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Sarmoung’s Blog presents

The Way to Be

The Articles of Sarmoung’s Blog

2010-2012

https://sarmoung.wordpress.com/

”Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”

”Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” Albert Einsten

TABLE OF CONTENTS

“Possibilities of Self Development in the 21th Century Possibilities of Self-Development in the 21st Century#2 How a Man becomes a Man (a personal experience) The Meaning of Inner Research The courage to be What we are, As we are The Magic of Now Swimming Against the Flow Sailing Towards our Freedom Awareness and Continuity of Consciousness Attention and Concentration Conscious Evolution: From Nothing to Objective Reason In Search for Awakeness: The Awakening of a “True Mind” Levels of Being Mechanicity and the Apparent Impossibility of Self-Freedom Ponderings about simple things that are virtually impossible to understand Ways to Achieve a Better State of Awareness Through Sincerity Comes Security (and Unity) The Theory of the Four Bodies (a never-ending story) Being and the Theory of Reincarnation The Trap of Loneliness The Trap of our Self-Pity The Wish of “Revenge” The Roots of our Fears Relaxation as a Natural State Lightness: A Quality in Extinction Further explanation about what is Self Observation Love and Acceptance The Art of Letting Go The Prayer as a Connection with our Being Friendship “Good” Karma – “Bad” Karma Philosophers, Theorists and Mystifying Mystics Conscious Love as Help for the Mate in Self-Development

Administrating Spare Time An Integral Approach to Overcome Harmful Emotions Clairvoyance (Seeing Clearly) Discerning the False Personality from our True Self The Art of Pondering Self-Development through Facebook! Few Steps Towards a Stronger Will Awakening to our True Nature Not to a New School Further Explanation on What is Self- Observation Failed Awakening: What have we missed? Gentleness of Movements – Gentleness of Mind Human Centers:Introduction & the Intellectual Function Human Centers:The Emotional Function Human Centers:Instinctive & Motoric Function Human Centers:The Emotional Function Higher Centers The Characteristics of the Centers An In- Depth Look at the Emotional Center #1 An In- Depth Look at the Emotional Center #2 An In- Depth Look at the Emotional Center #3 An In- Depth Look at the Emotional Center #4

Sexuality#1

Sexuality#2

Sexuality#3

Sexuality#4

The Way of the Conscious Warrior:alternans of opposites Exercise to gain “energy” Super Efforts and Self-Development The Meaning of Action #1 The Meaning of Action #2 The Meaning of Action- “interlude”: an exercise The Meaning of Action #3 The Meaning of Action: 7 Micro Exercises Development of Consciousness Becoming “Masters” of our Minds Meditation as Theory and Practice Inner Science#1: Recognize the mental processes Inner Science #2: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Inner Science#3: Find the Silence in your Daily Life Inner Science #4: The Patanjali’s Path towards Freedom Inner Science #5: The Path of Shakyamuni Fear and the apparent Feeling of Division Self –Observation Exercise to Get Back to Reality Self Observation Exercise in Third Person Breath and Navel Technique – A Taoist Practice An Easy Centering Exercise Awareness and the Tone of Voice A Tibetan exercise for Discerning the True from the False Self Suggestions on What to Notice and What to do under Self-Obser- vation Check out Your Limits- An exercise in “Intentional Efforts” A “Rare” Esoteric Exercise

Possibilities of Self Development in the 21th Century

In 1991, something happened to me. I’ll never forget this year and I have never been the same after that.

Since I was a child, I have possessed a “feeling”, a knowing, that during my lifetime there would be extraordi- nary experiences for humanity. I have never seen visions, an- gels or Ascended Masters of Light who announce the coming of a “New Era”: none of these characters visited me – I just had that feeling. This feeling has accompanied me during the last nineteen years of my life and is still here, present and felt with all my being.

Even as I waited for the inevitable, the war in my country (Croatia) surprised all the people who were involved in it. Everyone in this country had a clear perception of hav- ing lost something very important for every human being:

the freedom of living a “normal, everyday life” . Growing up with this limitation is a complex proposition.

But this tragic situation was a turning point in crys- tallizing some concepts, if I can call them that, which before were dormant in some unknown area of my being. I became aware of the fact that I couldn’t immerse myself into the pat- terns of ordinary existence, and every attempt to follow the flow of the river commonly known as “social life”, with all its implications and roles, made me always uncomfortable and forced me to move in another direction, leaving behind what- ever I’d established. I was compelled each time to start over

again in a search without any object of searching, not know- ing how to define what I was searching for. The only thing I knew was that this was a frequently frustrating experience.

I realized in some mechanical way , that I was not

unified in my search, that there were a multitude of persons within me, many of whom were not at all interested in the search. I was “legion”. Every part of my fragmented charac- ter wanted different things – a good livelihood, relationships, success, money, friends, and much more. The possibility of pleasing all the “people” within me, often in contradiction between them, was practically impossible. And every time I returned to the search for something different that could free myself from this frustrating situation. Fortunately, that need never left me.

I had started to search with other friends in many

fields such as psychology, philosophy, literature, eccentric lifestyle, meditation, and others. Each of these enriched my life experiences , but had given me only fragmented pieces of something I was not able to perceive coherently. I hadn’t found anything which I could devote the rest of my life to.

I had become depressed. Maybe, after all, the surface

of life was all there was, that there was nothing to find, only to live the life that accident or destiny gave us. Maybe the deeper meanings of life didn’t exist, that this knowing that had nagged me was just naïve nonsense. Maybe all there was to life was money, good sex, and alcoholic drinks to alleviate the sense of emptiness perceived in moments of solitude.

Then, on April 1991, things radically changed. I met the person who changed my life. This man gave me practi- cal directives towards the possibility of changing my state of consciousness, and showed the way to another level of ex- istence. The core of this teaching was similar to that given

by the Caucasian master George I. Gurdjieff, known as The Fourth Way. I finally found the proof of the existence which I suspected, and the method to assemble it within myself.

The years that I spent on this “Work” constitute

a “Peak Experience”. It is impossible to explain in a few

words, the experience and the rate of personal growth facili- tated by this man and the other teacher who came after him.

It was “intensive”, and continued for 19 years and still con-

tinues: Fourth Way teachings, Western and Eastern practical

Alchemy, Integral Tibetan and dram Yoga, Taoist concepts and practices, Esoteric Symbolism…

The anxiety and depression became inner peace and better emotional balance, and the awareness acquired set me in the social life, which before escaped me, without falling into the flow of society.

Then I met some persons involved in the study and practice of the methods of self development known as “The Work”, that had become a deeply ingrained part of our inner lives.

Today, I am not a master, but I am sure that I am a better person than I would have been without this teaching. And, the most important thing is that I have found the aim of my life. Last February, my first teacher gave me the last direc- tives about that aim, and now it is crystallized in the Sites and happenings organized in the last two months.

The aim of this link is to share the eternal principles learned in the “Work” as one of the effective possibilities of the 21st century to all interested in an effective self-develop- ment with the hope that it will be of benefit to greater num- bers of people in their path to awaken.

The age we live in is the moment when many indi- viduals are experiencing the opening of their hearts to new perspectives. So then, the task I have set for myself here is to connect the seemingly intellectual principles of The Fourth Way with the emotional experience of life. The society in which we live is too stifling. We approach most things through our minds, leaving behind, like some forgotten rel- ics, our intuitive processes. The true aim of The Work is to establish a connection to the power of our emotional life, called by some, the “eighteen inch gap”.

True understanding lies not in knowing, but in living what you know. It is my hope that this site will be a place where any truly interested seeker would find and share new insights, assistance and love in the creation of a true under- standing.

Possibilities of Self-Development in the 21st Century

#2

(Jesus and The Walking Dead)

“And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be cruci- fied, and the third day rise again.”

Luke 24:5-7

What do these words taken from Luke’s gospels concerning the “dead” mean? What does it mean to be “dead”?

The very first time I realized I was a walking dead was when I was an eight year old child in casual moment of lucidity that happens to many persons, probably even a child. But, at the moment it happened, I realized that the perception I had of the world before, was totally different from what I was expe- riencing at that precise moment.

Such as a veil which was removed from my eyes, allowing me to see what was around me, to perceive myself there, in that moment- alive. In that moment, a house was really a house, I was seeing it, and the bricks of the house I was seeing were

really reddish- brown. I felt the air on my skin, such as I was experiencing this for the first time in my life and all the nois- es, rumors, and colors were something “natural”, “such as they must be”.

This was what I had experienced, and it lasted for perhaps a minute, maybe more- even the perception of time was non- existent. It was a perception of “I” being “Here” and “Now”. Then, I returned to the ordinary state, covered by a cloak of thoughts, emotions, and fantasies… another world: the veil had been lowered again, and what remained with me, from this very first experience, was the feeling of being what my fantasy expressed as a walking dead, a zombie, one of Rome- ro’s characters who walk on this earth without any conscious- ness of what they are doing. At the beginning, this feeling was very impressive for my fantasies. Indeed, they had the tendency to transform any one experience into something more “digestible” for our minds. I felt it as very interesting that I was walking as a living dead from the movies or the comics – a body, empty of every “glimpse” of life that walks on the street. A childish fantasy, but it was normal- I WAS a child. Then, after several months, it happened again… and again… and again… and every time it was less amusing, be- cause I was realizing something else: I was “imprisoned” by the “veil” or, better said, the veil was all around me, I was willy-nilly closed in a box, separated from what was happen- ing around me, without any possibility of escaping this con- dition, except to wait for another moment of lucidity.

The possibilities for a solution came later, after eight years, but in the meantime, I lived in a sort of understanding that the world I was perceiving, as I was perceiving, was only an illusion. At some times, I had the feeling of not being able to really perceive anything. And this produced states of pain which had blossomed into anxiety and later, panic attacks.

And, in the eyes of others, who asked God what kind of prob- lems I had, no one understood what was happening to me, and I had no one with which to share the reasons of my con- dition. Indeed, I realized that no one had ever noticed this little “problem” of living and reacting like a walking dead.

My mentor (teacher) used to say that humans are much like monkeys, because of the repetition of their thoughts, emo- tions and actions; but what remained with me, in order to describe this condition, was the Jesus parable of the “dead”.

“Let the Dead Bury Their Own Dead” said Jesus, according to Matthew, 8:22. We live in a planet with almost seven bil- lion of those dead to their lives, who think they are alive. This is the condition of modern society.

“He who is alive”, “the living” is not the ordinary man or woman; such an individual is far away from this condition, even in the first stages of his personal inner work. To use Gurdjieff’s example, he is the man number 5, an individual who is not identified with his personality, but in his true be- ing, the essence, and he lives through it; an individual who is always present, in every moment, to any act he performs; namely, an “awakened one” (or, if you prefer, a Buddha). Such a human, has not to be searched among “the dead”, among those who are still “sleeping”. And, “sleeping” is the ordinary, limiting condition.

But, we can escape from this condition, escape from the “land of the dead” through waking up, but we have to do this with “discretion” if we don’t want to experience a “rebellion” of our personality, which could mortify our every attempt to escape.

Our psychophysical structure is like an electromagnetic field, a living electric dynamo which is used at the minimum of its

possibilities. As seen in other posts, we lose energy in useless and nonproductive actions, physical tensions, bad breath- ing behavior, harmful emotions, and uncontrolled thoughts which haunt our mind every day at every moment, both day and night, when we sleep.

Even the outer world is an electromagnetic field, pervaded by waves of every type and intensity which produce further difficulties to the work of awakening. Our personal field is continuously distorted from all the “frequencies” (addi- tional conditionings) with which we are subordinated every day. And all this makes less controllable our emotions and thoughts. This is not a sci-fi story; it’s our actual condition that, with a “glimpse” of observation, could be noticed in everyone. So, in some way, awakening, is not a strictly “spiri- tual problem”, but a problem of “electric interferences”: the conditionings of every type with which we are subjected, which apparently deny the possibility of awakening.

So, emerging from this condition, from the “land of the dead”, means freeing our True Self (our Essence/Being) from the conditioned psychophysical apparatus which is suscep- tible to these “interferences”. This is a necessary process to non- identify ourselves (our essence) from personality (false self); we have to stop believing that we are our personality, a condition which keeps our True Self buried under the desires of our false self.

Until the life of a person proceeds in an “undisturbed way”, without any kind of physical or emotional “shocks”, there are no possibilities to realize the situation, and to feel the need to end it.

Only a kind of “suffering” intended not in Buddhist terms, as illusion, but as a friction to our ordinary life, could break the link which brings us to be identified with our personality

– the false image we have of ourselves. Such kind of suffer- ing could be unintentional, produced from some unexpected events in our life, or intentional, so when we are “forced” to do something which we usually don’t wish to do, or to end something we are usually accustomed (so, addicted) to do. This kind of friction prevents the habit to “sleep” during our whole life.

But there’s something more essential, in order to accomplish this process: to awaken through a work of self-observation, so that we can notice, and observe, that once we wake up from our bed in the morning, we are not really “awake”. Through observing ourselves and what happens around us, we break off, (at the beginning partially, but with practice, totally) the illusion of being our personality and, consequently, the identification with all our conditionings: at once, even for a moment, “we” and our “personality” are no longer the same thing.

But there’s a further thing that is forgotten, even by those who follow a path towards such awakening: having a “heart”. Indeed, there’s a common attitude to pay more attention to the intellectual concept concerning this argument than to our life, and even to others. Even in a work of self- discovery, there’s a tendency -that results in a trap from which it’s really difficult to free ourselves- of being so focused on what we do, how we feel, what happens in us, that we forget that we are not alone in this world, that there also exist other persons.

And this is a very dangerous trap, egoistic and more harm- ful than we could think, which could make our life a sterile, black and white hell, empty of every emotion.

He who is “not dead”, thus alive, is in love with life, and every attempt of refusing to live it, in the company of our beloved and others is a sure way to make us distant from what Jesus

called “Heart”, and is today commonly known, between the “insiders”, as Higher Emotional. So, be in love with your life, as best as you can, as often as you can.

…The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Matthew, 28, 5-7

How a Man becomes a Man (a personal experience)

It was very strange…after almost eight years of ap-

had

the perception that I had finally realized something and, that for the first time in my life, I was really able to change myself.

prenticeship, I was feeling so strong, so determined

I

But…some situation was enough to bring my life back to the beginning…all my effort vanished. Indeed, the love relationship with a girl I considered the Love of my life broke off. After a few weeks, my mentor was involved in a car accident where he survived, but with a broken neck, but miraculously alive and able to walk.

In a short period, all my good intentions and efforts, the result of all my work, vanished. My life was becoming worse than before. The more I was trying to apply in my daily life what I had learned, the more I felt confused, inad- equate, discouraged.

Power, ethics, desires, needs, will…all vanished. The same thing with intentional efforts, resistance, patience…I stopped trying to escape the situation that was crystallizing in myself. Without friends, without any external support, I had the feeling that events were sweeping me away…so, I lost “hope”.

I had begun to do in that moment, the only thing I felt I was able to do: I started drinking hard to forget and destroy all what I had understood and achieved during these

years of work on myself.

This was one of the worst moments in my life. And this situation lasted for months. Everyday, I was drunk to forget what I was unable to forget.

My behavior was only a teasing toward myself: one moment aping a safe man, another moment, falling into self- pity, criticizing the behaviors of others, telling myself a lot of “fibs”.

I was angry with my parents who weren’t able to give

me a “right” education, with my friends who started to elude my company, with all of society and the whole world who

gave to me only an unbearable suffering. That was me…in that period of my life.

Things maybe would not have changed if not for one evening when something happened.

I was at a table in a bar, drinking a beer, when my

mentor (teacher) entered and sat with me. As if it were noth- ing unusual, he ordered a beer and started to drink with me.

I felt shame, anger, and at the same time, astonish-

ment in such a situation: the man who tried to teach me to be a better man, and I, trying to throw away all of what he

had taught me.

But he held a particular kind of gentleness, so un- usual and absurd in such a situation.

I started to speak in a convulsive and agitated way,

speaking about all my worries and disappointments towards all, showing all my self-pity and the mood of a defeated man to all intents and purposes. Briefly, I explained my situation

to him.

He kept silent for a long time, hearing what I had to tell. The he simply said:

“All you need are two things: first, stop with that self- pity, you aren’t more a teenager or less. Second, you need a rule, my young brother”.

A rule…I didn’t like that word very much. I immedi- ately associated it with the concept of morality, school days, and all that had conditioned my whole life. But I decided to keep silent and hear what he had to tell me.

He laughed, perceiving my astonished and fearful face: “What arises in your mind now? School and family education, loss of freedom, or when as a child the older im- posed some rules without giving you any explanation? All your life obeying someone who had an ascendancy toward you in that moment of your life? Or, are you too drunk to be able to catch something in your mind?” (another laugh).

He continued with saying: “The world is full of rules, some of civil cohabitation and others which attack us with their moral impositions, which taught us to be judging and criticizing, which harms and influences a human being psy- chologically. But believe it or not, such rules derive from ancient ages, even if they are the shadow of what they once were.”

I looked at him astonished and irritated by his speech. My life was falling to pieces and he was speaking about some- thing concerning a sociological or philosophical field. Al- tered by the alcohol and my idiotic emotional state, I started to become nervous and angry towards him.

As usual, he noticed this, and stopped my words be- fore they arose from my mouth: “What do you think, stupid monkey, that you are the only one who suffers in this world? That you are the only “poor” child who feels the weight that this consumerist society throws on our back? What do you think, when you look at me? That I am enlightened? I also cry, I have my own problems and also bear the weight of ev- eryday life. Stop crying for your misfortunes, and make a step forward”.

I knew he was right, but he didn’t give me any new information, any new advice.

“Every event”, he continued, “happens in accordance to laws so complex, which in our eyes can assume the form of casualty, because in our smallness we can understand it. Laws keep us stuck, because we don’t understand nor can we change them. They are as they are. The Universal pro- cesses are beyond our comprehension, and the only way to overcome our “mechanical” situation is to establish an even partial order which could give us a particular place where we focus all our actions”.

What was he speaking about? Probably, in that mo- ment, I had a dazed expression, or maybe that man knew me better than I knew myself. He laughed again and continued:

“I’ll translate this so that you, “mortal” (and marked joking- ly this word) could understand. I’ll make a simple example.

You have a chaotic life behavior: you wake up every- day at a different time, while you go to work, you eat some- thing, maybe a sandwich, if you have the time, and take a lunch break when others do the same. In any case, you don’t choose anything. You don’t choose even when and what to eat. You live, eat, sleep, laugh, and cry out of habit. You don’t decide anything!

But, just to make an example, if you decide to choose that everyday at 10 a.m., you’ll have a snack, and not only decide the time, but even the place and the quality of what you’ll desire to eat. Then, this would be a choice, your choice, because free from every habit conditioning or every kind of external event. What is important is that YOU decide before you act. Otherwise, this would be another reaction, and in this field, you are a “specialist” (laugh). This, my dear mon- key, is a method, a way which could be applied even in seri- ous life matters. Do you remember “Ksatrya”, the Sumerais? Even if they were conscious of the moment they had to die, they were able to choose the place, time, and circumstances to make their sacred “sepuku”, facing the enemy straight in the eyes. So, in this way, they died with honor, consciously, not as poor devils”.

There was a short pause. I had the feeling that I couldn’t add anything, nor to counter. But there was some restlessness in myself, some kind of rebellion towards this ar- gument.

“Now, I ask you:

ficient a self-discipline?”

wouldn’t it be better and more ef-

“Of course”, he answered, “It would be better. But can you do that in this moment? You need a maturity to do this, and as I see (pointing his finger at my beer), you haven’t such kind of attitude. So, how can you develop such matu- rity? That’s what you have to ask yourself.

You know, at the beginning, a discipline must come from the external through a rule, a genuine rule, not an im- position, from a person who has passed through that process. It’s relative to the education of children given by their par-

ents.

Ponder on that. You go to the doctor for some eating disease. After having identified the problem, he gives you some prescriptions- a diet- that you will have to follow step- by-step if you want to recover. Successively, once you will be able to recognize the needs of your body, you will be able to manage by yourself what, how much and when you will eat. This is the same even in the ethical, existential field. Only af- ter having experienced such rules, is one able to develop a self –discipline, intended as an effective attitude which permits you to apply a decision without impositions toward your life.

Reorganize your life rhythms, decide to introduce some intentional actions in your daily routine – make a ritual of all your routines. Exercise your will, patience, and the capacity of feeling your positive and negative emotions with- out remaining involved, identified. This will allow you to be centered, able to direct both mind and actions. This is the power of being able “to do”. You love artistry, so become a good sculptor and shape your life through YOUR decisions, and not self-pity or external conditioning. That’s what you have to do. Move your ass, my young monkey, so one day you’ll be able to enjoy drinking a beer for your own pleasure, and not to cover, and suffocate your inertia and fears”.

That’s what he told me. And, fortunately, I followed his instructions.

The Meaning of Inner Research

Sometimes, what arises in my mind is a question that I consider common with those who are involved in a work of self development. After all the successes and failures, good and bad moments, and doubts, one discovers that there is no reward at the end of every stage of the Path. The question which arises in myself is: “What is the meaning of my inner research”….”Why am I doing this”?

Explaining this in a few words and in a comprehen- sive way is almost impossible. Thousands of texts have been written through the centuries, and this topic is common in all cultures. It is important to understand that we don’t search for only those things we recognize which we don’t possess, but it’s also fundamental to understand that if we are search- ing for something, we do this because we have an expecta- tion, a vision of what we will find.

This last aspect is basic, because it describes a fact that

is often unnoticed. In some intuitive way, or by knowing, the

inner researcher already knows that what exists in himself is

a hidden reality that he wants to achieve, understand, and

live. One who does not have this intuition will never begin an inner search, for the simple fact that one does not search for something whose existence is not suspected. Many enlightened minds describe the inner search in the following terms: if we don’t know ourselves deeply and integrally, we can’t live a satisfying, happy, and conscious life, because we do not understand what, who, and why we are here.

Therefore, inner search is the path which leads to the ultimate answer, to the core of the meaning of our lives. When we feel the need to understand the meaning of human existence and why we don’t live forever with the fullness we may have once experienced in some rare moments, we be- gin to seek these answers in an unknown space from where we cannot be excluded…and that space is the only thing we have….ourselves.

The courage to be What we are, As we are

“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is

courage.”

Thucydides

It is a common saying that the truth hurts, but it is at the same time, what allows us to be as we are…uncon- ditioned, without anger, resentment and dissatisfaction, de- spite lies, false beliefs and half-truths which characterize our society. But, why is it so difficult to be true and sincere? And why, when we permit the expression of our true self, of our Being, of what we really are, that we remain uncomfortable with others to be with?

Truth is one of the few things that save us from suf- fering. But, what truth are we searching for? Our truth? Everyone has a subjective and false perception of the truth. Being oneself is not entirely easy, or rather, it is not easy to see if what we call “ourselves”, is really what we think it is. It is easy, however, to incur the error of being misunderstood and marginalized, just because others do not clearly accept what we say, think , and do. This does not always coincide with what we are on our deepest levels.

Being true, more real, more “what we really are”, does not lead us to any emancipation. Indeed, a degree of “in- tegrity” is what enables us to earn through time, a degree of respect from other persons, even from those who think

differently from us. The core of the problem is not the result of the freedom we eventually achieve, but rather our deeply rooted need to be understood and accepted by others. Being ourselves doesn’t necessarily mean to be accepted. In fact, an objective or subjective truth has a philosophical value which must be kept separate from the attitude of being accepted.

If we are honest, sincere, and upright towards our- selves and others, this has a value that lies in the “field of ideas”, an uncontaminated sphere without any interference from the external needs of achieving some social acceptance. Indeed, this is the place of ethics, where lies the perception of what is right and good. Although this concept is subjective to changes through time, and cannot be objective, it remains uncontaminated, more pure and sincere, therefore, of posi- tive value.

This noble attitude loses all its purity and positive val- ues when driven by the presumption of being understood, of being acknowledged and recognized as “good” or “intel- ligent”, at whatever the cost. Suffering does not arise from the “misunderstanding” of others, but exclusively from our compulsive need to be understood and accepted. If we search the causes of our dissatisfaction, they have not to be searched in an outside world which creates “suffering” through ig- norance, but by the need to be recognized and accepted by that world. So, the cause lies in ourselves, not in the external world. Being “what we are, as we are” is an expression of the inner freedom deeply rooted in the field of philosophi- cal principles uncontaminated by every human need. “Be- ing” and “having” may be compatible, but “Being” and to “covet” possessions, not!!

So, what must we do? Taken from my personal and subjective point of view, the answer to this question is quite simple: be ourselves, if we can and as we can, without any pretension of attracting the attention of the external world

which surrounds us. Love without any additional feeling, only for the purpose of Love. Express your points of view without any pretense. Express your inner needs without too many pretensions. If we do this, perhaps we will discover that the world is not as dull as it seems. But, to do this, we must be captivated by the thirst for knowledge, knowing who we really are, and what we really want. The only right ques- tion , is to ask if we have the courage to do it.

The Magic of Now

It is claimed by some people that practices such as meditation will become natural to all human beings, that we will probably experience in an age in which all the tech- niques that are seen as mysterious to many, will represent an obvious cultural baggage from all the “Civilized Nations”. Maybe, the next generations will find a quiet place in which to activate a software that is more powerful than the com- puter we find in front of our nose, at this moment.

magic word. But today is still not this fu-

turistic age. Indeed, we can hear much about meditation, that is truly practiced by many people from all around the world, but what still lacks is a basic culture (or knowing) able to recognize how much we are still immersed in the complete ignorance about what we are and what we can be. If we only could understand that we can do much more than what we consider as our possibilities, we could grasp the primary sig- nificance of the meditative practices- opening ourselves to- wards a totally unknown world.

Maybe

a

Many authors hypothesize a more or less near future in which technology and physiology will join together in a new man, provided with unthinkable skills and powers. We don’t need the cybernetic to achieve this aim; there are still the yogis and the yoginis from the past. Maybe the modern science and the science of the spirit, in conjunction with a universal ethical conception, could build a new future.

Maybe… but it’s still not so. Our present is, for now,

totally different, quite confused and superstitious. We live in the ideas of old and new myths, with ancestral beliefs merged with technologic beliefs. In this reality, the reality in which we live, we can move the first steps towards the hard-won ex- perimentation of unknown states of consciousness. The age of drugs and sleep of consciousness is not yet ended, and the ages of meditation have yet to begin. Through various drugs, of which many are considered not only legalized, but legiti-

mate, humans tried- and still try- to exorcize his fears and fill

the emptiness which terrorize them

How many people use

antidepressant, anxiolytics to achieve this goal? Too many. Maybe, the near future will allow a “new man” a wiser and less suicidal way through which he’ll be able to expand his own possibilities and to find new resources to face his life.

As my deceased and beloved grandpa used to say, to move step by step is the wisest way to walk towards the fu- ture. Not all have the fortune to find a real teacher, and the teachers who sell themselves as “real” (even knowing very little about the subject they preach) are too many, in every field of inner research. Even this is the sign of these times, and this means that the need to find answers inside of our- selves instead than outside, is growing. When the demand grows, the proposal increase and, such as other commercial products, because the known “spirituality” is almost all just a commercial product to be sold, and the quality is always rare.

We can dream an age (after the 2012, the Aquarian age, the age of the white boar, call it as you wish in which the minds, bodies and hearts of the persons from around the world, will be totally different from what they are now. Less sickness, more creative intelligence and willingness toward others. But, what is better is that we can dream the “now”, making all what is possible to influence, in our microsphere, to allow a change of course, first of all on ourselves.

There is no wiser and more honest way than to begin with ourselves, never mind how enlightened, “perfect” and

wise we consider ourselves to be. The field of ideas is “deval-

ued”

rior dimension lost long ago, even from those who should represent it for culture and tradition, but the subjective, per- sonal ideas, opinions and ideals is shared with all the possible strength, but not in practice.

I don’t speak about Platonic thought, this is a supe-

There is really little space and time for useless soph- isms; all, not almost all, but ALL have a desperate need to meet or get in contact with persons who truly believe in what they are doing and, what is most important, are really con- scious of what they are doing.

It’s true

it’s time for changes, it’s really a particular

historical moment in which we can also dedicate ourselves with humility to the ancient human sciences, and this could be the determinant capable to make us (humans) the gift of a better future. To learn the ancient arts for self develop- ment, at least in my opinion, is no longer a luxury available to a few, but it’s a necessity which could make the difference in one’s everyday life, in the field of work, and in the per- sonal field.

To summarize what is written above

it’s better to

dream the Now, than a future that still doesn’t exist.

Swimming Against the Flow

The resistance against any kind of change is not only psychological. It drags its roots from the deep and ancient connection between the individual and the environment sur- rounding him.

We can say that all that exists moves in a sort of flow determined by a specific evolutionary process towards the Oneness, with which it will be merged. Our life moves inevi- tably in this flow. Sometimes, an obstacle slows this progress.

Sometimes a “chink” will accelerate it. This process, which is determined by specific laws, is called by us humans, history.

Looking from a Universal point of view, this flow is life itself. But in the eyes of human beings, all this appears so abstract, a sort of “mystic vision”, because their whole at- tention is captured by the stones, sand, and shallows of this Universal River.

However, some humans have an intense craving to achieve the source of this river, that they prefer to find the source of this immense river by swimming upstream to reach it. This isn’t fighting against these laws, but rather, a forc- ing of some mechanics to generate a possibility contained in some hidden way in the Laws themselves.

This is the path of the Seeker. Who seeks cannot stop his progress. The flow drags him at the beginning. This is a

voluntary effort, a long and hard path, determined and fed by the individual wish for change. During his swimming against the flow, he will experience inevitably the resistance against his aim in thousands of ways, because the same flow will claim him under its control. All this is written in the life’s “code” of this planet. One must replace the old ideas with the new. This is a sort of conscious dying which the seeker chooses every moment of his daily life. But, when one tries to virtually kill himself, his beliefs, his old points of view, the past set of a real conflict, shouting for help, the preconceptions, doubts, fears, and expectations, to avoid the dissolution of what is old.

Every pure teaching shows the way and the manner to reach this goal. But this is a distant possibility, because personality has to leave the place to the Being, and when per- sonality feels its end, it begins a war against the Being, whis- pering that it is still weak in the seeker. All will begin with a rebellion, drawing him to the inertia, to the doubts, to the judgments which generate a sense of powerlessness.

But, some have made it, reached the source of this great flow. And if those few had realized this aim, we can do it, also. And if we can do this, many other humans will be able to do it, too. If it is possible for a single individual, this possibility is realizable to some others, and maybe, one day, this possibility would be of public domain. An individual ef- fort to develop is also a part of a much larger, global develop- ment. We are driven by those who preceded us to drive those who will begin this path, with our example.

Sailing Towards our Freedom

What means being really free? Freedom is a state of consciousness, or better said, it depends on our level of be- ing. It’s a state of Being!

Freedom doesn’t depend on what we do, but from the way we live. In fact, being free doesn’t mean doing what we want at a determined moment, but rather having the privi- lege of feeling what our real needs are, and what we want from our life, despite of all the conditionings, guilt feelings, and various fears. So, a free man/woman is one who doesn’t have a sense of guilt, fear, or preconception which could pre- vent him from feeling his real “needs” and “desires”, without influences which could block its expression.

We are all slaves until we are prevented from finding the true meaning of our existence. And anyone can achieve this aim (even partially), bringing the baggage of fear to make some mistake, or fearing others or his own judgments. How could a human being live according to his true “nature” in such conditions? It is impossible.

In the condition we are in, in today’s society, freedom is a thing that must be conquered. This can be achieved only through overcoming the obstacles which prevent us from looking into ourselves and by living in accordance with what we find within.

The key to begin this conversion from “slavery to freedom” is admitting that we are still slaves, that “freedom”

is only a word, not a fact.

Of course, choosing a true freedom is a very difficult task. We feel like a prisoner who had been confined for years and is afraid of being free, so he prefers the “safety” of his jail. A man/woman who chooses to be free is in a similar position. He has to face all his fears of making some mistake, an emotion inculcated by many years of social conditioning, and enforced by the consequent sense of guilt. It is very dif- ficult to slip the moorings, and this causes a sense of “trem- bling” because he/she has the sense of losing all the illusion- ary, but well-known sense of safety.

But the only way to achieve this “safeness” is to enter the unknown – this deep and strange sea, escaping from the isle which drives us to slavery, and sail towards our freedom.

Awareness and Continuity of Consciousness

Awareness is a part of the extraordinary and single immaterial manifestation of our nature, which can’t be mea- sured and weighed. The mind, evolved through the sensory and material perceptions, cannot perceive something that is outside time and space, so it cannot understand conscious- ness. The degree of individual awareness can’t be evaluated from the outside, it can only be experimented on by the sub- ject who experiences it. The only valuation that can be done is when we observe another subject who has a lower degree of awareness.

What is awareness? It is the conscious perception of us in the world. The intelligence, sensibility, wisdom, the emotional balance, the capacity for love and other things, are aspects related with self-awareness. When this aspect ex- pands over the normal degree, man transcends the natural consciousness and enters into the spiritual sphere: this is the aim of the inner path.

In the late nineteen nineties (1997-1998), I had been involved with my teacher and some other students in experi- ments about awareness, where the aim was to evaluate indi- vidual awareness. In this occasion, we had learned in prac- tice that awareness can be defined in three degrees: duration, frequency, amplitude. Through these three parameters, we had the possibility to observe our degree of awareness and its increase.

Duration means how long we can maintain the state

of awareness. Our mentor gave us a simple exercise based on the observation of the breath dynamics (inbreath-outbreath) without modifying anything, while accomplishing our daily tasks. The beginners of this group, without education on concentration, were capable in maintaining a voluntary and unified awareness at least two to three minutes before

a thought or an external mechanical dynamic diverted their

attention. The capacity of the other “expert” students was a little bit higher. Two or three minutes of intentional atten- tion is too little time to accomplish a serious task such as trying to change ourselves.

The second aspect of the experiment, the frequency, was how much we were able, during one day, to recover the awareness of ourselves; in brief, how many times during a day we were able to remember ourselves. Our mentor gave us a practice: to keep in our pocket a string and to make a knot every time we remembered to recover the attention on ourselves. At the end of the evening, we had the exact num- ber of times that we remembered to observe ourselves during the day.

Those two aspects are very important to become aware that we lose constantly, the attention on a specific object. The exercises explained above are simple and useful tools to work on our awareness. The duration of voluntary consciousness is brief, but if we can increase the frequency of recovering our

attention during the day, our intentional awareness can be increased. The problem, in fact, is not only that the duration of one’s awareness is too brief, but even that we are aware just

a few times during a day.

The third aspect to determine one’s awareness is the amplitude. This aspect allows us to reach the possibility of inner growth, emancipating ourselves from the mechanic- ity of daily life. Different from the duration of awareness,

when we must bring our concentration to a single object, the amplitude involves the expansion of the same process – how many things we can consciously perceive at the same time.

This was the experiment: we had to enter a room, look around for 15 to 20 seconds, then exit and write on a paper, the objects we had memorized. Then, to verify how many objects we had perceived. Those who tried this experi- ment, knows how only few of the objects one is capable of remembering the first time. This is the basic amplitude of one’s awareness.

Awareness means continuity, and this isn’t a natural quality of human beings, but it can be acquired through seri- ous training. We lack integrity; normally, we pass from one to another “I” of our fragmented personality, and the fact of “assembling together” some minor events of the day, gives us the illusion of continuity. We are sure that we remember all the facts of one day in all their segments. Actually, we fix only the essential features of one circumstance, those who have attracted our attention more and produced a higher de- gree of attention. Even this “theory” can be proven: the eve- ning before bed, try seriously to switch back to the events of the day without cheating. “I am lying in bed and closed my eyes. Before, I entered the room and I turned on the light… and back with memory to the morning when I woke up”. You’ll be surprised of how little you can evoke the situation of the day just passed.

Attention and Concentration

Attention is a state of conscious presence, most im- portant for those who want to achieve a better state of aware- ness. This ability can and may be constantly trained. As known, the individual degree of focusing capacity differs from person to person. For example, we enter a room, stay there for a few minutes, and once we leave it, we can remem- ber very little of what we’ve seen inside the room. This is an example of a lower degree of attention. The more we develop the capacity for observation, the more we increase the state of attention.

There are no limits and there are no specific targets. This is a state of watchful presence to 360 degrees, which can vary in duration, amplitude, and intensity. Concentration is one’s ability of focusing his/her attention on one specific point. We can train our concentration in keeping us engaged in a technique, in performing a task, or fixing the mind on solving a determined problem (in this case, I recommend the practice of pondering).

Exercising our attention in our everyday life – being aware of our gestures, actions, words, thoughts and emotions (our own and others’ emotions), as well as environments and situations – related to the development of concentration (“trained” through meditation or while learning something intentionally), is the best and most effective way to achieve a higher degree of awareness. Through such education, this state becomes natural and spontaneous, and we achieve the

rare ability of focusing intentionally on everything that sur- rounds us.

Conscious Evolution:

From Nothing to Objective Reason

According to ancient knowledge, men have the possi- bility to experience four basic states of consciousness – basic, because every one of these states have different degrees. Two of them are natural- that means experienced by everyone. The other two can’t be spontaneous, and represent the result of a conscious evolution developed through a path dedicated to inner research. The fours states of consciousness are the sleep, walking state, self-consciousness and objective con- sciousness.

Sleep and the dreaming state is the main argument of many texts. We usually think that we live in a condition of conscious awakening because we can perceive the different degrees of consciousness when we are dreaming or when we are “awake”, and this leads us to the illusion that we can re- ally perceive ourselves and life in general.

Sleep is a subjective and passive state. While sleeping, we are involved in dream dynamics and our psychic functions work without any logic, continuity, or cause. Echoes from the past and vague perceptions such as noises, physical per- ceptions, muscular contraction and pain passes through our mind without leaving any coherent input.

It must be said that what happens during our sleep is strictly related to our individual awareness: the degree of awareness during the dream state reflects our level of aware- ness during our daily life. There is a possibility to experience

different experiences from those described above, but only one is for developing a higher state of self-awareness. There are some practices which offer this opportunity, e.g., the tan- tric Buddhist tradition has a practice of the Milam or Nylam, the practice of the “Illusory Body”, commonly known by the West as Dream Yoga. This practice permits an increasing clarity and lucidity to both waking and sleeping, removing the hindrances and obstacles for a higher awareness. It is im- portant to warn that this practice, if not related to a mindful- ness practice during the walking state, can make emotional discomforts. In fact, during the “lucid dreaming”, there is a lengthening of the R.E.M. phase, increasing the production of serotonin and provoking depressive states.

In the group I was part of in the early nineties, some of the practitioners were spellbound by this practice to the degree that they left the daily practice and dedicated all their attentions to the dreams: this had harmful consequences to their emotional states, and some of them still bear today, those consequences. So, if you are interested in such prac- tices, be careful.

The walking state does not differ much from the sleep state. A man conditioned by his identifications and fragmented personality constantly loses his awareness, and he can’t perceive this because he has the illusion of continu- ity determined by memory. When we wake up in the morn- ing, we perceive a state of awareness as a result of yesterday’s memories, a continuum that creates the image of our life.

It is correct to say that, during our daily routines, we experience states of sleep and partial awareness: in fact, we lose our awareness approximately every two minutes – but often even after a few seconds – when we change the object of our partial attention, varying mechanically the emotional states and mental processes.

Similarly, during the sleep state, our consciousness has similar variations, because the quality of our memories depend on the individual degree of awareness. What we re- member of our dreams is not very relevant. The absence of a qualitative awareness prevents the recording in our mem- ory of concrete images, with the exception of very intensive dream experiences which happens in the walking state, that can momentarily increase our level of attention.

During our sleep, emotions, thoughts, and desires corresponding to our aspirations, fears, and needs, ordinar- ily covered in our subconscious mind, arises. During those moments, it is very difficult to distinguish which are the re- flections of our real needs, and which comes from the “exter- nal” impressions.

The second state is the walking state, and this hap- pens when we wake up, speak, work, imagining that we are awake. This is a state of relative consciousness, or dream-like state, when the sleep degree of attention remains. But now, we achieve a critical attitude towards situations and impres- sions, a better administration of our thoughts, higher reac- tions to sensory impressions, feelings, and desires. Walking state is less subjective than the sleep state, because we have the possibility to distinguish what we are from what we are not, our body from other objects. But, nobody can affirm that this is a real state of awareness because all the percep- tions perceived are illusory, contradictory, more similar to the illusory perceptions of the dream states. We act in a state of sleep of consciousness, but we don’t know this. Generally, this is a concept that is difficult to accept, but let us consider how many times during our life experiences, someone has told us, or we told someone: “Hey! Wake up! Are you sleep- ing?” This is only an expression, or the unconscious percep- tion of a reality we are not commonly aware of.

The ancient traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Yoga and others, defined this – the ordinary waking state as “sleep of consciousness”, to accentuate the fact that human beings experience a not very high perception of real- ity and themselves during sleep. Even the Gospels have many references to this situation: e.g., Jesus answers to Peter when he asked him to linger to participate at the funeral of his par- ent: “Peter…follow me and let the dead bury their dead”.

Still, our illusory life loses its meaning when we be- come aware of the fact that we haven’t the qualities we think we have. It’s my subjective opinion that the meaning of life might be to attain at least the third state of consciousness, or self-awareness, and this state is not often a subject of our experiences; it can be naturally experienced for few and rare moments as a result of external influences such as when we feel a real danger or during intense, unexpected or traumatic situations. But these experiences are only a low degree of the awareness one can achieve with conscious labor.

Self-remembering is the empirical understanding of what we really are independently of the conditioned ideas we have of ourselves. It’s an “I am” said with a full and conscious understanding of its meaning, not an illusory perception of a small “I”, but the perception of our unity in a real “I” behind the appearances and conditioning acquired during our past experiences.

The main feature of this state of awareness is its non- mechanical reaction to external stimulus. A man becomes objective in regard to himself. He perceives the reality of his emotions, thoughts and aspirations. When someone tells us about this level of consciousness, we usually say that this state is well known: that happens because in every moment we confuse the intense identification with an “I” or a group of “I’s” to our true nature.

Society doesn’t provide education about the frag- mented personality. We are not aware of a possible existence independent of the identifications. Honestly, human beings in general, haven’t any idea of what they really are nor the fact that they have the possibility to develop a stable and per- manent center of wakeful awareness in themselves.

In ancient times, the East substantially accepted the idea of the ignorance about one’s nature. Ancient disciplines such as Indo-Tibetan Yoga had the aim to lead the practitio- ners from a walking state to self-remembering and, from this state to the objective consciousness, the fourth and last state known. This state is as far as possible of what we can imag- ine by our ordinary situation, and is almost impossible to explain in words. But, perhaps we can define the meaning of the term “objective”. So, objective is…”what it is – as it is”… an immutable reality that is not interpreted by ourselves, and it remains as it is independently of our opinions.

Everyone can have some subjective conception of ex- istence, determined by his subjective experience, research, and education. But the real sense of life continues to be what it was from the beginning- immutable and independent from man’s subjective opinions.

We can believe, that when we die, we’ll fall into to- tal emptiness, nothing, that we’ll continue our existence in Heaven or Hell depending on our actions during our physi- cal life. We can also believe that we will be transferred into new dimensions where we’ll learn new things, before we re- turn to continue our existence on Earth, lost in a never-end- ing cycle of rebirths to realize the absolute truth, or that we must struggle to achieve a Soul. Or we can believe that the Archangel Michael from the Pleiades will come with his fly- ing source and take our “astral body” to bring us to a place

where beings live in the Fourth Dimension. It doesn’t matter what our opinion is, because it is influenced by our culture, tradition, beliefs, or the specific “sensing”: an objective real- ity exists, and if our heart stops pumping, something objec- tive would really happen – Heaven, Hell, Reincarnation, our life taken by the Moon, a cheerful brigade of Pleiadians or the Nothing. The objective would manifest itself despite of all our opinions, hopes, and beliefs.

That’s objective! The true nature of things, more an- cient and vast of human theories and subjective concepts. “Objective” means “real”. We can change terms and philo- sophical conceptions, theories, religion, systems, or expound our “truth” on Facebook or Twitter or on other networks… who cares? Reality would not change. Objective remains what it is – as it is.

In such an objective state of consciousness, a man can enter into the Real World, detached by the dreams and sub- jective thoughts that bring us far from the reality that is here, now, one inch from our noses. So, this is a state in which one can perceive the reality of all phenomena, of ourselves and the world which surrounds us. This is the real transcendence of all our illusions about wholeness.

This is not my opinion, I’m not so arrogant and pompous to speak about such things, as some described in my posts, without any sense of remorse. This is what people who have “relatively” reached this state who explained to me, and…how do I know that those individuals have reached such a state? Anyone who has made some contact with simi- lar persons can understand how, and can also understand the real meaning of getting in contact with what is defined in the Fourth Way System C-Influence. This is a contact with the real source of real “Knowing”. C-Influence means a source of objective knowing that, as explained by the same term, can

influence our state of consciousness and bring us to the pos- sibility to achieve a better state of awareness and conscious- ness. You can really feel for the first time in your life some glimpse of truth (and this can be reached only by those who have developed an attitude of an empirical nature).

It is not a “School” that allows contacts with such in- fluence, but who teaches in that school: it doesn’t matter if this is a Fourth Way, Buddhist, Taoist, Yoga, or other qualita- tive ancient system. The source is important, and this source is related by who teaches, not by the name of a school. And, the last thing I wish for all of us (including myself) is to not fall into illusions shared by fictional Gurus or “Prophets”, able only to sell illusions to those who follow them. Not one of us need this. I don’t wish for anyone such an experience. Some of you could take this as a sort of Heresy, and put to me every kind of Anathema. “Who’s that naïve child that writes such idiocy?” But, again, this would be only a subjective re- action, but the truth remains always the same.

I would like to finish this text explaining the mean- ing used when I wrote above about individuals who reached “relatively” some degree of that consciousness. Yes, there are logically different degrees of Objective Consciousness. Dis- cover empirically (from first hand experience) the causes cov- ered behind the phenomena of life, knowing the real human nature in his Universal, and not personal meaning…these are different levels of objective experience. Objective conscious- ness depends on the broadmindedness of one’s experimenta- tion. Once we have an approximate idea of such a state, we understand that the limits of this experience depends on the individual’s capacities to expand it. There are many stories about ancient masters capable of travelling to higher dimensions of consciousness completely strange to common men, and entered into contact with oth- er forms of life. There’s the story explained by Fritz Peters

about an experience after the Second World War when he was healed in a moment by Gurdjieff from a nervous breakdown. The master sent to him some kind of blue energetic ray, and all his pains disappeared in a moment. Belief or not in those things is irrelevant, because the reality remains always the same: as it is. Those who could live in states of awareness might not really be interested if we believe or not. Seeking the truth means stopping to give importance to our ideas, stop to identify ourselves with the safeness of our opinions: it’s the development of an Objective Reason despite of all dogmas imposed from religions, philosophies, society or many development systems. Reality never chang- es, it is always there, always one, always the same. It’s our choice if we decide to discover this reality passing from the field of effects to the field of the causes, or to remain as we are now, immersed in our subjective beliefs, at the mercy of a reality that shows to our beliefs, the same interest we show to insects.

In Search for Awakeness:

The Awakening of a “True Mind”

What we call mind ordinarily is not what it should be. It appears more a burden than a gift, because it is susceptible to external random situations, and that is the main cause of our mechanicity. We are uneducated as to how to use our mind. Indeed, a trained mind, a mind under the control of its owner, is a light which allows us to “see” things, and not just to look at them. This is what the Ancient Teachings used to call “True Mind”.

This “True Mind” has almost nothing to do with what we usually call “mind”. It is not a thing we possess. It is a possibility, not something certain, but something we could acquire with our own efforts. It is a state of conscious- ness deeply related with what one has realized in oneself, and it never happens/appears before one has achieved a certain degree of objectivity. Before this moment, there is no “True Mind”, only a storm of conditioned thoughts which pass through our mind, conditioning every moment of our life, our every decision, our every act. Ordinary mind “happens”.

Contrarily, True Mind does not happen; it manifests itself after a determined amount of training, specifically when we have acquired enough understanding of ourselves. I don’t want to enter the argument about what “understanding” or “knowing” ourselves means, because on this blog, there are enough pages dedicated to this argument.

So, differently from what people ordinarily “think”, a “True Mind” cannot happen. This belief is a subjective point of view, exactly what prevents access to the “True Mind”.

This is not a fairy tale nor a spiritual legend. This mind exists. It could be achieved by everyone who truly wish to achieve it; What one needs is to become and one hasn’t to wait for a sort of Samadhi or Nirvana or other “enlighten- ment” to see this manifestation in oneself. What one needs is to become one in himself. And this, contrary to what many “think”, is not far from our possibilities.

Unify all the fragmented fields of our personality, that sneaky multitude of “ourselves” which constantly alternate giving us the illusion of continuity, building an illusory and surreal life. What we require to achieve this higher mind, this “True Mind”, is to completely realize our human poten- tial, ceasing to live as a dummy, and begin to be a little more human.

So, the “True Mind” will manifest itself as a result of work, of effort, which would then lighten our life path and bring us further to higher experiences, the existence of which we could never have suspected.

Levels of Being

In Classical Ancient Teachings, it is said that there are four levels of consciousness that the human being can perceive: the sleep state, the walking state, the state of self- awareness and the state of objective awareness, but he ordi- narily lives in the first two states and only in special situa- tions when great emotions are involved, he can experience the third state, but almost never the fourth. This is a well- known topic for the practitioners on this path. But, there is also a division that generally is ignored or placed apart, but is even more important to the harmonious development of a man, a knowledge that can improve the achievement of the third and fourth state: the level of our being.

The difference between understanding the four states of awareness and the level of our being has to be reached to the particular degree we use to understand them. The theory of the Four states is mathematical, scientific, and admits no exceptions: there are four, and only four states, and every man’s awareness can be placed in one of them: so this is a type of global law, as it must be.

But, if we speak about the level of being we can sud- denly perceive that we can’t use any mathematical or scien- tific system to place ourselves in a determinate degree; the reason is that every man has his degree of being! This is a fact! Even two persons with the ‘same’ state of consciousness does not have the same degree of being. It is not a law. It is a personal thing. So, if on the earth there are 7 billion people,

we have 7 billion different levels of being. As in fingerprints, there are not two same levels of being.

So, let’s explain the meaning of “level of being”.

Levels of Being

We all know that there are different social levels, we can see people submerged in politics and there are church people, business people, country folk, etc. In the same man- ner, there are different levels of being for each individual:

magnanimous, petty, generous, mean, violent, peaceful, chaste, lustful, etc…These are the different degrees of the level of being. If our aim is self-development, we must un- derstand and assimilate that concept. There are many levels of being and we are not an exception.

This level of being determines the situations that we attract in our daily life. An alcoholic will attract other alco- holics and will always find himself involved with pubs and bars. This is a fact.

A lustful person will attract and will be involved in situations of lasciviousness and suffer the consequences that his acts will create.

Similarly, each person will attract the situations re- lated to his level of being.

This is one of the reasons why what happened to us yesterday will happen again today and will happen again to- morrow. We are “creatures of habits”, so we always repeat the same things, and when we speak about our mistakes, we never learn the lessons of life. That’s the situation we live in. We always say and do the same things, complain about the same things, and this is like as we wake up every morning on the same Sunday, as we live every day the same day: we are fixed-habit animals who live boring repetitions of our daily

dramas, comedies and tragedies. This will continue as long s we carry within all the undesirable elements of anger, greed, lust, envy, pride, laziness, gluttony, and so forth.

So, once we become aware of our situation, how do we escape this miserable condition that harms our life? First of all, we have to ask ourselves a concrete question: What is our level of Being?

To escape these repetitions, we must radically change our level of being.

We must understand that everything, all circumstanc- es that occur outside of ourselves, on the world stage, are, without exception, the reflection of what we carry within:

“the exterior is the reflection of the interior”.

So, when we change internally and the change is radical, then the exterior circumstances of life also change. Where is our level of Being? Have you ever reflected upon this? It is impossible to move to another level if we ignore the state we find ourselves in.

The Scale of Beings

First, we must understand that each of us, indepen- dently of his social status, work, role, sex,and health is at one or another level of Being.

We can imagine a stairway that ascends vertically from beneath us with very many steps. This is the figurative representation of the scale of Being. As said, each person is different, and each person has his level of being: we find our- selves on one of these steps.

On the other side, there is a horizontal line that repre- sents the mechanical life of men: the time and years, that of being born, growing, developing, marrying, reproducing, ag-

ing and dying – all this represent the linear mechanical part of our life. All our life is centered on this horizontal scale that doesn’t represent any kind of change. At this level, all things are repetitive, nothing changes. We are slaves of the Law of Randomness.

The scale of being has nothing to do with linear time; on the rungs of such a ladder, we find only levels of Being. The only thing that can change here is the level of being. In fact, instant to instant, immediately above us there’s a higher level of Being. There is no time, no past, no future, only the eternal here and now, within ourselves. This is the vertical scale of our life.

Personality develops and unfolds on the horizontal line: it is born and dies within its linear transitory time.

The levels of Being and the Being itself, doesn’t be- long to the Law of time. It has nothing to do with the hori- zontal line, it is within ourselves. It is “Now”, on the vertical line. It would be useless to search for our own Being outside of ourselves. Neither titles, grades, promotions or money can develop our Being in any way, allowing us to pass to a higher step on the levels of Being.

These horizontal and vertical lines meet from mo- ment to moment in our psychological realm and form sym- bolically, a cross. The level of our Being is here and now, inside of us, in the center of this cross where the horizontal meets the vertical line.

So, if we wish to understand our level of Being, we have to search for it in the present moment.

Development of the Being

There is a chance to change the level of our being. There is a chance to develop and ascend to a higher step on

the vertical line. When we struggle to remember ourselves, when we work on ourselves, when we escape the trap of iden- tifications with all the problems and sorrows of life, we start to walk on the vertical path. Certainly, it is not easy to elimi- nate our negative emotions, to lose all identifications. There are so many problems in every field of our life – in our busi- ness, financial situations, emotive situations, etc.

We suffer every moment of our life at every breath we take, and even moment s of happiness are seen with sadness because in some degree of our understanding we know that they are transitory. When we are involved in our own prob- lems, we lose ourselves, our real Being, completely identified with our momentary tragedies.

The work on oneself is the fundamental characteristic of the vertical path. Nobody could walk the path of the verti- cal way if he were never to work on himself. This is a work of a psychological nature; that we need to learn how to live from moment to moment.

Anyone who is depressed for emotional, economical, or other problem, obviously doesn’t feel himself: he isn’t. But, if he would stop for a moment, observe the situation and try to remember himself and then make an effort to un- derstand the mechanics of his attitude, maybe some things would change.

It is possible to transform mechanical reactions through logical confrontation and intimate self-reflection on Being, stopping our mechanical reactions to the circum- stances of life. Again, this is not a simple task. It needs dis- cipline, and the discipline requires perseverance: those two qualities are the qualities of the real seeker, the walker on the path of his Being. And, the “Realm of Being” is the only pos- sibility we have to live a real life.

Mechanicity

and the Apparent Impossibility of Self-Freedom

“The evolution of man can be taken as the development in him of those powers and possibilities which never develop by themselves, that is, mechanically. Only this kind of develop- ment, only this kind of growth, marks the real evolution of man. There is, and there can be, no other kind of evolution whatever…In speaking of evolution it is necessary to under- stand from the outset that no mechanical evolution is pos- sible. The evolution of man is the evolution of his conscious- ness. And “consciousness” cannot evolve unconsciously. The evolution of man is the evolution of his will, and ‘will’ cannot evolve involuntarily. The evolution of man is the evolution of his power of doing, and ‘doing’ cannot be the result of things which ‘happen’.”

of the Miraculous”, pp.56,58

P.D. Ouspensky, “In Search

One of the peculiar characteristics of human beings is to defend their preformed and crystallized thought and opin- ions. Everyone of us – EVERYONE!!! , without exception, has a tendency to not recognize that he had missed some- thing and, maybe misunderstood things and situations, and this characteristic comes from a doubt about our identity. In fact, we “perceive” ourselves through the convictions and

information acquired during many years of existence. With- out those convictions, we feel unstable, like a ship lost at the mercy of the waves of the sea. Ordinarily, we don’t know another method how to “be conscious of ourselves”, but this method, unfortunately, is not self –consciousness.

This is a state of constant fear that we live in every day. We fear all that comes from the outside, that is seen (or felt) as a potential factor of disaggregation of all the opinions we have about life and ourselves. Such kind of mechanic- ity is the source of all love conflicts, the end of friendships, and all the ideological and religious wars we witness in the modern world. Another harmful aspect of this attitude is the total impossibility to develop an open and healthy intel- lectual growing process. The rationality developed in the last centuries contributes to increasing the idea that we are our thoughts and our ideas; the consequence of this is that we have the tendency to protect and justify our ideas, and that means the protection of what we think we are (mechanical self-preservation). I said that this is a tendency common to all of us, even more for the followers of the Fourth Way sys- tem (me included). If you don’t believe this “theory”, then just take a look at the blogs, texts, and replies: to be honest, ninety percent of the replies seem to be a sort of clash of ideas about this or that other concept, instead of a constructive exchange of ideas (I hope this will not be the case of this net- work, because it is my opinion that such manifestations of self-importance have no utility and are very harmful).

Another problem is that men generally think that our psycho-physical structure is stable and developed, and that we have all the necessary requirements to learn how to de- velop ourselves: we think we are “complete”. But the ancient systems of self-development tell us another story.

In different kinds of ways, with different words, Yogis, Buddhists, Taoists, Zen, Kabbalah, Zoroastrians, alchemists, and ancient philosophers recalled and recall even today to

take an accurate and practical examination of the human condition. The human being is a being in a state of evolu- tion, and that development is not automatic. It requires a conscious effort and an understanding of the dynamics one has to change.

Different from the animal and vegetal realm, we have psychic, emotional, and spiritual potentials which may al- low us to realize and achieve higher spheres of consciousness, much different than the reality we ordinarily perceive. But this is only a possibility, a choice, because ordinarily, we are not educated to recognize and use our potentials, so we lose the possibility of perhaps, a better life. To use common and adequate terms, we can call this possibility a conscious de- velopment, because one’s nature can only be of a conscious source. But, such development can’t be a sort of d.i.y. meth- od, as many New Age followers believe.

It’s true, we are all different individuals, but to achieve a possibility for self-growth, we need external help, because without a “sober” and adequate system, we can’t escape the mechanicity and unconscious state we experience in everyday life.

Everyone claims freedom, authority and control of his life, but when someone disagrees with our illusory convic- tions, we became irritated. This is our pride. When I first met my mentor (teacher), he told me that I am a monkey, that all I can do is peel bananas when I’m hungry, and the only thing I can do is to take my baggage of convictions and flush them into the toilet and start from the beginning. Likeable, isn’t it? Of course, my reactions were anger and frustration, but this helped me to begin to understand that maybe he was right. This is true, almost all human beings can’t administer and have control of their life. There are many businessmen, artists, researchers that have many social and economic suc- cesses, and those individuals are certain that they have total control of their life, but, what’s the price of that “success”?

In most of the cases, loss of health, no private life, nervous diseases…

On the other side, there are individuals capable of creating a harmonic and calm life, a sort of “inner space”, a privacy, taking care of their health and convinced to have achieved a stable emotive balance. But they are absolutely incapable to “fight” for themselves, to take care of their fami- lies and achieve a minimal economic stability.

Two opposite situations, the same source. Everyone can be successful in one or some field of their life, but in an- other field, they are always victims of accidental events. We don’t know ourselves, but the most serious problem is that we ignore this.

One of the greatest causes, the source of all our emo- tional pains, is our mechanicity, and this is a concept that is ignored by the majority of people. We have the tendency to have mechanical reactions when stimulated by external situa- tions according to well-defined schemes, determined by one’s birthplace, century, education, social conditioning and life experiences. These are the individual reasons for our mecha- nicity.

There are also reasons concerning humanity deter- mined by centuries of collective consciousness. The common fear of the dark is an instinctive reaction present in our ge- netic code, and derives from ancient ages when life was put at risk by aggressions by animals, other tribes, bandits. These are all mechanical reactions typical of man’s nature, recorded in our genetic code.

So, we act almost exclusively through reaction. Ev- ery situation makes us react in a different manner: when one criticizes us, when we strain our habit with coffee, with climatic conditions…almost every thing we do, feel, think during the day is mechanical. Every one of those situations causes a different emotive state. And the majority of men

consider this natural. This is the mechanicity, the tendency to modify our behaviors dependent on external situations. Every action has its reaction.

The struggle against our mechanicity and loss of con- sciousness is one of the first and most important steps in the field of inner work. First, one must realize his loss of au- tonomy, not only intellectually, but in practice. We react as a “machine”. Only if we realize this, we may change some- thing.

The mechanical is also a state of irresponsibility, a state of unconsciousness that can have very harmful consequences:

in fact, in this state, we can have the most terrible reactions, such as offensive language, physical violence, mobbing, or even homicide.

The ancient teachings use the term Conscious Evo- lution to describe the possibility of de-mechanization, and underline the necessity of a concrete system, because with- out such help, one cannot overcome the deep state of uncon- sciousness and mechanicity.

Ponderings about simple things that are virtually impossible to understand

A human is a tripartite being. He is composed of mind, body and emotions. During his life on earth, these three compo- nents are fundamental for his development, and each of these parts have the support of the other. Every objective develop- ment must be done with the participation of all these three components: if one wants to develop some physical skill, this must include the intellectual and emotional component. These three components as tools for human inner develop- ment are symbolized in the ancient cultures by the triangle shape.

The Intellectual component is all the impressions recorded in life and transformed into thoughts. Logic, reasoning and reflections, independently if results are of something we have learned from imitation, or based on our experience, are all parts of the intellectual sphere. Its bases are in our experi- ence, and the past experiences of others Therefore, we can say that our mind is always conditioned by the past. So, it is important to develop an open and flexible mind, which could accept new theories and experiences; a conditioned and conservative mind is unsuitable for possible individual development.

The Emotions are all the sensations and feelings that arise when something is experienced by us. Feeling the beauty of

a landscape or a body, feeling compassion and loving kind-

ness for another, falling in love or being attracted by some- one, are all emotive reactions. Eating and even reading this post could produce emotive reactions in all of us. Without emotions, every kind of development would be impossible. Releasing all the emotive constraints is crucial for a harmonic development of a man. The negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety, and envy have to be eliminated, because they have a kind of vibration that is deleterious for our mind and body.

The Physical body is obviously intended as the whole of what we can see (exterior form) and the organs, nervous system,

and the vital energy that feeds all the physical systems. Even

if we can see this material part of us, its functioning is almost

unknown and ignored, and this is clear when we observe our relations with the physical machine.

Behind these functions, there is what we know as “Being”. In all the ancient traditions – even the early Christian – the being is what transmigrates from life to life is to acquire new experiences with the aim of achieving Spiritual Conscious- ness. The being is what we really are – our “natural” I. The Being needs as tools for this evolution, the physical body and the mind: with the first he experiments with the material world, and the second tool, the processes of the data of what it has experienced. The emotions are the other manifesta- tions of the being and its perceptive tool. The emotions are also important to fix remembrance. To suppress the positive emotions – a usual thing in contemporary society, is to in- hibit the development of the being. All our power resides in the being that is practically unknown by the majority. The ancient traditions always said that for a possible develop- ment, one must first know himself (NOSCE TE IPSUM). This means to realize our true nature, what we really are, the being that is suppressed by the personality developed by cul- tural conditioning and the limits imposed by social life. We must develop the awareness of our true nature, the being. This can be achieved only by a conscious and “mathemati-

cal” process of working on ourselves, developing a stable cen- ter of consciousness that resides in our being, and not in the personality. So, the being will influence the body, the mind and the emotions which otherwise, in a normal state of “con- sciousness” are under the slavery of the external influences.

Through a specific system of learning, the being becomes the master and manifests its powers and qualities through the mind, emotions and body which cease to be under the in- fluences of the outer world. The emotions become the true expression of the being, and the personality – that must not be destroyed – is guided exclusively by our true nature: our Being.

Ways to Achieve a Better State of Awareness

Sometimes, many persons, new seekers along the path of inner development, don’t understand what it really means to observe themselves. What does it mean to make a space between them , to take a look and see what they are as they are, such as they observe some other person, a friend, or a stranger…someone who is not themselves? They do not know the correct way to understand how to perform such a challenging task. How to begin?

It would be useful to observe a dog, a cat or a bird moving between people. It’s a simple thing to do. Observing them, we become more aware of the fact that their degree of attention is nonexistent.

Their attention is directed to someone, then, at the first external sound or movement, their attention moves to the new object of their identification. It is also worth observ- ing the dog’s eyes: they are so expressive that we can perceive the exact moment they change their emotional state.

In the animal realm, it is so simple to perceive frag- mented attention, always susceptible to the reactions of the external world.

After having performed such experimental obser- vation, if we are able to maintain even such low degrees of attention to do this, let’s try the same observation with the persons around us. A crowded bar would be a good “labora-

tory” to perform this “experiment”.

So, observing with attention and patience, we will be astonished by the similarity between human and animal behavior in this field of consciousness. We can notice a per- son’s mechanicalness in their manner of walking, the vacuity in their gaze and the fact that their center of attention con- stantly changes.

shop window!! The new Armani collection

for this winter!! Wait…wait…let’s stop here for a moment… I would like to see…No…maybe another time, I’ve remem- bered that I have to do one thing…but, now I would like to drink a good coffee…no, maybe an ice cream is better…oh, that itch on my back…what’s on tv this evening?”…

Their gazes pass from one thing to another. It seems that these two lovers at the next table are speaking. But, they don’t communicate. They are speaking without any interest, each of them distracted by what is happening around them. Absence in their eyes, absence in their hearts…they aren’t re- ally together.

Sitting in a popular bar among others: such a mar- velous and horrible thing. The more we develop the abil- ity to observe, the more we become aware of the fact that

everything hap-

persons can’t really do anything…nothing

pens. What they are speaking is accidental, such as the vari- ous things which attract their attention from moment to mo-

ment.”

“Look

a

Now, with such a new point of view, with such new “consciousness” of what surrounds us, let’s make another step: let us observe ourselves! Maybe, we stand up and start walking such as the others do. Yes, walking, looking at a shop window…some new PC, a shirt, a blouse, what we have to do during this day…Wait! Didn’t we say that we have to observe

ourselves? So, why do we astonishingly “catch”ourselves looking at the new Armani collection, sticking our nose on the shop window? When did it happen that we have lost the attention of our purpose?

Is it a joke? An exaggeration? Try it on yourself. It’s a very interesting fact, something that everyone who has per- formed some work on himself could testify. Amazing! At the beginning, when we “catch” ourselves in such conditions, when we notice that we don’t have a continuity of conscious- ness, we feel a sense of fear. Not panic, but a slight sense of discomfort. But this emotion vanishes once we realize that all those who surround us live their lives in the same situa- tion, but never assumed or perceived the problem.

Progressively, we begin to see things and persons with “different eyes”: an angry or altered friend, an impulsive re- action of a mate, our attitudes towards all those to whom we felt a sense of embarrassment, authority, and all the rest. When we start to perceive the things from this different point of view, then, this “fear” of our condition begins to vanish. Progressively, if we are lucky, in us arises a desire to know and understand more and more…we develop the wish of becom- ing more awake, more aware, freeing ourselves from all those people and situations who treated us as foolish.

But…it’s not so simple, that’s true. Probably, the day after, waking up from sleep, we’ll forget our purpose to con- tinue such work. That’s our loss of continuity continuity in our purposes, continuity in our consciousness. Maybe, instead of continuing this work, a different part of our frag- mented personality will choose to drink coffee, or making a trip to Alabama….

Through Sincerity Comes Security (and Unity)

Just a short pondering about relations between hu- man beings.

The question about sincerity is almost a daily topic in a person’s mind. Are others sincere towards us? Are we sincere towards others? Are we sincere with ourselves? There is another question which may arise in our minds: is it pos- sible to establish a friendship or a relationship on reciprocal Loyalty, Trust, and Freedom, maintaining the same relations as pure, innocent, unharmful?

Loyalty, Trust, and Freedom are qualities that should be the foundation in every type of relationship, both in friendship and in love. It should also provide the fundamen- tal basis in the relationships between all human beings.

Such relationships are surely possible. Eventually, we may meet someone who shares the same ethical points of view, or someone who has a different point of view that deems them as fair and high-minded. However, to require these qualities of loyalty, trust and freedom in a relationship may mean that we may be solitary for a very long time.

Perhaps the world in which we live, is a kind of cross- road. I think never more than the present time, we need people capable of believing in universal values based on true love, who can never be separated from freedom and fairness.

To achieve what we need and want, we should do one

thing: to continue to be honest with ourselves, and at least, with whom we say we love. Who dares, wins!

The Theory of the Four Bodies (a never-ending story)

….The following text is a short consideration of a never-end- ing research…so, be patient, receptive, and open-minded….

According to ancient teachings, a man has four bod-

ies: physical, emotional, intellectual, and causal. Different from many other esoteric disciplines, the Fourth Way system says that a mechanical man normally has only the first body

– the physical. The other three bodies are only a possibility.

This concept often causes confusion among the seekers, and this theory is often ignored or even ridiculed by the followers of the various factions of the New Age movement.

Let us put aside the considerations of these individu- als who follow only beliefs instead of the effort of creating an objective reason – a healthy function of their intellectual center. Let us also put aside the purely theoretical consid- erations. Let’s begin to think with a clear mind. So, does

a man have the subtle bodies or are they only a possibility?

In my experience, the answer for both questions is “yes and no”. It would be better to say that the superior bodies exist

as a possibility. I don’t consider the sentence “they are only

a possibility”, because this omits the existence of something that is possible to develop in a concrete body.

But to understand something about this argument,

it is best to start from the beginning. What is a body? What

does it mean? And the core question- what is a subtle body?

Ordinarily, when we speak about the subtle-higher bodies, we create an image related to our physical vehicle and

assign to them the same form: two hands, two legs, eyes, head and so on. Is this a correct interpretation? Maybe! But, if we search to the etymological meaning of this word, we see that the body has its concrete meaning: this word derives from the Latin corpus, and it means “agglomerate, a whole”. Now, we can suppose a bit objectively, that the body means a whole of something, of some substance. The physical body is the ensemble of all the flesh, the bones, the organs, and all that is part of him. In the same manner, we can say that the emotional “body” is a whole of all we perceive as emo- tions. The intellectual body is the whole of our thinking and thought system. We, or better said, I, can say nothing about the causal or spiritual body, because I cannot perceive the substance that can model it.

So, this is a possible answer to the above mentioned “the subtle bodies are only a possibility”. We have all the necessary “stuff” to make a superior body, but it remains use- less if we don’t use it. First of all, we cannot recognize nor administer our emotions, so these emotions remain scattered and disconnected. One moment we feel peace, the other mo- ment, anxiety. This may change a thousand times during one day. This consideration can be applied for the intellect: we cannot control nor administer our thoughts. They change steadily. So, the subtle bodies exists in all of us as a pos- sibility, but they are like an atrophied muscle: they need to be trained to become concrete and efficient. The training to achieve this aim is well-known by the seekers on this path:

self-observation, constant efforts, discipline, intentional suf- ferings, and objective faith. This is the only way I’ve per- ceived it in my experience, and I ponder that an experience is better than a thousand theories.

Being and the Theory of Reincarnation

Knowing ourselves doesn’t mean recognizing what makes us different from others, such as enjoyments, desires, ambitions, and personal abilities. It means understanding the functions and structure of the human machine with the aim of obtain- ing perfect control of ourselves and our lives.

As written in the previous posts on this and other blogs, on many web pages, and, of course in many good and useful books, the means to achieve this goal is the development of the capacity to observe.

One of the main and often most misunderstood fields on self- discovery, is what the ancient traditions called by the name “Being” or “Essence”, which is the immaterial and perma- nent reality.

Every human being is composed of two parts: the real and the unreal. The illusory is the non-permanent and imagina- tive part. This illusory part of ourselves, is the personality, and we are almost totally identified with this field.

The real, genuine part of ourselves is the “Essence”, which is with us from our birth, before the formation of the personal- ity. The personality is acquired through time. The Essence is innate and does not change with education and external circumstances. Instead, the personality changes according to the changes of the external environment. The Essence is the immaterial part of us which survives physical death, almost always wrongly called by some religions as “Soul”. Affirming

that the “Essence” is a part of us is incorrect, because We are the Essence! Personality is the temporary form which we use to experience material life.

To better explain our deep identification with the personal- ity, we will use here the example of the Greek legend of Nar- cissus, who, upon looking at his image in a pond, falls in love with the image he sees, and dies drowned in the waters of life. So, he loses his self-consciousness.

Personality is a term which derives from Greek, and it means “mask”. Indeed, this is a mask intended as a superimposed form which covers our Nature. Below the color, form, and consistence of this “mask”, there is a concrete and real sub- stance; the Essence.

For a better understanding of the concept of being or es- sence, we will take water as an example, a perfect analogy to help in forming a better idea of what this complex, and infinitely more fascinating part of us, than what we would ordinarily claim to be.

We can find water in various forms: liquid, solid (ice) and gas (steam). It moves from one state to another, changing quality and consistency. By boiling water, it becomes steam, which then condenses and becomes liquid. When exposed to

lower temperatures, it becomes ice. So, what is water? A gas?

A liquid? A solid? Or all of the qualities which enable it to

change form without losing its essence? What is its essence?

It is a set of “qualities” and not the forms through which it

manifests itself. Similarly, the Essence is related to human life as is the essence of water with the various forms it takes. The true man and true woman is the Being. Bodies, race, personality, thoughts, emotions, and functions of the human machine are the temporary constants that we use to under- stand, learn, and feel, in order to experience the environment

in which we live. By identifying with the form, we forget our

true nature. This depends on the lack of an education which

would allows us to recollect what we really are. What we

ordinarily claim to be – teachers, artists, writers, accountants or other…it doesn’t matter, it’s all false, thus, irrelevant. Ev- erything we think of as us, is in principle, false.

In the ancient cultures, the concept of reincarnation is deeply related to the concept of Essence. It doesn’t matter if we be- lieve or not in reincarnation. It’s a subjective thing, therefore irrelevant, such as any other thing which we believe without direct experience. We will handle this concept according to eastern philosophy which begins from the point of Essence. According to these teachings, this principle – our true na- ture, tries to understand the nature of the Universe through a long process of experiences, achieving this through many lives, different forms, cultures and so on. The goal of these experiences is to achieve the “Divine Consciousness”, and this means achieving the higher state of consciousness and the “powers” which characterize it.

The ancient knowing, hands down the existence of differ- ent planes or worlds, more subtle than the material matter which composes our Universe. The Essence, our true nature, is “consciousness”, not “substance”. Such as water, the Es- sence assumes a specific “substance” to experience its own evolution in a specific way, which ideally ends with complete conscious enlightenment.

For every human being, experiencing matter represents an important step in the evolutionary path, and it is repeated through various cycles of lives. At every birth, all the memory of the past life experiences arise only if an individual achieves the complete control of his psycho-physical machine, recon- necting consciously with the memories hidden in the deepest parts of his true self.

The fact that we forget our true nature- what we really are, is due to the bad and incomplete education acquired, and from the absence of a valid teaching which would enable us to “re- turn” to ourselves (Awakening).

The Trap of Loneliness

What is solitude? It is the total absence of communi- cation with the outer world, one of the most common sick- nesses of the 20 th and 21 st centuries. It is the feeling of the absence of others near us, and the worst thing is when this is perceived amidst a mass of thousands of people. Loneliness is not only the absence of contact with others, but also the absence of contact with ourselves.

In fact, communication between two persons requires at least one conscious communicator. Without a deep self- consciousness, even with all the good will of this world, any true and sincere communication is impossible. This is the main cause of the decline of communication between mates. Men and women know almost nothing about their sexuality, their masculinity and femininity. Without a clear perception of being a part of, or of representing one of these principles, it is impossible for any fusion with a partner. And that is the reason why most people are satisfied with a mechanical, stag- nant sex, or an undefined mix of feelings and emotions which drive their relationship towards further misunderstanding and solitude.

Solitude brings further solitude. Parents are unable to make productive communication with their children, and children are unable to establish communication with their parents. The same happens between love and work partners, politicians, professors, and priests. In reality, all the fields of human life are corrupted by this sickness. But it is logi- cal that it must be so: to perform open communication, we

need first to understand and know ourselves, at least par- tially. This means that to overcome the pain of solitude, we must first become good friends with ourselves, understand- ing ourselves more deeply, discovering ourselves and learning to Love ourselves. That’s the focal point, the only good point, to be able to understand and establish a communication with others.

When we recognize that other persons suffer our same sickness and weakness, then, we establish the first possibility to communicate, and the weight of solitude begins to vanish.

One of the main reasons of incommunicability de- rives paradoxically from our fear of being misunderstood, being judged, and being rejected. So, manifesting our desires and points of view becomes difficult.

Through observing ourselves, we become more able to identify, to understand, and to overcome our fears. Once we achieve the capacity and habit of observing ourselves deeply, we also come to understand relatively better, other people, because everyone in his manner shares the same fears, blocks, and needs.

The Trap of our Self-Pity

Self-pity is one of the worst “psychic viruses” which harm men’s mind. We have all experienced it, it’s inevitable. It is also one of the often used tools for individual and social blackmail.

Everyday we are all victims and often “executors” of such behaviors. A clear vision is not regarded, and all the sensible persons feel a sense of guilt. We meet a poor person on the road and we have the freedom of giving him money or not. The problem is that in most cases, we are unable to make a choice. We are conditioned to act in a determinate way, so we give him money. We are conditioned by the idea of making something good, but we make something wrong, because acting unconsciously means acting wrongly. I un- derstand that this is perhaps difficult to digest, but an uncon- scious act is like a gun in the hand of a child: the results are unforeseeable. It’s a bad thing even if we don’t see the results immediately.

Society is a whole of complexes and false and hypo- critical behaviors based on the sense of guilt, conditioned by a false love toward another. Loss of interest, egoism, self-am- bition, are often covered in such behaviors. It is a common thing saying that our parents are guilty for our behavior, our personality, our fears, and conditioned attitudes. That’s true, they built the first foundation of our lives, made of various ‘you can, you can’t or that’s good or that’s wrong’, etc. But childhood, for most of us, has passed many, many years ago,

and we still keep this baggage with us. I’ve noticed behav- iors in myself, my friends, here on Facebook, even in my par- ents…that’s a comical and sad thing at the same time. “I have problems because my father (or mother) was so protec- tive or authoritarian toward me”. This is a common alchemi- cal formula of this topic: our parents are guilty and we are only poor, innocent victims (re)acting as a child, even if we are 35 (like I am) or 46 or 53 years old. And we often forget that our parents acted for our good – they were unable to do otherwise such as we are unable to do the same: conditioned minds educated by conditioned minds – this is the situation.

Searching as adults for the guilt in our parents is a perfect example of self-pity. Our parents were unable to change the education they gave us, because they were unable to do otherwise. The real problem (once again), is that we can’t make a choice, because as most of us know (not theo- retically, but in practice), we can’t reach the capacity of being and acting.

Self-pity is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving these attitudes. How can we pretend to be able to make some changes if our minds are conditioned? We react, not act. This is the terror of the situation. Another reality is that there is a concrete universal (common) law, which functions for those who are more or less conscious: for every action corresponds an exact reaction. This is not a theory, this is a fact, so it would be better to keep it in our mind as a treasure. This law is of value both for the individual and the collective fields. To get the best results in our lives, we might become able to understand what reactions would bring every action we do, and this requires a better awareness and comprehension of the dynamics which determine our lives.

And to become awake we must

achieve the faculty of looking at things without masks and other identifications which make many distortions in per- ceiving reality as it is. Self-pity is one of these masks, or iden-

We must be awake.

tifications- maybe the most harmful. “All men (or women) are the same”, “I can’t live in such conditions”, “Look what you’ve made of my life”, “He’s the worst person I’ve ever met”, “You can’t understand what I’m going through at this moment”…there are many examples of self-pity. Everyone of us, being a little bit aware and of self-critical mind, could find many examples of self-pity in our daily discourses and interactions with friends, parents, at work.

Asking for help is not self-pity. Knowing when we really need to be helped is very important. Life is based on interactions, helping each other, understanding each other. Understanding this, means being mature and open-minded. No one can live a healthy life without interacting with oth- ers. We survive because we receive help from these “realms” which provide us the food for our body, mind, and Being. How could we live without food for our emotions, which is derived from nature and the relations with other members of our species? The vision of some kind of Superman who can live without any help from the outer world is unnatural, and the aim of any sober self-development system is exactly the opposite: openness, not closeness. A healthy equilibrated and mature society has its roots in its collective of individuals who have reached the balance between giving and receiving, not for personal and egoistic purposes, but as the result of the statement that all is maintained by unity, a reciprocal col- laboration. Self-pity doesn’t mean asking for help when we really need it. And it doesn’t mean moaning. Sometimes, we have an urge to “release our baggage”, confessing to a friend who we know can understand our problems, doubts, fears, etc. This can be an expression or a need of our Being. Oth- erwise, self-pity means enjoying our frustrations, physical or emotive sufferings and discomforts, doing this without any purpose to find some kind of solution to overcome what af- flicts us at this moment. If we analyze ourselves and oth- ers, we’ll discover that human beings have a tendency toward the behavior of self-pity, and sometimes this becomes a real pathological problem. Human beings are really and deeply

attached to their suffering, and this tendency is visible in the fetishistic habit of maintaining alive in their memory, the “ghosts of the individual past”, fragments of memory of what was beautiful and fulfilling for them, and which they have lost. We remain morbidly attached to these memories. Per- sons love to suffer the pain generated by remembering what they have lost: they label such states as “melancholy” and even “love”. But, if we look a little deeper and objectively (we don’t need any ‘special skill’ to do this, only sincerity), we’ll see that this is only a kind of fetishism. Nothing more, nothing less. The most curious thing is that these remem- brances do not arise to make a sort of joy, but a suffering. Men are very strange animals.

Now, how is it possible that people enjoy suffering? This is an important thing to ponder on.

Self-pity represents our wish to not free ourselves from pain, and it becomes a sort of nutriment. Generally, this behavior needs external support, the attention of anoth- er person is needed. Attracting the attention of the other is the purpose of this kind of self-pity. But, sometimes, this be- havior becomes pathological, and the outer attention is not required yet. It becomes an inner dialogue, and the convic- tion of a suffering that can’t be overcome is enough to feed the emotive. This is a very dangerous behavior, and the in- dividual isolates himself from the world, loses every contact with reality, nourishing himself only with suffering. There is another cause for this ‘cancer’ of the mind: the desire to feel ourselves. This would perhaps sound strange, but almost all people are unable to feel themselves in a natural way. No one has taught us to feel ourselves and we can’t do this because we are not awakened.

We sleep constantly. But feeling ourselves is our big- gest need. If a person does not have a perception of him- self, even if false, he is bound for self-destruction. This is the main reason why we wear many types of masks, to feel

something, however illusory, of ourselves. The pleasure and pain are the two “energies” through which we can “be con- scious of ourselves”. They are the most intense expressions in our life. One who feels a pleasure or pain has a self-presence experience of a different, intense kind. Since childhood we are not educated to feel pleasure, so we don’t know how to achieve the intensity of every drive and need. I don’t want to say that a man doesn’t know how to feel pleasure in his life, but rather that he doesn’t know how to make pleasure an art capable of keeping him in a state of constant mental vigi- lance and emotive intensity. So, he is forced to sense himself through pain and suffering. Maybe these affirmations might seem absurd, but they represent the real condition of every man, and this can be demonstrated through a serious and constant self-observation of ourselves in our daily lives.

Observation is the only tool to demonstrate some- thing in a more objective way. The other is dreaming and living our illusory life. So, the tendency to feel suffering and pain develops a false individual center and we achieve the il- lusory perception of being. The majority of persons are more conscious of the agglomerate of their problems and difficul- ties and less of the joyous and the beautiful. The tendency for suffering is a common thing for humans in general. Have you ever noticed that the most interesting news in various newspapers are always negative? Have you ever noticed that when an incident happens, every witness has the morbid cu- riosity to see what has happened, even if they know that what they will see would upset them? They search for a negative shock to live an intense emotive experience.

But, how to live an intense emotive experience that is positive? This would be a gift for everyone, but no one has taught us how to do this in this morbid society we live in, based on a repressive religiosity that preaches fear and sense of guilt. To become able to better manage our life, we must free ourselves from the culture of suffering and pain, and dis- cover all the masks of our self-pity. If we don’t do this, we

will transform our difficulties into a narcissistic from of self- glorification of our misfortunes, blocking every possibility to act efficiently and decisively.

The Wish of “Revenge”

This is really another main problem along the path toward self-development. Revenge towards life in general, a response towards the thousands of humiliations we have suf- fered during our life.

It’s a reaction related exclusively to our past which prevents us to live our life freely, to be settled right now, in the present moment and our personal inner research.

A great and aggressive flow of energy which drives us in the direction of a compensation, a reward we think is our right, a sort of revenge to a presumed failure to transform a serious work directed to achieving a condition of joy and truth, to a recrimination toward what was until now, denied to us.

Then, here is the main obstacle on our personal path:

our relations toward the material objects, the objects of our “desires”. A seeker can’t escape the problem of living in a materialistic world, filled by the dichotomy produced by the social influences which divide the spiritual from the mate- rial. This is really a big problem.

Ordinarily, a seeker must convince himself that in or- der to keep his research pure, it is useless to spend time with things that he considers “ephemeral”.

So, in this way, he develops a snobbish attitude against

all material things.

This is typical of a person who consid-

ers himself too “spiritual” to descend to human miseries, a

sort of “intellectual racism” which divides progressively, the seeker from his own life, driving him to live in an illusory world, whose destiny is to fall down with devastating results.

Often, this false pureness is a mask to cover our fear to face a real life, which is also material. Indeed, we live in the matter and are made of matter. This incapacity to con- front with material life problems, makes the seeker demon- ize them, labeling as impure which, on the contrary, with its own existence, is the proof of the Divine’s existence.

It is obvious that all the spiritual teachings suggest a detachment, but the reason for such a suggestion is that our behavior remains attached, identified to all things we con- sider we desire. The practice of self-observation permits the seeker to notice “appearances”, and to understand how they produce in human beings, a compulsive attachment towards all things which could provide him acceptance by others. But, the guilt does not have to be searched in matter, but in the individual slavery of every non-developed human be- ing.

All objects are the result of human intelligence, and when they reach a high level of refinement, they become ex- pressions of the human capacity to reach an absolute perfec- tion. The objects are human dreams translated into matter, the best we can do in this limited terrestrial dimension, so they must be accepted, understood, and used in the best way we can – without being used by them: they are means, not aims.

The quality of an object depends on our individual capacity and desire for Being. They make us slaves if we ac- cept to remain addicted to a wish to possess something. This happens when we consider these objects “object of Power”, as are goals, aims.

Otherwise, we can use the same objects to emancipate ourselves from all attachments, to burn the “Karma” which

lead us to remain attached to matter.

We might use the objects, choosing those that best represent our individual sensibility, and disregard them when they become useless, without regret, because, although they were ours, we don’t belong to them. This is the way of using objects as a means.

The Roots of our Fears

Zen stories are very wise, and every one of them hides

a deep teaching for those who can “read between the lines”.

So, let’s read this one, trying to put aside our logical mind.

This is the story:

There was once a man who was terrified of his own shadow and lived in fear of the sound of his own footsteps. Walking along one day, he entered a panic and tried to flee at top speed. But as fast as he ran, his shadow and footsteps kept up with him and made him run all the faster, until he finally collapsed of exhaustion and died.

If he had only sat down in the shade of a tree, he would no longer have been able to see his shadow or hear his own footsteps.

What is the origin of “fear”? Why does it exist? Sometimes, why do we find ourselves living this emotion? Is

it possible to overcome, transcend or transform?

It is really very difficult, almost impossible, to answer such complex questions. This is an argument which repre-

sents one of the crucial points of the whole of humanity. It’s

a legacy of our past, when the environment appeared as a

dangerous reality from which we protect ourselves, finding every kind of trick and ploy to survive.

Through millennia, all this has evolved from the physical field (the need to survive), to the emotional and mental, permitting the rise of various emotional insecurities.

Through centuries, the human brain had evolved, society be- came more complex and rich of “hints”,so even fear has as- sumed new, more complex and refined forms.

Fundamentally, and almost without doubt, we can affirm that fear is the result of the unconscious perception of our smallness. Even if we pretend to not know anything about that, every human being knows that he has no control of his life and knows almost nothing about it. Formerly, reli- gion as seen in its deepest aspect, had the task of exorcising that sense of inadequacy. Today, science has taken the place of religion: we try to exorcise our fears by convincing our- selves that we are able to control Nature and the Laws which manage its existence.

However, this isn’t an act of doing, or conscious do- ing, but only an attempt to be reassured. The feeling of hav- ing almost no control of our destiny makes us feel unsafe in all aspects of our existence. Many of us try to overcome this sense of inadequacy through achieving psychological and material safety. But, this fact that we are less than a “flicker” in the whole Universe, is still present. This knowledge gen- erates fear and insecurity which reflect themselves in all the possible fields of our life: fear of robbery, of abuse, of illness- es, of being misunderstood by those who love us, and so on.

There is only one positive and effective response to overcome every kind of fear: knowing ourselves and the true meaning of birth and death. Every other system is only pal- liative and temporary. In fact, they vanish towards the stupor of the unknown.

There is only one way which can drive us to the real-

ization of ourselves and our life: the Inner Search.

Relaxation as a Natural State

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (Gn 2, 26.27)

Since my early childhood, from the first time I’ve asked my grandmother “who” or “what” is God, I’ve never considered the above mentioned quote from the Bible as an anthropomorphous vision of God with hands, head and legs. Rather, I considered this statement as a reflection about hu- man perfection. I still believe in this interpretation.

I don’t speak here about a biological perfection in- tended as the extraordinary function of the human machine

– billions of cells with different functions which work har-

moniously together to maintain our life. I speak here about

a fundamental concept which is almost always ignored, even

by those who claim to research this process: the possibility of perceiving and becoming truly aware of ourselves.

Let me emphasize the fact that, from one side, we have all the necessary equipment to achieve consciously a state of Unity with the Whole; on the other side, we have the harmful and childish tendency to complicate our life trying to do ev- erything so that this is not realized. According to the theory of reincarnation (but it is not necessary to implicate such be- lief), the process of embodiment provides the formation of an “I”, who becomes the core identification of our existence, the illusion of being “separate individuals” So, the problem is defined from the beginning.

Life, with its social rule, its “education” (??!!?), the ideas acquired from those who are older and “wiser” than us, along with all the external factors we encounter during our life path, make the rest: we gradually form a personality. We begin to consider it as “what we are”, existing with us until our death, convinced to live an objective life as coherent in- dividuals.

Freeing ourselves from the Ego’s requests requires much work, so often an extraordinary and terrifying work which is known as “self discovery”.

“Know Thyself ”….this is the path one must walk at this period of human history.

It has been so for many centuries, and will be for much longer. Evolution has brought us to a point that has special features: we live in an obscure period of human his- tory, characterized by many conflicts and spiritual ignorance.

During this period we are witnesses to an abnormal development of materialistic technology resulting in con- trast, to a great spiritual regression. In this period , or using the terms of the Ancients, Era, human nobility is determined by the material wealth of a person. The poor become slaves of corruption, the possibility of emancipation from igno- rance, intelligence, knowing, and wisdom are considered of less value. Although respect is much claimed, no one sin- cerely respects others. Everyone’s belief is that the ultimate aim of life is obtaining acceptance through power based on wealth and physical power.

Indeed, this is an evolutionary condition that hu- manity had to reach for evolving towards another Era. So, here we are and this is the field from where we have to start our work. Today, we live and face such conditions, and our struggle for emancipation must consider the complexity of this historical period.

As mentioned by a legion of books, posts, blog pages and teachers, we, as human beings, are composed of body, mind, and emotions (remember Gurdjieff’s impressive meta-

phor: carriage, coachman, horse

lationship between these elements has altered. Our life is unnatural and “mentalized” and the natural harmony is lost. Here one can start with the work on himself. In fact, it is fun-

damental first to establish again the body’s natural rhythms. Knowing it, understanding its functions begins to rebuild its potential, and returning to it, its appropriate functions. A stressful body, conditioned by unnatural rhythms, altered di- ets, medicines and various chemical cocktails, is a body from whom we are almost totally separated.

and the harmonious re-

)

So, here lies the (brief) explanation of the reason why relaxation is a “natural state”: and this means the capacity of feeling, hearing, and expressing our body freely, giving us the possibility to be able to use our tools in the best, or at least, in a better way.

So, the assumption of this text, in a few words, is:

Without a natural (permanent or relatively permanent) state of relaxation, there is no Awareness.

Lightness: A Quality in Extinction

The world is becoming more and more a heavy place to live: economical and emotional crises, money troubles, tensions, laws that prevent you from doing everything (al- most even to breathe). The guilt of this loss of lightness is not to be assigned to people.

Life is becoming really indigestible, and you want to think about the existence of something better, that life isn’t only that material mud which seems to keep all and every- thing caught up in its tentacles, a never-ending story about how to draw forth till the end of the month.

A very uneasy situation which almost all of us are ex- periencing.

But it’s very important and fundamental to not lose hope, having a wish to continue to do, to make things better, at least in our closest environment. Namely, if you manage to cultivate a sort of lightness, even your life would in some way acquire similar qualities – such as a drunkard “attracts” similar people and the consequent situations. In the same way, lightness “attracts” light things (I mark here the word attract, because I don’t wish it to be understood as a New Age style “Law of Attraction” type, but as a figurative example).

We need to nourish our “Soul” with lightness, with good and pleasurable things, as best as we can. Usually, in the hopes of releasing ourselves from the burden of daily life, we turn on the TV or read a newspaper, and what we find there is always the same mud: problems, wars, death, various

superficialities, problems amassed onto other problems…

Why not speak about something else? Something simpler and more pleasurable? Even if it seems impossible to believe, there are many things around us able to bring some pleasure: the beauty of something in Nature- a tree, an ocean, or at least, a fountain – “little” things. But it is important to nourish ourselves with positive, pleasurable impressions. Don’t misunderstand me, please. I don’t preach that we have to transform ourselves to foolishly laugh. On the contrary, serenity is something other than this.

One thing is being as heavy as stones, gloomy and disharmonious. Another thing is being attentive and aware - indispensable requirements to be able to cultivate a degree of serenity.

Have you ever noticed how it is easier to remember a negative experience than a positive one? Try it yourself and make your own conclusions.

If you do it so, you will begin to understand the “se- cret”: our “brain” is accustomed to function in such ways and it is up to us to change our attitude. No one else can do it so, except ourselves.

Further explanation about what is Self Observation

In the last month I have received many emails about what is the practice of self- observation, why it is so difficult to practice, and if there are some “tricks” for improving it. Self- observation is surely the main tool for self- development (at least for the administrator of this Blog page).

Indeed, this is the mean through which the practi- tioner performs what is known as inner work, the work for self-development, and through observation, integrated in a serious and well-structured system of teaching, there are practically no limitations about what we can discover con- cerning ourselves and life.

There are two things we have to consider: the first is, that in order to perform an efficient observation, we need energy and awareness. This would appear to be an obvious statement, but it also seems that it is not well understood. Observe not in a non -occasional and superficial way, but with a “focussed will”, and not remaining in the field of phi- losophizing and intellectualizing this action as a concept. What we need to observe, is to develop a certain degree of awareness and a nice quality “fuel”.

The first difficulty we have to face concerning obser- vation, is that we usually don’t know what it is about. We are convinced we possess this skill, but only through direct experimentation will we realize that this is not true, and only then we’ll have the possibility (which depends only on our interest) to dedicate ourselves to studying and practicing it in a serious way.

Observation can bring self-consciousness, a degree that can’t be achieved through merely theoretical study or only the practice in daily life: we have to synchronize and alternate the theoretical study with the observation of our- selves and our functions which could bring the extraordinary aim of the awakening of an individual consciousness.

In order to observe ourselves in an efficient way, we have to develop a great and rare skill – sincerity. Being hon- est means not speaking tales to ourselves and others with the only aim of maintaining alive the fictitious and nonexistent character who emerges from the various fragments of person- ality. If we are not sincere and we don’t recognize that we can’t maintain a continuity of awakened consciousness, we haven’t any possibility to succeed.

The first step in the education of self- observation has, in the first place, the aim of becoming aware of our “ab- sence”, and this is a thing that should not be understimat- ed: our bodies are here, in the present, but our minds are somewhere else. Whoever wishes to forge ahead and take for granted to have understood his situation from the beginning, most usually doesn’t achieve anything in this field.

There are many methods for observation, and some of them have been shown on this blog, but in the first place, we must understand what it is about, apart from the techniques we use. In order to accomplish the process of observation, there must be someone who guides it. The observer and the observed (the object of observation) are not the same thing:

we can see a tree, because it is external to us, but we can’t see our face if we are not looking in a mirror. So, at the be- ginning, the field of observation should be the most exterior part of ourselves which exists, and that is the reason why we should begin a practice of self- observation starting from our body: observing our gestures, becoming more aware of the way we interact with external objects, reducing gradually, mechanical and habitual acts.

Afterwards, we’ll begin to observe the intellectual and emotional functions, but at the beginning it is best to begin from the body and its mechanicity. Even breath, which is an instinctive action, is a good starting point to focus our atten- tion in a conscious way, and it’s very useful to develop the skill of observation.

Through observation, it is possible to reach control of our functions (intellectual, emotional, motoric, instinctive) that are part of ourselves. In this way, we’ll gain not only an understanding of the condition of “sleep”, so that we notice that we are unaware, but we’ll also gain the power to regain our natural functions, emancipating ourselves from mech- nicity.

The capacity of observation also gives us the possibil- ity to understand others in a deeper way, and this can allow us to establish better relations and to give our help to who- ever finds himself in difficulty.

Concerning observation, there is a traditional prac- tice called “natural awareness” which consists in “fighting” to eliminate mechanical habits. We can perform such a prac- tice , for example, in the way that when we lean a glass on the table or we sit on a chair, we transform these habitual acts in conscious actions. In this way, we begin to find an aesthetic of gestures, and through placing an object (or ourselves) in the space in a way determined by us. So, for example, put- ting the cigarette lighter in a purposeful way near the pack of cigarettes becomes a conscious aesthetic act.

Love and Acceptance

Love is a topic that is never discussed or treated enough, but it has been previously addressed on this blog. Not only a Universal Love, but also a more “earthly” (but not less important) kind of Love: a Love between two mates. And this is very important. Sometimes we claim we are able to share a Universal Love, but we find ourselves unable to share a Love with someone close to us. This of course is non- sense, because even those close to us are part of the whole; things result in more complication when we enter the field of loving ourselves. It could maybe seem an absurd statement but almost no one loves himself. Of course, this kind of “self- love” has nothing to do with a type of vanity or egoistic point of view about ourselves, but something related to a total ac- ceptance of ourselves.

Now, I would raise a question: how is it possible to accept (so, to love) someone, if we are unable to accept (so, to love) ourselves? The answer is obvious and predictable – not possible.

We do not understand that life, even if it seems a ter- rible thing which brings us sufferings and delusions, is a gift. And, accepting a gift without “looking a gift horse in the mouth”, is one of the most difficult things to do. Once more, we are unable to accept; and here, we are unable to accept and appreciate even those “gifts” we claim we are desperately in search of: the “gift of being loved”. Indeed, if we are so shrewd, and if we have enough of the gift of observation to see what is happening, when we speak of love between two

human beings, namely, two mates, then, we are witnesses to

a very interesting and absurd manifestation of mechanisms.

For most people, being loved implies to have the “re- sponsibility” towards whom they love, namely, the responsi- bility of returning that feeling.

On the other hand, even he who loves has this expec- tation that the feeling he/she shares is reciprocated. And, only for this “little” thing, an expectation, a love relationship becomes so chaotic that, in most cases, it is destined to fail from the beginning. All this, a Love Relationship, with all its

promise, good intentions, deep feelings shadow under the first ray of the sun.

Love doesn’t mean that it must be reciprocated. To Love means to Love, that is all. Of course, we don’t mean here a “love” based exclusively on a physical or momentary attraction. This is not Love and doesn’t mean to love some- one: it’s a simple hormonal cocktail. This topic is related to something much deeper, sincere and genuine.

Many people consider the fact of being loved by someone with whom they don’t share the same feeling, a fac- tor of disturbance. If we ponder a bit, we’ll understand the

reasons for this attitude: it’s all because we consider (more or less consciously), that Love must be reciprocated. This is

a wrong concept, deeply rooted in ourselves, deriving from a

catholic moralistic point of view says: “if someone loves us, we feel immediately guilty if we don’t share the same emotion or “feeling”. And just this point of view, this fictional “re- sponsibility” keeps us paradoxically far from being sincere towards others; even to “heat our heart” near someone who does not ask anything, except than to be loved.

What is important, is to respect the other’s feelings and be able to reveal what we feel (or we don’t feel): then, all becomes clearer and simpler.

vanishes such as a

Of course, a feeling such as Love between two mates, when it doesn’t find correspondences, can fade, end. But it’s an experience which could allow us to learn how to accept the other and how to love. Maybe, we could discover that such an experience is more pleasurable than we have expected.

The Art of Letting Go

“No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place” Zen Saying

Life on earth includes suffering, that’s obvious. We have relationship problems, we lose our loved one, experi- ence the separation of death, we experience loneliness, sick- ness, accidents, we are haunted by guilt, experience phobias and fears and unfulfilled desires. We experience this distress because we would like things to be different from what they are. In short, it’s the resistance to what causes suffering. To be sure about what I mean, when I say “suffering”, I mean everything in one’s life that “doesn’t work”. To immediately see changes in our lives, we should begin with stopping the resistance to what is.

Gravity exists, and that is what is. Our mate is quiet or nervous, and that is what is. We can change our life by try- ing to change what is, but there is not much to do about it. Instead, it would be better to concentrate all our efforts upon that which we can change.

A Christian prayer says the same thing: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Cour- age to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the dif- ference.” (Serenity Prayer)

We can perceive that resistance in almost all fields of human life: people want things to change; they want every-

thing they dislike to change.

I am not preaching of passive acceptance of what is. This is not the case. In fact, there are things we have the po- tential to change right now, so we have to do everything in our power to change them. There are other things we can’t change immediately, so we have to work through time to make them change. And, there are things that we cannot change, so here is the “recipe”: “it is as it is”, work that must be applied. We have to recognize such kind of things and stop wasting our efforts with trying to change what we can- not change.

One of the things that cannot be changed is other people. When we try to change someone, we force him to repress his basic human right: freedom of being as he is (in- dependently from “as he is”). We can’t and haven’t the right to make people be as we want them to be. This kind of re- pression is not only illegitimate, but also, in the long term, impossible, because the forced change is temporary. It would result in a new eruption of dissatisfaction. So, waiting for the day when the things with our mate, beloved, or friends will become different from what they are right now (and will be different as we want them to be), is certainly ill-advised. We resist what is. The only thing we can really and surely change, is ourselves, if we want to. And this is the field where we might be focused if we want any kind of positive and pro- ductive change. Concerning dissatisfactions, we can’t change outer things as we want, but we have the choice in how we respond to what happens. We have the right to be as we are without changing ideas or behaviors to satisfy someone else. This is our right, so we have to understand that this is also the others’ right, independently if this “other” is our friend, mate, father, or someone else close to us. We can help him to change in accordance to his needs, if he wants and accepts our help, but nothing more. Applying the Buddhist, Taoist, and Zen art of “Letting Go” means exactly this. Everything is what it is, as it is, and we have to accept this statement, at

least with persons or various situations such as weather con- ditions (it is a very absurd thing that we complain about this, but we almost all do this – it’s too hot, too rainy, too cold…).

Now, maybe, we would better understand the popular Zen aphorism:

Sitting peacefully doing nothing/Spring comes/And the grass grows all by itself

Recognizing these situations in various fields of our life is the first fundamental task if we want to apply the con- cept of letting go in our everyday life. The second fundamen- tal step, is…Letting Go.

The Prayer as a Connection with our Being

BC: He’s a lonely man, walking the forests and the

deserts of the ancient times. Around him, an unknown na- ture, overlooking and terrorizing him. He is a lonely man:

with his fears and doubts, lonely with his unanswered ques- tions. He doesn’t know himself, why he is here, what’s hap- pening around him, and he also doesn’t know his destiny. His only aim is to survive, waiting for the dawn, walking in a fearful night. That man has only a sky above his head; a sky with a “lonely” hot sun, lonely just like him. A sun that gives Life, burning by itself. That man, looking upon the sky, feels a sense of relief. He senses that there, hidden above the sky, lives his never known Father. He senses that there, in that deep blue sky, he can find his real home. That man lifts his arms toward the sky, kneels down and expresses an invocation.

It’s a scream, a silent question and, at the same time, a request and a declaration. Thus, he expresses the first objective sound in his life: his first prayer.

year …

Forgiveness

It has been said that we are born alone and that we’ll die alone. It’s a simple truth: that’s the only certainty we can believe in, just as it is equally certain that this solitude ac- companies us throughout our life.

Not much has changed since man took his first steps on this Planet. To overcome atavistic fears, he built safe and

organized societies, and created myriad philosophies to an- swer many questions. But many fears and many questions remain unanswered. Today, the man is still lonely, wonder- ing about the meaning of his existence and what will hap- pen the day he’ll die. Existence threatens him, thus he seeks a refuge, a protection from that sense of precariousness of life. Thus, the word “prayer” – in the history of mankind – is connected to the anguish of facing death, the insecurity and the understanding that he can’t administer his destiny. Man’s life is full of solitude and lack of understanding, and like the men of thousands of years ago, he cries, looks up to heaven, and feels the need to be “forgiven”, to deposit, for a moment, the burden of all the insecurities, fears, suffering and injus- tices endured.

This is the first meaning of Prayer: the need for a short pause, a relief from a burden which disturbs his exis- tence. Birth, suffering, disease, injustice, death – anything that inhibits his existence is placed in an invocation at the foot of the highest authority, able to justify the meaning of all and alleviate the burden.

He asks forgiveness to the divine to release the weight of his sufferings, anxieties, and fears. For the first time, he fi- nally feels comfortable and can quietly close his eyes, relaxed and in complete abandonment into the arms of the endless Father.

Contact

It’s amazing how the meaning of prayer has remained completely unchanged despite centuries and millennia of progress: even today, man feels the need to communicate to establish a contact with its original source, with his ori- gin, with a thousand-named transcendent Entity, ultimately identified with the concept of “God”.

Even when he says that “God doesn’t exist”, man testi- fies His existence, at least as a term of opposition. Why lose time in asserting the absolute non-existence of God? A truth

is confirmed when its opposite can be affirmed: isn’t it?

It is really incredible how much energy is still spent

trying to prove a concept that is believed not to exist! Ordi- narily, no one spends his time to deny the existence of what he sees as non-existent. It seems that, even when a man talks to God in the negative way, he is simply expressing a des- perate attempt to communicate with what he feels a refer- ence, perceived as father, mother, child, a will that governs all things, or even, as a principle which summarizes all these forms.

A way to pray

A man feels the “need to pray”, a practice instinc-

tively done for thousands of years to alleviate the burden of

his life, relying on the only one “who knows the meaning of all things”. Through the history of mankind, great beings became servants of a long-sought truth. Each of them, in their own way, experienced, learned and understood. Each of them had left his own experience providing a way of interpre- tation according to the time and the place they lived.

Zoroaster, Rama, Toth, Krishna, Elijah, Hermes, Mo- ses, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Lao-Tse, Plato, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Confucius, and many other teachers and seek- ers of truth, have left a way – a path – to explain the Only Truth. And what they taught was a way of praying.

Thus, over time, the act of praying has acquired a nu- ance that had evolved, acquiring the color and passion of so many hearts that, over millennia, they had practiced with

truth and sincerity. And for every question that might be contained in man’s heart, they gave a special prayer.

The prayer as a request

Even if over the centuries, the act of praying has evolved and gradually became more sophisticated, more “technical”, it is still something strange and inexplicable.

When he prays, man, of course, asks to be relieved from the burdens of life, but at the same time, he adds other claims to the divine source, simple or complicated questions, recommendations for themselves or their loved ones, and re- quests for help and comfort.

However, in thousands of years of praying softly or mentally, or even yelling alone in a desert, the man could

only hear the echo of his own demands: today, as thousands

of years ago, God has never answered. Nevertheless, the man

continues to pray. It is obvious that he doesn’t pray because this pleases God, but rather because the act of praying im- proves himself.

Indeed, God doesn’t need human prayers: that Infi- nite and Perfect being cannot be confined in a finite part of himself (the man) who invokes It. On the contrary, it’s the man who needs to “hear” God through his own prayers. The same invocation defines and gives form to one who has not a form and allows him a “connection” with an essence know- able and finite that otherwise, remains infinite and unknow- able.

A

small space in the heart

“Hearing God” through Prayer, gets us in touch with our own source, with the essence of existence, so that we can

“touch” it at least with our heart, instead of through an intel- lectual speculation – that’s the meaning of the prayer.

The heart is at least the real place of the act of pray- ing. The mystics taught us that the “reason” and the “heart” should be kept separate for a long time before the heart may subject reason. The mystic is prayer’s last explorer. He is the scholar, the sage, the Borderlands walker that has to be an ex- ample when a deep need for contact with the divine emerges.

Often, we are surprised when we see this “need for praying” emerging above our being. It is a kind of “inter- nal” call, which opens the way for new spaces, which leads us quickly into a state of meditation.

Then, we suspend any action, sit apart in silence, turn to listen in, give free flow to our inner space and, magically, we enter into another time, or rather, access to a space that resides in us.

Prayer as listening to oneself

Prayer is the focal point in the interaction between matter and spirit: it is the request to the divine, who is the bearer of human suffering, since suffering is the same prod- uct of the separation from the Truth – as saying that the dis- tance from God, separation from it becomes so unbearable as to be transformed into “demand for closeness” , or in prayer.

Left to itself, to its source, a man feels entitled to ask for anything, even the most trivial, since in the timeless value of this communication there is no reason, or no logic, but only “feeling”.

It is the requirement to externally shape our “inner space” because we talk to ourselves. In doing so, we hear a voice within us, that slowly makes its way inside, above the noise and educates us to an understanding.

Prayer is to ourselves, because it makes us grow. It is a school of the interior bearing towards the exterior. It’s a need that brings us to “talk”, to express the truth about ourselves and, at the same time, educates us, even to listen.

Prayer, in fact, opens an inner space of inquiry where you can admire the “expression” and “listening”, as co-exist- ing terms of a single action, coming from the man to himself. “We are made of the same substance of dreams”, said Shake- speare, and indeed, the man really lives the fear of a type of deception, as if waking up every morning, he had to be sure he was still the same as the day before. The man lives above the need to confirm his existence, but once it is “perceived” and noted, then he is also able to listen. Once the flame is grafted, there arises the power of listening, the individual be- gins to change what is outside. At this point, the heart – as the mystics teach us-overcome the mind and brings the hu- man experience to a “spiritual”.

Because the transcendent is the “bridge”, it is the real point of contact between the human emotion and spirit. I’s is an “I” that evolves, as self-expression, which knows how to receive inwardly and outwardly, the harmony of the universe.

Beyond the experience of feeling

A harmonized and self-expressive “I” is a great bless- ing, and is a valuable experience for others, for all those who come into contact with this kind of man. But for him, the ex- perience is good up to a certain extent, it becomes too sterile, as if it is “not enough”. And yet again, he needs to “press on” as if to take another step, another point of contact, even more tenuous that its predecessor, even more in the field which lies

beyond senses.

Now, the individual feels he exists. He no longer has doubts, understands clearly his “inconsistency”. It’s not be- ing compared to the unknown, compared to God, exactly. Thus, in him, there is the profound need of a discipline that educates the transcendent and that might lead to under- standing the Truth, from the inside-out. In this moment, in this blessed moment, right through the pain given by the perception of unbridgeable distance from the Father, lights the flame of desire.

Only now we can say – we see the emergence of true prayer, ascetic discipline that is made of knowledge achieved which will bring the individual to a growth, no longer iso- lated, but in unity with the Father.

There is no longer the need to push the man toward the search for God, but toward the fire of desire, namely, the sum of needs. It will inevitably lead to the silence of his mind. Desire leads to detachment, the space between living the experience and feeling it intimately, where it has always been. But now, at this moment, it is revealed, coming from above. “Something” that takes the color of the emotions, arises. The mind can’t recognize what happens and “slips” back, in silence.

The breathing stops, and there – right there – a small point is born and develops the profound mystery that per- haps more than any other should be investigated. Like a small light, like a flame, comes on and connects us to the im- mensity of the universe. That happens in us, infinitesimally small beings!

From infinity to the finite, this contact takes shape and everything becomes magically calm. Everything outside becomes less important – a bitter, and at the same time, sweet feeling flows in our heart. A grateful warmth envelops ev- erything, motionless as the night on the lake. In the time

that this feeling flows, everything remains immobile, as in the faint light of childhood memories.

Then, finally, “something” speaks to us, and that sound gives us warmth, like the embrace of a mother, of her breathing, beside and within us.

God as the witness of our existence

We can see a deep human desire to communicate, to

get in touch with that energy which we perceive as its origin:

a requirement that all of us – both men and women – feel as a need which has to be externalized in terms of action.

Prayer is the action that becomes manifested as a pro- found need for an “inner feeling” that, as we have seen, needs to arise: first to produce relief (even if mostly unconscious) in the lodge before God, the burden of our existence and then, to the emergence of spontaneous requests for help that has remained over the centuries so naïve, so human, although the thought has evolved in complexity and sophistication: a man’s request to the divine, who in fact, is still exactly the same today as it was, two thousand years ago.

But why do we have a need to pray, why should we continue to ask even if we have neither experience nor any memory of any response from God, who, apart from sophis- ticated intellectual ruminations, is defined by our wisest mystics and thinkers as “Unknowable, the immeasurable, the

indescribable?”

The answer must be sought in the attitude of the man who prays with the unconscious request that underlies the

very act of prayer. When we deposit the bundle at the feet of the divine, there arises a heartfelt request which has driven man from the beginning of his existence: “Hear me, and for

a moment, please, look at me. Show my existence as real.”

The man, even before a pardon or a favor, asked for

a moment of personal observation, a recognition of his own

individuality: and he is doing this act not to believe in the

existence of God, but to confirm his own existence.

We believe further that the question of his very ex- istence accompanies the man from the very beginning: the comparison with nature, work, relationships, with other men, and strong emotions, that he continually tries with no other reason than to “feel” the need to define himself in rela- tion to something external to himself.

But that is not enough: in fact, the man exists, maybe only in relation to his creator: “If You, who has created me, You, the architect of everything that exists, are looking at me

– even for a moment – that will mean that I really exist, that I’m a concrete point different from the rest…”

In this appeal, we find the seed, the basic unit of prayer, a sort of ancient code left on this ancient planet.

He longs for the gaze of the Father, as a baby needs attention.

That glance, that moment of contact, is everything to him, and for that, he is willing to pray for his entire existence.

It is the hand that stops before stroking, that Zen was able to raise the ancient art of zan-shin, the thought of not thinking. When this happens after long suffering, we experi- ence the light of an explosion from the experience that some Zen poets and mystics have called “the sunshine in the rain.” So, who can say right now where the man ends, and where the divine begins?

“The whiteness of the light falling snow lights the be- ing that looks and listens.” With this simple Haiku, we are going to close our free analysis of one of the most significant growths of a man in the bosom of his existence: prayer.

Observation

In this troubled time, with changes so large and fast, the time when social divisions are more apparent, it would be desirable to have a better understanding of this great op- portunity that man has gained over time!

Prayer is not the only answer, but it is certainly a way to bring the issue at the heart of man and of his fears, his loneliness, his still unanswered questions.

Friendship

A True Friendship and a True Relationship are really very special feelings, because more than any other motion of the human soul, it doesn’t move towards any fulfillment of some subjective goal.

In the love between a man and woman, in addition to a biological driving, there is also a search for fulfillment,

a fusion, a need to become One. This is related to a high

and important Cosmic (therefore, natural) Law. Indeed, all the Laws existing in our Universe tends to move towards this point: we have been created for this aim.

It’s an unstoppable motion which involves all of us. It

is not our decision to search this fusion, but it is driven with

all in the Universe toward this goal, towards the Oneness, the Divine.

Friendship, however, is a different thing – it isn’t driv- en by any natural Law, (at least, any Law related to the above

mentioned), but it is a sort of “will” or “wish”, a feeling that

is not given a priori, but is inherent with the maturation of

a human being.

It is something “new”, an instance facing, in terms of possibilities, what is desired, pursued, captured…lived.

Indeed, friendship is a means for overcoming fears through emotion, a great opportunity to use our emotional energies and “channel” them to overcome critical limits in the path of self-discovery – our life.

We could speak about friendship as a sort of educa- tion for achieving the Higher Emotional sphere, an opening to a possibility otherwise almost impossible for us.

For a seeker, friendship is a very important and fun- damental experience. Without such experience, there is not a possibility to develop the habit to share with others, so it’s impossible to develop the principle of Compassion.

So, not only love relations, but also friendship is more than a human feeling, it’s a “magical act”, made of courage, selflessness, generosity, ability to overcome the limits that alone would never be addressed. In this situation, all our best qualities arise…”a good object”, as said by Socrates.

In its essence, friendship has the strong capacity of separation between what is selfish, driven by fear, and what is the “Universal Source”, which drives us towards the over- coming of any differences, boundaries, towards a principle of Unity.

A friendship relation encourages us to be opened to what is “new”. In fact, a true friend almost never shows the same habits and the same behavior as ours. It’s something different than what is usual, mechanical for us, a diversity which stimulates characteristics of intellectual curiosity, at- traction, involvement, and desire to understand other ap- proaches.

Friendship in its maximal expression affirms a unique concept of respect. So, the research of any seeker is to per- severe in this feeling, in this sacred field with the aim of dis- sipating the germ of the ignorance which keeps us so blind, so poor.

“Good” Karma – “Bad” Karma

Often we hear others say or we, ourselves say, “this is good Karma” or “you have a really bad Karma”. “it’s your

Karmic baggage

One of the main principles which governs our life is “for every action, follows a reaction”….the principle of Kar- ma, if you prefer. Is it possible to change our Karma? First, we have to know that the term Karma finds its verbal roots in the term kr and it means “doing”, “acting”, or “causing” something. Among “westerners”, this concept is deeply re- lated to our personal and global destiny. And, we can affirm without doubt that there is nothing in a human being that cannot be changed. Nothing!

Often, we perceive things and events as if they cannot be changed, but this is not a “bad Karma” as we are used to saying…Karma is neither good nor bad. It is that we lack in motivation (which we ordinarily label as “will”) to perform a real change in a specific situation. That’s all!

As an example, there are many persons who have the habit to drink, and often this behavior brings them sick- ness. They lose their physical and mental health. They could stop this behavior, but they don’t. Is it their destiny? No, of course not! It is “only” passive mechanical behaviors and lack of determination.

There are, of course, many situations and conditions which a human being can’t face alone – a very painful experi-

”,

etc.

ence. And he/she requires external help, because they keep within, the baggage of suffering of many years, and this is of value in any aspect of life.

However, there is not a situation which cannot be modified. There is no emotional disease or suffering that can’t be relieved, nor “absurd” destiny that cannot be changed. It depends on us, by our “good will”. We need motivation to change something, and we also need to learn and understand how to perform such change.

To do this, we often need an external reference, a sort of external assistance. In ancient times, these references were seen in the figure of spiritual teachers. But today, situations and needs have changed…so everyone must understand what he needs, according to his personal needs and sensibilities. Yes, performing such work alone is very, very difficult, and if we have an external reference, it is better. Alone, it is also possible. It depends on ourselves and our motivations.

Philosophers, Theorists and Mystifying Mystics

Sometimes, to find the answers to the present ques- tion, we must investigate the past, not only our personal past, but also the historical past. Time doesn’t change the essence of things, but changes the names and details. There are not many differences between modern man and the man of four thousand years ago. Indeed, the only difference is that now, we are in some way “refined”, and certainly barbaric in other ways. To overcome our boredom, we use internet or a cell phone, rather than a sober and healthy walk.

The ancient Eastern civilizations, for example ancient India, knew very well the difference between philosophers and scholars. Don’t forget that they expounded philosophy at least 2,500 years before Socrates ! The Rishis applied the principles they had investigated practically in their own life, experiencing, undergoing intense practices, and sometimes, teaching students who were eager to gain access to such knowledge. On the other side, there were the pundits who were interested in philosophy and studied it, but without ex- periencing it in their lives. They were full of knowledge, but without any kind of practical experience. So, the philoso- phers and scholars!

The same difference was understood also in the an- cient Western world, and most of those philosophers who laid the foundations of our thinking, in turn, were ascetics, deep and genuine researchers inquiring about universal laws. They were maybe a little more rough and some centuries younger than their Eastern colleagues, but even here in the

West, the difference between those who lived the knowledge acquired, and those who simply studied and talked about this knowledge, was well-marked.

Even today, after millennia, things are almost the same, with the slight difference that today’s society gives more value to the scholars than to the philosophers. They are not a special type: they don’t produce income or new points of view. Those scholars wave a title, are labeled as “expert” on their matters, sometimes elected by the masses as stars of the media. But the genuine people who live free of preconcep- tions and patterns are almost ignored and sometimes viewed with suspicion and scorn.

Scholars have taken control: talk without having ex- perienced, to “know” without knowing, pontificating super- structures, meta-knowledge, manipulating effects without having the slightest idea of the causes. Much smoke, no fire.

We can say that scholars have taken control: they talk about everything without having any kind of experience. They say they “know” without knowing, managing the ef- fects without knowing the causes. But this isn’t a new thing. In the last few years, a new category has arisen. This is the field of those who haven’t studied anything, but they speak as if they know every segment of the matter, interpreting and manipulating an illusory knowledge.

We can find this third category in almost all fields of our society: journalists, commentators, spin doctors, drivers, self-styled experts, fanatic New Agers, UFO spans, investi- gators of various mysteries, compilers of Celestino’s and Da Vinci Code truths – the great overview of our inner weakness. I can’t say if they really believe in what they claim, probably do not know if they believe, but certainly many believe their words.

How to “define” these new kind of people? Don’t underestimate or ignore such individuals: their picturesque

and empty theories become real food, truth for many desper- ate followers, and this is a real risk of our civilization. In our uneducated and ignorant civilization, they have sold and still sell air , making it seem like true knowing.

Conscious Love as Help for the Mate

in Self-Development

Conscious love evokes the same in response. Emotional love evokes the opposite. Physical love depends on type and polar-

ity.”

G.I. Gurdjieff

Loveyou are the love of my life…with or without you…My heart is burning…the only wish I wish is your love…I’ll die for you…

But what is love? What is that power that evokes so much intensive experiences, so much struggle with emotion- al storms, what is its meaning? Is there only one love that we can perceive, feel? Poems, romance, movies, and paintings draw that theme…”but we loved with a love that was more than love/in this kingdom by the sea…” So, maybe it is cor- rect to say that love is the fuel that feeds our life. We feel that we can’t live without love. So, if this seems to be food of our life, why must it recall so much pain? Is every kind of relation motivated by love? Or specifically, is the love of the luxurious, the same love of a priest or of a politician?

Some recent research by Italian scientists have discov- ered that the brain pattern of a person that falls in love is the same as a person who is distressed by a maniacal possessive syndrome, and this is a serious paranoid compulsion that can be healed only in a psychiatric institution. So, when we are in love, are we really sick?

To answer those questions, we must first understand that there are some differences between love and Love! We must learn to distinguish among at least three basic kinds of love: instinctive love, emotional love, and conscious love. We may all know and experience the first two, but the third is rare and depends on the level of being and consciousness, intelligence, and emotional development. So, this is an expe- rience we cannot “feel” (if it is correct to use this term here), in the normal mechanical conditions.

Chemistry is the basis of Instinctive love, and biology is determined by chemistry. This kind of love manifests in the attractions, repulsions, mechanical and chemical com- bination we call love with the consequential marriage, chil- dren, and family. It is a sort of chemistry or alchemical labo- ratory product driven by what we call Nature. Instinctive love is a product of chemical reactions and is as strong, and lasts as long as the substances and qualities which it mani- fests. These can be known and measured only by one who understands the laws of progression of heredity. Many have remarked that happy or unhappy marriages are hereditary. So, too, are the number of children, their sex, longevity, etc. The so-called science of astrology is the only science of hered- ity over long periods.

Emotional love is the opposite of the instinctive, be- cause it is not rooted in biology. Instinctive love obeys the laws of biology, so it proceeds by affinities. Emotional love is often the mutual attraction of dis-affinities and biological in- congruities. A pure emotional love rarely results in offspring, and when it does, biology is not served, and the results are the birth of mermen and mermaids, Bluebeard, etc. Emotional love is not only short-lived, but it evokes its slayer. Such love creates hate in its object, if hatred is not already there. The emotional lover soon becomes an object of indifference and quickly thereafter, of hatred.

The following story is a good example of such a kind

of love:

There was once a little boy, who was deeply saddened to find his turtle lying on her back, motionless and lifeless near the pond.

His father did his best to console him, “Don’t cry, son. We’ll prepare a nice funeral for Mrs. Turtle. We’ll build a little coffin, all silk-lined for her. And we’ll ask the gravedigger to make her a gravestone with the name, “Mrs. Turtle” written on it. Then we’ll bring her fresh flowers each day. And we can even put a little fence up all around her grave.”

When everything was ready, the father, the mother, the maid and the little boy walked in procession, with solemn faces, towards the pond where the tortoise was lying.

But she had disappeared.

Suddenly, they saw Mrs. Turtle emerging from the bot- tom of the pond, swimming merrily.

The little boy glared at his friend the tortoise in great disap- pointment, and exclaimed, “Let’s kill her.”

This is the tragedy of emotional love.

Conscious love rarely arises between humans, but it can be explained in the relations between man and his fa- vorites in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. The devel- opment of the horse and the dog from their original state of nature, the cultivation of flowers and fruit – these are ex- amples of a primitive form of conscious love – primitive be- cause the motive is still egoistic and utilitarian: man has a personal use for the domesticated horse and the cultivated fruit: and his labor upon them cannot be said to be for love alone. The real developed conscious love, is the wish that the object should arrive at its own native perfection, regard- less of the consequences to the lover. “I will struggle with all my being and sacrifice myself so he/she could develop him/

herself”. This is conscious love, and this kind of love, if true, always evokes a similar response in its object. Conscious love begets conscious love. It is rare among humans because, in the first place, the vast majority are children who look to be loved, but not to love; secondly, because perfection is seldom conceived as the proper end of human love, though it alone distinguishes adult human from infantile and animal love; thirdly, because humans do not know, even if they wish, what is good for those they love; and fourthly, because it never oc- curs by chance, but must be the subject of resolve, effort, and self-conscious choice. Conscious love is an art, and one must work through an apprenticeship to become a master in this art. He perfects himself with the wish and the effort to aid his beloved to become perfect. This is a work of service, de- votion with all of one’s being.

So, what kind of man or woman is it who can love consciously? What kind of perfection might he/she realize to the blessing of the beloved and his/her Endless Creator?

Service deserves detachment, so he isn’t jealous or possessive. He must also cultivate humility and conscious tolerance. One must know the necessary needs of the mate to permit and help their development: if he is not sure of the needs of the mate, he allows him/her to go on their own way. One must know the needs of the mate’s essence, needs which cannot find a name and anticipate today his/her needs for tomorrow. Objective altruism. That is needed. And al- ways without a thought of what his/her needs may mean to him. It’s a way of strict self-education and discipline. Con- scious love is God’s love because they love each other con- sciously. So, the conscious lovers become Gods. Remember the Tantric axiom: “Ham Sa Shiva-Ham Sa Shakti” I am Shiva – I am Shakti): it is the realization of the divine nature of the mate with all his needs. It is an objective devotional act. And, if and when this relation becomes harmful to the other mate, the “conscious lover” will leave him/her to per- mit his/her development. Passion is also a term used related

with unconditional love (even if today it is used for explain- ing the instinctive or emotional mechanical dynamics we call love). The etymological meaning of Passion derives from the Latin patire (suffer), so it is a sacrifice, a “conscious sacri- fice” to permit the others’ development or redemption. The most known sacrifice of this type in the highest degree is the Passion of Christ who sacrificed himself to “redeem the sins of all human beings”. Never forget – conscious love means conscious sacrifice to the beloved (be it a mate or a son, or a friend, it doesn’t matter). It is always a “conscious sacrifice”. As my mentor wrote in one of his poems: “I’ll cut the thread of memories: so, maybe, I’ll save you”.

Without shame, people will boast that they have loved, do love, or hope to love. As if love were enough, or could cover any multitude of sins. Unfortunately, this is the human hypocrisy, an attitude that has become part of his na- ture. So, can we love? Without a conscious effort, (the great- est gift of love to the mate), we will never really say that “We love”. This is not an intellectual concept nor a hypothesis:

look at the world surrounding you and verify it for yourself. The experience is the only way to really “learn” something.

Administrating Spare Time

There is an important topic I would like to share with you that’s fundamental for those who are interested in self-

development, not only theoretical, but also in a practical way:

the question of our daily time. Nearly all the “glowing” com- ments sent to me via mail such as “Who do you think you

are?”, “Your posts are simple sh

snotty kid”, (and again), “Who do you think you are?”.

It often happens that someone asks me if there are more people who work on what I post, if there are other per- sons who stand behind my posts: no, there is no one except, of course, for the texts of other authors or Great Masters that are regularly and diligently mentioned as authors of the top- ics (Gurdjieff, Orage, Krishnamurti, various quotes, etc…). Yesterday arose the same question – “How many of you are there?” I won’t mention who asked that – NOMINA ODI- OSA SUNT! It’s all written somewhere in the various com- ments, and those who had asked those questions are friends that I love and respect as brothers. Now, this topic is not to glorify myself (it would be a loss of time and energy), but to introduce an argument, that as I had mentioned above, of great value for those interested on work on themselves, and it’s related to the ability of “doing”.

How could we administer or expand our time?

Our daily routines are divided into two fundamental fields: the time for our daily work and obligations and the spare, free time. The first is obvious, we have to do some- thing to survive and maintain ourselves and our beloved fam-

t”,

“You are such a childish

ily. The second is a great problem.

In fact, the spare time results in more of a problem than a pleasure. Many persons don’t know what to do dur- ing the free time between two obligations, and others are too tired to take some advantage. As I perceive the reality, is that persons don’t want to have free time for the simple but fundamental reason that they don’t know how to organize themselves during these hours of “freedom”. When they re- turn home after work, they search for something to do, an employment which could keep them concentrated on some- thing ….and often these occupations are not useful, but they have the result to keep these persons far from themselves.

As a shark who can’t stop floating because otherwise it will die, men fear the silence and inactivity for the simple reason that this makes them perceive their loss of centering, their non-identity: people fear to see and recognize their emptiness, that “they are not”.

If you don’t believe or doubt what I’ve said, try this:

sit in an armchair, and simply remain there. Don’t do any- thing – don’t read a newspaper or a book, don’t be on Face- book, don’t meditate, don’t wonder about something to think about, don’t expect anything. Just sit and that’s all you have to do. What happens? A subtle discomfort arises from the inner self, forcing it to some occupation. The more we are tired, deprived from emotive vitality, the more we’ll search some passive or simpler occupation, such as looking at our “beloved” TV series or some movie.

Why does this discomfort arise? From the impossibil- ity to feel ourselves. We identify ourselves in every action, or better said, in the emotions produced by what we label as “acting”, “doing something”, even now, when reading or writing on Facebook. Without identifications, we don’t “feel” ourselves. This is the main demonstration of our inca- pacity of self-perception.

Having spare time means being able to administer that time. We have to reformulate one common conviction:

men are not slaves because they work, but they work because they are the slave of their inner emptiness. If we would fill this emptiness, work wouldn’t be synonymous with duty, but conscious activity. We would discover that free time is an in- ner thing and not the opposite of the work time.

Many people suffer for the loss of time. They claim to have not much time. But, if they could understand that they lose themselves in a labyrinth of identifications and stop to identify themselves with all what they do, realizing a lucid awareness, they would understand that time is an inner fact – it’s a mental fact. If we would be sincere with ourselves, we should admit that we lose so much time and energies in use- less activities, and for these reasons, we are always identified with something. We would like to be more effective, but we constantly lose ourselves.

Time is an inner fact, not outer. Society has orga- nized our days according to a subjective rhythm, but this rhythm isn’t the same as our inner rhythm: they have differ- ent “time zones”. It is not a theory, it is a fact. Anyone who has experienced a higher level of awareness can confirm this fact: time expands and we are able to act better and faster than ordinarily. There’s a method to live at the same time on different levels of being, and to multiply our possibilities of “doing” at the same time. But, first we must “Be”, and this means to perceive ourselves. Please don’t say that this is impossible to realize: there are so many topics, and practices for achieving that state, at least partially, that what we miss is only a little dose of “good will” to spend some time on these practices. Look for the various blogs – my blog, Den- nis Lewis Blog (more useful than my blog), other blogs with exercises, suggestions and other things. Don’t remain on the stage of reading: Ouspensky, Gurdjieff, Nicoll, Krisnamur- ti and Buddha. They have very big and noble insights, but their words wouldn’t change your state of being: practice,

practice, practice…live your life, it’s the only thing you have!

To begin, it’s always suggested to spend our spare time in some occupations which would really permit the de- velopment of our Being – and first in all self-study: making ourselves an object of study means essentially TO LIVE.

Living our life without useless baggage, and it’s not important what we do, what activity we are oc- cupied with: what is of value, here, is that we must do what we want to really do. We must learn TO BE!

An Integral Approach to Overcome Harmful Emotions

The emotive field is the sea in which we swim every moment. Even the perception of a color, a sound, a physical

sensation , is possible by the emotive. What is ordinarily la- beled under this name, is only the surface of a deeper ocean,

a momentary oscillation which manifests itself in the super- ficial levels of the emotional plane.

Today we can find on the vast “spiritual” and “psy- chological” market, various techniques, more or less ,or de- finitively not efficient. In the Western countries in the last century, many methods have been produced, in which the aim is to remove the emotional barriers and to achieve a con- trol of the negative emotions.

In any case, we have to remember that a human being is a very complex, structured being. Namely, a human being is composed of a physical body, an intellect, and emotions. Each of these parts interact with one another.

Intellect with its dual conception, rigidly fixed by con- victions and conditionings, constantly influences emotions. The body also influences emotions, though not as much as

the intellect does: for example, the dysfunction of a physical organ can change totally and radically, the emotional state of

a

person.

Body, mind, and emotions are deeply connected, and

it

is practically impossible to achieve a permanent balance of

one of them without working on all three fields at the same time. If we want to overcome a fear, a phobia, a sense of insecurity, it is not enough to try to control the emotions. To achieve this aim, a deep process of conversion of the in- tellectual and emotional field is necessary, with the purpose of transforming the deep-rooted unconscious habits which drive us to perceive life in terms of danger.

Almost all the psychological and development systems created to remove emotional blocks and mental problems, have a limited effect, both in terms of intensity and time, and they leave the real source of these problems untouched. That is the reason of why, if we want an effective and permanent self-transformation intended for self-development, we have to opt for an integral approach which must involve in our work, the body, the intellect, and the emotions at the same time. A work of impartial self-observation is a very effective tool. On this blog, we have shared some examples of how to begin a work on self-observation, and all of them give the possibility to approach the problem in an integral way at the same moment when the problem arises.

Even meditation is a good tool, but only if it is put in a concrete, well-structured system for the understanding of the Universal Laws which govern our life, without which knowing it , is impossible to overcome the harmful emotion- al baggage we bring along every moment of our lives.

Clairvoyance (Seeing Clearly)

A few days ago, I witnessed a discussion between

friends about the theme of Clairvoyance. This was, of course a superficial and disinterested discourse between friends dur-

ing coffee. One of them spoke about the siddhis (the oc- cult powers developed by yogis as a result of many years of struggles and practice), and claimed to possess this ability. This was, of course, enough to understand that this person was speaking rubbish. But it reminded me of an ex-fellow of the group who once asked our mentor what Clairvoyance is. This opened a discussion which brought a clearer under- standing of its possibility.

The word Clairvoyance has the meaning “seeing clear- ly”. So, it is a capacity to see what others usually are unable to see. Obvious, of course! But there are many persons, espe- cially in the field of the New Age, who claim to have this abil- ity, to be able to see a “parallel reality”. Indeed, some of them explain that this is a “natural” ability. But, if it is “natural”, why is it so rare? This brings me to the only possible answer:

they are (consciously or unconsciously) lying. That’s all!!

In the last few years, this word “clairvoyant” has been

used in dozens of different ways, but essentially a clairvoyant

is an individual capable of activating his physical senses, to “see” an immaterial reality.

There are many pages on internet related to this topic, so we’ll reveal here an alternative explanation related to the above mentioned discussion with our mentor. He brought us to draw the explanation by ourselves, and this was the com-

mon answer we achieved beginning from the meaning of the words: “seeing clearly”: from this point of view, the higher, deepest and objective form of clairvoyance is the true vision of reality. The ability to take a look into the world of the so- called “paranormal” field can be an interesting and unique experience, there is no doubt. And this also demonstrates that the human brain has incredible and not yet explored abilities. But such ability does not lead necessarily to some greater wisdom or to a better understanding of reality.

A true Clairvoyance could be considered the mind’s enlightenment, or better, the enlightenment of conscious- ness. If an individual realizes himself and achieves an objec- tive view of reality, he is also able to “see” clearly beyond the mists of any illusion.

That is all. This is Clairvoyance as interpreted by me.

Any other kind or form of such ability could be un- derstood as having two sides, as the two sides of the same coin: one can ease the path to a greater understanding, and the other to the path of a greater illusion. The so-called “opening” of these hidden faculties without an appropriate human spiritual and inner maturity, is often a cause of suf- ferings and confusion. But, of course, there are not absolute rules, even for this topic.

Discerning the False Personality from our True Self

Subhuti was Buddha’s disciple. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness, the viewpoint that nothing exists ex- cept in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity.

One day, Subhuti, in a mood of sublime emptiness, was sitting under a tree. Flowers began to fall about him.

“We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness”, the gods whispered to him.

“But I have not spoken of emptiness”, said Subhuti.

“You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard empti- ness”, responded the gods. ”This is true emptiness”. And blos- soms showered upon Subhuto as rain.

A question which often arises in the mind of the re- searcher is how to recognize the expressions of our Essence- Being when they arise. This takes the seeker to the often wrong attribution of many actions and emotions to their “True Self ”, when they are only products of the mind which wants to keep alive its positions and strengthen convictions by denying any kind of change. Attributing to our Essence every action gives us two obstacles: on one hand, we remain deepened in the illusion of Being”. On the other hand, this behavior allows our personality to keep alive all the condi- tionings, which imprison our True self.

Many Masters taught and still teach that we can rec-

ognize the expressions of our Essence-Being, all which is free from fears, anger, sense of guilt, egoistic thoughts. The legiti- mate question which arises in the mind of the practitioner is how to recognize the rare moments when he can be sure, without doubts, that he is witnessing the expression of his Essence.

Fortunately, this is not the main problem. Indeed, we can’t recognize such moments until we have achieved a higher state of consciousness and awareness. We must follow sincerely what we feel as right and true at a determined mo- ment, accept it temporarily, and then, overcome it when we realize a “Higher Truth”. Briefly, we must train ourselves to discern what is part of the field of “Being” (True Self), and what is part of the field of “Appearances” (Ego-Personality).

Sincerely, we can’t be totally sure that what we feel, desire, or believe is free from every conditioning. The most important thing is to live coherently with what we sense, feel, and consider what represents us, and to maintain both heart and mind open to change the course each moment that we realize we have run up against a previously unseen condition- ing. Of course, we are speaking here of what a seeker would have to do in the path for self-development.

The most important thing is to assume all the respon- sibilities for our actions and for our thoughts, and live with the utmost integrity. Moreover, despite of what we usually think, the fact that a tendency or behavior is assignable to our deepest Self, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s correct and objective. This is something which should be consid- ered.

The most important thing is to live our life in the most coherent and sincere way, so that we can achieve this state of emptiness, non-manifested, which represents us, instead of struggling with doubts about our False and True Self. Of course, this is only my subjective consideration, so take it in this way – subjectively.

In addition to a life lived more consciously, the prac- tice of meditation is surely the most efficient medium to en- ter the deepest realm of ourselves and to recognize, field by field, what really represents us as part of our True Self and what represents the mere conditioned surface.

The Art of Pondering

I would like to speak here about an interesting, but almost ignored practice in self-development, and also largely used by myself in my daily practice for years: Pondering.

According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, pondering is described as “…to reflect or consider with thoroughness and care”, a type of contem- plation. Gurdjieff gave a large importance to this practice and encouraged his pupils to use it while considering what he had taught them. Pondering is also included in the Su- fi’s practice (such as the Silent Zikr), which was used in late Christianity, and is still used by the Orthodox Christians. It’s a fantastic practice which is simple to explain in brief, espe- cially in Facebook notes. It has a large impact on the prac- titioner: Pondering is one of the main factors in developing an Objective Reason.

Alfred Richard Orage also described pondering with the fol- lowing words:

Pondering is answering questions from essence and answering them practically.

One -half the energy of a human being must be spent internally pondering.

One -third of one’s time should be spent in pondering.

Pondering is a self-interrogation which consists in

stripping off all the answers of association until you finally come to your own essential answer.

When I started my own path for Self-Development, my mentor taught to my group, the practice of pondering. We had first to ponder about a determined problem, and once found the answer, we could speak with him about it. His aim was to teach us to use , or better said, to “train our mind”, to find the answers correctly, instead of having the impulse to ask him first. My first impression about this prac- tice was that it is similar to the Japanese Koans, and below we’ll see why…

So, how is Pondering in practice?

First of all, we start to question an idea inherent in the Work on ourselves using our Intellectual Center (Mind):

“What value are the impressions I acquire during my daily life?”. “What is the meaning of Being Awakened?” “How does a particular situation affect my emotional state?”, etc. Every answer that arises is intentionally put aside or accepted as temporarily correct for a determined time, but susceptible to further change. During this practice, automatic thoughts are gently excluded. While pondering, the practitioner should involve the feeling-sensation of his body, his emotion- al state has to remain neutral, and this emotional “setting” allows the emotional expressions from the Higher Emotional Center.

It’s a Three-Centered Action, because it involves all our centers to be active, and this means all to our Being. The aim is not to find an answer to the question, but rather a deepening of the argument we are questioning. Pondering needs a certain period of practice to reach some results. It’s not complicated, but we are so entangled in our “rational”

thoughts, that it is difficult to renounce them.

Try it, if you wish, and inform me about your experiences and results.

Self-Development through Facebook!

How many hours do we spend against the PC’s moni- tor? How many useful and useless things do we do during a day on various pages such as, in this case, on Facebook? To what degree does this attitude harm our state of conscious- ness? And the most important question, can the act of surf- ing on web pages such as Facebook become a sort of training for our self-development?

First of all, of course, staying against the PC all day can’t be healthy…in this way, we miss the most important part of the day…living our life. But, maybe, even an “ill-famed” eater of consciousness such as Facebook could become a good gymnasium for developing our attention…but, don’t overdo this practice !!

When we use the PC, the best method for maintaining a state of awareness, and not falling asleep against the monitor, is to focus our attention on the body.

If we strive to keep the back straight, we achieve “natu- rally”, a better state of attention. Indeed, a straight posture produces a better state of awareness, and this is one of the main reasons that such posture is suggested during the medi- tation. Staying for hours on the computer, it avoids much physical damage typical for those who sit for most part of the day.

Also, a good suggestion is to often check the legs and shoulders to notice if they are constrained, and, if they are constrained, let us relax them!

A calm and relaxed “natural” breathing is also very use- ful: in this manner, mind can be engaged with the “work” on the PC and, at the same time, we can divide our attention by maintaining, relaxing, and adjusting our body posture and breath slightly. After some time of such practice, we will no- tice the development of a greater awareness and transform our time spent on Facebook or other web pages, into mo- ments of relative nerve regeneration and mental health.

Try it…it needs some practice, because when we are on the computer, there are many subjects to identify ourselves with, but I found practice useful.

Few Steps Towards a Stronger Will

Almost all of us carry an intolerance to which we are unable to give a name. Who searches deeply in this field recognizes what it is, and only from this point begins a real path to self growth. In fact, once we have realized that our “inertia” is the cause of our condition, we start to give more attention to a skill that almost all claim to have, but actually, almost no one has – the Will.

But, what is Will?

What must we do to develop it?

And is it really possible to develop?

What must we do when the wish for further develop- ment pushes to one

side, and from the other, mental and physical laziness bring us constantly

bring us back to the starting point?

The Will is surely a skill that can be trained and de- veloped. It can be defined as the ability to maintain a fixed decision, even if many obstacles arise to deter it. Will allows us to realize the aims we “feel” we must achieve, even if this is difficult or unpleasant. It is a skill which allows us not to be deflected from our goals. Once, my mentor (teacher) said, “There is no simpler thing in the world than to train our will”. Even if this statement seems absurd and senseless, the development of the will is relatively easy, but it demands a great effort. The recipe is to decide one thing and not betray this decision.

Many people believe that training the will is to do something which is driven from a passion, something we really love to do. But, it must be said that the most effec- tive way to develop the will is precisely to do something that doesn’t impassion us.

When we do something we like, it is easy to follow the steps, but this develops nothing in us, except a less strong and less determined Will. It is more useful to decide to do small things that we are indifferent to, or that give us diffi- culty which doesn’t turn us away from the decision, creating various excuses.

From this point of view, washing dishes or cleaning house, overcoming laziness, is more efficient in developing the will, than to do great things which are motivated by our passions or desires.

Awakening to our True Nature

Not to a New School

Objectively, this Blog is driven from an only purpose, written on the right side above the page: the “Awakening to your true Nature”.

So, it’s driven with what is just the Real Aim of Self development- the development of what represents what we really are (Self), and his development-namely the develop- ment of all the expression of what we really are in order to be- come more effective and integrated in a more sober and “real” life. And, all this without following any specific method pur- posed from the many “Schools”, Centers, Ashrams and so on with all their points of views and convictions, closed in a sort of elitist physical detachment from the world, but rather following a system that could be integrated in our everyday life, that could allow us to live our life “on this planet”, be- tween normal people, without appearing particular, strange, unique.

Through just being what we are, as we are, depending from our possibilities, nothing more, nothing less.

It’s my opinion and “belief ”, but also a belief of some people who accepted to collaborate with me in the Work to Awakening, that what this World needs are not new philosophies, but rather a new practical approach; so peo- ple who able to have respect don’t have a supreme respect to all and everything, but without the necessity of idola-

trizing anything in particular. People with a developed Be- ing, a “Heart”, an expanded Consciousness in all the pos- sible means of this term. People who deleted every kind of dichotomy, the absurd division between “We” and “Them”, between the “Spiritual” and the “Material” points of view. A life free from any kind of conditionings or dogmas; a life ex- perienced in a full state of emancipation: this is our purpose. How to achieve this, is our problem, such as is a prob- lem of everyone who accepts this sort of challenge. In the last period, I received many emails in which people asked to me why I am not speaking more about Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way System? Why I don’t cite more something about “Belzebub’s Tales to his Grandson” or Ouspensky’s “In Search for the Miraculous”? What I think about this or that Gurdjieff or Fourth Way Center? For the reason that I don’t consider respectful copy and paste on many emails the same answer, I would like to share, here on this topic the answer to these questions.

The reason is simple: even if many of these groups could seem singular, interesting and fascinating in the eyes of a researcher as I am, not only I don’ belong to any group relat- ed with the Gurdjieff’s Work, but also I don’t belong to any in- stitutionalized Group, “School”, Center and so on. This does not mean that I consider such groups “wrong”, everyone does what he wish or feels to do. Simply, it’s not more our interest (I speak, here in name of the “members” of the non-formal group of research which with I collaborate). The only aim of this Blog and the aim of the group of people with which I share the same interest is to awaken, and this result is not a prerog- ative of only a determined group (such as many even consider that), nor exists only a way to awaken. Also, some associate the name of the Blog, Sarmoung, to the Gurdjieff’s Work, but the choice of such name have other reasons of personal value. We are not “specialists” of some particular path, dis- cipline or method. Our only wish is to become special-

ists

in

awakening,

and

it’s

which

we

are

working

on.

So, we are not followers of Gurdjieff, Buddhism, Krishnamurti or any other teacher, individual or method mentioned on this Blog.

We speak about every valuable part of a method or teach- ing, ancient and not ancient, driven from five “simple”rules:

1. If something functions for you, then use it!

2. Never speak about something that is not part of your

experience, and if you do it, then make it clear that is not a

your experience;

3. Respect all the sincere Paths and the people who follow

them, but keep mind and heart that the key for an answer does not belong to a particular “School”- those who make such statement lie on themselves and the others;

4. Experience, this is the Key for Knowing;

5. Act consciously, this is the Key for “doing”;

6. Research does not mean expecting some answers, but

rather find them, and then verify;

7. Be compassionate and respectful, as best as you can, to-

wards all the living beings and yourself;

It’s not a close group of people, everyone who has a sincere interest in what we do can collaborate with us, and everyone (independently from the gender, age, religion, cul- ture) is welcome.

Further Explanation on What is Self- Observation

In the last month I have received many emails about what is the practice of self- observation, why it is so difficult to practice, and if there are some “tricks” for improving it. Self- observation is surely the main tool for self- development (at least for the administrator of this Blog page).

Indeed, this is the mean through which the practi- tioner performs what is known as inner work, the work for self-development, and through observation, integrated in a serious and well-structured system of teaching, there are practically no limitations about what we can discover con- cerning ourselves and life.

There are two things we have to consider: the first is, that in order to perform an efficient observation, we need energy and awareness. This would appear to be an obvious statement, but it also seems that it is not well understood. Observe not in a non -occasional and superficial way, but with a “focussed will”, and not remaining in the field of phi- losophizing and intellectualizing this action as a concept. What we need to observe, is to develop a certain degree of awareness and a nice quality “fuel”.

The first difficulty we have to face concerning obser- vation, is that we usually don’t know what it is about. We are convinced we possess this skill, but only through direct experimentation will we realize that this is not true, and only then we’ll have the possibility (which depends only on our interest) to dedicate ourselves to studying and practicing it in a serious way.

Observation can bring self-consciousness, a degree that can’t be achieved through merely theoretical study or only the practice in daily life: we have to synchronize and alternate the theoretical study with the observation of our- selves and our functions which could bring the extraordinary aim of the awakening of an individual consciousness.

In order to observe ourselves in an efficient way, we have to develop a great and rare skill - sincerity. Being hon- est means not speaking tales to ourselves and others with the only aim of maintaining alive the fictitious and nonexistent character who emerges from the various fragments of person- ality. If we are not sincere and we don’t recognize that we can’t maintain a continuity of awakened consciousness, we haven’t any possibility to succeed.

The first step in the education of self- observation has, in the first place, the aim of becoming aware of our “absence”, and this is a thing that should not be understimated: our bodies are here, in the present, but our minds are somewhere else. Whoever wishes to forge ahead and take for granted to have understood his situation from the beginning, most usually doesn’t achieve anything in this field.

There are many methods for observation, and some of them have been shown on this blog, but in the first place, we must understand what it is about, apart from the techniques we use. In order to accomplish the process of observation, there must be someone who guides it. The observer and the observed (the object of observation) are not the same thing:

we can see a tree, because it is external to us, but we can’t see our face if we are not looking in a mirror. So, at the be- ginning, the field of observation should be the most exterior part of ourselves which exists, and that is the reason why we should begin a practice of self- observation starting from our body: observing our gestures, becoming more aware of the way we interact with external objects, reducing gradually, mechanical and habitual acts.

Afterwards, we’ll begin to observe the intellectual and emotional functions, but at the beginning it is best to begin from the body and its mechanicity. Even breath, which is an instinctive action, is a good starting point to focus our atten- tion in a conscious way, and it’s very useful to develop the skill of observation.

Through observation, it is possible to reach control of our functions (intellectual, emotional, motoric, instinctive) that are part of ourselves. In this way, we’ll gain not only an understanding of the condition of “sleep”, so that we notice that we are unaware, but we’ll also gain the power to regain our natural functions, emancipating ourselves from mecha- nicity.

The capacity of observation also gives us the possibil- ity to understand others in a deeper way, and this can allow us to establish better relations and to give our help to who- ever finds himself in difficulty.

Concerning observation, there is a traditional prac- tice called “natural awareness” which consists in “fighting” to eliminate mechanical habits. We can perform such a prac- tice , for example, in the way that when we lean a glass on the table or we sit on a chair, we transform these habitual acts in conscious actions. In this way, we begin to find an aesthetic of gestures, and through placing an object (or ourselves) in the space in a way determined by us. So, for example, put- ting the cigarette lighter in a purposeful way near the pack of cigarettes becomes a conscious aesthetic act.

Failed Awakening: What have we missed?

Many times in more topics on Facebook and in some here, on this Blog page, I marked the statement that, for those whose aim is to “awaken” to a higher level of consciousness and a different level of being, wish and efforts are not enough.

On a first look, it could seem really absurd: “What? An- drea, what are you speaking for? If I really wish something

and I make the “necessary” efforts, then I’ll achieve the aim

I choose!”… and that could be even a legitimate reaction on

such statement. But (and I always love those “but”, because they open to new possibilities making the persons to see from different points of views), do we “really” wish what we expose

as our “aim”?

And, do we “really” make the “necessary” efforts to achieve

a such aim?

Even if one is able to answer for both questions in an affir- mative way, someone who really and sincerely attempted to awaken, knows and understands that what I wrote above is at least “quite” true. Days and days, weeks and weeks, if not years and years of attempts and efforts, without too much ef- fective results.

How many times we have wished something with all our heart, doing all what was in our possibilities, but didn’t achieved this? I ponder that everyone of us had such experi- ence at least one during his/her life. And this is, unfortunate- ly, of value even when we speak of “awakening”.

What’s the reason of such limitation? Is, then, an ef- fective awakening impossible? It’s only an utopian dream, a theory, or there is something we missed to notice?

Maybe, the reason lies in something we ignored ‘till

now…

In, my experience, I can say that there are really many

reasons who avoid a person to achieve a higher and more stable level of consciousness: lying, not too much efforts, self pity…. and many other “problems along the Path” of which

I have wrote on many posts on this Blog.

But there is one thing I consider the most impor-

tant, the key to find the necessary strength to make possible

a qualitative and permanent “jump” to another level: to ac-

complish this quite impossible mission of awaken, this must “really” become the primary need of our life… and willy- nilly, who didn’t achieved any effective result even after years and years of practice, then it hasn’t such wish. Sad and pain- ful to hear, but true.

The “secret” is that such wish must become a need, such as the need to breath… there are not other possibilities:

or we awaken of we are not, so this mean that we, in some way, “die”. If we don’t wish to die, then, we have to do every- thing possible to avoid this to happen. A person who falls in

a lake, and begin to drown, has a so strong wish to stay alive,

that will makes all what is possible to suffocate not. This per-

son will use all it’s forces, and even more that all the forces she ordinarily has, to escape such destiny. I don’t know if I rend the idea… if we wish to awaken, to become less mechan- ic, less identified, less walking corpses and more awakened walkers, then we have to wish this such as the person who drowns wish air to stay alive… because, there are not other possibilities… because this is the primary need of our life.

Ok, but… if someone of us don’t have such strong wish- need, what it has to do?

The second “secret” is that such wish can be devel- oped. One of the most common and accessible means to de- velop such skill is to make an intention, a sort of declaration.

If I wish to awaken, to be more conscious to be able to overcome the limitations who take me “asleep”, I have to “feed” this wish daily in an intentional way. This “inten- tional act” requires the participation of all our being: mind, body, heart. A simple mental or spoken affirmation is not enough; in fact, pretending to feed such intention in this way would be like pretend to make vanish the stink in a dump just spraying a perfume. Impossible. We need something more effective. And to make such “something” make effec- tive and useful, we need also constance- indeed, this is one of the main “keys” to a productive work.

So, every morning, when we “wake up”, what we have to do is to stay with our legs straight in font of an opened window, tighten our right fist, and begin to breath fresh air. On every our breath, we have to think and say an affirmation such as:”I wish to Be”- here, be is intended as being con- scious and awake, the opposite of “not-be”, the normal walk- ing hypnotic state. We have also to feel this intention with our emotional field, creating in ourselves a feeling of deter- mination to achieve this aim. If you don’t feel it, then imag- ine you are feeling it- trough a constant practice, this feeling will become effective. I don’t speak, here about imaginary, but of an intentional, conscious and focused visualization.

Do this every day. Five minutes are enough. And don’t expect miracles. Such a house can’t be built in one day, an intention cannot be strengthen in five minutes. But trough time, the “efforts” will show the results.

Gentleness of Movements – Gentleness of Mind

“Soft sinews are a special characteristic of the infant. If people who are not far from death (old people) are to have any hope of returning to youthfulness, it is only through concentrating on the chi and becoming soft.”

This quote from the Tai Chi Chuan master Cheng Man Ching evokes a concept of “softness” of the body move- ments, and it expresses a concept that surpasses the practice of a martial art. The words express a concept of softness that we often ignore during our daily physical movements. And, softness implies also a concept of “gentleness”.

Our physical body is anything but rudimental, and its potentials are far from being expressed by humans as we know them. It’s a matter of fact that no one has taught us how to use our physical mean in the best way we can, and this is perhaps the main reason why most of social influences bring us to a significant reduction of health.

We are so convulsive and disharmonic while moving our body, and this physical attitude reflects a condition of inner disharmony.

It is enough to observe ourselves during any action, even the most simplest, to perceive that. How much is our body relaxed during an action? How much energy do we use during the same action? How much does our thought-emo- tional field harm the harmony of our body?

If we perceive that this is our case – and in most cases,

it is so – this means, that if we want to become and act in a more relaxed way, we have to change our behavior starting from the most touchable mean that we have – our physical body.

There is a strict connection between our body and our feelings, so, if the feelings can change our physical state, harming even the movements, then an intentional movement can influence our feelings.

It is said that if we don’t love ourselves, we can’t love others – a true statement! But it’s also right to say that, if we are not gentle with ourselves, we can’t be gentle with others! And, gentleness towards ourselves means just this: become more relaxed and harmonious, to achieve a state of relaxation that should be a state of Being, not just as a moment of re- lease from daily stressful situations.

How to perform such “conversion”? Through a con- scious, intentional use of our physical body: this means to develop a gestural aesthetic that should reflect gentleness. For example, while walking, we could pay attention to how we place our feet on the ground, how we move in the space – like a dance, like Tai Chi Chuan movements. The simple act of intentionally putting a glass on the table, becomes a ritual to achieve more relaxation, more gentleness.

In Japan, there exists a discipline that is enhanced to the rank of Art, called “natural awareness”, and the well- known Tea Ritual is only one example of this Art. So, becom- ing more aware of our movements, brings us to a develop- ment of a more relaxed state.

“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the uni- verse, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confu- sion of life, keep peace in your soul…”, said the American writer, Max Ehrmann. A very wise quote! Maybe, we all have to learn from these words, and take a look at the movements of a child, the harmony of these movements, the gentle in-

teraction a child has with the environment which surrounds him.

life gives us many more possibilities of

being stressed than to be relaxed – bills, work and family problems, problems with friends, etc.

But, maybe, we should have to take the life situation in a dif- ferent, less rigid way. In fact, even this rigidity doesn’t change anything.

Something I find myself thinking about is that the Buddhist Middle Way fits like a glove for us, modern men who take their lives so seriously…but not too much.

It’s true

our

Giving too much “weight” to our life problems, makes us also weighty…

Human Centers:

Introduction & the Intellectual Function

A Comprehensive Introduction

This is the first of a series of posts devoted to one of the most interesting, but also most confusing topics inherent in Inner Development: Human Functions or, as many call them, Centers. Confusing, because it has remained mostly in the field of theories and not incorporated into a practice. There is a great tendency to speak about and formulate new theories, but only theories without experience, so even veri- fying them in practice has never awakened anyone.

A human being can achieve a higher state of Con- sciousness, but this is only a possibility, not a natural fact. We can also achieve the control of our Consciousness only through experience, so it requires a constant practice of ob- servation. From the moment we begin to follow the Path towards Self-Development in a serious theoretical and practi- cal way, we will face two main difficulties: the first one will be our ignorance (never mind how many texts about this ar- gument we have read) concerning our nature, an ignorance which gives us the illusion that we can really count on our capacities, such as they are at this moment. The second prob- lem is our mechanicity or automatism, which prevents us from acting in an efficient and emancipated way.

This topic has been contended with many times in the

posts of this Blog. Once we have understood and accepted (if our pride permits us to accept this, even as a possibility), that we know almost nothing about ourselves, we have the possibility to remedy this condition. To do this, we can use “tools” that are integral parts of the psycho-physical human structure, which could be considered as a “machine”. Differ- ently from many followers of the Theosophical system and Gurdjieff’s or Fourth Way System, which consider such terms reductive and disparaging, we use this term to define a com- plex of articulated and complex mechanics which require knowing and understanding of their correct functioning.

The “human machine” has seven functions, of which the study is of capital importance in order to realize our True Nature. These functions are: Intellectual, Emotional, Mo- toric, Instinctive, Sexual, Higher Emotional, and Higher In- tellectual. The last two functions are not achievable from the ordinary state of being in which we are, because the Higher Emotional manifests itself only once we have achieved the state of Self-Consciousness or Self-Remembering. The High- er Intellectual appears only after having achieved, at least barely, an Objective Consciousness.

So, the Inner Work begins with the study of the theory and the particular techniques for the intellectual, emotional, motoric and instinctive functions.

Intellectual Function

This function encompasses all the mental processes:

perception of impressions, creation of visual and conceptual representations, reasoning, association, comparisons, imagi- nation, affirmation and denial, linguistic and discursive con- struction. Our ordinary mind recognizes everything in dual- istic terms, dividing all into good-wrong, denial-affirmation,

true-false, love-hate, friend-enemy, etc. This binary way of “thinking” prevents us from grasping a paradox in what we consider a “rational way”.

What is very important is to realize is that our ordi- nary mind (the intellectual function as it is without specific “training”), is strictly related to the field of emotions and sen- sations. Indeed, it makes symbolic representations (images and words) of what our senses have perceived from our birth to the present moment. This is one of the reasons of why, for example, mental patterns and behaviors are very different between different nations because of cultural specificity. We must also understand the interconnection between thoughts and emotions: these are two absolutely different functions, but they are often confused one with the other. A thought generates an emotion, and an emotion activates a series of corresponding thoughts, and this process is guided almost always from associative and automatic modalities.

Let us make an example: a word said by someone makes us remember (intellectual function) a series of situa- tions previously experienced during our life. These thoughts activate the corresponding emotions which we have experi- enced in the various moments our mind evokes remembrance (emotional function). Then, the same emotions create new mental processes which join the past memories with the pres- ent, and this generates other emotions, etc. This is a never ending and apparently unstoppable process which is associa- tive and mechanical (automatic), because it is not chosen or desired, and associative because we associate it to an event (in this case, the word said by a friend), a series of memories. This association continues in an automatic way, comparing the various past experiences with our present experience.

This is how our mind ordinarily functions, reacting through constant comparisons. Our memory intervenes sys- tematically into our present experiences, arousing thoughts and emotions from the past which objectively, have almost

nothing to do with what we are experiencing. We live in the past, and not in the present. And this occurs at almost every moment of our life.

This process is so constant and relevant from keeping us constantly far from the present moment, even if we have the illusory perception of living “here and now”. This is the reason why all the Ancient Schools dedicated to the Work of Inner Development marked the importance of achieving a “mental silence” and a control of the intellectual functions through meditative practices.

Entering into a mental silence, namely to slow and temporarily cease the associative dynamics, allows us to ex- perience the present moment; every other condition extrane- ous to the time in which we live (now), is similar to a “dream state”, and describes the difficulty of maintaining ourselves in a state of constant awareness (Self-Remembering). If we are able to induce the mind into a non-temporal state through meditative practices, we have the possibility to gain new in- tellectual skills that usually do not exist in us.

Human Centers:

The Emotional Function

This field encompasses all the emotions and feelings such as happiness, joy, pleasure, anxiety, anger, regret and the never-ending spectrum of sensations we can experience.

What is certain is that without a determined practice, it’s quite difficult to discern our thoughts from emotions. Compared with thoughts, emotions are much faster in their manifestation. Ordinarily, once an emotion arises, it produc- es an association of thoughts and fantasies which we label under the term “reasoning”.

Before achieving a state of self -consciousness, we must work diligently in order to discern thoughts from emotions. In most cases, thoughts are colored by the emotions, and this is a great problem, because it is the main cause of what Bud- dhists call “suffering”. Almost always, our decisions, con- structed concepts and reactions are the results of mechanical and conditioned emotional states. This is the reason why it is so difficult to manage unwanted emotions through logi- cal processes and reasoning. It’s an experience that all have in common: we may even know that an emotional state is “wrong”, but we have not many possibilities to change the situation. Our ordinary mind is too slow and weak to control our emotions anytime we wish. During the development of a state of Self Awareness (Self Remembering), this possibility arises, but it is not yet stable, so it cannot happen every time.

There are some people who live their life through the

intellectual field, so they seem more able to “sedate” the emo- tions using logic, but if we take a deeper look, we’ll notice that they don’t control anything: they simply repress them. The control of our emotional states through the Higher In- tellectual field is a far different thing. In such a case, emo- tions are free to be expressed in their full potential, without limitations or blockages, and this emotional wave is directed by an individual will.

What is the function of the Emotional Field? It repre- sents the “center” from where began the feelings for all which exists. It is the mean which permits us to answer to any im- pression we experience. It’s the pure heart of expression. It brings us in relation to a vast sphere which includes all that exists. How could human relationships exist without emo- tions? How could we enjoy music, landscapes or conversa- tion?

Of course, we have taken as examples only “positive” emotions, but there are also “negative” emotions, and they are expressed more often than the positive. Such emotions have to be considered such as they are: a poison for human nature. A human being is born to feed himself with what we consider “positive” emotions, and a negative emotional state which lasts for a longer period of time, results in the mani- festation of more or less dangerous illnesses.

Looking from a more objective point of view, an emo- tional center, in its True Nature, is not dualistic, so it does not recognize “positive” or “negative” emotions; positive and negative related to the emotional sphere is an illusion, but, for the reason that our emotional field does not work in a natural way, therefore, not “balanced”, we’ll speak, for now, using terms we usually recognize and also use.

When a person achieves a state of objective conscious- ness, the emotional field transmitters. It is transformed from a prison which does not allow us to live a peaceful life, in a mean to experience the spiritual states described in all the

Ancient Teachings as compassion, unconditional love, and a state of unity with all that exists… an expansion of con- sciousness over the limits of an egoistic mind.

Human Centers:

Instinctive & Motoric Function

Instinctive Center

There are four aspects inherent to this center which does not require to be learned, because each of them is innate in every human being:

Sensory perceptions (the five senses and all the or- gans of reception for every kind of sensation);

The autonomous functions (the whole human physiology, included are the processes of respiration, blood circulation, metabolism, digestion, etc…);

Physical emotions ( the aspect of the senses which allows us to perceive and discern between “pleasant” and “unpleasant” and prevent us instinctively to preserve our body from what could bring us some damage); reflex actions (smile, sneeze, cough, blink, yawn, etc …)

Instinctive processes and the related physical memory represents the totally mechanical part of the human being. So, it is composed of reflexes and automatisms which, in this case, does not prevent our development, but performs a job which otherwise would be impossible for us: maintaining the function of the physical machine.

Observing the natural and healthy mechanicity of our physical mean allows us to ponder on the less healthy mecha- nicity of the emotional and intellectual functions.

Indeed, mechanicity is not negative in every field; we

have to remember that Nature took hundreds of thousands of years to adapt human physiology in order to live in the material world and in the natural field, and mechanicity (expressed in instinctive functions) corresponds to the im- provement of the possibilities for survival. Indeed, evolution means also to adapt ourselves, and once we adapt ourselves to a situation, we can manage it instinctively.

Even in the intellectual and emotional fields, mech- anicity has its value as a means to learn. Just ponder on a child who harms himself by touching a flame; this experience will raise in him an instinctive memory, through immature emotions and thoughts, an instinctive fear of fire which will preserve him from destroying his physical mean with this ele- ment.

Motor Function

All the physical actions which are not innate, but ac- quired through learning, such as walking, speaking, writing, etc… are part of the human’s motor functions. Many motor actions which are usually considered instinctive, also belong to this field. For example, if an object falls and we grab it before it touches the floor, this is not an instinctive action.

Motor function is very important, because it allows us motion in space, therefore, a direct interaction with life through touching, grasping, escaping, dodging, running, etc…

All such dynamics are not entirely physical. They are imbued with symbolic connections strictly related to emo- tional and intellectual states. This is the reason why the mo- tor function has always been the field of attention for all the ancient systems, which worked on this field through meth-

ods such as Yoga or inner martial arts, science of gestures, postural corrections, and all these systems, in their integral and original version which have a capital value in self -devel- opment.

Through the observation of this function, we may no- tice a great amount of mechanical attitudes, which represent our loss of consciousness towards our physical mean. We as- sume habitual postures, have always the same gestures, the same tensions, we move our body in the same way, and an infinite series of repetitive gestures.

The study and the observation of such habits is very important: through the language of our body, we can gain access to thousands of items of information concerning our emotional and intellectual sphere. Also, teaching ourselves correct and sober gestural behaviors, can help us to correct some emotional and intellectual anomalies. These practices are a starting point to maintaining a constant attentive state in the present moment, in order to develop a higher con- sciousness.

Human Centers:

The Emotional Function

This field encompasses all the emotions and feelings such as happiness, joy, pleasure, anxiety, anger, regret and the neverending spectrum of sensations we can experience.

What is certain is that without a determined practice, it’s quite difficult to discern our thoughts from emotions. Compared with thoughts, emotions are much faster in their manifestation. Ordinarily, once an emotion arises, it produc- es an association of thoughts and fantasies which we label under the term “reasoning”.

Before achieving a state of self -consciousness, we must work diligently in order to discern thoughts from emo- tions. In most cases, thoughts are coloured by the emotions, and this is a great problem, because it is the main cause of what Buddhists call “suffering”. Almost always, our deci- sions, constructed concepts and reactions are the results of mechanical and conditioned emotional states. This is the reason why it is so difficult to manage unwanted emotions through logical processes and reasoning. It’s an experience that all have in common: we may even know that an emo- tional state is “wrong”, but we have not many possibilities to change the situation. Our ordinary mind is too slow and weak to control our emotions anytime we wish. During the development of a state of Self Awareness (Self Remember- ing), this possibility arises, but it is not yet stable, so it can- not happen everytime.

There are some people who live their life through the intellectual field, so they seem more able to “sedate” the emo- tions using logic, but if we take a deeper look, we’ll notice that they don’t control anything: they simply repress them. The control of our emotional states through the Higher In- tellectual field is a far different thing. In such a case, emo- tions are free to be expressed in their full potential, without limitations or blockages, and this emotional wave is directed by an individual will.

What is the function of the Emotional Field? It repre- sents the “center” from where began the feelings for all which exists. It is the mean which permits us to answer to any im- pression we experience. It’s the pure heart of expression. It brings us in relation to a vast sphere which includes all that exists. How could human relationships exist without emo- tions? How could we enjoy music, landscapes or conversa- tion?

Of course, we have taken as examples only “positive” emotions, but there are also “negative” emotions, and they are expressed more often than the positive. Such emotions have to be considered such as they are: a poison for human nature. A human being is born to feed himself with what we consider “positive” emotions, and a negative emotional state which lasts for a longer period of time, results in the mani- festion of more or less dangerous illnesses.

Looking from a more objective point of view, an emo- tional center, in its True Nature, is not dualistic, so it does not recognize “positive” or “negative” emotions; positive and negative related to the emotional sphere is an illusion, but, for the reason that our emotional field does not work in a natural way, therefore, not “balanced”, we’ll speak, for now, using terms we usually recognize and also use.

When a person achieves a state of objective conscious- ness, the emotional field transmutates. It is transformed from a prison which does not allow us to live a peaceful life, in a

mean to experience the spiritual states described in all the Ancient Teachings as compassion, unconditional love, and a state of unity with all that exists… an expansion of con- sciousness over the limits of an egoistic mind.

Higher Centers

For the reason that the two following higher functions are far from the mind’s ordinary possibilities of understand- ing , because they can be understood only through direct experience, we won’t spend too many words in explanation which would only produce further misunderstandings. The only thing we would like to say is to give our best wishes to all of you that you would achieve at least one of these sublime states.

Higher Emotional Function

The Higher Emotional manifests itself once an indi- vidual has achieved Self Consciousness, when the emotional perceptions change dramatically, with the emergence of a highly superior sensibility, a perception and consciousness of Oneness with reality.

In an ordinary condition, emotional reactions are connected with the presence of a fragmented personality, so we cannot express a state of permanent unity in ourselves nor with what surrounds us.

Oppositely, once an individual achieves a stable con- sciousness and unity in a stable inner center, there is a possi- bility of the permanent manifestation of expressions such as

Compassion, Unconditional Love, and Loyalty, which arise as a consequence of the inner perception of Oneness with all things and phenomena.

This explains why humans continue to feel emotions such as anger, hate, indifference towards the suffering of oth- ers, envy, violence, and fear. Even religious persons, although the religion he follows preaches Love and Compassion, con- tinues to feel such emotions. Throughout the history of man- kind, many promulgators of religious teachings and mes- sages of love, executed many acts and barbarities which were contrary to what they advocated. It’s not difficult to notice that in most of the religious fields (but also fields of Inner development), because of dogmatic rigidity toward new ideas or arguments, there are many tendencies toward intolerance towards those who have other points of view.

Following a teaching in a theoretical way, such as studying the biography of an enlightened individual, does not mean one follows the process of development which el- evated the enlightened individual beyond the normal human condition.

To gain the states described by those who have achieved them, one must practice a discipline dedicated to self -development. We cannot really be Buddhist, Christian, or Muslim with only the fact that we “follow” the ideals and rules proposed by the corresponding religion. We need to re- search and to follow the Path which pulled the great Teachers toward the understanding of Reality and the overcoming of human limits.

Belief is not enough. In order to achieve a deeper un- derstanding of a religion, it is useful to gradually develop the skill to recognize the Sacred in all existing things and situa- tions.

The manifestation of the higher emotive allows an in- dividual to grasp the entire gamut of emotional nuances in

an objective way, which would otherwise be impossible to notice. Once the higher emotional arises, there is no identifi- cation, and its realization allows the complete control of or- dinary emotional function. It’s not correct to think that, once we realize the higher emotional, that our ordinary emotions will disappear. This could happen, but it’s not a perogative. What occurs is that the same emotions are “enlightened” from a higher and deeper understanding.

There is a wise Zen phrase which explains this trans- formation: “Before a man studies Zen, a mountain is a moun- tain, after he gets insights, a mountain is not a mountain. When he really understands, a mountain is a mountain”.

This quote describes an interesting fact: in an ordi- nary condition of consciousness, reality appears as covered by a sort of fog. We see things, but we don’t actually observe them, because the ordinary emotive is like a wild sea which does not allow us to see what is below its surface. Our feel- ings are pulled by mechanical reactions, mental asociations, habits. Once we begin the Inner Work, we begin to notice that life is totally different from what we previously thought:

we begin to perceive ourselves and the world surrounding us in a different, seemingly radical way. So, the mountains are no longer simply mountains, and we begin to grasp the real- ity beneath the appearances.

Finally, once we achieve a permanent higher state of consciousness, we gain, with a new understanding, the “nat- ural” vision of reality. The Higher Emotive expresses a state of constant calm, and all is perceived as part of a natural or- der which previously was impossible to be noticed.

The structure of the higher emotional manifests in the lower functions and in all of one’s daily life, now directed from deep feelings, belonging to this higher sphere.

Higher Intellectual Function

The Higher Intellectual function is realized in a fur- ther higher state of objective consciousness. It’s surely an un- thinkable condition for the common thought, and it repre- sents a state when the individual mind becomes unified with the Universal Mind. So, the amplitude of consciousness is so high that an individual who realizes this state can acquire a greater amount of information, than in the ordinary state.

The associative thoughts totally lose their mechanic- ity, and the intellect becomes definitively emancipated from any emotional and subjective bond. The objective conscious- ness allows a vision of Reality (what is, as it is), and the higher intellect allows the real discrimination between what is real and what is illusory, so an individual in such state becomes able to evaluate causes and effects which are manifested in the “real world”.

So, a higher intellect allows the possibility to use the mind to recognize what is illusion and what is not, and the dualistic aspect loses its usual incapacity of evaluating what lies between two “colours”. An individual begins to grasp the unity where he previously saw duality, so that he becomes able to “rationalize” something which was previously impos- sible to understand: the paradox. This is the reason why it is said that only through an objective vision is it possible to ap- proach the great mysteries of the Universe in an intellectual way.

The Characteristics of the Centers

In this post we’ll examine the characteristics of the four ordinary “lower” centers. These centers are peculiar to the integral human structure, so they are immaterial, but they have a “material” center of gravity, so can be located in the body. The impossibility of identifying them for physical analysis, requires the observation of them in an indirect way, through their functions manifested in matter.

a) Location of the Centers

Centers are not limited to a determined physical area. Each of them is manifested in the entire body, so when we speak about their location in the body, we intend a specific center of gravity. They do not have to be intended as an or- ganic part of the body as they belong to the Essence, which is not material, but uses matter as a mean for experimentation.

So, the location of the centers are the following: intel- lectual center- brain; emotional center-chest and solar plex- us; motoric and instinctive centers- lower part of the back, specifically, the spinal cord.

The location of the centers is not very relevant when concerned with the observation of their functions, but it’s important when we use specific techniques of concentra- tion in order to move our consciousness onto the areas of “gravity” of a determined center, so that we can improve the

interaction of specific moments, or to compensate for some eventual loss of a center.

What is also very important to understand, for those who have some knowledge about the eastern occult and sub- tle human anatomy, is that these centers are not the so- called chakras, nor have anything to do with them. Maybe we’ll speak about this subtle anatomy on a future post.

b) Speed of the Centers

In ordinary language, we usually speak about the fast or slow reaction and comprehension of a person, and in some way we are speaking of a concrete reality. Every center has a specific “speed of action”, dictated by the rhythm through which particular functions are expressed. This is not a mere intellectual curiosity, but it’s a relevant fact that is really prac- tical for the improvement of our daily actions.

The slowest center is the intellectual; the motor and instinctive centers are faster than the first, and the emotional is the fastest of the four centers. Better said, it could be evi- dently faster in a state of conscious awakening, but in the ordinary state of consciousness, this center’s speed is quite similar to the motoric instinctive centers.

Experiencing the different speeds of the centers is a very simple thing. Just try to separate mentally, a gesture per- formed “instinctually”, or a sequence of rapid movements expressed through the motoric center, and you will notice that our mind is much too slow. Indeed, we lose an infinity of particulars which we can recover only through slow -mo- tion mental images.

It’s a common thing that in the martial arts or dance, an apprentice asks the teacher to repeat slowly , the same

movements more times in order to “memorize” them. The intellectual center is definitively slower than the motoric.

A similar thing occurs with the instinctive and mo- toric centers when they experience an emotional reaction: we are surprised by an excess of fear or astonishment observing our body react with an embarrassing delay. Indeed, the sensa- tion of paralysis we experience in such cases is a sort of shock which wakes us up for a moment, accelerating the work of the emotional center.

Our subjective impression is that we have been blocked physically, but in reality, this experience has induced in us, a moment of consciousness in which we notice the speed of the emotional center with respect to the other centers, which, in comparison, seem motionless.

There’s an exponential relation between the speed of each center: the emotional center is 30,000 times faster than the instinctive and motor center; these, in turn are 30,000 times faster than the intellectual center. This means that the emotional center is 60,000 times faster than the intellectual, and this is the reason why an intellectual analysis cannot pre- cede an emotional reaction.

This means that every center has its subjective time, different from each other, and this is the reason of why, de- pending on the dominant gravity on which our attention is focused, that we experience a different time perception. This implies the fact that we achieve the control of our subjective time (time expansion or contraction) in the equal measure that we achieve the control of the centers and their functions. So, the applications of such a skill in our daily lives are sub- stantial.

c) The dualsim of the Centers

Every center works through binary mechanics, namely each of them is composed, in some way, from com- plementary and opposite polarities. Such oppositions do not contemplate a theoretical field, but its results are extremely relevant in life.

1. The dualism of the intellectual center

The intellectual centre expresses its dualism through affirmation and negation. Mind analyzes the object of its observation and, depending on the degree of consciousness of the observer, makes a decision from which flows a conse- quential action. Some of the observations will be objective, and the larger part of the action will be objective and wise. Mechanicity and conditionings of the ordinary mind allow the precarious possibility of producing balanced and positive effects as a result of personal choices.

When it happens that the opposites of this center don’t “win the day” with each other because the external mechanical influences are equal, or because the individual doesn’t recognize any precise sign which could allow him to make a decision, he falls into a situation of hesitation.

In some eastern concepts, especially Taoism and Zen, there has developed the concept of “non- action” in response to the loss of objectivity and consequently, the mind’s im- possibility of making wise choices: waiting has represented philosophically making distance from subjectivity of the dual perceptions of the intellectual center.

2. The dualism of the instinctive center

This center expresses its duality through instinctive acceptance and rejection. For example, we ingest a toxic sub- stance, and the body rejects it immediately.

Through the physical senses we experience this dual- ity through the dichotomy, pleasant- unpleasant: all which causes pleasance to our senses attracts us, and which causes unpleasance, to get away.

This behaviour is present in animals who live in their habitat, but in the human being, is almost totally confused with sensorial- emotional conditionings. Just to make an ex- ample: when speaking of food, we are attracted or pushed away from foods which we consider “good” or “not good”, and not from what our our instinctive center recognizes as benefic or harmful. This is a case of the confusion of work of the centres.

If, as a child, we had associated a food with a positive, loving and satisfying emotional moment, the memory of the emotional center will continue to take the job of the instinc- tive center, pushing us to desire that kind of food, associated to positive emotions, independently if it is healthy or not for the organism.

The instinctive center reacts more often to life stimu- lus than what we would think, opposing resistance to what could be dangerous. But, we usually don’t pay attention to that. This brings the instinctive center to become inhibited, so uncapable of expressing with determination, to warn us in a “direct, determined way”.

To regain the capacity of “hearing” the signals of our instinctive center is very important.

3.

The dualism of th motoric center

An In- Depth Look at the Emotional Center #1

The dualism of this function is expressed prevalently in motion and rest. It’s a very simple thing to be understood, but the natural function of the motoric center is constantly disturbed by the other centers which, in their functional dis- order, deny the maximal use of the energies while working or resting.

Especially, the intellectual and emotional centers are almost never inactive, and they constantly disturb the work of the motoric center, producing several dysfunctions of me- dium or major intensity which gradually produce imbalances of the entire physical structure.

That is the reason why it is very important to gain the capacity of controlling the work of the centers through specific techniques.

The possibility of a good and deep rest during sleep and mantaining ourselves relaxed during daily activities, in- fluences enormously (and positively) the different functions. The success or failure of every action depends on the amount of energy available in our centers, so dependent on our ca- pacity of managing them consciously and in a correct way.

In an ordinary state of being, the emotional center expresses its duality in “positive- negative emotions”, and such a dichotomy influences our whole existence, in each of its fields. This is the reason why it needs a serious and deep study, obviously not only in theory, but also in practice through specific methods for self -realization. In such a way, our life can change in a radical and permanent way.

What should be said immediately is that the emotion- al center doesn’t have as a function, the capacity to separate positive from negative sensations; even if this would seem an absurdity, the separation between “positive” and “negative” is illusory, as our subjective perception of reality is not only non -objective, but also the cause of all our suffering, con- cerns and loss of human warmth in the life we live.

Emotional function does not contain a negative field. Nature, evolution, or our Creator didn’t intend for us to have a negative aspect of the emotional function. This is an amaz- ing fact, for the reason that we live from the moment we wake up in the morning till the moment we go to sleep, immersed in negative emotions.

Everything that happens externally from our psy- chophysical structure generates reflexes. We could say that humans “reflect” the impressions acquired from the external environment which are then translated into emotions.

But such emotions are of neutral nature, lacking any negative expression. Emotions assume a polarity (posi-

tive- negative) only because of our identifications and mental imaginations, which are driven by the conditionings peculiar to the environment in which our intellective center has been formed.

The dualism produced in the emotional center is based on “opposites”, so we are usually unable to perceive Good without Evil, and the most we can do is to imagine a permanent good as a result of a continuating absence of evil. In this way, we create the idea of a Paradise in opposition to Hell, two concepts which are an infinite distance.

The logic is the following: “If God exists, then there must exist the Devil”; or: “If there are good people, then there must be bad people”, etc…

The cause is because the intellectual center cannot perceive reality in terms of unity until it is “enlightened” by an objective consciousness.

The emotional center is free from such division, which is generated by the constant influence of the intellec- tual function with all the social and cultural conditionings it contains.

The emotional center, in its ordinary condition, transforms all the sensations produced from the impressions acquired in dual emotions. Said in the most sincere way, we don’t really experience true positive emotions, nor even in contrast with the negative: emotions such as love, loyalty, trust, and faith do not belong to such a dichotomy expressed from a fragmented and impermanent personality. Such emo- tions, when they are deep and real, belong only to the field of self consciousness, and, if you have enough openness of mind, and a little skill of observation to notice that this statement is more than a mere theory, you’ll find a key to explain why all the religions preach love and faith, such as many idealists, intellectual men and women speak about universal concepts. But, seeing the world harmed by always the same suffocating

problems, there must be something wrong in such marvelous concepts and feelings.

So, what is wrong? In these concepts there is noth- ing wrong; the problem lies in the human language which presents an obstacle that cannot be overcome: the symbolism represented in words do not describe in any way the state of consciousness of those who pronounce them. So, we are used to considering that terms like love, charity, loyalty, justice etc… have the same meaning for everyone who speak them

in an honest and feeling way. But this is not correct. With all the respect we have towards the great religious traditions, we know that their proponents have used the same words of

a religious owner, who shared words such as love, loyality,

charity, implying that the meaning they gave to such con- cepts were the same as the founder of the idea (which became

a religion) they were following. How many people ask them-

selves if a religious proponent possesses the same state of consciousness as the historical figure from which derives the tradition he represents? The same thing could be said even for the orientalist groups, of which the supposed “teachers” and “gurus” express hackneyed phrases, aping a foregone state of spiritual “enlightenment” or “awakeness”.

This is a very important consideration to ponder about and, for a seeker, asking such a question is not only a right, but a duty; it’s a fundamental question for those who are interested in understanding reality as it is, and the reason why we can’t achieve a permanent state of harmony and hap- piness.

Before truly understanding the emotional func- tion, we must realize that we are immersed, since our early childhood, in an ocean of hackneyed phrases, prepackaged concepts and images that are only a virtual representation of what might be the objective perception of reality. And “might” doesn’t mean “is”. This produces a mental image of

a whole series of negative and positive symbolic values that we are unable to question because they are part of what we have heard and learned from the day of our birth. And this is called conditioning.

“Peace is the only form of civility”…. “Stop the war”… “Save the planet Earth!”…”Love is stronger than hate”…

Or…

“Beware of strangers”… “life is full of delusions”… “you have to accept what life offers”….

What’s the level of consciousness of those who state such words? What are their identifications?

Humans take everything, or almost everything, for granted. We think it’s enough to say “I love you” to express in all its forms and manifestations, the sum of this feeling. But one who really knows its meaning doesn’t use such a term often, and when he uses it, he does it with maximum respect.

There are basic social conditionings in which we are immersed from our early childhood, and conditionings that change from time to time; we are usually unable to recog- nize the basic conditionings, and only the few who are a little more “awake” understand that they exist, but in order to to- tally realize this and to overcome them, we must transcend our ordinary consciousness and achieve self -realization.

Real emotions are not subject to any kind of trans- formation to their opposite; they can become “negative” be- cause the duality doesn’t exist as a function of the emotional

center, if one functions in a natural way: a true love remains love, and doesn’t change to hate. Indeed, negative emotions are not natural, we have learned to express negative emotions.

An In- Depth Look at the Emotional Center #2

So, let’s summarize what was said in the previous post: The emotional center doesn’t envisage a negative/posi- tive polarity. It is structured to function through positive emotions. But, let’s make an in- depth explanation on what positive emotions are: they are not “beauty” which can be transformed from external situations into “ugliness”, or the “beneficial” contrapositive to the “harmful”. What, in the in- ner work, which are considered “positive emotions” are pure and unconditioned energetic movements. They are pure, and this purity doesn’t imply any dualistic principle.

The mental conditionings, with their binary func- tion, influence our emotional perception, transforming it into a subjective and illusory experience. As an example of this statement, consider how the concepts of good and evil differ from nation to nation, relative to their cultural condi- tionings. But, this doesn’t mean that a human being who has “cleaned” his emotional field from all conditionings, doesn’t get angry or frightened, and this is a very important thing to elucidate. Indeed, though affirming that an emotion in its natural, unconditioned state, is neutral, doesn’t mean that they are exempt from specific qualities.

An emancipated emotional function can burst into flames and this heat can even take a direction toward conflict. Being awakened doesn’t mean being infallible or not having emotions.

What we must focus on now, is that most of the emo- tions a human being experiences, are not pure and natural

reactions, but coloured and deeply conditionings.

To make clearer what we wish to say, let’s make an example: a very young child expresses violent and strong emotions, even if he is still unable to comunicate them in

a clear way (he cries, grieves, etc…)…. but such emotions

lasts for very brief moments, because they are not nourished by thousands of mechanical thoughts, calcified opinions and memories.

The emotions of an adult function in a totally differ- ent way: he is struck by an insult, but he doesn’t experience the emotion for what it is. He relates the experience of that moment with many others, grasped from his memory, re- maining attached (identified) with the results of this process. It’s legitimate and normal to grasp with stupor the violence of whoever “attacks” him, and it’s also normal to remain dis- turbed, or even shaken from this. But, in a natural condition, an individual should not lose his emotional permeability.

As, said above, ordinarily, a human remains attached to the effects of the attack; from his early childhood, he de- velops an emotional dimension loaded with fears, anger and resentments, and this denies him any possibility to experi- ence a pure emotion , free from the burden of the past and from the expectations of the future. This is the main differ- ence between a conditioned emotion and a pure emotion: it’s not the problem if we experience anger or fear. The problem is if we’ll remain attached to it. Once again, emotions, in their natural state, are neutral; it depends entirely on if and how we’ll react to them.

A realized being is not exempt from fear or anger- and whoever states this is a bullshitter (sorry for the term, but here it is needed); simply, these expressions are not the same

as the so -called “non- realized” beings: these emotions occur

if it’s neccesary. In simple words: if one approaches Buddha

on the street and puts his gun to Buddha’s head, he’ll experi-

mental

influenced by

ence an emotion of danger, consequently fear, but once the same person puts the gun down, this fear will end. That’s all. He’ ll not have a hysterical attack, or become a screaming banshee, but he’ll feel a legitimate emotion of fear in all its purity, without conditionings from the past, or fears for the future.

The emotional center produces “neutral emotions”, and this means that they originate from pure fluctuations of sensations, determined by the impressions gained from the outside, who duration is proportional to the the occurrence. Or, better said, this should be so in a natural state.

The common emotional field is full of “wounds” , where healing is made impossible by a conditioned, mechan- ical and childish mind (the common mind).

If we see a snake we can feel fear. This is an emotion we label as “negative” because it generates distress, but such a definition is incorrect. Indeed, this is simply an “umpleasur- able” feeling, and in this case the emotion is motivated and momentary.

But, when we build in the emotional field, a reservoir of fear, determined by the idea that the world is a dangerous place to live, then we frequently build “negative emotions” that are strictly connected with thoughts and memories. We define them “negative”, because they belong to the dual ex- pression of the intellectual ideas (good/ evil), rather than to the direct experimentation of a feeling experience in the pres- ent moment.

Such emotions are mere ideas, and that is the reason why they are illusions. A man who dies of a heart attack be- cause he thinks that a thief has entered his house, is a vic- tim of a negative emotion. He knows that such a situation is possible, so the mind produces a fast and wrong association between a suspicious rumor in the house and the idea of a possible mugging; this creates a violent and, in this case, fatal

emotion.

Mind produces fear: the mechanical field of intellect interferes with the emotional center, with devastating results, and this happens constantly. It’s true, the world is full of dan- gers, but our “fears” are not neutral, therefore non- dualistic, real, justified, and based on facts. They are almost always illu- sions based on ideas created by the mind. Indeed, usually, we are those who create unintentionally the “facts”. And, what happens is that we often bring a person to act towards us as a “snake” for the mere fact that we considered her a “snake”, and expanded her reactions as a consequence of our mental fears.

An emotional center which functions in a sober and natural way nourishes itself with positive (so, once again, un- conditioned) emotions, even if it’s able to perceive pleasur- able and unpleasurable sensations.

The true expressions of this center are not inclined to become negative; on the contrary, the so- called ordinary positive emotions (influenced by mechanical thoughts), have a corresponding negative emotion in which they can be transformed at every moment.

An In- Depth Look at the Emotional Center #3

It is very important to be able to discern the negative emotions from a state of suffering of the emotional center, which could be a more or less permanent result of an emo- tional wound that may leave visible signs. It is a totally differ- ent phenomenon from the ordinary emotional oscillations.

As we have seen in a previous post, the centers belong to one’s Being. The relevant experiences of life penetrate the emotional field, leaving deep traces. This is the reason of why, from his childhood, a child manifests determined tendencies, even before acquiring external influences.

This means that it is possible to notice a condition of emotional suffering that is not determined from mind or ac- quired conditionings. The release of such a condition before having “cleaned” the emotional field from conditionings is a very difficult task, because it is very difficult to distinguish what belongs to the deepest emotional level, and what has been formed on the surface of the emotional field.

But this is a so complex an argument that it is best to discuss it for a future time.

Let’s remain in the field of the negative emotions ac- quired during this life experience. Indeed, such emotions are transmitted to us since the childhood, and condition all our life; such conditionings are acquired through parents, school, basic concepts of society, readings, films, friends…. and we strenghten the tendency to express negative feelings through our emotional field from everything which surrounds us.

After a certain period, such feelings become automatic, and from that moment we totally identify ourselves with them.

This process is so deep that we stop searching for pleasure. This is a very important mechanism to be under- stood, because it defines the tragedy of our lives: indeed,

what ordinarily a human being considers as “pleasure” is just

a momentary cessation of a negative emotion. This is such

a difficult aspect of ourselves to understand, and above all

to digest, because we find it quite impossible to accept that

almost all (if not all) the moments of pleasure which we ex- perienced in our life are just a cessation of suffering.

This automatism is so subtle to be perceived that is very important to pay particular attention to it. So, it would be more useful not to take this statement in a superficial way. We know almost only negative emotions, and their tempo- rary absence is considered from us “pleasure”, if not even “estatic pleasures”. Our life is a constant flow of negative feelings, and they generate “suffering”; willy -nilly, the posi- tive itself doesn’t exist: it is an emptiness, a loss, namely the absence of the “negative”.

And here lies the trap: this condition bring us to iden- tify, namely to recognize and “feel” ourselves through nega- tive emotions.

So, if it is true that suffering is a part of us, and joy and pleasure are a momentary absence of that suffering, is

it possible to identify ourselves with something that is ab-

sent? Can we reflect upon ourselves in the nothingness? Ob- viously, not, and this is the problem. We have been taught to recognize and express not uplifting feelings and to identify

ourselves with the hints of their states. We connect ourselves with every painful and unpleasant perception as though it is

a part of ourselves. And we are unable to recognize this.

The world in which we are born does not teach us how to reflect upon ourselves in joy, beauty, freedom, and positiv-

ity…. such conditions are nonexistent for us. Or, better said, they partially appear once the negativity declines. We don’t recognize positive emotions as stable conditions.

The only reality we recognize and, paradoxically, from which we attempt constantly to escape from, is represented by the negative emotions.

But, even once escaped from them, we still consider them as an integral part of us. This attitude generates an at- tachment towards every negative feeling, and this is the rea- son why such feelings are so difficult to eradicate. This is the horror of the situation: when we fall into a condition of deep pessimism, we often color everything around us. We also have the tendency to drag others toward this condition, and we enclose ourselves into further suffering when they resist our attempts.

The positive, for us, as ordinary beings, is not an ef- fective reality, but only the absence of the negative. Once all the parts of our personality have acquired in the course of the time, an identification with the negative expressions, to eradicate them is very difficult, quite impossible. In such a case, if a person tries to do this, she’ll feel herself as shattered, as though she destroys, annihilates herself, because this con- dition of suffering is part of her, and she doesn’t recognize anything else with which to feel herself. This situation is more than visible in the situations of deep depression, when the the egoic fragments identify themselves in a condition of neverending suffering without any hope. But it is pure il- lusion, never mind how much it appears concrete, it is not real. This condition is the result of a fragmented personality which countermanded the Essence/Being – the True Self – in a devastating and negative way. That’s all.

But don’t think that this situation is of value only for pathological conditions such as the above mentioned exam- ple. In an ordinary, non-pathological situation, things don’t change very much. In this case, the number of “I’s” which re-

flect themselves in negative emotions is accidental, familiar, and determined from life and also from thousands of other situations and occasional factors. What must one do to over- come this horrible condition (the prison, as called by Gurd- jieff, the illusion, as called by Buddha)? There is an ancient saying, which states that whoever wishes to realize himself, has first to sacrifice himself. It’s not a statement to be inter- preted as negative, based on pain and expiation: human be- ings (including me and you- all of us) are totally identfied with negative emotions, so leaving the state of illusory suf- fering means to sacrifice ourselves. This process is explained in the Gospels through the Passion (LAT. patire: to suffer) of Jesus: once he dies on the cross, he is resurrected, ascends to another state of being.

A man will resist with all his efforts such a change, because humans are so attached to the negative emotions that they don’t want to leave them: for the reason that they recog- nize themselves in them. They are those emotions. This resis- tance will happen even if one dedicates his whole life to over- come this state. It’s easier for a person to renounce a pleasure than to experience pleasure, and this is not an exaggeration. This could seem stange or incredible to be affirmed, but who- ever has the courage to begin a process of inner research and observation will be able to notice that this is a fact.

An In- Depth Look at the Emotional Center #4:

Final Considerations

So, the emotional center suffers a continuous interac- tion with the intellectual center. Most times, what we label as emotions is a mere result of simple mental processes. For example: we fear thieves, because we consider we could be robbed, but not for the reason that the same robbers have once entered our house. For the reason that this is an il- lusion provoked by our mind, and not from a fact or a past experience, this can’t be considered as an emotion.

The mind’s function of recognizing or, as usually hap- pens, of imagining a possible danger is useful, but we should also consider if such a situation is “possible” or “probable”… and there is a great difference. Indeed, the transforming of a possibility to suggestions capable of producing correspond- ing emotions in absence of an objective reality, represents an identification in an illusion. I fear that my girlfriend will cheat on me, even if I have a slight reason of fearing such a situation. This is the mechanism which demonstrates how our illusions are working.

The Intellectual function imagines an infinite series of possible situations, which are almost always negative, and secondly, a number of “I’s” react to these mental projections as though they were real. Briefly said: we create illusory emo- tions, paying attention to arbitrary considerations which are not concrete facts.

This repetitive phenomenon makes our life very dif-

ficult to bear. If we have experienced a negative emotional situation, then we’ll keep all the sensations and memories of such experiences, and we’ll project them in an imaginary fu- ture through generating emotional states which will strongly influence every future emotional relationship.

This process is present in every field of our life. The emotional function is never free to express itself, there, we react and respond in a natural and unconditioned way to the existential stimulus: the intellectual influences on the emo- tional field are constant.

Such “wrong interaction” of the intellectual cen- ter with the emotional function, produces one of the most harmful feelings: the expectation. Indeed, we have expecta- tions about all and everything; our intellectual function as- sociates unstoppably, every kind of experience and hope, projecting them in an imaginary space called future, and this future does not exist. The only reality is the present moment, but, through our memory, we live constantly in the past, and through a process of mechanical mental associations, we move from a past to a fictional future, creating every kind of expectation that can assume a fearful or hopeful aspect.

In any case, we are not connected with the present mo- ment, the only real “space” in which our life can take place. So, we could say that, close to the problem of mechanicity, fragmentation of personality, there is also the problem of an absence of a real time, instead of which there’s a virtual and imaginary perception of a fictional time, namely, a constant identification with our past, and imaginative constructions of the future.

What are usually called emotions are not real expe- riences, but projections of our mind covered by emotional substance, and this is a really difficult thing to notice and, once realized, to accept.

The existence in which we live could surely be more

beautiful than we perceive it in an ordinary state of con- sciousness; our life is perceived as an illusory, but “real” hell, for the reason that nobody has given us a right, constructive education, leaving us ignorant concerning life and ourselves. And this is really a sad thing: perceiving our existence as fear- ful and unsatisfying because of a “mere” lack of knowing.

Real and pure emotions, not harmed by the inter- ference of the intellect, represents a marvelous food for our being. Every new feeling should be observed with a curiosity and not with fear or judgment; and, these feelings, once free from the intellectual influences (positive/negative), could show us a totally new reality.

Physical and emotional suffering exists, and no one here tries to affirm that the human existence should be de- prived from the experiences of pain. Indeed, even this pain is an experience. But, what we would like to state is that most of the suffering we experience is produced from ourselves through an inaccurate use of our mind. In the field of inner development, the emotional function is much too important to not pay maximal attention on how it works, and how to make it work in a more correct way, but before understand- ing its function, it’s good to notice its so- called “malfunc- tions”.

What is of primary importance in an inner work, is to discern thoughts from emotions and to be aware of the dreamlike mental activity (the imagination which constantly replaces reality). That is the reason why many ancient teach- ings taught the procedures necessary to settle oneself in the present moment, depriving, in this way, energy from asso- ciative thoughts. In a work for inner development, we learn how to be attentive and conscious of reality.

Making projections is not a wrong thing, on the con- trary, it’s a way to accomplish further realizations. Daydream- ing situations projects that which are impossible which we would never accomplish, such as identifying ourselves with

the past or the future, which is a useless loss of time.

Perhaps, all these texts dedicated to emotions, could be revaluated in the following way: we continuously produce emotions based on our convictions, beliefs, imaginations, ex- pectations, fears, and the imaginary world we produce which is almost exclusively negative. Through reviewing this pro- cess, we create the reality, we make it real.

Sexuality#1 :

Introduction and the Concept of Chastity

NOTE: for the reason that sexuality is a very impor- tant argument, we’ll divide it into at least three posts, of which this is the first one. But, even these three posts will be only a superficial and general introduction to an argument of capital importance in our inner and outer life. So, put aside all your beliefs, points of view towards this arguments while reading these posts. When you have completed reading, be- liefs and points of view will be there, waiting for you, such as every habit. So, through putting them aside, you’ll not lose them. Eventually, you’ll gain some new information concern- ing this topic.

Continuing the argument developed in the previous posts concerning the centers, we would like to speak, here, about a function that is of capital importance for a human being, both in ordinary life and in inner development fields:

Sexuality. This function is connected with quite complex principles. Just as a hint, we would state that the quality of energy used from this center is extremely powerful and re- fined: in matter, sexual energy is able to create life or, rather, a vessel able to contain life.

We are so used to this fact, that we don’t consider it in all of its importance; sexuality represents a motor with awe- some power, able to free a human being from his mechanic- ity, but also may make him into a slave in a permanent and

total way.

We’ll not speak about the sexual act itself, but about the energy which flows in the sexual center. So, such as it can generate life, it is also able to generate a new life in the inner field, mainly, it can be used to create a new man; but, prior to that, it is indispensable in order to become free from the “slavery” of mechanical sexuality, from the interferences of the emotional and intellectual fields on the sexual center, and from the harmful effects to the other centers, which the misunderstood and badly managed sexual energy produces.

The reason why sexual energy is of crucial importance for a human’s psychophysical balance is determined from its quality; indeed, this energy represents a marvelous creative force which is present not only on earth, but in all the Uni- verse: the process of Creation is present everywhere, in all its forms.

We should not permit ourselves to handle the sexual energy with ignorance (intended as not knowing) and non –consideration. The loss of understanding of the mechanics could produce very dangerous results, and this is not an exag- geration.

Indeed, the damage produced from the the anoma- lies of the sexual center are so severe that their effects could enter deeply into the psyche and the emotional field. Many people, throughout the world, dedicate themselves to every kind of sexual practice, even in the name of a “religiousity” or a “spiritual research” with regrettable results in the physi- cal, emotional and intellectual field. And, their approach is marked with the typical superficiality of one who takes all and everything as a toy of his own identifications.

There are many experimentations by groups dedicat- ed to Eastern and Western philosophical ideas, such as Tantra and sexual magic, but these fields represent a very dangerous “recreation ground”.

On the opposite side, imposed (not spontaneous) chastity creates also disorders in the human’s balance, pro- ducing also a very distorted and deviated conception of a “right path” towards “truth”.

To delve deeper in practices which use sexual energy, we must have a specific and refined knowing, and also a great competence about the observation of ourselves and the work of all centers. Without such specific teaching, the best thing to do should be not to do anything, except understanding better the interactions between sex, thoughts and emotions, learning to recognize the interferences between the various centers; and all this, with the purpose of discovering a condi- tion of sexual harmony, namely balanced and not mechani- cal. Of course, as every work which is worthwhile, even here we need a great engagement in the study and the direct ob- servation of ourselves- the mere theory, doesn’t bring us any- where.

As explained in the previous posts on this blog page, the human centers have a dual nature, but the sexual center is free from a separation between positive and negative. It is not structured to produce unpleasant feelings: its action brings us to pleasure, and in a normal and balanced condition, there is nothing that could change the stimulus of the sexual field into the negative, and if this happens, then the reason is an interference from other centers.

The interaction of the other centers with the sexual center can produce an infinity of phobias, deformation or distortion of the relationships with others and oneself; fears, unnatural compulsions and other kinds of deviances. Sexual function is not structured by nature to malfunction from emo- tions and dual thoughts. This center contemplates only two approaches: attraction- pleasure, and balanced non- interest, and all the other complications produced from mechanical emotions and thoughts, identifications, etc… haven’t any- thing to do with the natural functions of this center.

All which can arise, and usually emerge, from the interactions of the mechanical fields of the centers with the sexual function is a contorted and fearful sexuality, full of shame, sense of guilt, fears of noncompatibility, mental imaginations, incapacity of remaining balanced in front of the opposite sex, emotional attachment, sentimentalism as a product of the sexual touch; or, oppositely, inability of warmth, feelings, love, total slavery to the physical sensations and many other psychological alterations which we call sex, and in some cases… love.

Another phenomenon, even if not as common, occurs when the energy of the sexual center is absorbed and improp- erly used by the emotional and intellectual functions; in a such situation, the potential of the sexual energy is far greater than the emotional and intellectual, so that both emotions and intellect suffer a disproportionate increase of their activ- ity.

It happens that, sometimes, the intellect feeds itself with sexual energy, and thoughts become apparently creative and active. This is the case of the great writers, inventors, or extraordinarily creative artists. Unfortunately, because such creativity doesn’t arise from the higher intellectual, but from an anomaly of the ordinary intellectual field (produced from the replacement of the energetic use of the various centers), which results in a disproportionately high increase of all the mechanical and emotional fields of the intellectual center, which will produce only judgements, the tendency toward intellectual conflicts, sense of superiority, racism, sectarism, intellectual presumptions, neverending criticism, etc…

History is full of such characters, who were consid- ered genius in their field, but afflicted with the worst char- acter deficiencies. A human mind, once fed from the sexual energy whose expression is channelled in a wrong way, could seem very capable and inventive, but it’s not an intellectual “enlightenment”, but a mere malfunction of the sexual cen-

ter. The result is that many uncoordinated, unbalanced and deviant people pass off as supermen.

Even worse is if the sexual energy begins to feed the mechanical emotional field, exciting it and inflaming its worst and negative aspects. It’s the case of many religious and mystic characters, but also many politicians with dictatorial tendencies; in such cases, the emotive creates great passions that in most situations, are projected out onto others with deplorable consequences.

This is the case of every ideologic exhaltation, where the dualism between the good and bad, strengthened from the wrongly used sexual energy, produces manifestations of fanaticism, and the development of philosophical concepts which tend to convert all to its own way of thinking.

In the religious field, a forced sexual abstinence, lack- ing a corresponding knowing of the human functions, allows the emotional center to draw energy from the inactive sex- ual function, increasing exponentially the religious excesses which gaze at the exhaltation, leading to the detrimation of the freedom of thought. Marvelous results, aren’t they?

The true and sincere chastity, independently from the subjective value that everyone could give to it, is such when the absence of sexual activity is present in all the centers, and not only in the sexual. If we abstain from physical relation- ships, but our mind and emotions continue to express such need, the results are devastating- in this case, this is not chas- tity, but repression.

If the need for a sexual act is absent and balanced in all the centers, then it is possible to use the sexual energy for evolutionary purposes, channelling it for the development and the use of the higher centers connected with self- know- ing and objective knowing.

But beware: this doesn’t mean that chastity is neces-

sary for a conscious inner evolution; it could be useful in de- termined moments of one’s life, for a limited period of time, or for some individuals. It’s a subjective thing, and it depends on individual needs.

Sexual energy is so powerful and influential that every effort to make it work neutrally and naturally, free from the interference of the other centers- is considered a wise pro- gression towards the recovery of a global balance.

Sexuality#2: Conditionings

Speaking about the sexual center in theoretical terms is less important than analyzing the subjectivity of the sexual compulsion as experienced in our society. There are so many cultural complications in this phenomenon to make it a mat- ter which is very difficult to freely argue.

Another thing that should be useful to point out here, even if it could seem discounted (but, it seems that it isn’t), is that sexuality and sex (intended as a sexual act) are not the same thing.

Sexual is the representation of the dual nature of the known phenomena: we are male or female, and both gen- ders contain in themselves a further separation of male and female.

This fact implies a “way of being” and a particular vi- sion of life, depending on the specifics present in a particular gender.

Sexual fulfillment, in emotional and physical terms, is universally considered an experience of “major pleasure”, but the relationship with the opposite sex, with all its needs, feelings, expectations and misunderstandings, is difficult for human nature to manage.

In order to discover his sexuality in a harmonic and serene way, a human must develop a balanced and conscious personality. This is fundamental.

Sexuality is bound with an instinct of unification,

which, in matter is represented by physical copulation. Both men and women need an emotional, energetic and mental fulfillment in the reciprocal union.

Of course, such an experience is proportional with the levels of consciousness and self-consciousness achieved, and both are ordinarily insufficient to guarantee the realiza- tion of a true and fulfilling unity in Love.

For a human being, such as appears in this century, nothing is simple: his functions obstruct one with the other instead of maintaining their autonomy in the complex psy- chophysical machine. Today, it is very difficult for a man and a woman to meet without being “touched” by the idea of sex, and this influences their relationship.

Similarly, it is very difficult for the development of a pure and simple relationship, exempt from problematic emotional and psychological manifestations typical of the repressive conditionings towards sexuality, in general. This is one of the reasons why we witness the increase of every kind of excess: from the desperate attempts to seek sexual activ- ity without feelings, to the incapacity of experiencing a free and balanced sexuality, without being colored by sentimental identifications.

Both modern men and women (without exception) confuse sexuality with the need to fill their inner emptiness. Relationships are experienced through emotional needs and personal egoisms. The drive toward individual fulfillment is far stronger than seeking union which could be manifested in the presence of a reciprocal drive and interpenetration.

It’s very difficult to experience a relation between man and woman as true friendship, not only for the great differ- ences between the genders, but also because of the difficulty of perceiving each other for his/her own humanity, rather than through his/her sexuality: we are first of all “beings/ consciousness”, and then “sexual beings”.

If there existed a real and effective freedom in our early childhood concerning the sexual approach, it would be less difficult to grasp such a truth.

All the anomalies of the sexual field can interfere drastically with a sober and effective development of an in- dividual consciousness, paralyzing every possibility of indi- vidual evolution.

We are all mechanical and unaware of everything, and sex is not an exception. Unfortunately, it represents one of the major attractions, and the drive is so powerful, espe- cially because of the deep meanings covered in the male/fe- male duality. In its true manifestation, sex should allow us to achieve the blessed state of “human warmth”. Such love could represent an experience of fusion and interpenetration which could prepare us toward a greater embrace towards all humanity. But, in the conditions we are in now, this is pure sci-fi, the reality is quite the opposite. In most cases, what we call love, creates expectations, suspicion, division, closure. For example, jealousy, one of the main causes of disharmony in a relationship, is an emotional deformation that has noth- ing to do with sexuality. It’s the work of another center (the emotional) confused with the work of the sexual center.

All the problems concerning the mechanical limits and the absence of a stable and directive “self ” are reflected even in a relationship that needs the maximal possible in a natural way.

A human being immediately grasps his “incomplete- ness”, and tries to fill it through emotions and the acquisi- tion of constant experiences. Even the search for a mate is related with this tendency. Nevertheless, emotions, thoughts and the sexual function interfere constantly with each other, generating a chaos that is unbearable for anyone.

The sexual function related with the corresponding center, should be activated in a natural way in determined

conditions, without interferences from the emotional and the intellectual, but this doesn’t happen. Often, the emotion- al function, replaces the sexual, which generates a presumed and irrational attraction towards the other gender, and such phenomenon happens because of needs that have nothing to do with the physical- energetic field itself.

The out- and- out, so natural, sexual drive is free from all the psychological and emotional connotations ordinar- ily present in a human being. For example, the approach between two persons who love each other could activate the sexual center in a pure way, originating an energetic direction that is independent from the sexual act itself; or, the sexual center could also be activated in a spontaneous way if stim- ulated from external impressions of a sexual nature. Never mind if the activation is of emotional or sensory nature. In both cases it’s spontaneous, so it’s activated freely, without the interference of other centers (emotional or intellectual considerations).

But this happens rarely. Usually, the intellect moves before the sexual function through imaginations and fanta- sies that influence the emotional sphere, and the result has nothing to do with sexuality and the respective center. In other cases, there’s onlyan identification with a series of emo- tions to push us to an experience that almost always lacks the freedom and spontaneity of the sexual center.

Both in men and women there is an increase of the physical and psychical dysfunctions bound to the sexual field. The functional disorder of this aspect increases more and more. But, to obtain control and power over something, first it needs to be free from its influences; until we are slaves of this function, we will be unable to understand or draw any “profit”.

Such a slavery is manifested in the fact that we are un- able to renounce at any moment to sex, but also in the fact that we consider it, as a consequence of our conditionings, as

something “dirty”, thus a sin.

Indeed, in our society, it is very difficult to speak about sexuality, because we are limited by preconceptions that are crystallized in our unconscious field as result of centuries and centuries of moralizations about such an argument.

Just think about the fact that usually, persons have many difficulties to show themselves without clothes, or to the logic accepted by the masses who consider as natural to feel shame of our nudity. This is a deviant perception, and it belongs to the demonization of sexuality, an attitude which brings us to condemn the organs related with this function, and to all that could arouse sexual desire.

But the deviation of the sexual function is well visible even in some other totally opposite field in our daily life: for example, in the publicity of the various media, sexual refer- ences are constant in all we can see, read and hear. And, this is the typical paradox of a sick, deviated behavior: we live in a society in which we have many difficulties to sunbathe naked (except for the reserved ghettos of the naturalists), but we ac- cept passively (in a relative way) the fact that that a woman can be seen as an object who could be shown in TV publicity (as a product of sexual desire).

In many religious fields, it is taught to children that the sexual act, if not intended to procreate, is a sin, but no one has ever explained the reason for such a statement. Some supporters of this theory states that making love for just the pleasure of it makes us similar to animals, forgetting that all the animal realm is almost totally “enslaved” to the sexual instinct just for the procreation of the species.

There are really too many conditionings and limita- tions related to the argument of sexuality that keep us un- able to develop a balanced relationship with this function, and such conditionings keep us slaves of an infinite series of needs which arise in our mind first, before in our body.

We consider absolutely natural to feel shame when kissing a mate in public, because the opposite behavior would seem to lack of civility; but, we don’t feel shame when we bicker or are violent or aggressive in public: no, this is for us a more normal thing than expressing love through kissing our mate in public.

We all know how a man and a woman seem without clothes, but we still feel the need to cover our nakedness. Sin- cerely, seen from a detached perspective, this is a pure and concrete psychosis.

Sexual function, in modern men and women, has almost nothing more that is natural. It contains a form of power that should be purified from the complex influences of our mind, and balanced so that it could be studied for what it is, as it is. From our adolescence, sexuality takes a re- ally great place in our attention, so it should be understood and studied as a fundamental object for our development as human beings. The best way to face and resolve the problem of the conditionings related with our sexuality, is to study ourselves.

Sexuality#3: Different Approaches

Such as in the other centers, even in the sexual sphere we can notice a tripartition: mechanical, emotional, and in- tellectual. The first two aspects are the most common, and neither the first nor the second allow a correct work of this center.

Mechanical sex is the most commonplace: it has to be done in a determined way, time, and with a series of con- ditioned “shames” dictated by the automatisms acquired through many years. It is mechanical that we must have sex with our partner a determined number of times if we real- ly love each other in a “normal way”. It’s the habit of mak- ing it always in the same place, because every alternative is “strange”. There is also the opposite conception: making love always in a different way, at any cost, emancipating ourselves from the automatisms of other persons. This kind of sex is manifested frequently both in couples and in singles. It’s an illusion that such kind of sex is manifested only in the well- worn and tired relationships. If our consciousness is placed in the mechanical or emotional part of our centers, then this is the only way we can approach a sexual experience.

Emotional sex is characterized by sudden and intense pulses. Strong feelings of reciprocal desire, but not activated by a “magnetic” energetical attraction, which is typical of the sexual center, but induced from thousands of identifications. The mechanical conditionings merge with a sentimentalism produced from the identifications, generating an amorphous quagmire that is usually called “love”.

Those who experience mechanical or emotional sex can only experience a sentimental sexuality filled with iden- tifications. Such a relation is fed from needs, wishes, ego- isms, subjective necessities, and the pleasure of the sexual re- lationship which is driven only by the emotional condition and the fluctuation of the momentary identifications. Very often, those who live an emotional sex, can pass very quickly from a situation of enthusiasm to a situation of delusion. It often happens, in such situations, that a sexual experience leaves a feeling of “inner emptiness”.

When the intellectual part is predominant, the sexual experience could originate from rich experiences in which the seeking for the particular, the beauty and the appeal of a situation take the place of sentimental identifications. Through such an experience it is much easier being less the slaves of automatisms and conditioned habits. In persons where mechanicity is predominant, the experiences depend only on the oscillations dictated from external situations, moving their gravity randomly from one to another aspect of a center. In such situations, there is nothing consciously directed and both fulfillment and harmony of the relation- ship are dependent on constant random variables.

In the case when the intellectual center is the most dominant, sexuality can achieve two opposite aspects: grey- ness, total absence of creativity and human warmth, or great creativity and tendency to transform both mechanical and emotional sex to an erotic experience. When speaking of eroticism, we mean the sensual experimentation merged from the search for reciprocal pleasure through an under- standing of the mechanics which drive the human structure. This implies a certain degree, a sensibility to feel Love and beauty as higher, universal expressions.

But, in accordance with the ancient teachings, the

erotic sphere, intended in its most elevated and spiritual

meaning, and not

usually considered, can be experienced

only after having developed a certain degree of self- realiza- tion.

But sex is not intellectual – it vibrates in the emotion- al sphere, it transcends and contains human nature. When the intellect is enlightened from a higher consciousness, en- abling us to truly learn, then it becomes possible to use the sexual center and its powerful energy , in technical terms. Unfortunately, the Knowing to which various systems such as Tantra, the Taoist sexual practices and the Western and Eastern traditions which used sexuality to produce a superior energy to be used in the higher centers where it belongs, is well forgotten and almost inacessible to the masses.

The physical union between a man and woman is not only a thing of feelings, physical sensations and the pleasure of “being one”. It’s a pure and significant energetic exchange. Energy is the invisible force which keeps us physically alive, and it could be considered as the ”fuel” composed from dif- ferent substances and acting in different ways, depending on the fields it feeds.

During the sexual approach, the energetic exchange is the most important aspect. During a sexual experience, we can be recharged or unloaded, absorbing from our partner unwanted qualities or, oppositely, achieving as a gift, the food for our being. Sex can be marvelous or unpleasant, de- pending on the consciousness of the individuals involved in this sacred act.

Sexuality#4: Some final Considerations

The genitals are a perfect structure that exists not only for procreation but also for the reception and the communi- cation of energy. According to ancient teachings, depending on the position assumed during the sexual act, this energy takes different channels and, if consciously directed, it can determinate energetic emotional or psychological variations in one center. The energy influences the quality and the dura- tion of a sexual act, such as the inner effects.

Sexuality is a sanctuary and the human body, a tem- ple through which can be experienced the sacrament of love.

The grayness and the emotional and intellectual inner weakness through which humans usually express the sexual function cannot bring them to a condition of fulfillment, unity and pleasure. The best thing that modern men and women can do is to make a distance from mechanical sexu- ality and sexual identifications, because to achieve again a control under this sphere, we must first emancipate ourselves from its slavery.

One of the main problems in the relationship between the sexes is a particular form of identification we once called “sentimentalism”. Indeed, even if sentimentalism could ap- pear as harmless and positive, it is the main obstacle to the realization of a real inner and outer encounter between two beings. The imaginations and the mental dreams which arise when we like someone determine a series of difficulties in es- tablishing a mature relationship with this person. Such iden- tifications are a barrier to such a degree, that we could state

we have a relationship not with a woman or man, but with our mental imaginations. We put ourselves in relationship with no other than our identifications: what we expect, what and how it could be, etc…. whether the person we meet is pleasurable or not depends on the degree of the expectations created from the above mentioned identifications.

We could experience marvelous passions, so conse- quently fall in love with this idea, not with the person: we are passionate with our identification, not of a reality. And this is not love. This is illusion.

This is the reason why, at the beginning of a relation- ship , all is perfect, but later, everything becomes a sort of nightmare that could end with catastrophic consequences. Probably, we have all experienced such situations. But this is a logical thing: an emotional energy which feeds an iden- tification doesn’t last forever, and when it dissolves, what re- mains is only the reality we hadn’t previously noticed , even for a moment.

The reason why it is stated in the previous posts about sexuality that the sexual function should be studied after having barely achieved a control under the other functions, is just this: if we are unable to clearly distinguish an iden- tification from a positive emotion, a mechanical, automatic and conditioned reaction from a natural and unconditioned impulse, the mental schemes for a desire free from mental influences, and we cannot understand anything about the sexual sphere. Maybe this statement could appear harsh, but it is true.

Before we become masters of the powerful and cre- ative energy expressed from this center, we have to become free in the true meaning of the word.

The Way of the Conscious Warrior:

alternans of opposites

In everyday life we constantly face alternate opposites which manifest themselves in every kind of complement:

man/woman, day/night, inhalation/exhalation, warm/cold, etc.

This Law can be noticed even when we are walking, namely when we use the right foot to advance, automatically the left arm moves ahead to balance the movement and vice versa. We spoke in previous posts about the meaning of ac- tion; so, we’ll say here, that the capacity of recognizing the opposites in every situation, allow the success of the action.

From the Taoist tradition, we reach the knowing of this Law, which understanding could be considered without doubt, an art itself, through which an individual could find very interesting insight for self- observation and a better un- derstanding of the dynamics which happen in himself and around him. Indeed, there are many texts which mention the concepts of yin and yang, but, as always, this knowing has been reduced to a sequence of graphics and tables about “what is yin and what is yang”. This is an absurd and super- ficial pretense, because the opposite doesn’t represent rigid qualities. Nothing in nature is rigid and set. Even if, with the necessary knowing, it is possible to notice the repetition of the Natural Laws, such a repetition contains in itself such complex variables that we should have a remarkable intel- ligence and a sensibility (and, of course, awareness), to rec- ognize it.

Why is it so important to understand the alternating moments between the “full” and “empty”? Even if this is not the same principle, this argument is of much significance, such as the Law of the Octaves.

So, we’ll begin from what is noticeable from everyone:

even if some “wise” people state the opposite, not one of us can live without rest, and no one can live resting all the day. These are two phases. Obvious? Of course! We said we’ll be- gin from obvious things that are noticeable to everyone. If we generate an excess in one of those two phases, we’ll produce a psychophysical imbalance whose intensity will be propor- tional to the excess. Sleep and wakefulness are two evident alternates. In the same way, we can notice an alternate even in rest: we can’t work all day, we must rest, and this is of value for both physical and intellectual work.

Even in an action we can notice this alternate of “full” and “empty”, namely more or less active phases. And, master- ing these moments allow a perfect and efficient way of acting.

The Japanese, a very practical nation, understood that in their ancient texts this knowing has been partially revealed, so even if this would appear strange, the relevant businessmen in Japan learn from these texts and tend to ap- ply these laws in their businesses.

But the concept of “full” and “empty” may not be very easy to be understood by everyone, so to understand it better, we can associate it to the process of breathing. Indeed, breathing is composed of four phases, but, for the moment, we are interested in only two: inhalation and exhalation. Breathing could be considered without doubt, an action which never ends during the duration of our life. But, how could it continue without producing damage which would require a necessity to rest? This is determined by the perfect balancing of the opposites that this process manifests in ac- cordance with a determined natural Law.

The inhalation is connected with the absorption of air. This process attracts air into the lungs, thus attracting and putting something into ourselves. To bring back inside means to orientate all the physical, emotional and intellec- tual processes inwards. So, inhalation represents a concept of internalization, introspection.

Inhalation is the rest, the night, the moment in which all the forces are recollected inwards.

Exhalation is related to emanation- emanating air. Not to attract, but going towards. In such way, we bring something out of ourselves. We release. So, exhalation rep- resents the concept of externalization, manifestation, action; it’s represented by the day, activity the moment in which all the energies and strength accumulated inwards are projected into the external world.

Inhalation and exhalation are the perfect representa- tions of the balance between the opposites: it’s impossible to make a never-ending inhalation, such as it’s impossible to perform a never-ending exhalation. The two phases are inseparable, no one could exist without the other. And, life derives from the balance between these two opposite, but complementary poles.

During the course of a day, we should find a correct balance between the two opposites which manifest them- selves in everything and in every situation. Achieving such a skill means acquiring energy, health and mental lucidity.

The fact that we live in matter produces a wearing which manifests itself in the bodily tissues, emotions and in- tellect, and in the balance between the two opposites is hid- den the “secret” to control such wearing.

But, people live their existence ignoring all, even if they listen to some knowing about the care of the body, mind and spirit; but humans, never -mind if they are religious, scientists or

psychologists, have not enough understanding about the dy- namics which regulate life on this planet, and this is not an exaggeration. If they would have such information, surely they would act in a totally different way. There is an effective Knowing that is ignored by the masses and leaders; and it’s true that this Knowing has been hidden from the masses for a long time. Even the leaders of the greatest nations do not admit the existence of such Knowing, even if many of their exponents mentioned and still mention it, and also try to re- cover some glimpses of this teaching.

But, in the field with which we are interested, the in- ner development, knowing is fundamental, and even the ba- sis for a self -observation can’t be performed without a mini- mal knowledge. And this post is surely full of elements for self-observation, because this topic is based on the study of a Law we experience in every moment of our daily life.

Exercise

Now, before we continue, we’ll make this topic a little bit more “interactive”, so that the information contained here can be understood in a better and integral way (theo- retical and practical).

During the following reading, try to become aware of your breath, especially of the two phases mentioned above (inhalation, exhalation). Don’t alternate the breath, simply be aware of it while reading. This is a practice used in the eso- teric schools, so don’t feel subjection if you had never heard or seen a such approach; the aim of this approach is to en- ter consciously into the inner field of a principle, to deepen ourselves consciously in a principle while studying its me- chanics. In fact, this should be the effective approach to the study of everything which concerns inner development. The

cold and detached study, such as often happens in this field, doesn’t bring to us any result, only to a waste of time. So, you can read thousands and thousands of books, without really grasping what is effectively explained in them, and also, what is of main importance – if the writer really knows what he wrote, or if it’s only a theoretical speculation.

Learning something means “touching” it in the first person, experiencing, being wrapped in the perception of the presence of what we are reading or speaking about. All the rest is pure intellectual speculation.

*****

The first thing we should do is to understand how to manage the opposites during a typical working day, from the morning to the evening. This will be the first step of this post. The second step will be to deepen in the study of the alter- nating occurrence during a specific action; the next step will be to give some useful exercises in order to better grasp the “full” and “empty” moments, and to balance them during the rest.

So, during the time related to the waking state, there are many moments in which theoretically, we alternate the “fullness” and “emptiness”; to explain better, what we call here “empty” is related to the principles of inhalation, and “full” is related to the exhalation. Rest and action. And this should be a natural condition, but it’s not always so.

For example, at the moment we wake up in the morn- ing, and the following period before we begin with our daily jobs, are the moments related to the “empty”. In other words, to a state of introspection and collecting. Once we awaken from sleep, our whole organism may have the time to enter in touch with the quality and energies of the following day; even emotions and intellect need this time. We prepare our- selves for the work, the action, and this means we prepare ourselves for the phase of “exhalation”; so we are in the phase

of “inhalation”.

Seeing from an objective point of view, twenty -four hours should be analyzed as divided into four parts and not two, because breathing is composed of four parts, but such an explanation could only make confusion, making it all too complex. The four phases will be explained as a brief intro- duction at the end of this post and, maybe, in a more exhaus- tive way in another one.

So, we wake up. This is the moment in which we col- lect all the energies and purposes after having been brought in touch with life in the wakeful state; being in touch with life means becoming progressively aware of our physical senses, sensations, thoughts, all this in relation with what surrounds us. Recollecting the energies and purposes, means to become aware of the energy we have collected during rest (sleep), and prepare ourselves to use them for the aims we have decided upon for the whole day.

This is the first phase of the day, and it’s a very impor- tant moment. Usually, people are identified in their bodies and in the action they have to perform, and rarely do they consider themselves as an essence/being who uses the body and mind as useful tools for the experience in matter, and less an less they consider themselves as keepers of an infinite and unknown knowledge. This attitude surely doesn’t bring to us the logical conclusion that we have to look inside of our- selves; for most people, the self represents no more than the opinion they have about themselves – name, surname, job, interests, superficial needs and aims… and that’s all. Unfor- tunately, such an attitude is present even among the people who claim to follow a path towards awakening, especially if this path is popular.

Considering that our being is limited to some registry information and three or four bits of information about the conditioned tendencies which dragged us into life is sad and reductive. Then, considering ourselves in such way, it’s not

strange we feel unhappy. Our real self is something else and more, and moving towards what we really are and our real possibilities is the most beautiful and exciting path available.

So, the morning has to be devoted to a phase of col- lection, internalization, receptive calm, inner hearing. This is the “empty” phase. Even if we haven’t time to do the things with calm, such as a quiet breakfast and sitting in silence, we must try to maintain a receptivity and inner calm. In the morning, all things must come to us, and not we to them, such as in the inhalation: attract air to us, allowing things to enter into us. Translated in the morning action, we have to become aware of the environment that surrounds us and, at the same time, entering deep into ourselves to notice the energies we’ll emanate during the day.

Exhale once we awaken, so agitating our body here and there like monkeys and filling our mind with preoccupa- tions and with what we have to do- is the best way to make a wrong step. But we have to remember a correct exhalation, so that when it happens after an inhalation, it is not confusion such as it happens if we begin our day exhaling. But if we mix the two phases, such as usually happens, the only things we can produce are confusion, chaos and imbalances.

After this first phase of the day, we begin with our daily jobs. Never mind what kind of job we do to survive, the phase of inhalation is ended, and this is the moment to re- lease the air, so to release all the accumulated energies in ac- tion. These energies are physical, emotional and intellectual. This means that, once the body is rested, it must jump up, the emotional must project itself outside as a powerful wave, the intellect must be focused in the solution of the problems we’ll face during this second part of the day (job). All three parts of ourselves, like three brains, all balanced and efficient.

Even here, confusing the phases, so becoming preoc- cupied about ourselves while immersed in an action, means we become unproductive and inefficient, slowing down the

energy until we block its flow.

There is a beautiful metaphor, explained in the book “Zen and the Art of Archery”, which shows this moment:

when the archer’s hand releases the arrow, its elegant flowing towards the goal mustn’t be disturbed or interrupted.

Action must arise and flow from the inside and be re- leased to the outside without interferences that have nothing to do with the action itself.

This is the “full” phase, so we have to take care that we don’t preserve the energies acquired during the previous phase. We had a phase of regeneration and conscious con- nection with the energies accumulated from our “I” in the phase of waking up; now, it’s the moment to express all, and here we mean ALL the energies acquired, because if we try to preserve something, the results will be exactly the opposite of what we think: our action will become weak, so we’ll become weak also. During the action, all our physical, mental and emotional potential, have to be used to their full potentials, without any attempt at preservation. In such way, the energy will flow in a correct way, and through this circulation, it will become faster and faster- it will increase. The more the energy flows inside and outside of us, the best and more ef- fective will be the impact with the external environment; and, also, this will improve our psychophysical structure. This is a very important thing to be understood.

In a symbolical language, the exhalation, could be re- lated with the day, and the day is related with the sunlight. So, let’s make a short but objective and effective contempla- tion, so that we’ll understand more about the power of exha- lation: the radiance of the sun remains integral in all weather co