Personality is a cloak
One of the most consistent sensations that practitioners of meditation experience is the sense that all the things that the individual would usually hold dear and personal as "me" are illusory. They are just superficial layers that can be stripped away. One is not the body. One is not one's thoughts. Furthermore, one is not one's personality.
Surely this is all based on subjective observations? Well, yes, however there is lots of evidence that proves that personality is no more fixed than whether one decides to grow their hair or not.
People who have suffered brain trauma often exhibit completely different personality traits afterwards, and split brained patients who have had their corpus callosum severed to prevent severe epileptic fits sometimes appear to have two personalities under the same scull - one for each hemisphere of the brain.
Our personalities can be changed because of intense psychological events as well. One's personality can almost be described as the latest paradigm for understanding how to relate with one's world. Based on previous experiences and knowledge of the world, it is generated to create the best possible outcomes for the whole person.
For many, once they have matured into adults there may be no reason for that paradigm to change. Others may be forced to reflect and re-evaluate because of the experiences that life throws at them. Then there are those that don't know how to change. They break down, rebuild, break down, rebuild.
Psychoactive chemicals can change the personality, at least temporarily and often in the long term. Mood disorders come about because of changes in neuro-chemistry.
There's a point here. Whatever the unit of consciousness is, it is not the personality. There is never going to be a "spirit version" of me strolling through the corridors of Yorkshire trying to talk to a medium. If there ever was one, which me would it be? My current self, my ego, has evolved through many versions.
During meditation, identification with the superficial self dissolves. The deeper the meditative experience, the richer and more global one's consciousness becomes and less fixed to the body that hosts it.
Where does consciousness live?
If one's arm is chopped off, consciousness is still there. Consciousness is there regardless of the thoughts or lack of thoughts going on in the mind. So consciousness does not live in the mind or in the body.
When did consciousness arise?
This is where things get really interesting. Consciousness, pure awareness, has always been there. It doesn't suddenly appear at a given age although many exponents of AI would argue just that - that consciousness emerges when intelligence reaches a critical level. If that is the case, then the rest of this article is pointless. Many meditators would argue that there is a quality to the meditative experience that gives the practitioner a very direct knowledge that "this" is not something that can be reproduced. It IS life itself and it is universal.
If consciousness was present in the 40 year old, it was present in the 20 year old and it was present in the 10 year old even though placed side by side nobody can deny that the 40 year old version and the 10 year old version of the same person are so different as to not be the same person. So let's trace back further, to a 1 year old, 1 month old, foetus and beyond to the cell. Was the same consciousness in the cell? Why stop there? Is consciousness the "God particle" itself?
Gas cooker theory
Until recently, I used to think of mankind as being 8 billion gas rings on top of a giant gas cooker. Consciousness is the gas. When you consider the mechanics of a gas cooker, it is absurd to think that all these different rings feel so special and individual and want to fight against each other, compete to be the best, when they are all burning on the same gas source.
This analogy falls however because from birth to death, consciousness does not rot or burn or change. It is a constant.
Syringes on the ocean
So maybe a better way of looking at it would be to consider each individual life form (let's stick with humans for simplicity) to be a hollow vessel, a syringe, floating in the ocean. Now we have 8 billion syringes all full to the brim with the same substance - water from the ocean. From birth to death each syringe draws in more of the ocean and then once peaked the ocean water is gradually leaked from the syringe back into the ocean.
This means we are all connected right now but it goes much deeper than that.
What is time?
We all know that subjective time is completely different than objective time. How many times the world spins or revolves around the sun has no relevance is one is sitting in a dark room with no frames of reference. Subjective time depends on the perception of change and the rate of change. Five minutes can seem like a lifetime and time flies when we are having fun.
Defining time is very tricky therefore. It doesn't really exist as all we have is now. Returning to the ocean analogy, it doesn't matter if the syringe sucks water from the ocean now, next week or in 40000 years, it is still the same body of water. Therefore that body of water connects all the syringes not just now but forever.
Consciousness is timeless
Like the ocean, consciousness therefore can be seen as timeless. Your body is hosting it just as mine is and just as our great, great, great grandmothers hosted it. Same consciousness, different vehicles and THAT makes a whole load of other wonderful ideas possible.
If one's consciousness is at the core of all life and all matter, if it has driven one forward from the very first cell division, and if it is the thing that gels one with every other living entity that ever existed, does exist and will exist then those that claim to read minds may be telling the truth.
Telepathy may be either a fluke malfunction or something that can be nurtured and learned, a way of breaking out of one's own body and tuning into shared consciousness. Isn't this how hacking works when computers share a network?
Seeing ghosts may be the same mechanism. If time and space are illusion because consciousness is everywhere and always at once, then arguably one could be seeing through the eyes of another from the past....or the future.
If, as touched on by quantum physics, the way matter reacts depends on how it is observed, then perhaps telekinesis occurs when one hacks into the "consciousness" of objects on a sub-atomic level and changes their behaviour or even their placement in time and space.
It's mind-blowing but the truth is within you
The bottom line and the thrust of this article is that everything we know came from mind and everything we will know in the future will come from mind. It appears that the whole universe is within waiting to be unlocked. Scientists and artists alike celebrate great minds like Einstein but let us not forget that he was a deep, deep thinker - a visionary. Everything we have achieved in the material world from our knowledge of physics, biology, chemistry and the natural world has come from ideas first.
If we are really seeking the truth, we should be looking inwards.
How come we are condensed into a single point of the Universe? Is there another way of existing in it? Is there a way of experiencing the reality without being so restrained into this point of space-time? Is there any other kind of existence at all?
These existential questions can lead us to ask ourselves the very basic one: who am I? Or what am I? Or even am I? In order to get a glimpse at the final answers to these questions, we must be very thorough in our self-inquiry. We also have to rely not only to thoughts and logical thinking (which indeed may help a lot), but primarily to try to work honestly on ourselves, and directly experience the Truth.
The first point of our inquiry on the fabric of our individual reality is the question about its roots.
Our perception of the world is based on witnessing it from the usual point of view, the sense of “I-ness.” We feel our blurred sense of “I” as opposed to everything else, the “no-I.” It is obvious that all our experiences stem from this basic dichotomy: I – everything else.
We have countless perceptions about the external world and our own being: thoughts, emotions and 5 “usual” senses. We can call them the contents of mind, and the whole outer reality is being perceived through these three kinds of mind content.
The First postulate of the Reintegration System claims: “There exists an underlying, supremely perfect reality, independent of time and space, yet subtly present in all phenomena.” However, we might choose certain words in an attempt to describe this reality, like God, Being, Source, Tao, Sunyata, Emptiness, Void, Nothingness, Wholeness, Oneness, and so on; yet all those terms will be far from being adequate for depicting the supreme reality.
It is worth noting that there are several concepts in modern physics that symbolically represent this underlying reality or point to it. In Einstein’s Theory of relativity, it is the space-time continuum. In quantum physics, it’s the quantum vacuum. Also, in various works of the late American theoretical physicists David Bohm, this reality is clearly named as the implicate order.
Nevertheless, this reality is definitely the source of everything. Although it has no inherent attributes, we can still designate some characteristics to it, from our limited point of view. And, one of the most obvious characteristics would be oneness. It’s undivided and undividable. Consequently, if this oneness is the primal source of the whole reality, then all seemingly separate entities or things are, at the deepest level, an illusion.
If we accept this, then the next obvious thing is: our internal world and external reality are also inseparable. They are one. There is a subtle, yet fundamental, oneness of inner and outer reality. In a delicate way, they are equal. Whatever is inside, the same is outside, and vice versa.
Of course, as we are identified with this illusion and heavily covered by countless veils of ignorance, we are not aware of that sameness of inner and outer world. Nevertheless, that sameness must be expressed in some way. That is the holographic principle. Basically, it says that each part of an entity contains complete information on the whole entity. Accordingly, within every human being, as a part of the Universe, there is complete information about the Universe. Similarly, the same correlation is between one’s inner and outer reality.
It seems that modern science is also going toward the holographic idea. A lot of groundbreaking research has been done in the last couple of decades in the fields of neurology and psychology, showing striking correspondence with holographic principle, especially related to memory and other functions of the human brain. For example, neuroscientist Karl Pribram, initially in collaboration with physicist David Bohm, developed the holonomic brain theory. It is a model of human cognition that describes the brain as a holographic storage network. “Pribram and others noted the similarities between an optical hologram and memory storage in the human brain. According to the holonomic brain theory, memories are stored within certain general regions, but stored non-locally within those regions.”[i]
The holographic model is also emerging in theoretical physics. “The holographic principle is a property of string theories and a supposed property of quantum gravity that states that the description of a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a lower-dimensional boundary to the region—preferably a light-like boundary like a gravitational horizon.”[ii] This implies an astonishing idea that the entire 3D universe is a kind of a projection of the information embedded in the cosmological 2D horizon.
Veils of ignorance
What are these veils of ignorance, causing our total immersion into this illusion?
Basically, they are our misperceptions or unawareness of various layers of Reality. They are directly connected to our identifications, beliefs and other elements of personality described in the Reintegration System. We think we are something else than we truly are. In fact, whatever we think we are, we are wrong. It can only be that we are, as opposed to the notion that we are something or someone. Every single identification contributes a little bit to our immersion in this world of illusion.
For example, a person acts as a sister. From the point of view of that identity, the person behaves differently than from the genuine state of Presence and from all her other identities. Her behavior is limited to her traumas from the past, to her fears for her “little” brother or sister, desires for being protective, or better than her siblings, beliefs on being superior or inferior, etc. All those habitual notions or traits seriously confine her genuine abilities and perfection of acting from Presence. After all, those notions deeply limit her perception of reality.
Game of life rules
Why do these veils of ignorance exist whatsoever?
The explanation of this mystery lies in being’s primal decision to have experiences. Quite obviously, in order to bring any experience into existence, a basic polarity should be established: the “experiencer” and that which is being experienced, we will name it the “experienced.” Therefore, the primal Being must seemingly split itself up into those two polarities. It actually “condenses” itself into a limited region or point, which is conscious of the outer region “around” it. In a sense, the Being deliberately “retreats” from the “rest” of it, the “outer world.” The external world becomes the “unknown,” a field of unconsciousness.
There should also exist “something” in which the experiencer and the experienced exist. It is space. But, that is still not enough, as this polarity in space is totally static. If there should be some experience, there must be some dynamic events. The Being must introduce time.
Now, what is time? In relativistic physics, it is simply one of the dimensions within the four-dimensional continuum called space-time. So, in space-time there are four coordinates assigned to an event. For example, if you wanted to describe the very basics of the event when you eat an ice-cream last time, you would have to assign three coordinates of space to it. It happened in a point of space that had its precise longitude, latitude and altitude. But, that’s not enough. It must have an additional value: the time when it happened. Thus, it is described by four coordinates. Modern physics tells us that these four coordinates are inter-changeable. They are equivalent.
So, when we have a series of mutually connected events, like moving a car from point A to point B, we actually have countless mini-events, each being described with its own four coordinates in the space-time continuum. And when we have a non-moving car on a parking slot, it seems that we now have a completely static situation. No, it’s not. It is still moving, through the fourth space-time coordinate, through time.
Now, note this: as an observer of that seemingly static car, you are also moving through the fourth dimension – time. From a deeper point of view, the only entity that is moving along this fourth dimension is the observer, you.
Therefore, a conscious observer, or the experiencer, must move along one of the coordinates of the four-dimensional continuum, in order to get an impression of a dynamic experience.
We now have established some rules for the game of life. Nevertheless, this is not enough for a complete picture. That moving through one of the dimensions must be unconscious, otherwise the experiencer would have been able to manipulate with the experience at their will, with no effort. Moreover, they shouldn’t be conscious of any of the following events – the future must be under the veil of the unknown in order to have the possibility of wonder. Also, their memories from the past should be vague and more or less unreliable – otherwise they would have a perfect basis for a perfect behavior, and that also wouldn’t be good for the game.
However, those memories have to be mutually consistent and interconnected, in order to form a unique personality with their own unique desires, fears, beliefs, etc.
Interactions between the players can begin now. They are all imperfect, as well as the environment itself. Countless experiences can arise now.
The bottom-line of the life game is to have plenty of imperfections at the stage. In that way, there will also be plenty of room for making mistakes, learning valuable lessons and ultimately, for expanding the growth of the consciousness and spirituality. And the final target for all players is the same – to re-unite with God, as fully conscious beings.
In order to have any experiences in life, there should be set up several pre-conditions, as following:
- There must exist the primal polarity: I (“experiencer”) – no-I (“experienced”);
- We must be moving forward along the time coordinate within four-dimensional space-time, from the past to future;
- We must not know the future occurrences;
- We should not have totally reliable memories of the past;
- We should have a continuity of the memory.
As we have all the basic pre-conditions for the game of life now, we can have various experiences that we can learn from and grow. After all, that is the purpose of this game of life.
As the individual's reality becomes imperfect, due to veils of ignorance, within the individual arise inclinations and aversions. Essentially, the being wants to return to their original state – happiness.
If the inclinations and aversions are not satisfied, the individual suffers. So, if we want to deliver ourselves from suffering, we must release our desires and fears, habits, emotions, thoughts, and many other parts of our personality. The best way to do that is to reintegrate them in a non-aggressive, benevolent way. Some of the new approaches to doing this in a comprehensive and efficient, yet elegant way, are the Reintegration System techniques.
Still, the basic pre-condition for suffering is ignorance. We may reintegrate the whole inner galaxy of personality’s elements, but if these veils of ignorance remain, we would suffer time and again, as they would repeatedly generate fears, desires and all other variations of personality elements.
Luckily, these veils are usually being released spontaneously, through the reintegration of various elements of personality, layer by layer. And if they are not released – no problem, we just treat them with the Reintegration techniques like all other elements of personality.
If we are uncertain which element to deal with, we just have to look around us – the outer world is a projection of our inner universe. The holographic principle will impeccably lead us along this path. As our work continues, our consciousness will be expanding, while unconscious limitations are being dropped away progressively. The reintegration work will be resembling the art more and more, as the mystery of life unfolds in most surprising and beautiful ways.
Viewing your Face in the Mirror of the Universe
Based on the first pillar of the Reintegration System
“Knock, And He'll open the door
Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything.”
Moving from belief to awareness
This passage by the poet Rumi, is both inspiring and profound, yet it is more than that. Rumi was describing the essential aspect from which all of existence arises from. It is this aspect of which humanity has been aware of since the dawn of its existence. For the most of this span of time, this aspect has been referred to as being a deity or the universe. Both of these terms have been widely used for as long as there have been discussions on creation or the nature of existence, though no person has ever seen a “god” or a “universe”. It is like the discovery that the world is round or that the Earth is not the center of the solar system. Unless you are a former astronaut, who has actually witnessed these things first hand, the best we can do is to accept it through faith and the credibility that we give our science community.
The evolution of human consciousness is approaching a level where we are coming closer to answering all of its existential questions as never before. It is not that this level of consciousness was not there before; it is our awareness of it that is creating a seismic shift in our understanding of what it is to be human or the nature of existence.
How do you know anything?
How do you know of god, or the lack of existence of one? How do you know if the universe is just a concept or if it actually exists? How do you know if the Earth is round or flat? How do you know of the solar system, this blog, or even of your own existence? The answer to all of these questions is awareness. Nothing can exist if there is a lack of awareness of it.
Taking it a step further, you are not aware of god, the universe, the Earth, the solar system, this blog, or yourself, you are aware of the thought of it. When we go into deep sleep, we have no experience of it, which is why you have no memory of experiencing deep sleep, when you wake-up the next morning. Though you have no memory of your experience in deep sleep, there is a lingering awareness that you did spend time there.
There is a reason why you lose all sense of self or sense of experience during deep sleep. The essence of who you are is awareness, not a mind and body. Further, your sense of personhood or “I,” is perceived by awareness as well. The truth of who you are is awareness or consciousness; everything else is just a thought. This is why you lose all sense of identity or experience in deep sleep, the awareness that is you is free from thought; all it knows is of itself. This is why you have appeared as a mind and body.
In order to expand itself, consciousness needs to experience contrast, which can only happen if it creates separation by manifesting itself as phenomena. As humans, we have been gifted with both thought and self-awareness. Thought allows us to experience contrast: We can learn the difference between light and dark, pain and pleasure, transcendence and suffering, or connection and isolation. It is through that which we focus on that informs pure or universal consciousness of itself. In response to this understanding, pure consciousness manifests the people, circumstances, and situations that are consistent with that which we are focusing on. It is this dynamic that is the heart of the Law of Attraction.
Uncovering the truth of your being
Everything is an aspect of consciousness. Since you are aware of yourself, the only thing that you can be is consciousness. You are the localization of universal consciousness experiencing itself as you, the “person.” With this understanding also comes the understanding that you are not in the universe; rather, the universe is within you. Everything that exists is appearing in your awareness, which is the most essential aspect of your being.
A useful metaphor for your relationship with consciousness is the ocean. The ocean is vast and mysterious, yet a drop from the ocean may seem insignificant. However, the drop is inseparable from the ocean, containing the exact same composition and ingredients as the ocean itself. All the rivers of the world drain into the ocean, and traces of all rivers can be found in the drop. The ocean is universal or pure consciousness, and you are the drop, the localized expression of it. But even this analogy is inaccurate as you cannot discriminate the drop of water from the ocean when the drop merges back into the ocean. Similarly, the belief that you are separate from consciousness is just that, a belief.
Here is a simple self-inquiry exercise to assist you in coming to this realization.
Returning to the last line of Rumi’s poem:
“Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything,” the “He” is you as consciousness.
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