Seeing others Clearly
“A Free Resource for Spiritual Awakening.”
- SEEING OTHERS CLEARLY
- 1) Seeing Our Unity Is Just The First Step In Awakening.
- 2) To Embrace “Other” Is To Integrate More Of Yourself.
- 3) The Realization Of Self Within Other.
- 4) The Dance of Self and Other—An Invitation to Love
- 5) The Futility Of Being Angry At Ignorance.
- 6) For the Open-Minded to Hate the Narrow-Minded is for Butterflies to Hate Caterpillars.
Related: perception | judgment | right-and-wrong | polarization | awakening | how-fear-distorts-perspective | see-the-mirror | mirror-of-reality | how-light-created-dark | projection-of-feelings | know-thyself | clarity | transformation | equality-of-being | I-Am-Free | transparency | Feel-This-Love
SEEING OTHERS CLEARLY
1) Seeing Our Unity Is Just The First Step In Awakening.
This is the first of several articles on perception and “seeing others clearly”. Through this we will explore and open our understanding of how we perceive and relate to each other. This isn’t however just about how we could all get along better — although I will certainly highlight that possibility — it is about understanding that the reasons we have difficulty seeing each other clearly are not mistakes to be corrected, but what creates the journey from not seeing clearly to seeing clearly that some of us have chosen to call “spiritual awakening” (but can be called by many names such as “coming to love” or “making the unconscious conscious”).
We each have so many relationships in our life — such as our relationship with our partner, our mother, our father, our family, our friends, our work colleagues, our government, the religions of the world, science, our creativity, our sexuality, violence, food, God, your spirit, and your self. One of the most life-changing and transformative realizations we can have is to realize that in all of these relationships, there is only ever one thing you are seeing, and that is yourself — which is the self, which is the one unified self, which is the infinite self, which is eternal-consciousness, which is the source of all creation.
All we ever see are reflections of our self through the infinite mirror of diversity.
This world is the expression of the one and only — because it is unified — consciousness in existence (that which we often call source consciousness). We are one consciousness expressed as many, exploring as many, and expanding as many. We are consciousness interrelating and multiplying through the contrast we experience between us — contrast caused by the illusion of our individuality.
This reality is so expansive because of its depth of contrast which causes us to feel and look different from each other, when we are really all one.
The realization that we are all the expression of a single, unified, eternal level of consciousness is the heart of my writing and the reoccurring theme is seeing how we are all connected and reflections of each other. What I want to explore in this six part series is the idea that this realization of our unity — which is to understand the illusion of our individuality — is not some final stage of spiritual awakening; it is the beginning of a new experience of consciousness.
seeing that the other people in this world are all equal expressions of consciousness is certainly a life-changing shift in the foundation of our understanding of reality. It is not however an end-destination of realization that instantaneously resolves all the levels of meaning we experience when looking at another person.
To know we are one is to know a deep truth. To know I am what you are, just in another expression of form, is profound. But to know this about the person you are looking at is not to know everything about what you are looking at — it is to know how you are connected.
To see someone clearly starts with seeing how you are connected (which is to know how you are unified).
This knowing of connection is not something that closes down the experience of meaning by somehow resolving it. The knowing of connection is just the beginning because it is the invitation to explore connection. Knowing we are all one doesn’t miraculously explain everything, it is a new perspective — which feels like a new beginning — within the journey of exploring: “If we are all one, what is the nature of this difference we have chosen to experience?”
The understanding of unity and equality is not JOB DONE! It is the invitation to explore the nature of difference, hierarchy, and competition — that we have each chosen to explore — from a state of deeper awareness of the nature of self and reality.
What are other people? who are other people if we are one consciousness? Why have we chosen to experience other? These are powerful questions to explore because they ask, “who am I?” but are answered from an alternate, wider perspective that enhances our personal, more monocular perspective.
Yes, we are one! But equal to that oneness — because all are equal — is the fact that we have chosen this amazing level of differentiation / diversity. And, what is more, we have chosen to experience this difference through a charged level of polarization that purposely magnifies it and causes us to be mesmerized by it (such that it comes to contain us within the illusion of our difference).
The experience of knowing we are all one is a bit like seeing “the good” or “the light” in everyone. Choosing to see the good in everyone is a beautiful thing. It is a good foundation — an effective perspective in terms of happiness — from which to approach your life.
It is helpful to know that:
- beneath our apparent differences we are the same.
- what we do to others we are doing to ourselves.
- to throw a punch is to receive a punch.
- to live by the gun is to die by the gun because there is only ever other versions of yourself to shoot.
- to express love is to receive love.
- to nurture another is to nurture yourself.
- there is not some separate force of darkness — only your own pain.
These examples are more literal than you may imagine. To throw a punch is to receive a punch is not talking about the traditional understanding of karma. Karma means action and the widest understanding of karma is that it is direct and instantaneous.
When you hit someone you are hitting yourself because you— the consciousness that is hitting — are also the consciousness within the body being hit.
Because we experience ourselves as individuals, in the hitting scenario we are only conscious of our embodied side of the interaction (and the person we are hitting is only aware of their side). However, this is not how your spirit — which is just a more conscious aspect of you — experiences it. Because your spirit knows itself to be unified with everything in existence, it is not separate from the experience of the person being hit in the way that you are (from your embodied perspective). This means that the deepest part of you — your spirit — experiences being hit by you — its embodied expression of self — along with all other available perspectives on the experience. So…
To punch someone in the face is to punch yourself in the face. You just won’t be conscious of it until you die and take back on your spirit’s breadth of perspective.
QUALIFICATION: There is a balancing over time, but this does not come from some cosmic law of karma. It comes from the fact that consciousness loves all things equally because it loves unconditionally. It is this unconditionality that means all sides are explored equally and that can look like a force acting to create balance — but it isn’t — it is just an expression of the equality of unconditional love.
within the bubble of the Earth experience — AKA our individuality — we are perceptually separate from not only the direct experience of our unity, but also from having full consciousness of the effect of our self on the other people within the human experience. What is often called the “life review” that becomes available at death isn’t a “ghost of Christmas past” experience; it is to become conscious of every thought and emotion that other people have ever had about you (along with everything within your own experience that you have forgotten).
QUALIFICATION: Although you become conscious of all this information at death — such as what it was like to be punched by you — this doesn’t mean you experience it all at once. It is simply that it becomes available to you — access is granted.
What I am speaking of here isn’t something you need to fear or be worried about. We all carry deep religious wounds around the idea of being judged when we die and it is important that you recognize this potential within you in order to not fear what I am saying. What we are talking about here is not judgment. At the level of spirit there is no judgment, regret, remorse, guilt, or shame. This return to consciousness is a profound experience of clarity, and that is knowing, and that is the feeling of understanding.
You could even think of this clarity as the opposite of judgment as to see all perspectives is to feel understood. This is because, just as you will come to better understand yourself when you see all perspectives, so too will you understand that all others — within spirit — will be seeing it from the same infinite multi-perspective. To leave individuality is to leave the experience of people having conflicting perspectives and opposing viewpoints. This means that…
To understand yourself is to be understood.
This is the karma of understanding.
What you will see in this state is that the level of consciousness we experience on Earth (which is determined by what we have made unconscious in order to create the focus of our individuality) is not as “reduced” as we may have imagined. Meaning, we project big ideas onto what spirit and source consciousness are while tending to see our human state of consciousness as small and insignificant in comparison.
When you take on the multi-perspective (which is to say multi-dimensionality) of your spirit — which is the ability to experience things from all sides — it is seen that this big spirit versus small human comparison doesn’t hold. While it is true that the consciousness of our spirit and our human self are very different to experience, they are also very similar.
CONTEMPLATION: I invite you to contemplate how this can be by seeing it is not a paradox. Start with the idea that there are some particular qualities to being human — such as linear-time — that make it extremely different to experience. And yet, most of what we are and the qualities we experience reality through are remarkably similar.
It is wonderful to know we are one. It is amazing to realize we are all connected. It is powerful to see through the illusion of “other”. However, they are not “the purpose” of this reality. We are not here to realize that we are the same (although we are free to). We are here to experience being different.
In this moment I am feeling how this is pointing at a major misunderstanding in many spiritual teachings — the idea that the purpose of the illusion is to see through the illusion, as opposed to the purpose of the illusion is to experience the illusion.
Surely it makes more sense that we created the human experience to experience it rather than to “transcend” it.
We — referring to people interested in these kinds of ideas — are spiritual explorers and it has been our personal intention to understand our wider nature from within our individuality. But that does not make it the collective purpose. Our intention for this life is not superior to anyone else’s
This realization of our unity is powerful — and is a foundational understanding within the spiritual path — but the level of self-reflection this reality offers us goes much deeper. The realization of our connection is the beginning of a whole new experience — including a new experience of relationship with our spirit — not the end of our spiritual journey.
It is good to know that:
- reality is an illusion.
- you are an eternal being.
- you are free to explore this reality as much as you like.
- you are free to explore other realities.
- evil is an illusion — there is no source of darkness.
- there is nothing out there but what we are.
- you created yourself with love and passion.
- we are all connected.
These knowings all arise from seeing through the illusion, but none of them end that illusion. We are not here to escape being here. We are not to end here. You can’t return home because you never left home.
Every realization is an invitation to experience reality anew through the perspective it offers.
It is from our meeting within differentiation and individuation that consciousness is exploding, expanding, unfolding, multiplying, evolving, and birthing new perspectives within itself. This unfolding of consciousness has birthed through the creative explosion of differentiation, not despite it. To awaken to the nature of the illusion is not to then flee the illusion through some passion to transcend it; it is to dive into that creative explosion while holding the perspective that knows we are all connected in order to see how it alters — and renews — the experience.
It is this exploration, this creativity, this creation that is so exciting and joyful. So instead of just going further into the realization of oneness, we are going to recognize this knowing of connection as a new foundation of perspective from which we can dive off and explore what new flavors — new perspectives — arise when we look at and embrace the forms our difference has taken.
seeing each other clearly is not just about seeing through our difference — even though that difference is ultimately an illusion — it is about being enriched by that difference. Let us see each other clearly by not only embracing our commonality, but by embracing how we have each created our personal manifestations of difference.
Let us celebrate the illusion.
Let us celebrate this experience.
Let us celebrate life.
2) To Embrace “Other” Is To Integrate More Of Yourself.
“other” isn’t an annoyance to overcome — it is the full experience.
In the last article we looked at how seeing others clearly begins with understanding that we are all connected, but seeing our unity is not the full answer. While seeing how everything is connected gives us an effective standpoint from which we can meet each other in honesty and transparency — and thereby clarity — the realization of our full connection lies in also embracing how we are NOT the same.
This can be a shock for people on the spiritual path as there are so many messages about how seeing through the illusion of individuality (which is often presented as the demonized ego) is to transcend this existence and go somewhere better. This means that when a person really starts to “get it” — the realization that everything is an illusion because consciousness, and not physicality, is the basis of reality — there is usually an expectation that something radical will happen outwardly when, instead, the experience is one of everything only changing because your perspective on it has changed.
So… what happens when you realize that seeing we are all one doesn’t cause you to transcend the illusion, but only makes you conscious of it? What happens when you realize that awakening is not an end-destination, but the beginning of a new experience of reality?
To awaken to the illusion of separation is a new beginning because it creates a new foundation of understanding to experience reality through. The next step is to dive in, explore, and unfold your own definition through this realization. It is wonderful to know we are all source consciousness, but what do you want to do with it? who do you want to be? What experiences do you want to have? What flavors do you want to taste?
following the realization of our unity, the next step is to let yourself be affected by your new experience of reality — which includes being affected by “other”.
To know we are one is to see through the illusion of separation; this means you no longer experience your “human” self as fully contained (separate from that which surrounds it). To step out of the depth of individuality that this containment created is to realize that although your individuality still carries great meaning, it is not All-That-You-Are.
We are each a part of ALL consciousness, and that means we are a part of a collective-consciousness.
clarification: When you awaken to oneness you do not enter a state of collective-consciousness because you never left it. Instead you remember that you have always been a part of a collective which you chose to forget temporarily — for the span of a human life — in order to experience being an individual.
To awaken is not for all the lights to suddenly be turned on. Awakening to our collective nature is not an on-off thing. Spiritual awakening is an ongoing process of clarifying the relationship between your embodied experience of self and your infinite experience of self. There is no end to the potential of this clarity, so there is no end to the experience.
clarification: The only end to the human experience of awakening is to choose to cease to be human. However, this choice does not “resolve” (in the sense of completing) your awakening because awakening is not a problem to be fixed or a distance to be traversed — it is an experience that has the potential to eternally unfold within the human experience. We are each free to experience awakening from within the human form for as long as we wish.
awakening is not something you stay with until you have “done it”. We have all “done it” many times.
The first signs of opening to our unity are more subtle than you may imagine. It is sometimes noticed as a shift from seeing the people in your life as “other” from a survival standpoint (where you are assessing if “they are the dangerous kind of other”), to instead seeing that the qualities you used to label other people with are actually reflections of something inside of yourself (for which any resistance you feel is owned as your issue to resolve). This is a shift from a survival mentality to a creator mentality.
To awaken to oneness is to see our human qualities as expressions of difference across something that is connected, instead of proof of difference that then stands between you and what you fear.
This is the point where you move from seeing the world as an obstacle to be overcome — or a long list of limitations — and instead begin to understand the ways in which your reality is a resource in how it reflects not only your human self, but your spirit’s intention for this life. Spiritual awakening is not something that happens by overcoming the experience of other or despite the experience of other. To awaken to the wider nature of your consciousness from within embodiment is something that occurs through the experience of other.
I would now like to give an alternate description of awakening — my favorite being “coming to not act from fear” — that highlights how integral the experience of other is to our intention for this life. Through this, I want to show how other is not just a side effect of individuality, but the “others” that surround you are — from a perspective — extensions of your wider experience of self (that you are purposefully choosing to experience as a part of your evolution). In order to keep this description relatively simple I will use the traditional view of linear incarnation, where we are seen to live one life at a time, in sequence.
When we start our journey through the human experience we take on the singular perspective of being an individual. We do however evolve over time and see our older self as being different from our younger self. However, although we may come to no longer agree with the perspective we held in our youth, we do remember what it felt like. As such, the perspective of our youth — which we may no longer resonate with — is a perspective we now understand and can feel empathy for.
The upshot of this is that we first birth with a singular perspective and, by the time we die, we can adopt a range of perspectives (even though we may not feel aligned with them all). See how the majority of perspectives you have adopted across your life have birthed from experiences of resonance with or resistance to “other” people (which you have then uniquely evolved).
This is the natural process of seeking to be like the people we most resonate with. The resonance of our heart is unique and reflects our intention for this life. Those whom you most strongly admire — which is an expression of resonance — are not just random people who happen to possess the qualities you like. The people who have most profoundly affected you — even if they are famous or historical figures — are specific individuals you selected to resonate with in this life because of how that relationship would shape you (which does not require meeting them).
Despite the fact that each time we birth we reset and begin again with a singular perspective, each life is to some degree, a continuation of everything that came before it. The singular perspective we birth into is always chosen as a positive response — as opposed to a fear based reaction — to ALL the lives we have lived. Even though what we choose may bear no resemblance to what we have experienced previously, the past is present within it because it is a response to what came before (even if that response is to try something completely different).
Even though we start each life with a fresh, singular perspective, we can choose to surround ourselves with people who reflect qualities and perspectives we experienced in previous incarnations. This opens powerful potentials to connect with the gift of the perspectives of those lives. We often choose to enter the human experience with many of the same souls as a previous life — incarnating in groups again and again — in order to magnify the potential of cross-time connections opening up a breadth of perspectives. These other people in your life all have the potential to reconnect you with the perspectives held in that previous life.
human individuality is as deep as it gets. Although we are not technically cut off from our spirit, the illusion that we are separate creates a deep sense of containment. This is why — for those who choose to take the journey of reconnecting with their spirit from within the human experience — it takes many lives to awaken to our wider nature. Over the course of our lives — each of which starts with a singular perspective — there is an accumulation of perspectives. These are most easily reawakened in our current life through the experience of other.
As human beings we are designed to be mesmerized by the physical, outward world (otherwise we would reconnect with our spirit and the illusion of our individuality would be lost). Our past lives however — in being based within physicality — are much more readily accessible to us within embodiment than our spirit. This is simply because they are perceptually closer experiences.
To connect with your spirit — the way you are now — has come through living many lives and having accumulated many perspectives. This is because the main difference between our human perception and the perception of our spirit is that we have a limited perspective and, as spirit, we have an infinite perspective (which is to see things from all sides). Therefore, as you come to accumulate multiple perspectives you can empathize with — which really ramps up when you start connecting with others — then you open yourself to remember the experience of your spirit.
When seen in this light, what becomes clear is that spiritual awakening is a process of integrating the experience of “other” that surrounds you. Firstly, this is seen in how you have positioned yourself within that “other” because it contained what you wanted to absorb (and would draw to you through resonance / the law-of-attraction). Secondly, because you are not new to the human experience — otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this — you are no longer birthing into lives which you intend to unfold through a singular perspective (even though we each start out with one).
To awaken is to know thyself, and that is to see through the illusion of separation. This includes seeing through the illusion of temporal separation. As that particular veil falls you will ultimately see there is only one consciousness that has lived all lives, but — as this isn’t something that happens all at once — it starts with seeing the lives that are closest to your own. And that starts with what you perceive of as your “other” lives that are experientially closest to your current life experience.
As you come to integrate all these gifts — all these perspectives — so you will naturally evolve from being singular (as expressed by republicans) into an individual who can see things from other people’s perspectives. Now, although you may delight at this idea of republicans being less evolved, the realization is that for you to be holding your current multi-perspective you started out with a singular perspective. So, as you continue to widen your integration of all your lives, you are eventually going to get to your earliest lives which would have been predominantly expressed through an individualistic (AKA republican) perspective.
This means you will know you are really getting to the most inclusive viewpoints when you start to remember why republicans see things the way they do and — though it won’t change how you personally act towards others — you will no longer feel angry at them because you will remember being in their shoes and seeing the world from a point of singularity (which, when combined with the survival-instinct, creates an “us versus them” mentality).
You — as one who is choosing to awaken — are far less an individual than you may have imagined. The people who surround us — such as republicans — are not the best obstacle for us to overcome in order to evolve (although that is a valid perspective), they reflect the potential to activate powerful perspectives within us — perspectives that took lifetimes to discover — perspectives which collectively form our personal journey of embracing All That We Are through our desire to know ourselves
3) The Realization Of Self Within Other.
In the previous article we discussed how we each birth with a singular perspective that evolves into a multi-perspective across your life. This is the ability to see situations from multiple angles, instead of only from your singular vantage point. This is experienced as the ability to empathize with other people.
We then saw how, across multiple lives, this ability becomes more pronounced because of how we are able to subconsciously draw from our prior lives (which you could also call “other” lives). Although this can be experienced as remembering another life — usually through dreams — it is more commonly felt as resonating with people who reflect who you were in that life (and therefore subconsciously remind you of it). We then — without necessarily having any memory of that life — find ourselves able to more easily perceive from its vantage point (which is expressed as the ability to empathize with those who possess similar qualities).
ELABORATION: In stating the trend towards becoming more empathetic across lives I am only pointing towards a general trend. Even after having lived thousands of lives, we can still choose to create a life — through a tight focus — that is highly individualistic.
The deepest instruction within us is to know thyself. This is not a limitation because even if we choose to ignore it — or rail against it — it is something that automatically occurs through the experience of being. To say, “know thyself” does not therefore point you in any particular direction and so does not limit you, pressure you, or tell you how you should act.
To enter the human experience is to know thyself through the forgetting of who you are — a state of eternal-consciousness — and then remembering. This is because in coming to remember who we are, we learn about ourselves. To forget and then remember is therefore to become more than you were before you forgot (hence our sense of evolution). In this it should be noted that this “more” does not imply superiority; instead it is to have focused on an alternate perspective on what consciousness is.
To be human is to continue the eternal journey of spirit to know thyself. Ultimately this is to know ALL beings as equal expressions of eternal-consciousness and is realized through the experience of unconditional love for ALL. To understand this is to realize that the human experience did not randomly evolve but is the expression of a focused intention.
The human experience has been designed to focus the instruction of know thyself.
The basic principle of that design is for each of us to become a focused aspect of the whole — instead of knowing ourselves as the whole — in order to better understand that aspect. Although we tend to view that understanding in a mental way — which is a valid and valuable perspective — it should be recognized that even before we developed language and writing, we were operating within the design.
Our mentality is something that has evolved over linear-time. We started out as instinctual creatures on a feeling-based journey of self-discovery. Coming to a mental understanding of what we are as human beings is a fascinating field of study, but the design of this reality is all about the journey of coming to love ourselves. At the heart of all intentions for this life is our intention to love the aspect of All-That-Is (of which we are a focused expression).
As we start to move from extreme individualism to a wider state of perception (through which we can love), so we come to embrace more of the world and thereby ourselves. As we mature as a species — despite how it may look outwardly — we are coming to not only care for ourselves and our immediate family, we are evolving a feeling of care for all human beings (even when they are different from us). This may be causing tensions in the world at this time but that is all resistance to change, and that change is arising through a greater sense of being one species than ever before.
QUALIFICATION: Although social media would seem to imply that we are divided, this does not change the fact that communication technologies and social media have made the world seem smaller. Social media is full of people telling each other they are “less than” but in a way that at least has us seeing each other as human beings. Rewind fifty years and many more people meant “not deserving to be seen as human” when they expressed “less than”. That feeling of complete detachment still exists today, but the trend is that we are becoming more conscious, not less—you just have to stand really far back to see it. It only seems worse now because so much is on the surface to be seen. This is a good thing because it means we are becoming conscious of something we were previously unconscious of.
The rise of social media is a significant turning point in our evolution as we move beyond being so individualistic. Our focus on social media reflects a move from predominantly seeking to love and connect with our immediate family and a small social circle of friends, to seeking to love and connect at a much wider level. This technology would not have developed if we were not ready to move forward into a different type of experience. What we are currently experiencing is the infancy of mass communication and it is causing us to change in positive ways far more than we tend to realize (because we tend to focus on the negative noise).
SIDE-NOTE: The Internet has fundamentally changed the nuclear family by making it far less insular. A part of you may feel this as a loss or simply as “not a good thing”. What should be remembered is that linear-time is an illusion and — unlike the traditional view of reincarnation — we are not limited in what time period we can birth into. To spirit, what we call “time” is just a marker point for an event. This means that the “traditional” nuclear family and the “good old days” are not something that modern society has destroyed. Every time-period is available to us when we birth. This is why your choice to be alive at this time in history is not a compromise. If you wanted “simpler times” then you would have birthed into them.
What this all boils down to is the realization that the people who surround you aren’t just some random selection of humanity, they are a web of meaning — presented as the face of other — which reflects your desire to expand in a particular direction. In this we are not just talking about the people you personally know, but also the public personalities, social media, and news stories you choose to focus on (regardless of whether that focus is positive or negative).
What you are isn’t contained within a single, physical body. There are circles, within circles, within circles of people that surround you (with each circle and your level of focus upon it representing a layer of meaning). When you look at your life in this way, what is seen is that the closest of these circles is what you are most focused on integrating (with the circle outside of that being the next, and so forth). This means that your focus on these different “circles of other” is like a road-map of your intention to expand — rather like looking into your future.
In this vision of circles I want you to feel how what you are is represented not just by your immediate self, but by everything you choose to focus on (regardless of whether that is perceived as being your personal self or other). In this we begin to see how what we have called “other” is actually a description of the human qualities that are currently awakening / resolving / clarifying within us. In this light the other people upon whom you are most focused are seen to reflect / reveal your choice of evolution (through the direction of your focus).
What we call “other” could also be called our personal “next” in terms of it representing our expansion of focus.
For example, as a society we are currently collectively focusing on the aspect of abuse. This is being reflected through many public individuals having the world become conscious of their abusive behavior. In its current initial presentation of anger (which is a natural and necessary stage of the process) it is easy to think we aren’t integrating abusive behavior but are kicking it to the curb. This is because we are still in the stage of vilification where we pronounce ourselves to be the opposite of the “abusive other” through the expression of how it disgusts and repels us.
This reminds me of a few decades ago when statements like “I’m not racist — one of my friends is…(*insert race of choice here*)” were commonplace. Whereas now, we have a wider understanding that “a racist” is not always some overt thing that you either are or aren’t. Instead we have found there are a myriad of subtle ways in which it can operate.
We aren’t quite there yet, but eventually it will be realized that to be an individual is to carry some level of prejudice by design (with the understanding that you can have positive prejudices as well as negative ones). This is because to become an individual is to express a preference of qualities that lead you to experience yourself as different from those around you. It could even be said that the point of humanity is that we feel different from each other and see each other differently. Whether we bring a positive or negative charge to that difference is up to us, but we are designed to see each other as different. By this I am simply saying that this world was always meant to contain “other” (which includes the journey to meeting and connecting with that “other”).
We came here to be different and to integrate that experience of difference. Equality isn’t about seeing everyone as the same. Equality is about the celebration — rather than fear — of what makes us diverse. And you can’t celebrate diversity by pretending it makes no difference.
In relation to our current situation with the abusive aspect that is now coming into the light of our consciousness (even though it has gone on since the beginning of humanity), we are at the “let’s condemn them” phase. However, once we have drained the swamp of the past abuses, we will only be left with the present. And then, pretty soon, that anger will start to shift as our personal pasts start to not look so comfortable when compared to the new values we are adopting.
What is currently a discussion about “those abusive people” who we see as other will become more and more personal. Increasingly, either ourselves or people we love, will come to be labelled as abusive and we will have to find our own personal balance of love and condemnation. The positive shift in this is that going forward we will put less and less weight on the past and who we were and instead be all about who we are now. This won’t be some cosmic enlightenment; it will simply be because we each personally want to be judged for who we are today rather than who we were in the past.
This will be the beginning of a new era that births from the current state of pain we are expressing through the Internet (with Twitter leading the way as a platform for people expressing their anger and pain). The current state of anxiety and tension is not sustainable and it will collapse in on itself as the human drive to be famous changes. “Fame at any cost” is still prevalent in our collective psyche and this is fueled by those who are famous choosing not to be transparent as to the negative aspects of their experience. The war we see on Twitter today isn’t just some sad aberration; it is a magnification of the abusive aspect within humanity.
Twitter isn’t making people cruel and abusive; it is showing us our cruel and abusive tendencies.
All this abuse that currently seems to be about “other” people who are “out there” and did things “in the past” is going to eventually become about each of us in the present. This is why it is ultimately going to be meeting and integrating our own abusive aspect as opposed to humanity becoming kinder by identifying and locking up all its abusers.
Today we have looked at how the people who surround you are there with a purpose — meaning they are your chosen focus rather than a random cross-section of humanity. In this I highlighted how we can birth into any period in history. What this means is that not only are the people around you there by your choice, but…
The entire state of the planet — as a whole — is your choice of backdrop to your human experience.
Therefore, it is not that those who surround you are a choice, but the whole of humanity is just what it is (and you have to take it whether you like it or not). This present “version” of humanity — which you chose to experience—is your personal choice for the collective “other” that is providing a profound level of context to your life.
Although it is normal to have some resistance to this idea (as it doesn’t give you many options to deal with your frustrations), there is a clear logic because “the whole” exists within each self. We have painted this picture of expansion through “other” where we are integrating more and more of what it is to be human. This eventually leads to a point where you are capable of seeing things from ALL perspectives. This is when a person realizes that they are not only connected to the “others” that most closely surround them, but are connected to ALL “others”.
The realization of self AS other and other AS self leads to the recognition that the whole world is a reflection of you.
The reason this is so mind-blowing is that although you are a part of what could be considered a collective project called humanity, the whole of “what humanity is” is the perfect vehicle for the experience you personally came here to have. This is the realization that there is ZERO compromise in your choice for this life. This seems impossible as our linear minds cannot logically comprehend how billions of people could be having a shared experience where everyone is getting exactly what they wanted.
When we started being human we enjoyed the challenge of coming to love ourselves and those closest to us. Now, at this time of awakening, we are enjoying the challenge of coming to love each other at much wider levels. See how, although this can be seen as an evolution of intention, it is in fact still the original intention — just seen through a wider lens. This is because ultimately consciousness is holographic with each self containing the whole. This means that…
To love ALL THAT YOU ARE (as opposed to just your most celebrated aspects) is to come to love the world. And to open yourself to love the world is equally the path of coming to love ALL THAT YOU ARE — AKA yourself.
It doesn’t matter what face you love — the face in the mirror or the face of “other”. Every way in which you do not love this world and the “other” it contains, is a way in which you do not love yourself.
love is love and— when fully met — it cannot be divided. To love the whole of anything is to love everything.
4) The Dance of Self and Other—An Invitation to Love
consciousness has created realities through which to explore itself. Each reality is an illusion created from the unified level of eternal-consciousness — which religion calls “God” — by forgetting it is all selves and instead focusing on a particular self.
ANALOGY: If you think of God as the whole alphabet, then it knows it is every letter that exists. In order to create new ways of experiencing itself, imagine God creating a reality with 26 individuals with each person being based on a letter. To do this, it creates 26 bubbles of individuality that, when entered, causes it to focus on one particular letter by forgetting that it is also the other 25 letters. This is done to such a high degree of focus that each individual believes the letter it represents is All That It Is. This is how eternal-consciousness creates new experiences for itself by using selective focus through the use of unconsciousness.
The mix of consciousness and unconsciousness in each individual is expressed through the sculpture analogy. Imagine a block of marble that is God. Because God is All-That-Is, it contains the potential of everything (meaning it cannot be added to because it already is all the marble that exists). It cannot therefore expand by adding more marble to itself. It can, however, create new experiences by revealing the potentials within it. This is done by carving away the marble to reveal an infinite number of sculptures that exist — as potential experiences of self — within the block of marble.
In this analogy you can think of an individual as a sculpture, and the part that is carved away being that which is made unconscious. So, the block of marble is ALL consciousness and the sculpture is a selective focus that is revealed by making the carved away marble unconscious. This is to understand that every reality is in fact still the whole block of marble because that which is made unconscious isn’t actually taken away (it is just made unconscious, which can be imagined as making it invisible).
- We are each the sculptor.
- We are each a creator.
- We are each the whole block of marble.
- We are each God.
- All that can make you feel less than God is caused by the parts of All-That-You-Are— the block of marble — that you have chosen to make invisible in order to experience yourself as a sculpture (which you are currently expressing as a human being within the human experience).
So, if we now apply this to our understanding of other, what we see is that all human beings are in fact identical blocks of marble (because we are all eternal-consciousness), except that each of us is a choice to be a unique expression (a different looking sculpture). So every other is in fact what you will ultimately discover yourself to be (God / the block of marble) just with a different pattern of unconsciousness applied to it (in order to reveal a unique looking sculpture).
This is the realization that all forms of individuality are states of partial consciousness, as it is through forgetting All That We Are that we are able to stop recognizing everything as other versions of us and instead have the experience of “self and other” (which is what creates the experience of individuality). This reveals the way in which what we call “other” is not something unrelated to us that exists “out there”. Instead, what we experience as other is completely defined by what we are (as the shape of the sculpture tells us not only what it is, but also the shape of the marble that was carved away). This means that…
- Our experience of “other” is our personal state of unconsciousness in disguise.
- In every moment you decide what you are, and in this you decide what you are not.
- In every moment you decide what is conscious, and in this you are equally deciding what is unconscious.
- In every moment you are choosing your experience of other, just as much as you are defining your experience of self.
- As your definition of self moves, so does your definition of other.
- Self and other define each other.
This is to recognize that the self and other of the human experience do not exist independently of each other — and that is a big statement. It is profound because it means that what you are currently experiencing yourself to be does not exist independently from the wider world within which your experience of self is couched. As individuals, we are not separate in the way we think. To see this is to begin to understand the way in which our human individuality is a temporary illusion.
We are each living within our own unconsciousness as that is what “other” is — it is that which we experience outwardly.
Going back to our analogy, you are not only the sculpture within a block of marble; you are the block of marble choosing to experience itself as something less than the whole block of marble by partially blinding yourself to All-That-You-Are. Human reality — which includes both your experience of an inner self and an outer world — is the block of marble. The “outer reality” that you experience yourself as living within is the marble you have made invisible (in order to reveal the sculpture of you). What you experience as other is what you have made unconscious.
This means that the circles of other that surround you (that we painted a picture of in the last article) represent the way in which you — as a sculpture — are evolving your shape by expanding outward by becoming more conscious (which we experience as the journey of awakening to our wider nature).
SIDE-NOTE: As people who are on the path of spiritual awakening, we evolve by making the unconscious conscious. This can be imagined as the sculpture (that which we are), growing outwards as it integrates the unconsciousness that surrounds it. It should however be noted that this is not the only direction of evolution (as we can also choose to become more unconscious). This is the feeling of becoming more individualistic and less empathetic. There is no right or wrong to this — it is a choice of experience that is always made from our love of exploring what we are through the experience of individuality.
It is powerful to realize you are defining other just as much as you are defining yourself because of the clarity this brings to our understanding of polarity. One of the biggest misconceptions about polarity is the idea that you must endure the negative side in order to experience the positive side. This is the idea that you must have pain in order to have joy (no gain without pain), or you must endure darkness in order to experience light. While these ideas are clearly pointing at an aspect of polarity (one of many ways we can choose to experience polarization), it contains the misconception that the positive and negative are separate things — hence the idea of enduring one to get the other (as if it they are two distinct things).
love and hate are two sides of a single coin. You can look at one side of the coin rather than the other, but you can’t divide them or stop the other side of the coin from existing.
The potential revelation here is to see that “I want to experience joy but not sadness” does not make sense because we are each a single thing within an experience of polarity (which is to be like the coin with two sides). As an individual you are free to spend the whole of your life only focused on one side of yourself. This is what we all did in our early experiences of being human. But at this time you — as an explorer of consciousness — are asking to know thyself. And that means your highest joy is in seeing All-That-You-Are.
Much of the spiritual path is about recognizing and integrating your shadow-side.
To attempt to separate self and other is like trying to separate left and right or up and down. You cannot do it because one describes / defines the other, and that means they are 100% connected. Any movement in one creates movement in the other because as our experience of self (expressed as a sculpture in our analogy) expands or contracts, so too does the experience of other (but in the opposite direction).
To see the beauty of life, is to witness how self and other move together in a harmonious dance of opposites. You see that as the self steps forward so the other steps back. From within the reality, this appears to be a miraculous harmony that underlies all life (and that is certainly a valid viewpoint). However, the deeper realization is that self and other can only move as one because they are one (therefore the harmony isn’t really “miraculous”, it just looks that way because we see what we believe are two separate things moving as one).
This is the same as the principle of creation and destruction where it is understood that you can’t have one without the other because they are inseparable in how they birth from each other (like the image of a snake in a circle eating its tail).
- Individuality is based upon unconsciousness.
- Unconsciousness creates the experience of other.
- The experience of other and the experience of self are one (they just appear as separate within the illusion of individuality).
- To love All-That-You-Are is to love BOTH self and other.
- To love other is to love your own unconsciousness.
- To unconditionally love yourself is to love living within polarity.
- To love polarity is to love experiencing not only what you are but also the opposite of what you are.
- To love yourself is to love other because self is other / other is self / self and other are one.
- This is the human experience — the journey we have created for ourselves to experience over linear-time.
5) The Futility Of Being Angry At Ignorance.
Over the next two articles (which will close the seeing others clearly series), I want to share the stage I went through on my journey of dealing with my own negative feelings, instead of projecting them onto others in the form of prejudice. As the title suggests, this goes beyond prejudice towards minorities and looks at no longer feeling prejudice towards those who—at the extreme end — are proud of their bigotry. This is something I have sought to do without falling back on the religious dagger in the back of “love the sinner hate the sin” (which is delusional in its belief it is a loving — rather than bigoted — standpoint because of how it seeks to divide a person from their own nature).
It is important to convey that this article — like the vast majority of my writing — seeks to convey the “view from spirit” as I have come to understand it through the Gnostic process. To those who do not understand my process and the vantage point I write from, my articles can be read as “sanctimonious” or “holier than thou”. It is therefore important to stress that what I convey in this series of articles is not a description of “how I solved it” — because I haven’t. Instead, it is my attempt to clearly explain the spiritual understandings behind how I approach my own reaction to bigotry in others (as opposed to taking you through my many and varied struggles in applying it). To this day I am still learning how to process my negative emotions in a way that does not harm me or others.
The reason I present my arguments in such a matter-of-fact way is because of the clarity I experience when writing about them (due to how I have evolved my connection with spirit). Therefore, what I write about isn’t a list of everything I have figured out and what I would like the world to catch up with me on — it is what I am learning to integrate along with you. And, like you, I have my own journey which involves both resisting and integrating it.
Like all teachers — no exceptions — I came here to learn what I am teaching, as any person best teaches what they are learning (as opposed to what they have already learnt). This literally means that teachers are BETTER at teaching what they are learning than in teaching what they already know (which is to do with sharing the moment of realization in the present as opposed to “packaging” it at a later date). Okay, on with the article!
The understanding that reality is the greatest teacher lies in recognizing how it is a mirror. The greatest challenge within this is navigating the realization that the qualities you feel the most resistance to — usually in the form of repulsion or disgust — reflect how you feel about an aspect of yourself. By the time someone is even willing to entertain the idea of reality being a reflection, they have usually begun to let go of such obvious prejudices as sexism, racism, transphobia, ableism, and homophobia. This is the process where you recognize that your negative feeling toward a particular group is based upon you projecting your own discomfort with certain personal qualities — such as being sexually free — onto the group you are feeling prejudice towards.
This approach of recognizing negative feelings toward a group of people as a projection of your own pain allows us to process the most common forms of prejudice that we no longer see as acceptable on a collective level. However, it does not provide an easy answer for how to respond to ignorance arising from unconsciousness. The base levels of prejudice we are currently addressing in this world are all to do with the ways in which we are outwardly different as people — meaning, we no longer find it acceptable to be prejudiced towards someone because of the group they were genetically born into.
SIDE-NOTE: The acceptance of the LGBTQ community only really gained traction when people began to accept the idea that being gay “wasn’t a choice” but was instead genetic. While the genetic factor is true, it should be noted that the acceptance of this community has not come through the acceptance of people wanting to live as they choose, but through the acceptance of people being genetically different. The push for equality in the world at this time — which is to be celebrated — is not therefore based on the acceptance of consciousness to be as it chooses , but is predominantly based on the acceptance of our physical diversity.
This has resulted in an increasing number of people who identify as liberal (which is counter-balanced by an increasing number of people who identify as conservative — due to the effects of the polarization we live within) who no longer allow themselves to feel prejudice towards any group based upon genetic differences. This is a wonderful beginning, but what is commonly seen in the progression of prejudice is that if you do not fully deal with the cause of it — expressed as projection — then your pain will simply be projected onto another group instead.
So, it is wonderful that more and more people are no longer taking out their pain on the minorities within society, but the deeper problem of human hatred for “other” is not being addressed in the way that we — who identify as liberal or spiritual — may like to think. With the absence of the usual scapegoats, our feelings of self-repulsion are not truly being addressed. Instead, they are merely denied their usual kicking bag.
With no clear genetic group to blame, this only leaves groups of consciousness who are perceived to be “what they are” because of their personal free choices (rather than their genetics). Put simply, without any minorities to project our pain onto — and it doesn’t matter if you are liberal or conservative, we all have pain to be processed — this only leaves the people who display the opposite of our liberal views. This feeling of repulsion is then mentally deemed to be “acceptable negativity” because “those bigoted people” are “choosing to act that way”. What is seen here is that we haven’t really solved our prejudices, instead we have just moved where we are projecting them to a target that our mind has deemed to be an acceptable punching bag (e.g. people fighting to maintain their right to own a gun).
Although I much prefer the modern liberal approach to the diversity in our society compared to how it was a few decades ago, liberalism — which is often seen to be in alignment with spiritual awakening — is not the clear path out of polarization that we like to think it is. While “being liberal” is an evolution in terms of recognizing our common heritage and future, it is not a complete solution. This is because of how it still embraces righteous anger and condemnation of those who identify as different (in this case as conservative or republican). Therefore, in this respect, it is not a solution to prejudice, but more of a refinement of it. In this I am not suggesting it is a misstep — as I believe liberalism is the beginning of a path out of prejudice — but I am pointing out that being liberal is only a stepping stone and not a solution as long as ANY group is still identified as being “repugnant” or “less than”.
My intention in these final two articles of this series is to point to the next step that I found to lie beyond the current state of liberalism. But first I want to invite you to contemplate your own negative feelings towards those who you identify as being the most intolerant and recognize that your negativity toward them is not significantly different from their intolerance of you. Only by recognizing this can we make the choice to look deeper for alternate paths to deal with our rage at the world, which is the expression of the pain within our past we have yet to integrate.
So how do you integrate the realization that prejudice is projection? Because, what we have already learnt is that if we just apply this as a mental argument and tell our minds that it is unacceptable to project our pain at bigoted people then we still haven’t dealt with the wounding within us that is causing our repulsion (which is always found to be redirected fear). How do we assimilate this in a way that doesn’t just end up redirecting it into a more cleverly disguised version of other?
For myself, when I distilled down all the “types of people” that I felt some level of repulsion for, the common denominator was always that I perceived them to be acting from a level of unconsciousness (which was most typically expressed as a disregard for others). In this I recognized that my prejudice against those bigoted people was not based upon the idea of prejudice as a choice, but was based on their ignorance around the reality of the people they were being bigoted towards.
This was my first step in seeing through the hypocrisy of hating hateful people because it is to understand the futility of being angry at ignorance. I saw that ignorance can be seen a bit like genetics in overcoming homophobia in how it suggests you should not be prejudiced towards bigoted people because “it is not their fault”. With the argument being, you can’t blame gay people for who they are because they are born that way, and you can’t blame ignorant people for being hateful as what we see is people’s ignorance comes from a combination of their upbringing and education (both of which they are born into).
SIDE-NOTE: I personally don’t agree with the argument that people have a duty to educate themselves and should face the consequences if they don’t. This is an argument made from a state of judgment (and usually privilege). For myself, what this argument points toward is how our education system is not teaching people the most important lessons such as love, respect, and tolerance alongside such lessons as the power of co-operation across diversity. Instead our education system is designed to prepare to compete in “the money game” that polarizes us into winners and losers.
This is the understanding that, as Oprah likes to say, “when people know better, they do better”. This viewpoint is extremely powerful at cutting through our prejudices because of how it stops you feeling angry at people for what they do not know (which can also be expressed as their personal unconsciousness). What I particularly like about this statement is how it places the responsibility for our education system on all of us to help people know the things that best lead toward a cooperative and effective society.
SIDE-NOTE: The idea that people will instantly do better if they know better demonstrates how most prejudice is maintained by a complete blindness to the reality of those we feel prejudiced against. There are few people, when submerged in the life of those they have been prejudiced toward, who do not quickly see through the ignorance their prejudice was based on. It is my strong belief that as human beings what we are prone to is not the desire to hate, but our tendency to not recognize our own ignorance until we are forced into a situation that directly confronts it.
The realization that there is no point being angry at someone for what they don’t know and that “when people know better they do better” is certainly a step forward. It opens the doorway to the deeper understanding that if you were stood in any other person’s shoes, then you would do exactly as they do. This statement reflects spiritual awakening as it recognizes that we are each expressions of a unified and eternal state of consciousness inhabiting a vast diversity of physical forms. And, as such, there is only one consciousness driving every human vehicle. This means that the outward differences in the choices that we make come from our physical form rather than our spirit — hence if you were in their shoes you would do as they do.
No matter what it is that a person does in this world — no matter how much it appalls and repulses you — the realization of oneness tells you that there is nothing different about that person except their physical body and the life they have lived. Yes, their consciousness may be in a completely different pattern than yours, but that is only due to their life and genetics. At the deepest level, the same consciousness births into all physical vehicles (as there is no other consciousness in existence).
This realization of our unity undermines your ability to see the person you are feeling revulsion towards as other. See how in this it does not then give you any outlet — other than yourself — in order to then process that feeling of revulsion. Also, even though it is based on a wider understanding of consciousness, it does not tell you what it is within that person’s upbringing and genetics that is causing them to make the choices you find so repulsive.
What I am pointing at here is that although the realization you would do as every other person if you were stood in their shoes is one of the deepest realizations someone within the human experience can have, it only opens a doorway to understand the person through. It does not, in itself, give you the understanding of why they do the things they do. This realization is therefore only a gateway and not an end solution.
This was one of the most difficult stages of my journey of dealing with my own pain and the natural human tendency to project that pain outward. This was because I had effectively told my mind it had no right to be angry at anyone else because I would do as they did in their shoes. And, while this is to take the important step of recognizing your pain as your own, you still then have to process that pain.
Another part of my discomfort at this stage in evolving the ideological standpoint from which I processed my feelings toward bigotry, was that I sensed within this idea of “when people know better they do better” was an edge of “love the sinner, hate the sin” in the form of “love the person, hate their ignorance”. This element of this teaching has always rubbed me as it still feels to be looking down on the person — almost patting them on the head in a patronizing way. I knew in my heart that despite the truth I still feel in the statement, I wanted to find a vantage point that didn’t feel like it was looking down on people that I identify as being narrow-minded.
So, while still recognizing that I would do the same in their shoes, how could I find a better way to view bigoted people as equal states of consciousness as opposed to undesirable — but not their fault — states of consciousness (similar to how many traditional people who accept being gay as genetic have come to see homosexuality)? how can I look at a bigot and not only not feel angry, but not see their viewpoint as being less valuable than mine? This is to ask…
In the next and final article of this seeing others clearly series I look forward to sharing with you the current state of the new answer I have found that has truly allowed me to look at bigots as equal states of consciousness.
6) For the Open-Minded to Hate the Narrow-Minded is for Butterflies to Hate Caterpillars.
In the last article we discussed how much of the modern, liberal viewpoint is not actually as open minded as we may think because it is not based on accepting people for their choices, but only for factors that are seen to be beyond their control — such as genetics and birth circumstances. This was highlighted through the realization that gay people were only widely accepted when being gay came to be seen as the result of genetics rather than a lifestyle choice.
The invitation of this realization was to become aware of your own propensity to be accepting of uncontrollable — and therefore seemingly unchosen — differences, while being less open to differences that you see as being the result of a mental choice (such as being a gun lover or believing in the bible as the literal word of God). The deeper realization is then to recognize that the genetic factors and birth circumstances that we typically perceive as being unchosen are in fact all choices made from the level of spirit (our eternal state of consciousness).
When seen from the level of spirit, everything is a choice — even your eye color — so the idea of being accepting of genetic factors but not personal choices is an uneasy distinction.
Next we broke down the rationalization of “I would make a better choice” through the recognition that whatever it is you may feel judgmental of in another person is something we would all do if we were stood in their shoes (because there is only one consciousness that operates across all physical diversity).
I also highlighted that while “I would do as they do if stood in their shoes” is the basis of my belief, it does not specify which genetic factors or life events cause the differences in our behavior. This life-changing realization of how deeply we are connected therefore offers little comfort in terms of understanding the behaviors and qualities that we may find personally repellent, but it does at least open us to seek that understanding (as opposed to writing off the person as “evil”, “wrong”, or “not deserving of respect”).
For myself, through applying the “I would do as they do” perspective many times while trying to process challenging behaviors, I have become a far more open minded and compassionate person. I love how this principle easily allows me to perceive reality from a basis of equality (that may even seem extreme to some). That said, although it has made me less judgmental about some of the harsher human behaviors and attitudes, I cannot say that applying the principle has made me feel more connected to humanity (and by extension my own human form).
Put simply, the realization of “I would do as they do” may have made me less hateful (which often looks like more loving and more compassionate) but it has not led me to feel any less alienated. Knowing how little separates each of us from murderers, pedophiles, or torturers has not made me feel more connected to this world. Understanding how reality works doesn’t make the human experience any less challenging.
understanding a mechanism does not resolve your feelings towards the effects of that mechanism — it just gives them a clearer context.
becoming conscious of what we are (eternal-consciousness) and what being human is (a state of partial-consciousness that gives rise to the illusion of individuality) is not the answer to happiness. This is the realization that knowing “the big picture” of how a game works is not the same thing as being effective at playing that game. For example, knowing how every muscle in the body works, the intricacies of anatomy, and all the ways you can injure yourself are likely to make an athlete slower, not faster. Being a medical doctor and being an effective athlete are not the same path even though both are focused on the functioning of the human body.
being focused on how reality works as a whole is very different from trying to master a particular skill. Wider understanding and effectiveness do not always go hand-in-hand.
knowing that you would do the same as someone else if you were stood in their shoes may help you to mentally diffuse your negative feelings (and prevent them from being targeted through righteous judgment), but it does not resolve those negative feelings or tell you how to process them. When seen in this light, it could be said that the understanding of our shared level of consciousness makes it more difficult to be human — not easier. This leads to the uncomfortable realization that…
When it comes to being human, the most consistently joyful people are those who view the world with tunnel vision. Ignorance is not necessarily bliss, but having tunnel vision can help you be in the present, connected moment of your passion.
Should we therefore even been trying to awaken to our wider nature? What if it makes us less happy due to how it cuts us off from powerful aspects of individuality such as righteous anger, blaming others, and feeling superior? Your mind may say it is a “good” thing for people to not walk around feeling superior because of how it may negatively affect others, but this misses the point that in an unconscious world there is a way in which everyone feels superior. A minority may be oppressed, but that does not necessarily make them feel inferior (it only makes them feel as if they are treated and regarded as inferior). To be in an oppressed minority is to generally feel superior to the small-minded, hollowness, and ignorance of those seeking to oppress you.
being bullied made me feel more special, not inferior. I saw my bullies as knuckle-dragging morons — not superior beings. They — similarly — felt superior to me.
Although I believe the clearest path in life is to seek your personal feeling of joy, it is also my belief that those of you who resonate with the ideas I write have lived so many lives — mostly in the typical state of deep unconsciousness — that for us to keep the human experience engaging, we have chosen to explore new potentials by becoming aware of our wider nature while still in human form. You may have thought you were engaging with my work so that you can live a happier life, but I think it is just as true to say that you are engaging with these words because…
You want the challenge of integrating these ideas because to do so is to house the infinite within the finite.
If ever I were to write a book about how to be happy it would not have any of the “wider reality” spiritual ideas that I usually write about. It would be all about living in the present, focusing your mind on what brings you joy, and how to approach challenges from a positive perspective (and maybe stepping back to see the circularity of life). I imagine it would come across as somewhere between the teachings of Abraham (as channeled by Esther Hicks) and Gangaji — two spiritual teachers with beautiful messages that I highly recommend.
What this all points towards is the realization that we did not design humanity to be an experience that we wake up from by remembering we are eternal-consciousness in human form. We designed the human experience to be a focus on — and thereby an exploration of — individuality / mortality.
This experience of awakening to our spirit — that we are exploring — is not some planned culmination of everything that humanity has been. It is not a prize or an ideal. It is squeezing the last drops of experience out of being human. Certainly this is a path that is profoundly meaningful to us, but it is neither a superior path nor the path that everyone eventually comes to. We are but one branch in the evolution of consciousness through the human experience. We are not what humanity set out to be. What we are discovering is to be celebrated, but so too is what everyone else is discovering through their own branches in our collective exploration of being.
Put another way, in consciously awakening to the reality of your spirit you are not at some finish line that makes you superior. In fact, if you wish to talk in terms of a finish line, then you would say we crossed “the human finish line” eons ago, but we were so fascinated by the human experience that we kept coming up with new ways to play the game by inventing new ways of finishing (akin to modifying the rules of a board game to get another experience out of it — such as allowing more than one hotel on a property in Monopoly).
When humanity was first created we never imagined “waking up” from within human-form because we didn’t yet know what this depth of individuality would feel like. Our physical death was always meant to be “the big awakening experience” where we returned to spirit. What we are each doing as spiritual explorers is effectively a choice to experience the death process while alive. This isn’t to conquer the game or be the best at playing it — it is to be playing the game with a radically different intention.
The level of spiritual awakening that you and I seek — while not being inappropriate — was not intended. Because awakening to our spirit was not what this experience was designed for, there are certain challenges associated with it. In short, the experience was already designed to be a challenge, and then we found an even bigger challenge within that challenge.
SIDE-NOTE: Writing that last sentence made me remember how I was once asked in an interview — while still speaking from the level of my spirit — what message I would give to people, and the answer that shot back was “stop whining” . This wasn’t a dig and was said with great love and humor as it was pointing to the fact that we are in a challenge that we designed for ourselves. “Stop whining” therefore was simply saying, “You will be happier if you learn to take responsibility for your own creation instead of seeing yourself as a victim of it”.
To see how this all connects to seeing others clearly, you must understand that what we think of as spiritual evolution is very different from human physical evolution. While we may have physically evolved as a species, our planet still houses the complete range of mental states that humanity has evolved through. This means that although our physical form continues to evolve with the passing of time, all the states of consciousness that we have traveled through continue to exist within our modern human form (which also means that future states are present now). This is because only our physicality — and not our consciousness which is not physical and therefore not contained by time and space — can be spread across the perceptual illusion of time.
All that humanity has been physically is spread across linear-time.
All that humanity has been as states of consciousness is present now and always.
Our individuality is not just created by the illusion of physicality, it is also created by the illusion of linear-time (because time and space are a single mechanism through which the illusion of perceptual division can be experienced). Your past and future states of consciousness are present within you now, it is just that your individuality is focusing on the “now” of your present state of consciousness (just as it is focused on the particular bit of physicality that you have identified as being your body).
The vision I was shown that evolved my understanding of “I would do as they do in their shoes” birthed through the realization that humanity was designed to explore individuality. To do this, we created the human form to only see things from its own perspective. So, with purpose and intention, we specifically created our vessel of self to cause us to see “other” people as separate and different from what we are. We designed the human form to feel independent and isolated rather than connected, but only temporarily with our blink-of-the-eye lifespan (when compared to our spirit).
What we — who may identify as open minded — decry as selfish, small-minded, and individualistic is in fact railing against the state of consciousness that we not only expressly designed to be exactly as it is, but is the mindset through which we all started exploring the human experience (and often return to).
The open minded mindset (which is often called “being liberal”) is a particular evolution of the narrow-minded, more conservative perspective — not a separate alternative to it. No open minded mindset exists that did not originate as a closed-minded individualistic one. This means that to judge a narrow-minded perspective is to not only judge the eternal-consciousness that you are within another human form, it is to judge your own past self even though it was an integral and necessary step on the path to being what you are today. This is the realization that for me personally stopped the idea of “I would do as they do in their shoes” feeling so abstract and instead brought it home with a powerful sense of immediacy of how all states of consciousness are related.
To see what I am saying, you must recognize that the individualistic, narrow-minded, mindset (as most powerfully expressed by the far-right and religious fundamentalists) is not significantly different from those mindsets hundreds or thousands of years ago. This is the understanding that the mindsets from across human history are all present / represented on the Earth today. Though this idea may initially seem somewhat fantastical, it is the logical conclusion of realizing that space-time is a perceptual illusion and consciousness is eternal.
The path to every human state of consciousness exists in the Eternal-Now. None of us can exist without the presence of the path that led us to exist.
So, to put it bluntly, loving the unconsciousness that narrow-minded people present isn’t just about loving the eternal-consciousness that you are in another form, it is about loving your own past self without whom none of the compassionate human qualities you celebrate would exist. To spurn narrow-minded people is to spurn our own past selves. It is to attack that which created (and that means is creating when you take the illusion of time out of it) you.
All that I celebrate birthed from all that I demonize.
What is key to understand in this is that this viewpoint does not rest on the idea of evolution. You have not fully heard what I am saying if you take this to mean, “we who are evolved must be kind to those who are less evolved because we were once like they are”. If you feel the energy of that statement, it still smacks of superiority in how it reflects “love the sinner, hate the sin” or patting someone on the head in a patronizing way.
The understanding of how you cannot be said to be superior to your own past self is truly life-changing as it is to take a significant step in seeing through the illusion of your own individuality.
This world is infinitely filled with qualities that are expressed dualistically. As you start to see through the most personally significant of these polarities, you eventually see through the illusion of duality as a whole (which is when you realize that everything is circular). What is then discovered at the heart of the separation that creates duality is that our primary mechanism of division is space-time.
I used to say that the final judgment was judgment of judgment. And while there is certainly truth to this, I now see that the judgment that most persists through the spiritual path is judgment of others as being less evolved (which is typically disguised as judgment of their judgment / ignorance). This is therefore judgment of the core polarity of space-time itself as it is to say that those who are behind you on a particular timeline are less than you.
The final realization that collapses this — and puts the final nail in the coffin of seeing yourself as an individual — is to see through the separation of time itself. This is best understood through our example of a butterfly judging a caterpillar. What allows this hypothetical judgment is that their different looking physical-forms allow the butterfly to look at the caterpillar as if it is a separate creature (when we all know one turns into the other, just like a baby turns into an adult).
This is the same as us looking at our last incarnation and our current incarnation as being two separate beings, when in fact they are one continuous experience. What we see as the finality of death is really just a caterpillar entering into a chrysalis to trigger the beginning of the next phase of its journey.
Your past lives are as connected to you as the butterfly is connected to the caterpillar. Death is a doorway — not an ending.
To wider consciousness (our spirit), we are each a branching tree — not a linear line — of lives. We are each entirely free to feel separate from and judgmental of narrow-minded people but, when seen clearly, this is just a choice to blind ourselves to the trail of lives that connect us. What I am saying here is that…
As human beings we are not only all connected, we are a single tree of consciousness with many branches — a single organism.
Open-minded and narrow-minded people are not two different types of people; they are different branches on a single tree.
You will know you have understood what I am saying when you understand that there is a point where you will get so old in this process that you will choose to birth again as new. Why? Because that which is new will no longer look like some narrow-minded, individualistic mistake, but the path to a whole new experience of freedom (just like when we first created the human experience). And that is to understand that just as that which is narrow-minded in this world has given birth to that which is open minded, so too that which is open minded will eventually evolve to once again birth that which is narrow-minded. But that is a story for another day.