Soul Insights

… insights and inspirations from Dan van Wylich


Leave a comment

Truth vs Opinion

A donkey laden with books is neither an intellectual nor a wise being.

Saadi of Shiraz. Sufi teacher. 13th century.

Most of what we as humans consider true is in fact our personal opinion.

There is no good or bad about that. It simply is.  This can be observed in our own life.

Consider an object (any object). Look at it. How do you know what this object is?  Most likely you will call it a name, a description that, to you, closest resemble what the object is (in your opinion).

 Can you see that the terms ‘call it a name’, ‘description’ and ‘resemble’ are not the actual object?

Or as Zen Buddhism puts it: The finger that points to the moon, is not the moon.

 What actually happens is: An object, according to modern science, is a collection of electromagnetic fields called atoms. In other words, what we perceive as ‘stuff’ is in reality fields of energy that reflect light.

A very small amount of this reflected light shines through our eyes. Inside the eyes the light hits some receptors. The receptors create an electrical signal which is sent to the brain. The brain sorts these electrical signals and if (and only if!) the brain can ‘make sense’ of the signal it will translate them into an imagined image and a recognition. Ahhh… I see!

 From this it is fairly easy to understand that the connection between what the object really is and what we perceive it to be, is a bit like the connection between a cow eating grain… and a cheese sandwich.

 So we as humans do not actually perceive the world as it is.

We only use enough of our senses to get by. For the rest… we make it up!

 An example of how this has been used is in the production of film. A film is a collection of still pictures shown at such a speed that the brain stops seeing them as still pictures, but instead imagines that the objects on the screen are moving. What happens is that the brain has to make sense of the signals that it perceives. If there are gaps in the understanding, then the brain fills out the gaps using imagination so that the separate bits are seen as hanging together.

 If we start looking, really looking at the details of our lives we end up with a disconcerting realisation. The world as we understand it is not ‘real’. It is continuously made up by the brain. Or as some would put it. The world is an illusion.

 Realising that the world is an illusion doesn’t seem to make it go away though. In fact, the world appears to be quite persistent. But, the problem does not lie in the illusion. The problem lies in the believer of the illusion. Now who is that then? That is ‘me’ of course you silly. All right then… the problem lies with the ‘me’.

 Who is ‘me’?

Me is the identification of ourselves as an individual, separate from all the other stuff and beings. And even though we believe that this ‘me’ is real, I am sorry to say that it is not. ‘Me’ only exist as an interaction between the self and other. And if the ‘other’ is an illusion, then there is no real interaction and no real ‘me’.

But, you would probably say, I am having this experience, I have to exist… and you are right (to a point). The ‘me’ which is involved in the world is part of the world. The ‘I’ which experiences the world is not of the world. So, in order to be able to say “I Am the Truth….” you have to be in the world, but not of the world. (Sounds familiar?)

 So, if ‘I’ is real, or at least ‘more real’ than the me and the world, why don’t we study the ‘I’?

Bingo!!!

The persistent focus on ‘I’ which is Universal Consciousness, brings about Truth. That does not mean that the thinker (part of the me) should start making up theories about this Consciousness. It means that I can be allowed to be aware of everything and no-thing.

And as ‘I’ allows itself to be the centre from which we are aware, reality starts to unfold itself as truth … and not as opinion.

Image

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Free Will

On this planet we have been granted free will.

It is an experiment that started several million years ago in other places, but on this planet it is quite a new concept.

Free will has to some degree always been available to the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms, but they have had limited free will inside the pattern of their life streams.

It was only when a self reflecting being appeared that the concept of free will took an interesting turn.

Most of us would probably agree that free will is a good thing… but..!!!

It is this ‘but’ that creates our suffering.

Free will is either there or it is not. Anyone who restricts another being’s free will is still expressing free will. Whether the restricted being decides to bow to the pressure, to revolt, to leave the confines of the restriction or even to self destruct, it is still an expression of free will.

It has to be ok!

What I mean is that if I believe that people cannot and should not handle all their free will themselves, then I would invent rules and somehow enforce these rules.

These rules could be: ethical rules, religious rules, social rules, political rules or economic rules.

What we have to understand is that rules are made up!

Everything that is ‘made up’ is not real.

Realise that you, as a being, have been granted free will. It is yours to do with as you want.

Nobody else can remove the fact that you have got total and absolute free will.

You can choose, right now, to wake up and take your life into your own hands.

You can choose to follow the little voice inside without considering any of the voices that continuously sound from the outside.

You can choose to set yourself free.

If you accept that everybody on this planet has got a right to free will, then you understand that you cannot consciously enforce your way of being onto anybody else. And no-one else has got the right to infringe on your ‘free will zone’.

If we allow ourselves to become whole beings then we will discover that we have got a heart.

To some people this may come as a surprise 🙂

We will discover that we actually feel good and gain more self-worth when we do something good for somebody else.

In this state free will becomes an altruistic society of individuals who allow each other to express themselves without rules or norms. Troubled, wounded or handicapped individuals will receive support from caring individuals who understand that they are suffering.

You too can choose to wake up now and allow yourself more and more freedom until you, the being that is looking through your eyes, can stand upright, smiling… knowing that you are choosing… really choosing to be and to do what you do… right now.

Freedom is yours.


Leave a comment

Thoughts on being

Cogito, ergo sum. (I think, therefore I am)

This is a typical intellectual statement that takes several things for granted.

It was first coined by René Descartes, a French philosopher.

It has got some major loop holes:

  1. If you stop thinking, then you aren’t.
  2. Thinking comes before being.
  3. Thinking validates being.
  4. It takes for granted that there actually is an ‘I’ which is.

    Image

If you stop thinking, then you aren’t:

If a person is brought back from coma (brain activity, but no cognitive thinking) then they have been non existing for a while. This is obviously not how it works.

What about deep sleep when dreaming stops?

It is also possible to train your thoughts to stop in deep meditation.

Thinking comes before being:

If you have an experience, then you perceive a sensation. This is then translated (thought about) by your thinker. So being, as well as sensation comes before thinking.

Thinking validates being:

The thinker would like to be the validator, the regulator of reality. But, and this is a very big but, thinking makes things up! If the mind does not know what it is perceiving, then it makes it into something that makes sense to itself. (Consider optical illusions)

It takes for granted that there actually is an ‘I’ which is:

The thinker does not understand beingness. It therefore makes up a story because it cannot allow itself not to understand. But the story about ‘I’ is just that… a story, a made up fantasy about something the mind knows nothing about.

Whether or not there actually is an I is a different story (that we will tackle later), but it has nothing to do with the mind’s opinion about it.

Notice how we can talk about the mind. We can detach from it and look at it.