We feel most alive & joyful when we're most intimately, naturally connected to who / what we truly are, and feel most at home in our own skin, independent of external circumstances.
Sadly, this is far from our common, shared experience, even if we live in the relatively safe & affluent West. Rather, at best we feel a low, yet chronic persistent level of anxiety, time-poverty, and sense of 'lack.'
But authentic spiritual practices, such as self-inquiry, are specifically-designed to lead us back home to who / what we truly are.
“... behind the conventional religions with their myths, rituals, beliefs and dogmas, are these hidden disciplines for practices for training the mind to induce the same states of consciousness that the founders had realized, and thereby opening up similar possibilities for all of us.
Religions tend to get started when an individual has some sort of breakthrough of some kind. Different founders have different kinds of breakthroughs, but they have spiritual breakthroughs of one kind or another. And the people who are effective in initiating traditions that have lasting power provide several things. First they provide an insight, a vision, a spiritually-informed understanding. Then they’re also able to transmit partly charismatically, partly technically – that is they offer a variety of practices by which other people can have the same realizations for themselves, so that they transmit two things. One is insight, understanding, a vision of the way the world & we look from that awakened place, but secondly, a set of practices which allow others to have the same insight, understanding & state of consciousness and test it out for themselves.”
Roger Walsh (2hr) interview : https://batgap.com/roger-walsh/
“All authentic religions – including revealed traditions such as Christianity & Islam – contain contemplative or mystical branches. These are crucially important because they practice contemplative disciplines – for example, meditation, contemplation, and yoga – that foster an array of psychological and spiritual skills such as concentration, insight, emotional maturity, & wisdom. When these skills mature, they result in maturation to transpersonal states & stages that can culminate in a direct insight into reality. This insight yields a radically different (transrational, transconceptual, or transcendental) kind of wisdom known, for example, as jnana (Hinduism), prajna (Buddhism), ma rifah (Islam), or gnosis (Christianity).”
Roger Walsh ed. “The World’s Great Wisdom: Timeless Teachings from Religions and Philosophies.” State Univ of New York Press, 2014.
“The perennial philosophy, which lies at the heart of the great religions and is increasingly said to represent their deepest thinking, suggests that consciousness is central and its development is the primary goal of existence. This development will culminate in the condition variously known in different traditions as enlightenment, liberation, salvation, moksha, or satori.
The descriptions of this condition show remarkable similarities across cultures and centuries. Its essence is the recognition that the distortions of our usual state of mind are such that we have been suffering from a case of mistaken identity. Our true nature is something much greater, an aspect of a universal consciousness, Self, Being, Mind, or God. The awakening to this true nature, claimed a Zen master, is ‘the direct awareness that you are more than this puny body or limited mind. Stated negatively, it is the realization that the universe is not external to you. Positively, it is experiencing the universe as yourself.’ …
Typical is the claim by an Englishman that to realize our true identity is to ‘find that the I, one’s real, most intimate self, pervades the universe and all other beings. That the mountains, and the sea, and the stars are a part of one’s body, and that one’s soul is in touch with the souls of all creatures.’
Nor are such descriptions the exclusive province of mystics. They have been echoed by philosophers, psychologists, and physicists. ‘Out of my experience … one final conclusion dogmatically emerges,’ said the great American philosopher William James (1960). ‘There is a continuum of cosmic consciousness against which our individuality builds but accidental forces, and into which our several minds plunge as into a mother sea.’
From this perspective, evolution is a vast journey of growing self-awareness and a return to our true identity. Our current crises are seen as expressions that arise from our mistaken identity. But they can also be seen as self-created challenges that may speed us on our evolutionary journey toward ultimate self-recognition.”
Roger Walsh. "Human Survival: A Psychoevolutionary Analysis." ReVision 1985; 8: 7-10.
“turn your attention inward to the awake silence that you are.” Adyashanti
Select the 14-minute video "Amoda Maa: Meeting the World as Love"
3rd Row from the Top:
|“Ancient Ones” by Autumn Skye www.autumnskyeart.com