Thoughts for a First-Time Visitor.

Welcome!  Thank you for taking time out of a busy day to visit.

Obviously this website is about wisdom. There are many differences between wisdom and knowledge. We gather knowledge from our external world using our five senses. Wisdom comes from our inner experiences through inner knowing or our intuition, which is the voice of our soul.

At its core, wisdom is true for all. There are many wisdom traditions and their associated teachers – Christianity and Jesus, Buddhism and Buddha, Hinduism and Krishna, Self Realization Fellowship and Yogananda, Yoga Sutras and Pantanjali  to name a few of the better known ones. While they use different words, the teachings are all the same. Unfortunately, even well-intentioned, unenlightened humans interpret the core teachings to create dogma that wanders from the core teachings. I make no attempt through this website to “improve” or “interpret” the original teachings of these great Masters. For a devotee  like myself who is stumbling along the spiritual path to try and “improve” on these teachings would be pure idiocy and foolishness.

The personal point of view that you will find on this website comes in the sharing of my story through my sixth book, My Wisdom Inspired Life, A Provocative True Story.   It is a story about looking back at the events in my life and connecting the dots of those events. This revealed a clear picture of the path I was on in the past, today, and where I’m headed in the future. Put another way, the process I used and share in this book revealed my essential life purpose.  My intent is not to suggest that there is anything special or unique about my life, but rather that understanding our life purpose through connecting the dots of our life brings real meaning and direction to our life.

There is a lot on this website….please explore and Enjoy!

Richard

richard@wisdominspiredlife.com

Mystery Solved!

Most of us don’t know where we really came from, why were here, and what lies ahead before death.

With mystery everywhere and death definitely ahead of us, for some reason we don’t believe it’s necessary for a deep investigation of what life really is.

Everyone can solve the mystery through meditation on God. Wisdom avails itself to us through the opening of the “spiritual eye.” Wisdom reveals much, but at its heart we realize that God is the Doer, the sole Power. With this realization we learn that life is a dream created by God from which we need to wake up from. When we wake up, the need to reincarnate and go through the cycle of misery and happiness ceases to exist.

Clearly there’s a lot of work involved in “waking up.” But in its essence, the mystery can be solved this easily.

(Inspired by verse 10, chapter 15 of the Gita.)

Characteristics of Wisdom from the Gita

This is as concise and as complete a summary as you will find anywhere. Wisdom is…..

  • A sage who is marked by humility, a lack of hypocrisy, harmlessness, forgiveness, uprightness, service to the guru, purity of mind and body, steadfastness, self-control.
  • Attachment, non-identification of the Self with such as one’s children, wife, and home; constant equal mindedness in desirable and undesirable circumstances.
  • Indifference to sense objects, absence of egotism, understanding of the pain and evils (inherent in mortal life): birth, illness, old age, and death.
  • Unswerving devotion to God by the yoga all non-separatistness, resort to solitary places, avoidance of the company of worldly men.
  • Perseverance in Self knowledge; and meditative perception of the object of all learning – the true essence or meaning therein. All these qualities constitute wisdom; quality supposed to them constitute ignorance.

The War and the Battles.

Anyone who is meditated for several months or maybe even a year recognizes the struggle to remain in the present. Beyond question it is a battle day-to-day in the bigger war of achieving victory through self realization or, as it is more commonly called, enlightenment.

It is a spiritual war between wisdom and ignorance. It is the psychological combat between intelligence and sense consciousness. It is a bodily war between self-control and harmful sense indulgence.

The ego and mind would like to establish the body as a kingdom of sense pleasures. On the other hand, the desire of the soul is to fight the material inclinations and to establish in the body the Divine kingdom of God.

We are not without “armaments” in these battles and the longer-term war. In the beginning we have our faith in God that over time grows into knowing God. We have our will power which seems ebb and flow day-to-day. We have proven practices like meditation and kriya yoga. As in most battles, we also need a commitment to win and persistence that delivers on that commitment.

Destiny?

Us humans with our strong egos, like to believe that we are in charge and even that we can control our future.

The wisdom traditions make it very clear that egos are not the “real us,” and to make progress towards self realization/enlightenment we ultimately need to let go of the ego. For an ego-based person, letting go of the ego is a very scary proposition. What replaces it? The good news is that when through lots of hard work we let go of the ego, we reconnect with our soul which is the source of our wisdom.

Back to destiny. Wisdom traditions make it clear that God predetermines a “great extent of the happenings” in our life. What we experience in this life is largely defined by personal and mass karma in conjunction with God’s “screenplay” for this thing we believe is reality that is really a dream.

Having said this, God has given us the gift of free choice. With this we can change ourselves and change the environment around us. When we exercise free will we are exercising that image of God in man.

As “actors” on the screen of life, we create positive karma and progress spiritually when the words we speak and the actions we take are guided by wisdom, not ego.

The bottom line lesson: exercise free will wisely and experience more happiness and greater spiritual progress. As much of our destiny that is controlled by God and previous choices/karma, free will is real and makes a difference.

Thank you, Richard

Soulful Knowing….Also Known as Wisdom

Since this website is founded on and dedicated to wisdom, I periodically like to revisit what wisdom is and how important it is in our lives.

My guru says, “Human knowledge, no matter how proliferative, will always be limited without wisdom (intuitive perception) of the soul, the singular revealer of the Creator.”

Wisdom, intuition, and the soul are all deeply connected. Intuition is the voice of the soul that reveals wisdom.

Intuition, latent in most of us, is an ability we all have. It is “developed” primarily through the practice of meditation. It is through meditation we move from a focus on our external world to our internal one. It is true that can’t, quiet inner focus that the soul’s voice, intuition, can be “heard.”

Choose Wisely

God has created this reality. Only He can bestow our wakening. God created the potential for good and evil in our reality.

We manifest good and evil based on our karmic patterns and the choices we make now. In exercising our choices, we need to ask the right questions and follow the right actions.  Our choices determine the good and bad that occur in our life.

If there is one powerful shift you can make in your life it is taking 100% responsibility for the reality you experience…..do not blame others and certainly do not blame God.  In EVERY life situation you have a range of choices…..choose wisely.

I owe this wisdom to the guidance of my guru for life, Paramahansa Yogananda.

Becoming Happier

First the bad news. As a country we are not very happy and the overall level of happiness in the United States has declined over the last few decades. Using a common happiness measure, many countries are much happier than we are. Probably of greatest concern is that the level of depression is at epidemic levels.  It is at levels that are two – three times higher than the not too distant past. Add to this the ever increasing and tragically high levels of suicide among the people who are defending and have defended our country and you have an urgent and tragic situation.

I wrote Ultimate Happiness, Best Proven Western and Eastern Insights About How to Be Happier Today at a point in my life when I wanted to know how to be happier. What I discovered as I began my learning was that there was some emerging insights from Western science and very deep, centuries old insights from the Eastern wisdom traditions. I also learned that there was no single source for the best Western and Eastern insights. I decided to write Ultimate Happiness to be the first comprehensive book combining the best insights from both sources.

Important point: happiness is an inner experience. Trying to seek greater happiness through the external world and things like material possessions and changing others is doomed to failure. I realize what I’ve just said is at odds with what the vast majority of people think. They think if I could only have a better car, better job, more money, and change the irksome behavior of others, then I would be happier.  This is why so many people are frustrated. At some point they start to realize that greater happiness does not happen when we go down this path.

The inner work required to be happier is multidimensional and extensive. I am not going to try in the short space of this blog to even attempt a succinct overview. But please recognize that the internal work requires significant change in personal expectations, beliefs, and behaviors.   Please understand that we are not “hard wired” and that because of brain plasticity we are capable of bringing about major changes in our life. To be clear, this change does not happen overnight and without consistent, persistent, purposeful effort.

Mental Telepathy

Most of us have had experiences of knowing what someone is thinking or about to say even before they say it. We know telepath is real, but were not quite sure what it is.

Meta-analysis conducted in the field of quantum physics has concluded beyond a shadow of a doubt that mental telepathy is indeed a reality. After all, thoughts and words are forms of energy. As beings of pure electromagnetic energy, it is no surprise that we are connected energetically.

A quote from the Ageless Wisdom: “True telepathy, however, is a direct mental communication from mind to mind, and in its more advanced expression is a communication from soul to soul, using the mind later as a formulator of the communication, as in the case of inspiration.” It goes on to say, “Some day the true telepathic communication and vision will take the place of speech and of writings.” This perspective from the Ageless Wisdom is confirmed by other major wisdom traditions.

For most of us with a barely developed mental telepathy, it occurs randomly and sporadically. We can gradually develop it by turning our awareness from the external to the internal, primarily through meditation, and by being present, in the now.

I hope this helps, Richard.

Ultimate Happiness–The Inner Experience

This is another in a series of key points I’m sharing from one of my six books and the one that I think can be most helpful to the most people. The book is Ultimate Happiness, Best Proven Western and Eastern Insights About How to Be Happier Today.   It is available on Amazon in paperback in Kindle versions that are priced below my cost.

Happiness is an inner experience. The following are some quotes from my book describing the center experience.

  • When we achieve ultimate happiness, we are very peaceful. My primary life teacher advises people to be “actively calm and calmly active.” When we are inwardly calm, we can venture into optimally rewarding and productive activity.
  • When we live ultimate happiness, thoughts and feelings of love dominate our experience. We experience a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for all of life. There is a sense of awe and wonder for all of creation. We feel connected to everyone and everything.
  • When we live ultimate happiness, we experience a deep compassion for all of life. Compassion goes beyond empathy to a desire to relieve the suffering of others. That desire inspires actions to actually help reduce the pain others feel.

You may also want to visit wisdominspiredlife.com.

Ultimate Happiness–What is Happiness?

My fifth book is Ultimate Happiness: Best Proven Western and Eastern Insights about How to Be Happier Today.  It is available at Amazon for a price that is below my cost.

Western definitions of happiness include words like enjoyment, pleasure, satisfaction, cheerfulness, and fortunate. Beyond these terms used by dictionaries, some researchers use words like amusement, the light, excitement, awe/wonder, sensory pleasures, and calm peacefulness.

In contrast, Eastern definitions see happiness differently. This is especially true when pleasure is seen as a part of happiness. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama provides the following perspective.

“We should distinguish pleasure from happiness. Happiness is understood here to refer to a deep sense of fulfillment, accompanied by a sense of peace and a host of positive qualities such as altruism. Pleasure depends upon the place, the circumstances, and the object of its enjoyment. One can get pleasure at certain times and not at others. It is bound to change. Something that is pleasurable at one moment might soon give rise to indifference, then to displeasure and suffering. Pleasure exhausts itself in the enjoying, just like a candle burns down and disappears.

By contrast, a deep sense of fulfillment does not depend upon time, location, or objects. It is a state of mind that grows the more one experiences it. It is different from pleasure in almost every way. What we seek by disentangling ourselves from the influence of destructive emotions is the kind of inner stability, clarity, and fulfillment that we are referring to here as happiness.”

From both my studies and personal experience, I draw the following conclusions in my book.

“Happiness is an inner experience. Today most people rely on external stimulus for happiness. This misplaced focus is the cause of so much unhappiness. When we turn the spotlight of our attention inward, we achieve our greatest progress. All the skills we need to achieve ultimate happiness are the skills of mastering our mind.”

As I will share in future blogs, both Western researchers and Eastern teachers have insights and understandings that can help make us happier today. In my book I sure the best insights from both perspectives.

Ultimate Happiness The Book…Why I Wrote It

My fifth book is Ultimate Happiness: Best Proven Western and Eastern Insights about How to Be Happier Today.

Quoting from the book, I shared my reasons for writing this book.

“First, there was no book that combined the best of Eastern and Western understandings about how to become ultimately happy.”

“Second, there are many books that provide recommendations about “what” you can do to be happier, but very few that then help you with “how” to use the “what” to actually become happier. Sure, there are many personal growth books but they also tend to focus on only one or two very specific practices. Achieving the important goal of becoming ultimately happy requires numerous practices integrated into a proven program of five sequential steps, which are detailed in Chapter 15.”

I go on to share a small part of the process I went through in writing Ultimate Happiness.

“What I have learned through almost two decades of intensive study is reflected in this book. I deeply believe in the substance that makes up Ultimate Happiness. It represents the best of the proven and practical wisdom about happiness. There is nothing in this effort that I have personally invented. Instead, I have drawn from the best Eastern and Western teachings and research to integrate for the first time the best of the known. The focus of this book is on the best proven and practical understandings that contribute to helping us achieve ultimate happiness. Enjoy!”

In a series of occasional blogs I will share some key insights from this book. Of the six books I have written, I deeply believe it is the most immediately helpful book I have ever written for those want to be happier……. and I think all of us want and need to be happier.

If you’d like to buy it in paperback or in a Kindle version you can do so at Amazon. It is priced below my cost so everyone can have the opportunity to read it if they choose to do so.

 

God: President, CEO, And Director of This Play We Call Life.

WARNING: Your ego will probably have a strong “allergic reaction” to what you are about to read. Your ego will try to convince you that it is the director and, therefore, in charge of your life.

The wisdom traditions* are very clear that God created this experience we call life. He did not just create it and then let it evolve on its own. He is unquestionably the Director of this play we call life.

There is very ample confirming testimony to this fact from humans who have achieved God realization/self-realization/true enlightenment. Yogananda clearly states that man “…. was not created by his own will but by divine decree.” He goes on to add, “…so man must realize that his own happiness lies, not in pleasing men….. but God, the Earth’s sole President and Owner!”

As actors in this play we call life, we can play our roles well or not so well. We play our roles well when we live in accordance with Divine laws, like the injunctions to live life guided by love, compassion, and service to others. We are rewarded when we play our roles well with positive karma. When we play our roles not so well, the ego dictates self-serving, manipulative and deceitful, and hateful behaviors to name a few. We are “rewarded” for playing our roles this way with negative karma.

This play we call life comes our way every day. The greatest rewards to others and us come when we play the role we have been assigned in this life guided by the universal Divine laws. It requires living in the moment, the proverbial power of now.

* Click Here to read my blog defining wisdom traditions

Intuition: Clear, Truthful Insight…Much, Much Better Than Knowledge

I have written previously on the difference between intuition/wisdom and knowledge. In this posting I want to elaborate in a way that hopefully positions intuition as the guiding light of trusted insights we can use to confidently live a wisdom inspired life.

For the vast majority of us, intuition only manifests when we are inwardly calm. That is why  those famous intuitive moments like showering or running occasionally prove intuitively productive. It helps even more if we proactively cultivate inner calmness through meditation.

The challenge for many of us is when an intuitive insight emerges into our awareness, the intellect or judgmental mind often jumps in an attempt to overrule the intuitive insight. This is a powerful force because we are far more accustomed to defining reality and making decisions guided by our intellect and feelings; far more than we are letting intuition guide a wisdom inspired life.

Intuition reveals true wisdom. As such, it dispels doubt, confusion, and just not knowing. Doubt, confusion, and just not knowing are the never-ending products of knowledge, a product of the lower mind. Knowledge is highly changeable as we discover new facts and interpretations of facts. Intuition, on the other hand, is never changing unless we subject it to the intellect or judgmental mind. In its pure form, intuition reveals universal wisdom.

For me, when intuition increasingly makes its presence known in my life, there is a certainty about the wisdom that vastly exceeds my knowledge that 1 + 1= 2.

For me, living a wisdom inspired life is the penultimate experience so far on this journey.

What If I Am Not the “Doer,” But GOD is the “Doer”?

What if I am not the doer, but God is the doer?

First, my ego rebels. “What do you mean that I am not in charge?!” My ego reminds me that it is the producer, director, and star of my life. It makes all the decisions. Even when others appear to make decisions for me, it is my decision, the all-powerful ego, that decides if it will accept the decisions of others.

But what if……….

Does that mean that my fate is predetermined and I am just along for the ride in this life? Am I just a puppet on the stage of life?

Yes, the wisdom traditions are unanimous in their message that this reality is really an illusion and much more like a movie. Even every quantum physicist I have ever read concludes that there is no solid matter in our world. Everything we see is vibrating electromagnetic energy apparently “frozen” into forms. People like Ken Wilber report that from the perspective of super consciousness that  they see this waking consciousness we call reality as being like a dream or a movie.

While my ego strongly protests, I cannot ignore the weight of all this wise evidence.

So if God is the Producer and Director of this movie I currently call reality, what is my role?

Obviously I am an actor in this movie. Since I want to play my role as an actor well, I would be best served if I acted in accordance with the wisdom of the Producer and Director. Thus, as this movie unfolds I should say and do things in accordance with God’s wisdom script. Since it is just a movie, I can let go of the deep emotional attachments that my ego loves so much. Instead I can shift my focus to the well-being of the rest of the cast in this movie.

This sounds like this could be a lot of fun! That is, fun in the sense of living a wisdom inspired life instead of an ego directed life. Fun in the sense that living life with love and compassion is so deeply, deeply rewarding. Fun in the sense that my soul blossoms as the darkness of ego vanishes and is replaced by pure light.

What if……

Wisdom Traditions.

In several places in the blogs on this website I mention the “wisdom traditions.” I thought it might be helpful if I defined what I mean by that term.

As background, over the decades that I have studied several great teachers and I came to realize that their core messages were the same. The terminology could be different, the stories supporting it could be different, and the context could be different. I connected more with some teachers than others, but the overriding conclusion for me was that great God realized teachers are sharing the same core messages, which is not surprising since they are a channel for God.

The major traditions that I have studied and influenced my wisdom inspired life are listed below.

  • Paramahansa Yogananda and it is very extensive teachings publish through the Self-Realization Fellowship.
  • Bhagavad Gita: especially Yogananda’s commentary in the two-volume set God Talks With Arjuna.
  • Christian Bible.
  • Buddhist written and oral teachings: primarily Soygal Rinpoche, Za Rinpoche, and the Dalai Lama.
  • Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
  • The Ageless Wisdom.

Guided by Wisdom.

Yogananda says it so much better than I ever could in this following quote.

“When guided by error, human will misleads us; but when guided by wisdom, human will is attuned to the Divine Will. God’s plan for us often becomes obscured by the conflicts of human life and so we lose the inner guidance that would save us from chasms of misery.”

The lower mind, which is the mind of information, logic, and emotions, is almost exclusively focused on the ego or “I/Me.” The higher mind, which is the mind of intuition and wisdom, not only connects with the Truth to guide a decision, but it is a decision that goes beyond self to provide for the well-being of others.

In this sense, and in many others, living a wisdom inspired life avoids the  “chasms of misery.”

Wise Scientist: Albert Einstein.

Time magazine recognized Albert Einstein as their “Man of the Century” in 2000. The article focused almost exclusively on his contributions to science, especially quantum physics. As you can discover in the topic forum on this website focused on quantum physics, Albert Einstein was also one of our great mystics. It is because of these two seemingly incompatible capabilities (quantum physicist and mystic), that quantum physics became the point at which science and spirituality connected. To be clear, it is a connection, not a merger.

There are many Albert Einstein quotes that I love, but this is one of my favorites: “That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.”

Another is, “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds.”

Einstein’s associate, David Bohm, who Einstein believed had the clearest understanding of quantum theory stated that out of all of their understandings from quantum physics that it became clear that there was a “guiding hand” in the universe. From the wisdom traditions and our own inner knowing, we know Who that is.

In my most recent book, My Wisdom Inspired Life, a Provocative True Story, I dedicate an entire chapter to the role that science, especially quantum physics, played in my wisdom inspired life.

Wise Founding Father: Benjamin Franklin

Among the many founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is broadly recognized as one of the wisest.

In only six words he said so much: “God helps those who help themselves.”

We know from the wisdom traditions that self realization or enlightenment requires lots of purposeful work. It’s only when we acquire the commitment and  purpose and harness it to action that we begin to make progress.

Some read the wisdom texts as saying there should be no attachment which can be accomplished by doing absolutely nothing. That will get you absolutely nowhere.

Wisdom and Intelligence

The wisdom traditions often referred to a difference between intelligence and wisdom. They will refer to intelligence as the lower mind and wisdom the higher mind.

Yogananda comments nicely on the relationship between intelligence and wisdom in the following quote.

“Wisdom never lies.”* Soul wisdom is revealed to man through the agency of intuition, direct perception of truth, not by amassing knowledge through the intellect. The seeker after wisdom should understand the difference between intuition and man’s limited faculty of intelligence.

Human beings have perception and intelligence to understand the world of objects; the soul is endowed with the power of intuition to understand not only the world of objects, but also all inner psychical phenomena and their intrinsic spiritual nature. Intelligence interprets phenomena, the outward appearance of things; intuition reveals the underlying noumena (object or event known without the use of the senses).

* Homer, Odyssey, III

Western science has done considerable research on intelligence and virtually none on intuition. Intuition exists in all of us although it is latent in most of us. Intuition can be developed and meditation is the best way of doing so. Meditation creates inner calmness which is an important and helpful prerequisite to connecting with and developing our intuition.

What is the Mind?

The most common answer to this question is that the mind and brain are synonymous. They are related, but the mind is far bigger and more powerful than the brain.

What follows are a variety of comments and definitions on what the mind is.

  • Yogananda: “…all the faculties of intelligence.”
  • Wikipedia: “A mind (pron.: /ˈmnd/) is the complex of cognitive faculties that enables consciousnessthinkingreasoningperception, and judgment.
  • Swami Sivananda:  “Mind is not a gross thing, visible and tangible. Its existence is nowhere seen. Its magnitude cannot be measured.”
  • Dalai Lama: “The ultimate nature of mind is essentially pure. This pristine nature is technically called “clear light.” The various afflictive emotions such as desire, hatred and jealousy are products of conditioning. They are not intrinsic qualities of the mind because the mind can be cleansed of them. When this clear light nature of mind is veiled or inhibited from expressing its true essence by the conditioning of the afflictive emotions and thoughts, the person is said to be caught in the cycle of existence, samsara. But when, by applying appropriate meditative techniques and practices, the individual is able to fully experience this clear light nature of mind free from the influence and conditioning of the afflictive states, he or she is on the way to true liberation and full enlightenment.”
  • Deepak Chopra: “I started by looking at the relationship between mind and body, but then I realized that the mind is complicated. How do you even define the mind? The best definition of mind that I’ve heard comes from a UCLA psychotherapist, Daniel Siegel, who says it’s a process, and it’s a relational and embodied process that regulates the flow of energy and information in our bodies. Now that’s a mouthful, but actually when you begin to understand it, you do recognize that it’s meaning, more than anything else.”

The mind is very powerful….very subtle and critical to understand if one is to fully live a wisdom inspired life.

Richard

Egotism

These thoughts are inspired by the writings of Leo Buscaglia in Personhood.

The wisdom traditions strongly agree with the following statement: “Egotism is seen as being at the root of all disharmony and thus the main causal factor of human suffering. For this reason, the person must strive to become egoless. With the loss of ego desires, one is also released from inner conflicts.”

Egotism is about I/my. It’s about personal interest taking precedence over the interests of other people, humanity, and our planet. This perspective is a perfect recipe for disharmony, conflict, and misery. One person’s personal interest is another persons disinterest. Egotism is about getting my way. I am seldom willing to compromise my personal interests to help you achieve your personal interests. In an ego controlled life, there needs to be something in it for me.

In my wisdom inspired life journey for the last year or so, I have been in an almost constant battle with my “misery producing ego.” The first step in my awareness was recognizing that the root cause of misery and disharmony was my ego. This contrasted sharply with living life through expanded consciousness and intuition, which is universally peaceful and joyful. A small second step forward was being able to see my ego in action from the perspective of being an observer. I would frequently say to myself, “There you go again.” The benefit of this observation is to intervene more quickly to stop the shenanigans that my ego perpetrates on my life.

I am resolute in slaying my ego’s control of my conscious life. The goal is to subjugate my ego to the guidance and control of my soul.

Slaying the Ego and I-ness

For the last couple of years, I have become acutely aware of my misery producing ego. When I really pay attention, I observe the negative and not so feeling good energy in my body when the ego has center stage. Strangely enough, even thoughts and feelings the ego considers good tend to create their own kind of misery.

Yogananda, my guru, writes about the need to stop living life from the perspective of the ego and start living life from the perspective of the soul.

  • “The actions of selfish men spring from desires born of ego hopes. The divine man works neither at the dictates of egotism nor at those of selfish desires; he is devoid of I-ness, the idea of ‘ I am the doer.'”
  •  “The Gita stresses the renouncement, repeated so often! of ego consciousness, material hopes, and desires, because these renew the roots of cancerous longings that devour the soul’s peace. The roots of unfulfilled desires and frustrated expectations sprout into worries and misery making reincarnations.”

Shifting from an ego controlled life to a soul controlled life, while  excruciatingly difficult, delivers levels of happiness and joy unimaginable by the ego. For me, it is worth the battle.

How We Start to Wake up.

For the longest time, including innumerable incarnations, we live life largely satisfying the material needs of the ego. So much of this kind of life is spent working to pay for the material stuff in life. Life is typically filled with stress about how to get more material stuff and to take care of and keep the stuff we already have.

There comes a time when there is a break in this long, long pattern. Yogananda said the following:

“The materialist, after carrying the load of material duties – without the compensation of true happiness – begins of his own accord to think of cultivating divine qualities such as equanimity and calmness, and thereby starts a spontaneous introspection. It is at this juncture that wise men should strive to lift him to the higher strata of good attributes – discernment, meditation, and performance of actions without attachment.”

When we start to wake up there are several paths we can follow. Confucius said, “By three roads we can reach wisdom: the road of experience, and this is the most difficult; the road of action, and this is the easiest; the road of reflection, and this is the noblest.”

Breaking the pattern needs to come from inside. While there can be some external stimulation and input, this stimulation input has probably been around available to help us in our lifetimes. It’s only when we are ready inside that the shift can begin.

In my life it began with making the statement, “There must be a better way!” I did not know if there was a better way but I was fed up with the life I had been living. I had done everything to optimize it and that was not close to good enough. By asking that question, I began to wake up. I’m still waking up.

Yogananda on Dream “Reality”

  • God is “… the Cosmic Beam that creates the various dream pictures of life….”
  •  “God created all matter mentally….”
  • “The essential nature of matter is thus the mind stuff of God. By the law of relativity He differentiated mind, energy, and matter so that they seem divergent, different. They are all as real and as unreal as the substance of a dream.”

Waking up from the Dream

Dreams are tenacious because they can seem very, very real. During sleep subconscious dreaming can take on an exacting and convincing reality. Even when we move from the subconscious to waking consciousness, the subconscious dream we are leaving can still seem very real.

Waking up from this conscious dream we live in, is neither fast nor easy. The wisdom traditions are clear that the path of meditation is the fastest way to expanding our consciousness first two super consciousness, then took Christ consciousness, and then to cosmic consciousness.

People like Ken Wilber who have been able to live in super consciousness provide a rather interesting perspective on our everyday waking consciousness. Ken describes that from super consciousness he observe the waking consciousness and subconscious states simultaneously. One of the aspects of super consciousness is to view our current reality from the perspective of an observer.

Each expansion of consciousness significantly expands our access to wisdom through our intuition.

Living A Dream

As you read this, you most likely believe that everything around you that you can currently see, touch, taste is real.

Most of us determine what is real by relying on one or more of our five senses. If you touch something and can feel it, it is real. If you can taste something and swallow it, it is real. If you can see something, especially from multiple perspectives, it is real.

We have almost 100% faith and trust in our five senses and their ability to tell us what is real and not real. We do this even though on another level we know or can know of the great inadequacies and limitations our senses have. For example, our eyes cannot see the vast majority of the light spectrum including parts like x-ray, gamma ray, and infrared. Another example is our sense of smell where we know many animals have a far greater range of smells they can register.

In truth, we should not trust our senses to tell us what is real. The truth is that everything in your world that you can touch, see, taste, hear, and smell is a dream. It is an illusion. On this point, virtually every quantum physicist and wisdom tradition agrees. The following is a series of quotes from a variety of highly respected sources confirming that we are living a dream. Everything we “see” is vibrating electromagnetic energy displayed on a “screen” of ether. There is absolutely nothing solid about matter.

  • Yogananda: 
    • “The body as matter is in actuality an electromagnetic wave.”
    • “Modern science is moving closer to the truth in acknowledging the body to be an expression of electromagnetic waves.”
  • Dr. Fritjof Capra, quantum physicist: “Quantum theory demolished the classical concept of solid objects.”
  • Dr. Deno Kazanis, Biophysicist.
    • “Thanks to quantum mechanics, we know that matter isn’t solid.  Atoms aren’t solid things.”
    • “Our ability to see, touch, taste, smell, and hear the world is really only due to atoms’ electric charge.”
  •  British astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington: “The ultimate stuff of the universe is mind stuff.”
  •  Scientist Sir James Jeans: “The universe can be best pictured, though still very imperfectly and inadequately, as consisting of pure thought, the thought of what we must describe as a mathematical thinker. If the universe is a universe of thought, then it’s creation must have been an active thought.”
  • Albert Einstein: “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.”

UFOs

Yes, UFOs.

In my most recent book, My Wisdom Inspired Life, I share my experiences with UFOs. I share them in the literal sense of UFOs, that is, they are unidentified flying objects. I have some reason to believe they are indeed spacecraft from other nearby plants, especially Mars. More on this in a moment.

Leslie Kean is one of the leading UFO researchers in America today. Her book on UFOs, published in 2010, was a New York Times bestseller. Recently in an interview she came to the following very objective conclusion.

“I have come to the conclusion that, number one, there is a real physical phenomenon taking place. We know it is physical because it shows up on radar, leaves marks on the ground, has been photographed and has affected aircraft. There is no doubt that there is something physical there.

The other conclusion is that it appears to be under intelligent control a lot of the time and how it operates and maneuvers. It also seems to demonstrate a technology that we do not have or are familiar with in terms of our capabilities. We have hypotheses as to what they might be, but we do not have a definitive scientific explanation. That’s what we need to solve it, but we have a genuine mystery here that needs to be attended to by our best scientists. We need to try to get to the bottom of what it really is.”

There are very evolved beings on our planet today who unequivocally state that these are spacecraft primarily from Mars and Venus. Furthermore, they visit Earth with the purpose of helping us with some of our major problems, like environmental pollution and global warming. Of course, today there is no independent way of verifying these statements. You can read my book for my own experiences with UFOs.

See Love’s Light Energy

This is not my usual kind of posting, but I find it rather fascinating.

Harry Oldfield has developed very advanced forms of Kirlian photography. He was asked if this advanced form can see different states of mind and emotions. His reply follows:

“Well, if someone’s thinking loving, positive thoughts or is in a state of elevated consciousness such as in meditation the colors brighten and expand an even flood out even into the environment. However, when a person is depressed the colors and the energy field contracts and become denser and dark. You’ve heard the saying that someone has a dark cloud over them – well we’ve actually seen a dark cloud of energy hanging over a negative depressed individual.”

While the vast majority of us cannot “see” these kinds of energies, we can, if we are in the present moment, sense them at some level. What we are sensing is the electromagnetic energy, both the quantity and quality of that energy.

 

Wisdom…We All Have It….Just Need to Use It

I recently read a very encouraging statement by Yogananda:

“Man has the potential to direct himself always through inner guidance, in every phase of his material, mental, and spiritual life.”

Key words:

Inner Guidance: our intuitive inner knowing or wisdom mind

Always:  very encouraging

We gradually develop this capability through spiritual practice, especially meditation.

Richard Haasnoot

January 28, 2013 in Arizona

Wisdom of Dolly Parton…..Yes, Dolly!

I have always been a big fan of Dolly as a singer and performer. I had the great opportunity to see her in a small venue concert where she did “He’s Alive” for her encore. For any of you that know this song, it is a stirring and inspirational song about the resurrection of Jesus. Next to “Amazing Grace” it  Ais my favorite song.

Some Dolly quotes for your consideration.

  • Attitude, it’s all an attitude. Just because you fail, don’t mean you have to lose. But if you want to win, then here’s the simple truth. You have to change your attitude.
  • To me, if you’re a happy person, you love what you do, like yourself, enjoy other people, keep a good spiritual grip on things, and always pray for understanding and acceptance.
  • God and I have a great relationship, but we both see other people.

Enjoy!

Richard Haasnoot

Global Mind Change

Willis Harmen, an acclaimed scientist, wrote Global Mind Change in 1988 and it is still one of the most insightful and inspiring pictures of the dynamic change going on in our culture today.

We are in the midst of changing the ultimate definer reality from science to perennial wisdom. It’s a shift in our focus from the external to our internal world. It’s a shift from reality being defined by knowledge to reality being defined by wisdom.

The last time there was a major shift in the ultimate definer of reality was in the 1500s when Galileo published a paper saying the sun, not the earth, was at the center of the universe. The ultimate definer of reality at the time was the church and they threatened him with excommunication if he did not recant and then imprisoned him for the rest of his life.

The perennial wisdom is the core esoteric and often secret inner teachings of all religions and wisdom traditions. While the exoteric forms of religion can vary significantly, scholars from Aldous Huxley to Houston Smith have noted the core principles and teachings of all religions and wisdom traditions are remarkably similar.

In the video section of the website I have provided some more detail on this great book. Enjoy!

Richard Haasnoot

January 24, 2013 in Arizona

Spirituality Megatrend

The latest megatrends book is Megatrends 2010. It reports that the number one megatrend is spirituality. In fact, they say, “The quest for spirituality is the greatest megatrend of our era.” The author defines five dimensions of today’s spirituality: meaning/purpose, compassion, consciousness, service, and well-being.

During the 1990s the percent of people interested in spirituality increased dramatically. In 1994 only 20% of people said that they felt the need to experience spiritual growth. By 1999 that number had risen to 78%.

Spirituality clearly includes a belief in connection to God for many, but it also includes a number of people who are aware of a universal force in our world.

The five dimensions mentioned above for many people will eventually lead to wisdom emerging in their lives and creating a wisdom inspired life. All five factors contribute to shifting the focus of life from external to internal factors.

So you consider yourself a spiritual person who is opening up to wisdom, you have lots of company!

Richard Haasnoot

January 22, 2013 in Arizona

Spiral Dynamics Greatly Simplified

As I mentioned in my video and a previous post, Spiral Dynamics is a very deep and complex system. Anything I say in a few paragraphs runs the risk of being an oversimplification.

There are three significant core value, belief, and behavior groups in our culture plus an important emerging fourth group.

Most of the population but not most of the leaders have a strong “we” identification with a religious group or cultural organization. These groups and organizations tend to define a value and belief paradigm whose members have varying degrees of commitment and allegiance. For the most part these values and beliefs tend to be what we call “conservative.” In the United States, they tend to be Christian, patriots, Second Amendment supporters, pro-life, and Republicans.

The second of the three major groups is very much focused on “I.” There is a strong focus on success, especially in business, academia, and science, and the badges of success like homes and cars. Instead of the group think of the previous group, these people like to define reality using objective tools like science and the scientific method. These are very competitive people who love to win. Sometimes they can get very greedy and want to win at any cost. If spirituality is important, it can be in the context of a religious group or a spirituality that has no direct connection to any specific religion. This group makes up almost half of the leaders in the United States. This group tends to have little inner awareness and what personal growth they focus on is designed to help them be more successful in their career.

The third of these three major groups is very focused on “we.” There is a sense of responsibility for others like the early women’s suffrage movement, civil rights, the disabled, etc. That sense of responsibility often expands beyond a group to include the total planet which is evidenced in concerns about global warming and peace on earth. These people believe deeply in collaboration and cooperation and love consensus decision-making even when it can be frustratingly slow. Unlike the previous group, this group likes facts but realizes that feelings and more subtle factors are important in making decisions and determining what is real and right. For the most part, these people  tend to have values and beliefs that we call liberal or progressive. They tend to be Democrats and independents, environmental supporters, and resistant to some of the occasional harsher dictates of the two previous groups. With an increasing focus on feelings, they often go beyond that to increase their self-awareness which can lead to personal growth and eventually to an interest in the wisdom traditions and practices. This is the first group to have an emerging wisdom inspired life.

The much smaller but powerful emerging group is one that has the ability to synthesize and integrate enabling them to see systems and the interconnectedness between major elements in the system. They have a deepening inner awareness that connects them to their wisdom mind. They have little use for hierarchy and conventional thinking.

Meditation as the Path to Wisdom

Yogananda says, “No meditation, no wisdom. Wisdom is the house, meditation is the foundation.”

Recall that wisdom is intuitive inner knowing. Connecting with wisdom requires us to shift our focus from external to internal and then to quiet the chattering inner mind.

You can read more about this in the topic forum on meditation.

From a personal perspective, when I first began my meditation practice with about 10 minutes of sitting is when wisdom began to emerge in my life at a faster and faster pace. Today meditation is the core activity of every day. I spend about two hours each day meditating, praying, and reading sacred text. My sense is that without it I would first stall and then start to move backwards.

While there are other ways to progress along a wisdom inspired life, the great wisdom traditions are very clear that meditation is a core required practice.

Richard Haasnoot

January 20, 2013 from Arizona.

Developing Wisdom Requires Challenging Work

I’m going to start this posting with a quote from my guru, Yogananda.

“Ultimate wisdom is found in man’s deepest interior consciousness, his soul…… wisdom cannot be achieved by man without some sort of mental and bodily participation…….. Until the body delusion is conquered, man is totally unable to manifest wisdom…….. Once the devotedly has rid himself of the delusions of body consciousness, he is automatically freed from the necessity for action (karmic duties).”

Expanding wisdom in our life requires expanding our consciousness beyond body consciousness. The wisdom traditions are very clear that there are three major levels of higher consciousness beyond body consciousness. Using the terminology in the Gita, they are super consciousness, Christ consciousness, and cosmic consciousness.

The “mental and bodily participation” referred to in the above quote relates to the paths we can take to higher consciousness. There are at least three major paths we can take, but the path of meditation is the fastest and most powerful.

For me, daily meditation done right is the most challenging work I do in any day. It requires a level of consistent concentration that is constantly challenged by my chattering mind or what some people refer to as the monkey mind.

Cultural Values and Wisdom: Spiral Dynamics

When I think about the level of wisdom manifesting in our culture today, it is difficult to see much wisdom. The truth is that broadly and deeply today both our national and global cultures are primarily knowledge and ego-based. This does not leave much room for wisdom.

The good news is that we are in the process of seeing a rapid growth of wisdom in our culture and can expect significant and even dramatic increases over the next decade or two.

Part of the basis for this optimism is work pioneered by Dr. Clare Graves and carried on by Drs. Beck and Cowan in a system called Spiral Dynamics. This will be the subject of several blogs in the near future and there will be at least one video presentation supported with old-fashioned PowerPoint slides.

Spiral Dynamics is variously referred to as “big picture psychology” and “cultural developmental map.” It outlines the change in core values and beliefs from the beginning of recorded time to well into the future.

If you would like to learn more immediately about this topic there are two books that I recommend.

First, there is the foundation book by Drs. Beck and Cowan titled  Spiral Dynamics.

Second, there is a wonderful book by Ken Wilber titled The Integral Vision…… future blogs will expand on this great thinker’s contributions.

See my VIDEO overview of Spiral Dynamics by Clicking Here.

Personal Wisdom, part three

Yogananda  provides a wonderful description about how wisdom comes into our consciousness.

“Discrimination born of intuition through soul contact insurers right judgment in any given situation. The soul, through the agency of intuition, drops divine guidance into the consciousness of the devotee; the intuitive guidance manifests as wisdom through the discriminative faculty to guide the intellect or reason to the right determination.”

Intuition is the voice of the soul. Intuition “delivers” wisdom into our consciousness. At this point all is good. The ego and its emotions can jump in and interpret what it has received for good or bad. Even without any ego distortion, we face the challenge of acting on the wisdom skillfully or not so skillfully.

As we deepen our connection to our soul through meditation, the quantity and quality of wisdom that comes into our consciousness increases. Correspondingly, our ability to then act on its guidance skillfully also increases.

Richard Haasnoot

January 10, 2013

Personal Wisdom, part two

Wisdom, which is intuitive inner knowing, is sometimes difficult to describe, especially when we are most familiar with knowledge. When we acquire new knowledge, our experience is usually “I didn’t know that.” Since we acquire knowledge through our five senses, when we are acquiring knowledge, we know are aware of the experience. For example, through the sense of seeing, we experience new knowledge from a book and from our sense of hearing we experience new knowledge from a speaker, like a teacher or professor.

When we acquire new wisdom, the experience is very different. Unlike the sense of discovery that is associated with acquiring additional knowledge, the acquisition of additional wisdom prompts the reaction of “Now I remember. I already know that.” Even though the new wisdom insights are provocative and profound, there is a deep sense of rediscovering something we already know.

Acquiring new wisdom can come through the experience of the five senses, like reading a book. My first experiences were when reading a wisdom insight. I experienced a deep and profound inner knowing that what I just read was true and something I was remembering. It needed no supporting logic or details. I just knew at my deepest levels that it was true. It was true beyond my knowledge that 1 + 1 = 2.

For me, the experience of deep inner knowing is a subtle but clear energy shift in my body. It’s a positive, almost joyous, and I want to smile.

Richard Haasnoot

January 9, 2013

Personal Wisdom part one

For most of us, our relationship with wisdom goes through a sequential process.

In the “What’s Wisdom?” section of the website, I point out two very different meanings of wisdom. The first is a definition of wisdom that is actually knowledge. Knowledge comes through our five senses that includes, for example, reading. So our first experience with wisdom is often a definition that includes things like well-educated, quality life experiences, and discriminating judgment. With this definition we might look at a person and describe them as “wise” because they meet all or most of the definition standards. In most cases our relationship with wisdom does not go much further than this when wisdom exists as knowledge.

The meaning of wisdom changes when we experience intuitive inner knowing. Wisdom as knowledge is external to us and wisdom as intuitive inner knowing is an inner experience. When you have the opportunity to experience even a glimpse of intuitive inner knowing, you understand the sharp differences between these two meanings.

Most of us start out in life understanding wisdom is knowledge. As we engage in increasingly wisdom inspired life, the meaning of wisdom fundamentally changes. The changes are profound and powerful. Wisdom as intuitive inner knowing is exceptionally practical, educational, and inspiring.

In part two I take intuitive inner knowing to a deeper level of understanding.

Richard Haasnoot in Arizona

January 8, 2013