What I stand for:
I see people invest great passion in the "rightness" of their held beliefs. Jews, Christians, Muslims and others, often so sure they are right and others are wrong, the fundamentalist of each ready to kill others in the name of their "god" and their "rightness". In addition to this there is the global (all levels of our civilization) issue of class, power and exploitation of less advantaged and of the earth and her resources. When the earth was less populated it was just an unfortunate state of affairs...now, if it continues much longer, it will destroy the planet (or at least the inhabitants). I am talking about those with wealth and power using their wealth and power for self-gain by exploiting people and resources. This is the root of most the world's problems - environmental crisis, social injustice, etc.
I have listened to many teachers and I have checked in to my own experience and my innermost being to validate, or not; what is said. It is my experience that we are all of the same oneness, and that our "separateness" is indeed an illusion; that this illusion is vast and pervasive and seems very real; that the stronger we indulge in the illusion the more egoic we act, the more ignorant we are and that all suffering we experience is in some way a result of this complex illusion. The illusion is a distortion of the Truth, which is always present behind the illusion and That is all of our One true nature - pure consciousness.
When we are truly in our hearts, truly feeling the connectedness, the love, we then feel joy and peace as we are more being our true nature. Truth does not assert, defend, or try to convince others. Our true nature IS Heart, is Love.
The pain and suffering and apparent "wounds" are a result of being in illusion, in one's egoic activity too much. Most of what is going on in our day to day world is just a bunch of egoic programming interfacing with other programming, more like the Matrix (film) than people think. I know it is possible for each individual to wake up out of the dream or illusion to realize one's true nature, one's true being. The requirement is putting that commitment above all else - making realizing one's true nature one's highest priority in life. And that commitment leads in some way to honest SELF-INQUIRY (specifically, SELF-INQUIRY into the truth of one's self, one's true nature, and what activities of MIND one habituates which keeps one from realizing what they already always are).
And when it comes to "beliefs" it is important not to simply take the words of another and recite them as one's own, or quote them from a scripture, but to listen to others and then always find out for oneself through personal experience. And to share from there (personal experience) what one has found freely, openly, and relaxedly with others - for them to accept or reject as they wish. The diversity of perspectives, when shared casually with others can be a wonderful thing, expanding life's possibilities. Wanting or forcing others to see things the way you do is counter productive and not fun. I think this is one of the downfalls of traditional religions - trying to force or persuade others to their way of seeing things. This behavior stems from an insecurity based on a shaky foundation of beliefs. from a sound and truly stable foundation of Being people do not need to persuade others or force anything onto others.
My devotion is to Truth. My highest priority and commitment in life is to abiding as and living life from my true, natural state. I regularly visit and listen to and speak with true teachers, who talk about this with other who are interested. I have found some great teachers who are quite good at pointing to the Truth. I gladly point to the pointers and you can connect with them here if you wish.
1) We are all the same One "consciousness" that can take itself to be anything - and thus we seem to be what we take ourselves to be (including taking ourselves to be separate people). And we ARE unique, individual expressions of the ONE whole.
2) All that we experience in life is based on our interpretation. Our interpretation determines the nature of our existence. This goes deeper than just our surface thinking.
3) ALL suffering and unfulfillment is the result of faulty interpretation - of taking ourselves to be a somebody separate from others - separate from the One. Taking ourselves to be an identity different from our true nature. It is like believing you ARE the Halloween costume character you put on.
4) Therefore, having the broadest, truest angle of vision, the most accurate interpretation is wise. It is okay to be lost in the illusion, but our species is on a destructive path (ruining of our habitat, etc.) due to this getting out of hand. To continue Life as we know it on this planet we need to wake up and consciously create a better dream of life.
5) Truly realizing and abiding as one's true nature (consciousness), the natural state, is the only way to accomplish this. All solution to all problems come from this awareness place.
6) The requirement for enlightenment is to make #5 one's highest priority in life, above comfort, security, pleasure, etc. Then one will naturally attract the help and support one needs to wake up and stabilize in living that awakening. Stabilizing involves inquiring into and seeing all the ways in which one has avoided one's true nature, all the programming and habits and fixations, including one's very notion of being "separate".
7) The clincher is this - No one outside you needs to change - only you. It is up to YOU! This may not make sense, but that is only because of the illusion of separation. It also makes it a whole lot easier as that is all you can change anyway, and it is actually distraction and avoidance to be fixated on what seems to need to change in others.
Thus, I have found that the ONLY solution to the world's and an individual's struggle, suffering, or unfulfillment is true self-realization (enlightenment). All other approaches and "solutions" are pseudo and/or temporary and are of the realm of hidden programming, which goes deeper than people realize. All those beings throughout history who have truly self-realized have said the same things - among those things that we are in a state of illusion which is so profound that even our notion of separateness is illusion; that the answer to life's woes is through Truth - which inevitably leads to self-realization - the conscious awakeness. The conscious is always present behind the illusion. It is not "attained", it is what is always there and comes forth when the illusion is busted. All are now invited to wake up from the Dream.
I share these views with regards to the nature of art and creativity:
"One must not only be an artist; one must become art itself. Then to the one who is so absorbed in his work that he forgets himself, that capacity, that intuition, that skill will come naturally. He begins to do wonders, and his art becomes a perfect expression of what he had in mind. ... People think that it is the artist who has made it; in reality, it is God who has perfected it. As it is God's pleasure to create the world, so it is also God's pleasure to create through pen and brush and chisel, to give life to what is lifeless.
The artist who has arrived at some perfection in his art, whatever his art may be, will come to realize that it is not he who ever achieved anything; it is someone else who came forward every time. And when the artist produces a perfect thing, he finds it difficult to imagine that it has been produced by him. He can do nothing but bow his head in humility before that unseen power and wisdom which takes his body, his heart, his brain, and his eyes as its instrument. Whenever beauty is produced in art, be it music, or poetry, or painting, or writing, or anything else, one must never think that man produced it. It is through man that God completes His creation. Thus there is nothing that is done in this world or in heaven that is not divine immanence, which is not divine creation. ...
What is art? Art is the creation of beauty in whatever form it is created. As long as an artist thinks that whatever he creates in the form of art is his own creation, and as long as he is vain about his creation, he has not learned true art. True art can only come on one condition, and that is that the artist forgets himself -- that he forgets himself in the vision of beauty. ... We are vehicles or instruments that respond."
- Hazrat Inayat Khan
Daniel offers talks and presentations to those interested in insights and clarity on living in these challenging times. He is available to give talks, teachings and live presentations on Conscious Living, as well as the artwork and what it is about.
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All over the world there are many working to improve the Dream of our evolving world, to make it aligned with the Unity (Oneness) principle of life. I endorse the "Earth Charter" and invite you to read and share it with others.
5 Minute video by Andrew Cohen:
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