YOU ARE EVERYTHING…

THE STYLISTICS – YOU ARE EVERYTHING

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love-brainThe Stylistics may have had it right when they sang, “You are everything and everything is you”. In their hit song, “You are everything”, this single line expresses the central epiphany of human love… that under its influence, one experiences our true SPIRIT nature, i.e. our ability for feelings of unity and oneness with all things.

Ongoing brain studies try to elucidate what constitutes love… scientifically. We are gaining information through studies in “brain mapping” of neurons lighting up as they are “turned on” by an experience of love. Scientists have mapped many aspects of this complex system, precipitated by the activation and release of a mixture of reward chemicals such as dopamine and bonding transmitters such as oxytocin and vasopressin. However, all findings to date neglect to fully explain a substrate of the oneness that defines the spiritual dimension that is love.

Illuminating our understanding for the higher dimensions of “spirit realm” requires an awareness of how various brain centres work together to create a felt sense of inner safety together with a sense of inter-connectedness with others and our environment. Brain studies on the impact of our neuro chemical pleasure/safety system, demonstrate that when our safety and connectedness circuits are satisfied, we are better inclined to access vast swaths of unexplored brain tracts. When our perceptions of fear are quieted, we may enter a higher state where new focus on creative endeavors is enabled. Entering into a higher state of awareness opens our capacity to discover new, unexplored channels of neuro circuitry. As we continue forwards through our species’ cognitive, scientific, technological, and other yet-to-come revolutions, it appears our capacity for love may best predict the direction of human evolution.  

There seems an implicit link between existing in a state of “love” and entering the higher domain of spirit, where new neural landscape is available to our elevated vibrational energy. The spirit realm (as it exists outside of time and space) is lighter, brighter, and more effortless. It offers to enhance our odds for fulfilling our unique and vast inner-potential. From spirit, we co-create our destiny relative to the inter-relationship with each other and the environment. 

Spirit realm allows us to glean the meaning behind, “You are everything and everything is you”, as it implies “You are me and I am you, and as such we together are united with all that is”. One is wont to know this, without exposure to the effects of neurotransmitters and chemicals responsible for opening up new pathways. These channels of “love” await our discovery, deep within existing brain centres.

Anyone who has experienced the headiness of being “in love” (a significant difference from a more pragmatic definition of love as caring for another through ethical obligation), immediately understands the implicit nature of entering an altered realm, where all ordinary things are elevated to a new level of meaning infused with beauty, awe, and reverence.

Fear And Shame – Part II

Perhaps, the intractable pain and suffering carried by all past generations is an old legacy that can provide new meaning.

Perhaps, it is now time to acknowledge our struggle in effort to break free; purging ourselves of primal shame and returning to our original state of bliss.

How do we begin to address our painful legacy of buried shame?

Shame exists as an abiding sense of feeling flawed, deep within our being. Often regardless of our actions, we feel inadequate, imperfect and unworthy. It is no easy task to uproot long-held self-perceptions that are deeply entrenched in our circuitry. There will be no quick fix.  Building a new positive self-image can however, be achieved step by step through the intention of, and commitment to acquiring the skills of true self-awareness. Our dedication to self-compassionate inquiry clears our habitual patterns and cultivates within us a new awareness of appropriate responses that spawn endless new possibilities.

The quest for a better life begins through acknowledging the “possibility for change”. We are then free to accept personal responsibility for achieving self-empowerment through knowing “we alone can make right only that which is ours to control”.

By taking full ownership of our deeds, we confront our past inclination for denial of truth. Self-acceptance is a basic prerequisite for freeing our selves of the need for denial as a cover for our pain. We shift gears to establish our way along a new path; one where we are better able to convert shame that overwhelms us into healthy guilt that we can deal with. We move towards absolving our selves of past, self-limiting misdeeds by first facing them. As we separate our actions from our identity, we access truth by seeing our selves with clarity. We are indeed, so much more than the mistakes we have made. We begin to see the wholeness of our who we are, with compassion. By feeling true remorse for our misdeeds, we can then choose actions to restore faith in ourself, thus beginning a new chapter of compassionate behavior towards all.

Awareness, acceptance without judgment, and actionable responsibility are the key ingredients to enable positive change.

Even the smallest steps along a newly self-aware mental landscape will provide giant strides forward for ourselves, as well as for humankind.

The Garden of Eden awaits our return. We have it within us, we only need to rise above our human legacy of shame that implicitly separates us from truth of our birthright. It is time to take back our rightful place in the narrative of creation, radiating our inner-light over all beings.

 

Fear And Shame In The Garden of Eden

God then turns to Eve and asks her, “What is this you have done!” Eve replies, “The serpent duped me, and I ate.” 

Immediately after God fashions woman as a mate for man, from his rib as he lays sleeping… “The two of them were naked, the man and his wife, yet they felt no shame.” Their experience of ‘no shame’ occurs prior to the appearance of a serpent that soon tempts Eve to eat of a particular tree that God warned against doing. Eve informs the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said: ‘You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die’”. Her pronouncement of God’s decree implies that fear is restraining her. The serpent remains undeterred, and insists it is in Eve’s interest to have her “eyes opened like a divine being” through eating of the tree of wisdom. Compelled by temptation masked as rationale, “she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they perceived that they were naked; and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths”. Presumably, shame caused them to cover themselves. This then prompts God to first address Man, asking him “Where are you?” Adam sheepishly answers, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” His shame has not been averted by the use of a fig leaf. God then further asks, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat of the tree from which I had forbidden you to eat?” God then turns to Eve and asks her, “What is this you have done!” Eve replies, “The serpent duped me, and I ate.”

In further dis-assembling these events, we may observe that the entire series of actions begins with God observing that man was lonely without a mate. Averring this was not good, he fashions for him and out of him, a mate. Loneliness is the first documented human emotion ascribed TO man by God, even as he is in the midst of creation. As soon as God creates woman, we are told they “felt no shame”. Emphasis on what they felt not, seems to infer what we would otherwise expect. We are being primed to understand shame as an intrinsic experience of human nature, one that may quickly assert itself between individuals. Its nature is implied to be so overwhelming, that the only two naked human beings in the Garden of Eden succumb to it immediately. Shame makes its appearance as a readily activated, awe-inspiring, primal emotion.

Subsequent to the first revelation of shame, desire and fear arise as the serpent tempts Eve to take fruit from the tree that God has warned against. The warning, “lest you die” evokes fear in Eve, though it is quickly eclipsed by her newly awakened desire. In response to a single moment, fear and desire are irrevocably entwined. At the discovery of Eve’s transgression, God becomes angry and turns to Adam for accountability. Adam’s fear registers as he recognizes God’s rhetorical question, “Where are you?” to be an implicit fall from grace in His eyes. Adam’s fear causes him to respond by casting blame, “The woman You put at my side—she gave me of the tree, and I ate”. Now fear, desire, and blame are stirred together as one, diminishing our human capacity for self-awareness for all time. God finally turns to Eve and demands, “What have you done!” It seems her newly activated shame causes her also to deny responsibility, escaping her discomfort as she casts blame away from herself onto the serpent that she laments, has duped her.

Does Eve ever experience guilt, i.e. true regret over her actions, or is she merely stuck in her more primal shame response??

It is critical to understand the difference between guilt and shame. Sincere regret is the underlying experience of guilt. It can be affirmed by an authentic effort to recompense for a wrongful act. Shame is more difficult to allay, since it is an overwhelming sense of “being guilty” rather than feeling guilty over a particular self-limiting action. Being guilty has no beginning or end, as it resonates through to our core as being intrinsically flawed by nature. There is no easy remedy for this, thus a mixed sense of helplessness and grief readily follows. Eve makes no effort to repent for her misdeed, choosing blame instead. It seems that God’s anger at his most beloved creations evokes their shame rather than guilt, as it is inseparable from their very being. God, the Judge demonstrates his punitive character as He grants them little compassion for their wrongful act. He banishes them from His Garden (i.e. rejection), casts eternal pain through childbirth on (all) woman (dissociation), leaves (all) man to toil throughout their lives in order to eat (i.e. abandonment), and curses the very ground that supports and sustains humanity by bringing forth thorns (i.e. alienation).

The story of Genesis demonstrates that God’s punishment is meted out to the first man and woman for their first “misdeeds”; creating humankind’s earliest template for “action as inseparable from identity”, through the “incursion of shame”. More simply put, judgment causes shame.

Loneliness, desire, fear, anger, rejection, dissociation, alienation and abandonment morph together to evoke a deeply felt, intangible sense of shame. This cornucopia of emotions has become intimately infused into our human nature, inseparable from our truth since the story of Genesis.

The utter abhorrence we have always felt towards the experience of shame continues to mobilize our need to escape through self-denial. In running from the truth of our feelings, we forsake responsibility for our actions and seek blame elsewhere. The false security of denial is seductive. It is the fuel of all addiction. Our unacknowledged preference for internalized pain and suffering is reinforced, as the age-old template of shame perpetually erodes our spirit.

Understanding Yog-cho Therapy – Part 2

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”   – Being Peace, Tich Naht Hanh 

 

We begin by stopping our familiar patterns of activity. We take the time to acknowledge there is a life force within us. Our life force emanates through our connection to awareness. Breath connects us inwardly, allowing us to regain consciousness of what has become elusive. Life is dependent on breath… the inhale and the exhale. Breathing requires no conscious effort or attention on our part. “Unconscious patterns” of attention and avoidance are self-protective, geared to enhancing survival odds. Gaining mind-space to seek novelty outside, we begin to be pulled ever farther away from consciousness. Yet, we retain an ability to over-ride the system… Welcome to the practice of conscious breathing.

From the moment of our first conscious breath, we begin making the unconscious, conscious.

This reversal of fortunes begins our journey back to Wholeness.

First Protocol:

NOTICE – Start by sitting quietly in a space that is likely to be without interruption… Let go of any expectations or preferences for what the process may offer…Letting go is the first step necessary to permit openness to something new. We must first become unstuck to enable “shift to happen”… How does one begin to let go if they are unaware of what they are holding??

 

Take a moment to feel. Feel as though you are blanketed by a source of warmth and safety. Turn your mind’s eye inwards, and begin to notice your breath.

  • What does it feel like to breathe in fully?
  • Where do you notice the breath as it enters the body?
  • Does it feel easy or encumbered?
  • Repeat this series of steps for several more breaths.
  • Now, gradually shift your attention from the in-breath to the out-breath.
  • Notice that the air escapes without effort, being spontaneously released as though pulled by gravity.
  • Does it flow smoothly or is somewhat ragged? Is it deep or shallow?
  • Without trying to change anything, just become a witness and observe.
  • When the breath is fully emptied, do you feel an immediate urge to gasp for the next inhale breath?
  • Is there a feeling of safety rather than urgency between breaths?
  • Repeat for several more breaths, and notice subtle things you may have missed.

 

  • Can you feel the air traverse the back of your nose and throat, and then enters your lungs?
  • Can you feel the expansion in your chest and rib cage and even belly?
  • Notice the breath rhythm, is it spontaneous, smooth, or with effort?
  • Do you notice any change, perhaps being lulled into a new rhythm that was unavailable to begin with?
  • Are you able to witness the process through the eyes of an observer without judgment?
  • Is there a tendency of mind to drift to old familiar thoughts?
  • Can you detect any resistance through your physical body or mind chatter?
  • How does resistance show up for you?  Notice how it makes you feel in your body?

Know this simple Truth. Consciousness creates life. You must return to consciousness in order to regain the power to create the life your choose.

Reflecting on these questions repeatedly (even for 5 minutes/day) may assist your ability for inner observation. Self-reflection is the first step to move you towards the goal of living in full consciousness of all that you are.

Consciousness is the device that enables you to let go of the obstacles that stand in your way. Once you begin to shine the light on patterns of unconscious thought and conditioning, you illuminate the chains that bind you to old behaviours. In order to break free of the delusion, “Life is what it is…”,  you must let go of all that makes you powerless and no longer seek escape of life’s pain through acts of unconsciousness.

The journey to Wholeness…

the reversal of your hardwiring…

has begun.

 

 

Understanding Yog-cho Therapy – Part I

The Cognitive Revolution is accordingly the point when history declared its independence from biology. From the Cognitive Revolution onwards, historical narratives replace biological theories as our primary means of explaining the development of Homo Sapiens… It (becomes) necessary to take into account the interaction of ideas, images and fantasies as well.

Sapiens, A Brief History Of Human Kind, Yuval N. Harari

This new approach to inner healing combines the ancient wisdom of Eastern traditions with Yoga at centre stage, alongside the newly developing field of neuropsychology. The intersection of East and West helps increase our understanding of the human condition. As we begin to observe the mind and its impact on the brain, we simultaneously witness alterations to the brain that occur through the networks of our mind.

The unified field, that is our “mind” encompasses physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual (i.e. transpersonal) realms. Yoga means union. It can be defined by its aim to illuminate human nature through the integration of all that we are. It offers a mechanism for viewing the Whole of humanity as greater than the sum of its individual parts.

Yoga’s lens of unification is as helpful to increasing self-awareness as it is to harmonizing the differences of all humanity. This understanding is apparent through both Eastern and Western understanding. We each embodied mirror images of the world around us, while scientifically speaking… each cell within us holds the holographic image of all parts of the whole at once. Eastern wisdom sees human suffering as a lack of self-integration or lack of understanding that we are already “Whole”.

“Mis-knowing” the truth of our essence results from the world of delusion that prevents our access to Wholeness within.  The necessity of constraint that is the foundation of our delusion will later be explored.) Spirit nature pervades all humanity and links us to our individual Wholeness as well as connecting us with all other beings. The core of most religious traditions is premised on a recognition of Divine spirit and the understanding of our Divine nature as central to our human experience. In biblical scriptures, Divine Spirit is introduced to humankind through the act of God’s breath. At first consideration, this may resonate as in-credible and unscientific. However, Einstein’s theory of relativity (i.e. E = MC-squared) underscores that energy and matter are interdependent, in fact suggesting the parameters of universal oneness. Robert Lanza’s uses his theory of biocentrism to explain further, the “reality of things” exists either as wave or particle, not both since all matter depends on the state of consciousness of the observer.

As knowledge expands into poorly understood areas including quantum physics and biocentrism, science increasingly affirms philosophical and mystic understanding. Western science is catching up to many ancient Eastern paradigms, generating new understanding of “the centrality of all life”.

 

From his experiences as a Holocaust survivor,  Viktor Frankl devised a system known as Logo-Therapy, as a basis to understanding the conditions of mankind’s most primal needs. The need to find “meaning” in one’s life, was determined as an essential component for enduring the most unimaginable suffering. Frankl discovered a capacity to survive extreme deprivation and suffering, realizing through the observation of those who survived as well as those who did not; that in order to be successful in overcoming one’s suffering, one required the capacity for a sort of faith that led to seeking and finding a purpose to existence. Only a sort of spiritual transcendence would overcome the dispiriting forces incurred through physical and emotional pain. Self-awareness as a basic implement of survival upends Maslow’s earlier hierarchy that asserts that only when basic physical needs are satisfied, is self-awareness relevant. Frankl demonstrated a greater complexity to human needs than understood by Maslow through his ability to harness critical self-awareness as a tool for survival by finding meaning in his own life. It seems our inner-networks of perception offer much more than a small contribution to the resilience that boosts our capacity for survival.

As biocentrism asserts, the universe exists as a result of conditions created through human consciousness; inferring that without consciousness, there is nothing. That life cannot exist in a vacuum resonates quite easily within the most non-scientific amongst us.