White Moon on the Mountain Peak 2

Jason Gregory’s Foreword for Damo Mitchell’s New Book White Moon on the Mountain Peak

White Moon on the Mountain PeakForeword

The Daoist Key to Naturalness

Nothing frustrates the mind more than its attempts to be spontaneously natural without any intention to do so. We encounter this frustration within most spiritual traditions around the world. This becomes a battle between our conscious self (ego) and the adaptive mystical unconscious. This dilemma is explored and brought face to face with our awareness to the core of the problem most categorically in the mystical traditions of the East and the philosophy and methods of practice that have evolved from these Asian cultures as a result. Both the philosophy and methods of practice have tried to deal with this paradoxical obstacle of trying to be natural without “trying” to be natural. We have had philosophers and practitioners debating for millennia over this universal conundrum.

As far as our historical records suggest this problem originated in the classical period of Chinese philosophy known as the ‘Hundred Schools of Thought’ (諸子百家) which flourished from the 6th century to 221BC, during the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period of ancient China. In this period we saw the rise of the four great philosophers of ancient China who all in some way contributed to a deep understanding of our attempts to be natural. They were Laozi, Confucius, Mencius, and Zhuangzi. We could debate all day long who we think has the superior philosophy or if they all somehow contribute to further our knowledge of the matter, but that is not the point. The key argument that gets to the point is whether we can induce naturalness (ziran in Chinese 自然), or whether it comes from a state of non-doing.

This is best symbolized between the different perspectives of Laozi and Confucius. Both were concerned with how a human being accords to the Way (Dao in Chinese道) and lives its virtue (de in Chinese 德) as a result. One of the only things they would agree upon was that we need to return to our nature to be in the cosmic river of Dao. Yet both of their philosophies to live our nature were diametrically opposed.

Confucius believed in the “carving and polishing” of the block of wood perspective. His belief is that we should chisel away at our beastly character to cultivate the Confucian virtues that are supposed to turn us into a Superior Man (Junzi in Chinese君子) who is in the end only functioning as an empty vessel for the forces of Dao to work through. The Confucian approach to naturalness, as a result of carving and polishing, is the method of wei-wu-wei (為無為), meaning doing non-doing. Naturally in the flow of the Way was to be obtained through following the ethics, odes, rituals, and sacrifices of Confucian philosophy (Ru in Chinese儒), which is supposed to shape our psychology to sense intuitively the metaphysical Way of the Dao in our ordinary life. But a big problem with this approach is it assumes that the Dao adheres to the philosophy of Ru and not the other way around. We lose sight of the meaning of ritual, as the Vedic civilization of the Indus Valley in India and Pakistan did as well, and we believe that the virtue of spontaneity is only confined within ritual and those who practice it.

Laozi, on the other hand, believes this approach is a disaster and in a way go on to explain that the Confucians are still interpreting the spontaneous nature of Dao with the conscious mind which indicates that even the Junzi is not really an empty vessel. Instead of carving and polishing the block of wood, Laozi would suggest we stick to the “uncarved block” or unhewn wood in other words. Holding onto the uncarved block we quell all our attempts to be natural and just allow spontaneity to be as it will in our life with no premeditated control of it. This leads to the essential Daoist art of living known in Chinese as wu-wei (無為), meaning non-doing. According to Laozi wu-wei is the way to align our mind to the Dao because we have stopped trying to control our experience. He believed that if we embraced non-doing in our life the conscious self (ego) would loosen its grip of tyranny within our mind so the mystical unconscious can allow our experience to be as it will without our personal agenda and desires of life projected upon it. But we should keep in mind that Laozi is not saying literally that we should do nothing and become a stone Buddha. What he is saying is that when we don’t force life to be a certain way and instead allow life to happen, wu-wei, we accord to the Dao because the sense of “I” has become subservient to the Way of nature, which is spontaneous. This means that outwardly we could be actively doing things but within we are effortless because the sense of personality has marinated and become absorbed in the Dao.

We discover this Laozian understanding of wu-wei also in the Indian epic Bhagavad Gita with the Sanskrit nishkam karma where Krishna advocates to Arjuna to remain active but be inwardly effortless without the need of being rewarded for the fruits his labor. Essentially Krishna wants Arjuna to be so effortless that his actions are completely selfless because the “I” has dissolved. The Bhagavad Gita states this in two key verses:

To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction.

Fixed in yoga, do thy work, O Winner of wealth (Arjuna), abandoning attachment, with an even mind in success and failure, for evenness of mind is called yoga.

When we attempt to act with the sense of being the doer we resist the Dao and suffer as a result. To use an example, when we try to open a door with a key if we force the key when we turn it there is resistance, but if we are soft and just jiggle and apply enough pressure then the key moves smoothly and the door opens. This is a metaphor for our life and also for the way our own psychological conditioning blocks the stream of the universe to flow through our innate stillness of mind.

As a result of both the Confucian and Laozian perspectives of how to be naturally in harmony with the Dao we discover the Daoist predicament. Because we can all say that from our vantage point of 2500 years past their time that both present good arguments that we can see exhibited in our own life for those who are paying attention to their inner and outer worlds. This is why Mencius was impartial to both sides and though he is historically thought of as a Confucian, he often sounds more like a mouthpiece for the wisdom of Laozi than anyone else.

Clarity is not brought to this predicament until the end of the Warring States period when the philosophy of Zhuangzi came into existence. In regards to this debate between Laozi and Confucius, Zhuangzi would say there is no right or wrong. A key theme of his philosophy was that human beings are fundamentally flawed because we have the ability to discern between “this” and “that” in our essence (qing in Chinese 情). This leads to subjective opinions of right and wrong, good and evil, arbitrary judgments, and so on. According to Zhuangzi, if you are attempting to define the indescribable Dao then nothing is more stupid than this. This is reflected in the text attributed to him known simply as the Zhuangzi. This is one of the most beautiful texts that stand side by side with the Dao De Jing as a classic of Daoist thought full of humor, mystery, paradox, and wisdom. In the Zhuangzi, we find him poke fun at both opposing perspectives, not in the sense that they are both wrong, but because they both fall into failure when they believe their own philosophy is the “only” way to live according to Dao. It was absurd for Zhuangzi to think that spontaneity had a certain philosophical dress sense it related to. That would be like favoring the spontaneity in music over the spontaneity in sport. The problem with this, as a result, is we get lost in the projections of our own opinions of whether we prefer music or sport better without perceiving the Dao move spontaneously in both. And it is because of this intellectual preference for what we like or dislike, or find acceptable or not acceptable, that Zhuangzi’s focus is on the art of living in harmony with the Dao through becoming skilled at it.

This skill of the art of living is illustrated best by the story of Butcher Ding (classically known as Cook Ding) in the Zhuangzi. In true Zhuangzian fashion he uses the graphic description of Ding hacking up oxen piece by piece essentially to shock you because Zhuangzi is trying to emphasize that perfection is found everywhere in the world. Zhuangzi actually wanted this reaction because in the Warring States of China butchers were thought of as the lowest of the low, so it is extremely weird to see Ding portrayed as an exemplar of the Dao.

In the story of Butcher Ding, Lord Wen-Hui is curious about his remarkable skill. He is amazed how Ding’s blade gracefully glides through the ox with no resistance and the ox falls apart effortlessly. Ding explained to Lord Wen-Hui that he went through various stages before attaining this skill. First he said that at the beginning all he could see was ox and so he didn’t know where to start because he was only relying on his senses. Then after three years Ding said he no longer saw the ox as a whole. This means that he had an analytical understanding of how an ox goes together. After this understanding, Ding came to the final stage where he explains to Lord Wen-Hui:

“I encounter it with my spirit and don’t look with my eyes. My senses and conscious awareness have shut down and my spiritual desires take me away.”

Meaning he has shut down his external senses and his mind so his spiritual desires (shen yu in Chinese 神欲)  are released and they are what guide him, essentially being moved by Dao. We could call this the embodied mind because he trained his psychosomatic organism sufficiently to be naturally spontaneous without a sense of “Ding” the person doing anything. In cognitive science they would say Ding has trained his hot cognition (body and mind’s automatic instinctual response) so well that he can shut down his cold cognition (conscious control of the instinctual response).

Ding goes onto explain this skill to Lord Wen-Hui by telling him that after 19 years he has never sharpened his knife once because he doesn’t touch anything in the process of cutting. This is a metaphor for our life. In moving through life skillfully, like the blade through the ox, we accord to our heavenly nature and move in resonance with the Dao. The blade is our being, our body, heart-mind, and spirit. So this story is not about Lord Wen-Hui becoming a skilled butcher. It’s a way of shutting down our senses and analytic mind so the heavenly force can move through us. Early in the story Lord Wen-Hui was amazed at Butcher Ding’s skill and asked how he could be so skillful. Ding replied:

“What your servant values is the Way (Dao 道), which goes beyond mere skill or technique.”

Ding is explaining that it is not about skill per se, but instead it is about being in touch with the Dao. So the argument Zhuangzi illustrates through the story of Ding is not a matter of whether Laozi’s philosophy to be natural is better than Confucius’s or vice versa, or a matter of whether we should “do” something to be natural or not. But instead what it is about is how can we become spontaneously natural through the analytical mind, or conscious self in other words, if itself is unnatural and actually an artificial byproduct of culture and society? Essentially, how can this artifice of a person (ego) I believe I am get rid of itself? This confusing paradox was a key element to why the great alchemical traditions of the world came into existence. None more important than the art of Nei Dan (internal alchemy) in China that offers us a way out of this confusion and back into harmony with the Dao, which is the primary focus of this Daoist epic presented by Damo Mitchell.

Damo MitchellTo understand Nei Dan, or any other alchemical tradition for that matter, we must not only be adept in intuiting the philosophy of such systems of thought, but also be as skilled as Butcher Ding in the practical application of the methods and techniques that evoke the philosophy as a living reality. Only a rare breed of individual can usually bring this forth, and Damo Mitchell is a thoroughbred within the stable of humanity. He not only brings both together but can articulate it and teach such a complex subject in a way that we can all digest and assimilate. Some people in life are unfortunate and never open the universe’s vast library of knowledge on Eastern wisdom and then there are others who get to open the library later in life. But then there are those rare souls who were born in the library and become the librarians of the perennialism of the East. Mitchell is one of those librarians who spread the wisdom of the East to the world. He was born into Eastern philosophy and practice from birth and began his life’s work from the beginning of it. Not many can say that, and that is why I am saying no one else is better skilled than him to compile such an extensive work on Nei Dan which not only covers all bases but also what the bases are built on.

Mitchell is a Western man only in appearance, as his mind is Eastern from his life lived in the philosophy and the internal arts of Asia, China especially. He is the result of a growing interest in the mystical traditions of the East in the Western world. A spiritual renaissance is beckoning humanity where the wisdom of the East is leaving the confines of Asia and being reinvigorated by Western teachers such as Damo Mitchell. Through his deep understanding of the Daoist arts, Western and also Eastern spiritually inclined people can finally assimilate the practical application and techniques of Nei Dan to fully live the philosophy of our ancient Eastern masters.

We will reap the benefits of this work on Nei Dan because even though the information in this book is guided towards our own enlightenment and the transcendent Dao it is also very timely. I say this because Mitchell explains in the text that most forms of spiritual cultivation begin with different methods of open awareness meditation techniques focusing on emptiness and the silencing of thoughts to acquire the stillness of the Zen (禪) mind, which is the mind that evokes our natural spontaneity in harmony with the Dao. But the problem with this approach, and also why it is timely, is that most modern people both Western and Eastern have no frame of reference for how or why they are doing this and ultimately have not prepared the soil within their body and mind to experience prolonged states of stillness. One who has not prepared the soil within the body and mind usually fall into delusion because the philosophy and methods of practice of the East are only understood superficially. They are taken up more so because they are trendy and a clever way of sustaining our ego in the disguise of a new “shiny” spiritual persona. Instead of becoming humble and seeking the low places where Dao is found, we perpetuate our primarily Western temperament of the “on high” hypnosis cloaked in the traditions of the East.

This subtle disguise has been with us since the counter culture movement of the 60’s and 70’s and survived through the hippy and more recently in new-age spirituality. A hippy, for example, often misinterprets following the Dao by statements such as “I’m going with the flow dude.” But a Daoist would explain that only those who are empty within the mind can flow with Dao and so your statement is only intellectual, not a natural experience. For to experience Dao the sense of “I” must not arise, hence there is nobody there in spontaneity. So the hippy’s idea of freedom is just a dress sense to show off to other people, not the real freedom of stillness within. Comparable to this is the way people attracted to Eastern wisdom understand through the “on high” of new-age spirituality only dabble in the philosophy and methods of practice rather than following them sincerely.

We find this best when people attend a 10 day silent vipassana course then once it is completed they just can’t stop chit chatting incessantly, which is the evidence that it was more about completing the course to tell other people about than actually learning real mindfulness from it. This results from an underlying tension you feel in most people which comes through their speech, posture, and rigid opinions. This underlying tension is even more evident with those who practice taiji, hatha yoga, and other forms of meditation. It all results from a lack of understanding and sincerity of abiding by the philosophy and practice of whatever method it may be. This tension we acquire from culture and society eclipses our naturalness and so even if we begin with open awareness meditation the tension has not been dealt with. The soil of our mind turns into sewage with not much hope for us to cultivate the sprouts of a lotus flower to become natural. But in this book we realize Nei Dan is a plough that will dig into the tension within our individual energy matrix. It will bring you back to earth to show you that where you once thought you were on top of a mountain that in truth you were only on a small foothill before Mount Everest.

Nei Dan is a way out of this debacle of how to return to the naturalness of Dao. The “mind stuff” we accumulate within the grey matter of our nervous system throughout our life is what Nei Dan seeks to transmute so we can turn the lead of the artificial person back into the natural immortal. We usually only experience or perceive the natural spontaneity of Dao within many art forms. We might see a divine performance in music or a piece of spontaneous magic in sport, but if you ask either to recreate their divine performance or piece of magic anxious thoughts will rise up in their mind and the recreation is sabotaged because the idea of a “person” doing it comes back into consciousness. Naturalness is eclipsed when we do not allow the wisdom of the unconscious take control of the body and conscious self.

The dilemma tackled with Nei Dan is how to reside in the spontaneous nature of Dao permanently. To this dilemma and fundamental paradox, Damo Mitchell has gone to farthest extremes of inner alchemy to bring back a map to guide us through our own internal landscape onto the irreducible essence of Dao. The map is this profound book on Nei Dan and if you allow it to soak into your mind you will be on your way to understanding the mystery you are. Then we will be natural again, as natural as the Japanese unsui (雲水). A term meaning “cloud and water,” because without trying an enlightened master drifts like a cloud and flows like water.

Jason Gregory

Foot of the Holy Mountain Arunachala

Tiruvannamalai, India

To Purchase Damo Mitchell’s new book hit the links below:

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/dp/1848192568/

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1848192568/

Amazon CA http://www.amazon.ca/dp/1848192568/

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/white-moon-on-the-mountain-peak-damo-mitchell/1122001307

Powell’s Books http://www.powells.com/biblio/71-9781848192560-0

Books a Million http://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781848192560

Visit Damo Mitchell’s School of Daoist Arts Lotus Nei Gong http://www.lotusneigong.org/

 

Footsteps of the Masters - Poster

Footsteps of the Masters India Tour with Jason Gregory 2016

Footsteps of the Masters - Poster

FOOTSTEPS OF THE MASTERS INDIA TOUR

with Jason Gregory

7-18 NOVEMBER 2016

 For the first time you can travel with author and teacher of Eastern philosophy Jason Gregory on a mystical tour of India to explore and trace the Footsteps of the Masters. Get unique insights into Jason’s knowledge of the East and the memory of the masters and scared places we will visit. Jason wishes to take people to the most sacred places of India to show that the ancient Hindu and Buddhist cultures are thriving but can only be experienced by those willing to join him on this pilgrimage of the heart.

 1. About our tour to India:

Our 12-day itinerary includes visits to the most beautiful and mystical places in India. We will travel through India to visit the most important sacred places of Indian history. Most people never get the chance to experience face to face the archaic origins and sites of Hindu and Buddhist culture because they are in some of the most remote places of India. But on this journey you will get that once in a lifetime opportunity to actually feel the ancient living culture that is still thriving in the sacred places we will visit. You will also get the chance to meet real life mystics and mingle with the beautiful people of India.  

What is more, during the tour you will take part in private lectures given by Jason Gregory. He will show us the significance of how Eastern thought can help us live more harmoniously in the modern world. He strongly believes that the mystics of the East who expounded especially the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta, Zen in Buddhism, and Taoism are advanced metaphysical frameworks that give us understanding and guidance in our ordinary lives. And this is the reason for joining Jason Gregory on his tour to India to follow the “Footsteps of the Masters”. This will be a once in a life-time experience, this tour may never happen again!

 Jason Gregory about our India tour: 

 cropped-Tea-Ceremony.jpg“I have spent several years in India and the experience has changed the entire course of my life. I continue to go back and visit every year, especially the Tamil Nadu and Bihar states as they include the two places in the world that I believe everybody should visit, Tiruvannamalai and Bodh Gaya, and we will be visiting both places on this tour.

I have always told people that India is hard to explain, the attraction people have to it, and its transformative ability on an individual. It is a place that most people dislike because of real life hardships that people witness in her. But I have always implored people to persevere with her grace because if you can get past all the things that push you out of your comfort zone, there is an underlying essence of spirit that is only found in India, but you need to give her time and be open to new experiences. Many believe this comes from thousands of years of people focused on the inner realm of spirituality that has led to many great sages and stories of enlightenment in India. On this tour I want to allow people to experience this living spirit that we feel when we are in the culture of India by following the footsteps of the masters. My experience of living in India for several years allows me to take you on an insider’s journey of India on this tour where you will come face to face with her archaic soul.”   

 Jason Gregory is a spiritual philosopher, independent scholar, author, writer, public speaker, and teacher specializing in the fields of Eastern philosophy, Western esotericism, comparative religion, psychology, culture, and ancients civilizations.He is the author of the highly acclaimed The Science and Practice of Humility and the cult classic Way of the Weirdo, and the writer and director of the documentary The Sacred Sound of Creation. Jason spends his time traveling, writing, and teaching around the world through his lectures and workshops centered on his work. His lectures and workshops are said to be one of the most insightful and inspirational events one can attend, as he reveals through his work that enlightenment is not an end goal that we are searching for, but instead a way of life which is an art of living. This understanding leads to the essence of his work that enlightenment evokes a humility which is a universal science.

2.  ITINERARY

Day 1 – Arrival to Chennai (7 November 2016)

Arrival at Chennai International Airport. A representative of “One World Within Tours” company will welcome our guests at the Chennai Airport and transport them to our hotel. After the check-in process at the hotel, our guests will have time to rest. In the evening we will have dinner and an organizing meeting with “One World Within Tours” company’s staff. Overnight stay at the hotel in Chennai.

Arunachala

Day 2 – Tiruvannamalai (8 November 2016)

Ramana MaharshiTravelling to Tiruvannamalai. Tiruvannmalai is considered one of the most sacred places on Earth that has the ability to transform one’s life. It is known as the City of Enlightenment for that very reason. It has been the home to sages, sadhus, and yogis for thousands of years. Tiruvannamalai is home to the holy mountain Arunachala which is thought of to be an incarnation of Shiva. Arunachala is what drew the 20th century sage Sri Ramana Maharshi to this little Indian town, where he remained silent for 7 years up on the holy mountain in meditation. During his life at the foot of Arunachala disciples were attracted to his immense presence and an ashram was built around him, the famous Sri Ramana Asramam. It was here that Paul Brunton had his famous encounter with the Maharshi and consequently led to his international bestseller In Search of Secret India. This Hindu culture has never left this place, where you find sadhus descend on Tiruvannamalai every day renouncing the world to be at the foot of Arunachala and to also spend time in meditation at the Arunachaleswarar Temple (Temple of Shiva).

Arunchaleshvara Temple

During day 2 we will visit Arunachaleswarar Temple (Temple of Shiva) and explore its magnificent architecture and mythology. We will tour the city of Tiruvannamalai to get people acquainted with the City of Enlightenment.

Day 3 – Tiruvannamalai (9 November 2016)

Sri Ramana Ashram

Early in the morning we will go to Sri Ramana Ashram to observe Puja (Hindu ritual worship to any particular God) and also meditate in the silence of this sacred space. We will then walk up to Skanda Ashram where Sri Ramana Maharshi spent 7 years in silence. We will practice meditation there before going to breakfast. Later in the day we will visit the famous Girivalam Path to visit temples and be in the presence of sadhus.

Day 4 – Tiruvannamalai (10 November 2016)

Skanda Ashram

We will rise early again on day 4 to walk up Arunachala and visit Skanda Ashram one last time to meditate before we embark on our day. During our last day in Tiruvannamalai we will visit the Sri Ramana Ashram library to explore numerous scared books for purchase at extremely low prices before saying goodbye to our sadhu friends at Girivalam Path.

Day 5 – Pondicherry (11 November 2016)

Sri AurobindoPondicherry is an old French state of India. It is a beautiful contrast where East meets West. This unique mix of French with Indian thought has led to one of the most culturally diverse states in India which is visable through its architecture and the unification of European ecology with Indian spirituality. This state was home to the 20th century sage Sri Aurobindo and Ponicherry is where he met Mirra Alfassa (also known as “the Mother”), a French woman who was significant in helping Aurobindo’s vision of the unification of a spirituality in harmony with the planet. This vision of the Mother and Aurobindo manifested as the first universal city Auroville just outside Pondicherry. This is where the principles they envisioned for humanity can be recognized. Auroville was founded by the Mother in 1968.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

When we arrive on our first day in Pondicherry, we will visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and share a meditation together beside the tomb of Sri Aurobindo. After that we will explore the French district of Pondicherry.

Day 6 – Pondicherry (12 November 2016)

Auroville

On day 2 in Pondicherry we will rise early and make our way out to the universal city Auroville. We will visit the farms and taste the local organic food in Auroville. After that we will visit the Auroville community centre to learn more about the principles and practices that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had envisioned for humanity. At the end of the day we will visit the Matrimandir, a golden metallic sphere in the center of Auroville.

Day 7 – Mahabalipurum (13 November 2016)

Mahabalipuram (also known as Mamallapuram) is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport at the time of Periplus (1st century AD) and Ptolemy (140 AD). Mahabalipuram is one of the most archeologically significant places in India. It is the home of ancient Dravidian architecture where Buddhist elements of design are prominent. In the ancient architecture and art of these sites we see depicted the holy trinity of Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma along with epic stories that emulate the Bhagavad Gita. The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram has been classifies as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Arjuna's Penance

On our first day we will visit the ancient group of monuments at Mahabalipuram where we will discuss the significance of this ancient Indian art. After that we will make our way to the famous Shore Temple and also spend time the beautiful Mahabalipuram beach.

Day 8 – Mahabalipurum (14 November 2016)

Mahabalipuram

In the morning of our second day in Mahabalipuram will relax before a big journey to Bodh Gaya later that morning. In the afternoon we will arrive at Bodh Gaya and relax.

Day 9 – Bodh Gaya (15 November 2016) 

Buddha 4Bodh Gaya is considered one of the most sacred places on the planet. It is famously known as the place where Gautama the Buddha reached enlightenment under what became known as the Bodhi Tree. Over millennia temples and monasteries have been built around the famous Bodhi Tree. The Mahabodhi Temple and Bodhi Tree reside on the same site and is one of the most powerful places one could visit. It is a holy place for Buddhists, Hindus, and people who are not affiliated with no religion but class themselves as spiritual.

Mahabodhi Temple

On our first day in Bodh Gaya we will rise very early and meditate under the Bodhi Tree and spend a lot of time in the complex of the Mahabodhi Temple discussing its significance to the world.

Day 10 – Bodh Gaya (16 November 2016)

IMG_1780.JPG

Again on the second day we will meditate under the Bodhi Tree early in the morning before breakfast. After that we will visit numerous nationalities monasteries that have been built over the millennia in Bodh Gaya.

Day 11 – Bodh Gaya (17 November 2016)

Bodh Gaya

 On day 3 we will say goodbye to Bodh Gaya and make our journey back to Chennai.

Day 12 – Depart Chennai (18 November 2016)

Chennai International Airport

It is time to say goodbye to India. After breakfast we will be flying back homes.

The order of places that we are going to visit might be modified.

3. Terms & Conditions

* Price per person: $3700 USD (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD) for double room. If you are traveling alone, you can share a room with another tour member.

* If you would like to have a single room you have to pay extra $790 USD (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD).

* Couple Special: $6400 USD (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD) for 2 people to share double room.

* After August 15, 2016 deposit or full payment are nonrefundable. This refund policy is in place because from August 15, 2016 all accommodation and traveling schedule will be booked. There will be no refund after August 15, 2016 as a result. 

 Price Includes:

* Jason Gregory as your tour host

* 11 nights accommodation at good hotels in India

* Chennai to Patna return domestic flights

* Transfers in air-conditioned bus

* Entrance tickets to all sites

 Not Included:

* International flight to India and return flight back to your country;

* Visas and insurance. The onus is on the traveler to ensure that passports, visas and other travel documentation are valid and in order.

* Meals during the tour

4. Payment Schedule: 

* Only $1000 USD deposit during booking for a single ticket (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD).

* Only $2000 USD deposit during booking for a couple ticket (or equivalent in GBP/EUR/AUD).

* Full payment must be received by 15 August 2016.

After August 15, 2016 deposit or full payment are nonrefundable. This refund policy is in place because from August 15, 2016 all accommodation and traveling schedule will be booked. There will be no refund after August 15, 2016 as a result. 

During booking you should prepare personal details, date of birth, address, phone number, Email address, passport number, Passport Expiration Date (example mm/dd/yyyy). These details you should send to our Email: [email protected]

To purchase tickets hit this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/footsteps-of-the-masters-india-tour-with-jason-gregory-tickets-17452708521

We encourage you to book this tour as soon as possible, because the number of places is limited!

Please contact us for more information and for details –[email protected]

 

 

Sankaracharya-resized

The Trap of Devotion to God and Guru

The Trap of Devotion to God and Guru

Sankaracharya

  We fear nothing more than being truly independent. True independence does not mean in the social context in regards to individual job titles, nor does it mean in the collective sphere of nationalistic independence, though both may be derivatives. Real independence is spiritual sovereignty, meaning the individual truly lives psychologically from the Heart with no agenda and is free from the attachment to social, cultural, and religious programs which imprison our mind. Some may argue that we all need a philosophical framework psychologically to navigate our way through this life to give us a sense of meaning.

 

And others may say that we need to eliminate all philosophical frameworks from our mind, whether it is social, cultural, or religious, because then we can move freely in the world and have a mind that Zen Buddhism would say “is a mind of no deliberation,” meaning that it doesn’t stick to any type of formula to understand life.

 

From the opposing perspective this still may be thought of as a type of framework as Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor points out in his work by explaining that formulating and taking on frameworks may be inescapable for the mind. But this could also be viewed as just being extremely clever in an attempt to be victorious in this ongoing game of spiritual and philosophical one-upmanship, while also not taking into account the actual experience of the individual which is hard for anyone to judge from an external point of reference.

 

  No matter how you view both perspectives on an individual level is not the point. The real emphasis is about how we depend on philosophical frameworks that we were once naturally drawn to but have over time become a crutch that obscures our ability to perceive reality without names, labels, or a prior agenda. This conditioned habit is carried over into the spiritual and religious philosophies we turn to when we yearn for liberation. Paradoxically the spiritual and religious philosophies we convert to originate from different environments than our own. Essentially they are built on an archetype diametrically opposed to the one embedded within our psychosomatic organism.

 

  This is evident more visibly when we find Western people interested in Eastern philosophy and other esoteric wisdom traditions. In our search for enlightenment, or real independence in other words, from social, cultural, and religious mental concepts we discover the eternal depth of the East and its ability to reveal our underlying true nature beyond the claustrophobic walls of our ego. Yet the dependence we seek to transcend is projected onto the spiritual temperaments of the East.

Footprint

  For example, the Eastern character and temperament of devotion and surrender to God or guru/master becomes a crutch for both Eastern and Western seeker if their dependence on either eclipses their real faith and union with the irreducible essence of the universe. Again this is more visible when we observe a Westerner trying to embrace and mimic the Eastern archetypal structure.

 

None more so than when we witness Western spiritually inclined people diving at the feet of a guru to kiss their feet or put their forehead on the guru’s feet in a so-called gesture of respect through the action of wiping the dust from the guru’s feet with the forehead. Deep down in the sacred intelligence of the gut, which is not connected to the ego, we know this is not genuine and is basically spiritual materialism because it is based on how we should appear to look towards others in the outside world and also to fulfill an image of ourselves that we have in our head. Though some may argue that this external behavior has an internal effect, and it does to some degree considering we have to completely humble our ego to kiss someone else’s feet who we acknowledge has more wisdom than us, but the problem is the attitude of devotion and surrender to either God or guru is based on the imitation of the archetypal temperaments of the East. (Note that in Oriental iconography a common image is the two footprints that symbolize divinity. They represent the feet of the divine that we kiss and touch with our hands as this action symbolizes that we are reaching in and kissing God in our heart).

 

The Westerner will take on Eastern philosophical thinking and dress sense, for example, to hide and suppress the psychological habits and latent tendencies that cause us suffering. We imitate in the hope that these habits and tendencies will be transcended. The Easterner in turn does the same form of imitation when they try to take on the Western archetypal framework of social and materialistic success, but that topic is not of importance here.

 

  A sincere spiritually inclined individual has no need to imitate nor do they to the contrary have to uphold their social, cultural, and religious programming. We can appreciate that kissing the feet of a guru is primarily an Indian archetype and is a sacredly beautiful aspect of India when we observe the people of India in their childlike innocence practicing such devotion and humility to God and guru. But this is not practiced anywhere else in the Far East, whether that be China, Korea, Japan, or even South East Asia. And astonishingly the Far East and South East Asian spiritual and cultural traditions are heavily influenced by India where Hinduism gave birth to aspects of Buddhism and Buddhism traveled over the Himalayas to Tibet then China to mix with Taoism which eventually became Zen Buddhism in Japan.

 

Confucius meets Lao-tzu

  All along the way the environment especially in the Far East never deviated unnecessarily from their archetypal temperament to show honor and respect to a master and each other with a humble bow instead of the Indian version of kissing the guru’s feet.

 

We would think it is extremely strange if a disciple of Japanese or Korean Zen Buddhism kissed their masters feet because it is not a spontaneously genuine response of the unconscious which is the archaic part of the mind before the later developing ego within our prefrontal cortex. It is this later developing part of the brain that we are intellectually making a decision as Westerners to kiss the feet of the guru or master, it is not naturally spontaneous. This is not an authentic sign of humility, surrender, or devotion, as the Western equivalent for showing gratitude and reverence to a teacher and each other is a hug of loving embrace.

 

  Westerners, and also Easterners for a matter of a fact, make the critical mistake of intellectually associating devotion to an image of God or with kissing the feet of the guru or staring at an image of who one believes is the supreme intelligence of the universe. This is an error because the habit and tendency to follow and depend on an external structural framework is the same egotistic conditioning we learn from our society, culture, and religion.

 

Westerners who imitate Eastern temperaments, especially those who submit to the guru’s will, parade their so-called freedom or enlightenment around as authentic surrender and devotion. In doing so, people believe they have destroyed the ego, yet they still follow. Those who seek to follow a guru/master and kiss their feet become blind to the fact that one of the primary characteristics of the illusory ego is to follow. We need to keep in mind that the ego is a social and cultural product. The society and culture is what builds our personality (ego) and separates our consciousness from the real unified consciousness that we are.

 

Our absurd belief that we need to depend on a society and culture puts us in a double-bind that we are free but we must conform to what is socially acceptable, thus not truly free. As a result we develop this following tendency which cuts us off from being and feeling one with the universe and so ultimately it is a trait of the ego. To truly have that sense of unity within means that the dualism of following, whether guru or society, is to not attach or conform to any external limitation because this separates us from the awareness that the universe is the real you deep down.

 

Brahman 2

  Blindly following cuts this awareness off. To follow and submit is what our society, culture, and religion teach us from birth which builds the foundation of our isolated ego and coincidently the last spiritual flaw we need to transmute. Even in India, following in the form of devotion to a physical or mental image of God or guru without understanding the real you as the undifferentiated Self (Atman in Sanskrit) as identical to the irreducible essence of the universe (Brahman in Sanskrit) is thought of as the lowest temperament of yoga (bhakti yoga in Sanskrit), because of the social and cultural habit of depending on a separate “higher” power, either in family, society, or religion.

 

This usually makes the individual think of themselves in terms of a low subject to the higher king and this builds our hypnosis that God is a monarchical being lording it over “his” humanly subjects. To perceive reality in this way is purely dualistic and not related at all to the mystery of the universe that is the source of all being.

 

(Real bhakti yoga can only be sincerely lived when we know and understand “what” we love, otherwise it is purely idolatry. We can only have devotional love to God, or whatever name you choose, when we know God through the light of knowledge that breaks through our ignorance that the individual and the universe are separate. This known as jnana yoga in Sanskrit and is thought to be the highest temperament of yoga. From the jnana yoga perspective, how can we love anything without knowing it and understanding it first?)

 

  Westerners interested in the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta become lost in believing the numerous gods are actual monarchical and hierarchical entities without realizing that they are in reality mythological images that are supposed to ignite our imagination about the universe and our place in it. Not our place in it as an isolated ego, but as “it” doing and being “it.” Even Ishvara, the highest of the Hindu gods, is purely a mental concept that people gave anthropomorphic form, which suits the narrow understanding of those individuals with a materialistic or extroverted view of the world.

 

Ishvara is thought of completely different when we consider the deeper understanding that the Hindu gods represent mythological images of the archetypal unconscious. (Keep in mind that the former representation of Ishvara is the highest Hindu personal god from the medieval era texts and is to not be confused at all with Brahman the Ultimate Reality).

 

  All genuine masters should have realized that for people to follow them unquestionably as a servant to king is still dualism and not the non-duality they profess. A genuine master realizes that we are all ultimately one through their evolved perception, and the only thing that differs between them and the common man or woman is they have realized this underlying unity as the nature of reality and act accordingly. They have completely surrendered to the mystery of life that we all sense within when we have the spiritual courage to not move to the gravitational pull of our conditioning in the mental plane which keeps us following the beat of somebody else’s drum that our ego hypnotically dances to.

 

The real egoless state has no need to depend upon a philosophy, God or guru because their psychological independence (enlightenment) is a mirror of the enduring quality of change in the universe as one is not drowning in regression but instead moving freely with it in the same way water moves freely down a mountain stream eventually to the greater ocean.

 

Wassertropfen

  The difference between water and us is water follows no one else’s nature because its nature is pure when it moves with the contours of the path that has been laid out before it and only becomes stagnant and toxic when it resists this path and its own nature. This relates to our spirituality as we become stagnant and toxic when we cling and depend on external agencies because our internal nature is independently free and devoid of psychological conditions.

 

We are scared to move and surrender in unison with our own path that spontaneously reveals itself every day without conceptual response, spiritual or otherwise, because all concepts, including the one of God, will be destroyed as we truly surrender and devote our life to that unnamable mystery which we are. Surrender your life to life and devotion will be the life you live in correspondence to the entire universe which you are.

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The Science and Practice of Humility OUT NOW!

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The Science and Practice of Humility is the new book written by Jason Gregory published by Inner Traditions in the US, who are one of the leading publishers on spiritual traditions east and west, perennial philosophy, holistic health and healing, etc. It was published on October 20, 2014 and has hit the bookstores worldwide. This is a monumental piece of work that has taken quite some time to finalize.

 The Science and Practice of Humility has been highly acclaimed by many authors, filmmakers, public speakers, and musicians with many well-known individuals endorsing the book. See the praise for The Science and Practice of Humility on this website here https://jasongregory.org/books-films/ On top of this, bestselling author Daniel Reid, who wrote the classic bestseller The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity, has wrote an unbelievable foreward for Jason’s new book which complements the profound content of the work.

The Science and Practice of Humility is available to order now both in bookshops and online.  To purchase the book below are the links to take advantage of the amazing offers online:

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At the moment Jason is in the process of organizing three new books for publication, but if you have any questions feel free to ask him on the contact page as he would love to hear from you. More information on the content of Jason’s new book will be shared in his upcoming 2015 UK & US Tour. Jason sincerely hopes that you can secure yourself a copy of The Science and Practice of Humility and share what is within the book with others.

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The Evolution of Perception

The Evolution of Perception

Evolution of Perception

  In any attempt to save the world we are in one sense an immense help in changing the world, and in another sense paradoxically we are a hindrance and destructive burden upon the world. The world which most people seek is invariably based upon their own sense of pleasure with the exclusion of pain. The socially accepted freedom that we value and associate with liberation, the one that drives most us to change the world, is a separatist effort to impose our own individual agenda upon others and the world. German psychologist Erich Fromm would suggest that this is “freedom from” or “freedom to,” but not real freedom because it is based on the differing points of view that each and every one of us believes to be physical and psychological comfortability.

 

  This social and cultural motif that humanity perpetuates is only one dimensional for the sheer fact that we have excluded the reality of pain from our existence. We are suffering from an illness within the psychological and spiritual sphere as a result. An individual will do anything no matter how absurd to avoid their latent psychological and spiritual pain. We dissect and edit out of our life what is not in accord with our hypnotic conditioning, as we continue to try and bypass the inevitables in our life. Pain is experienced when we begin to break our psychological limitations. The very nature of our perception is contaminated as a result of spiritually bypassing our psychological pain, to the point that the root of our awareness is continually veiled from the excessive stimulation of pleasure within the physical and mental planes of consciousness.

  

  The arcane wisdom of the sages expounds to humanity that consciousness is composed of three planes of growth which is an evolutionary process our perception undergoes through sincere self-work. The wisdom traditions, the esoteric mystery schools of antiquity, the perennial philosophers both ancient and contemporary, and the metaphysicians all refer to these three planes as the physical, mental and spiritual. Majority of humanity only perceive the temporal plane of the physical world, and are somehow under the delusion that this sphere is a permanent realm without ever undergoing vibratory and rhythmic transformations of change from the spiritual sphere. In John Holman’s The Return of the Perennial Philosophy he writes about this evolutionary process of perception through the three planes in relation to Christian Theosophy,

 

There are actually three births. The first is the natural or ‘outward’ birth, the second is the birth of the soul in the human consciousness, and the third is the birth of the spirit or the highest divinity in the soul. In Christian Theosophy man – every man – is body, soul, and spirit, and the three births relate to each of these. At the end of the road, man sees through his highest spiritual eye. This ‘eye in the heart’ (a phrase also popular with Frithjof Schuon) was/is the eye ‘with which God sees himself through us’, says Versluis. The Fall of Man (or Adam) is a moving away from this higher (Aevertinal) consciousness to a lower (Character or earthly man) consciousness, so that instead of seeing transcendent reality, we see only the temporophysical world.

 

  The sincere spiritual seeker and esoteric student travel through these three planes of growth, where one’s perception begins to evolve from the physical and mental planes of material and intellectual orientated consciousness, onto the higher plane of spiritual consciousness. If one is sincere in their own introspected self-work, our perception of reality will embark upon a journey from matter to spirit where consciousness is perceived in all forms of life. British author and philosopher Philip Sherrard explains this journey from matter to spirit,

 

I see the universe as a hierarchy of levels descending from the formless spiritual level down to the most dense material form.

 

  In Sanskrit the liberation of perception is known as moksha, and in The Science and Practice of Humility this is known as the “evolution of perception” where I thoroughly explore the philosophical, psychological, metaphysical, and spiritual knowledge behind this evolved perception and its relation to the three planes of consciousness.

 

  The spiritual plane of consciousness is a level of perception so reflective and transparent that one who dwells in this enlightened state can perceive eternity in the manifest and understand that matter and spirit could not be separate. The Taoist sage Chuang-tzu said,

 

When there is no more separation between “this” and “that,” it is called the still-point of the Tao. At the still-point in the center of the circle one can see the infinite in all things.

 

Confucius_Lao-tzu_and_Buddhist_Arhat_by_Ding_Yunpeng

  Residing in that unpolluted state of consciousness, the spiritual plane, Chuang-tzu could perceive the infinite irreducible essence of the universe, known in Chinese as Tao and Sanskrit as Brahman, in all forms of nature. This is a way of perception so subtle that one can perceive the formless reality within the world of form. This level of perception that Chuang-tzu attained cleared his mind and vision of what he once thought was a concrete reality built on separation and chaos. In this purification of one’s mind and awareness, an evolution of perception takes place naturally that leads one to the ultimate “sense of unity” revealed within. This evolved perception and sense of unity should not be misconstrued with the informational awareness one attains from alternative research of conspiracy theories or new-age misconceptions of oneness. The awareness and oneness that a sage imbibes is in the authentic wisdom of a sense of unity within consciousness that an individual has latent within and can experience as it is our original nature. The result of this mystical experience is a pure state of awareness not attracted or caught in the apparent drama of life.

 

  As a result of being lost in our daily dramas and general semantics of life, the most misunderstood and peculiar state of consciousness in this world remains that of a sage. In general, people often think a sage’s life is useless and de-humanist because a sage is not at all concerned with the issues of the world in the same way that most people are. The thinking in the western developed world, which is the primary way of thinking all over the world, is that the moral and noble individual is built upon the agendas we uphold according to our indoctrinated belief systems. This indoctrination leads to a righteousness and benevolence that in the eyes of the general public is thought to be virtuous and beneficial for humanity. To act in this manner is what most people believe “being human” is about. The more we are actively engaged in life, the better we are for life is the social and cultural meme.

 

  Yet, as a sage would point out, this perspective is fundamentally flawed because the way in which we are trying to change the world is based on our own personal conditioning that in the end is a separatist view of life. How can we ever heal our differences as a species through our separatist notions and agendas? In realizing this predicament, a sage seeks to uproot all of their own personal agendas in the hope to reach a place within of complete equanimity. When we are not distracted by our conditional responses to the external world, our attention begins to look inward bringing the agendas that we believe to be intrinsic to our nature to the light of consciousness. The realization one has in this process is that it is the completely “agenda-less Being” who is free in this life. And in this complete freedom they are the only one who can deal with any issue, no matter how large or small, because their perception is not caught in the detail of worldly affairs. This elevated perception is what distinguishes an authentic sage from the common state of perception in the world.

 

  In my new book The Science and Practice of Humility this elevated state of perception is a central theme because it links evolution to the enlightenment of the individual when explored deeply. To equate our perception to evolution is foreign knowledge to those who are distracted by the gravitational pull of the external world. But for those who are in sincere introspection this is an experience of reality that is reflective and transparent.

 

  The origins of the knowledge of evolution are in the way we perceive the world. In Hermeticism, Hinduism, and other occult traditions, they all explain this through the relationship between the expansion and contraction of consciousness, as its function corresponds to the in and out action of breathing but in relation to the sense of perception. Hinduism refers to this as the “breath of Brahma.” This is in direct correlation with the Hermetic doctrine that explains this using the terms “involution” and “evolution.” Meaning, involution is the contracted state of perception that is “involved” in the detail of life and worldly affairs, and diametrically opposed to this is evolution which is the expanded state of perception that is a way out of the gravitational pull and distraction of involution. For example, when we observe an ant colony, we discover from our elevated level of perception a civilization and system of ants that are harmonious and intrinsic to Earth. But a paradox exists here, because even though from our level we perceive harmony, from the ant’s perspective life is chaotic. In Chip Hartranft’s commentary of The Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali he articulates this evolution of perception beautifully,

 

As the senses spontaneously cease to react to external stimuli, a phenomenon Patanjali calls pratyahara, consciousness begins to grow calmer and more refined in its perceptions, and capable of noticing the ordinarily invisible movements of consciousness itself. The experience is something like viewing a realistic image in a painting at the far end of a gallery. As one comes closer, the brushstrokes and the texture of the canvas become visible – eventually to the point where the image has completely deconstructed and can no longer be seen unless one elects to step back.

 

  When we look into the nature of all life on this planet and the universe this understanding of harmony in correspondence to chaos can be applied to anything, even the human race.

Evolution of Perception 3

 

  When we observe humanity, we discover that on one level of existence there is war and discord, and yet from a higher level of perception life is actually healthy and harmonious. An example of this is a city. For those who live in the city, life is busy and fast paced, and one’s mind is caught in the detail of social and cultural life, and as a result they impose their Will upon others by perpetuating their own personal agendas. Though this may be life on the level within a city, if we are to hover above a city we discover that from a different level of magnification a city is in perfect harmony and moving in a rhythm that replicates a biological organism. It really depends on how you look at it.

 

  We discover this rhythm in all levels of life, from the subatomic vibrations of electrons, to the movement and orbits of galaxies in the vast eternal expanse of space. In every facet of life there is an order to the apparent chaos, the only problem is most of us are not witness to the order that gives chaos its latent harmony. Our agendas based on our conditioning bind us to worldly affairs in the external world, rather than sincere introspection within. Human perception is primarily focused on the physical and mental planes of consciousness, which are those levels of perception we use to focus on the detail of reality. But both of these planes are only an extension from the spiritual sphere. When we focus a microscope on the cellular world we perceive chaos with seemingly no pattern, but when we retract our attention we discover a human organism in a complete harmonious order and pattern. The physical and mental plane equate to the chaotic perception of the cellular world, while the higher perception of those cells making up a part of a harmonious human body is the elevated perception of the spiritual plane of consciousness.

 

  We all know this to be true because when we are lost in the detail of life and the stories within our mind, we lose sight of our center and the perception of reality as it “is,” not as “we” think it should be. Peace in this world, both individually and collectively, will never be a reality if we continually impose our Will over others, no matter how subtle or gross our agenda is. If our conditioning is not exposed, we cannot complain about how the world is or our plight in life.

 

  The answer to this riddle is in perceiving reality as it “is,” and not in how we want it to be according to what we perceive as a pleasurable experience. The answer is not in attempting to change the world to suit yourself, but instead, it is in liberating your mind from the hypnosis of the detail that magnetically attracts and draws your perception out of the center of the spiritual plane. A sage dwells on this plane, as they have refined their awareness into the oceanic consciousness of the spiritual plane, where their perception is not attracted to the drama of conditioned beliefs. Thus they perceive the pattern of reality that unites us all. This perception not only evolves the individual, but also the collective, because the individual is the seed of the collective. If our perception is not caught in the detail, how could any conflict or violence eventuate? Both conflict and violence would be impossible because all modes of division, whether that is religious, nationalistic, race, sex, and other subtle forms of separation, have dissolved into a mind of no deliberation through an evolved perception. This proves the temporal nature of such belief systems.

 

  The virtues of compassion and forgiveness arise naturally in one whose perception has evolved, as they have ceased taking any part in life’s so called “game” that cannot and will not ever be won. If we are to seriously contemplate upon this, how could we ever seek to change the world without ever understanding where the world comes from?

 

  The world comes from the individual; everything the world “is” comes from the mind of the individual. To change the way of the collective world is an abstraction, as the world is a multitude of individuals. So if we are seeking to change the world, all you need to do is be sincere in changing yourself and then the world has changed. This real change, though, cannot be understood clearly if we are ignoring any aspect of ourselves, either physically, mentally or spiritually. We need to be sincere in liberation through self-work, because if we are just trying to dwell on the spiritual plane without working on the physical and mental planes, then this is a form of ignorance, which is discussed at length within The Science and Practice of Humility.

 

  Misconceptions are generated by the status quo in how a sage’s consciousness is perceived. The empty flowery interpretations of new-age teachers, who invariably only push positivity (masculine/yang/active/heaven) without acknowledging the negative (feminine/yin/receptive/earth) aspect of the psyche, and the herd-like imitation of followers have not helped the matter. As a result of such deep seeded monarchical perspectives of the universe, either consciously or unconsciously, most people view a sage’s way of perceiving as blank and devoid of emotion that is above all life. This comes from a lack of understanding and depth which is usually from the average individual who knows nothing about sincere self-work or by one whose spirituality has become narrow and rigid. A sage’s evolution of perception, on the other hand, is analogous to the space of the universe, meaning it is not simply blank, empty nothingness. But instead, space contains the whole universe which is that sense of unity most have never come in contact with.

Evolution of Perception 2

 

  The sage’s softened glare, refined consciousness and evolved perception, allows them to be receptive to life in authentic humility, rather than meeting the world head on with resistance and force. This receptivity, which humanity has forgotten, is an openness so radical that change begins to take place without the intention to do so. Receptivity is the feminine principle of nature that we have all suppressed because we are under the hypnosis from our intellectual world that this is weakness to show such openness to life. But if we can see clearly in this moment, what has projecting our conditioning upon the world achieved other than the perpetual destruction and suffering of the planet and human race? To assume that being receptive is weak is to ignore the obvious power of humility.

 

  When we observe the most receptive aspect of nature, water, we discover that though it may be perceived as weak, it is in fact the most powerful aspect of nature because of its receptive quality. Water is the lowest lying force of nature replicating the human quality of humility, and yet water’s humble nature has the power within it to end civilization as we know it. This analogy does not mean that humility is a tyrannical power used to take over the world through control; on the contrary, this power that one acquires in revealing the “science of humility” is a state of receptivity that transforms the world from the foundation of life up onto the superficial layer of form. Bringing authentic humility into our consciousness depends on how we perceive the world both within and without, and is actually a bridge between both worlds. Our level of magnification holds the key to individual liberation in this life, as to see reality as it actually “is,” frees us from the limitations within our mind so we can finally perceive the one underlying reality moving through the many in its infinite uniqueness. Perceiving reality from the spiritual plane allows for the science of humility to emanate its light into the world.

 

  The Science and Practice of Humility is a book that explores the spiritual, scientific, esoteric, philosophical, psychological, and metaphysical principles and wisdom of the universe. But first and foremost, it emphasizes that if we want authentic freedom then we need to be sincere in all facets of our life and truly understand that we do belong to this world. Real freedom, both individually and collectively, depends on how you see the world and how willing you are to experience That essence within you that is of the eternal realm (known as the connection between Atman and Brahman in Sanskrit) which cannot be given a name as it is the nameless within you. Evolution rests upon that nameless experience of enlightenment that can only become a reality through the perception you attain from sincere introspection and self-work.

 

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The Artificial Human

The Artificial Human

Artificial Human 4

  The destruction of an organism depends upon an element of that organism becoming neurotic to its place within the natural order of organic life. If a species builds their perspective of life only within a linear conception, that very species would naturally have a propensity to fall into an artificial disposition. Could we say that the human race has fallen into this artificial disposition?

 

  Humanity surely must admit that they have lost contact with the nonlinear circuitry of our minds which is the aspect of our mind that connects us to the natural rhythms of the planet. Remarkably, animals never lose contact with the natural order of life, and they all play their part in the constant unfoldment of organic life. Yet contrary to this, the human race has become totally dependent upon external influences which hypnotize the individual into a linear perception of growth through external means and pleasurable experiences. Our dependency upon acquiring a pleasurable experience or stimuli is enhancing a schism within the psyche which expresses itself as a constant pursuit of control that in reality leads to an artificiality within the human-being. Our use of technology is a testament to that fact.

 

  The excessive use of technology depends on the artificial aspect of the psyche. Evidence of this artificiality is rife within the current technological age. The average individual uses technology not in the essence of attempting to grow both naturally and spiritually, but instead majority are only concerned with using technology as a device for entertainment which keeps one in a perpetual state of hypnosis. Most individuals cannot go one day without turning on the television, or checking their emails and social media networks. People are constantly clinging to a smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc., which is detaching one from what really “is.”

 

  The artificial human is always striving for fame and fortune through a glowing monitor which fills that empty void in their lives. Nobody is truly that popular that we need to be checking our smartphone every five seconds. An individual does this because most people long to be accepted by others which proves that the majority of humanity has self-worth issues deep within. Even the spiritual charlatans who appear on numerous television programs are addicted to their smartphone, yet they arrogantly parade around like a guru telling people to go beyond the limitations of the mind but they themselves fail to understand that to be incessantly on a smartphone is over stimulating mental activity and thus is an act of the mind. Our belief that we do not belong to each other and the planet is the very reason we seek acceptance from others. Seeking acceptance from others is again to depend on external influences, as if we were a machine rather than human. The predominant use of technology then is to desensitize and dehumanize the individual into an artificial machine. Machine in this case, is the artificial robotic function of an individual’s psychology and physical welfare.

 

  Our entire world is built on the premise that society and culture is what helps the individual grow rather than the individual growing of their own volition. Culture and society themselves and all of their apparatuses, such as government and politics, are all built on the maintenance of the linear concept of the world. So culture, society and everything that holds them together are artificial because nature’s constituents abide by the nonlinear realm of the cosmos. Culture and society in this sense are what is being mythologized through many artistic outlets, such as film, because culture and society is depicted as the artificial machine which dictates its influence over the natural human.

 

The external influence of culture and society is what creates an artificial robotic human, as all machines are controlled from the outside. We all feel this either consciously or unconsciously, and this is what drives most into the comforting arms of a cyber-world which is not tangible. The social and cultural machine teaches the individual that they can never be like the celebrities that the culture promotes and so to be “successful” one ought to mimic those celebrities to gain acceptance from others who are under the same hypnosis. This kind of parroting lasts a very short time as most figure out that they will never attain the fame and fortune of those so called celebrities they are mimicking. So one variably retreats into an online world where they can build another artificial persona to hide behind.

Artificial Human 2

 

  The online cyber world that most are drawn into is transforming the way we interact and express ourselves to others. Increasingly, people are finding it hard to communicate to others face to face without the assistance of a social media chat box. This form of cyber communication tends to develop false habits and tendencies on the part of those who are engrossed by that world. People develop habits and tendencies of being rude, arrogant, a sense of always being right, machoism, etc., which are all attributes that most would not express to another face to face. In the field of psychology, this sort of behavior would be deemed schizophrenic, yet humanity parade around as if this sort of behavior is perfectly sane.

 

No one can be sure where we are heading as a species, but if we lose our sense of communication, we will continue to deteriorate as our faculty to sympathize and understand another will be completely lost to our own individual agenda for the world. The miscommunication has already begun between society and the individual, as for thousands of years we have had a cultural and social machine that only imposes its Will over the individual rather than listening to their needs of the time. In the perpetual tyranny of society and culture over the individual, we discover that humanity is only attracted to the artificiality of the hand that supposedly feeds them. The artificial world imposed on the individual discombobulates them into believing that a plastic world is a natural world. This perception of plasticity is not only bound to the way we abuse our relationship with technology, but it has also infiltrated the way we consume food and beverage.

 

  Essentially, all people crave pure natural food and clean drinking water, yet astonishingly, most people in the world are attracted to lifeless food, dead water and needless material objects. People absurdly spend most of their money on needless objects such as a car or a mortgage for a home, but they will not part with their money when it comes to organically grown food. The artificial human ignorantly abuses their health so they can appear “successful” to others within the society.

 

Surely a perfectly sane individual would spend majority of their earnings on the foundation of life which is healthy food and clean drinking water. Yet, the artificial human is only drawn into the growing plasticity of the world and this not only includes wasting our precious time through vain entertainment found on numerous technological devices and needless material objects, but it also includes the way in which we bombard our senses with so called tasty food and beverage that in most cases are devoid of nutrition and vitality. The majority of people on this planet have substituted their health for a corporate health which comes predominately in a plastic covering. Our supermarkets are filled with food, yet 90% of that food is presented in a nicely packaged plastic container of numerous varieties.

 

  In the artificial world an individual salivates when they visualize the shiny plastic covering with the popular brand logo that people have identified with from the countless advertisements which have infiltrated their subconscious mind. One hypnotically believes that this artificial presentation of food is the surefire way to good health and longevity. In the modern trend of plasticity, we would rather buy a box of soft drink and a bag of crisps for the family, which both are devoid of nutrition, instead of a basket full of organic raw fruit and vegetables full of nutrition and vitality.

 

The question we need to ask ourselves sincerely is, why would we choose the former over the latter? In answering this question we reveal a psychosis that has developed within the mind from the social and cultural indoctrination of artificiality. For example, when most people choose to purchase a delicious lettuce, they invariably have two options, the first option is a bright and super clean bunch of green lettuce leaves sealed in a plastic container with no indication that it came out of soil. The second option is usually a full lettuce with all leaves intact. This lettuce is in most cases not as bright and clean as the first because soil is found still clinging to the plant which validates its short time in being separated from the Earth. Yet, the second option is the healthy and natural option, but remarkably nine out of ten people would choose the first option which points vaguely to our answer. This example answers the question of why humanity would rather a clean and presentable product over a natural and nutritious one. But the answer is not in the physical attraction, as it is a psychological disease that most are infected with.

 

  The reason why most choose the clean artificial product over the natural product is because the physical act symbolizes an outward purity which is demonstrated to veil the psychological impurity gained from external influences. This is a typical psychological reaction. The fashion game expresses this psychological impurity the best, where individuals demean themselves into following group trends which annihilates our unique individuality.

 

The artificial human believes they need to poison their body with chemical makeup and dress like everybody else to look the part according to what is acceptable to the culture and society. In not understanding that we are innately beautiful, we seek beauty in relation to other people’s opinions. One believes that the artificial or in other words conditioned side of the psyche is pure, yet in deep introspection one will discover that any form of plasticity exists to suppress the real purity which is found beneath those illusionary sheaths. All of this hypnosis is achieved through the pacification of the senses. We seek only pleasure in life according to what over stimulates the senses.

 

  The pacification of the senses suppresses our true nature which is found beyond the senses. A common motif within most mystical traditions is that of the “nine gates,” and how one needs to guard the nine gates. The nine gates are those parts of the human body that are susceptible to excessive stimulation from the external world. The nine gates are made up of two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, mouth, penis/vagina and the anus. The spiritual implications of guarding or being protective of these nine gates is that the more conscious you are of what you take into your physical organism, the more you will become aware of the indwelling spirit or atman in Sanskrit which is your true nature and Being. When the spirit or atman is revealed to your awareness, the creative power of the universe begins to emanate from your entire Being. This creative power can only be found once one has stopped the incessant pursuit of bodily pleasures that continue to exhaust one’s vital energy. Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect and esotericist Rudolf Steiner once stated,

 

“We see that the moment the senses cease their activity, creative power asserts itself in man. It is the same creative power which is present in absolutely dreamless sleep, and then recuperates man’s exhausted forces.”

 

  The compulsion to acquire excess through the senses exhausts the creative forces latent within us. The pleasure we tirelessly seek and the pain we try to ignore becomes an endless journey of suffering, like a dog chasing its own tail. Obesity and drug abuse are the result of this endless search for pleasure. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and many other drug pollutants are what most individuals identify with as a pleasurable experience, but unbeknown to them, these toxins are detrimental to the harmonious function of the heart and mind. And on top of this we have the fast food industry who pretend to be a friend of the consumer with tantalizing commercials that try and showcase their food with a pleasurable experience. But astonishingly the fast food industry offers no help for the victim of their toxic food when one is dying of heart disease.

 

To be conscious of what one takes in through the senses is for one to begin the process of discarding that artificial aspect of themselves which they have acquired. We are not only speaking about what we take in through our mouth or our animalistic sex life, but we are also referring to what we take in through our eyes and ears. Most forms of entertainment do not enhance your creative potential but instead they distract you from it. A physically and mentally toxic individual is usually attracted to vain entertainment because their thoughts have become impure from what one eats and drinks. Thought itself is the sixth sense which the modern world do not acknowledge. In the ancient Hindu philosophy of Vedanta found in India, thought is the sixth sense of a human-being that corresponds to all other senses and is stimulated by what we consume through the other five sense organs. Encoded within the ancient Egyptian symbolism of the “Eye of Horus” (see Figure 1) we discover the same six sense system as that of the Indian Vedanta.

Six Senses - Eye of Horus 5

(Figure 1)

 

  Both ancient systems understand that the vibration of thought can become artificial if the other five senses are poorly treated. This demonstrates one interpretation of the age old saying “you are what you eat.” But it is through the eyes and ears that a large portion of thought vibrations can be distorted. We become so busy within our thoughts that we end up identifying with the thoughts rather than the one who is the witness of the thoughts. We pacify the sense of thought through the artificiality of external influences that hypnotize us with a belief that we are what is coming through the senses.

 

Most people describe themselves to others from what they like and dislike or what they do as either a hobby or profession, yet these descriptions are only acquired from the sense perceptible world and are in fact an inaccurate assessment of who you truly are. The artificial human is mainly constructed on the premise that what you like and dislike or what you do is actually you. If the sense of thought is not made conscious within oneself, then the sense of thought begins to identify with the artificial illusions of the world which destroys the health of a Being on the physical, mental and spiritual planes of consciousness. Thought begins to terrorize the human body as the sense of thought only identifies with pleasure rather than knowing what the body “needs.” As a result of this both the body and the mind begin to fragment into separate parts and not work in unison. Progressive rock and intelligent metal band Tool refers to this separation within their translucent song Lateralus,

 

“Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.”

 

  All of this unnecessary thinking is keeping humanity in an artificial state of consciousness. The average individual has a multitude of personalities but no center of gravity. The artificial human has built a rock solid persona on pleasure, but as soon as pain comes, this rock solid persona is blown over like a house of cards. In this sense humanity is still in a state of infancy, as when the natural experience of pain comes, we whine and cry like a baby and hurriedly seek to bypass that pain with an artificial pleasure.

 

If you are bound to pleasure, then this sense perceptible world will always veil the “real” you which is at your spiritual core. This pursuit of pleasure has infiltrated many ideologies that most people adore, such as religion, but as a result of this our religions like everything else has become artificial because they are built on a linear conception. In this wrong perception, God exists somehow “out there,” which is an illusion built on the identification with the six senses. This is the artificial God that most religions speak of and ignorantly kill each other over in the modern era.

 

An individual’s God is identified with pleasure, so the individual like the religion give anthropomorphic form to God and anything else that is mysterious to the intellect. The artificial world will always try and steer the individual away from a sincere self-observation of themselves because the illusion of the identity that we have built according to our senses will crumble if the mystical reality of what we interpret as God is known. And that natural essence which we call God is found beyond the senses. The meaning and purpose of life is not in the sense perceptible world, one has to transcend those parameters to bring forth the natural human in a world dying of an identity crisis. In a world that is dying at the hand of an artificial linear system of limitations, we are in dire need of a natural nonlinear spontaneity that will reveal a world beyond the confines of our sense pleasures.

 

Published by

OM Times Magazine & Website

http://editions.omtimes.com/magazine/2013-07-d/files/85.html

http://omtimes.com/2013/07/the-artificial-human/

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Unveiled & Lifted

Unveiled and Lifted Documentary (Featuring Jason Gregory)

On May 31st, 2013, the highly anticipated documentary Unveiled and Lifted was released. Unveiled and Lifted was co-produced by Canadian radio host Cari-Lee Miller and US editor, filmmaker and musician Justin Jezewski. Both Cari-Lee and Justin have been working tirelessly with a group of authors, filmmakers, artists and freethinkers for six months in this larger than life collaboration. This is the second time Jason Gregory has worked with Justin Jezewski and the first with Cari-Lee Miller who are both good friends of Jason. Other than featuring Jason Gregory, the film also includes a wide variety of inspirational individuals such as Kathy Fontecchio, Derrick J Freeman, Rob in the Page Family, Elina St-Onge, Vinny Eastwood, Thomas Sheridan, Dayna Martin, Nabil Shaban, Liam Scheff, Max Igan, Charles Shaw, Truther Girl Sonia, Joe Martino, Thema Azize Serwa, Derrick Broze, Karen Sawyer and Brendon Culliton.

Unveiled and Lifted is quickly becoming an internet blockbuster and is featured on Top Documentary Films website using Jason Gregory’s transcription as the description of the film. Hit the link to view http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/unveiled-lifted/

Cari-Lee and Justin are looking forward to more feedback about the film, so please watch share and enjoy the film.