An Awakening to Life’s Journey

 

A light-hearted view of the Author’s, as to our final spiritual assessment!

A man was driving down a main highway doing 110kph thinking of the jobs he needed to do on his arrival at home, when out of the corner of his eye, he saw a car veering out of control from the other direction and heading straight for him! Not having time to swerve to avoid it, suddenly there was a ‘Bang’ & just blackness! After a while, the blackness began to dissipate and he became aware of a ‘silhouetted being’ and a voice that said – Welcome home stranger! And what did you learn down there?

Oh quite a lot really, I was very busy searching for the truth about life. Oh that’s wonderful, said the voice – yes he said I studied philosophy, and all the great philosophers, all good intellectual stuff, and I even learned about the Buddha! Oh that’s even better came the reply. I took in all the information I could. Apart from that, I researched all the major religions as well. Sounds good, said the voice. So what did you learn from that? Well, I learned there was a God, but found most of the religions were too busy pushing their barrow! That didn’t grab me too much! I even studied the basics of logical thinking, science, mathematics! Through mathematics, they were even able to fly a manned spaceship to the Moon, and a probe to Mars and who knows eventually outside our solar system, we might even find some friendly neighbours! I thought that was really something! Wow said the voice, you have been busy. And tell me, did you learn anything about compassion and patience? Oh yes he replied, I was very loving towards my family and friends, and those that were in tune with my way of thinking. Oh that’s really good, the voice replied. Mind you he continued, some were a pain in the ‘you know what’, even the odd family member, he added! Oh and what about everyone else? said the voice, did you show them any love and patience? No not really, they were a pretty ordinary lot. Would you believe many of them thought they’d been put on Earth to follow their own favorite football team! How dumb is that? Ooh came the reply, sounding a little taken aback! And did you try stilling your mind and rising above your ego at all? Yes I tried some Buddhist and Yoga meditation, but all this information I’d learned about everything was going round and around in my head, and kept getting in the way! The more I tried to still my mind, the more these thoughts just kept on coming and coming. In fact I found that the hardest of all. Oh answered the voice, not very impressed! Yes, but I was impressed by the way the Buddha was and other Yogis were able to do that! he retorted. Well, said the voice, we have many levels of enlightenment and compassion here, we grade and allot people according to that! The man felt a little apprehensive about this, and asked, h how many levels are there? The reply came – 21 levels. Then continued. Have you heard the saying – ‘There are many mansions in thy Father’s house’? Oh yes he replied, the voice replied, on each level there a thousands of mansions, which made the man a bit nervous. Then beginning to tense up the man stammered, wh what level will I be allotted to? Oh in a moment, an attendant will come and take you down to level 4! Oh my god, the man thought to himself. After all the studies I’ve undertaken and with all I’ve learned, surely it should have earned me a higher status! Then as the attendant arrived he asked the voice, incidentally, what level is the Buddha on? Oh he’s on level 21, came the reply where all the fully compassionate and enlightened souls are situated! Oh goodness, the man exclaimed. And what do I do on level 4? Oh don’t be too disheartened it said. The whole of level 4 has just been granted the opportunity to go back down there and try again! Isn’t that wonderful and exciting, said the voice? Then as the man was led away, he thought to himself – I’m glad you think so!

The Buddha

The Buddha was originally born named Siddhartha. He was born on the borders of Nepal about 620BC and died 543BC.

He was a Prince, and his father a King, or leader of a Clan.
He was given the best education as his father wanted him to take over his role on his death. For that reason he kept his son in seclusion, not wanting him to know about the problems of his subjects, which lay beyond the Palace grounds. He was married at the time, with a child but yearned to experience what lay beyond the confines of his palatial surroundings.   

Siddhartha was 29 years old when he disguised himself, and went out among the people. He was so shocked when confronted by all the suffering caused by sickness, old age and death including the poverty, hunger, diseases, and hopelessness of the people around him, he decided to renounce his Princedom to become an Ascetic, and seek the ultimate cure for the sufferings of all Mankind.

From then on he attempted to experience for himself how he could gain the perfect balance within his own life physically, emotionally, mentally and Spiritually! He sought what he called ‘The Middle Path’ between the extremes of one’s nature. So he experimented on himself first to find what constituted physical balance by first starving himself until his body looked like a skeleton and felt unhealthy, then he tried over-eating (hence the fat bellied laughing Buddha statuettes we see today) after which, he decided to listen to the signals his body was giving him which was screaming out for some balance!

Then he sought to balance his thoughts and feelings which he found were unruly making it hard for him to focus his mind in the present moment! Eventually, after much experimentation in meditation, self-analysis, and reflection on all that he had learned about the nature of human beings, he came to the conclusion that the path of Non-Attachment was the ‘Key’! He believed the root cause of attachments was selfishness. Not meaning just the tendency to seek gratification, but actually meaning self-centredness and self-attachment. So, to free ourselves from pain, we must overcome our attachment to that which desires – the ego! He stated that the ‘ego’s world is entirely illusory!

He seemed to know intuitively that beyond that, Spiritual balance was about total Compassion for not only human beings, but all forms of life, together with the utmost Faith and Trust in the ‘Life Force’ that was sustaining him which he had already attained.

Then after much travel through many close Countries absorbing all this information, he settled under the ‘Bo Tree’ and meditated on overcoming his own personal ego for 40 days and nights, finally attaining the state of Buddhahood or ‘Bodhi’ which means a totally Compassionate and  Enlightened Being.

Brahmanism, a religion which had evolved from the ancient Veda Texts was the dominant faith in the Indian subcontinent in the 6th Century BCE.

 Although revered for his Wisdom, he was neither a Messiah or a Prophet, and did not act as a medium between God and man. Siddhartha was the first to challenge its teachings with philosophic reasoning and not through divine revelation, which marks Buddhism even more as a philosophy than a religion.

He concerned himself with the question of the goal of life examining the concepts of happiness, virtue, and the ‘good life’!

 From then on he taught his 4 Noble Truths: which comprised of:

1. The Truth of Suffering – which is an inherent part of one’s existence. The

2. Truth of the Cause of Suffering – which is desire, a craving for sensual pleasures, and attachment to worldly possessions, and power.

3. The Truth of the End of Suffering – by detaching oneself from all cravings and attachment.

4. The Path which leads to the End of Suffering – to eliminate desire and overcome the ego!

From there, he taught the ‘8 Fold Path’ which are the steps which lead to Liberation from ‘The Wheel of Birth and Death’ as he put it!

These are the Truths he taught his closest pupils strictly by word of mouth until they could remember in clear detail his every word!

  1. Right View – The belief that there is an afterlife, and not everything ends with death. A belief in the principles of Karma (Cause and Effect), and Rebirth.
  2. Right Intention – Aims at peaceful renunciation, non-sensuality, non-ill will (to loving kindness), away from cruelty (to compassion) Moral Virtues!
  3. Right Speech – No lying, no rude speech, no gossiping about others, and speaking of that which leads to salvation.
  4. Right Action – No killing or injuring, no thieving, no sensual misconduct such as sexual involvement with someone married, or with an unmarried woman under the protection of parents or relatives.
  5. Right Livelihood – For lay people – explained as abstaining from ‘wrong livelihood’ apart from the basic need to sustain life and some harmless pleasures, not becoming a source or means of suffering to others by cheating them, or harming or killing them in any way! (Meditation) 
  6. Right Effort – Guarding against sensual thoughts – aims at preventing unwholesome states that disrupt meditation.
  7. Right Mindfulness – Never be absent minded, be conscious of what one is doing – encourages mindfulness about the impermanence of the body, feelings and mind, as well as to experience the five ‘skandhas, the five hindrances, the four True Realities, and seven factors of awakening.
  8. Right Concentration – Total focus of concentration, correct meditation – explained as the four jhanas!

After his death, his teachings were passed down orally for some 400 years, before being written down in the ‘Tipitaka’ (Three Baskets)

 (There was a rather fictitious story about the extent of the Buddha’s wisdom when approached one day by a very sensuous soul. Most enlightened one he said, I have a request, I have this over-whelming urge to seduce every woman I meet. Can you help me achieve this? The Buddha replied most certainly, but you must strictly adhere to the instructions I give you. You must follow to the letter the written instructions I give you now! Practice this religiously every day for one year, after which you will be able to seduce as many women as you wish. The man became very excited with his new found formula and thanked the Buddha profusely as he left! (However, The Buddha knew if he followed through on his strict instructions, he’d lose any such desire!)

 When The Buddha had finally conquered his personal ego and attained total Enlightenment, he became known as The Compassionate Buddha. He had realized that even the word ‘ego’ was illusory!  

 This is a quote said to be from the Buddha himself:

I Buddha who wept with all my brother’s tears, whose heart was broken by a whole world’s woe, laugh and am glad, for there is liberty! Ho! Ye who suffer, know ye suffer from yourselves, none else compels. None other holds you that ye live and die, and whirl upon the wheel and hug and kiss its spokes of agony, its tire of tears, its nave of nothingness. Behold, I show you truth. Lower than hell, higher than heaven, outside the utmost stars, further than Brahm doth dwell, before beginning and without end. As space eternal, as surety sure, is fixed a power divine which moves to good. Only its laws endure!

 Knowing that we all come from the same source, he reasoned that once we began to recognize ourselves as a separate entity an ‘I’ different from all other ‘I’s, that was the first fall into ignorance. After which came desire and attachment, followed by anger if one’s desire was thwarted, including the fear of loss, and lastly the greatest fear of all fears, the fear of death!

 One final metaphor covering our journey through life, reads like this:

“On our journey through life, we come to the ‘River of Emotion’ which is a fast flowing river with many rapids and whirlpools. Moored nearby is the ‘Boat of Intellect’ which we need to row across this river. Once having reached the other side which is the’ Land of Intuition’, we need to leave the ‘boat of intellect’ and walk on armed with just Courage and Faith, to attain what the Buddha called Enlightenment”!

 It is believed that the Buddha, once having attained this state of awareness, no longer needed to go through the laborious process of thinking things through as he had become fully attuned with his ‘higher Intuition’ which is a state of complete ‘Inner Knowing’!

 

 

 

The Power of Attraction

Compassion in action is ‘genuine caring’ for others, that has a seemingly enormous magnetic power of attraction not just with human beings, but animals and other forms of life as well!’

Even science is aware of the attraction of atoms to atoms, cells to cells to create other organisms and life forms!

This attractive force which seems to be intrinsic to own own human nature, is the most potent of all subtle forces because it asks nothing from others or other forms of life.

It is not ‘bogged down’ with thoughts and feelings of receiving something back in return, and because of this, is free to flow unimpeded towards its goal!

Most people would agree that this power of attraction is a definite reality in our lives, because we can think of so many examples of how subtly this works in bringing both what we want or don’t want into our lives when we least expect it.

The acceptance of this force in our lives has filtered through into our normal speech through sayings such as: ‘Birds of a Feather Flock Together’, or another way of putting it – ‘Like thoughts attract, unlike thoughts repel each other’.

I have seen many examples of this in relationships particularly where couples seem so different or so unlikely a match. However, there still seems to be a connection on some level between them. It could be on a spiritual, intellectual, emotional or physical level, but strong enough for the attraction to work!

In many cases, how did it happen when someone from another Country meets their ideal ‘Soul Mate’ from some other Country on a chance meeting? Imagine the enormous odds of that happening!

This attractive compelling force seems to work more noticeably below the plane of consciousness in alignment with our deepest feeling and desires – whether positive or negative. If a person chooses to play the victim in their thought and feeling world, or through lack of self-confidence, develops the habit of assuming negative outcomes, it will most likely draw to them other negative people, and things continually going askew in their daily lives!

So what does that tell us? It seems that this attractive energy is focused through us, and guided by our own choices and belief system, as to what is magnetically attracted to us in our lives!

Example: Have you been thinking of someone you haven’t seen or had contact with for years, and then a few days later just bumped into them in a crowded place? Again, what are the odds of that occurring when just a second or two made the difference in seeing or not seeing them! Or been thinking of someone, and you get a phone call from them soon after!

There are obviously countless examples to which we can all relate, but even the most skeptical would be hard put to deny the existence of such an underlying powerful force.

In reality, everything is in a state of vibration. When we send forth a more serious thought/feeling vibration on a deeper subconscious or surface level, it seems to magnetically  attract what ever it is back to its original source. Therefore, we need to think carefully before we put something out there!

What do you think?

Derrick Reither

 

 

In The Stillness

IN THE STILLNESS

How can this be achieved?
And how can we attain and maintain this inner-state of consciousness in our everyday life without feeling overwhelmed by the rapid pace at which technology, new systems of thought, behaviour and values are sweeping in and appearing to take control of our personal life.
The foundation of our feeling of security, our understanding of what we perceive as our hard-won sense of basic values (the way we think or believe things should be), is being shaken leaving us sometimes quite bewildered, in danger of losing our inner-poise, and possibly leaving us with a genuine feeling of despair as to what the future may bring!

If we cannot change the outer world at this point in time, then the answer is obvious – the only course we have left is to turn our attention within – to the very heart of our own consciousness, and explore what it is within us that can keep us from losing our inner-balance, and going off the rails.

Mentally, it entails the conscious letting go of all the fluctuations of the mind. This means out-waiting all thoughts & feelings that arise at the time and remaining inwardly focused on holding to a state of inner quiet, steadiness, calmness, and peace. As Eckhart Tolle puts it – Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is, no matter what form it takes, you are still, you are at peace!

Do we believe that life has a purpose? or that it was all one big accident (as in the big bang theory)?

If we believe in life having a purpose, does it mean just waking, eating, sleeping, working, fulfilling our mundane everyday duties, being a good father, mother, husband, wife, living in the hope of finding some happiness in the accumulation of money and material things, or hoping to find love with that elusive soul-mate! Or, is there a deeper more intelligent purpose behind it all which as yet, we are incapable of understanding?

The other alternative – the “Big Bang” theory – that all life forms and consciousness are the result of one big accident, I find rather abhorrent and quite nihilistic in theory, because it annihilates the thought that life has any purpose at all!

Can we ever really understand life’s great mystery by developing our intellect or expanding our intuitive knowledge of life and the Universe? Is there a difference between rational thinking and Truth? For something to be regarded as a Truth or Reality, what quality would it need to have?

I believe that for a truth to be a Universal Truth or Principle, it must be constant & unchanging, & definitely not subject to the whims & changing belief systems of human beings!

My understanding is that intellectual reasoning can point us in the right direction, but the reality of our own beingness has to be experienced on a deeper more subtle level for us to appreciate what true inner-security, peace and lasting happiness really is! It should be an enormously uplifting experience!

This is a quote by one of the world’s greatest scientists & philosophers – Albert Einstein.
“There is no logical way to the discovery of Elemental Laws, there is only the way of Intuition, which is a ‘feeling’ for the order underlying the appearance”!
Intuition is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is its faithful servant!
We have created a society that honours the servant, and has forgotten the gift!

Keeping an open mind, together with a strong belief in something far more universally intelligent and loving than ourselves, appears to be the only way we can rise above our normal rational thinking, and personal egocentric views and open ourselves up to this Sacred Gift of Intuition!

The development of faith, courage, patience, caring, honesty, self-control, and a sincere desire to understand the truth of our beingness, all seem necessary prerequisites to attaining this feeling of inner-security, peace, contentment, and inner-poise.

Of these, Faith is the greatest, because without it, we are weak. Faith in Action is Trust. Our inner strength is determined by the degree of faith or ‘inner knowing’ we feel within ourselves & maybe a higher power.

An analogy that comes to mind goes like this:

On life’s journey, we come to the river of emotion. This river runs swiftly, and is full of rapids and whirlpools. Moored nearby is the ‘boat of intellect’ which we need to row across the river of emotion which is fast flowing, negotiating all its rapids and whirlpools to gain access to the other side which is called the land of intuition – where we can then walk on, armed with courage and a strengthened inner-faith in a higher, more intelligent, powerful, and loving force! (Author & writer Christmas Humphries)

This type of Faith goes deeper than just blind belief or hope in something, because it is based upon an ‘inner-knowing’ or ‘feeling for’ certain Truths or Principles which are timeless!

Faith is developed slowly – firstly with a child-like belief in our parents, teachers, then ourselves, and after many of life’s hard-won battles, we begin to feel a certain self-confidence that the world is a safer place than we had previously envisioned, realising we have that inner strength and guidance to draw upon when necessary!

I had a break-through in meditation one morning in my early twenties.
A vision of a vast ocean came to me, which translated itself into “The Ocean of Life” with a Cork floating on its surface. A voice from within said – You are the Cork, that is your Spirit.
Then I saw the waves build up and toss the Cork around, splashing it, but it didn’t sink!
Then a hand came up from the bottom of the ocean, took hold of the Cork and pulled it down to the bottom of the ocean, then let it go, allowing it to quickly rise to the surface again.
A voice then said – This is your Spirit, nothing in the world can sink it!
(From that experience, I learned that one good picture which one could relate to, was worth a few thousand words!)

How many times in the past have we allowed thoughts of fear, self-doubt, self-pity, over self-indulgence, frustration, irritation, annoyance and procrastination or health issues to dominate our consciousness and our lives?
Of course at the time, we had forgotten that these attitudes are created by us, and having no real existence of themselves, can only dominate us when we forget the inner-bouyancy of our own Soul, or human Spirit!

Many of the great teachers, philosophers and saints have referred to a higher-self or higher intuition within us which both lovingly and intelligently guides our lives when we ask for help with full faith and sincerity.
If we continually draw on our faith in all situations, a powerful momentum develops which of itself stays with us through each and every day of our busy lives.

So, how do we attain this state amidst going about our normal everyday living?
One effective way, is through meditation, a practical eastern technique which has been taught for centuries.
(There are a number of meditation techniques using affirmations, visualization, listening, concentration on the breath, to name a few).
The act of meditation teaches us to work from within ourselves to create an atmosphere of inner stillness, whilst observing in a detached way, the movement of our thoughts, feelings, and physical body activity that attempt to distract our attention!
If we can maintain this state for a reasonable length of time without allowing ourselves to be drawn into internal verbalising about anything which may present itself to our focused attention, we will notice that these disturbances begin to subside until we reach a state of
wordless – attention which may surprise us!

All we really need to do is practise standing back and out-waiting these distractions. Through persistent practise, we will eventually experience a profound truth – that mind or intellect, is but a tool of our real consciousness and higher self which is always ever-present and aware in the background & not caught up in ‘time – space thinking’!

The fact that we can stand at “the pivot point of the pendulum” and watch the movement of the thoughts and feelings which flow back and forth in cycles, helps us to realise that there is a special place of stillness within us to which we can turn, by simply being aware of our true consciousness, and living in it!

We need to be inwardly still & calm to connect with our deeper-self; to do this we have to open ourselves to a level beyond that of the physical through faith or belief! Then apply it in our everyday lives, remembering that faith without works is dead!
In the normal course of our traditional education, has anyone ever taught us this? The answer is simply – no!

Now this all sounds easy, but there are some initial stumbling blocks which we have to overcome.
Firstly, because we have allowed our mind, to run unchecked – thinking and emoting at will with little or no control and focused direction from us, we will find that it becomes like a stubborn mule when we decide to tame it and give it some creative direction! Over the past few years it has developed a powerful momentum of its own which takes some determined self-control.

Secondly, we may feel that if we try to be detached from our thoughts and feelings, that we risk becoming cold, indifferent or de-sensitised towards our loved ones, and life itself!
Be assured that this is not the case, in fact the reverse is true!
Once our consciousness is freed from being held-down by all the attachments and fears we hold in our personal ego, we develop a greater capacity for unconditional loving, caring and giving of ourselves.

Thirdly, we do not like change, and it is our resistance to change that causes a lot of our inner-tension.
Remember, it is not being suggested that we give up our positive/creative thoughts and feelings – only the negative, restrictive ones that are limiting our consciousness. ( i.e. self-pity, feeling fearful, angry, irritated or depressed – deplete one’s energy, whereas positive feelings such as sending out thoughts of Goodwill to the world, helping others, being useful, all help us develop an enthusiasm for life, stimulate our physical body and whole psyche, and make us feel life is worthwhile!

If we are truly honest with ourselves, the chance of us being unbiased in our judgement of ourselves, others, and life itself will be greatly enhanced! So, being able to stand aside from our own personal ego, which has previously prevented us from perceiving reality as it truly is, will enable us to express ourselves more naturally – in unrestricted caring for those we love, and all forms of life! Others who have achieved this state of awareness, testify that they feel an overall kinship, or oneness with everything around them!

All of the greatest teachers, philosophers and thinkers that humanity has produced agree on this one point – that man’s personal ego, is the greatest stumbling block to learning and his development as a more humane, creative being!
(However, is it wise to completely kill off our personal ego? Wouldn’t it deprive us of the driving force necessary in business and getting things done? Or can we keep working through this ego, recognizing it as a necessary lesser part of ourselves which relates us to this outer world, and work to transform it into a more creative, caring tool until it is free of fear, attachment, selfishness and greed)!

The word Ego can have different meanings – (personal ego or Spiritual Ego!)
Some Easterners put it this way – they say there are 5 obstacles to the attainment of wisdom! These are: ignorance, the ego-sense, desire (attachment), aversion and the clinging to life!
So, not understanding the Source which created us, or our connection with it , we are obviously in state of Spiritual ignorance! This causes us to think that this “I” – which I call “Me” is isolated from its Source, because I see great differences between myself and others. This is the great illusion caused by the development of the personal ego or ego-sense). As we allow this personalised ego sense to grow through life experiences, desires begin to manifest – attaching us even more to the illusion that we need these things, and whenever our desires are thwarted, we feel an aversion (fear of loss, or dislike), and eventually the greatest of all fears, the fear of death – so naturally, our reaction to that is also predictable – we want to cling to life for dear life, because we are afraid that death means oblivion!

I have found in my own studies, in-depth meditation, and Soul-searching, that there are two meanings to the word “I”. In its purest form, this statement means my Spirit, but said in the usual sense refers to my personal ego. The same word but having two very diverse meanings! If we take this line of thought further, and state the words “I” or “I AM”, it is really a statement of that which we consider our true identity – confirming the truth that we exist in the now! However, if we say “I AM – this or that”, we begin to personalise or identify with the mental image we have created! We can see then how subtle the interpretation can be! The words “I AM” are probably the most powerful statement a human being can make if stated with an awareness of its Spiritual meaning!

We seem to have this fascination for labelling everything. I am this, or I am that!
i.e. I am an Australian, I am Chinese, I am Black, I am White, I am a Catholic, I am Jewish,
I am a Father, I am a Mother, or some negative labels such as – I am a no-hoper, I am a failure, I am no good to anyone! Can you see now, how we so easily begin to identify with the label we have placed upon ourselves, which is our own idea of reality, and the way we think things are, or should be! This is ego identification. The personal ego loves labelling itself. It seems that it needs to keep bolstering its image of itself for its own survival, and personal kudos, which in itself, is an admission of insecurity. Whereas, the real “I” which we are, has been forgotten.

Here is a Metaphor: Think of the Sun which is always present in our world, and the clouds which are eternally passing below it.
The real “I” of us, the light of our own Soul-Consciousness, is eternally shining from within us. The clouds, are our personal ego identifications, which come and go in cycles, which we allow to affect us mentally, emotionally and physically. Whereas, our Soul-Consciousness is unchanging and ever-present!

A simple formula which I have found helpful, is “Easeful, Peaceful, and Useful”!
Meaning – be Easeful in Body, Peaceful in Mind, and Useful in our everyday lives.
We call ourselves Human Beings: When did the name ‘Human’ come into our use?
The word Human is derived from two Sanskrit words – ‘Hu’ meaning “Of The Spirit” and “Manas” meaning Mind! This indicates that a Human Being is a Spirit, Thinking Being!
A quote from “The Desiderata”:
“Go quietly amidst the noise and haste and remember what peace there is in Silence”.

Maybe it could have added “What ’empowerment’ there is in Silence as well”!

(Comments are always welcome)

Derrick Reither.

 

The Universal Religion

There is only one all Loving, all Knowing, all Powerful, ‘Ever-Present Universal Consciousness’ that creates, supports, sustains, supplies and illuminates us as human-beings, as well as all other forms of life!

As human-beings, our highest concept of God should be totally inclusive, universal and impersonal, accepting each person as being one in Spirit with ourselves, and neither favouring any specific belief system, or personal egoic views other than there being only One Universal Consciousness, Creator, and One Universal Truth!

This Universal Force is the same force that brought us into this world, and the same loving force that will take us safely out out this world again into a much greater reality from whence we came – when it is our time! It’s understanding is beyond our limited ‘time-space thinking’, and has unlimited freedom of expression through the focused desire or will of each and every human being!

God the ‘Greater Flame’ focused as the ‘spark of Spirit’ within each of us, is a constant underlying consciousness which is beyond all thought and feelings as we know them!

Most past and present day religions rely on a belief in a ‘personal god’ which is generally related to the enlightened being or messenger who originally brought forth those teachings. If each current orthodox religion continues to believe that they are representing the only true ideology, they are actually isolating themselves from understanding Reality and Universal Truth, and whether aware or not, are ‘silently’ at war with other belief systems, even if they profess to accept the essence of their teachings!

Unfortunately, the majority of human beings have been so subtly seduced by idealism, materialism and attachment to their physical body shape, size and looks, by having allowed their consciousness to focus so deeply on these things, they have forgotten that they are in reality a Spiritual Being!

Do you know where the term ‘human-being’ came from? Two Sanskrit Words – ‘Hu’ and ‘Manas’. ‘Hu’ meaning ‘of the Spirit’ and ‘Manas’ meaning ‘Mind’. Therefore, a human-being, is a ‘Spirit-Thinking Being’!

To rise above the urges of one’s personal ego, it is essential to develop the Will and Skill to ‘stand back’ and just observe like a scientist, the fluctuations of one’s mind as they arise in cycles as thoughts, feelings and bodily distractions, and then use your Will to out-wait them until reaching a state of inner silence and stillness. This practice over time, helps to open up a connection to one’s higher intuition and inner guidance.

Earlier theosophical teaching leaned towards ‘killing out’ the ego which did not make sense – as we need our ego as a personal vehicle through which to think, emote, aspire and create on the physical level! The objective is not to annihilate the ego, but to refine and transform it into a useful vehicle of expression in our outer world!

If one wishes to develop a fruitful, harmonious relationship with other individuals and groups, either on a personal or business level – then Honesty must come first before a sufficient amount of Trust can develop between parties and hopefully eventuate in Loyalty! Also – caring, humility, and being true to your word, are essential in the development of ‘Trust’.

When a human-being becomes aware of the difference between their True Spiritual Consciousness and the nature of the mind in motion, it enables them to see all other people in a similar light to themselves –  all originating from the same source, and part of a much greater Universal Family. This understanding naturally promotes an attitude of humility, goodwill, forgiveness, and tolerance towards all forms of life regardless of their personal beliefs and outer form, and a heart-felt desire to be of service to one’s fellow man!

Sincerely,  Derrick Reither

(PS: Still engaged in the process of transforming his own personal ego into something of value to others!)

 

 

The Power of Stillness


How many people would understand the pleasure of knowing what it means to be mentally, emotionally and physically “still” for even a moment of time?

Most days, we seem to be caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of life, and if not taking time out for ourselves, we become like a car engine constantly revving under varying degrees of stress! Either from striving to achieve things that are important to us, caring for others, or unconsciously falling into the trap of allowing doubts, worries and fears to dominate our minds.

Rest and sleep are necessary to re-charge the mind and body, but there is an extra feeling of power over the situation which arises when we become conscious of being inwardly still, and at peace within ourselves!

We have been taught from childhood that education is the key to success in the material world, which is true to a certain degree. However, what is not taught so much is the over-riding importance of believing in yourself, and being true to that innate belief!

There is a place of inner stillness and silence within every human being, which is the very source of their own empowerment.

It is a powerful force, we don’t have to strive to find it, it is already a part of ourselves. We just need to recognise it, believe in it, and live in it! It resides in a dimension beyond our normal everyday thinking!

Unfortunately, it is the constant uncontrolled inner self-talk, and cacophony of inharmonious noise produced by our own personal desires and fears that haunt us more often than not, and in the process destroy the pleasurable experience of just enjoying the present moment!

Our “thinking self” has a need to label everything, thereby shutting off our feeling of attunement with maybe the ‘smell of a rose’, or just experiencing the grandeur of nature in ‘the moment’!

The moment we allow ourselves to analyse and think about a rose, or the magnificence of a vast sky or great ocean, we lose the ability to feel ourselves at one with it!

One thing that is quite concerning in our current society, is the ingrained tendency of youth to indulge in overly loud music seemingly oblivious to the harm they not only inflict on their ear-drums and nervous systems, but with even more subtlety, build up a fear of entering into that quiet inner space of silence and stillness!

What do you think?

Derrick Reither

 

 

A Thank You To Jesus

As it is Christmas day today, I was moved to say something about the real meaning of Christmas, which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, apart from the over commercialized aspect in today’s world.

Jesus is the greatest teacher the world has ever seen or known, which may be disputed by some other religious teachings, but nevertheless his works speak for themselves!

Firstly, because he was the first Spiritual teacher to direct our attention to the fact that “the Spirit Of God is within you”!

No other teacher taught that as explicitly as he! Which implied that our Human Spirit is connected to the greater Universal Spirit! And that Universal Spirit or ‘God The Father’ as he called it, is all loving, all knowing, all powerful and ever-present in the life of every human being!

Secondly, because his personal life exemplified 100% Faith in God, and total Unconditional Love for humanity!

Jesus’s main mission was to establish a New Testament which exemplified a Loving God – not the fearful “hell-fire and brimstone” teachings of the Old Testament. (Of course, fear of retribution was always an effective way to keep people under control!)

He “did not” preach that God would honour you for killing, maiming or torturing other human beings in his name if thought to be blasphemous, or in some way dispute his teachings, in fact he taught the opposite, which is to ‘forgive’ and show compassion to those who seek to hurt in thought, word or deed!

Only those who wish to control others for their own selfish intent, or religiously naive, over-emotional, fanatically minded individuals would attempt to bring the teachings of goodness and kindness down to their own petty limited human beliefs, and take out of context his simple loving, and direct teachings.

Jesus taught that God’s love of humanity is totally unconditional, and applies to every race, colour, creed, or culture regardless. Also, that we should ‘love our neighbour’ as we love our own self, and ‘Do unto others as we would have them do unto us’! (A simple formulae for world peace!)

However, the human ego is strong and willful, and mostly wants to believe its own”deep set opinions’, sometimes in the extreme misguided belief that aggressive behaviour towards others who do not share those ideals, is actually sanctioned by God!

At the tender age of 13, Jesus already recognized that he was about his “Father’s work”! The Christian Bible mentions nothing about his life between the ages of 13 and 30 years. However, some earlier theories suggest in that time, he was taken to foreign lands such as India, Egypt and Tibet to study under the greatest mentors of that time, who gave him wise counsel until he achieved manhood to fulfil his divine mission for humanity.

At age thirty, he began his ministry on earth announcing that he was the “The Son of God”! In the three intense years that followed, his direct guidance and selfless actions had a profound effect on the minds and hearts of those who were open to his teachings through his chosen disciples, and to us 2,000 years later!

To cement the belief of his followers, he performed some seemingly miraculous healing works, even the bringing forth of ‘Lazarus’ from the dead!

Even on the day he was to be sentenced to death, he was asked by the then Roman Governor – Are you the Son of God?, to which he replied “I AM”, which of course was interpreted by the clergy and the people  as a blasphemous statement from him, when he was actually stating with full awareness, his connection with his Creator or in his terms “God The Father”!

Today his teachings stand as firm as ever, although there are some who for their own shallow reasons, seek to defame and degrade him and his works!

He gave us Hope, he showed us the Way, he gave us the Truth! He came to us as a shining light at a time when all of humanity had lost their way stumbling in the dark, having lost sight of their true Spiritual Heritage. He came to remind us of what we had forgotten! Finally, on his death and subsequent resurrection, he showed us that the death of the body is nothing but the shedding of the outer husk as we re-enter the World of Spirit, and ever-lasting life!

Even today, many people are just beginning to understand and appreciate the simple essence of his teachings, and their practical value in coping with our modern, materialistic way of life!

I wish everyone a loving, peaceful and safe Christmas!

Derrick

 

 

Noise Pollution

How many people these days think about the general noise level when we are out and about, in shopping centres, restaurants, cafes, heavy transport vehicles in suburban streets, motor cycles, ear-piercing fire brigade alarms, ambulance sirens, and work on construction sites, even though some are necessary?

Unfortunately, these are the unpleasant disturbing sounds that assail our ears with regular consistency, which are a part of our every day modern life, and will become increasingly worse as the population grows.

Are we aware of the side effects of the ‘total level of vibration’ on our overall physical and mental health? Actually, there is a decibel noise level standard set by law which is a maximum 85 decibels and anything over.

Did you know that ‘sustained loud noise’ effects the hair cells in the inner ear leading to significant hearing loss? Try telling this to young people wearing “Walkman Players”right up against their ears, and attending rock groups in concert!

Also, most of us have been subjected whilst driving, to single or groups of motor cycle riders deliberately over revving their bikes, and hoons driving hotted-up utes and cars, which gives a rude shock to one’s whole nervous system, and is dangerous to the health of both the elderly and young children in particular.

However, it seems to me that the ‘overall continual vibration’ from all this noise is doing our hearing and nervous systems severe damage over the course of time, and no government institutions or health companies seem to be coming up with any practical solutions to offset some of the excessive unnecessary noise!

Of late, there is another problem emerging which will come from ‘drones’ multiplying in number, which if not strictly controlled by government, will add to the overall problem.

Some people I have met along the way have mentioned how badly they suffer from sharp noises and prolonged heavy sound vibrations.

Maybe the government of the day should give this growing health problem the due attention it should receive!

Is Solar, Battery or Nuclear power the answer in some circumstances, and as well, a  ‘crack-down’ on irresponsible raucous behaviour?

What do you think? I’d be interested in your comments!

Kind thoughts, Derrick

Mindfulness & Being Aware Of Being Aware!

Mindfulness has become the ‘buzz word’ in psychological circles, and is essential in developing concentration.

  • Mindfulness is keeping one’s attention centered in the present moment!
  • Lack of Mindfulness, leads to being led astray by any passing thought or feeling!

Many business people and office workers confirm they have trouble keeping their minds focused even for a short period of time!

  • Practicing mindfulness in everyday situations, strengthens our ability to focus without the mind wandering off!
  • It also strengthens memory re-call!

However, there is another level of awareness or consciousness which is aware of one’s thought and feeling processes, which is not caught up in ‘time-space thinking’ on the personal level.

  • It is the ‘ever-present overseer’ in the background at all times.

When a person realizes there is a difference between this ‘Real Unchanging Self’ and the workings of the mind, their whole understanding of themselves, others, and the world around them will undergo a significant change.

  • Instead of feeling ‘imprisoned’ by the continual doubts, worries, fears and desires of the lesser self, there comes a growing understanding that these issues are only a small part of the ‘total you’, and are directly associated with how emotionally secure or insecure you feel moment to moment in your personal-self.

Putting it another way, there are two selves:

  • The “I” or “me” we refer to everyday, is our personal self at work.
  • The other “I” is that part of us which is the ‘ever-present observer’ of the movement going on within the mind.

The biggest problem for a person wanting to change their thinking in a meaningful way,

  • Is the already deeply ingrained habits of thinking and accompanying feelings, which  contribute to their ‘general belief system’, and act as a block to open-minded thinking!

The practice of Meditation can help overturn this problem by re-directing one’s attention inward, towards a deeper understanding of that which lies beyond the continual fluctuations within the mind itself!

  • The main goal in Meditation is on holding the mind steady, with the aim of just ‘letting go’ all mental and emotional distractions, by ‘out-waiting’ them.
  • Without feeding them, they will ‘fall away’ by themselves through your lack of attention, leaving you with a feeling of inner peace and calmness previously unknown to you!

When I was a lot younger, I found this practice quite difficult with thoughts continually distracting my focus of attention, but with persistent practice, it came easier. I found however, the use of visual imaging together with an affirmation such as: “I am a Sun looking down upon the clouds of thought and feelings passing by”, or mentally stating the words “I am”, or the use of question form “who am I”?, helped to re-center my attention when the mind had wandered off!

Just remember this:

  • When you call yourself “I”, you are really stating the reality of your existence.
  • When you say – “I am”, it means this “I” lives in the now”!
  • If you say – “I am – this or that”, you are creating a mental image of what you want to believe is yourself, or want to become!
  • Once you realize the power of the words “I AM” as a statement of fact, no longer will you allow your outer self to dominate you! In fact you will be amazed at the increase in self-confidence that will come to you!

I was quite surprised recently when Prince Harry opened the ‘Invictus Games’ which motto emphasized the words “I AM” as a powerful  affirmative statement for the disabled athletes!

  • Instead of ‘hoping’ your dreams will come true, you can with the use of ‘powerful positive affirmations’, give your dreams a much better chance of becoming a reality.

Meditation is important in everyone’s life, as it allows you to ‘switch off your thinking machine’, and ‘feel out’ the ‘Real You’ in that special place of peace and stillness!

I offer these thoughts as a help to anyone who is seeking to ‘find themselves’ amidst the many distractions of modern everyday living!

Comments are welcome!

Kind thoughts,

Derrick

 

The Ego and its Potential

In my previous blog, I mentioned ways we relate to our ‘personal ego’.

There is also a positive side to one’s personal ego – if used in the right way! 

Each human being has been given  ‘free will’ to think as we see fit, and therefore, we have the choice to think and behave as a force for ‘good’, or in a selfish, self-centred manner!

  • If one chooses the ‘good’, the mind is open to ‘inspiration, creative thinking, and being helpful to others.
  • If one chooses the other, one is drawn towards ‘materiaIism and self-serving behaviour.  

Of most importance, is the ‘Motive’ behind the thought which makes a significant difference, as each emits its own particular “Quality and Vibration”.

Often we hear people refer to the ‘vibes’ we pick up from others, or the environment around them. Most people have an instinctive reaction to ‘warmth or coldness’ coming from people they have met. I have heard some say that certain people “give them the creeps”, or their ‘vibes’ are awesome! The fact is that people can express the same thoughts, but with opposing motives, and emit totally different vibrations!

For instance, both may say: “I really wish to help you”!  One with an underlying intention to extract money or take control of you!  And the other with a genuine intention to really help you! So each will emit a significantly different quality of vibration!

The mind is a subtle, powerful vehicle of expression, and few if any educational institutions have taught us how to use it properly, so it is important that we learn to use it ‘wisely’!

When we learn to give of ourselves without expecting anything in return, we set in motion a powerful, and subtle, attractive force which is unstoppable to achieve its goal!

Example: A few years ago on holiday in the USA, I met a young 19 year old man. He told me he gave his parents hell in his early teens, in and out of detention for stealing cars, personal belongings, drugs and alcohol many times before he decided to turn his life around. Then he told me he voluntarily looked for psychological guidance and was now a self-taught jazz pianist, and to me a great example of a special caring and creative human being.

You see it works if we are really committed to making a change!

If we don’t give our mind a purposeful direction to serve others, it can easily “sink below the waves” of goodwill, decency, and inspired creativity, and become enmeshed in an under-current of base uncontrolled thoughts and emotions, materialism and selfishness!

It’s up to us – our choice!

Comments welcome,

Kind thoughts, Derrick