One day in late 2006, while creating a piece of art I unintentionally started challenging my deeply held views on everything. It was one of those ‘aha’ moments. It opened me up to the fact that all my life I’d been simply seeing the world through eyes coloured by negative experiences and limited perceptions, I wondered did anyone really know what life was like? I couldn’t see how they could, I realized that we are all unknowingly programmed from birth not in some dark and sinister way but mostly by well meaning family members and friends who are simply passing on to us their own distorted view of the world.
As we grow up our fanciful ideas and highest aspirations are hammered out until we become beings that are far less than we should be. Ultimately we metaphorically plugged ourselves into one of the many different but ultimately limiting thought process and usually stay with them until we die. I realised simply by my negative perceptions I had shut myself off from thousands of opportunities in life and disconnected myself from reality (whatever that was).
I decided that maybe while viewing the world from a positive outlook was simply replacing one perception with another I should give it a go as playing role of the dark sarcastic and negative artist had not really achieved anything, other than bringing me more things to be sarcastic and negative about.
A positive outlook could indeed improve my life experience but I still had to keep my mind open to all probabilities. In the following months and years I learnt to peer above the wall of conventional thinking more and more. I lay my belief that science had everything figured out to one side and explored as may different views and theories of life and beyond, as possible. I decided to take the stance that all was possible, and once I truly embraced that view my love for life increased as did my sense of wonder. I engaged people and read books which had views of the world that I never even heard of, some appeared to help and enhance my mental and spiritual growth others didn’t and some I have to admit I couldn’t even comprehend.
Years down the road I have discovered this… People begin shutting themselves down to new possibilities as soon as they enter education. They often embrace what they are taught without questions, simply because obviously they are seldom taught to question. Before long people think they know it all, the Ego is often happy to support such a claim. People do, or try to do everything they are told that will bring them happiness, sadly as levels of depression and suicide show it seldom does. That unexplained emptiness most people have inside can never be filled with stuff. I believe we all have a spiritual component that needs to reconnect to the ‘Divine matrix’, ‘God’, ‘Oneness’, ‘ The great I am’ or whatever your comfortable calling it. How one reconnects is different for everyone for me I believe giving up the illusion of control is the key. One must give oneself over to god, let christ work through you . Believing we have anything we can offer that which created all things is probable a common miss step on the path to Joy.
At this point I feel compelled to point out my views of life are only that, mine. They are based on what I feel and think and what makes sense to me after much personal contemplation. I do not declare them right for everyone or anyone other than me …. This is not me trying to sound like some egoless teacher, it’s simply that as I look around me it is the need to be right that seems to have brought so much dis-ease to the planet.
I’m very happy to be wrong but in saying that I reject the concept that anyone on earth is perfect that anyone has all the answers. I feel the world can only really be improved or even saved once we all discuss what we believe, but united in our ultimate unknowingness, Just think of the wonderful dialogues we could have if we didn’t need to be right all the time.
I have found that contemplation (more than meditation) of anything be it art, a rose or even the night sky is a very powerful process, for it pulls you back into this moment in time and away from the problems of the past and the fears of the future. It is an ancient concept but one that should be repeated again and again that when you are focused on the now you are in alignment with the universe which only ever knows the Now.
Once you begin to reduce mind chatter you are able to discover what truly matters to you. Also you may find that any negativity you have fades as it can’t live without the reference points of past and future. During these times of focused thought I have seen wonder in the most overlooked things and seen that all the past wisdoms are right to point to the fact that the answers for life are within as all, happiness, peace and a love for life can never truly be found in the exterior world. You can travel across the globe in search of truth or enlightenment but unless you open your mind and limit your judgements you will know and feel no more than if you had just stayed in bed.
I have reach a wonderful point in my life, where I realize life is not some problem that must be solved or a test that must be passed, life ‘just is’ and all the judgements and knee-jerk reactions are purely the work of mans over active mind. The power that drives and connects everyone and everything call it what you wish does not find imperfection in anything. I believe this powers is non dualistic and free from the limits of the human mind. Unlike others in the spiritual community I do not have any interest in ghosts or contacting the dead. I have never had any experience of anything paranormal and have no interest in knowing the future or reliving past lives. Yet I do believe the universe is driven by this unseen energy and that this energy connects us all as one. I do consider we are all on a spiritual path whether we like that description or not. I believe we are born into a dualistic world and our challenge is to overcome that limited view of life and see that despite our best efforts we will never see the full picture from this tiny spot in space.
It seems to me the world is on information overload, I sense that more and more people are being crushed by a continual fear based media. Hence the real reason the use of drink and drugs is so high in the western world. We need to understand that all this bad news is simply one perception of the world. I think it is vital we look within for peace and reconnect with our true spirit. We truly gain nothing if we allow ourselves to become slaves to this destructive monolog of despair, watching the news constantly to see how bad it all is, much like moths to the flame.
Reconnecting with the stillness of the natural world is one answer, but it is not easy for many city dwellers nature may as well be an alien world. I believe unless people can rediscover the simplistic wonders of life they will continually overlook the miracles of the world on a never ending and totally fruitless search for a point to life. The question is can Mankind ever let go of it’s need solve its own existence and in so doing extended its existence indefinitely.
Can mankind just be happy to say ‘Life just is’?
I have explored many spiritual beliefs, but I have always been drawn back to Jesus. I view myself as a christian by that I mean I am inspired to open my heart up to the loving God based on the words of Jesus Christ. I do not believe in the angry vengeful God represented in most of the bible. The bible is a book of it’s time often written in allegories of the time. The words attributed to Jesus in the bible are few but obviously come from a different mindset.
Jesus points to forgiveness, a love for all people no matter there outlook or past. Jesus asks us to ‘cast the first stone’ if we are truly flawless and have the faith of a ‘mustard seed’ to open up to god and let him work through us, to drink his water and never be thirsty again (spiritual empty) .
I know for many even myself the bible can appear as a judgement out of touch book but the words of Jesus are more relevant than ever. I ask you who are spiritually open to just read the words of Jesus to see that he points to the small quiet voice inside us all that is the holy spirit. God is love and so anything that is not love even if it’s in the bible can not be God. Sadly even in 2019 for many other believers that is still a heretical statement.