This is the eleventh post in a series, where each Monday (if possible) I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during everyday life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.
This week is a little break from the norm, as this piece is written by my good friend and Masonic brother, Baruti KMT-Sisouvong. Baruti is truly one of the most enlightened, yet humble, people that I have ever met (he has even met Oprah), and his insights have never failed to inspire me, so I jumped at the chance to have him write a guest piece, because I know that his words will surely uplift and inspire others.
K = Knowledge and Experience of Self is the Greatest Gift One can give to one’s self, Family, Friends, Community, and the World.
In our very material society, there seems little consideration given to the underlying unity of all diversity. In a world that prizes the “toys” of the physical world the non-physical substrate, or self, is most often ignored. Unfortunately, the very act of ignoring this fundamental aspect of being a human, as articulated by philosophers, mystics, and sages throughout recorded human history, takes us further away from the very knowledge and experience which may prove of great benefit to all concerned.
In many of the texts and traditions of the many life-systems and/or religions the world over, and throughout time, we learn of an underlying or over-arching “something” which seems to be guiding the ship of human existence. Much like the rudder of an enormous sea worthy vessel, this “something” is unseen when we examine the surface of life alone; yet, this guiding force is ever-present. A simple dive below surface reality to the depths thereof reveals the silent and active presence of this “something.” Some traditions refer to this “something” as “The Source of All,” “God,” “The Field,” “The Force,” etc. In the grand scheme of things, the names employed to designate this “something” matters little. What seems to matter most is that this “something” has predominated human awareness and conscious activity from, seemingly, time immemorial.
As we consider this same “something” in relation to ourselves, it may dawn on us that the life each of us leads is based upon: 1) our knowledge, or lack thereof, of our self, 2) the world within which we find our self, and 3) how best to interact within and move through said world. In considering these three elements of lived reality, a few questions may arise. For example: “How have I come to be in this place?”, “In what ways am I creating my lived reality?”, “Am I making a contribution to others?, If so, what is it?”, “What is my experience of Life?” “Am I having a good time, overall?” ”If not, do I have the capacity to change my experience?” “If so, where do I begin?” Seeking to answer such questions, and many, many more like them will surely lead one to the doorstep of a new beginning. I submit to you, that seeking knowledge and experience of Self is a good place to begin your journey of conscious betterment.
Practically speaking, the question then arises “How does one gain knowledge of Self so as to imbue all that one thinks, speaks, and does with said knowledge?” There are many methods. Some are: deep study of the essence of modern and ancient teachings, prayer, the inner or sacred aspect of many martial arts, walking in a place where one is conscious of and absorbs the beauty of the One responsible for that into which humans are born, etc. In short, to reach that “something,” one may engage any activity which leads one to a space of no thought, thus allowing them to know the same and act from this fundamental basis. For my wife and I, we meditate. Specifically, we employ the ancient technique of transcending the relative world so as to experience the underlying unity of all physical phenomena; in some teachings it is, sometimes, referred to as “seeing the face of God.” As for our chosen technique, in this modern age, it is called “Transcendental Meditation” or TM for brevity.
While I cannot say, I have seen an actual “face” of the Divine, what I am able to report is that as I continue to experience the place, or space, of no thought and no sound, which has now become an ever-present presence, life is lived with great effect. In short, since learning this particular technique from a Certified Teacher of Transcendental Meditation on 25 April 2008, my life has become better in innumerable ways. My thinking is clearer, my speech is more precise, and the ability to see into the essence of a situation is almost instantaneous, and many of my desires are fulfilled before they can be fully visualized or vocalized. Strange? Perhaps. Yet, since my wife has had similar experiences, these things have become commonplace for both of us. Additionally, I am more mindful of my thoughts and their effect on my speech and actions, and life’s serendipitous moments have increased to almost seem constant. In short, as a result of consistently transcending the relative world to experience the deepest aspect of my being, that “something,” I bring to all activity the knowledge and experience of Self. With the knowledge and experience that there is something more and that this “something” is that underlying unity pervading all diversity, and is nothing but my self, for me, life becomes more spontaneously purposeful; in essence a greatly enhanced lived reality. Despite appearances to the contrary, each human has that spark, that Light, that “something” within; we must simply seek, locate, and employ It. The knowledge and experience of this “something” as existing within me and YOU has been a most profound reward of my/our seeking and is worthy of sharing; it may be said to be a Gift which will return dividends beyond measure. Read more…
The other day I was flipping through the channels, and I came across some sort of special involving Oprah. It was an extremely interesting segment, where Oprah was really opening up regarding her background, her spiritual path, etc. One thing that really struck me was when she asked the interviewer (and the audience at large) a very simple, yet profound question, “What do you know for sure?”
This seemingly simple question really got me to think about my own life, background, and spiritual path. It also made me ask myself several questions. First, have I really progressed, even after many years of seeking and practice? Second, have I really come to any greater understanding of myself or the universe than I had a decade ago? Third, is there anything that I can definitively say for sure?
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am in the process of editing a book that I have been working on since 2004, where I really explore the teachings of the eight major world religions, and discuss how I have used those teachings in my own path. The editing process has been extremely interesting, because I can literally see how my views and thoughts have changed, sometimes drastically, regarding God, the spiritual path, and even who I really am. There have been portions that even at eight years old still remain relevant and accurate to me, while there are sections that are less than a year old, that I have heavily revised and updated. Read more…