INTRODUCTION TO THE WORK
A Short Version...
This work provides a link between the Western practise of ‘self-love and self-fulfilment’ and the Eastern philosophy of ‘freedom from the self; merging into the peace and love which is the essence of all Life’.
Enlightenment has always been about inner release from the limited self, but unless we truly love the self first, we will just be escaping from the very human parts of ourselves which we have judged. Therefore the key is compassion; once we have found unconditional love for our limited self, we can then make the profound step to loving all selves, from a sense of unity or non-separation.
The work therefore begins with you; the person or character that you take yourself to be. In fully exploring your story without judgement; your experiences, beliefs, fears and undigested emotions, you are able to come to a profound understanding of the root of your self and your unique journey through life. Out of this understanding emerges self-acceptance and love.
Fully accepting every part of yourself and your story, including those who have influenced you, you stop living in reaction to yourself and life, and start flowing with your journey to awakening.
Released from inner conflict, it is then possible to explore what it means to move beyond the subjective viewpoint of the separate self to a limitless perception of reality. This is a moment to moment experiencing of the One movement of Life, endlessly unfolding in an Infinite peace. This peace is the essence of who you are.
As ripples move across the surface of a lake without disturbing the still depths beneath, so the activities of your life unfold against the backdrop of this peace within your Being.
Therefore the aim of this work is not to have the perfect life, but to realise the perfection of your Being.
Imagine you are looking at the Earth from a long way away. You are feeling the unity of all of life, the interconnectedness of the Universe. But you also see that on this little planet there is a great deal of suffering. The earth itself is suffering; the seas and atmosphere; the plants and animals, and it seems to be mainly caused by the species which has almost taken over the planet: human beings. But as you look more closely, you perceive that human beings are themselves suffering. They are in pain, violent, greedy, jealous, lonely, bitter and afraid. And you see so clearly the cause of this problem. The humans have forgotten that they are interconnected not only to each other but also to nature, to the earth, and through their isolating behaviour they are causing their own problems and also the problems of the planet.
Your heart opens, as you can see the potential of this beautiful earth and all who live on it, so you decide to manifest here, bringing gifts of love, healing and peace. You will make a difference, show humanity how it should be done.
But there is a catch. In order to manifest these gifts you need to learn wisdom, and you need to see in sharp focus the root of the problem – up close. And so instead of manifesting as a perfect being or teacher, you arrive as a vulnerable human baby, and tread the path of humanity.
You choose your parents, families and situation carefully: they are to present you with a unique obstacle course with which to begin your life. These obstacles may be physical, mental or emotional; but whether they bring feelings of abandonment, rejection, guilt, shame, loneliness or rage, they all create a blue-print for your particular journey, so you will understand in detail the suffering of mankind. The emotional body carries the lessons you are to experience as you finally make your way towards Earth, entering the soup of consciousness into your mother’s womb.
The second catch is that you have to forget everything you knew before. You have to arrive ignorant and helpless…
As soon as you experience the enclosure of your mother’s womb, you are bombarded with sensory, physical and emotional sensations. For some, the physical limitation of the womb and the emotional state of your mother impinge almost immediately. Then during the birthing process, more sensory overload, a realisation of your own separate, vulnerable body and finally the reality of whatever welcome (or otherwise) you get from your mother and father. As a sensitive baby, much is picked up during the first moments and days after birth, and this is imprinted on your emotional and mental body as ‘reality’. Are you safe? Are you loved? Are you seen for who you are, validated and welcomed? Or is your mother in stress from the birth, worried about coping, unhappy with her partner, frustrated and needy of you or indifferent and cold? Is your father able to be there for you or is he busy or distracted? Is your body letting you down – are you whisked away into intensive care – or are you not able to breastfeed? All of these things become your view of ‘how life is’ because as babies we know no other reality.
As you grow up, you walk through the obstacle course of your life. But each time you hit an obstacle – a ‘trauma or problem’ – the emotional body contracts and your system panics and feels unable to deal with the intensity of the emotion. You are a baby or child so you have no tools to cope, and every experience builds up your sense of self as a separate being which is the sum of all your memories. This sense of self is then projected forward into the future, bringing on feelings of fear or anxiety, hope or need.
At this point the brilliant brain steps in to try and help. ‘I’ll take over, let me sort it, I’ll make sure we never have to feel this, or experience this again. I’ll control everything’.
The brain is the most extraordinary, complex organ, and it, like the human body, evolved through time. Its purpose is the smooth functioning of the body. To that end it has enormous gifts including how to control the body and keep it healthy, a powerful memory – remembering which are the faces of your family, where you live, how to drive a car etc. But somewhere along the way, the brain also thought it was responsible for creating pleasure and avoiding pain. And with that thought, a vast, unending stream of other thoughts followed, filling every moment of your life with questions, comparisons, judgements and evaluations. Because if your brain is responsible for your pleasure or pain, then it has to work out what it thinks about everything – whether things might or might not be good or bad and how to avoid them or acquire them etc..
And herein lies the biggest problem of all, the actual root of the separation of mankind from each other and from the planet: the creation of the psychological self as a separate entity, fuelled by the movement of the mind and emotions, existing within time on a linear path of becoming.
By the end of childhood, as puberty hits, you have forgotten the initial purpose of your life and have become swept up in the ignorance of humanity, living in control, reaction, fear and separation. Coping seems to have taken over, and humans have developed a million ways to cope: drink, drugs, medication, distractions of all shapes and sizes. And as the confusing cocktail of hormones hits with adolescence, we will do anything but face the inner intensity of emotion…
Eventually something happens in our lives: a trauma, a conversation or book which sparks a distant memory of knowing, or else the patterns of your obstacle course play out one too many times and something inside says ‘ENOUGH’.
It is time to end the cycle of ignorance and wake up. But in order to do that, you have to go deep within, the one place which the brain has been avoiding…
At this point there is often a desire to solve the problem of the brain’s stresses and find peace or an inner quiet. The brain grabs at this with a ‘YES! That’s what I want; to be quiet’. And so you try various forms of meditation or yoga, or endlessly chant affirmations of how happy you are etc.
But you are actually missing the point and avoiding a crucial stage. The brain is trying to control itself into being silent. This can work up to a point, but it is often more like another form of distraction, like giving a crying child a toy. The child will stop for the moment, but nothing has fundamentally changed. First of all the brain has to realise that most of the time its constant thoughts are in reaction to the undigested emotion inside, built up from childhood. So it’s a bit like sitting chanting in front of a candle with soothing music, while an emotional child pulls at your elbow, saying ‘I’m upset’, or ‘I’m angry’ or ‘frightened’ etc.. The brain will tell you that if it can just be quiet that voice will stop, and the voice may die down or be stifled, but it won’t stop unless the child is heard.
Before the brain can take on the massive task of moving beyond itself, you need to embrace that ‘Inner Child’ with an attention which is total; without judgement, without flinching, without trying to solve or fix it, but with complete patience and understanding. And gradually, out of that quality of listening to the pain and sadness and rage inside, a new energy is born: the energy of compassion.
And that compassion is what this world needs. Because your Inner Child is no different in its pain or sadness or anger to everyone else’s Inner Child, however the stories differ. Pain is pain, no matter the reason or level of intensity. The energy of emotion is universal. In fact we could say that the energy of emotion is a movement of non-separation: we can feel each other’s pain/sadness/anger as our own.
As you allow the undigested emotions to arise within the light of compassion for yourself, alchemy occurs and gradually you release your story. Having released your anger and rage, you see that the people who caused the traumas in your life are themselves caught in their own patterns and stories. This is not purely seen with your brain as logical, you can feel this within your heart, with love, with compassion. And so long-held family chords of pain and trauma are let go of, and acceptance ripples out from your being.
Finally the Inner Child stops tugging at your arm and says ‘I’m fine, I’m complete’. And only then can you face the biggest challenge of all: the total transformation of your consciousness by moving beyond the brain itself. Your brain which has been part of your whole life’s journey, now needs to understand that it cannot ever find what you are looking for, as what you truly are is beyond its knowing. Your brain cannot know what is beyond itself. It cannot know Being. And so, rather than control the brain into silence for a time or placate it with answers or theories, the brain needs to stop altogether. That doesn’t mean it stops all thought, or looking after the body, it just needs to stop separating itself out from what is happening by its endless opinions, and realise that its very movement of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain IS THE WHOLE PROBLEM. Without this endless thought, without our story, without resistance or judgement of any kind, we can wake up to what IS. And what IS is the whole of life happening. Right now, wherever you are and whatever is going on, it is absolutely perfect for your unique journey. And in that surrender into ‘now’ there is immense intelligence, peace and above all, love. And we ARE that love. If each of us could see this for ourselves there would no problem with the earth, or mankind at all.
And then we might ask ourselves whether we are actually here to heal the planet and teach humanity, or whether the planet is here to heal and teach us…