I wrote the following for the 101st issue of The Culture of Awareness Weekly Newsletter, which I offer for $11.11 a month. Income from the newsletter helps my family and I get by, and the option to subscribe (credit and debit cards accepted) will be given at the bottom of this post.
To begin for this week, we’re going to turn away from our lust discussion and talk about the importance of keeping our minds open and expansive as we continuously unlock a less distorted perception of ourselves and the reality around us.
We might return to our lust discussion if it was helpful for any of you, but it doesn’t hurt to keep this segment as fresh as possible and I think it’s important that we understand the benefits of being open enough to question ideas or philosophies we’ve clung to for a long time.
Those of us who are interested in finding enlightenment will benefit from making sure we don’t harden our perspectives so much that we’re unable to make allowance for new beliefs or expanded versions of the beliefs we’ve already adopted.
I think it’s important that we refuse to let ego-driven rigidity stop us from opening up to ideas or concepts we haven’t yet opened up to, and if our minds aren’t open and willing to receive new truths, we’ll keep ourselves from acting on our greater spiritual potential.
Some seekers have become so set in their beliefs that they’re willing to duke it out with complete strangers who don’t believe the same things they do, and it goes without saying that we’ll have to be willing to open up to each other’s viewpoints and philosophies if we want to come together in peace and harmony.
In our first quote, Adyashanti tells us that “Our insistence on hearing the answer we expect keeps us from asking the questions we should.” (1)
Some people seek to affirm their beliefs instead of the purer truths that exist beyond them, and to reach a higher state of consciousness, it’s essential that we go with our evolutionary flow and allow our beliefs, some of which we might have held sacred, to expand or even disintegrate if necessary.
In the end, we’ll find that it was more than worth it because we’ll have opened up to a whole new reality; a whole new frame of understanding that was previously inaccessible.
Adyashanti also outlines the importance of exiting our limited understanding of ourselves.
“It is important to awaken and experience your Self outside of thought, existing as eternity. So question all notions of yourself that are creations of thought and of time — of past, present, and future. Experience your eternalness, your holiness, your awakeness until you are convinced that you are never subject to the movement of thought, of fear, or of time. To be free of fear is to be full of Love.” (2)
We’re free and sovereign beings who are intended to understand and reclaim the freedom that seems to have been sucked away from us, but if we can’t exit our limited perception of ourselves, we certainly won’t exit the confines of our limited reality.
Understanding our divinity and the fact that we exist outside of our physical bodies and identities will make the picture much clearer for us, and we’ll be glad we opened up and accepted the boundless assistance we’re being given with transcending limitation.
Adyashanti then shares a secret to transcending duality.
“To awaken to the absolute view is profound and transformative, but to awaken from all fixed points of view is the birth of true nonduality.” (3)
This sounds like one of the most difficult things we could do, but it’s among the best ways we can exit the karmic/dualistic cycle and greet a greater and purer perception.
To understand ourselves from a point of view that can constantly change according to our expanding perception is to completely transform the manner in which we’ve perceived ourselves and our reality, and we just have to be willing to live from a loving, expansive space.
According to Adyashanti, some seekers tend to cling to closely held ideas or perceptions, thus inhibiting the natural, expansive flow we can enjoy.
“Spiritual seekers are some of the most superstitious people on the planet.
“Most people come to spiritual teachers and teachings with a host of hidden beliefs, ideas, and assumptions that they unconsciously seek to be confirmed. And if they are willing to question these beliefs they almost always replace the old concepts with new more spiritual ones thinking that these new concepts are far more real than the old ones.
“Even those who have had deep spiritual experiences and awakenings beyond the mind will in most cases continue to cling to superstitious ideas and beliefs in an unconscious effort to grasp for the security of the known, the accepted, or the expected.” (4)
To find enlightenment, it seems that we’ll have to let go of any secure or comfortable spiritual ideals or beliefs, and when we cling to them, we inhibit our natural flow and make it harder to access in the long run. I’ll say from experience that the best path we can take is to, again, flow with our existence from a surrendered, expansive point of view.
We won’t do ourselves or our ascension a justice by impeding our natural flow, and even when we seem to experience junk that we don’t want, we can coast through it with the understanding that we’ll eventually receive what we’re looking for as long as we’re aligned.
Our endless search for security and affirmation is what inhibits our flow the most, as Adyashanti tells us below.
“It is this grasping for security in all its inward and outward forms which limits the perspective of enlightenment and maintains an inwardly divided condition which is the cause of all suffering and confusion. You must want to know the truth more than you want to feel secure in order to fully awaken to the fact that you are nothing but Awakeness itself.” (5)
We feed into our surface perception by searching for affirmations of the infinite truth we carry within, and to find this truth in its purest and most potent forms, we’ll have to accept that it’s constantly here without feeling like we need to construct dogmatic or superstitious beliefs around it.
The divine flow (and the resulting perception) is one of the clearest, purest, and most wholesome things that can be accessed, and if we’re rooted too deeply in the mind or our surface beliefs/perceptions, we won’t tap into it in the pure ways we have the potential to.
I’ve just started to tap into this flow, and it’s honestly one of the greatest things I’ve ever felt. You can all join me, but it requires the willingness to deconstruct former belief systems that might not serve as much as simply existing.
In Adyashanti’s experience, a lot of seekers have trouble transcending beliefs they’ve become attached to.
“Shortly after I began teaching I noticed that almost everyone coming to see me held a tremendous number of superstitious ideas and beliefs that were distorting their perceptions and limiting their scope of spiritual inquiry.
“What was most surprising was that in almost all cases, even those who had deep and profound experiences of spiritual awakening continued to hold onto superstitious ideas and beliefs which [severely] limited the depth of experience and expression of true awakening.
“Over time I began to see how delicate and challenging it was for most seekers to find the courage to question any and all ideas and beliefs about the true nature of themselves, the world, others, and even enlightenment itself.” (6)
It can definitely be challenging, because a lot of us hold our beliefs close to our hearts and aren’t as comfortable giving them up as we would be giving up, say, beliefs we knew were distorted. Given that we’re in a lower state of consciousness, it’s basically impossible for any of our beliefs not to be distorted, and they’ll continue to be distorted until we’re back with Source in all of His/Her love and purity.
Therefore, it’s essential that we remain in a receptive enough state to steadily yet radically decrease the distortion that’s inherent in every lower-dimensional belief system until we’re back with Source. We’ll travel through practically infinite dimensions before our beliefs and perceptions are completely undistorted, and we’ll severely limit ourselves if we stay attached to any outdated beliefs along the way.
In our final quote, Adyashanti shares his experience watching seekers use their beliefs to justify lower-vibrational behavior.
“In almost every person, every religion, every group, every teaching and every teacher, there are ideas, beliefs, and assumptions, that are overtly or covertly not open to question.
“Often these unquestioned beliefs hide superstitions which are protecting something which is untrue, contradictory, or being used as justification for behavior which is … less than enlightened. The challenge of enlightenment is not simply to glimpse the awakened condition, nor even to continually experience it, but to be and express it as your self in the way you move in this world.” (7)
How we live is far more important than what we believe, and if we live with an open and loving heart without clinging to our current beliefs, finding enlightenment could be a breeze. If we’re rooted too deeply in our beliefs to make allowance for a new or expanded understanding, we’ll trap ourselves on our current perceptual level.
There’s no sense remaining in a dense state of consciousness that we’re ready to transcend because of a belief system that binds us here, and instead, we can lighten up and let the ascension process flow as it’s intended to.
We might continue this discussion next week, and as usual, there’s plenty more material about it out there. There’s plenty more to discuss about the impediment of lust and various other lower qualities too, and it goes without saying that we’ll never run out of things to learn.
With all of the material we’ve been given from enlightened teachers, as well as channeled sources and a host of spiritually inspired writers/speakers/researchers, we’ll always have something to ponder. As awareness grows, we’ll find that our list of things to learn grew even higher, and this is what happens when we collectively rediscover infinity.
- Adyashanti, Downloaded from http://www.thedailyinspiration.com/cgi/daily.php?id=514, 12 March 2006.
- Adyashanti, “Selling Water by the River,” Inner Directions Journal, Fall/Winter, 1999, downloaded from http://www.adyashanti.org, 2004.
- Adyashanti, “The Courage to Question,” 1999, downloaded from http://www.adyashanti.org, 2004.
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