My own spiritual journey has been, to a large extent, the exploration of space – inner space. Another name for space is mind. As space is everywhere and in everything, so is mind. This can be called the impersonal or Divine Mind. Within the all-encompassing Divine Mind is a personal mind conditioned through the experience and impressions gathered since birth. This mind is filled with information and worldly impressions which give a personal perspective of life. Multiply that by seven billion minds, all with personal drives and ambitions, and you get the enormous collision of forces that externalise as the human condition of poverty, greed, injustice and war.
Space pervades everything on earth and beyond to the most distant nebulae. Without it everything would be a solid mass of substance with no space for life to exist. The brain creates space and objects simultaneously, reproducing with incredible complexity the idea of life through the creative genius of sensory perception. Unable to assimilate reality as original unity, the brain is compelled to divide the incoming light of spiritual power through the differentiated senses. Although a seamless system created for the projection of life in sense, there’s an infinitesimal gap between the time taken to perceive an external object and for the brain to confirm energetically the idea behind the form. To compensate for the time delay the original size of the object is reduced, which creates the appearance of space.
Inner and outer space are the two hemispheres of existence and function as the two aspects of the unity of Being. However, the exclusive focus on the external world puts an enormous strain on the wellbeing of an individual. Arising from this inner tension is the drive to find something permanent to assuage the insecurity of being in a divisive world. In fact every negative condition that torments human beings is the consequence of being disconnected from the natural space or wellbeing within the body. The spiritual process is the depersonalising of the mind and emotions of its selfish content and blind ignorance of the greater good. To do this involves a leap of faith, not in belief but in self-knowledge, since to connect with the spiritual idea is to transcend the rationality of the personal mind for direct experience of reality.
The stillness of mind determines the speed of intelligence and depth of perception. A restless mind is identified with continual thinking and unable to be still for long. Someone more conscious can pause to interrupt the momentum of the mind to perceive a deeper significance of the circumstances in the life. As a man or woman perseveres with mastering the wandering habits of the mind, intelligence speeds up and the reality of space is accentuated. When intelligence descends deeper into the psyche there can be a sense of expansion or translucent shapes of vivid colour. Sounds can be audible and aromas can be sensed that have no earthly counterpart. There are many things that are beyond description, but all part of the mystery of the journey home.
Ultimately, the perception can literally ‘look through’ the final objective screen of space and be amazed by the creative process before it takes form. Space is the last layer of materiality to be transcended as a spiritual practice; it’s the closest sensory form of life to nothing. The greatest truth every spiritual master has declared throughout history is that the highest spiritual realisation is nothing. We live and have our being in space and, through grace, are able to realise aspects of this miraculous mystery, either while alive or at death. For some rare individuals the unconscious is realised in the living life as a state of uninterrupted knowledge through the mystic union with God or the Source. However, for everyone, the unconscious is an ever-present reality which can be experienced in a subtle way when, despite relative harmony in the external circumstances, something inexplicable is deemed to be missing. The normal reaction is to engage as quickly as possible in some external activity and dismiss the intimations from within – that now is the time to turn inwards. But for someone who is ready, the journey into space has begun.
Making love real means making love with purpose as a conscious practice. For over twenty years the focus of my life has been directed towards discovering a deepening love of the mystery within, and through making love in existence with my beloved partner. I’ve been given every opportunity to do this through grace and the inspiration of the spiritual master Barry Long, who gave me so much and asked for nothing in return other than to be true to life and love. I’ve also been in the privileged position of speaking to thousands of people (mostly women) in my professional life, often at a profound level regarding their relationships. In many cases, the difficulties experienced were when partners no longer shared the intimacy and connection in love they once had; or else had cut off altogether from love, preferring to go it alone rather than face the same heartache and disappointments again.
There’s nothing to prove in love or truth so as to convince another of its validity. Something either resonates inside as the truth in one’s own experience, or else it doesn’t. Love is a mighty idea but a simple one too. Everyone yearns to love and be loved; but often there is fear and a reservation due to past negative experiences. In real love there is no choice. But what usually happens is that the likes and dislikes of the person get in the way; and the choice is inevitably wrong, despite the conviction that this time things will be different. What’s not commonly known is that the purity of love within the body, left to its own devices, attracts the perfect mate every time. The wanter and the chooser of the personal self is the only problem.
Sex and love are not the same. Every woman knows this, but so often will take a chance on a new relationship, even though the warning signs are clearly visible. Man as a rule is looking for sex, while woman longs for love. Man is more sexually aggressive than woman due to his male hormone testosterone, which triggers his animalistic drive for procreation. Woman is always ready to be loved by a loving man. It’s sex she fears, and rightly so, since sex without the reassurance of love is violent. Man in his endeavour to physically love woman, when approaching orgasm often becomes so identified with the intense pleasure that he becomes possessed with the craving to consume the partner in his frenzied passion. His bodily movements become jagged and hard; and should a woman ask him to stop, he’s likely to get angry and in extremes he may be physically aggressive.
Transforming sex into love is the greatest challenge anyone can undertake. On a worldly scale it would be like attempting to climb Mount Everest without oxygen. The task is almost impossible – but not quite. Developing stillness and conscious restraint from sexual promiscuity reduces the animal aggression to some degree. But converting the base animalistic drives as the process intensifies can be profound and terrifying in equal measure. Sex is natural, and the physical side of making love is not the problem; it’s what happens within the psyche of the person that is far more insidious and destructive of the harmony of life. Sex is really love, but only in the absence of the mind’s interpretation as erotic fantasying or sexual imagery. When the mind reflects on the incoming reproductive life force, what originates as pure love degenerates immediately into sex. The temptation to embellish the pure act of love is almost compulsive at first, but has to be discarded eventually.
For a partnership to function to its full potential, both have to be willing to make love at any time. This doesn’t mean that the practicalities of everyday life should be neglected, but is more a conscious recognition of the priority of being together as man and woman. When sex without love is the predominant motivation in a relationship, there will be times when one, or both, can’t be bothered or ‘not in the mood’. For a man, the knowledge that his woman is available for love at any time does much to reduce his sexual excitement, which normally arises when the time approaches to make love. Much of man’s sexual tension is generated by the possibility that she may change her mind.
It’s essential for lovers to be able to communicate with each other. This means no secrets or consideration of another’s feelings at the expense of honesty. As familiarity sets in, it’s quite common for the man to subtly undermine his partner. It may be a joke or an inflection in the voice that is critical of her in some way. Although they may laugh it off, a woman is often disturbed at a deep level. And, if left to fester, it’s the beginning of the end of love. Honesty would be for the woman to say: ‘Did you know that what you just said was undermining and not, to me, a demonstration of love?’ And the man would have to examine it and say something such as: ‘I wasn’t aware of that and thank you for pointing it out’ without justifying his actions. No man is perfect, but if he continually gets angry or defensive it’s not a good sign!
So, how to prepare the ground to make love more real? To keep love vibrant and alive there has to be romance. The idea is to create an ambience of love in everyday activity around the home, or whenever there’s any opportunity to show affection and gratitude for being together. Then, when it comes to the making of love through the physical act, it’s a natural extension of the expression of love that’s always present between the partners. Continual acknowledgement of the beloved is the key to love; otherwise what was once radiant and golden will fade and die. Living in harmony in a relationship begins when waking up and making time to embrace so that the day begins in love. Partners are together to reassure and support each other whatever the situation, be it stresses at work or family issues. It’s not about being ‘lovey-dovey’ and unrealistic, but a demonstration that being together is a privilege; and worth surrendering the right to be anything but truly grateful to God or life for the opportunity to make love real in a loveless world.
All families are an extension of a line from the original tribe of the human race. This can be traced back historically through the epic poem the Mahabharata, and the epoch of the twelve tribes of Abraham recorded in the Old Testament. But even before then the primitive cultures were united by family values centred on reverence for the elders as custodians of the truth of life. In those earliest of days maturity in age brought wisdom, not just of the practical world but of the purpose behind life and death. The family functioned to honour the patriarch or matriarch, who personified justice and integrity. Just how far humanity has strayed from the roots of our original stock can be gauged by our family values today.
The family is an integral part of everyone’s life, regardless of their experience during the formative years. There’s no denying the deep bonds of love and affection that can develop between family members, but also great animosity which, in extremes, pass from one generation to the next. People often harbour resentment or anger for years, or even a lifetime, when emotional blockages have formed during childhood.
The original meaning of the word ‘family’ applied to not only the family members but to the slaves of the household as well. This is precisely what has happened in so many families who remain in emotional bondage to each other, and thus become oblivious to the broader perspective of life. As a race, we have virtually no family values beyond the normal personal desires and anxious concerns for those we love. So what are family values that we can all embrace and make the world a better place?
The true value of a family, surely, is to bring more love and honesty into the home so that our children can be given every opportunity to function as responsible human beings. Every parent naturally wants what’s best for their children and to give them everything they can to enjoy their lives and prepare them for the world. But this can only be realistically put into practice when both parents are united together in their endeavour to eliminate emotional negativity between them. So often the atmosphere within the family becomes tense, resulting in misunderstandings and bitter arguments. Children, through the absorption of the psychic presence of the parents (and particularly the sexual frustration of the father), grow up to become carbon copies of mum and dad, burdened by the same worries and unhappiness.
Blood, it is said, is thicker than water. Blood is deeply spiritual, symbolic of the stream of life which flows from the source of the eternal spring. Passing through the psychic band into the physical body, the heart regulates the pure psychic plasma – life before it takes form – which would otherwise destroy the vital organs. Through an ingenious system the heart releases bursts of plasma every moment, which externalise as the blood that is pumped continuously throughout the life of the body. Each member of a particular family is an extension of an hereditary lineage that has a certain blood type verified by DNA analysis. But what science has yet to discover is the psychic identity that carries with it the emotional energy of past experience. This strengthens the bond between family members (often unconsciously) and explains the karmic challenges that are so often encountered, as well as other subtle variations of infinite complexity.
Love within the family is mostly the sentimental kind that relies on the cooperation of everyone not to upset the feelings of each other. Dishonesty is the cause of all family disturbances, which build up as emotional pressure that is inevitably released in violent altercations of one kind or another. For example a son or daughter may visit the parents out of an ingrained sense of duty rather than for a genuine need or for the pure enjoyment of being in their presence. By considering mum and dad, or anyone else for that matter, emotion is generated which can imperceptibly sully future interactions, not only with the parents but in personal relationships, particularly in partnerships. And so the charade continues. Honesty is the prerequisite for keeping the lines of communication straight. But it’s not always easy. As Jesus said in a famous saying, ‘I come with a sword to turn son against father and daughter against mother’. Even in those times close ties within the family were a hindrance to anyone determined to be true to a more impersonal love than the personal attachments to the family unit.
Western civilisation is unique in being the first world civilisation. And there’s no going back. The human family of planet earth is now a fragmented, violent and paranoid body of multiple cells frantically searching for something of value to serve with their lives. Few find this elusive ideal, but each individual body participates in the mystery of life. The influence of the family is not just a personal affair, but extends to an impersonal gathering of each constituent part relative to the unity of life. The fact that this is usually imperceptible and goes unrecognised by the world at large is irrelevant. But the miracle and integrity of existence is that when someone is true to life by doing what is known to be right within the depths of their being, everyone on earth gains in some way; if not immediately – in time.
Millions of people practise meditation but very few are able to enter the body to its deepest profundity. This is because of the hardness of matter that encases the enlightenment point deep within the brain. The inner process is similar to drilling through the earth for oil or natural resources.
To begin with the going is relatively easy and much progress appears to be made. As the process deepens, the yielding fluidity of matter coagulates as magma, a rock solid band that is the elemental substance of the earth. To dismantle the magma a diamond tip drill is utilised, the hardest known material in the world. In the early stages of the spiritual process, the way in is often productive with many insights and periods of inner stillness. However, it’s not long before progress is halted through coming up against some seemingly impenetrable band of resistance. A similar diamond-like tip is needed to dismantle the impediment; the spiritual diamond point is intelligence or, more specifically, the focus of perception that is clarified through harnessing the power within.
The physical body is a universal truth, and what is universal is in harmony with the totality of life; it’s only in the human animal that something has gone awry. The body functions under the aegis of the pure instinctual intelligence that regulates the breathing and keeps the heart beating; this is the innate source of the unconscious. This supernal power arises in matter and finds supreme expression in the harmony of nature. Unique amongst the species is the human superior sense of self-consciousness; this is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that, of all the species, only the human being can consciously reflect on, and realise, the mystery behind existence. All other life forms are instinctually realised and participate every moment in joyous union with the good. The curse for humankind is the past which has arisen in matter. More specifically, it’s the usurpation of instinctual intelligence by a possessive entity whose name is self. Self is the living testament of the past that refuses to surrender to the present. It is wilfully attached to sensual experience, regardless of the worldly consequences for the individual.
To prepare for any battle, it’s essential to know the enemy. The self is the enemy and has many disguises. The most recognisable trait of the self is the thinker. Thinking and daydreaming are sophisticated outlets for energy leakage that need to be harnessed to contain spiritual energy. Aimless thinking is an indulgence of an undisciplined mind. Most people assume that thinking is a virtue and the zenith of human creativity, but fail to appreciate that worry, fear and anxiety are thinking operating at an intensified vibration. Everyone knows how difficult it is to stop thinking when agitation or intense feelings arise. Unless someone is prepared to stop thinking or daydreaming in the good times, it’ll be impossible to stop thinking when difficulties arise. To master the thinker is the most challenging aspect of the spiritual process. It does, however, yield great wisdom and self-knowledge when the practice becomes second nature and the mind is stilled.
The process of spiritual transformation is a continual shedding of past and ignorance as attachment to existence. Many years ago, during a period of detaching from the old way of life, my partner and I were about to rent a furnished property, which I was delighted to see had a television set. It had been three years or so since we’d last watched the box so the prospect of a cosy night in front of the telly seemed very appealing. I’d assumed I had lived out the past consequences of any unconscious TV karma. But on the night before we moved in, the house was burgled and the only thing that was stolen was the television set! This demonstrated to me the wonderful integrity of life that determines what is needed in the moment – and is often diametrically opposed to what the person thinks they want.
The person or persona is the mask of the self in the world. The personality develops as a defence mechanism to offset the assault of a loveless world. People live mainly through their personality and cruise on the surface of themselves; the spiritual process involves the gradual dismantling of the personality. This is necessary since the personality is an extension of the pain of living and the suppression of emotional force, which takes great energy to uphold. When the false is seen, it’s discarded as an impostor in the same way that a shadow can be mistaken for something sinister until the light’s switched on. The personality’s demise as the mantle over the authentic man or woman heralds the emergence of a superior facet of the being. This is the character, the stamp of true individuality and the being behind the form.
The catalyst for self-change is pain; but since everyone without exception suffers, there must be a hidden factor that determines the potential for a significant change to the life. For someone approaching a radical shift of consciousness, the nature of the suffering becomes a trigger for self-transformation. Instead of holding resentment towards another as before, or blaming external influences, the disturbance is contained within. Being responsible for the circumstances surrounding the life engenders more power, with the clarity to assess the appropriate action in dealing with problem areas in the external world. As I the individual begin to tidy up the life, such as getting things straight with the family and other relationships, a new sense of freedom is known. This invokes gratitude to the unknowable source that has no name or attributes, but is intimately known to be a quality of love that passes all understanding. The process intensifies when devotion to this emerging wonder becomes the main focus of the life and the individual is willingly compelled to go deeper into the mystery.
Times change but not the quest for spiritual truth. The spiritual process begins for everyone at the time of birth. To be born as an earthling is to contribute towards a deepening enlightenment of the human race.
All roads, even those steeped in the deadening weight of unconscious materialism, eventually lead to the source; there’s nowhere else to go once the road has been travelled for long enough. But the process is glacially slow. Wherever an opening appears in the psyche for transcendent knowledge to externalise, it’s quickly overpowered by the forces of existence that degrade the purity of the original inspiration. The evolutionary point of consciousness of humanity can be gauged by watching the latest news bulletin and the condition of the world at any time. At this epoch of human culture there are no mass solutions. The truth, where it can be heard, is for the individual alone.
The living of circumstances and the challenges to keep things afloat, particularly in times of hardship, actually erodes the path until nothing remains apart from the experience. The key word is ‘experience’. The pure experience is not the problem; this is necessary, of course, in the practical world. But along with the positive aspect of experience is the negative shadow effect, the psychic entity of self, the past, that has gathered since the time of birth. The past is everybody’s burden yet, paradoxically, the only way that human beings can exist.
With the lack of any real knowledge of truth and love from our teachers, parents and religions, the focus of most people’s lives is directed exclusively into the world. To compensate for the natural replenishment from the inner source, people become psychologically attached to the need for experience. This manifests as a chronic urge to keep busy and mentally active through crippling workloads and computerised technology. Moments for stillness and recreation come less frequently, if at all.
The shift or potential change in the life is when the experience of living has reached a point when it fails to deliver the same pleasure of the past. From infancy into childhood, and then adulthood, the memory cells are infused with the pleasure and pain experience of living in a world of opposing forces. These cells vibrate in accordance with the stimulus of sensory experience. The pendulum of emotionality peaks at a level of intense excitement and swings to the depths of depression.
When the focus is turned inwards, an individual is reaching (perhaps unknowingly) towards the light of their own self-knowledge. At a point determined by the diminishing resistance to the incoming stream of spirit, an opening within the psyche emits a beam of light that passes through the subconscious, illuminating the nucleus centre of the brain. This release or surrender of psychic tension triggers a cellular reaction as clusters of cells are re-energised or updated through the presence of light or consciousness. The initial feeling is interpreted by the mind as something extraordinary and out of the normal range of experience. There can be a sense of having been reborn or the knowledge of being touched by the Divine.
It’s by the way of things that an individual is directed towards a source of truth comparable with their lights or incipient self-knowledge. For someone indoctrinated by the Christian religion the experience can be equated with the realisation of Christ, or alternatively of Buddha for a Buddhist. In other instances, a renewed sense of purpose can instigate a change of life consonant with a fresh perspective. Quite how dramatically this will affect the life will be determined by the impact of the truth and how this will unfold against the external forces of the world.
In my own experience I gravitated, through the miracle of the unknowable Source, to the orbit of the Australian spiritual master Barry Long. I know now that this was through grace and a climacteric in the spiritual process that demonstrates how the inner light or being directs the way. The realisation of a higher consciousness is accelerated tremendously when in the proximity of a realised being of deep spiritual profundity. In a way similar to how a signal is amplified or strengthened through a fibre optic broadband connection, a master of great power is able to reflect through his realised consciousness the purity of his being to those receptive to his presence and teaching.
We are all mirrors, reflecting to each other the truth we’ve realised in our daily lives. But the radiance of the spiritual light that determines the depth of self-knowledge is mostly obscured, insulated by layers of emotional calluses that have formed to numb the trauma of existence. The pain and rawness of facing the emotional self direct is so awful that, for the majority of people, the only alternative is to escape through the myriad distractions in the world. For the individual who is willing, however, the next phase of the spiritual process is to begin to master the self as a conscious way of life. This is done through harnessing the power within, and is the subject of another post.
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