Riding the Elevator-Simple Tips to Merge the Spiritual and the Mundane
Source: ivingunbound.net via google images
For any of you familiar with my writings, you’ve caught a glimpse into my psyche, which, I admit, may be a bit scary. Nonetheless, I push on.
One of my greatest fascinations is the perceived gap existing between the mundane and spiritual worlds. I feel, most people view these worlds as distinct and separate from each other, with the only reliable pathways between them, being birth and death.
Many people also believe, using meditation or prayer can access the spiritual realms. Yet oft times I still hear them expressed in dualistic terms, meaning, you can only be in one at a time.
When I view the challenges humanity faces on a global level, it appears to me, one of the most likely and lasting solutions capable of addressing them, is for each of us individuals to become “greater” than who we believe ourselves to be at this time.
Governments and organized religions have become corrupted to a degree where they serve themselves above the needs of the people. I’m not calling for riots or the stockpiling of guns. I’m saying, it is time for us to acknowledge, claim and wield the power within.
Conscious action is a birth-rite, one which can never be taken, only surrendered.
I contend, the only separation between the planes of experience is perception. What follows are some techniques I’ve discovered in my own life where the line of demarcation can be dispelled, at least for a while. My goal is to provide simple steps that can be done every day, without a great deal of ritual or self-sacrifice.
In exposing greater transparency between the higher realms and the level humanity’s attention is most often focused on, please allow me too first enter deeper into a definition of word.
Source: bhajanananda.blogspot.com via google images
Bhramacharya is a Hindu word which translates to mean, Conduct of God, or. The way in which God behaves.
Traditionally, the state of Bhramacharya is achieved through sexual abstinence, so the mind is focused only on the highest realms through the transmutation of the energies held within the lower chakras.
This is the process of raising the kudalini, but once again I find myself a bit at odds with the confines of this description.
The most commonly expressed motivation for raising the kudalini, is to attain a higher state of being through shunning the pull of the lower bodies. Once again, I’m confronted by the bane of duality in spiritual dogma that also decrees a, ”Oneness.”
I contend the flow of kundalini energy is a two-way street, not by accident or sin, but for reason.
From my own experiences, I can say the different dimensions have their own unique attributes which are only available while in that dimension. Any structure so defined as to qualify as an independent dimension, has required laws to maintain the integrity of the structure.
I’m not interested in challenging these laws, only the scope of our awareness within the full spectrum of dimensions in which we exist.
For the simplest example, consider just the dimension of the physical body. There are very set laws for its survival. Oxygen, food, water, etc.These same needs serve no purpose to a disembodied spirit who has its own requirements to follow.
When a spirit steps into a physical body through birth, it enters into an agreement of the laws governing the specific plane of existence. The soul is not limited to the laws presiding over the physical, emotional, or mental bodies, however our fluid awareness spends a lot of time focused on the short term needs of them. Just like a mother bird focuses on her nest of blind, but vocal young.
We are more likely to comment on how cute the birds are than to accuse the hatchlings of living in sin for demanding so much attention of its parent. Our three lower bodies, (physical, emotional, and mental) have the same type of relationship with our souls.
Source: photo.superlogical.net via google images
The denser the plane, the more short term the thought process is.
For example, when you feel extremely hungry, or are in the heat of passion, you’re not thinking about your plans for the following days or weeks. Your awareness is captivated by the short term interest of the physical form, governed by the structure of the time/space continuum.
Still, what you are, is far more than what you are doing. It’s easy to forget the, who of us and get caught up in the, what, we are doing.
The emotional and mental bodies have the same ability to captivate the attention to such degree, the other planes are entirely forgotten.
You’ve heard the phrases, “Lost in thought,” or “A blinding rage.” They’re absolutely true statements.
The more frantically we are involved in our doing, the less aware we are of our being.
Source: by Morio source Wikimedia license GFDL via acobox.com
To best illustrate my point, visualize a whole city of high rise buildings. For this example, have them all be the same height.
Each building is a person. Our physical body is not who we are, it is only the ground floor of a much larger structure. Every one of us is equal and presented with the same opportunity to explore the higher floors in our own timing. How we move from one floor to another, is by taking the elevator which has its own name. It is called Awareness.
A quick recap;
High rise building is us.
Different floors are the separate planes or bodies. (physical, emotional, mental, etc..)
Elevator is our awareness.
Every time our consciousness utilizes awareness to interact on a particular floor, it is engaged in Bhramacharya. We have the opportunity to express the conduct of God, no matter which level we’re on.
Given that the unique dimensions create, a house of many mansions, there is no reason to place judgment as to better or worse.
Every level differs in construct, but they are all equal in value.
The image of the high-rise building represents the spectrum of experience. Through directing awareness, consciousness focuses on a level it wants to express within. However, while enacting within the denser floors, it’s easy to forget the awareness elevator can open to many levels at the same time.
Once a person accepts the possibility of the other levels, the scope of awareness is free to roam the other floors. A good way to practice this is not by focusing on only one higher level, but by expanding awareness, to encompass many levels simultaneously.
The following is a simple example from which the idea of this blog arose.
I was getting gas for my car and washing all the dust off the windows, the question popped in my mind, “What are you doing right now?”
I’ve become accustomed to this sort of pop-quiz, from my spiritual self, so I wasn’t surprised by the inquiry.
This is how the rest of the conversation went. I’ve italicized what was stated by soul for greater clarity.
“I’m cleaning the windows.”
“Why?” (My soul loves asking this question, just like children do. I always thought children did it because they were trying to learn. Now, I think, on occasion, they may be trying to get us adults to look more closely at our motives).
“It’s getting harder to see the road. I need better visibility,” I replied.
“So you want greater clarity of sight?”
“What’s obstructing your vision?
“Just stuff that’s built up over time.”
“So, if you want greater clarity, you have to wipe away what has stuck to the lens through which you view the world around you?”
I pondered this awareness while continuing my task, knowing the conversation wasn’t over. I thought about some situations I was struggling with in my life. Soon enough, I saw how my judgments of the situations, were obstructing me from seeing the bigger picture. Just like the smudges on my windshield, I couldn’t see past my emotional dirt.
Upon gaining this insight, the conversation resumed.
“How do your windows look now?”
“Good. I can see much better now.”
“I believe you do.”
This conversation was a good reminder to me, how to put spiritual wisdom into action through basic physical tasks. I used the action of cleaning my windows to also clean my emotional perceptions.
Here are some other simple examples.
Any type of cleaning: While doing the action, remember you are a multi-story structure and you are washing, vacuuming, scrubbing, away what you no longer want in your life. Not just the physical you, but every level.
You need not focus every moment on what you want gone while you clean, you already know what many of those things are. Often, an affirmation repeated every once in a while will aid. By affirmation, I’m not referring to a statement about some achievement in your future. I’m talking about consciously empowering a process you’re doing in the moment.
The point is not to get stuck in the emotions or mental dialogue, so it’s best to keep the statement simple. Something like, “I remove what I no longer need from my life.” Invite the physical action to influence a greater range of your total being. This also creates a moment of clarity where intuition from higher levels can influence your life.
Eating food: The act of consuming something consciously is very powerful. You are feeding your body. Why not take the opportunity to nourish every aspect of yourself?
Again, a simple statement set on the table or in the cooking area, helps remind us, we have the ability to consciously nourish each floor of our multi-dimensional structure.
Many of us have a pronounced view that the higher levels are somehow perfect and all we have to do is free ourselves of our lower bodies and everything will be alright. I believe we are still learning, even on the soul level, so why not feed it too?
Riding an elevator: If you do this regularly, what a powerful reminder you have. The more often you identify as a being living on many levels at the same time, the easier it will be to gain insights from different perceptions. You also have the ability to choose which floor to enter.
Another wonderful benefit of using the visualization technique, is that not only will you see yourself as being multi-leveled, but you have the opportunity to view everyone around you the same way.
By seeing those around you as multi-dimensional beings, like yourself, it becomes easier to move past conflict. You influence the world around you through this action.
Flipping on a light switch: You illuminate the world around you by doing this.
It’s easy to scoff at that, but instead, why not claim it. You have the power to, “light up a room when you walk in.”
Think about that for a moment. The more aware you are of your multi-dimensional self, the greater presence you will emit to those around you, even in the most mundane actions.
Many people want to free themselves from the requirements of the physical plane and rush off to find God. Why not invite God into every level of your life.
Going to the bathroom: I know, who wants to think about that. However, it is literally the process of eliminating waste. How many things would you like to get rid of from your life? By, “things” I’m including, not just physical forms, but emotional pains and mental stress. Attached to the “things” in your world are the attitudes and perceptions which drew the issue to you and why you have carried it around for so long. We all have negative perceptions about ourselves from time to time. Let them go with the flow.
Each of these actions have become almost thoughtless to us, meaning they require no input from any level other than the physical. To empower your actions, some practice is helpful. If you flip the light switch you use most often a few times, while saying your intention, it becomes easier to remember the next time you use it. Connecting your intention to an object or action you use every day, empowers the flow of communication between the different planes.
The enactment of Bhramacharya.
These tips do change the world, but if your goal is to change the world, you’ve lost your center.
Don’t demand the outside world change to make your life better, that’s not its responsibility.
Become more aware of your greatness and the world will do the same.
Source: Darkshark0159 at en.wikipedia source Wikimedia license Public Domain (?) via acobox.com
The elevator goes both ways, so the direction you travel matters less than how many levels of you are present when you arrive.
When Fire Fell From The Mountain
June 26, 2012 Waldo Canyon/Colorado Springs, Colorado
This is a Waldo Canyon Fire Progression Map. Each day’s growth is shown in a different color
Source: KKTV’s News Photo
Saturday, June 23rd. Another day of record heat. People were getting tired of it. Many here in Colorado Springs don’t have air-conditioning. Don’t usually need it except for one or two weeks a year in July or August.
This year’s turned out different and it’s only June.
I’d retreated to my bedroom to sleep the morning hours away while that side of the house was still somewhat cool. I hadn’t been able to get much sleep recently with night time temps lingering in the low eighties.
When I got up around noon, I headed for the kitchen to get a glass of water. I glanced out the window in the process. That’s when I first saw it. In the mountains to the west, what so many of us here in the Colorado Springs area had been dreading.
Smoke rose in the distance. Somewhere between Colorado Springs and the quaint mountain city of Woodland Park.
This is not good.
I watched for awhile. The billowing plume grew fast. Even though it looked to be a good hour and a half drive from my house, and I had nothing to worry about personally, there were a lot of great hiking trails up there.
I flipped on the T.V. to get the details. Just as I expected, the fire was moving away from Colorado Springs, but Woodland Park along with several small communities that resided in the canyon were put on alert. By nightfall, the small, eclectic city of Manitou Springs, with its hundred year old homes had to evacuate.
A whole community of five-thousand people told to evacuate? That seems a bit of an overreaction. After all, the predominate winds are pushing the fire to the northwest.
Sunday the 24th, the fire had grown to about a thousand acres. Firefighters had done a great job preventing the flames from dropping into the narrow canyon which was the main route between the two cities, but erratic winds from another day of hundred degree temperatures, still threatened to push the fire back down the hill into historic Manitou Springs on the west edge of Colorado Springs.
In the city, we’ve hit the century mark six times ever. This was our second day in a row.
Monday the 25th. Only 98 degrees. Things were looking up. Sure the fire was growing, but in town, most everybody went about their day feeling pretty good about the situation. A lot of the Manitou residents were allowed back home and the fire plugged along. Even though only 5% contained, everything indicated the worst was over. Granted, I grew up in Southern California and am used to the brush fires there being fueled by the Santa Ana winds. Those fires burn very fast, so in comparison, when the fire grew to three thousand acres in un-populated forest, I wasn’t that concerned for local residents. No structures lost and no injuries either. The crews from the fire department and Forest Service had kicked ass.
Tuesday the 26th. One hundred degrees again. Humidity hovering around 2%. This drought is a real bitch. Fire spreading.
Can’t imagine how hot those fire crews are, so close to the flames and wearing all that protective gear.
Donations being accepted for those still evacuated and the out of town fire fighters. One nice thing about this city, is how it pulls together to offer a helping hand. As for the fire lines, things had been progressing along the western flank protecting Woodland Park. Things are still looking okay, considering.
Daily 4:00 p.m. briefing for the media. Winds remained steady out of the southeast at 10-15 mph. Not bad. A thunderstorm a few miles to the north of the fire area swelled, but offered little rain.
The cumulus cloud did bring something though, and it wasn’t good. Steady, sixty-five mph downdraft winds slammed into the edges of the fire, pushing flames to the east towards Colorado Springs. The fire leaped from about six thousand acres to about thirteen in a matter of a few hours. The progression map at the top of the page clearly shows how the fire changed direction and was pushed through the canyons into the western edge of the city.
First casualty. The popular tourist attraction on the West side called Flying W Ranch had been lost. Family owned since the nineteen-fifties, just about every local is familiar with it. I could feel the mood of the city shift. Saddened and a little more apprehensive. Dark smoke loomed over the city.
The western edge of Colorado Springs below Queen’s Canyon was put on mandatory evacuation. That means one thing. Get out as fast as you can. And do it just as workday rush hour was starting, in one of the most heavily congested areas of town.
My drive home from the east side out to the high plains wasn’t congested, but the plume of smoke was the most ominous thing I’ve ever seen. Streaming off the mountain, the sky to the north was completely blotted out by blackness. Standing on my patio, a good forty miles away from the fire, fine ash fell around me.
Little did I know then, the ash came not only from the trees and brush, but from the hopes and dreams of many west-side residents. I turned on the T.V. and couldn’t look away for the next several hours. I watched, the massive evacuation of about twenty thousand people in about a hour and a half. The cloud of smoke fell heavy on the crowded streets. Police closed west bound lanes of traffic to allow for the sheer numbers of people fleeing the approaching flames and thick black smoke.
I thought of the people of Pompei, entombed in volcanic ash hundreds of years ago.
Mother Nature had just lit a blow torch and turned it towards the west-side neighborhood of, Mountain Shadows.
The surge of humanity subsided, replaced by an odd sort of calm, back-lit by a bright orange glow. The winds shifted again as the thunderhead continued on it’s way, taking it’s offering with it. The veil of smoke lifted to reveal what it left in its wake.
The photos below are in chronological order as best as I can tell. All were taken by different people in different locations. Based on the amount of daylight and with my limited knowledge of how large fires work, I picked the ones that best exemplify the sheer scope of the firestorm and have added some comments below each.
A wave of super-heated air raced over the ridge, causing everything it touched to start smoldering. The neighborhood of Mountain Shadows is the plume to the lower left. Air Force Academy football stadium is in lower center, representing scale.
Source: Photo by Walter Barrow
Here, you can see the progression down-slope as areas dried by the super-heated air catch fire
Source: photo by Dana Smith
Then, everything that had been smoldering, ignites at once in a colossal ball of fire. As you can tell, very little amount of time passed during this series of pictures.
Source: Taken by Brittany Allwein
For the next couple hours, I watched as row upon row of large, exclusive homes went up in flames. The firefighters rallied through the night. Defending the properties not already lost to the firestorm.
Wednesday, June 27th The whole city was in shock. Donations poured in to assist the now, thirty two thousand people who had been evacuated through the night.
Smoke hung heavy in the stagnant air. Then, the first of the aerial photos began to be released.
This is just one section of a neighborhood that was leveled by the firestorm.
Source: http://Denver Post.com
This closer shot, shows the level of destruction. Nothing left of these homes but ash. The amount of heat it takes to do this over such a large area is immense. Think about combating it, than thank a First Responder for what they risk every day.
Source: http://Denver Post.com
As of Friday, June 29th, 2012 the total of homes lost stands at 346. Most of the properties destroyed burned simultaneously in the matter of a few hours. A few people are still listed as missing. Two are confirmed dead. That there weren’t dozens more is a testament to people being at least somewhat prepared. Even more credit goes out to the brave emergency workers from local police, firefighters and Forest Service crews who stood in the face of danger the day when fire fell from the mountain.
The cause of the fire is as of yet, unknown. There is a strong possibility it was arson.
The loss of wildlife and their habitat will likely never be fully realized.