Tag Archives: religion

Intellectual Spirituality

All kinds of books discuss the science- spirituality connection

All kinds of books discuss the science- spirituality connection

Three Schools of Thought

In my experience there are three schools of thought around the spiritual path. There are those that embrace it, those that disregard it and those that are undecided.  The people who embrace it feel comfortable communicating with electromagnetic energy and the spirit world.  Often they are people who have been able to do it all their lives.  Perhaps they embraced it at an early age.  There are many who try to ignore the communication when they are young and come back to it later in life.  There are others who make it a life- long denial.  Whichever camp they fall in, these people are very intuitive and sensitive to the energy of people and places around them.  Somehow their minds are wired to be sensitive to the electromagnetic energy of the world around them and they sense things that other people do not feel.  They are more tuned into their subconscious, left brain, the part that is sensitive to electromagnetic energy and the messages it conveys.  The more they use this innate skill, the more powerful these skills become.  At the opposite end of the spectrum are those that disregard it.  Often they are not sensitive to the electromagnetic energy of the world around them.  They are very right- brained, logic driven people who look for reason in all that they do.  Because they are not consciously sensitive to electromagnetic energy, to them the world of insights, intuition and spirit does not exist and so they dismiss it when people talk about it.  Then there is the range of people who are open- minded enough to consider the evidence available that points to the fact that electromagnetic energy communicates with us in the physical world all the time in the form of insights, intuition, signs and spirit interactions.  It is to these undecided people who are open to the idea of spirit, yet may be sceptical of it, that this blog is addressed.

A healthy scepticism

I fall into this latter category. I have been drawn to spirituality all my life.  Ever since my elder brother spoke to me when I was a young child of philosophy, spirituality and psychology, I have been fascinated by the power of the human mind and how we interact with the world around us.  I have been drawn to study many global religions, traditions and cultures as well as native traditions from America, Australia and Africa and found that they have a huge amount in common with the Islam, Judaism, Christianity (the Abrahamic religions), Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism with regard to the structure of the universe and the nature of spirituality.  To me they say the same things in different ways and I fail to understand why they argue over what is fundamentally the same truth.  Religion is not the sole custodian of spiritual teaching.  In fact much of religion has no spiritual relevance at all.  Spirituality cannot be limited to any particular religion or teaching.  Even my beloved science, which I had carved a career in at Cambridge in Biochemistry and Neuroscience, talked about Quantum Physics and the parallels with spiritual teachings throughout the world.  All kinds of books such as The Tao of Physics, The Field, The Holographic Universe, Blackfoot Physics, The Dancing Wu Li Masters and our own Nourish the Flame Within discuss this science- spirituality connection.

Intellectual Spirituality

I have been exposed to an intellectual spirituality, as many people have in our modern world, with dashings of experience that tell me my intellect is pointing in the right direction. There is simply too much evidence as far as I am concerned for there not to be an electromagnetic and spirit world with which we interact and communicate.

Yet how can it be proved? This is where the intellect must take a leap of faith and build some trust.  It is precisely this fact that makes the open- minded person sceptical, suspicious that they will be taken for a ride, duped, have the wool pulled over their eyes and taken advantage of.  Indeed, the profession of spirituality is full of charlatans that prey on the needy and the hopeful.  This is not Spirituality.  Every profession is full of those with integrity and those that want to make a quick fortune at any cost.  Choose carefully.  Making a poor choice does not negate the electromagnetic, spirit world and the power and validity of intuition and insight.  It simply undermines your trust.  Finding good teachers will deepen your trust in something that you intuitively know to be true.  At least, this is the experience I have had.  We also have the throw- back to witch hunts and the fear Religion has instilled in its congregations that plague our consciousness as a society and inform our prejudice and scepticism.  All of these historic episodes influence our conscious acceptance of a spirit world.  There is mounting scientific evidence to support these notions that people throughout time have experienced.

The Limitations of a Conscious Mind

The conscious mind is a powerful tool, trained to think, analyse, consider and ponder endlessly, from the moment it wakes up to the second it falls asleep. No matter how hard you try to use it to connect to the higher vibrations of electromagnetic energy, it will not happen.  The subconscious mind holds the tools to connecting to these higher vibrations of electromagnetic energy.  It is your ability to consciously listen to the subconscious that requires cultivation.  To experience spirituality, you have to place the conscious mind aside and feel it through your subconscious senses.  Meditation, contemplation and prayer are three ways in which you can calm the conscious mind and develop the skill of listening to whatever the subconscious is picking up from the electromagnetic information all around you.  There are many other ways as well, including drumming, Reiki, dancing and movement, chanting and singing, sound and silence to name a few.

Which path should you take?

The path you are drawn to take- the kind of answer the conscious mind hates because it is too vague.  You can only truly answer it with your subconscious mind, through hunches, insights and intuitions that guide you through your life.  There are as many paths as there are people in the world, as each person takes an individual journey that brings them closer to the truth.  My journey is unlike any other person’s path.  We may walk with people for a while (teachers, mentors and guides).  Ultimately, it is each person’s responsibility to discover their journey, using the full power of the brain, both conscious and subconscious, as well as the intellect, intuition, intention and choice to find the way.

Transportation

There is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence

There is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence

One of the privileges of living in Cambridge, England, is King’s College and its chapel. You may have heard about the choir that performs there throughout the academic year, particularly at Christmas and Even Song service on Sundays?

Recently we went to this Even Song service and enjoyed the power this opportunity for contemplation offered. I went along without the expectation of following the service, but rather to experience the sound of the choir. My experience with energy has shown me that part of the reason hymns, psalms and services are sung in the manner that they are, is because the energy of the sound takes you beyond the surface level thinking of the conscious mind and deeper into the calm pool of the subconscious, towards a meditative state. You have to let the sounds wash over you and you feel the calmness take over as the service progresses. This service did not disappoint. The voices and the acoustics worked their magic beautifully. I had to stop myself listening to the words so that I could be affected by the primal power of vibration and rhythm.

For me it was a struggle as my conscious mind latched on to words it recognised. I had to remind my self to let go of the meaning and feel the experience of the sound on my soul. It was beautiful. Towards the end of the service I did listen to the words and they were so much more beautiful when heard from this place of calm and serenity. Couple this feeling with the visual experience of the vaulted ceilings and stained- glass windows and the ethereal became real.

The combined affect was to calm the anxious soul and to remind me that there is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence, if only I’d give myself the chance. This Sunday service was my chance. I believe all services, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan or whatever are a chance to reconnect to the Source of our Being. Call that Source God, Spirit, energy or whatever, the reconnection boosts your strength and resolve to do good, be good and have trust and faith. I believe yoga, martial arts, meditation, fasting, dancing, chanting or drumming for spiritual rituals strive for the same reconnection to the Source which is the essence of spiritual practice.

At last, I felt the connection between religion and spirituality. Religion I saw in the service, the vestments, the buildings and the prayers. Spirituality I experienced in the words, cadences, rhythms and sounds of all that religious metaphor. It was transporting. And where did it take me? To myself and to the Source. Perhaps that is the point of religion? Perhaps I should have learned that at Sunday school?

___________________________________________________________________________

If you would like to attend choral evensong, here is an article by Rupert Sheldrake who was involved in the creation of a website called Choral Evensong allowing you to find church services with free choral music across the British Isles.

Beyond Religion

Compassion is beyond religion- it goes to the root of our humanity & nature.

Compassion is beyond religion- it goes to the root of our humanity & nature.

Gandhi said that he was a Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew and Buddhist.  It implies a devout connection to principles that encompass all world religions, without a commitment to any particular religion.  No one can say that Gandhi did not embrace principles of respect, love and compassion in the actions in his life.  He believed in these principles.  He used them as the guiding principles in all his actions, not least during his non- violent protest of British presence in India and its subsequent independence.  He inspired Martin Luther King in his quest for equality for all peoples across the world in a non- violent form.

These men lived for their causes.  Their respect, love and compassion can never be destroyed.  That lives on for respect, love and compassion are founding principles of the universe.

Karen Armstrong, a former nun and founder of the Charter of Compassion, has researched the world’s religions extensively and she has distilled the common thread that links them all: compassion (see her TED talk: My Wish: The Charter for Compassion).  She uses this principle as the founding concept of her charter that encourages individuals, communities and nations to use compassion in their daily lives to improve the world (www.charterforcompassion.org).

Compassion comes from connection- to the universe, to the planet, to the animals and to our fellow human beings and humanity at large.  With that connection we understand that we are all one, from the same source.  If we respect other people we respect our self and if we hurt another we hurt our self.  That has been the message of great leaders such as Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Gandhi and Martin Luther King throughout human history.

Humanity separates one from the other on many issues and factors. Humanity will separate on the grounds of colour of skin, race, religion, politics and location to name a few. These things are not important, but humanity makes them so. We are all bound through a golden thread, and that thread is our humanity itself. We are all one family of human existence.

Living one’s life with compassion is a choice and each individual has free will to do so. Intellectually understanding the concept of compassion is good but truly making compassion part of our own living experience on every level is even better.

I do not subscribe to any religion in particular. I do not feel I need to do so. I know that I am a product of the universe in which I live and which created me. I know that through that I have a connection to the universe and that it is possible to consciously strengthen my connection to it.  I can do it through prayer, meditation and attunement. These all enhance spiritual connection.  All of these methods will strengthen my connection to the universe and deepen my feeling of connection to and compassion for all that exists. A Charter of Compassion maybe a good step forward.

There is nothing wrong with subscribing to a set of principles dictated by a particular religion; however we can live our lives as a good a decent person even if we do not. That is what I try to do. I try to be a good person rather than subscribing to principles laid down by any religion.  There is an argument that religion is the basis of our moral behaviour, but I believe there is a moral code built into us by nature itself.  This can be seen in animals’ behaviour and many instances of compassion that they too have been seen to display.

We can respect everyone as that is a choice and decision we make. Love and compassion grow out of respect. Respect first, love and compassion follow. No one needs to love anyone. We all need to behave with respect and kindness. That is what makes the world safe. Love is a very personal emotion. Love for another person will grow out of their actions to us. Love cannot be conjured up out of thin air. We earn love by our own kind and respectful actions to others. We can respect each other as fellow human beings. We can show compassion and kindness by choice.

We cannot love all human beings all of the time. However we can respect them and behave with compassion regardless of how we feel about them. We can offer them water when they are thirsty and food when they are hungry, and clean clothes or some finance if they need that.  There merely needs to be respect for their humanity to do that.

We all have a place in life and have to live together and find peace and harmony amongst ourselves for this existence to work for the whole. How best can we do that? To respect my fellow man means that I do not harm him. I allow him the freedom to live his life in peace and hope that he has the grace to do the same for me.

In recent weeks we have witnessed the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris, France.  We have to learn that we cannot kill each other just because we do not agree with each other.  If we do not agree with each other we can at least respect the other person’s right to life and their point of view, even when we think they are very wrong.

A person must have a desire to respect others.  Without that there can be no love and compassion. Respect comes from understanding the necessity and validity of behaving and living in harmony with those principles. There must be a benefit for them. The benefit is harmony and personal safety.

Compassion, respect and a deeper understanding of our place in the universe as well as our role in the universe are the foundation of these actions.

The message of love and compassion is preached by religion, but religion is not its source.  Compassion can be seen in nature.  There is no religion in nature, save the religion of living in harmony with the natural forces of the natural world.  I subscribe to that principle, to live in harmony with the natural forces of the earth and the universe.

God is the natural forces of the earth and the universe.  World religions are divided on God’s true nature and it is not my purpose to enter into a debate about that here.  My idea of God embraces all the world’s religions’ visions of God.  I may not agree with the details, but I respect the views each religion has on God.

There is a natural order to life of which we are a part. All religions have a purpose and that purpose is to light the way to God, higher spiritual connection and those higher forces of the universe. Their purpose is also to give us an understanding of what life is and our purpose within this life. This can be achieved without the aid of religion just as easily, if a person has the mind to do so.

Understanding ones place in the order of life and your personal spiritual path helps to kindle respect and compassion for everyone regardless of religion and other people’s beliefs. It is important for us all to live in tranquillity both with our self and fellow man.

We have a connection to God and the universal forces. God is the universe. Our connection to each other stems from that source of power. The universe created us and we are part of it. We are always part of that source however we can become emotionally disconnected from it. We can also be unaware of its true power and influence on us. We can draw on this great power of the universe for strength, guidance, spiritual and emotional sustenance. We can use it to show us the true nature of respect, love and compassion.

Through desire anyone can consciously enhance their connection to all of the universal forces which will in turn show the way to a life of respect, love and compassion.

Actions are Energy

523260231Thoughts are energy

This week has been a shocking and difficult one. It left me shaken and shocked. The recent events in Paris have left a lot of people both disturbed and upset. I have spoken to a few people this week that have expressed to me sentiments that I am feeling myself. I feel that these events have touched people in a way that the occurrences in the past maybe have not. Perhaps it is because it seems so unreasonable that so many people died for what seems to the western free mind as a simple innocent little thing. The cover of a magazine should never provoke such rage and hatred in anyone. I cannot see that anything can justify the depraved slaughter of people.   The Charlie Hebdo magazine had a legal right to publish the cover and so as far as I can see they legally did nothing wrong. Did they do anything morally wrong? That is the question now I feel?

Beliefs are strongly held ideas that are thought to have weight and truth.  At the end of the day they are still only ideas. They have fluidity. Even a fixed idea that is a firmly held belief can be changed in an instant. It merely requires the desire to change that idea. Ideas are thoughts. Thoughts are energy.

Brutal actions however cannot be changed so easily. Once we commit a brutal act it unleashes something negative into the world and it will then have a life of its own. We let a Genie out of a bottle and once out it will not go back until it has reached its own allotted time. We never know what that time is as the Genie will keep going as long as people give it the energy and power to do so. With every malicious or murderous act that follows, the genie is given more power, until people have run out of energy and the pain of so much death takes its toll on the hearts, minds, souls and lives of those who are witnessing or experiencing the negative forces that are at play.

I had to spend some time thinking about the events that have led up to this disturbing time. We had 9/11, Iraq, Al Quieda and now ISIS.  I tell you straight as a person of peace I really try not to allow all of this turmoil into my life on any level.  The human race is a warring race. They kill each other at any opportunity. They separate on the grounds of any old rubbish.  Ideas are fluid and not fixed. We move on emotionally and we change and develop daily. What we do is experiment with life trying to find perfection. There is no perfection.

Human beings will kill each other on the grounds of the most inconsequential things as well as deeply held beliefs. The trouble with beliefs is they are personal and subjective. It does not matter how deeply we feel that our beliefs are correct- there is always the possibility that they may not be correct. So if we kill a person over beliefs no matter how deeply we feel we are correct and in the right, what if we are not? What we are left with is a pile of dead people that we cannot resurrect. This is a futile and dangerous path.

We are one and we are free

All human beings are one. The binding force in humanity is its humanity. Religion will never bind us. It cannot. We will never all agree on religion, politics or any idea or ideology. I believe that in humanity’s current state and way of thinking it will not happen. It cannot be brought about by force either. As I said force will only allow something to be for a time. People have a natural need to be free in mind, body and soul. It is a natural condition to the human state.

Religious beliefs

Religious beliefs have a place, but not a murderous one. To be religious or walk any spiritual path it is one of peace. I just cannot reconcile blood on the hands of a person who has words of love and peace on his lips. The image and actions do not work. We are human and as such are capable of many things. We are capable of great things and have had many great moments in our history. Killing and fighting are never the moments that we have held or can hold up as our greatest achievements. They are always the lowest of what we can do to and for each other.

Freedom of speech is important as it allows all sides and all people to have a voice. However, we do not need to have religious, political or racial hate. Hate is hate no matter what umbrella it comes to us under. Each human being in my view should be allowed to worship or not and in the way they choose. It is good to have variety and possibilities.  They help one grow and keeps life engaging and unpredictable.  Options are a good thing. Everyone has a point of view on religion and all are equally valid. We must live together with the other person’s point of view and respect them and their right to have it. We must not silence their voice on the grounds that it does not fit in with our own.  Obviously if a person is being directly provocative and wanting to incite human hatred for the purpose of bringing harm to the person on any grounds of religion, race, or politics it must be stopped.

Keeping ourselves in check

Don’t get me wrong.  Beliefs have their place but we all need to keep them in check and if they are sacred, keep them so. If we sully our own sacred beliefs with the blood of another human being, how sacred are they now?

When is the human race going to learn from its past mistakes? There is no perfection of people.  Perhaps there is no perfection in God.  If perfection is an endlessly moving goal post, how can we say that anything is right or wrong?  Things are as they are in this moment, a chance for perfection and then the universe moves on. There is only the wish for perfection and the road to perfection. Perfection itself does not exist. In pushing forward on the road for perfection we change and develop. Hopefully we get development and something better for our efforts.

Violence has never solved anything. It has never helped us at all. It will quieten the argument for some time and then it re-emerges at a later date. People have grown more violent and oblivious to pain as far as I can see. I may be wrong but that is how it seems to me.  I don’t hear too many people saying let’s walk a road of peace. I hear people say let’s kill, and I am hearing more of that and it scares and unsettles me.

Doves of peace

I say let’s not kill. I say let’s have peace. I say let’s symbolically let 3,000,000 doves of peace loose to help this situation and as they fly away have their positive energy touch the world. That is what I will do. Please feel free to join me in your own way and spread your positive intent for peace. I shall go into my own personal peace and ask for this symbolically to be so. What harm can that do? Prayers of love and peace can do no harm. People do harm if they employ selfish, malicious, or murderous intent.

I hope the universe hears my request. Respect, Peace, and love to the entire human race. Walk a peaceful path.  It is the only one that is binding and lasting.