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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Time Out Anyone……….?

Awoke this morning with my head still spinning from a busy week heavily involved with societal norms.
I need a day to slow right down and ground myself in reality. Not to be swept along by the chorus of egoic demands of society.
Being around people who largely behave like overgrown children in an adult world. Interpersonal one upmanship, individual voices vying for attention and praise from those that would listen.
Advertisements via every media format dangling like proverbial carrots to the masses. Unsubtley suggesting the acquirement of certain goods will increase their masculinity / femininity / desirability ( delete where applicable! )
Society’s obsession with getting things done faster and more efficiently.
People treated as cogs in the materialist machine. Generating company profits through the marketing of goods designed to entertain and distract individuals from other more soulful pursuits.
Paradoxically, despite the world having had many great compassionate leaders such as the Dalai Llama, Mother Theresa and Ghandi for instance as well as renown scientists such as Max Planck, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, as a society it seems we have learnt nothing.
The populace and governments continue to be preoccupied with the promotion of personal gain at the expense of others regardless of our Intrinsic human bond as a species.
The extolling of glamourous movie and music moguls whose only real gift to society is the publicity involved in their own small, personal indiscretions with others.
As an empathic, energetically sensitive sort of guy it seems as if the outside world is set up to be a place that seeks to swamp and distract me from any form of personal reflection, introspection and spiritual growth.

Sitting amongst the long grass in the meadow, Mother Nature sings a very different song.
The warm, comforting Summer breeze blows gently through my hair, brushing my skin in a loving caress. Bringing with it an array of aromas, from the May blossoms to the subtle but pervasive smell of the recently rain adorned earth.
The multifarious colours of the flowers rendered almost incandescent in the sunlight.
A flurry of house sparrows play amongst the brushes.
The low hypnotic thrum of the insects going about their seemingly incessant activity lulls me into a trance like state. A feeling of Oneness with creation transcends, a feeling of having never being separated from Nature.
Truly everything that has ever existed or will exist in the future are the closest kin I will ever have or need.
The heredity of every species of flora and fauna stretching back through history to the beginning of time.
Such a beautifully exquisite manifestation of life can only highlight Man’s shortfalls when it comes to a true appreciation and veneration of the very essence of existence itself.
Despite being surrounded by the unequivocal beauty of our planet, much of the human race seemingly remain either blind or asleep to its message.
Preferring to indulge themselves in soundbites of entertainment or time limited snippets of electronic novelty.
Yet amongst many, their discovery of their true nature is not so far below the surface. If only they took time to stop and stare.

“What is life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare…………..”

From the poem ‘ Leisure ‘ by William Henry Davies.

An Experiment in Authenticity

In my day to day life I try to be as authentic as possible, that is to say I act and speak in line with whom I am. Sometimes for reasons of social acceptability I may dilute myself somewhat in order to reduce the risk of having to get into protracted discussions / debates about my beliefs and perspectives on life. Not that I mind a bit of healthy intellectual debate but having done so, so many times simply to feel frustrated at the end of the conversation I rarely no longer am inclined to do so.

By way of explanation I seem to have a very different take on life than most people I know. I come at things from a kind of spiritually empathic viewpoint. It doesn’t mean that I am in some way better than other people, just that I seem to be of a very different mindset to those around me.
So, to get to the point, I thought that for a couple of days I would be as honestly open and authentic as I could possibly be. A kind of experiment shall we say.
It didn’t really go well.

My experience was that most individuals ‘turned off’ , that is, either changed the subject, made excuses to go and do something else or look at me quietly thinking that I was truly crazy.
A scenario being the simple though somewhat open ended question when someone asks you ‘ how are you today?’.
My honest response might well be ‘ I’m generally good though energetically a little out of kilter. A spot of meditative strolling through the woods always works. It’s that wholesome oneness you feel amongst Nature’.

A common question also being ‘what did you do last night?’.
My response may be something along the lines of ‘ I read Fritjof Capra’s book The Web of Life and his take on Deep Ecology. Later I sat outside breathing in the still night air and admiring the beauty of the dusk’,

So I’m thinking, how do I resolve this issue? Sure there are Facebook/ internet groups out there that discuss such things but somehow that doesn’t work for me.
I therefore surmise that I will remain authentic but will be diligent in terms of what I say and to whom!

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.

A Conflict of Interest? 

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

― Jiddu Krishnamurti

Society largely considers what is normal by the agreed consensus of the majority. However there are many individuals ( myself included) who by virtue of their natural predilections and personal interpretation of the world around us will never be ‘ normal’. This is by no means saying these people aren’t valuable, quite the contrary in fact. They may have a certain quality in their perspective which can infuse us with inspiration and reflect a deep, contrasting insight into the nature of reality. 

These souls may be labeled occasionally as autistic, mentally ill, over sensitive, eccentric or simply ‘different’.  Indeed being empathic ( energetically sensitive) I feel that many of us find growing up and maturing in the outside world something of a unique challenge. 

At an early age we may discover that we are different from our peers and often our parents. 

The constant emphasis when at school and by others on the physical, percievable, allegedly concrete world felt as if most people only lived in a 2D reality. Their world seemed to have little depth, a linear monologue of an existence. 

Through many conversations that I have had with others with similar experiences it seems we have much in common when it comes to living our lives and the challenges we face. For example, having been born into a society which operates on a model that is the antithesis of what we feel to be right.  This can lead to :

  – subsequent feelings of loneliness and alienation which may lead to social withdrawal, addictive behaviors ( in order to numb our sensitivity), mental disorder or feeling that we have to wear a socially acceptable mask in order to fit in. 

If we do this however we compromise our ability to individuate and fully bloom into complete self actualization.  This may leave us feeling unfulfilled and frustrated. 

  – having to constantly assert our needs to others as most people presume that our needs must be similar to theirs ( in terms of space, down time, opportunity to be creative etc) 

  – finding oneself in constant conflict with others and institutions that prioritize materialism and egotism

  – having the desire for honest, open, loving human contact but mostly having to compromise due to the apparent lack of individuals who are unable to form relationships that do not involve some degree of attachment and / or dependence. 

 To summarise, in my opinion I feel it is important to remember:

  • Every individual has a unique history and a unique physiological / psychological make up
  • Therefore everyone has their own potential to fulfil ( whether or not it is in line with society’s expectations)
  • As a society we should encourage everyone to fulfil that potential.
  • Not to be quick to judge others and readily put people into boxed categories, for this can easily become harmful. 

Namaste 💜