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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A COSMIC RELIGION?
9/20/2016 11:51:21 PM

God and the Godhead – Part 1/2

hindu_god_and_goddess

The Divine Couple: The Transcendent and the Cosmic Energy

How do we distinguish between “God” and “the Godhead”?

The question arose recently. Let me expand on my answer here.

I ask that we remember that I’m not an enlightened being and am simply expressing my opinions – based on research, rather than personal experience. (1)

After discussion of the difference, let me briefly bring in the two other members of the Trinity (Divine Mother or Holy Spirit and the Christ or Atman).

***

The words “God” and “Godhead” have been given various meanings by enlightened masters.

One common version of the difference between the two is to say that “God” relates to the personal God, God in form, what Hindus call the conditioned Brahman, and the “Godhead” relates to the impersonal God, God beyond form, the unconditioned Brahman.

The Godhead is often called the Supreme Being, Prime Creator, Transcendental Void, and the One. These names could not be used of “God,” as narrowly interpreted here.

That having been said, I find the term “Godhead” cumbersome and unfamiliar to readers. After this discussion, I intend to resume my everyday practice of talking about “God” when I actually mean the Godhead.

The Godhead is void of anything and everything material and does not speak or move. About it, nothing affirmative or negative can be said. Though it cannot be known with the mind or senses, it causes everything in the world to come into creation.

Krishna expresses the mysterious relationship between the Godhead and the world:

“This entire universe is pervaded by me, in that eternal form of mine which is not manifest to the senses. Although I am not within any creature, all creatures exist within me.

“I do not mean that they exist within me physically. That is my divine mystery. You must try to understand its nature. My Being sustains all creatures and brings them to birth, but has no physical contact with them.” (2)

The minute the Godhead moves matter in this temporary dreamworld, we call it “the Divine Mother.” When at rest, we call it the Godhead.

The mystery of the Godhead, like so much else, cannot be realized with the mind. If anything, as we all know, the mind has to be quiet before realization can occur.

Movement in the mind is like a breeze on the lake; it prevents us from accurately (internally) “seeing” the reflection of the Moon. And it is “seeing” it that causes recognition or realization that what we are seeing is who we are.

Apparently each universe in the multiverse has a God who watches over it. The God of this universe has often spoken through channels, most notably Suzy Ward.

Here for instance is a passage in which Matthew distinguishes between God and Godhead, the latter of which he calls “Creator”: “Creator established the cosmic laws and God, by whatever name one calls the Supreme Being of this universe, must honor those laws in this universe.” (3)

I confess that I haven’t studied the God of this universe very much. I’ve been told in readings that it was because of my aversion to my Father. That combined with my unimpeded love for my Mother made it natural to turn to the Divine Mother as my chosen ideal.

***

Let me now briefly discuss the two other members of the Trinity: The Divine Mother or Holy Spirit and the Christ or Atman.

The Divine Mother, the second member of the Trinity, is called by Christians the Holy Spirit. “She” (4) is the Godhead’s creative energy and power expressed in form.

The Mother expresses the Father’s wishes – which, because they are One, are hers as well (5) – into form; that is, into matter, mater, Mother.

She does so by willing creation, preservation, and transformation, at all levels – the basic level of the cell – and below – on up to us – and beyond.

Hindus gave names to these three powers, calling them the gunas or cosmic forces. Creation is rajas; preservation is sattwa; and transformation is thamas.

For Eastern readers, I might relate that I asked the Divine Mother to confirm for me that these three cosmic forces or gunas are what are personified as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva and she concurred.

Steve Beckow: [I’d like] to know if the gunas, the cosmic forces which are called rajas, sattwa, andtamas, are the same as the Trimurthy [Triad] of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

DM: Yes. We are the same as that triad.

SB: All right. And the Trimurthy of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is a subset of the Universal Creative Vibration that you are at your essence. Is that correct?

DM: That is correct. (6)

(Concluded in Part 2.)

Footnotes

(1) With the exception of the vision I had on Feb. 13, 1987, which showed me the total journey of an individual soul from God to God and identified for me the nature and process of the Trinity. See “The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment – Ch. 13 – Epilogue,” athttp://goldenageofgaia.com/2011/08/13/the-purpose-of-life-is-enlightenment-ch-13-epilogue/

(2) Sri Krishna in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 80.

(3) Matthew’s Message, Nov. 12, 2004, athttp://www.matthewbooks.com/mattsmessage.htm. An instance of the God of this universe speaking through Suzy Ward follows this article or can be found here:http://goldenageofgaia.com/2016/09/19/no-country-earth-people-free/

(4) “She” is not a female; “He” – the Godhead – is not a male. The Company of Heaven retains that way of referring to the divine couple, probably for its usefulness as a teaching device.

(5) And our will too, since we are also the Godhead.

(5) “The Divine Mother: Come to Me as I Come to You – Part 1/2,” Oct. 17, 2012, athttp://goldenageofgaia.com/2012/10/17/the-divine-mother-come-to-me-as-i-come-to-you-part-12/.

Sri Shankara also confirmed it in another Hour with an Angel:

Steve Beckow: Let me ask you: … what is the connection between what Hindus call Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and the gunas or the cosmic forces of rajas, sattwa and tamas?

Sri Shankara: I can answer this very quickly. There are no differences. …

You do not have to change your language or your reference points, because they all end at the same place [Brahman or God]. They all begin, travel and end at the same place. (“Sri Shankara: Everywhere You Look will be a Monsoon of Love,” June 26, 2013, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/06/sri-shankara-everywhere-you-look-will-be-a-monsoon-of-love/.)


"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A COSMIC RELIGION?
9/20/2016 11:53:25 PM

God and the Godhead – Part 2/2

All images of divine Mother and Child (like this of Yashoda and Krishna) refer back to the Divine Mother and the divine spark that we are.

(Concluded from Part 1.)

The gunas – aka the Trimurthy – are identical with the Mother’s energy. Her energy has been called “Aum.”

Let’s look at the significance of the word “Aum” from this angle. (We could look at it from many other angles.)

Aum can be visualized as a sine wave, composed of an upward incline, a plateau, and a downward incline.

  • Akar is the upward incline: Rajas, creation, Brahma.
  • Ukar is the plateau: Sattwa, preservation, Vishnu.
  • Makar is the downward part: Thamas, transformation, Shiva.
Sine wave 33

Sine wave

The Divine Mother doesn’t create only this universe using the gunas, but all the universes of the multiverse.

The Divine Mother is herself a direct emanation of God, beyond universes and dimensions. I think we sometimes associate her only with this one universe, when she is the author of all.

***

Let me include the third Member of the Trinity now. Just very briefly. However, even from a short treatment, one does begin to see the picture the puzzle pieces present – the perennial philosophy behind the world’s religions.

Take the divine spark of the Father (the unconditioned Brahman or Godhead) and introduce it into the temple provided by the Mother – namely, the human body and in particular the heart – and you have the third member of the Trinity: us, the Divine Child.

However, when discussing the Trinity as referring to the levels of reality, sages usually ignore the physical body that the spark is housed in and consider the spark alone as the third member of the Trinity.

Speaking only of the spark, Jesus called it the “Christ.” Hindus call it the Atman or Brahman-within-the-individual. Our eternal essence is flame of the Divine Fire, a lamp always burning on the altar of the heart, a firebrand plucked from the burning.

It’s the task of the individual to descend into unknowingness of its essence and then to emerge into knowingness again, returning home to the One from whence it came.

used to think that that was the end of the drama until the Mother disabused me of that notion, informing me that souls issue forth again from the One, after returning. She was talking about the emanations of archangels and masters:

“Now, your question to me is, are there millions of emanations? And my answer, sweet one, is no, there are not. They are very specifically placed in what you would think of as universal or global roles, and they are positioned to do the work that the specific archangel or master has chosen to do, decided to do, committed to do — for me — throughout eternity, or until such time as they return. In which case they will begin again, regardless.” (1) [My emphasis]

Mike Quinsey’s source says the same:

“You may ask what is the ultimate goal of all souls and to put it quite simply it is to return to the total perfection of the Godhead, until you are sent out again for a new set of experiences.” (2) [My emphasis.]

***

Why does the Godhead (ultimately) or the Mother (operationally) assume various forms? Sri Ramakrishna explains that it’s to offer something attractive to each seeker:

“The mother cooks different dishes to suit the stomachs of her different children. Suppose she has five children. If there is a fish to cook, she prepares different dishes from it — pilau, pickled fish, fried fish, and so on — to suit their different tastes and powers of digestion.” (3)

I said earlier that I shied away from studying the personal God and the transcendent Godhead because of my aversion to my earthly Father. Fortunately the Godhead has provided other forms for me to worship; in my case, the Divine Mother.

When I interviewed her on An Hour with an Angel in 2012, the Divine Mother confirmed that the Trimurthy/gunas was an example of her providing different forms for her children to worship.

Divine Mother: [The Trimurthy] is much the same as we have been speaking of. It is a way in which my beloved children can come to know me and to have that experience. It is formless, and yet it is form.

It is a way of connection, and it is a way of understanding and entering into a higher vibration of being. So it helps the emergence into my energy.

Steve Beckow: Sort of like stair steps?

DM: That is correct.

SB: Okay.

DM: And you have all been climbing! (4)

If we can grasp the larger picture, we can see, at least conceptually, what the world’s religions are wanting to tell us: They want us to know that the plan for us is to go up the stair steps of enlightenment the Divine Mother is describing (Jacob’s ladder of consciousness), to complete our journey home to God. (5)

When we restrict our vision to Third Dimensionality, at each stage of our ascension from it, we’d ordinarily realize another level of the Trinity.

First we realize the Christ or Atman in fourth-chakra enlightenment; then the Mother or Holy Spirit in sixth-chakra enlightenment; and then our first experience of the Father or Brahman in seventh-chakra enlightenment.

(I’m not sure if this process is being followed in our Ascension or whether the gradually-rising energies are doing the same work for us without us needing to have these discrete events.)

Life’s purpose is for each of us to realize who we truly are – God. God’s purpose in creating life was to have the pleasure of meeting itself in a moment of our enlightenment. When any one of us realizes who she or he truly is, God meets God.

In my view, deciding to know about them – and, later, actuallyknowing them – launches us on one of the most rewarding adventures we can embark on in life. The deeper we know the Trinity, the deeper is our bliss, happiness, joy, and fulfilment.

Footnotes

(1) “The Divine Mother: Each and Every One of You Carries Divine Might – Part 1/2,” June 19, 2013, athttp://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/06/19/the-divine-mother-each-and-every-one-of-you-carries-divine-might-part-12/

(2) “Mike Quinsey: A Message from My Higher Self,” June 10, 2016, athttp://goldenageofgaia.com/2016/06/10/mike-quinsey-message-higher-self-18-12/.

(3) Sri Ramakrishna in Nikhilananda, Swami, trans. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 81.

(4) “The Divine Mother: Come to Me as I Come to You – Part 1/2,” Oct. 17, 2012, athttp://goldenageofgaia.com/2012/10/17/the-divine-mother-come-to-me-as-i-come-to-you-part-12/. The stair steps I refer to are: Choosing a form of God, worshipping that form, seeing its form in a moment of enlightenment, and knowing its formless aspect in another moment of enlightenment.

(5) Because very few people are familiar with the term “Godhead,” I’m returning now to the everyday use of “God” to mean the “Godhead.”


"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A COSMIC RELIGION?
12/7/2016 6:43:24 PM

God Alone is Real

eye-of-godThe Reval isn’t even here yet and some of us are starting to wake up to some pretty challenging organizational realities a little ahead of time.

Faced with projects that will be large, spread out, and demanding in every respect, I came to see that there was no way that I could address what I felt I faced by drawing only on my own strength and insight.

It became clear that I had to get out of the way by surrendering to the Divine Will.

That decision coming from a merely intellectual place carries very little power.

Coming from an experiential place it carries more.

I’m not able to come to it from a realizational place yet. I’m not there yet. So feeling my way through these matters instead of thinking my way through them becomes important if my plans are to have legs or wind in their sails.

The very first thing I do when approaching surrendering my will to God’s is study what the masters have said on the subject so far. I do begin with intellectual knowledge but I don’t leave it there.

The papers I intend to produce on the subject – to educate myself – look at all aspects of working with God’s will.

Let’s set the stage by establishing a few axioms about God in the next few posts. In this one, I’d like to look at the fact that all enlightened masters feel that only God is real, permanent, existent.

I’m going to depart from my previous practice of drawing only on Company of Heaven sources and incorporate as well materials from among enlightened terrestrial masters and afterlife communicators. You therefore may see a few strange names.

In terms of wikis, I’ll be drawing on First Contact, New Maps of Heaven, and From Darkness Unto Light. (1)

If you’re saying, “I can’t write well-researched articles like these,” guess what? You have access to the same raw data that I do. It’s all right there, online.

God Alone is Real

Sri Ramakrishna, an avatar, tells us that “the truth is that God alone is real and all else unreal.”

“Men, universe, house, children – all these are like the magic of the magician…. The magician alone is real and his magic unreal…. God is like an ocean, and living beings are its bubbles.” (2)

His biographer, Swami Nikhilannda, expands on his metaphor of people as bubbles on the Ocean of God.

“Water alone is real; its bubbles appear and disappear. They disappear into the very water from which they arise.” (3)

And so will we eventually disapprear like a bubble on the Ocean of Love. (4)

What does “real” mean? Sri Ramakrishna explains:

“Real means eternal, and unreal means impermanent. He who has acquired discrimination knows that God is the only Substance and all else is non-existent.” (5)

On another occasion he used the metaphor of a real magician and his illusory magic:

“God alone is the real and permanent Substance; all else is illusory and impermanent. The magician alone is real; his magic is illusory. This is discrimination.” (6)

Speaking as God, the avatar Sri Krishna tells us that “[There is] no other beside me.” (7)

That is no different than the Prophet Isaiah speaking words for God: “I am God, and there is none else.” (8)

Indian sages like Ashtavakra report to us that “there is only God.” (9)

Or the Upanishads: “Verily, all is [God].” (10)

Muslim sages like Ibn Arabi concur:

“Whatever is manifested is …that … One Existence, One Soul, One Body; it is neither separated nor individuated; that everything in immanence is nothing other than His Manifestation and Tools.” (11)

Even one worships an idol one is still worshipping God, he holds:

“It is absolutely impossible to worship other than Him. Even the worship of an idol results in the worship of God, because the existence of the idol is also of God. To be able to understand this it is necessary to understand and to know that all existence is of God. …

“The gnostic, after having understood this meaning, neither enters into nor denies anybody else’s belief, because he understands there is no other existent but him and because he saw the All linked together in a chain of order, and understood that he himself is nothing other than an order and a will.” (12)

Have I somehow become a fundamentalist all of a sudden? No. I simply want to get to the bottom of what’s so in life and what I’m to do.

In this case, if I want to stop being Third-Dimensionally separative and dualistic, then I have to address my seeming separation from God. And this kind of step-by-step study is how I plan to do it.

Footnotes

(1) Here are their locations:

First Contacthttp://goldengaiadb.com/First_Contact;
New Maps of Heavenhttp://goldengaiadb.com/New_Maps_of_Heaven;
From Darkness to Lighthttp://goldengaiadb.com/From_Darkness_to_Light

(2) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Chetananda, They Lived with God. Life Stories of Some Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna. St. Louis: Vedanta Society of St. Louis, 1989, 354.

(3) Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 788.

(4) But apparently, according to Archangel Michael, that isn’t the end of things. Having returned to the Father, we re-emerge when desired or needed.

(5) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 327.

(6) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 179.

(7) Sri Krishna in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 71.

(8) Isaiah 5:22.

(9) Ashtavakra in Thomas Byrom, trans. Heart of Awareness. A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita. Boston and Shaftesbury: Shambala, 1990, xxiv.

(10) Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester, trans., The Upanishads. Breath of the Eternal. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1957; c1948, 46.

(11) Muhyideen Ibn Arabi, Kernel of the Kernel. trans. Ismail Hakki Bursevi. Sherborne: Beshara, n.d., 7.

(12) Ibid., 25.


"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A COSMIC RELIGION?
3/14/2017 11:53:33 PM
Neuroscience + Buddhism Uncovers How “Mindfulness” & “Open Focus” Can Drastically Change Your Life

DR. TOMASZ KOPEC


Mindfulness is defined as an attention training which can benefit health and general well-being. There is a lot scientific research confirming it. It usually takes weeks to practice Mindfulness before experiencing noticeable benefits. In this article we will present you the other type of attention training called Open Focus. We believe, combining these two approaches may help to understand attention training better and to experience its benefits faster.

What Is Mindfulness?

In its most basic form, Mindfulness means to pay attention to what’s happening, on purpose, in the present moment, and to do so without judgement. Originally from Buddhist roots, it was introduced into the West by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zin and the University of Massachusetts. Since its appearance in the West around twenty years ago, many people have participated in the Mindfulness based stress reduction course and similar programs. Research shows that participants may experience profound benefits such as reduced stress, a greater sense of well-being, increased clarity and focus, and improved sleeping patterns.

According to Dr. Kabat-Zin, by paying attention in a certain way, we can switch off our so-called autopilot mode, in which we often go through life unaware of what’s happening within and around us. Living on autopilot not only means that we miss out on a lot of the richness of life, but we are also more likely to be stressed. Stress and autopilot are linked because when we are on autopilot, we are much more likely to act out unhelpful or even damaging patterns of behaviour. In other words, we react instead of respond to challenging experiences in our life. Mindfulness helps us to become aware of these habitual patterns and gives us a choice to change how we relate to challenging experiences. It’s not about taking stress away or hoping to live a life without any stress, but rather fundamentally changing how we relate to the things we experience.

On the other hand, many of us spend much of our time living in our heads. We live in a kind of virtual reality consisting of thoughts and inner dialogue, and thoughts tend to relate either to the past or to the future. Mindfulness helps us to learn how to return to the present and to what’s actually happening rather than our perceptions of what’s happening, which are often inaccurate. We practice it by cultivating greater somatic awareness — that is, awareness of the body, because the body is always in the present moment.

Ultimately, the more we practice Mindfulness and observe the changing nature of experience, the more we may begin to sense that what we previously thought of as being tangible and solid, such as our sense of self, is actually quite transitory and ephemeral. We may begin to understand what lies beyond objects arising in awareness such as sensations, thoughts, and emotions. We may begin to experience awareness itself. This is an extremely significant moment in practice and in life, when we start to experience ourselves as something greater than what we observe and our sense of being the observer.

In Mindfulness, attention generaly focuses on one object (such as the breath, sensations in the body, thoughts, or emotions), exploring it with a sense of curiosity and interest. Another way Mindfulness can be practiced is through Open Monitoring or Open Awareness, where no particular object of experience is selected and there is an openness to all that is unfolding within awareness. Here too, however, as various objects pass through awareness, attention is often paid to each object in a narrowly focused wa

What Is Open Focus?

Open Focus is the name of an attention training program created by Dr. Lester Fehmi, a neuroscientist and psychologist from Princeton University. Dr. Fehmi found that once our whole brain activity becomes more synchronous in alpha frequency, our mental and physical health improves. He created a series of mind exercises that help to cultivate this brainwave pattern, and he designed a neurofeedback EEG machine that can detect it.

On the basis of his findings, Dr. Fehmi developed The Four Attention Styles theory, which describes four different ways we can pay attention, and relates these styles to brain physiology.

According to Dr Fehmi, pain, stress, anxiety, and other challenges make our attention narrow and objective. It is natural to narrow our attention (focus) on pain or a problem in order to deal with it efficiently, but most people overuse this style in everyday life. They are unaware that it keeps them in continuous ‘fight or flight’ mode (see this post). Moreover, habitual focusing creates an impression that the reality consists of separated objects, since we can focus on only one thing at a time, leaving the rest outside of our focus. It can make us feel distant, alienated, and lonely.

Dr. Fehmi says we can begin relating to what’s difficult in a more balanced, accepting way by diffusing our attention. Diffusing allows us to see the big picture and connect (immerse) with its elements. It helps to realign with the world and to create healthy relationships. This style is linked to the ‘rest and digest’ part of our physiology and makes the whole brain activity more synchronous in alpha frequency, which can be confirmed by Dr. Fehmi’s machine (see graph below).

Untitled 2

Dr. Fehmi suggests everyone’s attention should be flexible, meaning that you can alternate between ‘narrow and objective’ and ‘diffused and immersed’ styles of attention or balance all at the same time. Dr. Fehmi says that the way we pay attention is directly linked to our well-being. Once you are able to balance your attention, you can positively influence your mind and body.

During Open Focus training, we practice diffusing by becoming simultaneously aware of manyobjects. The object can be everything you can focus on, like a physical object, a sound, a taste, a thought, a feeling, a sensation from the body, etc. Then you can progress to awareness of the space between objects, like the space between physical objects, the silence between sounds, or the breaks between thoughts, etc. Finally, you become aware of space between and insideobjects which, according to Dr. Fehmi, helps us achieve diffused and immersed style. In this style of attending, all objects (including yourself) dissolve in space and you immerse with reality, becoming fully connected.

Are Mindfulness and Open Focus Complementary?

Open Focus and Mindfulness are not distinct and competing practices but rather highly complementary.

Mindfulness helps us to learn to pay attention to our experience and to notice how we are relating to it. Open Focus then builds upon the benefits and skills of Mindfulness by training us not just to pay attention, but to be more aware of how we are paying attention and to be more flexible in our attention styles.

We then have the benefits of two complementary practices available to us: learning to pay attention and being flexible in how we pay attention. We could say that Mindfulness is an excellent foundation for Open Focus training and that Open Focus helps us to get the most from Mindfulness training.

What Can Open Focus Offer Mindfulness?

As mentioned, much Mindfulness practice is based on a narrow way of paying attention (that is, we are focused on one object). Although it is useful in helping us to be more aware of what is happening in the moment, overusing this style may lead to tightness and overexertion in unexperienced practitioners, since many people think they have a choice of staying watchful (mindful) of what is happening, or they slip into daydreaming. They keep trying harder and it makes them exhausted and it sometimes leads to frustration and disappointment.

We therefore propose that Open Focus can bring to Mindfulness the idea of paying attention in the diffused style and the concept of attention flexibility.

Mindfulness practitioners who learn how to diffuse their attention may find that it helps them to progress. There are several reason for this.

The diffused attention style tends to quickly quiet internal chatter. For example, it is sometimes enough to become aware of sensations coming from both hands and at the same time to sense peace and calmness of the mind. It is because synchronous alpha brain waves play a top-down inhibitory role in the brain network. The quiet mind makes observing without judgment much easier.

In diffused attention style, you do not redirect your attention from one object to another, but rather redistribute it between many objects, which are attended at the same time. The only way to do it is to attend objects in a very soft (less rigid, relaxed) way. This skill can then be used in everyday life. For example, you can stay continuously aware of breathing while listening to someone talking to you and there is no struggle between competing objects in your awareness. It helps to continuously sense the present moment and it has very practical applications (see this post).

It is important to note that in this style, one of the objects you pay attention to could be your daydreaming. Including daydreaming into the diffused attention helps to reduce struggle with it during practice. It is possible (and quite easy) to accept daydreaming as one of many objects you pay attention to (see this post). It can be easily extended to everyday life and it helps to stay present.

In order to become fully aware of the world, it can be helpful to cultivate a more diffused than focused attention style. Focused attention requires one to cut off a lot of what is really happening around us and it restricts experience to a narrow stream of sensations. In the diffused attention style, you are aware of the object and its background (see this post). This may broaden the perspective, helping to put things into context. It may also help to disable an autopilot and develop one’s ability to respond as opposite to reacting.

As mentioned previously, Open Focus exercises cultivate an awareness of space around and inside objects. Once a practitioner is aware of space inside the object, it may become softer, lighter, and easier to be with and observe (for example when we attend an unwanted emotion). By switching to a diffused attention style, the difficulty may be diluted by a broader spectrum of attention. This could be likened to putting a teaspoon of salt in an egg cup filled with water and tasting it — the water would taste very salty. If the same teaspoon of salt were put in a swimming pool, it would be difficult to taste the salt. Mindfulness enables us to be aware that there is salt in the water, but Open Focus allows us to experience the salt in the context of the swimming pool rather than the egg cup!

The diffused and immersed attention style helps to dissolve objects like pain or unwanted feelings. Mindfulness practitioners are sometimes encouraged to bring attention to an ache in the back and to observe how this ache feels, exploring how it would be to allow the ache to be there. In Open Focus, they might feel the ache but at the same time feel the space around and in the ache together with the space in the room. In addition, they might imagine that we are part of the ache itself, allowing themselves to become immersed in the ache. This sometimes makes the pain or feeling softer, blurred with its background, and then it may naturally and effortlessly dissolve. The dissolving pain and unwanted feelings process is well documented in Dr Fehmi’s book.

Conclusion

Mindfulness teaches us to pay attention to our experiences so that we can interrupt habitual patterns of relating to ourselves and the world that may not be helpful for us. Open Focus enhances Mindfulness practice by teaching us not just to pay attention, but to bring more awareness to how we are paying attention.

As this article has demonstrated, these are two highly complementary and mutually reinforcing practices. Ultimately, with both we can learn to be present and be flexible in how we are present, after which we may uncover an unlimited sense of peace and love that lies beneath the ‘noise’ that we are usually confronted with and try to suppress.

In scientific terms, this may be regarded as homeostasis; in more spiritual language, this may be regarded as revealing our true nature or higher self. These practices may lead us to fulfil our personal and evolutionary potential and to live lives with grace and ease.

How You Can Try Mindfulness and Open Focus

We could write a lot but more about Mindfulness and Open Focus, but the best way to know them is to feel them!

You can try some good Mindfulness exercises here: Breathing Into Being, Taking In The Good, Self Compassion.

There is a choice of Open Focus exercises on Dr Fehmi’s and Tomasz’s website (the main difference is that most of Tomasz’s exercises are shorter and they are designed to introduce diffusing and to bring a quick and noticeable experience).

MOF

This article was written with Mrs. Sarah Gulland a Mindfulness teacher who works from London, Guildford and Sussex.

(Collective Evolution)

"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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Luis Miguel Goitizolo

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RE: IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A COSMIC RELIGION?
6/13/2017 12:00:36 AM

When Einstein Met Tagore: A Remarkable Meeting of Minds on the Edge of Science and Spirituality

einsteintagore1EINSTEIN: Do you believe in the Divine as isolated from the world?

TAGORE: Not isolated. The infinite personality of Man comprehends the Universe. There cannot be anything that cannot be subsumed by the human personality, and this proves that the Truth of the Universe is human Truth.

I have taken a scientific fact to explain this — Matter is composed of protons and electrons, with gaps between them; but matter may seem to be solid. Similarly humanity is composed of individuals, yet they have their interconnection of human relationship, which gives living unity to man’s world. The entire universe is linked up with us in a similar manner, it is a human universe. I have pursued this thought through art, literature and the religious consciousness of man.

EINSTEIN: There are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe: (1) The world as a unity dependent on humanity. (2) The world as a reality independent of the human factor.

TAGORE: When our universe is in harmony with Man, the eternal, we know it as Truth, we feel it as beauty.

EINSTEIN: This is the purely human conception of the universe.

TAGORE: There can be no other conception. This world is a human world — the scientific view of it is also that of the scientific man. There is some standard of reason and enjoyment which gives it Truth, the standard of the Eternal Man whose experiences are through our experiences.

EINSTEIN: This is a realization of the human entity.

TAGORE: Yes, one eternal entity. We have to realize it through our emotions and activities. We realized the Supreme Man who has no individual limitations through our limitations. Science is concerned with that which is not confined to individuals; it is the impersonal human world of Truths. Religion realizes these Truths and links them up with our deeper needs; our individual consciousness of Truth gains universal significance. Religion applies values to Truth, and we know this Truth as good through our own harmony with it.

EINSTEIN: Truth, then, or Beauty is not independent of Man?

TAGORE: No.

EINSTEIN: If there would be no human beings any more, the Apollo of Belvedere would no longer be beautiful.

TAGORE: No.

EINSTEIN: I agree with regard to this conception of Beauty, but not with regard to Truth.

TAGORE: Why not? Truth is realized through man.

EINSTEIN: I cannot prove that my conception is right, but that is my religion.

TAGORE: Beauty is in the ideal of perfect harmony which is in the Universal Being; Truth the perfect comprehension of the Universal Mind. We individuals approach it through our own mistakes and blunders, through our accumulated experiences, through our illumined consciousness — how, otherwise, can we know Truth?

EINSTEIN: I cannot prove scientifically that Truth must be conceived as a Truth that is valid independent of humanity; but I believe it firmly. I believe, for instance, that the Pythagorean theorem in geometry states something that is approximately true, independent of the existence of man. Anyway, if there is a reality independent of man, there is also a Truth relative to this reality; and in the same way the negation of the first engenders a negation of the existence of the latter.

TAGORE: Truth, which is one with the Universal Being, must essentially be human, otherwise whatever we individuals realize as true can never be called truth – at least the Truth which is described as scientific and which only can be reached through the process of logic, in other words, by an organ of thoughts which is human. According to Indian Philosophy there is Brahman, the absolute Truth, which cannot be conceived by the isolation of the individual mind or described by words but can only be realized by completely merging the individual in its infinity. But such a Truth cannot belong to Science. The nature of Truth which we are discussing is an appearance – that is to say, what appears to be true to the human mind and therefore is human, and may be called maya or illusion.

EINSTEIN: So according to your conception, which may be the Indian conception, it is not the illusion of the individual, but of humanity as a whole.

TAGORE: The species also belongs to a unity, to humanity. Therefore the entire human mind realizes Truth; the Indian or the European mind meet in a common realization.

EINSTEIN: The word species is used in German for all human beings, as a matter of fact, even the apes and the frogs would belong to it.

TAGORE: In science we go through the discipline of eliminating the personal limitations of our individual minds and thus reach that comprehension of Truth which is in the mind of the Universal Man.

EINSTEIN: The problem begins whether Truth is independent of our consciousness.

TAGORE: What we call truth lies in the rational harmony between the subjective and objective aspects of reality, both of which belong to the super-personal man.

EINSTEIN: Even in our everyday life we feel compelled to ascribe a reality independent of man to the objects we use. We do this to connect the experiences of our senses in a reasonable way. For instance, if nobody is in this house, yet that table remains where it is.

TAGORE: Yes, it remains outside the individual mind, but not the universal mind. The table which I perceive is perceptible by the same kind of consciousness which I possess.

EINSTEIN: If nobody would be in the house the table would exist all the same — but this is already illegitimate from your point of view — because we cannot explain what it means that the table is there, independently of us.

Our natural point of view in regard to the existence of truth apart from humanity cannot be explained or proved, but it is a belief which nobody can lack — no primitive beings even. We attribute to Truth a super-human objectivity; it is indispensable for us, this reality which is independent of our existence and our experience and our mind — though we cannot say what it means.

TAGORE: Science has proved that the table as a solid object is an appearance and therefore that which the human mind perceives as a table would not exist if that mind were naught. At the same time it must be admitted that the fact, that the ultimate physical reality is nothing but a multitude of separate revolving centres of electric force, also belongs to the human mind.

In the apprehension of Truth there is an eternal conflict between the universal human mind and the same mind confined in the individual. The perpetual process of reconciliation is being carried on in our science, philosophy, in our ethics. In any case, if there be any Truth absolutely unrelated to humanity then for us it is absolutely non-existing.

It is not difficult to imagine a mind to which the sequence of things happens not in space but only in time like the sequence of notes in music. For such a mind such conception of reality is akin to the musical reality in which Pythagorean geometry can have no meaning. There is the reality of paper, infinitely different from the reality of literature. For the kind of mind possessed by the moth which eats that paper literature is absolutely non-existent, yet for Man’s mind literature has a greater value of Truth than the paper itself. In a similar manner if there be some Truth which has no sensuous or rational relation to the human mind, it will ever remain as nothing so long as we remain human beings.

EINSTEIN: Then I am more religious than you are!

TAGORE: My religion is in the reconciliation of the Super-personal Man, the universal human spirit, in my own individual being.

End.

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(eraoflight.com)


"Choose a job you love and you will not have to work a day in your life" (Confucius)

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