I include this chapter to provide details of a hitherto neglected technique to instantly improve your quality of life. in these fraught and stressful times it is essential that we regain full control of our own minds because without control over our emotions, moods, and thoughts, we are at the mercy of those who know how to push our buttons, whether they be the government trying to tax us within an inch of our lives, or the banks fiddling the interest rates leading us to worry about whether we can still afford to make the payments on our family home, or the local malcontent trying to infect us with their own misery. We need to defend ourselves and truly the most effective way of doing this is to not let things ‘get to us’. We all know this. But we also know this is easier said than done.
We need to learn to put some distance between our true selves and the outside world of uncertainty, pain, worry and stress. It is not the events of life which dictate whether we are happy or not but how we deal with those events. Some people can have all the money and luxury in the world but be deeply unhappy and depressed, they take things for granted, while others may have only enough money to live on a day by day basis but can may be delighted with their lives.
From visiting third world countries like Egypt I have learned that it isn’t what objects and wealth you possess in the outside world that dictates your level of happiness, but what you have on the inside. What I’m talking about is inner peace. Many people in third world countries can scarcely afford to feed themselves but they have inner peace in abundance. This is largely due to the fact that many of the third world countries have not become wholly materialistic because there are not the markets and capital or need for these products, so people retain their native spirituality. It seems to me that the more one focuses on what they can own and buy in the outside world the more they neglect their inner wealth.
The more you own the less you are. You define yourself by the things you own but they start to own you. You think fondly of your new digital high definition 3D TV, your new car. Your thoughts and your consciousness gets projected onto machines and gadgets which inevitably soon lose their lustre, become common place and are soon superseded by new models. They are not permanent. No doubt it is enjoyable to think about some new gadget you’ve bought but sooner or later you get used to it and it no longer evokes the same feeling of excitement so soon you are not as happy as you once were. This is the same psychology involved in becoming a so called ‘shopaholic’, the initial thrill of buying new clothes for example disappears within a couple of days of their purchase as the clothes have been worn for a few days and no longer feel new, particularly with their first wash the sheen of newness disappears, and the genuine shopping addict will need to buy something else to regain the transitory feeling of happiness. Of course, it goes without saying that this is a pretty fruitless way to attain happiness but for some people it really is all they have, precisely because they have forgotten to ‘be’ happy themselves. They cannot achieve happiness from within so they constantly need something to make them happy.
Many people replace the quest for ‘something’ with the quest for ‘someone’. This is a perfectly normal and natural human impulse, to have a partner, to feel love for someone and to know they are loved in turn and perhaps start a family. But due to the pressures and temptations of modern life, often the strains and pressures of life get between the loving couple and the relationship cannot weather the storm or the world, or indeed, some people have a materialistic attitude to loving relationships and find, just like the shopaholics, that after a few months or years, the sheen of newness and excitement of the relationship, seems to fade, and so they dash off in search of someone new who will allow them to feel the fleeting thrill of the new again.
So many marriages these days end in divorce because people are so desperate to find their happiness in other people, when really they need to find it in yourself first. You cannot find love in others, you must have the love in yourself first and share the love. If you depend on another person for your emotional wellbeing, then whenever you perceive that they are not giving you what you need or feel entitled to, you will need to move on to the next partner in order to get your supply. Again, this is another form of addiction. All of these people running around looking for some feeling that they have been told they can either buy or obtain from other people, but they are not told that the surest supply of this wonder product comes from within: happiness.
All we have to do in order to be completely and perfectly happy is to obtain genuine inner peace. To be at peace is to be happy. When we are deeply in love with someone and we wrap our arms around them in a cuddle we feel at peace. Time seems to fade into irrelevance and no pressure or worries plague us. This is the feeling of love and it is the same as true peace. We feel comforted by our partner and their presence gives us confidence and a feeling of total security, but we are perfectly able to obtain this feeling ourselves without the necessity of either obtaining it from the presence of another person or the presence of material goods.
I suspect also that our habit to rely less on our own inner resources and more on other people, leads people to rush headlong into relationships which perhaps on an a deeper level, people know are not ideal, or not really what they want, yet they feel the alternative of being alone and hence a lack of security and confidence, to be something they cannot contemplate, and so enter into an ill advised relationship with someone who won’t be able to supply them with all their needs and fill their sense of inner emptiness. And so we have divorces, broken homes, confused and unloved children, and a perfect recipe for the breakdown of society.
It could not have been planned any better. It begs the question: Is our world ruled by fools or by cunning and malicious psychopaths? Our society is falling apart, love is fading from homes and relationships at the same rate with which the lusts of materialism are pumped into our homes by the plasma flat-screen high definition 3D TV set. We see beautiful men and women on our TV, immaculately made up and styled, and this only serves to make us more aware of the imperfections of our own partners. We see the homes and lifestyles of the rich and famous and our own lives and homes seem drab in comparison, our lives seem less real and less valuable than those of the stars we see. We have seen how the introduction of television leads to the phenomenon of crime, as in the example of Bhutan. Not just because people want the things they see on the screen but because the things they see on the screen actually make them unhappy, unhappy with themselves. Happy people do not commit crime.
We can produce all the happiness we need in our lives: we can have instant peace and a sense of security on tap, without spending a penny or without asking anyone to give it to us. As the title of this chapter suggests the answer lies in Zen meditation. There are many forms of meditation and all sorts of things which people are asked to visualise, but by far the simplest and most effective is Zen meditation. However the one thing that Zen meditation is not is an instant-fix. However you will see results almost straight away. The other thing that it isn’t easy. It requires you to do something that they don’t want us to do and something many of us simply find ourselves unable to do effectively or for prolonged periods of time. That is: concentrate.
When you start Zen meditation and if you commit to it and do it say three times a week for at least half an hour each time then within 3 months you will be smarter, happier, more serene, less irritable, less stressed. You will sleep better, be able to think better and you will also notice dozens of other new mental skills that you will amaze you. The potential for development is limitless because no one really knows what the limits of the human mind are, but for the first time since your early childhood, you will truly be using your full mental faculties to their full potential.
As we have seen before, our consciousness is NOT our thoughts. Very young children do not ‘think’ because they do not have the words to construct thoughts. Similarly animals do not think for the same reason. However both are certainly perfectly conscious. Instead of thoughts children have completely untroubled and pure minds. They may cry because they are hungry or tired or because they are affected by negative stimuli around them, but a baby or a small child has no concept or worry or concern about the future. They just exist in a perpetual present. They do not project themselves into the future and worry about it the way we do. They do not project themselves into some other reality because they are dissatisfied with their own reality. Mostly babies, small children and animals exist in the easy untroubled happiness of the Zen state.
We can return to this state if we want to. All we have to do is start to separate our awareness of who we are from the thoughts constantly going through our minds and ultimately learn to stop the thoughts at will. With Zen meditation the angry, sad, jealous or painful thoughts will be stopped because we will be aware that they are not good for our happiness, we will be able to control our mind fully and not be at the mercy of the constant chatter of worry, anxiety, uncertainty or concern.
The constant chatter of thoughts in our mind is only a habit we have acquired because of the stressful nature of life, whether at school and the various rivalries and power struggles there, or the demand to quickly answer the questions demanded by the teacher or to think of an excuse for not being able to answer it. Or if someone seems upset with us for some reason we search our thoughts to find a reason to explain their attitude. And so we all acquire a certain level of constant mental activity in order to solve the various puzzles of social living and human relationships. In extreme cases, where stress is elevated to an extreme level then the trammel of thoughts becomes uncontrollable and sometime several trains of thought take place at once. This is a sure sign that if this level of stress continues then serious mental illness can follow when the brain becomes overloaded with ideas and associations. Physical illness often develops as a result of high emotional stress.
Schizophrenics often claim to hear voices telling them to commit various terrible crimes and the surprise is that one would do so merely at the behest of a voice in your head, but this is how powerful our inner world is. You may yourself have noticed that if there is someone you particularly dislike, and you allow yourself to think negative thoughts about this person, then inevitably your thoughts will externalise into speech and either you will express your dislike of the person to someone else, or indeed you will find yourself directly expressing your feelings to the person themselves, leading no doubt to conflict of one kind or another.
This is as Jesus said when addressing the ancient equivalent of the freemasons, the Pharisees, he said: ‘You brood of vipers. How can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart!’ Matthew 12:34.
And in Matthew 15:18: “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart; and they defile the man.’
Although it is difficult to control your feelings about someone, it is possible to control your thoughts about them. With practice, the next time you see that person in your mind’s eye and start to think negatively you will be able to stop yourself and say to yourself: ‘why am I thinking like his?’ ‘what purpose does this negativity serve?’. Indeed it serves none at all. Negativity only makes you yourself feel bad, angry or aggressive, and increases the likelihood that you will project these emotions on the people around you who have done nothing to offend you in the first place, damaging other relationships in turn. In an emergency conflict situation remember the following words:
“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” Thomas Jefferson.
The practice of Zen meditation is very simple and involves simply trying to stifle your thoughts completely until you reach the Zen state of mindlessness of Nirvana. With continued practice you could attain ‘real’ Nirvana in less than 6 months. It is the best feeling in the world, better than any drug intoxication you can imagine.
Find yourself somewhere very very quiet to carry out your meditation. There must be no audible activity around you at all because this will certainly break your concentration.
Sit cross-legged on the floor and close your eyes. The purpose of this meditation is to reach a point where you no longer have a constant dialogue going on in your head. Initially it will be very difficult to do this, in fact the task will seem impossible and it will be mentally exhausting, but the plus side is you’ll feel very relaxed afterwards. You could also try this if you have trouble sleeping, it certainly helps sufficiently tire the mind so that it seeks rest and is ready to relax.
Just try initially to sustain inner silence in your mind for a few seconds, it will be tiring, but persevere and over the next few days and weeks the periods of sustained silence and total inner peace will become longer and longer. If any thought comes into your head RESIST the temptation to explore it or become involved in it. Actively attempt to block it out. Some meditation techniques advise you to observe the thoughts and watch them come and go but this doesn’t achieve a great deal in my experience, you need to learn to master your own mind and no longer be at the mercy of the many negative thoughts and feelings of anxiety and worry about the things society is forever trying to make us worry about. The news and certain TV shows work very hard to create a fevered pitch of worry, anxiety and high drama because if we are infected by these thoughts then we are in their playground and we can be controlled. For example the government will be able to introduce more CCTV camera and more stringent infringements on our liberty because we will have been infected by the same degree of panic as they have, as schizophrenic robber barons who are unfolding their new-world order control agenda and are hoping that the public as a whole won’t decide to do something about it.
So they need us scared of terrorists, that way they can have their naked body scanners at airports and random police identity checks so we start learning to become scared of them too. Then they will have their power over us and essentially this is all they need. They already have all the money in the world but they don’t have total carte blanche to do what they want and in order to get this they need us to learn to do as we’re told. It seems many of us are learning to do just as we’re told at an alarming rate of knots.
When I learned that naked body scanners had been introduced at not just London Heathrow and Manchester airports, but also at many other regional airports too, I asked myself why no one protests these terribly invasive things. I needn’t have bothered myself because I later found out that that 90% of people asked supported naked body scanners in airports. It is clear that the endless threats and fears pumped out by the media have terrorised the British people to a level where they are willing to acquiesce to anything if they are told it will make them safe. What a sad bunch we have become. Did we defeat Nazi Germany and totalitarianism only to have it follow us home and move in with is?
Those to blame are the media for scaring us with hundred ways to die very week. If it isn’t the meteor from space it’s swine flu, or bird flu, or SARS, or mad-cow disease, or a pole shift, or melting glaciers flooding the planet, or a plague of zombies, or anthrax in the mail, or anyone of a thousand promoted terrors designed to weaken our minds and make us stand in line and do as we’re told. Line up and take your shoes off, line up and take this vaccine full of mercury, line up and get a dose of dangerous x ray radiation as we ogle your naked body.
It will get much much worse if we let it. And the way things look right now with the whole population stuck to their TV sets drinking up the fear, it’s going that way. There was a time when to be fingerprinted meant you’d been arrested by the police for breaking the law and they had the right to add your fingerprints to their lists of other felons. Now if you happen to be a child of three or above at a certain school who wants to borrow a library book you will be fingerprinted.
The next logical step in this chain is for schools to collect children’s DNA. Then what? Perhaps with developments in technology they will be able to read our whole lives just from our DNA sample. When we die, how much we weigh, the colour of our eyes. What our favourite movies are, whether we are likely to be a good citizen or whether we will insist on trying to maintain our privacy.
Yet the things we ought genuinely to be worried about such as a new world war are the very things our rulers seem to want after calling for tough new sanctions for Iran and claiming that they already have a nuclear weapon, the next step in the rhetorical rise to Armageddon is to join US hawks like Hilary ‘I’m not a witch! I’m not a witch!’ Clinton.
In 2007 Hilary voted on the Kyle-Lieberman amendment supporting military action against Iran. In 2008 she threatened to ‘obliterate’ Iran if they invaded Israel. A bit like going up to a blind man and saying ‘I will smash your teeth in if you look at my girlfriend’. Clearly psychotically aggressive, clearly inappropriate. And now Obama, the black messiah himself is in a bullying mood because of the goading of his Wall-street pals who know the only future for the United States Of America is the spoils of foreign conquest.
We need to remove ourselves from this toxic and hypocritical system and that means disengaging your mind and attention from the million and one harmful illusions, lies and new horrors they fire at us.
The search for beauty is the preoccupation of every human and living creature in this material world. We search for beauty outside of ourselves for what is within we fail to appreciate and generally take for granted. It seems for most of us, that we must seek personal happiness and validation outside of ourselves. And so we venture further into materialism and further from the source of personal wisdom. We can never ‘know’ another person as we know ourselves. We can never achieve wisdom from another person because knowledge and awareness lies within our own consciousness. Some of us corrupt what is within, due to a lack of insight or personal damage of some kind, and what is within themselves appears rank and poisoned and the inner beauty is lost.
So we project our love and desire outside of ourselves, like plants reaching their leaves to the sun, we hope to find sustenance and a purpose for living in someone else.
This makes no sense spiritually because the person in whom you are trying to find this beauty is also looking for the same thing in you, yet the fact that both of you are looking for something which you lack, in someone else, means neither of you possess what you are searching for, because if you did you wouldn’t have to look for it in others.
Superficially, women are attractive and men are handsome, yet this only appears to be the beauty they are searching for, but it is only a configuration of physicality, it is more materialism. It has no deeper meaning and is only a cipher for beauty but not the real thing. The attractiveness and charm which some see in others is often enough to make them love them, but rarely is it enough to make the person possessing these qualities love themselves to the point of self completion.
The person having the qualities of attractiveness or charm knows that these things are not the real person they are, yet they seem sufficient to make the other person love them. These things are merely tools to enable the person to obtain emotional, sensual, material or financial security. But love is the dream, but it comes from within the self. Why is another person needed to produce a feeling which originate within the self. What is love?
Love is a form of attention. Love takes the attention from ones own personal inner problems and gives one something to focus on outside of the self.
But what happens when attention goes outward? The material world expands and grows as the all knowing inner being reaches out into the void.
The reality is short lived because true love requires timeless understanding and a still mind. Within a human relationship these things are unobtainable in this world which by definition is constantly in flux and full of a thousand distractions. There are financial pressures, communication failures, misunderstandings. It is easier to find love in yourself and keep it there than it is to search for it in someone by reaching across the void to another consciousness. Why reach across the void at all?
So we all reach out of ourselves because we feel dissatisfied with our own inner beings, and we seek to expand our inner light into the darkened void. The consequence of this is human reproduction, which is actually a form of entropy, or widening chaos. Materially, having children is natural, from a spiritual perspective however it is not.
Reproduction is the consequence of our failure to find God, it is a consequence of a spiritual hunger for completeness which we think the material world can solve for us. But it cannot, it can only offer the temporary excitement of desire followed by a slow loss of the self at the expense of assuming a role as head of a family.
We fracture and divide ourselves. And so from the original harmony we have ‘difference’, we have tribalism, peoples, nations, conflicts, wars which are inevitable when different universes occupy the same world. Reproduction is shattering the hologram into a thousand more holograms. Marriages are not easy and often fail because eventually we realise that we can never really find love outside of ourselves, except as a kind of dozing domesticity, but if we really look into ourselves we will realise that what we were looking for was inside us all along.
Consciousness is a field. As individuals most of our experience of consciousness is very limited and narrow field. Our friends, our job and hobbies, our desires and our anxieties, all enter our consciousness and preoccupy us.
Essentially in this way we have limited our consciousness, the way a magnifying glass examines a very small part of a plant such as a cell, but is incapable of simultaneously being aware of seeing the whole plant itself. This is why we are mostly unable to understand the universe and what consciousness and life itself represents. We cannot see the wood for the trees is an expression which represents the inability to perceive the totality of a concept or situation due to excessive regard for the finer details and minutia.
Some species exist within a larger field of consciousness than we do at most times. Bees, ants and birds usually, despite their apparent smaller size than us, actually have a larger field of consciousness. The complex tasks which ants and bees undertake such as the discovery of food, cleaning their nests and the feeding of their young, are all carried out by a field of consciousness which uses the individual ants as relay stations, or circuits. Birds tend to have a more defined individual identity when both parents for instance are feeding their young. At such times their field of consciousness is limited to the maximum radius from the nest at which both parents find it necessary to discover food. At other times however, during mass migrations, the field of consciousness of the extends throughout the whole flock which has taken to the air and creates a stronger egregor like entity than each individual bird. For humans too the field of consciousness modifies and also gives strength to the individual. Being in love for instance is the merging of two consciousness fields, being next to the partner with whom you are in love is when this ‘togetherness’ can be felt as more than a physical sensation but that somehow there is something within you which is complete or feels more expansive.
Sports fans, particularly in the UK, football fans, feel this most when their team has just scored a goal, also when the fans are singing in unison. One feels part of the crowd, the individual is still aware of him or herself but also feels joy at being part of something bigger. Indeed in these moments I would say that they feel love also.
I believe that the feeling of love is actually the experience of enlarging our field of consciousness. For instance there was a time when young people in the UK would use a drug called Ecstasy for the feeling of euphoria and being ‘loved up’ that it provided. The funny thing was there was no particular romantic feeling associated with this feeling of euphoric joy, it was more a love of everything and everyone.
This same effect is possible through meditation. However through meditation there are arguably greater possibilities due to the greater clarity which an undrugged consciousness is capable of.
If drugs are used the nature of the consciousness expansion is of somewhat a choppy nature, like being on the deck of a ship during a fierce storm, one finds it hard to maintain a calm and serene inner experience as the ground and the sky seem to be constantly in motion and there is no dry land beneath your feet on which to ground your experience.
During meditation the possibility of return to dry land instantly and quickly is ever present and we can rationalise and consider the experience is very easy. It only requires thinking about it. Using drugs however does not permit this, and one tends to stumble in fog until the original vision becomes clouded and lost in the comedown of the clear light of day.
Meditation however is not easy for some people because it required the cessation of thought and most people are so used to thinking all the time that they are not even aware there is an off switch for their brains. What is required is a realisation that when the ancients said ‘as above so below’ they were mistranslated. What they really meant was ‘as within so without’.
What is inside every person is the same as what is outside. Consciousness. Most people base their consciousness inside their own heads so, after thoughts have been stifled through concentration, one can start to widen and broaden the space inside their heads.
What happens is that you experience a feeling of the observational point which is you growing smaller within yourself and also of your field of vision and consciousness expanding. You start to glimpse the size of the universe itself and the everyday world, despite being just next to you waiting for you, seems to be an immense distance away.
You are now INSIDE YOUR OWN MIND. And this is infinite. As it grows and widens something else will happen, you will start to get the feeling of falling into yourself. This is the final break through and although it might seem frightening, a bit like dying or surrendering yourself to some force, it isn’t. It is only a state of expanded consciousness and all you need do to instantly return back to the so called ‘real world’ is open your eyes again.
As you fall into your own field of consciousness you will start to spin and move as your consciousness becomes aware of its own energetic natures and twists and turns in its own eternity, you will also experience a satisfying feeling of all knowing all understanding and love. Simple because for the first time in your life there are no thoughts and no boundaries anymore.
You have found heaven. Nirvana. The abode of peace. You have merged with the consciousness field of the greater universe.