Reflection: To Be Given Another Chance

In one of his online talks about spirituality and the inner Work, Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub), mentioned a specific scenario that, I believe, has put many people to thought. The recurring theme was the importance of the inner work in the context of this life that we have on this planet, how valuable such existence is, and how precious is our time here. He mentioned the hypothetical situation of imagining ourselves at the end of our life reflecting back. The following meditation is inspired by what he said.

Imagine that you are 85 years of age, lying on your deathbed. You don’t have much more to go, but enough time to reflect on your life. You see how things went, the ups and downs. You see yourself at one point of your life doing the inner work. Perhaps the memory of happiness and joy overwhelms you, the happiness that you had when you were living a spiritual life and when you were walking towards your Being. You then see yourself getting pressured by life, perhaps by some strong emotions of excitement, of pleasure, of the mundane flow of life that swept away the innocent joy that you have previously found in the Inner work. And little by little, you lost an interest in that which previously uplifted your soul. Continue reading

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Don’t Close the Door to Truth

The Buddha told a story to his monks:

“A young widower was devoted to his little son. But while he was away on business, the whole village was burned to the ground by bandits, who took away the little boy. When the father returned and found only ruins, he was brokenhearted. He thought that the charred remains of an infant was his own child, so he organized a cremation, collected the ashes, and carried them always in a special bag.

One day his real son managed to escape from the bandits and found his way back to his old home. His father had rebuilt the house. When he arrived, late one night,  and knocked on the door, his father called, “Who is there?”

“It is I, your son. Please let me in.”

The father, still carrying the ashes and hopelessly sad, thought this must be some wretched boy making fun of him and he shouted, “Go away!”

The boy knocked and called again and again, but the father always made the same response, and at last the boy left, never to come back again.”

When he told this story, the Buddha added, “If you cling to an idea as the unalterable truth, then when the truth does come in person and knock at your door, you will not be able to open the door and accept it.”

–  Udana Sutta

It’s very difficult to stop clinging to our ideas, believes, and even incipient amount of knowledge that we may have gained. This creates a wall around us and prevent us from being open to new learning and getting closer to knowledge.

One night while being conscious in the astral plane, someone there indicated to me that what I was holding as truth wasn’t really such absolute truth. My initial response was reaction to that person, I did recitation on them to see if I’m dealing with negative entity who is trying to mislead me, but that wasn’t the case. Much later I realized that I was trying to make the reality fit into a belief that I had. Even though that belief was supported with some basic knowledge, there is much more to it than what I thought.

There is often/always much more to reality than we are aware of, and if we close ourselves to what we firmly believe or “know” to be true, the doors to progress will remain shut. It takes a lot to stay open for the new, unhindered by the old. We may regard the old (ideas, believes, incipient knowledge) as pillars without which our temple would collapse and because of that we fear experiences that may expand our perception or even make us realize that what we regard as real and true is not really so. To progress it’s necessary to be able to question what we think we know, being prepared to expand it or let it go, and overcome the fear that keeps us in the ignorance of our comfort zone.

Potentials of Astral Travel

Astral travel, the ability to travel outside of the physical body, is an amazing thing to experience and develop. It is said that every person experience this at least once in a lifetime. It seems it is very common for children to experience it, some of them even frequently. Unfortunately, this natural ability for children is lost as we get older. The reason for this is that as children we still do not have all the layers of psychological energies which develop and/or become active as we grow up. Those energies are the multiple inner subjective states, and also the formation of the personality with its conditioned behavioral patterns which then cloud our perception even more. I don’t remember having a conscious out of body experience as a child, but I do know that my dreams were extremely vivid and meaningful.

There are several terms related to astral travel. I will start with astral projection, which is commonly known as projection of our astral body (with our consciousness inside it) out of the physical body and into the 5th dimension, also known as the astral plane. Once out of the physical body in this conscious manner, we can explore this higher dimension, which is referred to as the astral travel.

The astral plane has many levels, separated from one another by their vibrational frequency. All of these levels occupy the same space, just as all dimensions occupy the same space. So for example, our three dimensional world is actually occupying the same space as the 5th dimension. The reason why we don’t see the 5th dimension is because we are on a lower frequency vibration. When we are outside of our physical body and in our astral bodies, we are automatically in the 5th dimension because the frequency of our astral body corresponds to the frequency of the astral plane. There are also higher types of spiritual bodies with which we can travel higher up, like the mental and causal bodies.

Our astral body is part of our spiritual make up; it’s a body which we can use and which we do use every night when we go to sleep. Each night when we fall asleep, our consciousness leaves the physical body and enters the lower astral levels where the dreamers from all around the planet go every night. The subconscious projects images in front of dreamers minds and they see it as a 3D reality. However, it’s not really a 3D reality but a mask of hallucinations projected by our subconscious. If we would become aware that we are dreaming, this mask would dissolve and we would see the reality of the astral world. The difference between usual falling asleep and astral projection is in being conscious/unconscious at the moment when the astral body is detaching from the physical.

The process of astral projection is very simple. One basically needs to lie down in a comfortable position and thoroughly relax the body, which is followed by concentration on one single thing, like for example a heartbeat, third eye, breathing etc. If one manages to maintain concentration at the time when the physical body falls asleep, then one will astral project because that is the moment when astral body detaches from the physical body. The astral and physical body are connected by the so-called silver cord, so there is no need to worry that you will not be able to find your way back. As we always get back after unconsciously venturing the astral world every night, so too we get back when we are out there consciously.

The astral body, as well as our consciousness/soul in it, is indestructible. Physical laws do not apply to it because the astral world has different dimensional laws. You cannot be harmed by falling on the ground from a great height or by flying through the sun etc. The astral world has much fewer laws than the physical world, and because of that we can fly, we can pass the solid objects, we can teleport and much more. Besides, we (the consciousness/soul) are immortal.

The potentials of the astral world are great, some even say “infinite”. You can travel to wherever you wish. You can explore far away places on Earth, our solar system and beyond. It’s a spiritual ability, so it is best to use it for spiritual purposes and ones own spiritual progress. It’s sad to see how many people are keen to use it to fulfill their own selfish desires, such as spying on people, having astral sex, creating ones own fantasy world etc. It is much better to use it to discover your own spiritual purpose, to know why you are here on Earth, where were you before you were born, and where you are going after your physical body dies. You can talk to beings of light, visit sacred temples and advanced extraterrestrial cities and receiving knowledge about things you have never dreamt of. To use it for the purpose of  spiritual awakening is the most productive use of it. You can be guided in this manner by Higher beings who want that you liberate your potential and get to know the Truth about Life.

Maya – The Source of Illusion

Maya is a well known concept in Eastern religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, etc, and it is more and more known in New Age circles as well as in Esoteric traditions worldwide. The concept entails that the entire third dimension in which we live is a material dimension created for beings to learn through suffering and paying karma, and to eventually start removing animalistic and negative impulses which consequently leads to knowledge of oneself and the reality of existence. The substance used to create this third (material) dimension is illusionary in comparison to higher planes of existence. Some traditions go even deeper and say that all created dimensions are illusion and that only that which is uncreated (Absolute/Source/God consciousness), which always was, is and will be, is real.

However, Maya doesn’t relate only to external illusions, but also to internal ones. Internal illusions are thoughts, emotions, drives, impulses and sensations which we feel within ourselves. All those inner states are like colored glasses through which we see the world around us. Sometimes they make us see things in a positive and sometimes in a negative way, but nevertheless none of what they present in front of us is real.

Many people get scared and angry when hear that thoughts and emotions are part of Maya and not really us. Those who are able to go beyond this initial reaction of fear and anger, and are willing to apply spiritual techniques that enable them to remove those inner subjective elements, will eventually verify through direct experience that we are something far different from our thoughts and emotions. Those people will also learn about the nature of those subjective energies and the illusionary way they make us see.

Our inner illusion is very powerful. It keeps us in an almost constant state of daydream, controlling our life through mental and emotional images with which we identify and think that they are reality. I remember a situation where I was waiting for a tram on a square in a city where I used to live. There were many other people also waiting for the same. At one point I noticed a woman sitting a meter or so from me. She was staring at one point and it was clear that she is day dreaming, unaware of what is going on. She had unusually big insect on her face, from under an eye all across the cheek. I stretched my hand and waved in order to chase it off. The woman noticed me waving and confusedly leaned back, still not aware of what’s on her face and why I was waving. This experience showed me more clearly the state in which we are all in.

The more a person is practicing the spiritual teachings, the more one is able to see the nature of both inner and outer Maya, as well as the reality beyond it. Techniques such as being aware of the present moment, self-observation, elimination of animalistic drives and subjective elements, and some other techniques, transform our sleeping psyche and make us see the world around us as it really is. We awaken to the fact that the world is asleep and driven by negativity, yet capable of becoming better due to the Divine spark that each human being has within. This Divine spark (soul/consciousness) which is the real us beyond the veil of Maya, grows and increases our capacity for love and compassion if we do the spiritual work. We then gradually see the Maya more and more clearly, both within us and in the substance structure of this dimension. Getting free of it requires a lot of effort, dedication, persistence and truly knowing what we want out of life.

The Water We Seek

Not long ago I found one of poem by Rumi which I found to be inspiring and insightful.  It’s called The Water We Seek

The eye or the spirit that focuses on the transient
falls on its face wherever it goes.
Someone who focuses on the distance,
without knowledge, may see far,
but just as we do in a dream.

Asleep on the bank of a river, lips parched,
you dream you are running toward water.
In the distance you see the water of your desire
and, caught by your seeing, you run toward it.

In the dream you boast,
“I am the one whose heart can see through the veils.”
Yet every step carries you further away
toward the perilous mirage.

From the moment you dreamed you set out
you created the distance
from that which had been near to you.
Many set out on a journey
that leads them farther away from their goal.

The intuitive claims of the sleeper are a fantasy.
You, too, are sleepy; But for God’s sake,
if you must sleep, sleep on the Way of God,
and maybe some other seeker on the Way
will awaken you from your fantasies and slumber.

No matter how subtle the sleeper’s thought becomes,
his dreams will not guide him Home.
Whether the sleeper’s thought is twofold or threefold,
it is error multiplying error.

While he dreams of running through the wilderness,

the waves are lapping so near.

While he dreams of the pangs of thirst,

the water is nearer than his jugular vein.