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Free Will Resurrected
According to many leading physicists like David Bohm, and neuroscientists like Pibram, no, there is no freedom whatsoever, for the classical mind.
The classical mind, according to another Quantum Physicist by the name of Amit Goswami who authored "The Self Aware Universe", represents nothing, but an elaborate recording device, however complex. .It can really ONLY operate from all manner of stimuli and response to stimuli and can easily lie to itself to perpetuate the notion that "it" is who we are, driven by the desire to perpetuate nothing but more of "itself" (what I call "it") which can ONLY represent, a reflection of past events and past, learned behaviors.
That is not, however, the last word.
Goswami goes on to basically prove, in no uncertain terms, that the classical mind is only HALF the equation.
The human being is also in possession of a quantum holographic mind.
It is only from the perspective of THIS mind, that free will is by no means an illusion, provided we also accept the framework of a Monistic Idealism (consciousness is primary) because therein resides the final collapse of the probability wave of existence, from our end anyway.., and our mind then, instead of being not much more than mush inside our heads, is mush inside our heads - transmitting and receiving, on a quantum holographic basis, reality itself, and therefore perhaps even concievably, within a multidimensional, fractal, eternal evolutionary recurrence of SOME type. Because, when time comes to an end, and the "itself" exhausts itself (the insessant ramblings of the mind) the mind then can enter the realm of the imagination (novelty) as a quantum holographic possibility, ie: have "a thought", and then CHOOSE whatever we wish, and in CHOOSING and in choosing alone, is there an emergent, transcendant, quantum holographic self, or the REAL you, and the wave collapses in that final decision or judgement, or evaluation. The one who chooses, and your quantum hlographic mind, and everything then, is like an ever expanding dot in an infinite sphere of knowledge, and love.
as in "it pleased the first father of creation to share his kingdom with all his children". The gift of free will then still comes from God, and you also are God, in the sense that it always "takes two to tango" or two, to close the circle in Goswami's framework ("I was with you since before the very foundations of the earth). In it alone are all the quantum paradoxes resolved, and what's interesting, is it's regenerative, this conception of the world and our place within it, of something novel, something creative, something worthwhile.
And so the only question then for the REAL us, the one's who get to choose, not the memory of things past, but the choosing being, the free person, relative only to what is before us, out of the realm of all possibility, the holy of holies, is
what are we choosing?
what are we creating?
that's the fount of all inspiration, all novelty, all new history, and the question is put to US, not from any "them"... and not by the TV and the MSM, but by God.
The alternative, or a purely materialist monist, classical worldview just doesn't work, any more, and it's soon passing away, to be replaced by the type of monistic idealism advanced by this Goswami and many others, like Ervin Laszlo, Bernard Haisch and many others.
We're IT, but "IT" is not us.
There is no one to blame. We all did it, all participated in it whether purposely or otherwise, and now it's all in the past.
Research supports the theory that different frequencies presented to each ear through stereo headphones... create a difference tone (or binaural beat) as the brain puts together the two tones it actually hears. Through EEG monitoring the difference tone is identified by a change in the electrical pattern produced by the brain. For example, frequencies of 200 Hz and 210 Hz produce a binaural beat frequency of 10 Hz. Monitoring of the brain’s electricity (EEG) shows that the brain produces increased 10 Hz activity with equal frequency and amplitude of the wave form in both hemispheres. (2)
We were able to test the effects of the sleep tape on brain waves with an EEG machine through the courtesy of the researchers at the Langely-Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, part of the University of California Medical School in San Francisco. Dr. Joe Kaniya, Director of the Psychophysiology of Consciousness Laboratory, monitored the brain-wave frequencies of one subject as he listened to the sleep tape.
The chart recording showed a typical sleep onset pattern: initial alpha waves, then a slowing of the brain waves with sleep spindles, and finally a pattern of stage 2 and 3 sleep brain waves in the low theta range . . . the patterns in the various stages suggested that the tape was influencing the subject’s state. (4)
Dr. Bill D. Schul also refers to the phenomenon of brain entrainment:
[P]hased sine waves at discernible sound frequencies, when blended to create ‘beat’ frequencies within the ranges of electrical brain waves found at the various stages of human sleep, will create a frequency following response (FFR) within the EEG pattern of the individual listening to such audio waveforms. The FFR in turn evokes physiological and mental states in direct relationship to the original stimulus. With the availability of this tool, it becomes possible to develop and hold the subject into any of the various stages of sleep, from light Alpha relaxation through Theta into Delta and in REM (dreaming).
Within the sound processing centers of the brain, pulse stimulation provides relevant information to the higher centers of the brain. In the case of a wave form phase difference the electron pulse rate in one part of a sound-processing center is greater than in another. The differences in electron pulse stimulation within the sound processing centers of the brain are an anomaly. This anomaly (the difference in electron pulse stimulation) comes and goes as the two different frequency wave forms mesh in and out of phase. As a result of these constantly increasing and decreasing differences in electron pulse stimulation, an amplitude modulated standing wave (the binaural beat) is generated within the sound processing centers of the brain itself. It is this standing wave which acts to entrain brain waves. (6)
There’s a revolution going on. There used to be two systems of knowledge: hard science—chemistry, physics, biophysics—on the one hand, and, on the other, a system of knowledge that included ethology, psychology, and psychiatry. And now it’s as if a lightning bolt had connected the two. It’s all one system neuroscience...The present era in neuroscience is comparable to the time when Louis Pasteur first found out that germs cause disease. (8)
... with appropriately selected stimulation protocols [have] been observed by us to be an excellent neuro-pathway exerciser. As such we believe it has great potential for use in promoting optimal cerebral performance... Furthermore, the long-term effects of regular use... on maintaining and improving cerebral performance throughout life and possibly delaying for decades the deterioration of the brain traditionally associated with aging is very exciting. (11)
Receptivity for learning is related to specific states of consciousness. Predominant brainwave patterns are associated with different states of consciousness or awareness. For example, beta frequencies ranging from 13–26 Hz are associated with concentration, and alert problem solving; alpha frequencies (8–13 Hz) occur when the eyes are closed and a state of alert relaxation is present; theta (4–7 Hz) is associated with deep relaxation with a high receptivity for new experiences and learning... (15)
The presence of theta patterns (4–7 Hz) in the brain has been associated with states of increased receptivity for learning and reduced filtering of information by the left hemisphere. This state of awareness is available for relatively brief periods as the individual enters a state of reverie or passes in and out of the deep sleep phase of the 90 minute sleep cycle. [Binaural beat] signals, however, can facilitate a prolonged state of theta to produce a relaxed receptivity for learning . . . [These signals] create a state of coherence in the brain. Right and left hemispheres as well as subcortical areas become activated in harmony, reflected by equal frequency and amplitude of EEG patterns from both hemispheres. This creates an internal physiological environment for learning which involves the whole brain. The linear, sequential style of problem solving preferred by the left hemisphere is brought into balance with the global, intuitive style of the right hemisphere and limbic system (subcortex). This allows the learner to have greater access to internal and external knowledge and provides a milieu for expanding intuition in problem solving. One of the by-products of hemispheric synchronization appears to be a highly focused state of attending. The ability to reduce ‘mind chatter’ and focus the attention is critical for efficient learning (16).
...a transition zone between wakefulness and sleep in which one can absorb new information in an uncritical, non-analytical fashion. [Budzynski] speculated that this allows new information to be considered by the right hemisphere through bypassing the critical filters of the left hemisphere. Thus, information leading to a change in self-concept would become more available; modification of habitual behaviors or consideration of one’s belief system could occur more easily if alternatives were presented during a period of theta activity. (18)
....actively induce a state of deactivation in which the brain is passive, but not asleep; awake, but not involved with the ‘clutter’ of an ongoing existence. If this is true, then it may be a state in which new cognitive strategies could be designed and developed... f we can help a person to experience different brain-wave states consciously through driving them with external stimulation, we may facilitate the individual’s ability to allow more variations in their functioning through breaking up patterns at the neural level. This may help them develop the ability to shift gears or ‘shuttle’ and move them away from habit patterns of behavior to become more flexible and creative, and to develop elegant strategies of functioning (19).
What I think is happening... is that by sending out the proper frequency, proper waveform and proper current... we tend to change the configuration of the cell membrane. Cells that are at sub-optimal levels are stimulated to ‘turn on’ and produce what they’re supposed to produce, probably through DNA, which is stimulated through the cell membrane... You’re charging the cells through a biochemical process that can possibly balance the acetylcholine or whatever neurotransmitter needs to be turned on . . . (29)
[T]he evidence clearly shows that the brain reward pathways play an important role in learning and memory . . . I have speculated that the pathways of brain reward may function as the pathways of memory consolidation. By this I mean that when something is learned, activity in the brain reward pathways facilitates formation of memory... Evidence for the reward effects of localized electrical stimulation... and for the association of reward paths with memory formation indicates that the neural substrates of self-stimulation play a vital role in the guidance of behavior. (42)
•Over 68% had increases in DHEA levels, with an average increase of 43.77%. Several participants had increases of 50, 60, even 90%.
•Cortisol was down an average of 46.47%, with positive changes in 68% of the people, and with several participants having decreases of 70 or 80%.
•Melatonin levels increased an average of 97.77%, with positive changes happening in over 73% of the participants. Many had improvements of 100, 200, even 300%.
"The God Theory" by Bernard Haisch
Haisch is an astrophysicist whose professional positions include Staff Scientist at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, Deputy Director for the Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Visiting Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany. His work has led to close involvement with NASA; he is the author of over 130 scientific papers; and was the Scientific Editor of the Astrophysical Journal for nine years, as well as the editor in chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration.
If you think of whitte light as a metaphor of infinite, formless potential, the colors on a slide or frame of film become a structured reality grounded in the polarity that comes about through intelligent subtraction from that absolute formless potential. It results from the limitation of the unlimited. I contend that this metaphor provides a comprehensible theory for the creation of a manifest reality (our universe) from the selective limitation of infinite potential (God)...
If there exists an absolute realm that consists of infinite potential out of which a created realm of polarity emerges, is there any sensible reason not to call this "God"? Or to put it frankly, if the absolute is not God, what is it? For our purposes here, I will indentify the Absolute with God. More precisely I will call the Absolute the Godhead. Applying this new terminology to the optics analogy, we can conclude that our physical universe comes about when the Godhead selectively limits itself, taking on the role of Creator and manifesting a realm of space and time and, within that realm, filtering out some of its own infinite potential...
Viewed this way, the process of creation is the exact opposite of making something out of nothing. It is, on the contrary, a filtering process that makes something out of everything. Creation is not capricious or random addition; it is intelligent and selective subtraction. The implications of this are profound.
If the Absolute is the Godhead, and if creation is the process by which the Godhead filters out parts of its own infinite potential to manifest a physical reality that supports experience, then the stuff that is left over, the residue of this process, is our physical universe, and ourselves included. We are nothing less than a part of that Godhead - quite literally.
Next, by Ervin Laszlo
Science and the Akashic Field, an Integral Theory of Everything, 2004
And, his other seminal work
Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos: The Rise of the Integral Vision of Reality
Ervin Laszlo is considered one of the foremost thinkers and scientists of our age, perhaps the greatest mind since Einstein. His principal focus of research involves the Zero Point Field. He is the author of around seventy five books (his works having been translated into at least seventeen languages), and he has contributed to over 400 papers. Widely considered the father of systems philosophy and general evolution theory, he has worked as an advisor to the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in both 2004 and 2005. A multidisciplinarian, Laszlo has straddled numerous fields, having worked at universities as a professor of philosophy, music, futures studies, systems science, peace studies, and evolutionary studies. He was a sucessful concert pianist until he was thirty eight.
In his view, the zero-point field (or the Akashic Field, as he calls it) is quite literally the "mind of God".
Naming Hal Puthoff, Roger Penrose, Fritz-Albert Popp, and a handful of others as "front line investigators", Laszlo quotes Puthoff who says of the new scientific paradigm:
[What] would emerge would be an increased understanding that all of us are immersed, both as living and physical beings, in an overall interpenetrating and interdependant field in ecological balance with the cosmos as a whole, and that even the boundary lines between the physical and "metaphysical" would dissolve into a unitary viewpoint of the universe as a fluid, changing, energetic/informational cosmological unity."
an excert from Science and the Akashic Field, an Integral Theory of Everything
Akasha (a . ka . sha) is a Sanskrit word meaning "ether": all-pervasive space. Originally signifying "radiation" or "brilliance", in Indian philosophy akasha was considered the first and most fundamental of the five elements - the others being vata (air), agni (fire), ap (water), and prithivi (earth). Akasha embraces the properties of all five elements: it is the womb from which everything we percieve with our senses has emerged and into which everything will ultimately re-descend. The Akashic Record (also called The Akashic Chronicle) is the enduring record of all that happens, and has ever happened, in space and time."
Laszlo's view of the history of the universe is of a series of universes that rise and fall, but are each "in-formed" by the existence of the previous one. In Laszlo's mind, the universe is becoming more and more in-formed, and within the physical universe, matter (which is the crystallization of intersecting pressure waves or an interference pattern moving through the zero-point field) is becoming increasing in-formed and evolving toward higher forms of consciousness and realization.
According to James Oroc's experiences (Tryptamine Palace), when the ego is dissolved in consciousness through the temporary formation of a type of neurological "Bose Einstein Condensate", there is no real dilineation or distinction between individual consciousness and God-consciousness or the universal "akashic field" (Lazslo) aka Zero Point Field.
Originally posted by NewAgeMan
The Classic of Indian Spirituality
Forward, by Eknath Easwaran
Imagine a vast hall in Anglo-Saxon England, not long after the passing of King Arthur. It is the dead of winter and a fierce snowstorm rages outside, but a great fire fills the space within the hall with warmth and light. Now and then, a sparrow darts in for refuge from the weather. It appears as if from nowhere, flits about joyfully in the light, and then disappears again, and where it comes from and where it goes next in that stormy darkness, we do not know.
Our lives are like that, suggests an old story in Bede's medieval history of England. We spend our days in the familiar world of our five senses, but what lies beyond tha, if anything, we have no idea. Those sparrows are hints of something more outside - a vast world, perhaps, waiting to be explored. But most of us are happy to stay where we are. We may even be a bit afraid to venture into the unknown. What would be the point, we ask. Why should we leave the world we know?
Yet there are always a few who are not content to spend their lives indoors. Simply knowing there is something unknown beyond their reach makes them acutely restless. They have to see what lies outside - if only, as George Mallory said of Everest, "because it's there".
This is true of adventurers of every kind, but especially of those who seek to explore not mountains or jungles but consciousness itself: who's real drive, we might say, is not so much to know the unknown as to know the knower. Such men and women can be found in every age and every culture. While the rest of us stay put, they quietly slip out to see what lies beyond.
Then, so far as we can tell, they disappear. We have no idea where they have gone; we can't even imagine. But every now and then, like friends who have run off to some exotic land, they send back reports: breathless messages describing fantastic adventures, rambling letters about a world beyond ordinary experience, urgent telegrams begging us to come and see. "Look at this view! Isn't it breathtaking? Wish you could see this. Wish you were here."
The works in this set of translations - the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Dhammapada - are among the earliest and most universal messages like these, sent to inform us that there is more to life than the everyday experience of our senses. The Upanishads ar the oldest, so varied that we feel some unknown collectors must have tossed into a jumble all the photos, postcards, and letters from this world that they could find, without any regard for source or circumstance. Thrown together like this, they form a kind of ecstatic slideshow - snapshots of towering peaks of consciousness taken at various times by different observers and dispatched with just the barest kind of explanation. But those who have travelled those heights will recognize the views: "Oh, yes, that's Everest from the northwest - must be late spring. And here we're south, in the full snows of winter."
The Dhammapada, too, is a collective - traditionally, sayings of the Buddha, one of the very greatest of these explorers of consciousness. In this case the messages have been sorted, but not by a scheme that makes sense to us today. Instead of being grouped by theme or topic, they are gathered according to some dominant characteristic like a symbol or metaphor - flowers, birds, a river, the sky - that make then easy to commit to memory. If the Upanishads are like slides, the Dhammapada seems more like a field guide. This is lore picked up by someone who knows every step of the way through these strange lands. He can't take us there, he explains, but he can show us the way: tell us what to look for, warn about missteps, advise us about detours, tell us what to avoid. Most important, he urges us that it is our destiny as human beings to make this journey ourselves. Everything else is secondary.
And the third of these classics, the Bhagavad Gita, gives us a map and a guidebook. It gives a systematic overview of the territory, shows various approaches to the summit with their benefitrs and pitfalls, offers recommendations, tells us what to pack and what to leave behind. More than either of the others, it gives a sense of a personal guide. It asks and answers the questions that you or I might ask - questions not about philosophy or mysticism, but about how to live effectively in a world of challenge and change. Of these three, it is the Gita that has been my own personal guidevbook, just as it was Mahatma Gandhi's.
These three texts are very personal records of a landscape that is both real and universal. Their voices, passionately human, speak directly to you and me. They describe the topography of consciousness itself, which belongs as much to us today as to these largely anonymous seers thousands of years ago. If the landscape seems dark in the light of sense perception, they tell us, it has an illumination of its own, and once our eyes adjust we can see in what Western Mystics call this "divine dark" and verify their descriptions for ourselves.
And this world, they insist, is where we belong. This wider field of consciousness is our native land. We are not cabin dwellers, born to a life cramped and confined; we are meant to explore, to seek, to push the limits of our potential as human beings. The world of our senses is just a base camp: we are mean to be as much at home in consciousness as in the world of physical reality.
This is a message that thrills men and women in every age and culture. It is for such kindred spirits that these texts were originally composed, and it is for them in our own time that I undertook these translations, in the conviction that they deserve an audience today as much as ever. If these books speak to even a handful of such readers, they will have served their purpose.
~ Eknath Easwaran
Very illuminating Introduction to follow at a later date.
an article published as a booklet, by N. Sri Ram, 1985
Everything that is good, enlightening, that is calculated to alleviate another's trouble and inspire him with courage, every improvement of social, political and other conditions is part of evolution. But we must discover what is most worth doing by us, what we should especially aim at, because the needs of humanity are so very various.
The Masters of Wisdom, who aid evolution, although They are interested in all changes that make for human progress, are especially concerned with the spiritual regeneration of mankind, which is of fundamental importance. Because, when that takes place, all else follows. The forces that are brought into play in the regeneration will themselves have their effect on the external conditions. But if the changes are merely external, after a time they may all be lost or undone. There have been various golden ages in the history of mankind, epochs when life was tranquil, when people were happy and kind and good; but all of them have vanished, and we have come into this strife, the present confusion and misery.
We can see, therefore, that merely to produce an outer change is not enough. It is like teaching good manners. There has to be a change in man fundamentally. This is precisely what Krishnamurti speaks of and aims at, a certain fundamental change as a consequence of which all the necessary changes in organization and behavior will come about automatically and with the greatest possible ease. When you see for yourself what is the truth, you will act in accordance with that truth. You do not then need any direction, except that truth. What the Masters want, in addition to anything useful that we may be doing or may be able to do, is this regeneration, beginning with ourselves. The possibility of such regeneration, even the predestination of it, is perhaps the most inspiring truth of Theosophy.
In the regions where there is a change of seasons, such as Europe, a tree of the deciduous type grows old each autumn and sheds its leaves. It looks as though it is dead in winter, but then it is reborn in spring with fresh foliage and flowers. This is a phenomenon that repeats itself. Now the same thing happens with regard to every human being; for we die and are reborn as physical and psychic entities, and with each death the collection of previous memories belonging to the past life completely falls away, and we come back fresh and pure with a new nature. But we are unable to retain this nature; we do not remain clean or fresh or tender as we were when we were born. Very quickly we are overlaid with impressions, we become distorted and coloured in various ways and cease to be what we were in the innocence and charm of our childhood.
Though the past is dead, the tendencies of the past come to life again; they are so deep-rooted that they do not die for a very long time; they remain buried in the soil of our nature. Even when everything on the surface has died, they persist and grow again. They become active as soon as there are conditions favourable to their activity. You may see a child that is most charming, with beautiful possibilities, but after a few years somehow all that charm is gone. Look at the same individual grown into a man or woman, or later still when the meridian has been reached and passed. He or she is so hard and set, the beauty of the early years a mere memory, perhaps dissipated, with the phenomenon of decay writ large on the person. But if the environment is favourable, the undesirable tendencies may remain latent, even for a whole lifetime. This is understandable from our own experience of people. A person may have certain inward cravings or propensities, but without opportunities for these to be indulged they seem non-existent. In the absence of temptation many of us can surely be virtuous. The tendencies rest like mud at the bottom of a river. The water flows over the mud, it is clean and usable, but when there is a gale, flood or some other disturbance, it becomes muddy at once, charged with all the impurities that till then had lain quiet on the river bed.
In our modern life, where everything is being stirred up to a degree, there is no lack of opportunity for any latent tendency to be awakened. The merest breath of an influence seems enough sometimes to start it into action, just as a faint odour of liquor is sufficient to revive the craving of a drunkard. In these days because of so much movement, so much taking place, that affects people in different ways, so many thoughts, activities and distractions, the influences are very much more mixed than they were ever before. Therefore deterioration sets in all the more quickly; the charm, freshness and innocence which could last longer under more natural conditions tend soon to wear away.
But there comes a time in the long series of lives - it does not come by itself, because the human intelligence and will are involved in the process - when the soul is able to rid itself completely of the effects of the past, it sheds its accumulation once for all and stands out in its own pure nature.
It may be asked: what about the capacities that have been developed? The capacities remain because they belong not to the outer nature but to the soul. The mere accumulation of experience is not an unmixed blessing. When people say that they must have experience, is the experience they seek itself a good thing? The seeking of experience can mean dissipation, it generally hardens an individual, and produces complexities. But in the very process of accumulating experience, of making money, for instance, certain capacities are developed. We learn how to deal with the differences of the material world with a mind which becomes gradually rapier-like and all-round in its movements. These capacities, in themselves, belong to the pure nature of the soul.
If we think of the soul as pure being, active with a pure consciousness, what eclipses its nature, supresses it, is the distortion which that consciousness undergoes. There is some distortion in each one of us but we become so accustomed to it that we are not conscious that it exists. We think we are natural when we are unnatural; we even believe in being artificial. It is this distorted consciousness, which assumes a certain shape, acts in a certain specific way, in each case, which we call our minds.
It is only by attaining a knowledge of whatever distortions exist, whatever illusions, that we can become free of them. Then the consciousness regains its natural state because of an extraordinary elasticity innate in its nature. It then attains an expertness and ease, of which we do not have any idea at present.
Reverting to the analogy of a plant, the spiritual man is a plant which has freshly sprung from its root, but without any deteriorating elements. Everything of the outer nature except the developed capacities has falle away. He is a new man reborn in spirit. He is a plant whose whole nature is now irradiated with the essence of its incorruptible roots. The roots of our being are always undecaying. They are in that deepest spiritual part of ourselves which is untouched by the experience that we undergo on the superficial side of ourselves. But if we think of the mind or the consciousness which springs from those roots, that can be both spiritual and material.
The mind has a dual nature. In Samskrit the mind which deals with the differences of matter (and is affected by them) is termed Manas. It is that mind which thinks in terms of differences and establishes the relations of thought. But the mind which knows the unity and experiences it, is termed Buddhi. These are two terms kept separate in Samskrit philosophy. There is a part of Manas which is one with Buddhi and that is the more spiritual part, as distinguished from its material complement. They are essentially one, but separate in manifestation and even opposed to each other when the latter is under the dominance of sensations of matter and the desires which those sensations breed through memory. It is really desire in every form which causes our troubles. If I desire something and am bent on getting it, and someone hinders me, I flare up into resentment. From desire anger is born, as says the Bhagavad Gita. It is the desire for position or power or enjoyment of any sort which makes us egotistic and indifferent to others. Absorbed in its pursuit we have no attention or consideration to give to anybody or anything else.
It is only when a particular weakness shows itself in an exaggerated form that we generally realize its true nature. So long as it is of small magnitude and does not show itself forcibly, we excuse ourselves by saying it is a trifle, a common failing, it is human to be so. We do not treat poison as poison until it becomes dangerous. It is the influence of our wishes and hopes on our way of looking at things which is the cause of so many illusions, because if you desire something very much, you become willing to accept the conditions for its satisfaction.
Fundamentally the trouble lies in our attachment to the experiences we have had in the past. When this attachment becomes active we call it desire, but even when it is not active the attachment remains. If I have been addicted to drink, and even if at the present moment I do not have feel the craving, the craving is still there. It will raise its head very soon, because there is a period of activation which has to alternate with a period of rest due to bodily changes. This has to be deeply understood and realized. The understanding which is needed is not just a mental understanding, which is superficial. Such an understanding does not change the will because it is full of mental reservations. When we realize a truth for ourselves completely and freely, the truth then frees us from the errors and superstitions which flourish in its absence. We are not any one of us as free as we imagine ourselves to be; we think we are free when we have a kind of superficial outward freedom. But from the inner standpoint we have only freedom to loose our freedom, which we do quickly.
When there is freedom at last for Manas, which is the intelligence that deals with the differences of matter, it becomes united with Buddhi in which resides a knowledge of the unity, and which is its true counterpart. The higher spiritual nature which belongs to Buddhi manifests itself then in the field of Manas and it is for the latter a rebirth out of matter into Spirit. This is a change of vast significance, which has to take place in every individual. The mind, having freed itself completely from the influences to which it was previously subject, attains a state in which it is unaffected by the changing conditions of matter. It is unaffected, yet at the same time extraordinarily quick in its perceptions and movements. It does not lose its sensitiveness, on the other hand it becomes a thousand times more impressionable than before. It is alive to every change, feels every impact, is able to give itself completely to each phenomenon of life that arises. Normally when we do something, listen to music, for instance, we do not listen with the whole of our capacity, making ourselves completely empty and negative, so as to drink in every note and perceive the significance of that note in the relationship of notes. We meet life, almost every phenomenon of life, with only a little portion fo ourselves. If we imagine an individual as a sphere of being, which is both capacity and sensibility, it is just a segment of it with which we meet the world in which we live and move.
But when the consciousness becomes free from the fixed images with which it is clogged, from the fixed patterns of its thought and feeling, it becomes completely elastic, then it is able at each moment of time to give itself totally to the experience of that moment. It is mobile and responsive in every way; yet along with this mobility and responsiveness, it is able to remain unaffected by fluctuations of external conditions, by 'heat and cold, honour and dishonour, success and failure,' to use the language of the Bhagavad Gita. These things just come and go, like ripples on a sheet of water. The consciousness merely reflects the changes, registers them, understands them, and they pass. It is sensitive and tranquil at the same time, a beautiful state to be in. It would not be correct to think that because a Yogi is sensitive he must be easily disturbed; because he is open, he must be affected by every influence. He is open, but not disturbed. His consciousness is like an ocean of sensitive calm, which enfolds everything, but mixes with nothing.
the alphabet of spiritual living
What we are learning is merely the alphabet of spiritual living. We must learn, for instance, to be conscious of how we are living. Then there comes a time when the moment we think something, say something or form a judgement based on our personal reactions contrary to the whole purpose of our life as we understand it, we are aware that the wrong note has been struck. The state at which we should aim is an awareness of all that we are doing; which does not mean we should become highly self-conscious, absorbed in our own thoughts and feelings. For that would also become a hindrance. But the moment the wrong not is struck there must be a feeling that that note does not belong to the music of our being. That would be really the perfection of self-knowledge.
But we have to begin somewhere, we cannot immediately reach that perfection. I do not think that any one of us can do it, unless of course he has already prepared himself. Therefore we make a certain beginning with discipline in daily life, including some meditation, study and so on. When there is self-awareness, we do not imagine that we do anything more than just begin a new kind of life. But to know the path along which we should go and be humble is a great thing. A fundamental contradiction in ourselves is between the self and the ideal with which it seeks to clothe itself. We have to become aware of the contradiction.
When we really understand the problem, how complete is the nature of the change that is required, we cease to be impatient. It does not matter how long it takes, we know the direction and we should follow it; there will be many problems and we can tackle them. Our impatience really born out of ambition; it is a condition of feverishness, which arises because we want to 'get there', instead of understanding the problems that we should deal with. The attitude that we should adopt is that of taking things as they are and doing the best with them, dealing with the situation in the outside world and the situation in ourselves. We should do what we can each moment and pass on quietly to the next.
Even short of the fundamental change that has to be brought about, there can be a regenerated humanity, in the sense of a humanity redeemed by its better nature. There is good and there is evil in all of us, and as mentioned already, under favourable conditions the better nature will prevail. Mankind can be helped to see what is right and what is true; that is part of our work. It may be that we cannot yet do all that it might be possible for us to do some day but then we can help our fellowmen to the extent of our capacity. We can do this through the teachings of Theosophy and by our own example. If we begin in a small way we will find that we are able to do more and more. That is an extraordinary thing to find out and discover for oneself. You begin to give of our affection to those around you, you will find there is more affection to give; you begin serving in some way, you will find that there are ways in which you can serve better. There is an infinity in each one of us out of which to give and we have to discover that infinity for ourselves by the giving, and there is not other way. If you sit in a chair and say, now I am going to discover the infinity within myself, you will never discover it. It is only by making the current flow that more can be made to flow.
It was said by one of the Great Ones: Forget yourself only to remember the good of other people. We cannot have better advice than that. But how to forget ourselves? All of us are so preoccupied with ourselves, with what we want, what we aim at, the position which we should hold, the estimation which other people should have of ourselves, what we may lose, so many things, so many thoughts and interests, centered in what we call 'ourselves'. If we can forget ourselves, we will find that our progress will become easy, it will take place swiftly and naturally, because it then becomes a process of unfoldment from within. Then we will be able to realize the truth of the saying in Light on the Path, 'Grow as the flower grows, unconsciously,' but open to all that is good and true and beautiful. We can have the most perfect assurance as to our goal and progress. Why should we be concerned with our progress? It takes place by itself. Our only concern is with how we should live and what we should do now.
Concentrate on anything in life except yourself and your wants, on Truth, on the Masters, on the help to be given, on understanding those about you, you will find that what you concentrate on, without bringing yourself into it, acquires a certain deep significance. It is the obsession with oneself which is the greatest impediment. The whole problem of the spiritual life consists in this abolition of self, in living our life without thinking too much of ourselves, in doing what we can to help others.