, perhaps by writing in a journal, will ensure you respond well. And responding the well the first time prevents one critical comment from dominating your day.

20. In some cases, criticism teaches you how to interact with a person, if they’re negative or hostile, for example. Knowing this can save you a lot of time and stress in the future.

Self Confidence:

21. Learning to receive false criticism—feedback that has no constructive value—without losing your confidence is a must if you want to do big things in life. The more attention your work receives, the more criticism you’ll have to field.

22. When someone criticizes you, it shines a light on your own insecurities. If you secretly agree that you’re lazy, you should get to the root of that. Why do you believe that—and what can you do about it?

23. Learning to move forward after criticism, even if you don’t feel incredibly confident, ensures no isolated comment prevents you from seizing your dreams.Think of it as separating the wheat from the chaff; takes what’s useful, leave the rest, and keep going!

24. When someone else appraises your harshly, you have an opportunity to monitor your internal self-talk. Research indicates up to 80% of our thoughts are negative. Take this opportunity to monitor and change your thought processes so you don’t drain and sabotage yourself!

25. Receiving feedback well reminds you it’s OK to have flaws—imperfection is part of being human. If you can admit weakness and work on them without getting down on yourself, you’ll experience far more happiness, peace, enjoyment, and success.

We are all perfectly imperfect, and other people may notice that from time to time. We may even notice in it each other.

Friday, April 20, 2012

CONCENTRATION


People think that concentration is only a mental ability, by which you focus your mind on an object. But this not the whole story. Concentration involves not only your mind but also your physical, etheric, emotional, mental and spiritual energies. When all  these energies are focused on an object , you are in a state of concentration.

It is very strange but true that the majority of people does  not have any object of interest where the weight of their life is concentrated. The majority of people does not have an object of concentration, and their attention is scattered. Such people do not have any life focus; every day, every month, and every year they change their focus from one object to another, from one part of the body to another.

Dedication is concentration
Devotion is concentration
Enthusiasm is concentration
Faith, in its real meaning, is a concentrated enthusiasm plus the awareness of the future achievements.
A promise is a form of concentration
Consistency and stability are forms of concentration
Endurance is form of concentration
Nobility is concentration.
Another form of concentration is self – denial.
Heroism is concentration.

Enemies of concentration
The greatest enemy of concentration is doubt
Another enemy of concentration is the control of the past upon you.
Another enemy of concentration is cleavages found in your nature.
Another enemy of concentration is disturbance in space or in the environment
Guilt feelings destroy your concentration.
Another enemy of concentration is imitation of the ways of our adversaries.
Another hindrance on the path of concentration is emotional hang ups or traps.


How can we help our concentration?
Dedicate your self to a creative project, which will help humanity to free itself from all dangers.
Do everything you do with all your heart

Success = integrity + level of target / self-interest

Saturday, April 14, 2012

SCHADENFREUDE

There’s an emotion, a very common emotion, for which there’s no word in English (other than perhaps the extremely obscure epicaricacy), an emotion that is all about taking pleasure in others’ misfortune or suffering.

This may not be the kind of emotion that we readily admit to having, but who among us hasn’t felt it, and sometimes also acted as if they were not feeling it?

When those who have done us harm or committed a crime are clearly suffering, we may feel justified in taking pleasure at their downfall and might even do so publicly, but at other times we may feel the same kind of pleasure when certain suffering others clearly have done nothing disturbing or harmful to us, in which case we ordinarily are not inclined to show our pleasure publicly or even privately (or even to admit it to ourselves).

German has a word for this emotion: Schadenfreude. This translates as harm-joy. Many other languages have a word for it, but not English. We have phrases that hover around or hint at it, phrases that convey some of the feeling of it, but without the overt pleasure, as if we’re embarrassed to admit that it actually feels good.

For example, we may say, “he had it coming” or “I hope she suffers” or “it was just a matter of time before he fell” — these all perhaps hinting at a certain satisfaction we might feel upon seeing someone take a spill or go downhill, but not coming very close to indicating any real pleasure.

But Schadenfreude with a stiff upper lip or impassive countenance is still Schadenfreude. 

Emotional Literacy

Unjustified Schadenfreude may be our most ubiquitous guilty pleasure, more often than not springing (unlike arguably justified Schadenfreude) from envy, an envy that pleasantly dissipates (leaving only a dark stain in the backcorners of our psyche) when we spot the fall or demise of the envied other.

The tabloids on sale at most checkout counters provide an instant Schadenfreude high — movie stars without any makeup, movie stars messing up royally, movie stars down in the dump, their travails and

photos inviting us to look upon them where they are not just like us, but worse. Their fall is our rise, leavening us with tiny bursts of satisfaction and secret yumminess, like a chocolate bar downed in the mid-afternoon
whilst watching a soap opera. It’s a vicarious shamefest; we’re close to the shame, but not that close, so that we can see it and feel it without having it contract or shrink or expose us.

How quietly yet pointedly delicious it is to be on the other side of the glass. Someone else’s fall amplifies the fact that we have not yet thus fallen; thus does Schadenfreude give us a little hit of immunity, which in itself provides a small but noticeable shot of pleasure. A cheap and easily accessible buzz.

Much of Schadenfreude’s ancestry lies in the triumph we felt — and this goes back a long way — when the overcoming or downfall of others improved our lives in some way (and the better this felt, the more fully we’d participate in it). This can also be seen developmentally, when young children exult over getting something that another child clearly wants.

Being higher up on the food chain can be a high, despite the cost. As we get older and more cognitively sophisticated, our capacity for Schadenfreude deepens. Although we may still be driven by a certain core competitiveness and a corresponding envy, now we can bring in finer and finer distinctions as to what constitutes a fall in others, as well as dragging into the mix such potent ingredients as the ability to shame others. And if we ourselves can be shamed relatively easily, we may seek ROBERT AUGUSTUS  MASTERS to escape the raw feeling of such shame not only through attacking others — or ourselves — but also through honing our capacity for Schadenfreude.

Our sense of justice and our Schadenfreude leanings are directly related. If we feel that others have behaved unjustly, we’re more likely to feel some Schadendfreude toward them than if we knew they had not thus behaved. The enormous coverage given celebrity failings is largely fed by a powerfully pervasive cultural Schadenfreude. In this, major “news” networks are simply the Jerry Springer Show in polite drag, pandering as they do to the very same appetites of “less civilized” broadcasts.

There are many shades of Schadenfreude, ranging from malicious delight to sweet revenge to eruditely smiling contempt, but all involve an absence of compassion, coupled with an us-versus-them mentality. As such, Schadenfreude works against forgiveness, and how could it not, given how it dehumanizes the offending or fallen other?

Also, in the sense that it is a spectator sport — just think of Romans packed into the amphitheater for a day of rousingly entertaining bloodshed — Schadenfreude keeps us psychoemotionally separate from the downfall that’s providing us with pleasure. Thus does it disconnect us, even as it connects us to others who are also enjoying observing the same downfall.

Schadenfreude can be brought into clearer focus by examining its opposite, mudita (a Pali and Sanskrit Buddhist term), which basically means sympathetic/appreciative joy — the pleasure we take in others’ successes and achievements.

Many of us know this emotion in its purest form through the joy we feel over our children’s breakthroughs and triumphs, so long as we are not caught in living through their successes (which of course often means overemphasizing their doing well, thereby bringing unnecessary and often injurious pressure to them). Mudita has an open heart; Emotional Literacy.

Schadenfreude does not. Mudita does not lose touch with the humanity of others; Schadenfreude does. So what can we do about our Schadenfreude? First of all, become sufficiently aware of it so that you can name it as soon as it arises in you. Then bring your full attention into the actual feeling of your Schadenfreude.

Notice the contraction in its expansiveness; notice its overlap with other emotions; notice its texture, color, directionality, depth, intensity, and so on. Study it closely, getting intimate with it to the point where its arising
is just one more opportunity to deepen both your self-knowledge and your relationship with others. Instead of merely judging or dissociating from your Schadenfreude, have compassion for it and for the you who tends to indulge in it.

Everyone has some Schadenfreude; all we need do is see it for what it is, and not allow it to sit in the driver’s seat. Don’t worry about getting rid of it; rather, let it sit in the backseat, giving it some quality playtime with mudita.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Effect of the Author on books of Spirituality

"Click on Images to view a larger image"

Spiritual effect depending on the Authors

When we did spiritual research into this topic, we divided all authors in four generic categories. The categories were:

Benefit of the book at the level of spiritual energy of the book

The first findings are related to the total effective spiritual energy in the book and we measured this with respect to the spiritual energy in the words themselves, in the sound of the words and the spiritual energy generated due to the effect of the author’s spiritual level on the words and their sound.

This table provides subtle readings that encompass all books in general depending on the type of author



Footnotes:
In the column we have combined two categories of authors as they are similar with regards to their effect on the spiritual benefit of the book, i.e.
A spiritually average author of a book on a general topic
A spiritually average author of a spiritual book

Energy in the words (shabdashakti): As per the spiritual rule, ‘touch, taste, form, sound, smell and energy always co- exist’, each word carries with it its own spiritual energy. The total energy in the publication depends on the words used.

Energy in the sound (naadshakti): Again as per the above spiritual rule the sound also carries its own spiritual energy.

The process of gaining knowledge to write the book


Footnotes:



Important note: We did not take a subtle reading of a book to represent this category as it is similar to the next column i.e. ‘A spiritually average author of a spiritual book’. In most of the cases where an average person is writing a spiritual book below the spiritual level of a Saint, he will be invariably be influenced by some entity. This could be a lower positive entity or he will be affected or possessed by a ghost (demon, devil, negative energy, etc.). Whatever the entity the likelihood of it being tainted by negative black energy is high. Sometimes ghosts may give right information but coat the knowledge with black energy.

In almost all cases where a fake Guru is writing a spiritual book, he will be invariably affected or possessed by a higher level ghost (demon, devil, negative energy, etc.) as he or she is a conduit to misleading seekers en masse.

A Saint at the spiritual level of 70% would be able to imbibe 30% of the Absolute Truth into His writing. A Saint at the 100% spiritual level would be able to imbibe 100% Absolute Truth. This is why we look at it as per the maximum possible Absolute Truth that is capable of being captured and disseminated in word form. Finally Absolute Truth can only be fully disseminated if one goes beyond the written word.

Subtle reading of the book on Spirituality written by a spiritually average person

The following is the subtle reading by Priyanka about what she saw in the spiritual dimension when she saw the book written by a spiritually average person.


The process of getting knowledge and writing of the book on Spirituality by a spiritually average person:

On average the following are the reasons why an average person is able to get thoughts to write a book.


This means that when a spiritually average person attempts to write a book on Spirituality, on average in 70% of the cases he will also be affected / influenced by negative energies or some minor good subtle energies.


When a spiritually average person writes a book on Spirituality, the author himself is lost in the Great Illusion or Maya. He has an active imagination to spice up the book and the plot etc. That is why there is very little sattviktaa. All this type of writing has predominantly the influence of thoughts of Maya or the Great Illusion. They think all the thoughts they have in writing the book is one big leap of the intellect.



Effect of reading a book on Spirituality written by a fake spiritual guide:

The following is what Priyanka saw in the spiritual dimension when she took a subtle reading of the book written by a fake spiritual guide.



The process of getting knowledge and writing of the book on Spirituality by a fake spiritual guide:

The spiritual level of fake spiritual guides is around just the 50% mark. Hence they have very limited knowledge and actual firsthand experience of Spirituality. Due some past birth or present birth spiritual practice they may have acquired spiritual level. However they also have an intense desire for fame and fortune. This is capitalised upon by higher level ghosts who possess them. The higher level ghosts provide the fake spiritual guide with their supernatural powers and talents. It is easier for higher level ghosts to get their negative spiritual work done through a person at a higher spiritual level but who has ego. This in turn woos the average person and gives the fake spiritual guide a big following. The spiritually average person would not be able to perceive the difference between real spiritual guides and fake spiritual guides.

Both these factors result in them having high ego like a spiritually average person. Because of this ego and their siddhis and their mass following, it becomes easy and conducive for subtle sorcerers (maantriks) to have control over them and act through them. In fact it is the maantrik only who gets every action done through them and the fake guide is a puppet in the maantrik’s hand.



This black cloud represents the interference by maantriks in the thoughts coming from God at the unmanifest principle level itself. Because of the high ego in fake spiritual guides or Saints they do not get any help from God. As the source of the knowledge is from subtle sorcerers the knowledge is coated in subtle black energy. So even before a fake Spiritual Guide or Saint begins to write anything, black energy is spread around him because of the source of the knowledge and the subtle sorcerers (maantriks) possessing them. When a person reads the book written by a fake spiritual guide he too is affected by this black energy. Unfortunately the average person does not have the subtle ability to understand that he is being affected by this black energy. The average reader would read purely at a psychological level and hence be attracted to the fancy writing and sometimes end up being loyal to the teachings in the book and any further books by the fake spiritual guide.

In fact when 5 seekers were asked to visit this author’s website and take a subtle reading, the seekers had experiences of nausea, headache, not feeling like looking at the author’s picture. Also the colour black was liberally used in the website and his product lines. Black is actually a colour that is highly taamasik and is the colour of choice of ghosts for transmitting black energy.

Effect of reading a book on Spirituality written by a Saint:



Saints have the capacity to access divine knowledge from the Universal Mind and Intellect on the basis of their spiritual practice (saadhanaa) itself. They convey this knowledge to the average person through books. Saints do not have any worldly perspective behind writing a book on the knowledge that they have attained like attaining fame or earning money. Also they do not have the doership that Their book will change the world. They do so as Their spiritual practice as per God’s wish and because of Their spiritual love for humanity. This is so that people who want to progress spiritually have a roadmap for their spiritual practice so as to attain the final goal of God-realisation. Saints write books based on the basic spiritual purpose of life, i.e. to complete one’s destiny and attain God realisation. This is their only objective. All proceeds from books sold are used to help people grow spiritually. Thus they are in total alignment with God’s objective. Their books are never about how to succeed in the Great Illusion (Maayaa) but rather how to transcend one’s attachment to it.

As a result of this books by Saints are only popular with seekers of God. They never become best sellers.



The process of getting knowledge and the writing of the book on Spirituality by a Saint:


When books are written by Saints everything that is written is Their own firsthand spiritual experience. As they write from personal experience, i.e. they have gone to that evolved state of feeling Bliss or Serenity – that is why there is a lot of unmanifest Divine Consciousness (Chaitanya) in it. So when they use a spiritual term it is not just an intellectual exercise but something that they have experienced. Now from such a book Divine Consciousness is transmitted and there is Divine Resolve (Sankalp) and hence one experiences serenity while reading it. True Saints don’t need a medium like a subtle entity to get information.

The reader benefits at a spiritual level from the knowledge from the perspective of attaining his basic spiritual purpose in life. Spiritual healing also happens when reading books authored or compiled by Saints.

Summary:

Books on Spirituality are always targeted by negative energy when they are being written. The author’s thoughts are invariably influenced by subtle energies. If the author does not have a strong basis of spiritual practice he cannot fend off negative energies influencing the thought process. In fact he would not even know he was being influenced.

Authors of a lower spiritual level due to their ego and desire for fame act as beacon’s for ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies etc.) to act through them.

God does not help authors who do not do spiritual practice from God-realisation perspective. Nor do spiritually evolved beings in the subtle help as they are guided by God’s wish. So what is left are negative energies from the spiritual dimension that have a field day with authors of a lower spiritual level.

Unfortunately it is the readers that bear the brunt. Books written by people of a lower spiritual level and by fake Spiritual Guides/Saints basically lead the readers in getting more entrapped in worldly attachments and Maya. Along with this they also emit black energy which results in long-term problems for the reader.

Only books written by Saints and Gurus are beneficial for our spiritual growth. These are the only books that stand the test of time through the millennia. Please refer to article on 'Who is a Saint' and 'Who is a Guru'.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Emotional Life of Your Brain

Emotional style refers to how you react to what life throws at you.



Take A Quiz From "The Emotional Life Of Your Brain”.

Depending on whom we are interacting with and in what circumstances, there are different rules and expectations - for interactions with close friends, people you know only slightly, family members, coworkers, or superiors.

Noth­ing good can come of treating your boss like a child, or of treating the cop who just pulled you over like a drinking buddy, let alone treating a coworker like a lover. Sensitivity to the rules of social engagement and the capacity to regulate our emotions and behavior accordingly varies enormously among people.

You can think of the Sensitivity to Context dimension of Emotional Style as the outer-directed version of the Self-Awareness style: Just as the latter reflects how attuned you are to your own physiological and emotional cues, so Sensi­tivity to Context reflects how attuned you are to the social environment.

In the lab, we measure this dimension by determining how emotional be­havior varies with social context.

For example, toddlers tend to be wary in unfamiliar circumstances such as a lab but not in a familiar environment. A toddler who seems perpetually wary at home is therefore probably insensitive to context.

For adults, we test Sensitivity to Context by conducting the first round of tests in one room and then a second round in a different room.

By determining to what extent emotional responses vary by the environment in which testing occurs, we can infer how keenly someone perceives and feels the effects of context. We also make brain measurements:

The hippocampus ap­pears to play an especially important role in apprehending context, so we measure hippocampal function and structure with MRI.

To get a sense of where you fall on the Sensitivity to Context spectrum, answer True or False to these questions:

•I have been told by someone close to me that I am unusually sensitive to other people’s feelings.

•I have occasionally been told that I behaved in a socially inap­propriate way, which surprised me. 

•I have sometimes suffered a setback at work or had a falling-out with a friend because I was too chummy with a superior or too jovial when a good friend was distraught.

•When I speak with people, they sometimes move back to in­crease the distance between us. 

•I often find myself censoring what I was about to say because I’ve sensed something in the situation that would make it inap­propriate (e.g., before I respond to, “Honey, do these jeans make me look fat?”).

•When I am in a public setting like a restaurant, I am especially aware of modulating how loudly I speak. 

•I have frequently been reminded when in public to avoid men­tioning the names of people who might be around.

•I am almost always aware of whether I have been someplace before, even if it is a highway that I last drove many years ago.

•I notice when someone is acting in a way that seems out of place, such as behaving too casually at work.

•I’ve been told by those close to me that I show good manners with strangers and in new situations.

Give yourself one point for each True answer to questions 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10; score one point for each False answer to questions 2, 3, 4, and 7. Score zero for each False answer to 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10, and for each True answer to 2, 3, 4, and 7. If you scored below three, you fall at the Tuned Out end of the spectrum, while a score of eight or above indicates you are very Tuned In to context.

- Richard J. Davidson.