Thursday, May 29, 2014

Black Holes and Happy Places

         This morning (or what passes for morning in my world, which ideally is more like noon) I was contemplating the still, boundary-less center place from which our sense of self emerges. I was thinking how interesting it is that embedded in our culture is the idea of a "happy place." If we are having a rough time, we might be teasingly told to "Go to our happy place." In our culture, this idea has a slightly derisive underlying context. It brings to mind the notion of a fantasy land hidden somewhere in our imagination. It is a place we can flee to where we can avoid dealing with some current unpleasantness, making it an escapist fantasy or a form of denial. 

         However, such a happy place not only exists within each of us, it is the underlying core from which we arise. It is our true center. When you touch upon it, joy and peace flow into you. When you operate from this center place, boundaries dissolve and unity resounds. To operate from your true center, to act from your happy place, is what is meant by words like enlightenment or awakening.

         Going within is fundamental.
It's reaching deeper

 and deeper

and deeper down

until we touch our own soul, our center place, the center place from which we arise. It is our real, abiding happy place. It is neither fantasy nor imagination. It is deeper than thought, deeper than emotion, deeper even than our sense of self. It is like the atom. The atom is the building block of all matter in the universe; and yet, the atom has at its center a nucleus consisting of a neutron and a proton, and if Nassim Haramein is correct -- then the proton has at its center a micro black hole.

         A proton is composed of two up quarks and a down quark which together maintain a positive charge. Normally, that positive charge would cause these particles to fly apart. That would be bad. That would be the end of matter everywhere! Gone would be tacos. It's an unbearable thought! A universe without tacos. Intolerable! Fortunately for us and for tacos, there exists what physicists call the Strong Force which holds these positively charged particles together. In the physical universe, the Strong Force is supreme. There is nothing greater in the food chain of forces, not even the attractive force of crispy, taco-y perfection (although, in this moment, it's a close call).

         The event horizon of a black hole is the place in space from which nothing can escape the gravity of that black hole. Haramein discovered that if you calculate the event horizon of a black hole that is exactly the same size as a proton, that black hole would exert an amount of force exactly equaling the Strong Force, which is fascinating. This implies that the Strong Force is actually the gravity field exerted by a mini black hole lying at the center of every atom in existence. It also brings us back to our metaphor.

         If the atom is the building block of the universe, then the soul is the building block of humanity. It is that which cannot be divided down any further without humanity being lost. Or, if you, my imaginary reader, will permit me to be more bold, I will say that the soul is the fundamental building block of life. Both the atom and the soul are fundamental building blocks.

         Like the atom can be further sub-divided into an electron cloud and a nucleus; the soul can likewise be sub-divided into thoughts and emotions (which generate change and experience) and into that which is thinking the thoughts and feeling the emotions and experiencing the experience. The soul can be categorized as the seer and what is seen, or the perceiver and that which is perceived, or as the boundary-less sense of self and all that the self senses.

         We see our finger. Therefore, we know we are not our finger, because there must be a difference between what we see and what we are, since seeing occurs beyond or outside of our sense of self. If we lose our finger, we do not lose our sense of self. If we lose a thought, we ourselves are not lost. We abide. Likewise with emotions; when an emotion passes, we remain. So we cannot be thoughts or emotions. We are that which thinks thought and feels emotions. We are our sense of self and our sense of self lies at our center. It is what defines center. It is the center from which all else can be pointed to and therefore lies outside of.

         It goes a step further though.

There is something deeper even, than our sense
of self.

         Just as the nucleus of an atom can be further broken down into a neutron and a proton, and the proton can be reduced to the gravity field of a mini black hole and the particle interactions taking place within that gravity field, so too can the soul, or the sense of self be reduced down into unending, eternal inter-connectedness, the "gravity field" of Spirit, the universal field of consciousness in which the limitless interactions between souls, and matter, and everything else through which Spirit experiences itself unfolds or arises.

         Deeper than the sense of self is the sense of Oneness, the sense of the Timeless. Deeper than the sense of self is the Groundless Ground, the One, Spirit, Void, the Ground of Being, God. These are words have been used to try to name that which can't be named, or describe that which can't be described. It is Truth. It is That from everything else is made, That from which all that is arises and into which all that is dissolves. It is the whole of which we are parts, just as we (and everything else) are also a whole made up of parts. It is the place from which our happy place arises.

         Our happy place is a great place to experience life from. The closer we come to living life from our happy place, the more significant our life becomes.

         The closer we come to living life from our happy place, the more juice bursts out of our soul. Remember, like stars we burn! On the level of soul, we broadcast constantly. What we broadcast is life-energy filtered through or colored by the energy of our thoughts and emotions. We cannot not project the energy of our experiences. The energy of our lives continually bursts out of our souls, out of our bodies and blasts out into space, touching everyone around us.

         Remember, experience arises as the result of the energy of our thoughts and emotions manifesting as behavior, both our own behavior and the responses that both our energy and our behavior invite in others as the energy we broadcast mixes with and helps shape their thoughts and emotions, which they in turn manifest as behavior. Let me say it from the perspective of the other.

       Twin levels of perception or twin streams of information are occurring and converging simultaneously, sometimes consciously, sometime unconsciously. A behavior is observed and then translated by the brain. That behavior is sorted into units of meaning and connected into a story. This story causes thought and thought causes emotions and responses. At the same time, incoming energy washes over us; this energy is likewise interpreted and sorted for meaning. Then both streams of information are used side by side. We interpret the both the behavior and the energy that accompanies the behavior. Together, this information shapes the units of meaning that cause thought and get converted into a narrative; which, in turn, manifests as a response. The response can be a behavior, an emotion, or another thought. And so on, and so on, and so on.

         Think of it as two huge highways, each with many lanes. The highways converge. The two roads merge into one and we travel down that one super-huge highway until we take the exit that leads to the thought, emotion or behavior that we select. I know, it's complicated, and yet, it happens all the time!

         The only way to get off the road altogether, to rest from the bustling super highway and the endless exits into cause and effect, into the trials and struggles of life, is to sink down into our happy place. Then, even as the vehicle of our life speeds down the highway of experience, our happy place awaits, urging and inviting us to visit and rest there for a spell. Or, if we choose, to move into our happy place permanently. We can experience everything from that timeless and peaceful perspective.      

 Everything and everyone are endlessly interconnected. Our happy place is a link between the Everything that we are interconnected with, the Everything that we are a indivisible part of and the sensation of individual-ness that is our own soul.

         It is time to take back our happy place! Our happy place isn't an escapist fantasy; it isn't a place to avoid reality. Our happy place is our most fundamental, underlying center from which our sense of self arises. Even if we are not presently able to sense the distance between our sense of self and the deeper place that is our True center, the further down we sink in the direction of Truth, the closer we get to our center, the more peace and joy we feel, the more a sense of abiding, contented calmness floods into our soul.

         Abiding love and inner peace call to themselves and the closer we come to living life from our happy place, the more our life invites others to sink ever closer to their own happy place. It is a beautiful paradigm of endlessly inviting out the best in both ourselves and others by operating from as close to our center place as we can. It may be our happy place, but the ocean it floats on encompasses everyone and everything. Perhaps we can all visit one another on the islands of our happy place!

Love and Aloha,

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Finding Your True Self

Just play a simple game with yourself to find yourself.

People like Eckhart Tolle talk about the power of presence, of being in the Present. They speak about the power of “being here now.” I’ve read their books and I’ve listened to their words. It’s not a new idea, the notion that nothing really exists but the eternal now, this very present moment. It’s not a new idea that both the past and the future are nothing more than thought. They are both mental constructs. They are the result of stringing the ever-present now together like a strand of pearls. Memory collects and forms pearls strung out on the backend and imagination projects, creating pearls stretching out on the front side. But we’ll come back to that in a moment.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Suffering Sucks! How to Make it Stop.

You Don't Have to Suffer. You Can Make it Stop!

So, we were talking about how suffering is type of thinking; how suffering isn't real, how suffering is a thought we think when we experience painful sensations. Sensations like pain rise up when something painful is actually, physically present. Pain is unpleasant but always, always passes. If we experience pain as a sensation, then the exact moment pain passes, it is forever gone and we feel it no more.

If we turn pain into suffering by dwelling on it, by thinking about it, by giving attention to it, by telling ourselves and others stories about it -- then when the sensation of pain runs its natural course and is gone -- our suffering might still go on for hours, or days, or years. Suffering will continue forever if we keep feeding it attention. Suffering cannot end -- ever, as long as we keep turning the pages on our inner story of wrong doing or hurt or anger, or any other thought or emotion that feeds the beast of suffering.

Okay, so it is easy to suggest that suffering can cease the exact moment we stop feeding it with our attention, or pumping life into it with the thoughts we think and the emotions we won't let go of. But where the rubber hits the road is the obvious next question:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Suffering is Optional!

Holman's Thoughtful Moments
It's the middle of the night. I can't sleep to save my life. I'm utterly miserable -- this lousy night had to go! I just wanted it to end. I begged by brain to let go and let me drift away.  My emotions were roller-coasting like crazy. Up and down, crazy one moment and calm the next, I was making myself nuts! My brain wouldn't turn off and it was all sour with negative thoughts, critical and complaining, running the same things over and over again, in endless varieties of "oh poor me." I kept catching myself at it, but the emotions were too bright and I'd slip down into the negative cycle of sour thoughts again and again. Finally, finally, I fell asleep. 

The following morning, which came WAY too early, I felt myself getting grumpy. I watched myself creating grumpiness. Becoming aware of my grumpy thoughts, as thoughts, helped me put an end to them right away. I was NOT going to spend the day the way I'd spent the night. I pondered this experience, and this is what I realized: