Soul Insights

… insights and inspirations from Dan van Wylich


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Get Real

This blog is meant as an open exploration into spiritual reality and the many pitfalls that appear so real and feel so powerful.

When we look at the spiritual market place today, we see a huge variety of beliefs and religions. This is quite confusing because most of these belief systems claim that there is only one true belief (normally their own). How do we as seekers avoid being taken for a ride in this overwhelming jungle of spiritual diversity?

Unfortunately/fortunately the best way to develop discrimination is to make mistakes (and realise that they were mistakes!)

The first question to ask oneself is: What is my aim? Where am I going with this seeking?

Dependent on your answer you have various options:

You could join the local church if you answer is:  I believe that I am a sinner and I want God or his son to sort out my inner turmoil. I believe that Jesus came here to save me, and if I believe in him and follow the Bible, then I will go to Heaven when I die.

You could join the local mosque if you answer is:  I believe that I am a sinner and I want Allah to sort out my inner turmoil. I believe that the prophet Muhammad received direct instructions from Allah which were then written down in the Koran. If I follow these guidelines I will enter Jannah (muslim paradise) when I die.

You could join the local satanists (believe me, there are some) if your answer is:  F*** off! God is a nasty piece of s***. I want to rule my own destiny and hopefully others’ as well. I want to learn how to use the power of the universe for my own ends.

You could join a New Age group if your answer is: I want to be loving like the Masters. I will learn to communicate with the inner guides and together we will develop through increasing levels of light. I will learn to work with crystals and colour meditations and Oming.

You could follow a guru if your answer is: I believe in the divine through another more enlightened human. If I can find a fully awakened person, then I can give my personal will away and the guru will help me attain the enlightened state for myself.

You could join the Hara Krishnas if your answer is: Krishna consciousness is the divine state of a human being. By following the instructions in the Baghava Gita, by becoming vegetarian and abstaining from sex I will be able to shed my desire nature and learn to live in bliss and joy.

You could become a Buddhist if your answer is: The Enlightened One showed us that it is possible to gain full enlightenment in a human body. If I learn to visualize the 16 visualizations of the Shakyamuni Buddha then I can reach full enlightenment under my own steam and in this lifetime.

You could become a Hindu or a Wikkan if your answer is: All forces in nature are aspects of the divine. If I pray to these aspects and do certain rituals I will be in good standing with the gods/godesses and they will assist me on the spiritual path.

And so on …

Even if you think that all belief systems are rubbish and you only accept what is proven by science … that is still a belief system, a religion if you will.

This ‘believing in’ also covers our political view point and most of the norms of the society we live in. These views are personal and created by us. They are not absolutes or even at times logical or desirable.

If, on the other hand we look at the process of believing, then we discover that believing in … (no matter what) is our own private interpretation of reality.

If we accept the above statement, then it becomes clear that it is not possible for the person to know the truth about reality … ever!

It is however possible to experience reality and therefore truth… as long as we don’t interpret it.

In order not to interpret what we experience we have to approach our experience of reality with an open heart and an empty mind, so we can fully feel and experience ‘it’, but we abstain from having thoughts about ‘it’. Another way of putting this is that we ‘allow everything to be as it is’.

It does not mean that we have to stop thinking, but rather that we recognise that the ‘thinker’ continuously makes up beliefs, and they are just that … made up.

This is a completely different way to live and to be, but it is not a belief system because it does not involve interpretation of that which is experienced.

This approach to life does not mean that we stop being involved in life. It just means that judgement and justification falls away. It means that anything can happen (it does anyway) and we accept that this is what reality is, right now. This too will change (as it always does) so there is no need to attach meaning to the event.

A rock breaks, a flower dries out, a cat gets squashed, a person dies… has it got meaning? Does it matter how and why? It matters to our opinion/belief (made up), but it doesn’t matter to reality.

To live like this does not mean that we detach from reality and become complete space cadets. It means that we practise non-attachment so we are not desperately trying to make time slow down or speed up in order to fulfil our desire for a particular version of reality. It means that we do not waste time and energy fighting ourselves and our surroundings trying to ‘make it better’.

We have always got the option to act, or not, in any given situation.

Some people would argue that living like this would make us cold and unfeeling. But that could just be our self created sentimentalism not wanting to give up it’s stronghold as the dictator of reality.

If someone I knew died I would probably cry. If my wife kissed me I would probably laugh. These are spontaneous reactions from the emotions. I didn’t make them up, they just appeared.

But if I cried or laughed because I believed that I should, or because it would affect other people in a certain way… that is a different story.

As long as we try to manipulate reality to fit into our personal belief system, then we are living in an illusion.

So we can either keep on deceiving ourselves… or we can get real.

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Belief systems

If we look at a few belief systems then we can begin to have some fun, because if we believe in a particular way, then it clearly starts shaping and defining the reality we find ourselves in.

Here are a few versions of a well known theme: CREATION

Traditional version

Once upon a time the One (God) decided to create the World.

This creation included galaxies, solar systems, planets, rocks and minerals, plants, animals & humans.

Humans were created as souls in the image of God.

Humans were at first inside Eden/Kingdom of God, but managed by their own actions to become excluded.

We have since called ourselves sinners and have struggled to find ways to re-enter Heaven. Most of these ways include belief in a religion. In most religions some people are more holy than others all the way to ‘incarnations’ or ‘sons of God’. If we believe in this and pray to these holy beings we too can get access to heaven, though mostly not until we are dead!

Conspiracy version

Once upon a time some very powerful aliens seeded life on planet Earth.

After millions of years of evolution some different aliens took some DNA from a humanoid creature and mixed it with their own. They then turned off most of the DNA that had to do with insight and supernatural powers. The result was Homo sapiens, a being made in their image but consciousness-wise ‘thick as a brick’. This human could then be manipulated by the aliens for their own means. This manipulation is still taking place and this is the basis for various conspiracy theories that states that some people know what is really going on while most of us don’t.

Esoteric version

The Prime Creator (God) continuously creates and continuously guides the various creations towards higher states of being. We are created in the (trinity) image of God (I Am Presence, Soul and body). This means that we are special and more precious that all the other creations. And because we are special it is our job/destiny to develop higher and higher levels of consciousness until one day we are co-creators of the universe (or maybe we will get a universe of our own).

The understanding of the Cosmic Laws and the practise of opening our consciousness through whatever means necessary (meditation, singing, mantras, dancing, drugs, sex etc) will gradually open us up to the wonders of the universe and we will step through the different levels of the Hierarchy until we reach cosmic consciousness. There are different thoughts as to whether this can be obtained by Will (occultism) or it can only be obtained by Love/Devotion (sainthood).

Advaita version

Advaita means One (non-duality) which indicates that there cannot be two, never mind three or more. Our sense of being separate entities is based on a misunderstanding. We live in a dream state where we, like when asleep, act as if we have real bodies in a real world. If we wake up from the dream we will clearly see that we are consciousness itself and as consciousness we will recognise that there is only One and I Am That. That will not change anything but it will clearly change our perspective. The terms Enlightenment and Awakening are often used to point towards the awareness of non duality. In the non duality view everything is perfect as it is. Things appear and disappear. Happiness and sadness are two sides of the same coin. But there is only one coin. So even though life seems to have opposites, these opposites could not exist without each other and as such they are part of the same unit. The only obstacle to this awakening is the belief that we are not awakened and that there is therefore somewhere to go, something to strive towards or something to develop into. The second we understand that we have always been consciousness itself, at that moment the illusion of being separate falls away and we are left simply as consciousness.


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What are we afraid of?

I often ask myself why it seems so scary to challenge our own beliefs.  Reality doesn’t care whether we believe this or that, so what is the big deal about having to believe in something.  And why do we flick this questioning off as ridiculous?

Why are we so afraid of not knowing?

Every time we believe in something… anything really… we make up a reality. (Does that sound strange?)   If we are making it up then it can’t be anything but illusion.

Dictionary: Illusion.

  • an erroneous mental presentation
  • something many people believe that is wrong

A lot of scientifically minded people would smile and say that their world view is based on fact and not illusion.

A lot of people of the Faith would smile and say that their world view is based on fact and not illusion.

Dictionary: Fact

  • a thing that is indisputably the case
  • a truth about events as opposed to interpretation

How far are you personally willing to go in order to find the truth? Or are you happy to live in a made up blob of make belief?

If we look at a couple of essential observations, then you can see what I am pointing at.

Most religions believe that there is only one creator.  This creator created good/holy.  Who created bad/evil?  If there is only One, then there cannot be ‘other than’. There cannot be two ore more.  Either God created evil or God is not allmighty.

Most scientists believe in the substance of matter.  But the whole concept of matter as something either solid or stable disappears if you look closely enough at it.  So maybe, if matter is not really there in the way we think it is, just maybe matter is not all there is.  And maybe the way we think the Universe is, is not the way it really is.

Are we ready to look at reality without preconceived ideas and beliefs?

What are we afraid of?


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Believe it or not!

Believe it or not!

Humans are a funny lot. We have these thoughts and opinions about life.

Whatever we personally believe to be true is how we see the world. We are convinced that the way we see the world is the right way, and that our world is the real world.

But if/when we change our view of reality, then reality seems to change, and we are now convinced that this new way we see/understand life is the real one. Very rarely are we willing to consider that maybe the way we view the world is actually shaping/creating our reality.

Some people might feel threatened by the above statement.

Our beliefs are after all the only reference we have got about reality. Most scientists would argue that reality is that which can be measured, but since the fundamental building blocks of the atoms are difficult to measure then it is difficult to make any firm statement about what matter, and therefore reality, actually is.

Most spiritually minded people would agree that there is more to life than the level of matter. There seems to be other dimensions/levels of being in which conscious life is going on.

But when it comes to describing what exactly is going on then very few people agree. Non believers make this disagreement an argument for the fact that there is no higher world/heaven/other dimension. But if, as modern science states, the experiencer affects the outcome of an experiment, then it is suddenly not so straight forward to discard faith in a spiritual realm as superstition.

In the next few blogs I would like to have a look at different belief systems and the way they shape the particular reality we personally live in.