From Shakti to Shiva ( or a human perspective on spiritual awakening)

Having had a few spiritually numinous experiences in my life which have seemingly boosted me along my ‘path’ somewhat I find myself nowadays living a rather paradoxical existence.

In short, being an empathically sensitive sort of guy led me to discover that my ‘sensitivity’ was related to having a more acutely tuned awareness to others and my environment. This in turn with meditation and the aforementioned experiences led to an understanding of the nonduality of life. That is to say there there is no true separation between everything in existence and that at a basic level we are all of one energetic event. The idea that we are separate is a delusion created by our largely crude senses combined with society’s predilection to socialise individuals into the same ideology.
It’s not a particular problem and in most ways it is rather helpful but having had in those moments a glimpse of what I now take to be my understanding of the true nature of reality, I seem to find myself admidst a society of mostly ‘crazy’ people. I am defining crazy here as merely my subjective description of others behaviour in line with my current perception of life itself, for it may be me who is crazy after all!

I see now why certain spiritual people describe the majority humanity as sleeping.
Individuals living their lives in search of novelty and distraction from the bigger questions of life, death and the transient nature of our mortal selves.
Investing their precious time here on Earth with the gathering of commodities and socially reinforcing relationships all in service of the ego.
This does by no means make these people less valuable, after all in the nature of true ‘oneness’, we are all in this together.
For me, the truth of the matter is that true divinity is all around us and inside of us. There never has been any true demarcation between ourselves / sunsets / sunrises / stormy seas and the serenity of a Summers day.
All of Nature, if one observes, sings of happiness and freedom. Ironically it seems only Man can feel burdened with the task of life.

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On Being a Dystopian Protagonist

Dystopia –
an imaginary society in which social or technological trends have culminated in a greatly diminished quality of life or degradation of values.
( Webster Collins Dictionary )

I have a few issues with the many definitions of dystopia. Ironically because if I was a dystopian protagonist, I would have. My main issue being the assumption that this society may be solely imaginary or imagined.
I am not a stranger to feeling isolated and alone in Western Society, after all, being both an empathic and a spiritually minded individual lends to not sharing similar proclivities to those around me. Add to that, that I have a rather indefinable organic, non dualistic, animistic understanding of existence pushes me further to the periphery of society.

Subsequently one could assume that, from my viewpoint, I wouldn’t feel particularly comfortable with the world around me as it stands.
Saying that however I know of many, many people who share the same disillusionment with the way the Western world has ‘developed’ over the past fifty or so years.

Going back to the definitions of dystopia, I find they relate more to today’s societal structure than at any time in the distant past.
The dystopia ( I believe ) has occurred in a multifactorial / multifaceted manner. Though I know many believe in conspiracy theories relating to the mind control of the populace and the supposed power held by hidden organisations. They may, to some extent, indeed be true, but I can only really go by what I percieve.
Certainly it seems that we are nearer to a dystopian society than a utopian one.

It seems to me that social and technological trends have indeed led to a diminished quality of life and degradation of values.
Whereas countries and states had their own cultural identity, their own unique ancestral imprint that helped define them and make them who they were. It seems that due to mass commercialisation via the internet / cable and satellite TV/ radio / etc etc much of the world has become a monoculture of materialism.
There are cases where the introduction of television and other technologies have adversely effected the mental health of those cultures who were previously naive to such things.
Add to that the current social media epidemic that encourages the promotion of self ( via ‘selfies’ with or without filters ), littered with advertisements about how to boost your looks / wealth / social standing by engaging with different groups and products. There is even some credibility in ‘false news’, where the suggestion of its existence implies some degree of validity!!

Also the amount of young ( and not so young ) individuals who spend vast amounts of their life being ‘entertained’ by gaming or preoccupied with other similar technological devices. People using technology to gain revenge on others or videoing acts of violence and depravity.

Don’t get me wrong however, there is some good come out of the advances in computer science and its ill but it seems largely uncontrolled and has undoubtedly changed massively the way people live their lives over recent years.

Even when I was young I took social trends to be the ‘norm’ and sacrificed some of my authenticity in order to be more accepted by my peers and this was without all the commercial brainwashing and societal conditioning of today.
However, this I have not done for a long time.

So, what’s all this to do with anything?
Firstly, as an empathic individual I feel others unhappiness and frustration and believe me it seems to have increased immensely over recent years.
I urge people to find ‘themselves’ amongst the array of stereotypes being forced on them, either openly or insidiously. Everyone has their own truth inside of them, we just need to discover it. You do not need anyone to agree with you or you to falsely agree with others to maintain one’s mental and emotional homeostasis.

In fact, in some ways you could say that we have a moral obligation to not do so.

“Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the
man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself”.
Source: The Undiscovered Self, chapter 4 (1957)
“It is the individual’s task to differentiate himself from all the others
and stand on his own feet. All collective identities . . . interfere
with the fulfillment of this task. Such collective identities are
crutches for the lame, shields for the timid, beds for the lazy,
nurseries for the irresponsible”.

Carl Gustav Jung.

Societys Zombie Apocalypse…….?

Most days I get by.
I get by thanks to my undying belief in the purity and glory of life.
In the knowledge that all is transient, all is interconnected and that all is one.

However at times my human heart tires, my spirit is dampened by those that would seem to be other than sentient. It is an unavoidable aspect of existence and one that thankfully only briefly clouds my vision until personal clarity and equanimity resume.

These instances are only ever caused by my fellow man.
By those whom –

– Prefer to persecute and criticise others in the aim of inflicting pain and percieved personal gain.

– Much prefer the idea of an anthropocentric existence to a holistic, empathic world view.

– Those individuals who would invest their time and energy in order to display their personal financial wealth in order to fill the empty rooms of their soul and to feed their ego with the transient.

As above , there are those that would use their position in society to promote themselves and reduce others.

There are also those that due to them living an almost voluntarily blinkered life, consumed by materialism, satiated by the toys given them by society.

– Those whose eyes are affixed to their mobile phones, who wander the Earth using technology as a window in which to frame the infinite complexity and divinity of the world around them. That also blind them from her entreaties for compassion for herself and her kin

– The dead eyes of the many television viewers soaking up without question all that is programmed into them via satellite networks

– those whose preoccupation with building a wall of amusement and distraction around them will never hear the cries of help from others, feel others pains or seek to understand and nurture those individuals who need the sustenance of warmth, love and belief that may have otherwise been available.

Despite the indifference, negativity and sometimes active resistance of others to experience or entertain any other philosophical or psychological standpoint, I will quietly go my own way. By subtle actions, quiet words and compassion, I will stand my ground and hopefully make some difference for the benefit of those that would require it.

Spiritual Individuation ( a precis )

Colours blind the eye.

Sounds deafen the ear.

Flavours numb the taste.

Thoughts weaken the mind.

Desires wither the heart.
The Master observes the world

but trusts his inner vision.

He allows things to come and go.

His heart is open as the sky.
From the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
I know many of us with a predisposition towards the spiritual life can suffer tremendously as we precariously tread our path. There is in us all, our own rendition of spirituality. A unique and innate seed that seeks expression and fulfilment through our experience of life itself. My own was through the discovery that I am empathic.
I am no expert on anyone’s life as we all are different. Each of us growing from a distinct DNA in our own individual habitat of physical, psychological and emotional environments.

However, in the hope of helping others, I wish to communicate briefly my experience thus far.
After many years of reflection, meditation and various numinous experiences in my life I found that actually I knew my truth all along, I just needed to discover it. My truth was ingrained in my heart from the very beginning. I suspect it took awhile to discover as my truth was not of my culture and thus many of my spiritual experiences were alien to me as they were to my peers.

This is where the idea of spiritual individuation came from.
The term ” individuation ” was coined by Carl Jung, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. His theory was that in order for humans to become the best version themselves we had to allow ourselves to be authentic. That is to seek to express in ourselves and in life our intuitive true nature. The problem with this is it can often be at odds with our culture, peers the society we are born into.
Although I never used to think that being empathic was a gift ( due to its initially confusing and draining properties ) , I now know that it was indeed. One which, once understood, has been pivotal in helping me find myself and for me, my true relationship with the world around me.
So to all you fellow strugglers, whatsoever pain or challenges you may face, rest assured that you are more than you perceive yourself to be. You are more than your current problems, more than your fears for the future and more than the hurts of your past. If you can carry on pursuing your heartfelt path, in my experience, you will find peace and equanimity.

In This Moment………….. 

I love to read by candlelight. 

As dusk falls outside, a chill breeze passes through the house. 

The candle flame flickers in response, instilling life to the dark shadows around me.

I take a moment to enjoy the serenity of  silence that only night time can bring.

The sensual, earthy aroma that accompanies early Autumn has filled my house, bringing with it a multitude of memories infused with bittersweet emotions. It feels as if there is no demarcation between inside or outside. Both worlds are incorporated into a seamless, unified reality of which I too are intimately connected. 
A deep tranquillity settles within my heart and soul. 

It seems that this very moment will last forever . When all worlds become one an eternal stillness is created within which any sense of duality is lost.
Through the open window I see the black velvet of the night sky peppered with small pinpricks of light. Moonlight highlights misshapen clouds as they scud silently across the horizon. Her silver phosphorescence cast upon the landscape as if to lovingly caress her nocturnal kith and kindred. 

I draw comfort from the sight, the same stars and constellations that were there at my birth and have been with me throughout my life. They continue to provide an exquisitely beautiful backdrop to so much of my life, both past and present. 
Out to the porch overlooking my ramshackle garden, my ears are met with the distant mewling of fox cubs. The occasional solitary hoot of an owl adds testament to the incoming night.

A single pipistrelle darts around the street lamp seeking to snare those insects drawn to its fluorescent light. 

A small field mouse scurries through the undergrowth, halting only to sense for any nearby predators that might be hidden amongst the shadows.
I remain as one with the Earth and with eternity. There has never been any separation between myself and the universe. For I feel that deep inside myself I have borne witness to this world since the beginning of time. 

It feels that all of my ancestral memories are within me. There is no physical recall of events, just a deep and soulful knowledge. 

There is no fear of the future for this has always been so and will be forever.

Perspective…….. 

Perspective………… 
Lest we forget amidst the dusty, dark and neurotic corners of our mind there is another world not too far away. A world not concerned with money, status, strength or weakness. Neither cursed with wants, needs or desires. 
This world is just outside, but you will have to leave the dubious comfort of your human mind for a few moments. 

You will have to simply be present, undistracted, allowing all of one’s senses to be open to the gentle touch of Nature.
As I walk slowly through the meadow I can feel myself begin to relax. My mind and body leave behind the human hubbub of life.

The roads full of seemingly angry cars and lorries vying for their place, the people verbally wrestling with each others egos in order to validate themselves in a world where most cannot be seen. 
My breathing slows to a natural rhythm and my heartbeat becomes regular and unhurried. Mentally I am here, now amongst the flora and fauna of Nature. My sense of separateness dissolves and I become as one with the landscape. A simple witness to the beauty of Gaia, where no judgement or opinion is necessary. 
Because of the ‘ oneness ‘ that I feel and the open acuity of my senses, I seem preternaturally aware of the world around me. 
I am in awe as a leaf falls majestically from the foliage of a tree. A once in a lifetime gesture of grace, never to be repeated moment in time. 

The pale sunlight glistens on the barely visible, gossamer carpet of spider webs across the grass. 

The loud, reciprocated caw of crows in flight as they swoop and flock together continuing their families ancient legacy of life.

A single bee flies lazily amongst the flowers, half heartedly collecting nectar. Perhaps she realises her part in Nature’s great play is nearly over and there is no longer any urgency for her to work.
Just below the surface, I can feel the energetic thrum of life. The immense but subtle power of the universe as it both permeates and creates all that is. 

No one aspect of creation has ever been separate from one another, we are all energetic events within energetic events. An eternal cycle of seamless quantum activity gives testament to our immortality. 
How different this world seems to the one that I left a little while ago. The irony is it is made of exactly the same constituents.

The planet and the rest of the universe continue in relative peace and harmony, the only disturbance is that of the human mind and its tendency to subjectively detach and judge its experience. 

In continuing with this Cartesian appraisal of life we lose sense of our true essence and subsequently a true sense of belonging. 
Everyday we are alive it is true to say that every morning when we awake and in every moment therein, numerous opportunities await. Depending on our perspective, we can to a certain extent decide as to whether we realise them and fulfil the latent potential on offer.

Empath Problems 

Living the life of ( what is largely described as) an empath is a very challenging experience to say the very least. After all trying to exist and live a ‘normal’ human existence is frequently fraught with anxiety, stress, drama and perceived obstacles. 
So it is not surprising that those of us who share a predisposition to being energetically sensitive have more than the average person to contend with. 

Whether or not we agree with the term ’empath’ many of us indeed share similar proclivities. There are going to be variables depending on individuals however many ( including myself) experience the following :

  – a tendency to pick up on the emotional states of others ( and sometimes confuse them as our own) 

  – a tendency to pick up on Earth / Nature energies 

  – an extreme sensitivity to whatsoever is in the energetic field of our vicinity, including spirits, ghosts and paranormal entities 

  – we may take on physiological and psychological aspects of those to whom we are close to 

  – numinous spiritual occurrences, for example Advaitic, Kundalini et al episodes 

  – moving in and out of anothers dreams. 

This list certainly is not exhaustive nor exclusive but it gives us an idea of what ‘ normal’ can be like for the empathic on a day to day basis. 

Before we discover and understand our ‘ energetic sensitivity’ we are largely at the mercy of whatever situation we find ourselves in. This can leave ourselves prone to intense uncontrolled emotions, questioning our sanity as well as feelings of isolation and loneliness ( due to not being able to confide our feelings to those around us). This is when being empathic can feel like a curse. 

However it is possible to embrace these abilities and to enjoy the rich depths of insight and sensuality open to us. 

The first step is to understand what being empathic is. 

The next is to find what works for us to enable the individual to maintain balance and reign in some of these disparate energies. Some find grounding, shielding and meditation helps. 

We do though need to bear in mind that we need to be loving and compassionate to ourselves. The fact that on our journey so far we have encountered many, many challenges, possibly more than most others. And this is often without the advantage of peer support due to the uniqueness of our predilection for sensitivity. 
Namaste ( “I bow to the divine in you” – Hinduism) 

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