How Can I Learn About My Past Lives?

Discussion in 'FAQ' started by Susie, Aug 16, 2003.

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  1. Susie

    Susie Dreamer-former moderator

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    In her book, Past Lives, Present Dreams, Denise Linn gives several suggestions for how we can learn about our past lives. My suggestion is to journal all of your experiences, no matter how trival they may seem to you. Pay particular attention to your emotions as you journal, as they may be indicators of what is past life related and what is not. As you work on uncovering/discovering your past lives, you will have a written records to help you put the pieces together.

    1. Look into your present life for clues to things that could originate from a past life. Make a list of likes and dislikes having to do with childhood games, clothing styles, architecture, food preferences, architecture, geographic interests, climates, cultures, historical events/time periods, deja vu experiences, occupations, talents/abilities, race/heritage, books/films, animals/pets, personality traits/mannerisms, fears/phobias, injuries/diseases/scars.
    2. Pay attention to your dreams because when we sleep our subconscious comes wide awake. Many have experienced vivid dreams that are obvious past lives, while others may get subtle clues. Sometimes past and present will mix in a dream, thus contains symbolism that might be important to both the past and now. You can also set your dream intent to learn about your past lives by simply suggesting this to yourself before sleep.
    3. Meditate and focus on learning all you can about your past lives- be sure to listen to your emotions and feelings, as they are can be an indicator of whether something is past life related.
     
  2. Kelly

    Kelly Administrator Emeritus

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    Meditation Suggestions


    Meditation is all about quieting and silencing the mind, to not concentrate on what is being bought forward, but just allowing it to flow – naturally and fluidly. We have all daydreamed in the past and let our imagination run free...meditation is very similar to this, although we are slightly more conscious in meditation, than when we are daydreaming, as we are looking for answers, guiding ourselves, learning, etc.


    Sometimes sound can act as a great catalyst to entering altered states....I personally use William Buhlman’s 4D technology CD's (the OM CD preferably), but there are many different sources available to cater for varied tastes. Everyone's experience and preference in meditation is individual and unique and not all of us take to it like a ‘fish to water’ - I myself, took years to be able to both quiet my mind, but still remain "conscious" of what was being presented to me.


    Meditation also takes a lot of faith in my personal opinion, faith in yourself, faith in what you are seeing, faith in what you are feeling, and so on. I always used to go into meditation with the attitude of I couldn't do it and wouldn't be able to do it, (all negative thought energy) and so that was exactly what I done. I set myself up for my own failure, because I had no faith in my actions to succeed. The power of thought is extremely important!!!! Everyone innately knows how to meditate, but it is something within and it is – as I’ve already said - very individual.


    Each individual can respond in different ways to different stimuli, some work better with audio (either a guiding voice or music and tones), others work better with visual stimuli (like the focusing on a candle technique), each technique should be unique to your preferred way of relaxing. I’ve listed below a few pointers that I've personally found effective and helpful, but as with all things - practice makes perfect - set out with positive intentions, and do not be disappointed by a few "failures":

    • Meditate in an area where you feel at peace, or most tranquil - if you’re doing it at home, make sure you won't have any disturbances from other house members, the phone, etc..
    • It’s always a good idea to meditate in a warm environment as the body temperature drops in altered states, so a light covering will help keep the body temperature from getting too cold.
    • Make sure you are not wearing any restrictive clothing or garments.
    *(And as I've already mentioned, sound can also be a good catalyst into altered states).


    In my mind, meditation is a time of receiving, and the receiving can come very quietly, you may not even know you are receiving whilst you are within the moment, but the message will show itself when needed.


    I follow a very simple meditation technique, I relax (either sitting down or laying), focus on my heart centre and quiet my mind, then expand the light of my heart centre to envelope my entire being. I then visualise a channel of pure white light coming from above and entering through my crown chakra (at the top of my head). This light fills the whole of my body and channels through to all my chakras in turn. Meditation is in essence - an opening of the mind – and so that is why most people visualise the light entering and streaming through the crown chakra and downwards.


    Never do meditations in a negative state of mind, this can only work to produce similar emotions within your experiences within the meditation/relaxed state - like attracts like - and so always ensure you enter meditation in a pure, positive and open/protected frame of mind.


    Clearing the mind of mundane thoughts takes time and practice. The practice of recognizing the thought, and letting it go. Try not to dwell on the thought at all, if it helps, allow the thoughts to cross over your mind without consciously questioning or analyzing them, as this will only work to bring you out of the altered state - instead let it flow over you, take note of your emotions, trust your senses. When you awake/come out of the meditation, lay still for a few minutes and process what you have just seen or felt, then write it all down in a journal.


    Meditation is learning to become aware of the balance of self and the centre of balance – in my personal opinion - is the heart (just as it is the centre chakra). Focus on the heart and do not expect to receive anything. Expectation brings limitation, and with that, disappointment.


    Know that if you have a question you want to ask, ask it, and let go, and do not wait for an answer, because it will come, but mostly when not expecting it. It may come in many forms, a conversation, a book you open to the exact info you were looking for, a certain post on the board, or a fleeting thought. It could be right away, or a week from the time you asked the question, just be open to receive at any time.
     
  3. Kelly

    Kelly Administrator Emeritus

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    Hypnosis and Therapists

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  4. Kelly

    Kelly Administrator Emeritus

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    Sound as a Catalyst

     
  5. Kelly

    Kelly Administrator Emeritus

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    Members Opinions and Thoughts

     
  6. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    MEDITATION - Some thoughts.......


    "OM" CD - is the BEST! It doesn't lead you into a past life; it doesn't just give you the feelings of calm and peace - it actually is acting upon the physical body - via vibrations. It can however open the door to the past and PL's will surface. The Tibetan Bells create binaural beats that bring the right side and left side of the brain hemispheres together - allowing for higher states of consciousness. That's what I listen to in my meditations. And it opens the door for me to go anywhere - anyplace - past present or future.


    Another way to look at that is to be aware - that the vibrations will not only bring forth the inner light within you - but will help your etheral/astral body to separate from the physical...if you are ready to do that.


    When I meditate I lay down...cross my legs at the ankle and touch my middle finger with my thumb...this circulates the energy/light within my body and keeps it from flowing "out." My breath becomes so shallow -I almost stop breathing. This usually happens in about 5 minutes. My eyes begin to do the rapid eye movements "REM" - I cannot control it - it's off the hook. A regressionist once told me that is a sign of entering a very deep altered state - when I apologized to her for not being able to stop it after my session.


    The combination of the "OM" CD - closing the exit points of energy in the body - going INTO the LIGHT via the heart center -and allowing the vibration/music to be the conduit - my consciousness seems to go - were I need to be. Playing in the astral form is fun. But this CD and my meditations - often lead me to past life experiences so powerful - I only wish I could video tape the experience and show others.


    The ancients knew HOW to use sound - exploring the cosmos with the "gods" and they played with matter. We seem to want to play with spirit and are bound BY matter. ;)
     
  7. Goldenage

    Goldenage Senior Registered

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    Meditation Part 1


    The Doorway to the Self


    Introduction


    Meditation is often hailed as a way to reduce stress and induce states of mental relaxation. It is certainly true that meditation will allow a person to achieve relaxation. This is because the first goal of meditation is to still the mind. However, this initial effect represents only a part of a long journey that can extend into and then beyond the mind.


    Some techniques


    In the normal waking and conscious state, the thinking apparatus, otherwise known as the mind, is controlled and governed by the ego. The ego might be thought of as the focus of the mind. It is the deeply personal part of the mind that reacts in pain under the impact of a personal insult. The ego is really a collection of ideas concerning a person’s perceived identity in the day-to-day world and as such it is also called the “personal self”.


    The personal self floats on the sea of consciousness much as an eddy moves across the surface of the ocean. In this image the depth of the eddy may be considered as the soul since it penetrates deep into this ocean. The mind can then be conceived of as a particular amorphous mass of water centered on the eddy. Of course in this image, the water mass actually represents a bundle of thoughts. Individual thoughts derive either from the effects of day to day happenings or, seem to emerge “unbidden” from the depths of one’s consciousness. The storms of life throw cross-currents and waves into and across the mind and these are the dominant source of the restless thoughts which torment and so disturb the personal self.


    A person intent on meditating must first tackle the task of stilling the endless series of thoughts as they flow willy-nilly through the mind. For it is only when the surface chatter presented by the mind is stilled or restricted that relative peace can be obtained. With relative peace, the mind relaxes and reveals its deeper levels. At this point disturbing thoughts are slower to arise and they can easily be traced to their origin. Once this has been achieved the unsettling thoughts can be understood and then permanently laid to rest. When the mind is stilled completely, the undying higher self shines through to the surface and the indelible knowledge from the source, transcending eternity, is thus revealed.


    Various techniques for stilling the mind are available and I will describe three.


    1) Mantra or repetition of a name or phrase


    Mantras or focal-phrases can be repeated verbally or mentally. The purpose of the repetition is to dull the chatter of the mind and eventually to persuade it to focus on the meaning of the repeated phrase at progressively deeper and deeper levels. Eventually the mind becomes stilled allowing it to reveal its fundamental content. The time which must elapse before this stage is reached can sometimes seem to be endless however, a positive intent will eventually yield results. Examples of appropriate mantras are: “I am that from which all derives”; “I am the basis of all”; “I am that I am”; or even “I am”.


    2) Third-eye contemplation


    The third eye concentration-point or “chakra” can also be used in targeted meditation. For this one must master a technique termed “opening the third eye”. The aim of the procedure is to still the mind by concentrating on the colours and patterns which become apparent to consciousness when the eyes are closed without using any thought-forms related to verbalisation.


    The “opening” can be conveniently achieved when seated in a relaxed posture. The lotus position is suitable. The eyes are gently closed and a mental focus is then applied to an internal point between, and just above, the eyebrows. Upon first closing the eyes it will be noted that internal colours may tend to swim aimlessly in the “mind’s eye”. Proceed by allowing relaxed concentration to be maintained until a coloured spot or bulls-eye can be evolved and stabilized. This may take up to half an hour or so to accomplish the first time. Once it is achieved, practice allowing the spot to expand, contract and change colour. Dissolve the spot into waveforms, spirals or through successive ascending or descending planes. Search for “lights” (presences) or growth patterns involving coloured geometric forms. The latter often originate from other people engaging in the same type of meditation.


    Note: the “spot” should not be confused with a physical “after-image”; it must be developed as an internal function of consciousness without a physical light.


    The purpose of this exercise is to expand consciousness; in effect the procedure creates a state very similar to that developed through hypnotism. As one progresses deeper into the meditation it may be noted that the periodicity of repeating wave-forms becomes deeper and the frequency centres on something that resonates with the heart beat. At this point it will be possible to single-out feelings of unease and trace them back to their origin. This is an important technique for the identification of influences due to past lives. Refocus by visualising a golden light and open your eyes when ready.


    3) Direct self enquiry


    Direct self enquiry is perhaps the simplest and most effective technique available for investigating the mind. The first step is to focus down onto the level of consciousness that is immediately aware of its part in reacting to stimulation received from the senses. This requires that one be in some relatively quiet location so that only occasional distinct sounds can be perceived. That is, a place which is not bombarded by incoming raucous sounds. In this regard it is often advantageous to preserve one area of your home for this exercise. Make sure the surroundings are pleasant and if possible burn a small candle to represent the light of the spirit. Incense can also be burnt and the scent will help to refocus one’s state of consciousness at the start of each session. This is helpful because one can then reduce the time required to reach the state of relaxation achieved in the previous session.


    Hold the mind steady and become aware of individual incoming sounds. Identify with the level of consciousness that perceives the sound and at the same time identifies the source or origin within the creation. Become aware of the personal self perceiving the sound. Focus on this self and silently formulate the question “who or what am I that am so conscious”? Locate the feeling of the self, the essential I of reaction and initiation and hold this in focus. Let your appreciation of this entity slide down the beam that it represents and focus on the shining being from which it issues. Repeat the question “who or what am I”? but, this time in non-verbal form expressed as a yearning to know the basis of your entire existence.


    Initially you may be bothered by the intervention of stray thoughts which interfere with your concentration. Simply ignore the thought concerned and ask yourself “to whom does this thought belong”? The answer of course is “to me”. Continue the meditation by again asking “who or what am I”? By meditating consistently on the question “who am I really (I am not this parasitic ego-entity) but, really, really who am I in essence?”, the soul takes itself by its roots and petitions-persuades the Higher Self to reveal its true identity.
     
  8. Goldenage

    Goldenage Senior Registered

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    Meditation Part 2


    Beyond “meditation for the sake of meditation”


    Once the mind is stilled it is possible to explore the deeper consciousness. In this region one may find evidence of previous lives. Past lives generally persist in throwing-up lessons or annoying behavioral tendencies due to experiences otherwise long forgotten. It is said in many traditions, that the ability to remember any past-life experiences at all comes about as the result of "grace". In other words one earns the right of recall through either right action or right thinking or a combination of both. However, a big part of being spiritually ready to recall past lives involves the direct participation of the person concerned. In other words anybody motivated to try to remember elements of their past lives will, by persistence, be able to do so. Thus spiritual readiness depends only on one's will.


    The explanation as to why some remember past lives spontaneously and some do not needs only to be tied to the understanding that in everyday life some people remember more of a day's doings than do others. The reason for this involves attention to detail. Alternately, some people forget things more readily than others. In other words, the ability to spontaneously recall past lives is a natural characteristic of personality for some people. However, with just a modicum of effort and attention to detail past life recall can be available to anyone.


    There is a clear and definite path to self-awareness and any person may choose to take that route at any time. There is no mystery about it whatsoever. The essential self is present at all times but, for the most part, it has been covered over by false impressions, mistaken ideas as to what one is. Self-realisation thus really involves active recollection of the original pure state. One fact worthy of note is that the path of self enquiry can be made more distinct by including spiritual insights into the identity context of the question ”who am I”? For instance, if you have already recalled some instances of past life experiences you may formulate your enquiry as “who or what am I that thus span time and space”?


    If you have not already tried to do so perhaps you may now be considering the possibility of trying to identify past-lives. This quest might best be undertaken after you have asked a critical question: “What if the possibility of having lived before, of having experienced previous lives, was actually the case? What then? What might follow from such a possibility? How could I begin to determine if I had actually lived before"?


    First: think back step-by-step and recall your life in detail from the present moment back to your birth. Start with the current day and recall every detail from morning to night. Persist in this till you can work through your whole life. It may take several months. You should pay particular attention to emotionally difficult areas. They are generally difficult for a reason not always associated with this life. Try to go back farther and at least arrive at the process of birth and perhaps as far back as something following conception or, more properly from the time you came into body. If details refuse to flow, it is ok to cheat just a little and miss some experiences out; it is the serious intent that is most important. However, one should persist with these items because they have been veiled for a reason, possibly one that is important to your quest.


    Note: most people have probably done some work in this direction already. It takes quite a bit of time so I did this, in the main, before falling asleep at night.


    Second: this step can provide you with evidence of past lives! The most important activity in this stage consists in identifying all the major turning points in your life. The kind of turning point you should seek to identify is an instance where you turned your life so as to go one way instead of another. Not because of something you were already aware of as the result of experience in this life but for no apparent reason at all really. Such turning points are likely governed by influences from previous lives.


    For example, a person might start life as a driver (of a car) by approaching intersections confident that the rules of the road will prevail and drive through with little concern. However, if one is involved in a serious accident where another car has failed to give way (according to the road-code rules) then the emotional "colour" of intersections changes forever and a continual expectation of a possible accident will develop under all circumstances. The reason for this turning point in one's attitude is clear. It depends on the instance of the accident - an obvious experience in one's (current) life. We may call this an "attached tendency”. However what one should look for, is an "unattached tendency", some characteristic of personality that cannot be tied into one's current life with a simple direct cause.


    There are many particularities to look for in one's own personal character. They are tendencies of such strength that you might otherwise think you must have experienced hard and intense lessons in this life to account for them. As an example, consider the behaviour termed "sleeping around". Suppose a person has never participated in such activity and has no trace of a causal event in life to account for this particular tendency. No attacks have been mounted by a jealous spouse etc. Never the less the person concerned somehow knows better than to be involved in such activity. The knowledge involved being completely internalized. That kind of tendency is often an indicator of a lesson well learned in a past life.


    Third: Try to identify important places you have been for any time in this life together with the things you have done there. Then try to match these events with what you think you might have done in past lives. This can be termed "parallel tracking" and may be sufficiently strong to trigger connections during meditation. Instances of this nature are quite common because unsatisfied desires pull the soul from one life to another.


    Fourth: Dig-back by dream recording (set yourself to dream about the experience in your past lives and record results in a book as soon as you wake). Sessions of this nature can alert you to past lives. Once alerted, one can often gain access to the lives concerned thereafter through meditation.


    Fifth: In family conversation, practice allocating apparent past-life lessons to tendencies expressed by family-members. Some can be humorous; a child may not like tomatoes so you might hint that the individual must have been suffocated under a load of tomatoes in a previous life or, died in prison on a diet of tomatoes. But be careful, one could go too far and cause considerable grief. A person with sinus-trouble in the presence of smoke might have been burned to death in a savage ritual in a previous life etc.


    Sixth: When you are ready, when you have identified a dominant inexplicable tendency in life, which you wish to investigate, contact a past-life regression person for further help. Ask a main life-question of yourself something like "what am I doing all this for" in the case of something you feel "driven" to do. Alternatively take one of the turning points identified (see item 2 above) and try to identify the life that caused you feel that particular way. You may wish to know that assisted regression techniques are not always successful since the overall effect is dependent on the twin factors of "grace" and self-will. This in turn means that the initial steps described above are actually quite important, essential even, as the results can otherwise be either zero or somewhat confusing.


    Seventh: Note that it is entirely possible to conduct past-life regression on your-self and there are several books available that describe how this can be done. One such is: "Discovering Your Past Lives and Other Dimensions" by Bettye B. Binder published by Reincarnation Books/Tapes, PO Box 7781, Culver City, California. 90233 fax (310) 397-5757. Alternately you may care to try the “third eye” technique mentioned above.


    Eighth: Upon receiving an answer to your question you may now possess the knowledge to terminate what you have been previously driven to do. Additionally, you will now be equipped with some of the basic information needed to begin the journey that will lead to the realization of your higher self. The elements of self realization


    As the past is revealed you may be driven to ask your-self to identify the common elements underlying your experiences within particular lives and from one life to another. The following is a structure to help with understanding the sometimes-confusing crisis-oriented experiences that are revealed as the result of past-life regression. As one succeeds in accessing the overall pattern and structure of the multiple life experiences of the personal self, a host of confusing images will present themselves. This is the situation faced by many "ordinary" people when first becoming aware of the phenomenon and mystery of "past-lives". In the main, regression into a past-life will usually be keyed into difficult or confusing situations involving the present life.


    Samskaras are the knots of the heart!


    Although it might be that the experiences that you access will be joyous, the majority will be of a more serious nature and will have arisen as the result of traumatic events. For instance, one possible content for this may perhaps be understand in reference to the saying that “every man must be a soldier”. Such experiences are of sufficient intensity to cause formation of an emotional scar, which is burned onto the soul.


    There is an important Sanskrit term for this found in some branches of Hindu philosophy. The word covering the resulting emotional knot is "Samskara". Samskaras arise as the result of large emotional and ethical checks received by individuals at critical points in the course of their lives. As such they represent deep emotional scars of such intensity that they generate commanding surface "desires" in the "normal" everyday waking personality. These desires in turn become the basis for the elaboration of unconscious choices, choices that affect current lives. Moreover, when such choices fail to yield personal satisfaction, the resulting yearning and sorrow will even drive selection of a future life. Typically, the most important samskaras come to play commanding importance as a personality approaches death in old age. Just before death, recriminations and guilt concerning their prior actions may consume persons. After death, such scars become part and parcel of the future personality as the soul seeks a renewed opportunity to incarnate in order to remove these constraints from its fundamentally clear nature.


    In aggregate, and across all the lifetimes available to a given personality, the succession of samskaras may be thought of as an endless progression of irregularly disturbed waves, large and small, moving across the almost infinite sea representing the personal self, the ego.


    Here is an example of a small samskara, from my own experience (in this life). When I was four my father invited me to swim across a deep pool in a small stream, to where he was standing on the other side. I could not swim at that stage and I was afraid but my father insisted that he would catch me, before I sank, in the event that I might fail to make it to his side. With this assurance, I launched into the water but sadly foundered. It seemed to me that I nearly drowned (seeing the small bubbles above my face in the translucent brown water) before my father pulled me out of the water. My mother remonstrated with him but my father said I was in no danger and in retrospect obviously I was not. My father taught me to swim thereafter but for many years I had a huge problem with trust - I felt I had failed myself by extending trust so I did not easily do it again. Happily, I dissolved the scar representing this samskara before my father died but it did affect my relationships for a long time before I successfully removed it. In this case resolution consisted of coming to terms with the samskara. Personal acceptance and comprehension of the guilt, the personal faults that are involved, must be embraced in order to effect release.


    Almost any life, past or present will yield such scars. Some huge and deep waves stir and batter the soul to its depths whereas the smallest ones barely ruffle the surface. Regression to a past-life will usually face turbulence from the wave most closely associated with a "current-life" concern. Several techniques are available to allow this conjunction to be directly experienced. Such techniques can actually work effectively in the identification of spiritual traumas and provide help with "rooting-out" the cause. Following removal of 6-10 (or fewer) of the most significant samskaras the way will be opened for persons to directly experience the Higher Self and ultimately the Supreme Self by means of self-enquiry. Prior to this it is very often the case that self enquiry is frustrated by the feelings and tendencies arising from samskaras. When the effects of the primary samskaras are cleared and the relevant personal faults involved are owned by the ego, self enquiry becomes very much more effective.


    Note: the terms Higher Self and Supreme Self do not in any way refer to separate entities. In the last analysis there is only one self in the same way that a high-rise building is only one structure. The ego-self is usually that aspect of personality that is buried in the basement with a strictly limited outlook. The higher self on the other hand, might be thought of as commanding a view from the rooftop or higher still. The Supreme Self comprehends the creation and beyond. All levels beyond that of the basement (and the underground car-parks) may be regarded as “enlightened” to a greater or lesser degree.
     
  9. Goldenage

    Goldenage Senior Registered

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    Meditation Part 3


    Multiple Levels in the Self (as a high-rise building is only one structure)


    The path to self-enlightenment is difficult to traverse and few succeed. A burning desire to scale the heights of the self is necessary in order to move forward. Even so, it is always difficult to know what to look for or to expect next. There are two aspects of the problem to be considered. In the first place, it must be understood that a theoretical comprehension of the dimensions to be encountered should not be confused with direct experience of the states of consciousness involved. In the second place, direct experience of the higher self, without recourse to some form of structure on which to hang the spiritual effects, can be extremely disconcerting. The elements indicated below provide such a structure and at the same time can serve as mileposts permitting an assessment of personal progress. Of course the best solution would be to find a guru to guide one to the top of the building but in the modern world this is easier said than done. Close attention to this tract can serve as an effective substitute.


    Stages in progress and outline of terms:


    1. Ego or personal self. This is the everyday normal self operating at “basement level” or lower. This aspect of the self is sometimes called "reflected essence" meaning the normal waking consciousness. However, the idea of the personal self really goes beyond the body, which represents merely a temporary tunic, to be shed when it is worn out. The personal self is a reflection of the Supreme Self and as such, all personal blemishes reside only on the surface and in essence are said to be “unreal”. For comparative purposes we might say that the personal self operates on a scale: 1-10.


    2. Higher self. This is sometimes called the Atman. It is the Self as watcher, overseeing and directing all incarnations undertaken by the personal self. It is the consciousness that knows it is alone responsible for expressing and maintaining both the personal self in all its incarnations and the infrastructure that supports those lives. The scale then stretches far beyond 1,000. Perhaps the figure of 1,000,000,000,000 could serve as a primitive approximation. After a person has directly experienced and fully accepted recollections from two to three lifetimes, along with the associated emotional contexts, the stage is set for reaching the understanding that his or her own fundamental personal being and consciousness has orchestrated the whole dynamic. At this point a trans-personal realization can be induced which can be called "far recall". This effect is said to arise as the result of a spiritual transformation called the Kundalini dicharge. Subjectively, this feels like one or more bolts of electricity running the length of the torso in a series of knotted but connected explosions of energy. This is not a physical transmission but rather represents a process of spiritual connection of long-forgotten memories. The idea that one consciousness alone exists and all that can be perceived is an extension thereof is known as Advaita (non –dualism).


    3. Supreme Self. This is the Ultimate Self, infinite in extent and beyond normal definition. Scale: 1,000,000,000,000 to Infinity and beyond. The dominant feeling involves identity with the source from which the material universe and all of its life arises along with the realization of a peaceful ecstatic being. In higher form the experience of causative identity does not translate into language except by halting analogy.


    The soul may be identified as the limited consciousness that carries the dominant aspects of the array of personal selves standing behind each incarnation. The first real instance of a past-life recall provides the basis for directly experiencing the soul. It is thus being that stretches over at least two lifetimes and is therefore demonstrably transcendental and of a character that is outside of time


    The truth is that we are all sparks from a common fire and more than that, one consciousness alone projects the world and its contents. The Higher Self by way of the ego deploys both the body and the apparent physicality on which it rests. In truth this is merely an internal reflection in the Supreme Self, an appearance therein. The problem for most is that we have forgotten this indelible fact.


    By the power of the Self, this “forgetfulness” (termed Maya in Advaitic literature) results in a continued projection of what we imagine ourselves to be through the mechanism of reincarnation. This is a sort of trial and error system that we execute in search of our original and forgotten, perfection.


    Some say that the only true purpose of the transmigratory exercise is to be understood as a sort of self-test. The aim being to see if we can return to the original state of being while imagining that we are something else - a physical body in a physical world. The trick is that this world we imagine is an appearance only. It does not really exist except as an idea. Only the One Self, the origin of this projection exists.


    If past-lives have the same form as dreams for ordinary people, one might indeed expect that in the same way that two people sleeping side by side find that their separate dreams co-exist in the same "space" without interacting then, the higher self experiencing apparently successive lives (and deaths) (as in the manner of dreams) must do this as well. The difference being only that in this case the dreams take place one inside of the other. How might this be effectuated? The higher-self-dreamer dreams a dream in which he/she appears, this dream-entity in turn spins a life (dream) in which he/she in turn dreams of him/herself as a further “new” reflection (tertiary etc) etc to as many levels as required (infinite even). All the dream-worlds appear "real" from the inside - people are born, die, invent things, make love, kill each other and so forth. All the “lives” represented in this model coexist in a space, which is after all nothing, non-existent or at the least “as small as an atom”.


    Conclusion


    What then might constitute self-realisation? Simply it might be taken to mean "the awakening of the dreamer", the support to all the worlds, so to speak, the original and only self (of all). The moment of Self Realization, conscious immersion (of the personal self in the Self) means identity with the one Infinite Consciousness, as Reality. At the same "instant" the world (plurality and all beings therein) falls away does not exist anymore, is not seen and is thus understood to be unreal as indeed are the notions of all physical lives, past and present.


    And what is a Guru? A Guru is a teacher; he is one that has awakened from the “dream of life”. Since he is himself awake it follows that he has the power or knowledge really, to assist others that might also wish to consider a possible awakening.
     
  10. Goldenage

    Goldenage Senior Registered

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    Meditation Part 4


    Beyond Meditation: Comprehension of the Higher Self (The Watcher)


    The surface consciousness: the ego or personal self


    The normal ego or everyday personal self consists of a bundle of ideas organized around a central reflecting point consisting of the assertion “I am”. The thoughts involved constitute more or less fixed notions as to who and what one is. These may be characterized as self-referenced viewpoints concerning one’s position in the world. However, when one concentrates on the identity “I am” it can be observed that it is represented as consciousness, “being now” only. By focusing on oneself as being now only, waking personality can be seen to dissolve so that one is not identified, for instance, as either a doctor or a blacksmith. It is thus possible to understand that such specific identities or viewpoints are mere appearances within being. All aspects of personality can therefore be appreciated as either recollections of ideas relating to the past or projections into the future.


    Although each thought is experienced only in the instant of the “now”, repeated events are assigned by the mind into a smooth succession which causes one to imagine the existence of memory (the image of the cinematographic film is apt). This in turn also generates the sense or illusion of time and space. The collective of the overall result appears as personality and it develops through identification with the only apparently available constant, namely the body. Personality as an integrated effect of the mind consists of thoughts focused around the relative form of the body. This association soon leads to the false identity of the personality with the body.


    Since the mind is responsible both for assigning duration to the apparent string of events perceived in being and for locating the receptive focus within the body, the resulting overall mental image (personality) can be said to owe its outline to what may be termed “the conditioned mind”. This is the mind that is conditioned by the experiences of life. Furthermore, the bundle of memories and hopes called the personal self or “I” imagines itself as everlasting and thus appears to dominate the concept of time with a false eternity.


    The view through the conditioned mind


    Apart from the surface or involved “I am”, which is false, there is also an aloof “I am” which is real but “unseen”. For the convenience of discussion this aloof aspect of the self may be termed the “Higher Self”. This identity stands beyond the normal waking consciousness so that the everyday “I”, as seen by the mind, is not a real identity. Without active experience of this twofold relationship between the higher self and the everyday self, the soul is restricted to directly comprehending only its experience with the world and the body. It is therefore destined to be consumed by fears, doubts, desires and so forth, repeating and magnifying themselves without end. The direct experience of the duel relationship is sometimes called self-realization as it leads immediately to appreciation of transcendent being and to dissolution of the surface sense of identity. In other words, along with the realization of duality, a simultaneous awareness of a profound unity emerges.


    The surface ”I am” arising from the identification of the self with the body is built moment to moment. Once initiated, it seeks strength and in so growing achieves ever increased levels in alienation. By the time of death in old age, the shell thus developed is so secure that it becomes almost impossible to break with the result that the imprisoned and experience-bound soul launches itself into the next life driven by largely unresolved influences. The only intervention that can prevent endless repetition of this process of continuous bondage and compulsive rebirth is for the individual to achieve self realization.


    The view beyond the conditioned mind: the Higher Self (The watcher)


    It may also be readily observed that the consciousness of the personal self appears to be full of gaps. However, in spite of this a person experiences continuity and has no difficulty in reporting enjoyment immediately after deep sleep (where nothing is discerned) and consequently feels rested as the result of the peace encountered. From this it can be said that the continuity enjoyed by the individual must arise from an aspect of the self which is held beyond the everyday waking consciousness.


    For a large part, personality is elaborated from conception, particularly after birth. In the main it relates to experiences gained in the current life but, it is also influenced by strong “inborn” tendencies which owe their origin to deep traumas and similar events originating in previous lives. The overall complex comprising personality is projected by “the dreamer”. This is a deeper aspect of consciousness and one that is closely associated with the Higher Self. The Higher Self constitutes the consciousness within which the “play of life” is expressed. The dreamer dreams the life, the times and the world in which it’s surrogate, the personal self functions. In the same way that gold exists as the substrate of many kinds of jewelry, so the idea of “I am” is multiplied by the dreamer to people it’s world both in form and identity.


    The dreamer and the personal self are really one identity. These two facets are united in the same way that the personal self relates to the dream self in normal sleep. It is the combination of dreamer and the personal self that awakens to the reality of the higher self. The context responsible for energizing the whole is the absolute or Supreme Self, characterized by peace or balance but otherwise beyond description. This is the potential which powers the trio consisting of the Higher Self, the dreamer and the personal self as a single unit in consciousness. Self realization may also be described as the break-through in awareness which proceeds from the personal self to encompass the viewpoint of the Higher Self obliterating the former in the process. Often preceded by glimpses, this transcendental realization takes place in an instant. It is analogous to the switch in perspective when the personal self transforms the figure into the ground (and vice versa) when viewing the vase which separates two faces in the classical illustration presented in texts on psychology.


    The personal self actualizes due to movement of thought in the Supreme. This in turn is transformed into the apparent experience known as “the dream of life” manifesting under the influence of the Higher Self. From the standpoint of the Higher Self, time, space and the world exist in consciousness only. One does not therefore exist in the world as an object since time and space are merely conventions used by the mind to stabilize personality. The world is therefore within you. It is the waking mind alone in association with ego-recollection that confers bondage to a world that is strictly a product of imagination.


    The one Supreme Self or “Being”, in which personality and the world arise, is alone real and unchanging. When the light of the Supreme Self is obscured by movement in thought (consciousness), the shadow of personality together with the projected world appears. This “dualistic” shadow arises as the result of a whim, a notional query really, occasioned by the question “what if I was the body?” The query then congeals into the assertion “I am the body”. Concurrently, the parallel idea of physicality also arises so providing support to the initial assertion (I am the body).


    In truth, the query is an idle form of a self-test which instigates “the dream of life” in which the individual instantly becomes totally absorbed. The objective of this test is achieved only by self-realization, that is, the return to the conception of original being.


    Effects on the conditioned mind


    The realized self (Higher Self) comprehends as unity that it alone exists. It sees further that the “others” which it imagines are beings each within their own worlds. It understands that these beings should be included in the realization of one only and grieves at the apparent absence of cohesion therewith. In light of this compassion, it is only the witness that is able to help another.


    The totality of the world-projection through the conditioned minds of all beings is sometimes termed the Great Dream. Although everyone imagines “others” and seeks relationships with them it is energy expressed by the dreamer as the force behind individual personality which alone forges and maintains the links.


    The view through the unconditioned mind


    In the way that life before death is imagination it is also true that life after death resonates in the same manner. The realized self comprehends that neither birth nor death exist and that being alone is within consciousness. For the personal self it appears that the body is born, that is true. But this is not observed by the watcher which, through the dreamer sees (that) this event (is) imagined. Nor is it yet observed directly by “that from which all derives” i.e. the Supreme Self. Birth and subsequently evolution is known only by the incipient personal self and the conditioned mind.


    Following self-realization, the conditioned mind remains as a shell in which the inhabitant no longer identifies with a dedicated personality as the instigator of actions. The element dominating the cleansed and therefore unconditioned mind is the awareness of a permanent and inextinguishable presence burning beyond time itself.


    A target for meditation: beyond the personal self,


    The immediate goal which might be addressed through meditation is simply to uncover the Higher Self. More properly it is to persuade the waking mind to relax its hold on the facade concealing the Higher Self thus allowing it to be directly experienced. In the normal waking consciousness, the Higher Self can also be described as that unfelt presence responsible for manifesting conscience – the aspect of being governing the sense of right and wrong in a person. However, although it is normally buried under a host of misapprehensions as to its true nature, the Higher Self is none the less amenable to direct experience. Consistent investigation by means of the question “who or what am I?” can result in immediate awareness of this aspect of being.


    The occurrence will be sudden. The facade of the ego is abruptly pushed aside as the Real Self surfaces. In so doing, for the person, the immediate awareness of the world, as an assemblage of things, vanishes and, as the center of consciousness, the subject becomes aware (remembers) that it has alone created and managed all aspects of its life together with the supporting physical infrastructure. A tide of relief floods the world and subsides as a small wave in the ocean of the mind as it is absorbed within the light of the One (Supreme) Self, undivided and alone, the source of All. The query “what if I was the body” is answered and being returns to Being. The person is cast-off, disappears, but identity remains capable of assuming the rejected mantle of personality, as a tool of choice, as and when required.
     
  11. ChrisR

    ChrisR Administrator Staff Member

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