Scott Kiloby says; "Seeing through the story of self has been one of the greatest healing tools I’ve found. "

Scott Kiloby says that when he was younger he had various forms of illness, some labelled, some not defined, but now looking back he sees them as arising from his ‘story of self’;

I love particularly the first and last sentences here;

“Seeing through the story of self has been one of the greatest healing tools I’ve found. It worked better than most of the medicine I took that was prescribed by a doctor. And it was certainly more helpful than all the addictive substances and activities I used to try and medicate the emotional and mental suffering. Those were all merely band aids for a more pervasive cause of stress and dis-ease—the story of me. The story was really not about survival at all. It just seemed that way. The only thing that survives in the story is the story itself. As long as the story is entertained and followed, the story persists. And as long as the story persists, with its intense peaks and valleys of thought and emotion, stress happens in the body. Perhaps heart disease and cancer should be replaced at the top of the list of human killers with “the story of me.” Millions of dollars in health care costs could probably be saved each year by teaching people to rest in presence and let all emotions and sensations to be as they are, without stories and labels.

For Scott’s article go here – http://kiloby.com/writings.php?offset=0&writingid=379

For more information about seeing through the story, check out Scott Kiloby’s ‘Living Inquiries.’

‘Self matters’ – beyond rationality: two comments by Reinhold Niebuhr and Carl Jung

“Individual selfhood is expressed in the self’s capacity for self-transcendence and not in its rational capacity for conceptual and analytic procedures.”

Reinhold Niebuhr – Theologian/Author of the “Serenity Prayer”

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“The only right and legitimate way to such an experience is that it happens to you in reality and it can only happen to you when you walk on a path, which leads you to a higher understanding. You might be led to that goal by an act of grace or through a personal and honest contact with friends, or through a higher understanding of the mind beyond the confines of mere rationalism.”

Letter from Carl Jung to Bill Wilson – Jan. 30, 1961

HESCHEL: Feeling becomes prayer in the moment in which we forget ourselves

The focus of prayer is not the self. … It is the momentary disregard of our personal concerns, the absence of self-centered thoughts, which constitute the art of prayer.

Feeling becomes prayer in the moment in which we forget ourselves and become aware of God. …. Thus, in beseeching Him for bread, there is one instant, at least, in which our mind is directed neither to our hunger nor to food, but to His mercy. This instant is prayer. We start with a personal concern and live to feel the utmost.

As quoted in Judaism (1998) by Arthur Hertzberg, p. 300.

Variant: “It is the momentary disregard of our personal concerns, the absence of self-centered thoughts, which constitute the act of prayer.”

RP The core of all Traditions and the three actions they ask of us are : Awaken more; Detach more;Serve others Better. This is both mysticism and everyone’s day to day spiritual challenge.

Do you love out of your true Self or are you plagued by a false self intensified by the ‘disease of exclusivity’?: Ignatian spirituality, Eckhart Tolle, & recovering the True Self.

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Do you love out of your true Self or are you plagued by a false self intensified by the ‘disease of exclusivity’?: Ignatian spirituality, Eckhart Tolle, & recovering the True Self.

The one thing that unites so many mainstream religious adherents is the ‘disease of exclusivity’. The comment attributed to Gandhi; “God has no religion” has no currency for those who live with an identity formed via exclusive claims on Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Justice. For them God looks like the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Pope or an Ayatollah or the death-dealers of IS etc. The rest are apostates, infidels, inferiors…… So they must still be persecuted, excommunicated, shunned, have their characters assassinated or be put to death. Whoopee – today we killed an apostate – Truth, Beauty & Goodness are so much sweeter now, so much more life-enhancing, so much more beneficial for the jobless, homeless and starving.

Today in our town there is glorious sunshine – do you think it’s a different sun that illumines and warms the lives of Baha’is, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Sufis & Taoists, Humanists and so?

In what are we truly united? The answer is in Mystery, the Mystery of the Whole, that is to say in our not knowing. So our unity lies in acknowledgment of our not knowing – coupled with our sharing of all the woes and joys of being human, together for a short time on the one planet we have.

Sometimes the disease of exclusivity shows in an otherwise fine article below as in this ‘ignatian spirituality’ by take on Eckhart Tolle by Andy Otto.

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The article starts by saying;
“What is the Self? In all our relationships we tend to unconsciously fill a role, such as subordinate before our boss, parent to our child, expert before someone seeking our advice, a strong person when being admonished. We notice that with different people we feel different.
Resting in nondual awareness of the Self isn’t role-playing and role-adjustment.

The article announces that Tolle is ‘a non-Christian spiritual writer’;
Eckhart Tolle, a non-Christian spiritual writer, says that in filling prescribed roles and the expectations that go along with them we put on a false self. Christian mystics like Thomas Merton would agree. “My false and private self is the one who wants to exist outside the reach of God’s will and God’s love,” Merton said. The false self feeds the ego’s need for survival, adapting to whatever it needs to be in the moment, even if the false self claims to need envy, apathy, or ill-temper.

Tolle isn’t a non-Christian – he is non-exclusivist. He has probably taught more true Christianity, cf Churchianity, in the last three decades than all Christians put together in the first two thousand years of Christianity.

He is also, in all the essential that really matter – the mystical core of all the Great Traditions – he just stays focused on the core and stays away from the millions of ways that religionists have devised for asserting their self-righteousness via the disease of exclusivity.

Having developed and got attached to our false self – how do we reclaim our true Self?

How do we reclaim our true Self? The answer is deep love. I realize that I am fully myself before my significant other and before God. These two relationships are different than any other relationships in that they strive continually for intimate, unconditional, transparent, and fully vulnerable love. The intimacy with a significant other matches no other human relationship. True deep love with that person can reveal nothing other than the most authentic you. That intimacy is magnified in the God-me relationship where God knows me unequivocally. There is nothing to hide. Therefore, instead of analogizing my relationship with God (father-son, friend-friend, master-servant) I can allow myself to just be. That being, Tolle might say, is authentic Selfhood, without labels or titles or self-judgements………”

Yes the concomitant to resting in awareness is the deepening of being and the space and support, including silence, that we provide for others.

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To read the rest of the article go HERE – http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/14801/the-self

The Self

“‘I AM’ is God’s Christian name.'”

Rupert Spira in his video ‘The Self in You is God’s Self.” says “‘I AM’ is God’s Christian name.'”. I thought this funny, delightful – but I hope he meant ‘forename’ and not Christian name otherwise why would he want to invalidate all other traditions? The video is here;

Who are our enemies this week? The enemy of self?

I came across this extract from George Orwell’s 1984

Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.
Orwell, George. 1984. – http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Consensus_reality

RP At our worst we define our self from those we hate and those who govern often manipulate by giving us a new hate target. At least one UK newspaper sells on the premise that most of the public cannot fail to respond to daily tut-tutting which is low-level hatred.

The answer to the question of the title is the same as last week and the one before – ‘The only enemy is the enemy of self’

Susan gammage on this subject starts an article with;

‘Abdu’l-Baha talks about seven material ideas and worldly thoughts which attract man to the centre of self. These seven “invisible enemies” prevents us from ascending to the realms of holi­ness and imprison us in the claws of self and the cage of egotism. These seven are:

Anger
Passion
Ignorance
Prejudice
Greed
Envy
Covetousness
Jeal­ousy
Suspicion

Just as the earth attracts everything to the centre of gravity, and every object thrown upward into space will come down, so also material ideas and worldly thoughts attract man to the centre of self. Anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jeal­ousy and suspicion prevent man from ascending to the realms of holi­ness, imprisoning him in the claws of self and the cage of egotism. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 241)

What does surrendering to these enemies result in?

We’re prevented from ascending to the realms of holi­ness
We’re trapped in the claws of self and the cage of egotism.
Whenever we try to escape from one of these, we will unconsciously fall into hands of another
Let’s look at each one separately to see why ‘Abdu’l-Baha refers to them as enemies.

TO READ SUSAN’S article go to – http://susangammage.com/7-invisible-enemies-that-trap-us-in-the-prison-of-self

There are more things in heaven and earth…

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  • Shakespeare, Hamlet

Concepts are insufficient – as A J Heschel says, “Concepts are delicious snacks with which we try to alleviate our amazement.” He means they are secondary to the unified mystical state of awe or wonderment – that he would say is the ‘real thing’. (Except it isn’t a thing!)

What are the ‘more things’? I’m taking a look at how we get to have the world-view that we have. Clearly world-views are both individual and group.

I might ‘read’ the world as predominantly benign, or predominantly dangerous as part of my personal world-view.

Actions follow the world-view that is held. So in the group known as ISIS it is presumably an appropriate act to burn alive in a cage a prisoner – within their world-view.

To have insight into one’s own world-view and its formation is to have self-knowledge – and probably also Self knowledge

THE LIFE OF ‘ABDU’L BAHA The life of…

THE LIFE OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHA
The life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Exemplar of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, stands out as a shining example of what real happiness is. From the age of nine He shared the sufferings and persecutions inflicted upon His Father, spending forty years in ‘Akká as a prisoner of two Turkish despots. Yet during those dark years, He remained the most cheerful of the companions of Bahá’u’lláh, and poured out His love on all whom He met. A few years after His release, He said:

Freedom is not a matter of place, but of condition. I was happy in that prison, for those days were passed in the path of service.
To me prison was freedom.
Troubles are a rest to me.
Death is life.
To be despised is honour.
Therefore was I full of happiness all through that prison time.

When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed freedom! For self is the greatest prison.

When this release takes place, one can never be imprisoned. Unless one accepts dire vicissitudes, not with dull resignation, but with radiant acquiescence, one cannot attain this freedom. 8

What is the ego Answer The ego is…

What is the ego?

Answer
The ego is the ego. It’s zazen … as in “Know thyself.” I am always saying, You must understand the ego . . …. and in the end, there is no ego, the ego has no substance. Where are you going to locate this substance? In the nose? The brain? The navel? The head? Hard to say. In the mind? But what is the mind? It has become a problem, the biggest problem of psychology, philosophy, and religion.

I have explained that we have no noumenon, no permanent substance. The ego changes with every second that goes by; yesterday’s ego, today’s ego … they’re not the same. Our body changes, our cells change too. When you take a bath, for example, all the dead cells of your skin are washed away. Our brain, our mind changes; that of the adult is not the same as it was in the child. So where does the ego exist? It is one with the cosmos. It is not only the body, the mind, but it is God, Buddha, the fundamental cosmic force.

To find eternity is not egotism; it is truth, true noumenon. That is the true religion we must create. Our life is connected to the cosmic power and stands in a relation of interdependence with all other existences. We cannot live by ourselves, we are dependent upon nature, air, water. So we must not become selfish… That is the great satori. It is useless to be egotistical because every ego is in a relationship of interdependence with the world and with all things.

So there is no need to keep things for oneself. That is very important. In his Essays, Montaigne wrote that everybody else was always looking outward, but he wanted to look within. It is necessary to turn your eyes inward, even though most people only look outside. Today more than ever before we must look into ourselves. To look at an object is easy, to look at the subject is not so easy.

SOURCE – http://www.purifymind.com/WhatEgoZen.htm