Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another book by Dr. Hawkins!

From :

These holistic lectures were first presented to a variety of recovery organizations and clinicians from diverse backgrounds. healing_and_recoveryThe emphasis is on recovery in its fullest sense - mental, physical, psychological and spiritual. To "heal" means to make whole, in contrast to "treating" which is limited and short-sighted.

The author draws from a diverse clinical background of over 50 years as a foremost leader in the field, as emphasized in greater detail in a series of over eight books on the subject of human consciousness itself, which is intimately intertwined with health, as well as behavior and the psychological underpinnings of human existence.

This companion to all the lectures is a compendium and dedication to the relief of human suffering in its various expressions. To truly heal is to "make whole" on all levels.

This is sure to be one of the more practical books that the Doc has written. While the others are valuable in the sense of potentiating understanding and recontextualization of negative ways of looking at various issues and subjects, this one may offer the same (recontextualizing how we look at health), with more. Needless to say, it’s sure to be another must-have for any spiritual seeker’s bookshelf.

Also by Dr. Hawkins:

thumb_b_pvf thumb_b_teoti thumb_b_iras thumb_b_tvf thumb_b_ttloc thumb_b_dotpog thumb_rsMM


Saturday, March 22, 2008

The People that We Love

   There are many people in my life who have stirred my soul and moved me in ways that I simply cannot describe. Most of these people probably have no idea that they have affected my life in such a profound way. A few such people were former classmates who, as teenagers, lived with a delightful charisma - an energy that could lift the spirits of an entire room. Fascinatingly, these people were not always the enlightened sort; they were merely those exceptional individuals whose potential shone clear as day, regardless of the perhaps questionable life choices they were making at the time. These are the people who have gone on to be mothers and fathers; people who have gone on adventures and who have either found their calling in life, or have committed themselves to finding one; people who, whether conscious of it or not, live by the path of the heart.

   It is somewhat strange to be so moved by the fact that a woman has become a mother, or by the fact that a man has gone on to be a doctor, considering that these are the most ancient of vocations. What is so moving, however, is the way that the seemingly commonplace can be so profoundly transformative. Changes contextualized as opportunities instigate a commitment to truth and compassion that is both exquisite to experience, and sublime to bear witness to.

   Teachers. Doctors. Parents. Friends. With love, these people who live via their hearts can be so bold and yet so gentle in their actions, that it appears they act with the same discretion and care toward others that one would employ in performing surgery on his own fragile spirit. These are people who may have appeared lost at points in their lives only to have overcome by persistence and solidary commitment to an order of the good that they may only have ever known by faith. Though faith is a strange way to describe it, because there is nothing for them to doubt. Perhaps by the mere fact of their alignment with the good, they are affirmed in their belief in it, for how else would such an alignment be possible?

   In any case, I am compelled to express gratitude for these people. I have not even encroached upon an accurate description of their importance in the world, let alone in my life; I have merely set my gaze with awe in their direction. To simply be aware of you all is humbling. No acts or words can embody the love and gratitude that your presence in the world inspires. Thank-you for the blessings that you are, anonymously in the lives of so many who will never get the opportunity to thank you personally, and for the way that you proceed without thought of recognition. Thank-you for the wholeness that is you, and for the inspiration that uplifts my soul. You are truly beautiful spirits.

yours in peace,


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A New Earth: Eckhart Tolle and Oprah

Beginning on March 3rd, 2008, Oprah and Eckhart Tolle began a free online course that will run for 10 weeks on Monday nights at 8pm on  Live, viaA New Earth web cast and chat, Oprah and Eckhart will discuss a new chapter each week and take calls from the live Internet audience via chat, Skype, and email. Each episode is archived on the Tuesday following the live show, and can be watched free-of-charge at your own leisure - so if you missed the start and would like to get caught up with everyone, or, if you'd just like to see what the course is all about, go to and check it out for yourself. 'Chapter One: The Flowering of Human Consciousness' is an excellent introduction to the coursewith some great tips and explanation regarding stillness, being in the now, and really seeing things as they are.

Now, if you are at all familiar with the work of Dr. David R. Hawkins MD, PhD, it might be of great interest to you that Eckhart's book, 'A New Earth' calibrates at Consciousness level 480. This is a level which pushes the boundaries of the intellect, venturing forth into the abstract and nonlinear with the intent of harvesting a greater understanding of man's higher nature.

Given that the United States and Canada currently calibrate in the low 400s on the Map of Consciousness, the material being discussed on the program is still very accessible to the people who will be experiencing it - and if this is your first taste of Eckhart Tolle's work, his first book, 'The Power of Now' calibrates at about 555 on the Map of Consciousness and provides some excellent teachings which will surely build on those of 'A New Earth'.

What is most incredible about the course is the fact that it is so effortlessly assembling millions and millions of people to serve a highly spiritual purpose. Events such as this have the potential to create a field of positivity that can most literally change the world. I haven't quite finished reading the book yet, but I've no doubt that the sort of change that such a project could bring about is directly a reflection of the 'New Earth' that the book is speaking about. And it all starts with the Self - Becoming fully, that which it Is.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Recognizing Essence by Assessing Spirit

Does this:

"I Love You"

Mean the same thing as this:



Neither the letters, the words, or the actions carry the meaning of what is expressed. They are merely the medium. The Spirit of the expression carries the meaning. Does one expression 'feel' more genuine? What about if I were to write, "I love you" in the context of this explanation? Does it 'feel' more genuine in this case than in the first? This one was directed specifically at the reader (you). It is amazing how the context of the expression serves to illuminate the Spirit of the expression.

Mother Teresa once said "If we cannot do great things, then we can do small things with great Love". It is the Spirit with which we do things that gives them meaning. A gesture as small as saying the words "I love you" can fall on deaf ears, or it can change a life, depending on the spirit with which they are uttered.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dr. Hawkins' New Book!

From : Great News! The new book from Dr. David R. Hawkins comes out in March 2008!


This is the seventh book in a progressive series based on the revelations of consciousness research. It describes in detail how to discern not only truth from falsehood but also the illusion of appearance from the actual core of inner reality.

The text explains how to differentiate perception from essence and thereby enables the reader to resolve the ambiguities and classical riddles that have challenged mankind for centuries and baffled the best minds in history.

While modern technologies have provided a plethora of new toys and conveniences, the basic problems of daily existence remain. The human dilemma is in fact more confused than ever before, and the foundations of Western civilization have weakened under the onslaughts of rival factions and media barrage. Even the government is paralyzed by the gridlock of vociferous contentiousness.

The public has become like a focus group that is manipulated by media merchants. Thus, the populace is like a ship at sea with no compass, much less a GPS system. This book provides the tools to survive and regain autonomy.



Also from Dr. Hawkins:

Power vs. Force the_eye_book reality_book truth_book transcending_book discovery_book



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Calibrations of Books according to the Map of Consciousness

Books: (Last Updated September 24th, 2008)

Some Self-Calibrations of books that were lying around (subject to error as I'm just starting to get the hang of the technique):


965 - Transcending the Levels of Consciousness, by David R. Hawkins
722 - The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi w/ Foreword by C.G.Jung
720 - I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
715 - The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi, edited by Arthur Osborne
710 - Prayer: Seeking the Heart of God, by Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Brother Roger of Taize
700 - God is Love Alone, by Brother Roger of Taize
588 - Praying Our Goodbyes: Understanding the Spirituality of Change in Our Lives, by Joyce Rupp, O.S.M.
579 - Serenity: A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery - Complete with New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs, by Dr. Robert Hemfelt and Dr. Richard Fowler
560 - A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson
556 - The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
553 - All For Her, by Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C.
552 - One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, by the Al-Anon Family Group
550 - The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra
549 - Transitions - Prayers and Declarations for a Changing Life, by Julia Cameron
546 - You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise L. Hay
539 - Letter To Families, from Pope John Paul II
525 - Love, by Leo Buscaglia
521 - Dreams and Healing: A Succinct and Lively Interpretation of Dreams, by John A. Sanford
520 - Called to be Friends, by Paula Ripple, FSPA
520 - Confessions of St. Augustine, Translated by F.J. Sheed
517 - Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul III, by Jack Canfield
512 - Meditations from the Road, by M. Scott Peck
511 - The Monastic Journey, by Thomas Merton
511 - Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul, by Jack Canfield
510 - The Road Less Traveled-25th Anniversary Edition, by M. Scott Peck
505 - Chicken Soup for the Soul, by Jack Canfield
505 - The Image of His Maker, by Robert Edward Brennan, O.P.
501 - Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl
500 - Beyond Codependency - And Getting Better All the Time, by Melody Beattie
499 - Plato's Theaetetus, Trans. by M.J. Levett, Edited by Bernard Williams, Revised by Myles Burnyeat
498 - The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents, by Deepak Chopra
494 - Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, by Deepak Chopra
494 - The Pain and the Possibility: Divorce & Separation Among Catholics, by Paula Ripple, FSPA
492 - Now For Something Totally Different: A Study of The Sermon on the Mount, by Stuart Briscoe
490 - We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love, by Robert A. Johnson
490 - On Death and Dying, by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
490 - Descartes' Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy 4th Ed., Translated by Donald A. Cress
489 - Gray's Anatomy, by Henry Gray
485 - When Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Harold S. Kushner
483 - The Journeys of Socrates, by Dan Millman
480 - The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren
480 - Plato's Republic, translated by G.M.A. Grube and Revised by C.D.C. Reeve
480 - A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle
478 - The Wisdom of Healing: A Natural Mind Body Program for Optimal Wellness, by David Simon
477 - The Man Who Wrestled with God: Light from the Old Testament on the Psychology of Individuation(Revised and updated), by John A. Sanford
475 - Plato's Gorgias, Translated by Donald J. Zeyl
475 - Feminist Issues: Race, Class, and Sexuality 4th Ed. edited by Nancy Mandell
473 - Philosophy: The Power of Ideas, 6th Ed., by Brooke Noel Moore and Kenneth Bruder
470 - How to Enjoy Your Life in Spite of it All, by Ken Keyes, Jr.
470 - Legends of the Elders Handbook for Teachers, Homeschoolers, and Parents, by John W. Friesen & Virginia Lyons Friesen
470 - Legends of the Elders, by John W. Friesen
469 - Philosophy of Education: An Anthology, Edited by Randall Curren
468 - The Dream Tree, by Stephen Crosgrove
465 - Plato's Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo 2nd Ed., Translated by G.M.A. Grube
465 - Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, by George Berkeley
463 - The Great Philosophers, by Jeremy Stangroom and James Garvey
462 - Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, by Deepak Chopra
460 - The Essential Ken Wilber, by Ken Wilber
460 - The BFG, by Roald Dahl
458 - Dynamic Anatomy, by Burne Hogarth
458 - Constructive Anatomy, by George B. Bridgman
457 - Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life, by George B. Bridgman
457 - The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, by Nathaniel Branden
455 - Why Was I Adopted?, By Carole Livingston
455 - Talking it Out: A Guide to Groups for Abused Women, by Ginny NiCarthy, Karen Merriam and Sandra Coffman
455 - Allison DuBois: Don't Kiss Them Good-Bye, by Allison DuBois
453 - The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, by Norman Doigde
451 - Still More Legends of the Elders, by John W. Friesen & Virginia Lyons Friesen
450 - Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!, by Rosetta Stone
450 - Even More Legends of the Elders, by John W. Friesen & Virginia Lyons Friesen
450 - The Sedona Method, by Hale Dwoskin
450 - The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
450 - Utilitarianism and the 1868 Speech on Capital Punishment 2nd Ed., by John Stuart Mill
450 - The Question of God, by Armand M. Nicholi, Jr.
450 - An Introduction to Brain and Behavior, 2nd Ed., by Bryan Kolb and Ian Q. Whishaw
446 - Atlas of Anatomy, Giunti Editorial Group
444 - The Seat of the Soul, by Gary Zukav
440 - More Legends of the Elders, by John W. Friesen & Virginia Lyons Friesen
440 - The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Philosophy of Education, edited by Wilfred Carr
440 - An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding with A Letter from a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh and Hume's Abstract of A Treatise of Human Nature, by David Hume
437 - You & Your Adolescent: A Parent's Guide for Ages 10-20, by Laurence Steinberg, PhD., & Ann Levine
437 - Social Psychology: Unravelling the Mystery, 3rd Ed., by Douglas T. Kenrick, Steven L. Neuberg, Robert B. Cialdini
430 - The Problems of Philosophy, by Bertrand Russell
423 - Guilty, O Lord: Yes I Still Go to Confession, by Bernard Basset, S.J/Meditations: Reflections on the Incarnation, by Ladislaus Boros (Two books in one volume)
420 - Yielding to Courage: The Spiritual Path to Overcoming Fear, by Judith C. Lechman
420 - My Mother/My Self: The Daughter's Search for Identity, by Nancy Friday
420 - Good Business, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
418 - The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino
415 - Foxes, by Jo Windsor
415 - Big Blue, by Shelley Gill
415 - The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert N. Munsch
412 - Little Visits with God: Devotions for Families with Grade School Children, by Allan Hart Jahsmann and Martin P. Simon
412 - Feng Shui: The Traditional Oriental Way to Enhance Your Life, by Stephen Skinner
410 - The Five People You Meet In Heaven, by Mitch Albom
400 - Philosophy of Natural Science, by Carl Hempel
399 - Little Miss Giggles, by Roger Hargreaves
397 - 30 Beautiful Things That Are True About You, by Douglas Pagels
394 - How to Raise Your Self-Eseem, by Nathaniel Branden
392 - The Zahir, by Paulo Coelho
376 - Unequal Relations: An Introduction to Race, Ethnic, and Aboriginal Dynamics in Canada 5th Ed., by Augie Fleras and Jean Leonard Elliott
375 - Big Bubba Hippo, by Jill Eggleton
360 - A Salmon for Simon, by Betty Waterton
356 - Beckoning Lights, by Monica Hughes
356 - Is There Really a Human Race?, by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell
340 - Irish Red, by Jim Kjelgaard
340 - Beardance, by Will Hobbs
331 - Whoever You Are, by Mem Fox
330 - Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
310 - I Like Boxes, by Jo Windsor
305 - The Agent's Secret Child, by B.J. Daniels
290 - Poems for Pleasure: An Anthology (Book II), by A.F. Scott
288 - The Rapture of Canaan, by Sheri Reynolds
255 - The LORE of Still Building: A primer on the production of alcohol for food and fuel, by Kathleen Howard and Norman Gibat
252 - Snakes! And the Boy who was Afraid of Them, by Barry Louis Polisar
244 - The Prayer of Jabez, by Bruce Wilkinson
240 - Raven Returns the Water, by Anne Cameron
239 - Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World, by Karen Armstrong
225 - Underground to Canada, by Barbara Smucker
215 - A Garden of Whales, by Maggie Steinchron Davis
215 - The White Mountains, by John Christopher
212 - Race Against Time 2nd Ed., by Stephen Lewis
210 - Leaving Home, by David French
205 - The First Nations of British Columbia 2nd Ed., by Robert J. Muckle
200 - Lazy Boy, by Anne Cameron
180 - Haunted Highways: Ghost Stories & Strange Tales, by Dan Asfar
177 - A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey
85 - Sacrifice of Isaac, by Neil Gordon


550 - The Tibetan Book of The Dead (trans. Gyurme Dorje)
540 - Filial Piety Sutra
530 - I and Thou, by Martin Buber
515 - Pensees, by Blaise Pascal (trans. Trotter)
510 - Unconditional Bliss, by Raphael Cushnir
490 - The Abundance Book, by Lawrence Cane
490 - The Heart of Philosophy, by Jacob Needleman
470 - Thresholds of the Mind, by Bill Harris
470 - The Abolition of Man, by C.S. Lewis
465 - The Power of Letting Go, by Patricia Carrington
460 - Tales of the Dervishes, by Idries Shah
460 - Future of the Body, by Michael Murphy
450 - Fear and Trembling, by Soren Kierkegaard
440 - Dynamic Energetic Healing, by Howard Brockman
440 - The Dark Side of The Light Chasers, by Debbie Ford
440 - A Moth to the Flame, by Connie Zweig
440 - The Concept of The Political, by Carl Schmitt
440 - Soul Without Shame, by Byron Brown
430 - Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda
430 - The Way of the Superior Man, by David Deida
425 - Heretics, by G. K. Chesterton
423 - Science of the Sacraments, by C. W. Leadbeater
420 - Mastering Successful Work, by Tarthang Tulku
420 - Skillful Means, by Tarthang Tulku
420 - Re-thinking History, by Keith Jenkins
420 - Prophet's Way, by Thom Hartmann
420 - Leviathan, by Thomas Hobbes
420 - Coming Back to Life, by Joanna Macy
420 - From Dawn to Decadence, by Jacques Barzan
410 - On the Social Contract, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Masters trans.)
410 - Boomeritis, by Ken Wilber
400 - The Three Theban Plays, by Sophocles (Hawkins has calibrated the author at 465)
(somewhere in) 400's - Everyday Grace, by Marianne Williamson (see Stargazer)
400 - Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
400 - The Power of Partnership, by Riane Eisler
400 - Maus, by Art Spiegelman
380 - Getting Things Done, by David Allen
365 - Master Key System by Charles F Haanel (see Stargazer)
360 - Flow, by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi
350 - Architects of the Culture of Death, by Donald De Marco and Benjamin Wiker
345 - The Hero With A Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell
343 - Richest Man in Babylon, by George S. Clason
340 - Fire in the Belly, by Sam Keen
330 - Energy Medicine, by Donna Eden
320 - 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help, by Benjamin Wiker
320 - Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers
300 - Path Notes of an American Ninja Master, by Glenn Morris
185 - Breaking the Death Habit, by Leonard Orr
180 - Orientalism, by Edward W. Said
180 - Prometheus Rising, by Robert Anton Wilson
175 - Ask and It Is Given, by Esther and Jerry Hicks
175 - Info-Psychology, by Timothy Leary
175 - Angel Tech, by Antero Alli
no permission - Notes to Myself, by Hugh Prather - no permission
no permission - Aquarian Gospel [of Jesus the Christ, by Levi & Eva Dowling]

And here are book/writings calibrations from other sources:


750's - Perfect Wisdom - The Short Prajnaparamita Texts (trans. Edward Conze)
560 - Philosophical Texts, by St. Thomas Aquinas
550's - The Essential Writings of Frithjof Schuon
511-519 - The Philosophic Basis of Mysticism, by T.H. Hughes
501-509 - The Breath of God, by Swami Chetanananda
480's - Cosmic Consciousness edited, by R.M. Bucke
466 - A Brief History of Everything, by Ken Wilber
440's - The Hidden Gospel, by Neil Douglas-Klotz
430 - The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning
420's - Out of My Later Years (compiled writings by Einstein, mainly from the 1930's and 40's)


799 – "Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism"
795 – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev – "Encounter the Enlightened"
780 – The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Sri Swami Satchidananda translation copyright 1978, 1984, 1990 Integral Yoga Publications)
770 – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev – "Mystic's Musings"
740 – Harish Johari – "Chakras: Energy Centers of Transformation"
740 – Paramahamsa Yogananda – "Autobiography of a Yogi"
700 – Richard Smoley – "Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition"
700 – Elaine Pagels – "The Origin of Satan"
675 – Thom Hartmann – "The Prophet's Way"
655 – Andreas Moritz – "Lifting the Veil of Duality"
625 – Masaru Emoto – "The Hidden Messages in Water"
615 – Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney – "Hidden Wisdom"
599 – Fritjof Capra – "The Tao of Physics"
595 – Elaine Pagels – "Adam, Eve, and the Serpent"
570 – Mantak Chia – "Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao"
565 – Marianne Williamson – "Illuminata: A Return to Prayer"
560 – Elaine Pagels – "The Gnostic Gospels"
560 – Caroline Myss, Ph.D. – "Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can"
540 – Daniel A. Helminiak, Ph.D. - "What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality"
535 – "From the Ashes: A Spiritual Response to the Attack on America" (a compilation of essays by spiritual authors/teachers in response to 9/11)
500 – Christian de la Huerta – "Coming Out Spiritually: the next step"
500 – Thom Hartmann – "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight"
499 – Graham Hancock – "Fingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth's Lost Civilization"
485 – Barbara Honegger – "October Surprise"
480 - Elaine Pagels – "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
475 – Thom Hartmann – "We The People: A Call to Take Back America"
445 – Thom Hartmann - "Unequal Protection"
400 - Paul Devereux – "Places of Power: Measuring the secret energy of ancient sites"
345 - The Hero With A Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell
135 – David Ray Griffin – "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11" (author calibrates at 445)
90 - Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler

And here are book calibrations from other sources:

999.8 - I: Reality and Subjectivity, by David R. Hawkins
980 - The Eye of the I - From Which Nothing Is Hidden, by David R. Hawkins
970 - The Upanishads
910 - The Bhagavad Gita
905 - The Zohar
895 - Nicene Creed
880 - Lamsa Bible(minus the OT, Revelation, but incl. Gen, Psalms, Proverbs)
850 - Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviour, by David R. Hawkins
840 - Dhammapada
810 - Ramayana, by Valmiki
795 - Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma
790 - New Testament(King James Version minus Book of Revelation)
780 - Lotus Sutra
780 - Heart Sutra
750 - Reality, Spirituality, And Modern Man, by David R. Hawkins
740 - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
730 - Summa Theologica, by St. Thomas Aquinas
720 - The Koran
705 - The Cloud of Unknowing
710 - Shankara
705 - Rig Veda, by Krishna
700 - The Diamond Sutra
699 - Gospel of St. Luke
665 - Midrash
665 - Mishna, by Yeduha Ha-Nasi
660 - Genesis(Lamsa Bible)
660 - Gospel of St. Thomas
650 - Psalms(Lamsa Bible)
645 - Aggadah
640 - New Testament(King James Version from the Greek)
640 - The Flowing Light of the Godhead, by Mechthild of Magdeburg
635 - Vijnana Bhairava
610 - Tao te Ching
605 - The Dark Night of the Soul, by Saint John of the Cross
600 - A Course in Miracles(Workbook)
600 - Omniology: Secret of Cosmos, by Yang Hee Lee
595 - Talmud
595 - Saved by the Light, by Dannion Brinkley (neardeather), Paul Perry, and Raymond A. Moody
595 - Embraced By The Light, by Bettie Eadie
595 - Chuang Tsu
575 - The Practise of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence
570 - The Book of Kells, by Keltic monks, R.A. MacAvoy [editor]
560 - Glamour: A World Problem, by Alice Ann Bailey (channelled by Djwhal Khul)
550 - A Course in Miracles(textbook)
540 - Conversations with God (Trilogy), by Neale Donald Walsch
505 - Kundalini: Psychosis or Transcendence, by Dr. Lee Sannella
505 - Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri
495 - Lamsa Bible(From the Aramaic)
480 - Tractatus theologico-politicus, Baruch Spinoza
475 - King James Bible(From the Greek)
430 - I Ching
420 - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
405 - The Book of Mormon
400 - Gnostic Gospels
350 - Proverbs(Lamsa Bible)
320 - Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers
265 - The Keys of Enoch, by Professor J.J. Hurtak
265 - The Dead Sea Scrolls
260 - Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowlings
190 - The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins
190 - The God Gene, by Dean Hammer
160 - The Skeptic's Dictionary, by Robert T. Carroll
150 - The Urantia Book, by the Urantia Foundation
130 - Stupid White Men, by Michael Moore
130 - The Capital and Manifest of the Communist Party, by Karl Marx
70 - The Book of Revelation(New Testament)


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Love Is

...another essay written for my 100 level english class last year.

  Love is a context. It is not an action, an infatuation, a currency, a feeling, an event, an intention, a fantasy or an intellectual construct. Each of those things can be 'loving', but inherently none of them have any such meaning. A thing or action, of itself, is meaningless without a context, and as such, doing the dishes after a meal is just a meaningless string of mechanical movements, unless one considers the context. It can be an empty, resentful fulfillment of obligation, or a joyful, loving act of service to one's family. At first it might seem as though intention may be the critical factor in the previous examples, however, intention is typically just a manifestation of self-interest. When an act is performed 'for a reason', it is performed as a means to an end; for the sake of a presumed reward - perhaps for the good feeling of living up to an ideal that one holds in high esteem; perhaps to avoid a feeling of guilt. Self-interest is different from love. As a context, love is complete and all-inclusive; it has nothing to lose and nothing to gain. That said, the vessel of love (subjective awareness) is not separate from the context itself. Love then, is a way of being in, and of relating to the world. It is not a matter of particular things such as the act of washing dishes, but rather, a matter of the propensity of nature for compassion, nurturing, and forgiveness; love is committed to the whole of existence.

   So what exactly does a context of love entail? In Jay Ingram's article “The Look” (2003), he talks about the phenomenon of 'love at first sight', and the experience of locking eyes with a stranger across a room. According to Ingram, there is a physiological phenomenon which occurs in such an instant; typically marked by a dilation of the pupils. This is not particularly surprising, given the general feelings we associate with gazing deeply into the eyes of another, but nevertheless, inquiry as to a teleological reason for the phenomenon is rather intriguing. Most of the time when we look at people or objects we tend to focus on the near side of them. We probably do this because the near side of things is the side which we are most immediately capable of manipulating. When it comes to locking eyes with a person however, the focus is no longer on the near surface of their body. As the saying goes, “the eyes are the window to the soul”. When we look into someone's eyes, focus shifts to the far side of the person; they become included in one's awareness (as opposed to when the focus is on the near side, and things are perceived as though they were invaders from outside of awareness). While this change in perspective toward a more inclusive experience has no immediate effect on the absolute relationship between the observer and observed, it does have an impact on the context of the experience. Just as one might perceive two cells in a body separately, one can view them non-dualistically as components of a single organism. This is what happens with love; the dualistic perspective of observer and observed dissolves and everything takes on meaning as it relates to service of the whole.

   When it comes to love, it is often believed that our faculties for reason become compromised. While from an outward perspective this may seem to be the case, being that logic presumes that self interest is our primary function, love merely represents a reassignment of intellectual resources. Where normally the question would be about whether or not to act forgiving or compassionate, love automates the decision and instead assigns cognitive efforts to the task of figuring out how best to go about implementing forgiveness and compassion. Where making choices between two alternatives entails a very linear (left-brained) sort of processing (weighing pros against cons), the problems of how to implement the particular functions of love are more representative of creative pursuits, and as such, they mark a shift toward more non-linear, right-brained processing (which, to the linear mind appears highly irrational). Thus, love is not subject to reason. Rather, it is inclusive of our faculties for reason, but ultimately those faculties serve a context of love, and not the other way around (as the scientific mind would prefer). Where the scientific mind might become preoccupied with details and specifics, love caters to the broader spectrum; intuitively accounting for the overall field of an encounter, rather than the immediate appearance of it. There is less emphasis on control, and more emphasis on facilitation.

   With love there is less focus on the particulars of the existence of a person or thing, and more focus on its essence. The focus on essence illuminates the wisdom in the saying “if you love something, let it go”. The essence of a thing has absolutely no relation to a person's sense of possessing it. In Anita Rau Badami's article, “My Canada” (2000), we have a stunning example of the transition from particulars to essence and how this transition facilitates love. At first, Badami's experience of Canada gained its meaning in contrast to her prior experience of living in India. To her, Canada was remote and exotic; different. Though she enjoyed the country, it was mostly for the varied experiences, environments and encounters that it had to offer which could not be said for other parts of the world. When she finally begins to view Canada as her home, it comes as a consequence of shedding the comparative perspectives that she had initially brought to her experience; from her ability to appreciate Canada independently from any comparisons - she appreciates it for its essence. When she says 'my' Canada, having witnessed the beauty of its essence, she really means 'everyone's' Canada. It is no longer the Canada of her expectations but the Canada that simply is.

   By examining all that has been discussed thus far, it becomes evident that love is represented by a progressive transition from the conditional to the unconditional. Anthony de Mello (1931-1987), a Jesuit priest and psychotherapist had this to say about love:

Is it possible for the rose to say, "I will give my fragrance to the good people who smell me, but I will withhold it from the bad?" Or is it possible for the lamp to say, "I will give my light to the good people in this room, but I will withhold it from the evil people"? Or can a tree say, "I'll give my shade to the good people who rest under me, but I will withhold it from the bad"? These are images of what love is about.

It would seem that love then, is not a matter of doing anything, but rather it is a matter of being. The nature and the function of the rose are inseparable from one another. In order to love, one must merely surrender the obstacles to love – resentment, selfishness, bias, pride – and let one's nature unfold in participation with the totality of existence. Given the inclusive nature of seeing things in a loving context, perhaps the key to letting go of obstacles is to welcome them rather than resist them, as doing so recontextualizes the relationship between oneself and the obstacle, dissolving any opposition there might have been between the two. As a context, love has no opposition, and that is its power.


Taking Offense: Making a Fence

This was an essay that I wrote for a 100 level english class last year.

   When it comes to conflict in the world, particularly as it takes shape in racist discrimination, individuals must assume accountability for finding their own peace. When we resort to being offended by racial slurs and challenges to our reputation, we contribute to the divide between persons, and perpetuate the inflation of the superficial differences from whence these slights arose. One might do well to compare a billboard to a willow tree; where each, by virtue of being that which it is, must stand against the wind. Only, in the case of its firmness and resistance, the billboard takes on more wear and tear than the flexible willow tree. Without taking offense, the weight of negative words and ideas disintegrates. With nonresistance there can be no conflict.

   In Lawrence Hill's essay “Don't Call Me That Word” (2002), we have a picture of this principle illustrated rather clearly when he cites the example of the black woman on the subway who could not bring herself to read a book with the word “nigger” stamped across the cover (Reader's Choice; 324). She is virtually paralyzed by fear at just the possibility that displaying such a word right next to her face could incite racial objectification/discrimination. It ought to be noted that in the example Hill gives, there's no mention of external circumstances. The woman is pained by the sting of her own empowerment of the word; not, as we might first assume, by the ravages of fellow passengers pelting hate at her as she read. She doesn't take accountability for her own peace, but rather, keeps it in the hands of her perceived oppressors.

   As third party observers, we can imagine an image of a black woman reading a book with the word “nigger” on the cover, and we can view the image as being either degrading or empowering. The image, of its own, has no meaning at all. Without our preconceptions and projections, the 'word' is reduced to mere letters, and the letters are reduced to mere lines.

   If we can do this exercise with an image of something external, then surely it's possible that the same principle can be applied to our own images of ourselves.

   In Wayson Choy's essay “I'm a Banana and Proud of It”(1997), we have yet another example of the accountability principle at work, although in this case, we get to see just how benign a racial slur can become, given that the individual applies nonresistance to the situation. For Choy, it is enough to realize that the terms are born out of ignorance; that they are often based on unintentional assumptions. In fact, he even goes on to suggest that the term 'banana' might even be an endearing nickname, provided that the intention behind it is such as to inspire humility. But how could such a name inspire humility? In terms of our happiness, we are reminded by such nominalizations, that we are only subject to what we hold in mind. In order that one might receive such nicknames without anxiety, it is necessary to be comfortable with the self that is a priori to one's perceived personality. We must be comfortable in knowing ourselves in such a way that our identities transcend circumstances. Whether the world understands a person or not; whether the world subjects a person to insult or injury, we can have peace in knowing this transcendent self. This is not to suggest a detachment from the immediate effects of these 'conflicts', but rather that peace itself is not in opposition to conflict; that to have peace is simply to be 'okay' with the state of the world.

   Often, a significant lot of our difficulties are born, not out of circumstances which are beyond our control, but out of the insecurities we bring to those circumstances. If only we could just be comfortable having insecurities, it might render the challenges of day-to-day life a little more bearable. Being honest with ourselves in regard to insecurities, we are better able to act rationally. Rather than have insecurities rule our behaviour and decision making, their impact can be reduced by addressing them as manageable factors in the larger context of mental prosperity. When insecurities are not recognized and addressed with a rational mind, they tend to manifest in less than desirable ways. Paranoia, anxiety, anger, guilt, shame, and inflation of the significance of irrational ideas are amongst the most common ways in which unaddressed insecurities can emerge. We see then, that accounting for our insecurities, while it may be difficult, is essential in rendering them less threatening to our sense of well-being. If not for our ability to set our insecurities aside once in a while, functionality in the world would come to a screeching halt. If being insecure about a store clerk's opinion of us caused us to refrain from shopping, it is quite evident how that could easily escalate into larger problems. The correlation between one's sense of peace and their ability to come to terms with personal insecurities is very strong, again pointing toward accountability on the part of the individual as the key to resolving the social issue at hand.

   Surely all of this is highly applicable to one's every day life, but what can we do to affect change on the larger social scale? As members of this society, wanting to promote a shift in perspective, all that need be recognized is that by changing ourselves, we are, in effect, changing the social structure of the world we live in. There is no fence between we and those who would persecute us. The inward perspective must be maintained in order that promotion of such ideas doesn't slip into conflict with the conventionalities they aim to address. There are no ideas that need changing, after all. As a person adopts a more peaceful approach to the world, his more abrasive behaviour patterns conveniently sink into recession all by themselves. They don't need to be corrected, just replaced. When we aspire to enforce peace, we become like the billboard in our metaphor: rigid and vulnerable. Force is always met with a counterforce, it's a law of nature. By 'taking sides' we perpetuate the divide which facilitates this conflict of energies. Fortunately however, it's entirely unnecessary to protest anything at all. Peace, by virtue of what it is, inspires. In the history of man, there has never been anything quite so effective a catalyst for change as inspiration. With this in mind, change on the large scale seems to be influenced much less by what we do, and much more by what we have become.

   As we reflect on this concept, we have an opportunity to re-examine past experiences in a fresh context. When we had taken offense in the past, were we really upset due to the things we thought? Or was it because we had neglected to nurture the peace that we already have within? Mohandas Gandhi once said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” If this is indeed true, then to live in a world free of conflict and offensiveness, we must be responsible for bringing an attitude of nonresistance to every experience in our lives. There has never been a greater opportunity for peace than we have right now.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Religion and Spirituality

 Everyone lives by faith. We take this for granted in the case of religious persons, yet the same is true for materialists, non-religious spiritualists and atheists too, since all of them live by faith in their own beliefs. What is unique in the case of religion are the shared belief systems that are formally acknowledged within a community that is intent on preserving a belief system as a social institution. However, just as patriotism is to a country, so religions are to belief systems, and just as patriotism is to nationalism, so religion is to religionism. While the former cases in each of the previous examples is marked by devotion to a respective cause or ideal, the latter cases are characterized more by outwardly directed inflation and aggression. This distinction is important to identify for the sake of preserving the rich treasury of wisdom that religions have to offer the world, especially in defense against the growing trend toward 'secular spirituality' which arises due to a seeming aversion to religion. The conflict between religion and spirituality is much like the conflict between clouds and the sky, which is to say that really, there is no conflict at all. So why would people have an aversion to religion then? This is not to imply that everyone need be religious; the intention is simply to deflate the supposed aversion, and perhaps to recontextualize religion in such a way that it might, at the very least, be embraced more willingly as a benign yet important aspect of society and modern culture as a whole, whether individuals have the desire to be involved in formal spiritual practice or not.

 In modern culture it is interesting to note that religious values and ideas have permeated the everyday aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to our most cherished forms of entertainment: television and film. In fact, upon closer inspection, the similarities between how we entertain ourselves and how we practice formal religion are uncanny. With television, we set aside an hour once a week to spend with our most inspiring characters. With religion, we do the same. In both cases, individuals are developing a deeper relationship with the characters; getting a deeper sense for their motivations, expectations and values. Also, as psychologists and sociologists have documented, television, in a physiological sense, has a similar effect to meditation on the psyche. Meditation serves to relax the body and disengage the mind from being excessively active, as does television. The effect of both these practices is that they enable us to have a break from the intensity of day to day life, so that when we do get back to our day jobs and other obligations, we can do so with a reduced level of anxiety. The striking parallels between religious practice and the average person's day to day life are quite remarkable; almost as if every experience we have, when viewed in the right context, has a spiritual component. Why then, if daily life and religious practice are so similar, do people take such rigid positions when it comes to religion? It would appear to be the result of a lack of distinction between regular religious practice, and extreme religiosity.

 So often these days, we see news reports about terrorists engaged in jihad (holy war); we read on the internet about evangelists who brainwash naive, at-risk teenagers; we hear from friends about people handing out pamphlets on street corners, warning us of an eternity in hell if we do not kneel down and repent. All this without even mentioning the bloody history which has been credited to religion with the Crusades and the Inquisition to name just a few examples. If any of this accurately represented religion, then the seeming aversion would be far more understandable. Of greatest significance in any of these cases is that none of the respective religions being 'represented' actually supports this kind of activity. In fact, the Holy Bible, the Koran, the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita all support alternatives to aggressively principled evangelism. All of the world's most prominent religions, and the vast majority of the more obscure ones, preach messages of love, peace and forgiveness. They teach followers about humility, surrender, and service to one's fellow man. Each of the examples of extreme religiosity mentioned above are examples of 'religionism'. Religionism occurs when spirituality is removed from religion, and what is left is little more than politicized dogma. In these cases of extreme religiosity it is very common for individuals to take integrous teachings and segments of scripture, only to present them, far removed from their original context, in such a way that supports political or egoistic agendas. We might note how the Koran teaches of 'Allah the All-Merciful' who uses the 'Sword of Truth' to bring about peace and justice, and how extremists have taken the teachings out of context in order to inspire men to take up the sword of steel. As well, we have cases where Christian fundamentalists brutally attack homosexuals, citing that “God hates gays”, even though the passages they refer to are rather ambiguous, while the less controversial teachings of the Christian Bible proclaim that judgement is reserved for God alone, and that in order to be holy, a man must 'love his neighbor as he loves himself'.

 One issue which seems to give rise to extreme fundamentalist groups is the issue of sectarian exclusivity. Exclusivity arises as a result of a deeply subconscious characteristic of the human psyche which is likely the consequence of early evolutionary adaptation. This characteristic is best described as a secret tendency to think that what we believe is 'righter' than anyone else's beliefs (a secret that we may very well deny, even to ourselves). When we encounter someone with a different belief or interpretation than us, it appears to be threatening to our secret belief. In response to the perceived threat arises a sense of opposition, division, and ultimately sectarianism. With sectarianism, individuals lose sight of the principles and intentions which form the foundations of their spiritual belief systems. People become religionists when they lose sight of divinity as a spiritual authority, and instead begin to revere the belief system itself as authority over truth. Worshiping religion, ironically, is not religious.

 It has been said that “Spirituality is the individual's ability to wonder at, and delight in, the indecipherable”. This sort of spirituality is integral to religious practice. Socrates taught that 'man always chooses what he believes to be the good, though he lacks the means to tell the difference'. Spirituality and religion are just a few of the means of exploring that difference; each as fallible as the investigator who explores them. The indecipherable nature of existence reinforces for us that indeed, everyone lives by faith. In light of this condition, this virtual state of oblivion, we can resolve then that the best we can do for now is to simply be compassionate toward our fellow man. The religious can be compassionate for those lost without religion, and the non-religious can exercise compassion for those who seem to be lost within it. Aversions only contribute to further divisions, and a greater sense of conflict, neither of which gets us closer to the goal of understanding. If there's anything we can know for sure, it is that love has never in the history of man been an opponent of peace. Perhaps that is a good starting point.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Taking Offense

Socrates taught that ’Man always chooses what he believes to be the good’, and yet, so many of us tend to be of the belief that the world is against us.
People are always well intentioned insofar as their awareness is capable of letting them believe that their intentions are meant for good. Even if the actions don’t necessarily reflect the highest good, the truth is that every person would do things in a manner that didn’t offend or upset anyone if he had the means to.
We tend to justify everything in the moment, even if only to regret it in the next (e.g. I know that hitting people is wrong, but in this instant it’s justified because I’m angry).
Now having realized all this, it’s important to examine the spirit of the intention behind people’s actions.
For example, a mother might resist letting go of a child…letting her make her own descisions. However irrational it may appear to the girl, the truth is that the mother does it because she wants her child to be safe. She does it because she cares.
The issue at hand isn’t an opposition of wills, but simply an intellectual difference in awareness that can be resolved when either party makes an effort to appeal to the intention behind the other’s actions.
Taking offense merely perpetuates the unresolvedness of the situation.
Of course then, we must also make the effort not to take offense at others who take offense at things. In fact, we shouldn’t even be offended when we catch ourselves taking offense at things. Being patient with our own offendedness is a great place to start addressing it all. We don’t do well to beat ourselves up over it. Acceptance is the key to transcendence…in non-resistance we don’t inflate frustrations so that they have an easier time in persisting. Instead, we let frustration run it’s course until it simply lets go. After some residual manifesting of whatever propensities we’re trying to overcome, generally we can kiss them goodbye with confidence that we won’t fall victim to them again.

As a friend pointed out in a discussion that we had months ago about taking offense, the Socrates quote seems to be echoed in Jesus when he says ’Forgive them Father for they know not what they do’. Talk about not taking offense!

Another interesting point that another friend brought up was the distinction that can be made between responding and reacting. She also went on to note that ‘People are doing their very, very best, even when clearly they are not. When you look at life this way, compassion, empathy, forgiveness and respect are the norm.’

Anyhow, it’s all food for thought.
Have a peaceful day,