Quest for Self-Knowledge

MandalaJoy remembered when she had moved out of the flat with Jim and found herself alone for the first time in many years. She had experienced a severe crisis. Although perhaps outwardly nobody noticed, at night she cried, imploring the Universe – or whatever It was – to show her the way forward, to end the stagnation into which she felt she had fallen. Ever since she had developed a spiritual orientation in life, rejecting the more materialistic approach, she seemed to have struggled. It was as if all her efforts had led to nothing; as if she were no longer in the flow of life; as if she were swimming upstream.

Joy knew that, despite that cry to the Universe all those years ago, she continued to experience only pockets of apparent success in her personal and professional life for a long time afterwards. Nevertheless, she recognised that during those years of difficulty and struggle she had built up her inner strength, and expanded her understanding of the physical plane and its relationship with the non-visible worldContinue reading

Child-like and soul-conscious

Much can be achieved if adults learn from the openness and spontaneity of children. Seeing life through a child’s eyes – marvelling at every new experience, living immersed in what’s happening in that moment, quickly regaining balance after emotional upsets – is a useful tool for jaded adults. Children can be as much teachers to adults as adults are to children. This recognition brings renewed respect for the dignity of children. Being child-like (as opposed to childish) can be a great release from the rational mind, especially if it’s coupled with the wisdom of “soul-consciousness”. People with “soul-consciousness” could be defined as humans with a heightened sense of love, altruism, compassion and interconnectedness. This outer expression is demonstrative of an inner evolution: the movement beyond the rational mind into the realm of the transrational.

 Excerpt from “She Who Is Unto Herself”

Joy as a response to suffering

I struggled for years with feelings of guilt around being joyful. Although I’ve always felt tremendous gratitude for the life I’ve lived – all the interesting experiences I’ve had and the love I received firstly as a young child, then growing up, and now as an adult – I’ve often been caught in the trap of wondering how I can feel happy when so many children, men, women and animals in the world are suffering, mistreated and in pain. In addition, there’s all the damage inflicted on the plant and mineral kingdoms, often at the hands of ruthless human beings. I’ve come to the conclusion that precisely because of this painful reality it’s part of my life purpose to be joyful – in the sense that it’s not only my right to be filled with joy but rather also my goal. It’s my task to smile, to bring positive energy to my exchanges, to be centred and believe in Love – the Love that is the essence of each human being. Smiling, laughing, enjoying each and every moment is a great gift I can share with the world. Continue reading

Using the fruits of meditation in daily life

Meditation had brought spirituality to the forefront of Joy’s life. The results of her spiritual practice echoed throughout the day. It implied a state of consciousness and being that she endeavoured to work on at every moment. This brought with it a level of objectivity and detachment that was enabling her to more often observe and direct her thoughts, words and actions in everyday situations.

No longer being compartmentalised as a mere relaxation technique, meditation had gradually taken on more and more significance. It had become the channel through which Joy set the tone for her day and for her life. She now deemed her life to be a spiritual experiment. Meditation and contemplation of spiritual matters were for Joy a bridge to another – unseen – world. She could glean meaning about the significance of day-to-day living from that world which wasn’t physical.

To use the fruits of meditation in daily life was something Joy felt was intrinsically important. She became almost nauseous whenever she met people who purported to actively practise a spiritual or religious path, but who in daily life systematically acted and spoke with bigotry, intolerance, racism and other forms of selfishness. Continue reading

Understanding relationships

Through numerous, relatively short-lived relationships with men, Joy had been forced to learn detachment and how to stand on her own two feet. She had discovered that relationships referred to something much more encompassing than mere intimate relations with members of the opposite sex. There was the relationship that existed between each man and woman and the rest of the human race, for example. And beyond that, Joy was learning to sense the relationship that existed between her self and the Soul – the human Soul; not her individual soul, which was another illusion created by the limitations of the rational mind. Even more encompassing was the relationship between humanity and the planetary entity, or greater still, the larger cosmos. When she looked up at the stars at night, Joy experienced a sense of revelation. How short-sighted it was of humans to go about their daily lives without due consideration for their place in the universe. This wider cosmic perspective on relationships was paralleled by her contemplation of the smallest aspect of her being – the cells in her body that were, in essence, nothing more or nothing less than energy. Continue reading

Anchoring intuition into everyday consciousness

The intuitive plane that lay beyond her rational mind wasn’t synonymous with instinct or superstition. Intuition was a more evolved state of mental consciousness through which it was possible to know the essence of Love. Intuitive consciousness was a step on the Path, beyond which lay alignment with Life itself. Life – the Will that gave form to the solar system and all that comprised it – could never be understood by the intellect alone. Words would always limit and distort. The separative nature of the lower mind would always grasp with greed or imprison through fear. True knowledge was only possible through integration. Integration was the key that could open the door out of the world of illusion and glamour – which trapped the human race in a nonsensical, never-ending cycle of suffering – and into a new sphere of potential.

Joy knew she had the strength to create the conditions that would anchor her consciousness permanently on that higher, more authentic, intuitive plane. Her brain could be the vessel for intuitive thoughts. It was her destiny and the destiny of all humans to reach these more expanded levels of awareness. To succeed required a change in thinking, leading to a change in being, resulting in a change in living. She had no choice. Life without that higher consciousness would make less and less sense to her. The way forwards was clear – she had to go out of her mind.

Excerpt from “My Name is Joy”

Tantra: defying perceived limits of our human constitution

Tantra promotes the healing of the perceived fault lines between dualities like energy and matter, masculine and feminine, rational and transrational (spiritual). The tantric worldview “does not overcome [rationality], but crosses through it […] [and] again sees the human being as part of a species connected with nature and the cosmos.”[1] In this way, Tantra defies what Western modernity perceives to be the limits of our human constitution by facilitating the building of the bridge between the personal, transpersonal and transrational.

To achieve these existential and spiritual goals, Tantra promotes feeling rather than thinking, being rather than doing – by way of mindfulness, non-judgement, acceptance and surrender to the present moment; together with the integration of all forms of love – from love of oneself, to platonic and familial love, to sexual love, to altruism, to agape. Tantra integrates all facets of physical existence, which is why sexuality isn’t excluded. However, sex and sexuality aren’t given any greater focus than the other aspects of the human constitution. For this reason, it’s clear that the tendency, in the West, to equate Tantra almost exclusively with sex is an exceedingly imbalanced and inaccurate perspective.

Sam Red, 7 August 2015

[1] Dietrich, W. (2012) Interpretations of Peace in History and Culture. Palgrave Macmillan: London & New York, pp.266-267.