I think wherever we are in life, we are on the right path, because it is ours. However, I do feel like more guidance can be given, more help can come our way. With this post and its accompanying link and resource, I am happy and perhaps more than a little excited to share this guiding help with you.
(Please feel free to skip four paragraphs down to get right to the information on the resource.)
I have recently embraced the idea, understanding, concept, and reality of magick, whatever that may or may not mean to you.
Along with the intricacies of the term itself comes its connection with the sacred feminine. I think of it as a way to actively be with and work with the all-embracing nature of the sacred feminine. There is a reverence and an active agency, both at play, when working with magick, to my understanding.
Along with this comes the idea of divination, again, a surrendering to the mystery of the sacred feminine, but also an element of understanding or suggestion of wisdom for active implementation of the knowledge gained.
Here is where the resource comes in which I am truly happy about. I have developed an online approximation of a divination tool. It pulls from a story archetype which I have been using to inform my practice since its beginning. The archetype can be arguably found in the stories of all cultures of all time periods, and you may call it a way of living which honors the sacred feminine and ourselves.
Time and again I have seen how my own life follows this mapped out way of living, this pattern that author Kim Hudson identified in her own life and in the stories of cultures across time.
When I work with anyone, this universal story, this timeless way to go about being truly happy and fulfilled in life, guides me in the background, for all I do, because it resonates in a way a universal piece of wisdom should. It seems to continue to speak to those who encounter it and take the time to investigate it.
Without further explanation, please enjoy reading about and comparing your own life to this archetypal story, this guiding pattern which I feel helps us on the way to a fulfilling life.
The Virgin's Promise: A Path for Life
(Click on the words to divine the path.)
[Update: I have come back from vacation since first posting this.]
I wanted to share what you may have already come across before, but I am just about to head on vacation and want to share this here.
Many of the lines and lyrics speak to me personally, and I hope they do for you.
Thankful this is out there to share.
Please enjoy . . .
Music video by Katy Perry performing Daisies.
(c) 2020 Capitol Records, LLC
Although I had originally intended this blog post to be a recurring one which I would update as the global virus continued to make its impact on the world, I have decided I do not want to continue updating it like that, which would make it always be the entry on top of all others.
I realize in addition to what I've shared below that the fear generated by the virus has had some impact on my life and approach to living it.
In the spirit of enjoying the spring more now, being informed about the goings-on of the world, but not letting specific information about it influence me as it has, I am just going to share my thoughts below as a single blog post, complete unto itself.
Without updating it further, here are my initial thoughts.
I see what is happening as a doorway to true knowledge.
What do I mean by true knowledge? I mean that by which we know all other knowledge. I mean that by which the world shimmers and shines in a way which does not posses us, with craving, with need, with lack, with desire, with anything that grabs hold and becomes a tyrant of need in itself, needing to be fed, or nurtured, or placated, or given energy to, other than just allowing it to be itself, seen as the background of all we experience, seen as the other side of the doorway which has been opened, and continues to be open wider for us, for the time being.
The virus and its fears, which we find hard not to feed, become an opportunity to let go, as we try and cling to previous notions and ways of being, which may ultimately have not been serving us. We find, with perhaps not much effort at all, a way to glimpse what it is like to not have so many complications or created ideas, of what to do, of what we need to do, of what we think we need to do, so many notions.
The doorway becomes a relief from modern life, a relief from the struggles and efforts that may have ultimately been in vain, or perhaps truly are when seen in the light of how life unfolds and ultimately ends.
What really becomes important to you? What do you see as the doorway opens and ways and thoughts of being and living come to an end, if mostly only temporarily now?
What opportunity do you have which may not be so open again, to tap into a more clear and less troubled way, of peace, within peace, dipped in peace, the stillness of this night, from hustle and bustle, of busyness and all its ways.
What opportunity just waits there, coolly waiting, warmly waiting, to touch your face, reach your hand, perhaps embrace your soul, and let you feel a different way of living?
The doorway awaits you right there.
Truly living life.
Step in, and you'll see.
I am again bringing over sensibilities from another website I started, sharing the spirit of it here. This comes from a band I used to listen to when I was quite a bit younger. I will say this song, the title of the post, captures the opportunities presented to us in troubled times. I have mentioned doorways recently in posts, as places and opportunities for deeper discovery. I am posting the lyrics here before the song itself, which may not be to everyone's taste, of a heavier nature. But, I stand by the lyrics and am happy to share them here.
Long Since Dark
It's been long since dark
Sitting here bathed in the moonshade
Underneath a willow tree
To stare above, the sky is burning
The diamonds dance in nocturnal symphony
What does it mean? How do I fit into the scheme?
Why is there dark sky above, what does it veil?
Is there a purpose to the point
Beyond the norm we hail?
Reflecting on my future to come
Underneath the crescent moon
Long since dark, and my thoughts are flowing
And deeper still, beyond the cloak of unknown
Relentless drone, why was I put here, left alone?
Why do I hunger to know what will I gain?
Is there true wisdom without end
Or will I find just pain?
How many times do we take for granted
Simple things that make life sweet
Enraptured by material longings
We miss the point, we need to know, to see
Beyond our being, and in the void lies the meaning
Just as the dark sky above had spoke to me
The answers came so clear, then vanished
For a moment I was free
I am free
Songwriters: Warrel Dane / Lenny Rutledge
Long Since Dark lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group
Long Since Dark (Song) by Sanctuary
Into the Mirror Black (Album)
℗ 1990 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
[I have taken this post from another blog I started, in an effort to bridge the sensibilities there with the ones I have here. I am happy to incorporate this under the blog post category I have of Magick.]
I began considering this blog post by thinking of the importance of sacrifice in my life and its connection to the kind of power that means anything to me in a real sense. I realized that unless a mystical framework or theory becomes presented as behind these ideas, as informing what I have to say about them, my speaking of sacrifice and power would fall short or not be as fully realized here as I would like them to be.
When I speak of mysticism, I am referring to what I am becoming more and more comfortable with as my own approach to living and what informs what I am doing and value most in life: leaving the world behind. From an early age, I found more comfort in religion and spirituality, the reality this seemed to uncover, rather than anything the world might offer. For whatever reasons or circumstances helped shape my fondness for this way of living or this natural desire to more and more openly go towards these understandings, they have brought me to where I am now, and to me sharing here, and I am richer in life experience because of it.
What mysticism means is a way to discover what is outside the world, or ultimately informs the world, its origins, its reasons or ways it has existence. A mystic, which I am also becoming more and more comfortable identifying myself as, is someone who naturally and interestedly, perhaps I'll even say passionately, goes towards that experiential understanding of what lies behind all of this, the world, existence, any idea, concept, or reality that can be conceived of or that exists. A mystic then is someone who wants to merge with God, experience the oneness of the universe, or who simply wants to be real and live life from such an authentic place.
To be clear, when I say sacrifice, besides knowingly conjuring images of the dark practices of other times (which I am not endorsing here), I am specifically referring to our sacrificing a conscious sense of self, of our ideas of who we are, of our ideas of reality, of what we think we know and have established as real and solid and permanent in our lives and ways of living them. From my experience, of almost half a century now, as we start to lose our sense of self, we start to open the door into this understanding, of what lies behind it all. We are entering into the dark womb of creation, the strangely disturbing void, from our egoic perspective anyway, of an experience of absence, not presence. We are going into the place we can arrive at in meditation, a place for which I have found the practice of meditation invaluable over the years.
Addressing the idea of power now, gained from this sacrifice, we experientially know so much more, and I am not talking about faith, belief, or assumptions made. I am talking about the real experience of knowledge, and this knowledge becomes life changing, if that even captures the experience of ever having received this knowledge.
Buddhist ideas of emptiness come to mind, certainly came to mind after I had had this experience myself, which set me on another course of life. It so profoundly affected me that I am still incorporating or unpacking what I seemed to experience back then. I use the word "seemed" to describe the experience, because it is one characterized by my above definition of sacrifice, where our sense of self keeps vanishing and thinning out, to the point at which it almost does not exist--so how can we be sure of what exactly occurred, if there was no sense of self as we know it, hardly being substantially there to begin with, to reference and to make a reference back to what may have been experienced?
Power comes from understanding how nothing really has the substance you once thought it did. This knowledge as power can be recalled and be realized whenever the world may be encroaching upon you again and again. This does not become a practice of not facing reality or not dealing with what becomes presented in everyday life. Very personally for me this becomes a way to find the root of all reality again, to not only see and experience the absence of self in going there, but also the oncoming bliss that can be uncovered from that absence. It is almost as if while the experience of that peace of annihilation is ongoing, in which we are released from the bondage of having to perpetuate again and again our attachments and obligations and responsibilities in everyday life, love certainly does rush in, constituting the bliss often mentioned and referenced in spiritual practices. As maybe the most precious taste I could ever reference, as perhaps the very reason I call myself a mystic, the best way to describe this experience is to encourage and point out such self-removing practices as meditation. When you return over and over again to the knowledge and power that enemies and obstacles in your world ultimately have no existence, no substance like you had originally thought, that you are out beyond them, actually at the root of it all, what made them to begin with, you have released yourself into the bliss-peace-lovingness of ultimate existence, and upon any return to the world, after such a self-sacrificing experience, I have found that answers do become clearer, and the remedies for the world do become easier to implement. The insubstantiality of this place and your experienced sense of a loss of self, of your sacrificing of ego in going to this place to begin with, provide you with a new experience of the world: it has a less substantial reality than you remembered.
The continued practice of this sacrifice of ego and the knowledge which this brings, together these constitute the mystical path to the power I am referencing.
I am venturing quite a bit beyond perhaps the conventional blog post one might find on a therapist website. However, I feel like I am leading by example in doing this, sharing what I feel matches up honestly with me, and does also represent now a part of the work I do.
Let me tell you a story.
I used to be enchanted with all things fantastic and otherworldly, what one might find in a fantasy novel such as The Lord of the Rings or in similar genre tellings.
There used to be a fantasy series of books, gathering the tales from many world cultures, called The Enchanted World, which fascinated me greatly, to no end it would seem, since I am still recalling it fondly, particularly a few books in the series. It was put forth by Time-Life Books, and the complete set was ordered through the mail, one each month, if I remember correctly.
I have now, it would seem, come full circle in my interests, but with truer wisdom, and experiences harkening back to what I had read about in some of those otherworldly tales from different cultures.
Doorways do exist to other places; there are ways to thin the veil between this world and another.
I cannot claim to have experienced what these stories relate or say, or even what some claim to be the truth of these other worlds, but I do know that this reality we all seemingly experience can shift more into the quality of another one, or the truer or more vibrant form of this one, which can emerge from the encrustations of culture which glom over our eyes and prevent us from seeing.
I have been reading books lately on portals or doorways, from at least three different authors, one of whom writes from her actual experiences of such experiences, she claims.
I think my intention in this post is to more completely and satisfyingly present who I am, as a person helping others--even by sharing this, perhaps I am helping through connecting with you or another who resonates similarly with what I am telling.
We may talk about doorways and portals to other places, or realities, as metaphors in works of fiction, but I think that what makes more sense to me now is that the words themselves have power. Yes, there is a spelling going on of a different sorts. A way to transport oneself, shift one's mind and reality, if perhaps just through language. But, how fundamental is language to our experiencing and reality?
I just want to share here that I have stepped through a doorway myself, a long time ago now it seems, and I have not been the same since, because the substantiality of this reality has not been the same; it has not been as present, in a serious or cumbersome or even burdensome way, since then.
What does magickal living mean then? It means the truth of those tales, whether they be of fairies or of other such similar places, because language has power and it does transport us.
We can and are able to shift our awareness, to experience life more in alignment with who we are, and what is real, in all its variations.
I am not putting forth the claims of flesh-and-blood other worlds here.
I am putting forth the power of words and imagination, and actual shifts in understanding and comprehension that can fundamentally alter the reality in which we live.
I do feel I walk in one world and the other familiar one we all might first come into contact with and be aware of in our lives.
I think magickal living for me personally is to honor the spirit of this shift in awareness and reality in reading again about such places, however an author may portray them, and to continue in the spirit of this knowing in the world we all seemingly inhabit every day.
I may also be bringing over blog posts from another website which I began, wanting to blend the magickal sensibilities there with what I have been posting mostly here.
I consider myself a mystic as well, coming to accept this term myself, after another first identified me this way.
It means someone experiencing a fundamental urge or need to connect with that greater understanding, whether you call it God, the universe, or however you might express it.
I think behind, beyond, and beneath, around and among, all portals or doorways, or otherworldly passages to other places, you will find this, what is to me, a precious understanding of this greater universe or God.
Or Goddess! (which is more in alignment with how I feel and experience this connection).
I just want to, and do, live life in appreciation of all the variations this vaster and unnameable magickal reality puts forth.
I think this serves in the enjoyment and fulfillment of life, as it is lived, wherever and to whichever places our own journeys, when we honor them, take us.
I have been counseling in one form or another since 2009, and if you count up the total of number of years, excluding time off from doing it, that counts for eight years as of this month, in December 2019. I thought it was worth acknowledging here, and to myself, and, plus, I like the number eight and its associations. In looking at what are some of the highlights of this time of practice, what I feel I do well at and am good at in helping others, you might consider this a relevant extended biography for what I offer should you decide to reach out for help and guidance.
I began by leading groups for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses, and I did this for about three of the eight years. What I soon learned and was told in doing these groups, in speaking in front of others, which I never thought I would do past requirements for class assignments, these individuals who have been through a lot in their lives and did not really have room for anyone not to be genuine or real, the honesty and genuineness I showed them, and the natural consideration I had in speaking to a group of people, let alone one person, to whom I had never spoken before, who had been diagnosed with mental illness, this seemed to be a genuine beginning in being myself and also being able to help others. Staff where I started said that the people who attended the groups appreciated this quality of genuineness, and they also said that these individuals, many of whom would most likely never be able to be off medications in their lifetimes, could spot a phony, if you will, and did not tolerate someone not being real with them.
So, I am glad whatever natural consideration and honesty that I value came forth for them, because I learned so much working with these individuals, perhaps some of the most real and genuine people you could ever meet, and it changed my view and any trepidation I might have had when it came to the topic of mental health and approaching those who might be truly struggling with it.
During my master's degree program, in helping individuals without pay during my practicum and internship, together lasting about a year, I learned the value of the genuineness I continued to bring, now having formally learned about its value in counseling, and I was able to bring a more focused and intentional appreciation of and approach to the methods and methodology Carl Jung used when helping others, how in helping those he and his supervising physician did at the time when Carl Jung's own career first began, helping those diagnosed with schizophrenia, this seemed to uncover many of the understandings of the deeper workings of our minds which Jung discovered, of our psyches within us, of the unconscious, principles that help guide and provide helping material for me in my practice to this day.
Leading up to the present day now, where I have been seeing individuals in private practice, I will say that what I have learned includes the following, although I certainly cannot say this names everything, which certainly would create a longer list than would be considered appropriate in the blog post here.
Boundaries, which I cover with anyone I am working with, includes how to address them, how to work with them, especially when it comes to respecting others. I learned approaches to this back when first starting out helping those diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Without self-advocating for your own boundaries, it becomes hard for any of the work which follows to gain foothold and make a difference.
Feminine principles, and by that I mean those which the culture does not honor or even dishonors, which include taking time out for yourself, being able to be a human being, fully, by being in touch with and expressing feelings and emotions, because as Jung showed in his understandings of the unconscious, those thoughts and feelings which we resist, persist, and then they come out when we least expect them, full of force and built up strength, and in the worse case scenarios, they come out with little or no control on our part, us being unable to stop them or express them in any way we would like then. Another principle one may call feminine includes any understanding or knowledge gained through not thinking about what is of concern, not working hard to come up with an answer. This may simply be called being intuitive, having inspiration, or intervention by divine grace even, or simply another way of knowing which we all have experienced, requiring again the act of letting go or surrendering to not knowing first.
What you are seeing here as well, my words, certainly can be said to be a part of my practice, the way I am able to share most often what I would like to share, to channel the best of what I offer in the spirit of my words: a quality of peace-full-ness, an ability of attentiveness, a trueness in consideration, and a genuineness in being.
Words matter a lot to me, and likewise, I am informed by my beliefs, which are more extensively explored in the blog posts under the category of "Spiritual," which can be found on the right side of the page or at the bottom if viewing the mobile version of this page.
I enjoy doing what I am doing when I am helping others, and I am glad to share, as I am doing now, in this helping process with you.
Fall has arrived again, although the leaves have yet to change. Rather than focusing solely on this season this time of year, I would like to share how each season may lend itself to a skill, a wisdom, which I find helpful in providing to everyone, which I try and do myself and will be reminding myself of in this post
Take time out for yourself.
This element of living, this necessary way to be healthy and happy in life, I do not think can be underestimated.
Culturally, it is positive and healthy to disconnect, from obligations, responsibilities, pulls towards others, pulls towards any needs one is feeling for oneself.
In short, without escaping from it all, the requisite downtime we all come to miss does not happen.
So, how does this look for each season? How does each season lend itself to this requisite downtime?
In winter, I think it may happen more naturally and be easier than most for finding this time. The weather gets bad and the roads are impassable, the snow plows have yet to make their way through our travel lanes, our thoroughfares, for getting where we normally go.
Not only that, but when the weather gets colder, when the temperatures plummet and drop, we naturally have less motivation to be active and perhaps be so actively around others.
Take these nudges and times to oneself. I think we are naturally made to adapt to the seasons, and winter lends itself certainly to this time away from our regular lives.
What about spring? How does spring lend itself to time away from others and spent with just our own company?
I think wherever you may find nature, I think wherever you may be inspired to see the life of the earth returning to its more colored and vibrant shades and splendors, this is where to go and be alone to enjoy this time, without other distractions from people or life in its regular routines and obligations.
Summer. Summer has many distractions, but it also can let us know the wisdom of staying in, lounging around, whether by pools or other bodies of water, or away from it all, perhaps to get away from the heat, the less than natural flow of our life routines, a time when vacations are to be taken, when perhaps we know culturally about this being the time to get away. But how about for the next time it rolls around, take a day trip or two, or plan a getaway for oneself, to oneself, so one can enjoy the variations of the season unique to summer? A time to be creative and get away for oneself.
Finally fall. Fall almost upon us now in its change of colors for the season.
We cannot help but start to slow down from the summer having just past. We feel the cold coming in, and we feel the adjustment, within our bodies, as our clocks are likely to change, setting time back as we approach this time of year.
The first nudgings and inklings of winter that come when the air first starts to get cold, this may be one of the best times of the season to stop and honor this feeling of slowing down, this change from the summer just past.
Slowing down, this begins the season of fall, and provides an opportunity for us.
Nature comes to present itself in its changing colors, perhaps a time to just walk in this transitioning season of russet splendor.
The dark seems to come in, the night comes up to greet us more readily.
Welcoming the gifts of this slowing, darkening, crispening time of year, this presents a self-gifting way to meet the fall.
Perhaps chilling in more ways than one, we can each come up with ways to be thrilled by the season, in solace or more enlivening ways.
Slowing down, let us be in mind to greet the season.
Wishing you all, in that time to yourself, a happy and self-nurturing fall.
Recently I came across a couple of passages, one each in a couple of books, which reminded me of my intention to more outrightly speak to my spiritual understandings in the work I do, to share with you that I certainly offer spiritual guidance in what I do.
In actuality, it informs all I do, and I want to share that with you.
I know, and want you to as well.
From the 1994 book by Vine Deloria, Jr., God is Red: "The severance of medicine and psychology from religion has only been a recent event in the histories of religious people."
Introduction by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos to the 2013 book by Laleh Bakhtiar, Rumi's Original Sufi Enneagram: "From its inception through the events of the so-called Enlightenment that occurred in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, modern psychology has fundamentally repudiated its roots in the spiritual domain."
I feel this and know this, and believe those passages to be true, and am careful in what I take in with modern psychology, what I may apply from it, never dismissing what helps from it in the process, but having an understanding considered spiritual as my foundation, that will always be my guide, and helps in my guidance of others.
My understanding, ironically, seems to be beyond any sense of me, but there is no way to prove this except to point to this experience of understanding or suggest ways to experience this yourself.
Understanding, real understanding, comes from a place deeper than we can be taught, so again, providing words and guidance to this understanding, using these very words, helps in trying to uncover this for you, but does not do it alone.
I cannot get outside of this limited sense of self, or remove it from your experiencing, when trying to communicate that there is something outside of us that preciously exists and is there for us.
Conceptually, you will always, or can always, take note that here is one person sharing his thoughts in the form of words, so how can I ultimately know that what this person says is not limited to this one person and this person's view?
Precious. Everything. God. Jesus. Kali. Buddha, with Heart and Mind. Tantric journeying. Not Neo-Tantra. Space. Peace. Love that just is. Insanity without. Sanity with, and beyond.
Behind all the work I do, I am led by a different understanding, a different reality, that to me has become the most precious understanding anyone can ever come to know.
I often involve others in creating space for themselves, and in this space, the fruits of this understanding emerge. They start to come forth, whatever descriptors or words you want to use about or around them.
Meditation thins the ego to the shimmering half-reality that it is. This undercuts all reality as we know it in everyday life. If we all perceive through an ego, then what to see beyond this, when it starts to thin?
This is what has always been and will be.
If psychology simply addresses the concerns of the reality known as ego, then this is a never-ending journey for lack of success. We want wholeness, in our bones, experienced, dare I say, in our souls.
Answers are beyond the ego; are beyond the ego.
If you think a brick wall with the thought of sunlight behind it is the reality you are working with psychologically, is the reality you are working towards in your process, and you never question the necessity or reality of the brick wall to begin with, then perhaps this is a crude way to describe to you the fruitlessness of psychologically working with only ego, or even ego so much as a reality in itself.
I am saying and always trying to share that the sunlight beyond this brick wall always is, always will be, and our thoughts of our own brick wall are part of the problem, maybe even the very problem itself, in reaching for this understanding.
What if I were to say to you that the brick wall has never been there like you thought it was, or may not have ever been there in the first place?
This is where psychology honors or begins to honor the roots of itself.
This is where you find that place of peace and deeper understanding within you, beginning to go down this path.
When working with others, I am not sure I can ever uncover a better reality or truth together with you.
I am offering this post as a comfort for times of discontentment and difficulty. I am sharing my understandings for what I feel I know, to a large extent, reality to be. If you find yourself relating to these descriptions, then take comfort. You have been brushing with reality, or ultimate reality, and you may not have even known it.
This post presupposes an underlying layer of the universe which helps make up all of its parts, its possibilities, its every conception conceived of or yet to be conceived. You may call it truth, reality, God, or simply the universe even.
Does there exist an unchanging background to all we see and experience, can experience? Does it provide value to speculate on this, think about it, or come up with reasons for seeking such an understanding in the first place?
Let me share my understanding of what this reality may be, or is even. Then I may elaborate on the value of this, or let this come to you through your own considerations.
If we conceive of an ultimate reality, one which underlies all we experience, then for me I have not found a better explanation for this than in Hindu thought and philosophy, namely, in Advaita Vedanta, as put forth by Swami Vivekananda, in alignment with his teacher, Sri Ramakrishna.
What follows has been shaped largely by their understandings.
First, let us take up the consideration of this world, where we experience the phenomena of the senses, this world which we may consider to be our most easily understood version of reality.
Vedanta calls this a world of duality, a reality of duality, not ultimate reality, which I will refer to later.
We know everything in the context of at least one other thing. We see because one thing is next to another. If it were not, how could we see it to begin with, because then we would experience seeing only one thing?
We smell something in the absence of that smell in what came before, and another smell, or the lack of that first smell, occurs in what comes after.
Whether you speak of before or after in an experience of time, or in an experience of any of the five senses, there has to be a different experience before and after the experience occurring, or else there would be no experience at all to begin with.
Take the example of touching someone's arm: there is a moment of time before you are touching and experiencing this person's arm; there is the experience of touching this person's arm; and then there is the experience after you have touched this person's arm when you are no longer touching it. You need the experience of not touching it to begin with to experience the actual touching of it at all.
This illustrates how an experience of before and after sets up these two types of experiences, the experience of touching, and not touching, and how the experience of touching cannot exist without the experience of not touching before it.
All experiences depend on this duality, if you will, of time-related experiencing. We cannot have one experience without the experience of its absence as well, or without another and different experience being experienced right before or after the experience we are referring to.
We experience phenomena because there are different ones to experience, not just because there is no experience and then there is one. We know black because we know other colors besides black. We need just one other color to be experienced to be able to experience seeing the color black. If there were no other color to be experienced, ever, then we would not experience black, because there would be no understanding of color to begin with, and we would not be able to experience seeing anything different.
If you think about any one of the five senses and any possible experience of it, you will find that any single experience of that sense depends on the absence of that experience, or the experience of something different with that same sense right before that experience.
This then becomes the explanation of living in a world of duality, a reality in which nothing alone can said to be all-pervasive or eternal, in which nothing can be experienced which does not rely on another experience to begin with.
Where does it all come from though? Does this seem a valid question? What would an ultimate reality underneath all reality be like?
If an ultimate reality were to be speculated, it would seem to me to be not dependent on any other. No other experience should be required for it to be there.
In other words, ultimate reality is non-dual, without duality.
Qualities you may experience when reaching this understanding: your sense of self disappears, you are dissolving experience away from a separation of yourself and that which is experienced, one form of duality--you are beginning to lose a sense of separate identity as you approach this ultimate experience of reality underlying it all; your sense of time disappears, you are experiencing reality not dependent on another, where no sequencing of before or after is required since you are approaching the one experience all-pervasive, by definition one without a second, no time required for two or dual experiences; your sense of worldly concern vanishes, you experience that which allows all reality to be, where you are not present and time no longer matters, or exists--in your experiencing of this, ironically when your sense of self is not there, you are not separate from anything or anyone, you experience truth underlying and informing all existence, existence that ever was, will be, or is.
Meditation helps bring you to this understanding, and if you take notice of or recollect past meditations, you may find these qualities having been there or started to emerge.
Devotion to your own understanding of your higher power, or God, or even some general sense of the universe, which we may emotionally feel a connection to within ourselves, devotion can play a role in bringing us to these experiences of dissolving into something greater than ourselves, beyond us.
Reasoning, as briefly begun above, or even in the realms of science, quantum physics coming to mind, our minds are our pathways to these experiences of such an understanding as well.
I believe in these experiences. I have had these experiences.
I imagine that you at some point have come across these experiences in your own life too.
These are what set us on a different path of living life.
These are what give us glimpses of ourselves beyond the everyday world, of limited duality.
I think the value in all of this, you can come to explore.
I know the value in all of this informs the work I do.
May they ever be of comfort and of curiosity, such non-dual experiencing for you.
Mark Newlon, feeling the embrace of the sacred feminine daily!
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