World view, inspiration, self-help
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” Buddha
Of human bondage
Thinking is something we do by ourselves and on our own, like a solitary activity in the midst of a bustling bazaar. It is a dialogue with ourselves about the state of the world from our perspective as we seek to grasp the relationships between objects and between events which affect us or are important to us. Thought activity draws together the strands of our perceptions in everyday living into a conscious narrative or our interaction with the world, and any sensation which penetrates to our being either externally or internally can evoke thoughts that define our sense of reality. We talk about having thoughts about this and that. We think freely, our mind easily wanders and we cannot help thinking every waking moment, regardless of whether these thoughts are insightful or only fleeting shadows and leave no lasting impression; it is a rudimentary aspect of our sense of self. Our mind is like a river of thoughts through time, at times unbidden and fleeting, and at times a flood or deluge for we are never without a perception, however unconscious, which in turn prompts us to think. What is the nature of thought? What power does it weave?
“I think, therefore I am” Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
We think but do we understand the nature and the effect of thought? Rene Descartes described thought as a ‘universal instrument which can be used in all kinds of situations’. He deliberated on the fact that he was having thoughts and came to the conclusion that if he was thinking, then that must also mean that he existed. On this basis he set philosophy on a modern course. However, if we consider such a question from a higher vantage point, it turns out that there is a limit to what we can think of. We cannot, for example, think insightfully of infinity and eternity without being prompted by our perceptual experience. Nor can we think of nothingness – trying to do so leaves us in a mental blur. In other words, thought operates within boundaries, neither possible in a void or beyond its species of activity. Thus we ‘exist’, not because we think – rather we think because we ‘exist’ and not the other way around as could easily be interpreted from Descartes!
We form and place thoughts in the world without knowing what they do and what responsibility is associated with their generation. As thoughts play such a pivotal role in human life, as will be explained in the following paragraphs, our critical judgment demands exercising far greater care in relation to thought creation and making sure that they accurately reflect what we really want. In other words, if we would not say or do something, then we should not think it either. Within limits, of course! For instance, we can and should be polite and cordial to people we dislike and try to concentrate our thoughts on the matter at hand rather than on the person and try to be objective towards them but nevertheless be on our guard. These thoughts of dislike may be a warning to us to be careful in our dealings with this person and not let him or her get too close to us. Provided, of course, that these negative thoughts about the person arise from our intuitive perception and are not the result of latent prejudices.
Everyone knows that one cannot infer real existence from thoughts alone because we can even think things up that do not exist. On one level we are physical beings, embodying thoughts and feelings. This may suggest to us that mental activity is all brain activity, and that our thoughts are private events inside our heads having no interaction with the outside world. The fact that the brain is the seat of ceaseless electrical activity (BioMagnetic activity) has been known for well over a century. Yes what our brain does is outside our conscious awareness and this makes it impossible to explain life and psychic processes from material events alone. Knowing how neurons fire, or what every cell or neuron is doing at a particular instant in a person’s life, can no more unravel the mind or track the course of feelings and emotions than can the viewing of thought patterns on an electronic monitoring device tell us the nature of the thought. We can safely conclude, however, that the brain – with all its involuntary mechanisms – is not aware of itself despite scientific attempts to prove that the brain is the seat of the mind. Therefore, understanding how the brain works is far from understanding the mind.
On another level we are a psychic personality with character traits that persist over time and which are interlinked with our changing physical condition and biological nature. We desire and perceive – these are awakened feelings! We make decisions in everyday life, we have motions and feel joy and elation, sorrow, anger and humiliation, we have goals, values, beliefs and principles, and in exercising our abilities and capacities we strive towards self-realisation. Experiences awaken a deep awareness within us, a gradually emerging sense of self by which we shape our striving; we are animate. This psychic personality distinguishes us from other creatures, despite the fact that the same organic constituents are common to all creatures – for example, other vertebrates also have sophisticated brains. Our personality exerts, or should exert, a top-down control on the brain, for against all the biases that may stem from brain conditioning there is always the element of conscience to override material considerations and change course if necessary! Above all else, we are self-aware and on this our whole existence appears to be solely based: to know oneself has always been the pinnacle of human striving once it transcends the constraints of purely material motivations.
We understand through perceptions, the impulses of which flood our mind in thoughts. Our ability to think and make choices implies responsibility, for if we are able to choose then we must also accept the consequences of our choices in order to learn from them. Thus, by experience alone, we learn to evaluate and discern.
Thoughts have consistency. Our thoughts can have influences reaching far beyond the individual, and our intentions affect people far away. Conversely, complete strangers can influence our thoughts. For example, there is a group conformity of thought as well as cultural determination of thought, which can often make thought seem involuntary on some occasions. We have all had the experience of thinking about someone and finding on calling that the person has felt our intention and was already thinking about us: ‘I was just thinking about you’ or ‘It’s as if you’ve just read my thoughts!’ The influence of thoughts is also illustrated in sayings like: ‘The thought crossed my mind!’ ‘I can’t shake off the thought!’ Our thoughts are broadcast beyond our brain to influence others at a distance, which could even be as far as the other side of the world.
Strength in union
As gardeners, we grow species of plants to yield a wide range of fruits and vegetables. And as every gardener knows, a seed can only bring forth a harvest of its own kind. When we sow radishes, we do not reap onions; and if we sow onions, we cannot get carrots. In like manner, if we sow diseased seeds, we do not see beautiful fruits or vegetables but sick plants instead, producing bitter fruit.
This is the same in the realm of thoughts. Our thoughts are imbued with living power, which, however, is not our own, but only loaned to us by God, to Whom all power belongs. With the same power we may generate both good and evil thoughts and that is the responsibility we have to bear, because once issued, they are attracted and strengthened by their homogenous kind, which after completing their cycle, will inevitably fall back on us with much increased strength. Thus sooner or later, everything has to unfold itself, good and evil alike. Thus there are not two power sources, one good and one evil, but only one. If we misuse it, it is an affront to God, who gives it to us in order that we use it only for the good. It is similar to the situation of a person who receives a helpful gift from someone, but then, in turn, uses this gift to harm another.
As with earthly seeds, having positive and constructive thoughts and good intentions is not enough, as these must be reinforced and supported by a constant stream of good will, and we must desist from indulging in bad thoughts, or even superficial ones that would, like weeds, sprout into action as soon as we become lax in our volition for the good and overrun the initial good that we have sown. Good intentions or volition are only the beginning- they need to be put into action. However, we are never alone in our striving. Just as our thoughts can and do influence others, our thoughts will in turn, attract others of a similar nature so that these can produce results which may far exceed our own modest abilities. This is commonly referred to as ‘inspiration’. Thus many of the great discoveries and enduring works of art can be attributed to the efforts of many, not just to their acknowledged author.
The planes of our thoughts
Around every person, the laws of nature weave an invisible material veil which corresponds to the nature to his or her thoughts. This will be either dark or light, or in the case of most of us, somewhere in-between. The nature of thoughts, the direction of the individual’s will not only shapes his personal fate, but also works to form the fate of the human race, which will, of course, be determined by the direction taken by the majority. It goes without saying that the better our thoughts are, the finer and clearer the veil surrounding us will be. Therefore we may feel happy and light sometimes, without knowing why. This, however, must come from within and not perchance be induced by alcohol or drugs, which after wearing off, will plunge us even more into darkness and depression. Similarly, the love and concern of another can form a protective embrace around us that may lighten our aura and help us to see clearly in times of distress or danger, but this will only come to full effect if we ourselves are capable of giving love and do not harbour thoughts of hatred or vengeance in times of affliction and distress. Otherwise, this protective cloak may well envelop us but will not be able to penetrate the dark layers caused by such thoughts.
Thus every deed that emanates from us takes a fine or base form of one kind or the other in accordance with its nature. The deed is clearly visible to all in its outermost manifestation, but the thought preceding it only becomes visible in the finer material planes, which will however confront us with full force when the time comes for us to depart this life. The unavoidable harvest comes back to us greatly multiplied, either here on earth or in the beyond because there is no division between this life and the hereafter and uniform laws govern the whole. Driven by these laws, the deed is strengthened by the attraction of its similar kind. This harvest may, of course, only reach us during our next earth-life, strongly influencing the circumstances of our birth and subsequent fate. Because we have no recollection of our previous existence, we wonder why certain things happen to us, for which there is no visible cause, but the actual cause may well lie far back in a previous earthly existence. Because it is the experience that counts, it would not really help us to know the intricate details of our failings in a previous earth life. Let us assume somebody was an oppressor of some kind in a previous earth life. When he is reborn, he will find himself in circumstances where he himself will be subjected to oppression. Suffering under this, he will recognise it as wrong and will endeavour never to inflict this on anybody else and going further, he may even make it his life’s task helping others in a similar situation. He thereby not only redeems his guilt but the experience will also remove this flaw from his character for good. At least, he is given the opportunity to do so.
Whether we wish to receive and spread blessing or evil, love or hatred is a personal responsibility that attends our free will and no one can evade it. May we then fervently heed the exhortation from the Grail Message- In the Light of Truth by Abd-ru-shin: ‘Keep the hearth of your thoughts pure, for by so doing you will bring peace and be happy!’
Thoughts precede our actions and choices and are regarded as free and often no more than a pastime as we can think about anything, creatively or destructively, without any constraints placed on us by earthly laws. But they lead to words, and attitudes or actions that can affect the same in others. In this way, these thoughts make us, in a sense, partly responsible for the actions of others that we would never commit ourselves, and that we might condemn in the strongest terms. So, for example, are the acts of terror and genocide we so strongly condemn, incomprehensible to us in their brutality, fuelled in part by the thoughts of ethnic, tribal, racial, xenophobic and religious bias emitted constantly in an unrelenting swarm by many people.
Consider a wintry landscape with softly falling snowflakes – they may be regarded as inconsequential droplets, but they join together and form vast, rejuvenating blankets of snow spread densely, sometimes more than a metre thick over the ground. It can be a serene and uplifting scene conferring a particular beauty on winter, and yet millions of these fine, light flakes thundering down mountainsides to form blizzards under the force of gravity can wreak in one terrible moment the devastation of an avalanche.
Our thoughts float like snowflakes, but are steered by the nature of our volition and reinforced by their similar kinds through the cosmic law of attraction of homogenous species – they are also subject in their effects to the equally cosmic law of gravity. (For some clarity here, the laws of gravity as understood by physics, both classical and modern, are only a description of the effects of this law in our gross-material environment and therefore cannot describe its effects in the finer material planes to which thoughts belong). The mass of good or evil thoughts that is directed towards other people, nations or races, operates in the cosmic laws towards the desired effects.
Journey to self
So far, we have been unable to fathom the nature of thoughts, because they develop on a plane that is beyond visible and tangible matter, and therefore are only accessible to what is homogenous. The physical body with its brilliant facilities, including the brain with its intellect that expresses thoughts, is merely a means to an end, a tool in the service of our animating core of being. With an animal, this inner core is the soul, and with the human being, however, it is the higher placed spirit. Therefore we are much more than intelligent animals as science would have us believe. We did not ‘evolve’ from the animal kingdom but the body of the highest developed animal served as a ‘vehicle’ for the human species to enter the physical world for the first time. Without the spirit spark from the luminous realm that we bear within, the physical body would never have developed viably in the direction it did, as an earthly likeness of the high primordial spirits standing at the summit of Creation, who are actually the images of God.
Without the physical body the spirit can neither mature nor be effective on earth. With the exit of the spirit from the body, the brain also disintegrates with the material body, and thinking ceases, without the spirit being inherently affected. However, the thoughts previously have already done some harm, do not ‘die’ with the brain but their forms will attach themselves to the departed soul like weights, pulling it, like a balloon to more luminous realms. These are part of the ‘works’ that await and follow us upon our departure from the earth.
The human spirit is on a passage to awaken to a self-conscious personality. It is endowed with abilities that it must develop in order to attain this maturity. However, the spirit can only operate directly, in the homogenous spiritual plane. And to return fully conscious and be active there is the ultimate end of its wandering. On the great journey of development through the planes of Creation, the spirit was cloaked on each step with a mantle, akin to a body, laid as a protective covering around it so that it could work effectively. Finally, in gross matter, as the furthest stage of its wanderings, it takes on the physical body as the outermost cloak. Thus on earth, the human spirit is cloaked in all the different species in Creation, and each cloak or body has its own sensory organs that are functional within the particular plane or species. All the attributes of the physical body have only one purpose, to be mediating or intermediary tools enabling the spirit to interact with gross matter. On earth the transforming organs- the cerebellum and the cerebral brain – convert the pictures arising in intuition, which conveys the volition of the spirit, into thoughts and words.
In the seeing, hearing and perceiving enabled through the physical body the human spirit on earth can absorb experiences that help it to unfold in its abilities and thereby grow in consciousness. The more the spirit is imprinted with experiences on earth, the more the inner cloaks also develop their organs of perception, so that we can on occasions see and hear with our ‘inner or mind’s eye’ and ‘inner ear’. This also enable s the spirit to awaken quicker to conscious activity after leaving the earth.
Scale of mind
Control of the body belongs to the spirit, and our developing spirit possesses our dominant will. It distinguishes us from other creatures, and it is able to liberate us from domination by instincts. By its exertion, we stand to transcend our earthly bonds. The spirit must liberate itself from the bound will of the intellect. Bound, because being a product of the earthly brain, the intellect will never be able to transcend the earthly domain. A human being who blindly subjects himself to an unlimited control of his intellect cannot comprehend beyond earthly conceptions of time and space, unless he is able to break this shackle from within by awakening his spirit, which has become sluggish and weak through inactivity.
We bear an inner body of fine material substance, so-called astral body, which is next-in-line to the physical body and can be considered as prototype of it. The existence of the astral body can be demonstrated by the so-called ‘phantom pain’ suffered by people who have lost a limb and this pain is centred where the limb once was. This not only shows that damage to the physical body does not necessarily impact on the astral body but also demonstrates that physical pain may actually come from the astral body itself.
Thoughts take on form in the same consistency as that of the astral body, energized by the life-giving power that streams from the summit of Creation. This body can consequently be enhanced or disfigured by our thoughts. The physical body, however, being of a much coarser consistency, does not change to the same degree as the astral body (except, perhaps, sometimes our facial expression, which can reveal much about our character, especially as we get older.) In this way, our thoughts have a bearing on ourselves and on others.
The expression ‘gut feeling’ is no mere metaphor. Our inner body of astral substance is attached by a cord of radiation to the physical body at the solar plexus, a network of intercommunicating autonomic nerve fibres in front of the upper abdominal aorta. Here our living core of spirit is able to connect with the physical body and this channels our gut feeling, or, more precisely, our intuition. This cord of radiation is often referred to as the ‘silver cord’. The finality of death, when the spirit together with its finer coverings separates from the physical body, occurs when this cord is severed. As long as this cord remains intact, and may do so for a number of days after the declaration of death, the spirit may still be sensitive to what happens to the body, even if the brainstem has ceased functioning. (a medical criterion for death).
The butterfly effect
Thought forms influence the volition of people who are similarly disposed. Our volition moulds the neutral cosmic power currents into living forms that attract what is homogenous. As a consequence of our spiritual ambivalence, hatred, envy, intolerance, oppression and the like are forms that are most prevalent, including the demons and evil spirits known to primitive cultures. Even in our ‘enlightened’ cultures, such things are hinted at in the saying ‘confronting one’s demons’, whereby one’s own thought creations can gain tremendous power by attracting their similar kinds. Every one of us is constantly bombarded with profusions of bizarre or evil thought forms, which try to attach themselves to us. People who are weak-willed or whose psyche is largely ruled by their passions, but who may not necessarily be evil-minded, will process information from this assailing influence. What is more, without being aware of it, they will eventually yield to such an influence. There are some very revealing after-the-fact explanations in such cases, seen through statements such as:’ I was no longer myself!’, ‘I don’t know what came over me!’, ‘I can’t explain what took possession of me and made me do it’ , and ‘Something or other got hold of me – it was stronger than me’. What holds true for individuals also holds true for the masses whose passions are then exploited by demagogues or other ‘charismatic figures’ and their managers, channelling them in a desired direction, leading to mass hysteria. Examples of this are not only evident in the political arena but can also be seen at rock concerts, religious rallies and sporting events. Protective freedom from these attacks comes from a strong and unwaning volition for what is good within the context of spiritual vigilance.
According to the Light of Truth: The Grail Message by Abd-ru-shin, the solar plexus is designed to receive information from our immaterial core of spirit. Trunks of nerve fibres projecting from the brainstem, the stalk on which the cerebrum and the cerebellum are perched, supply it. Direct communication is thus enabled between the solar plexus and the brain. Studies can identify the neural networks that process our emotional responses – love, hate, fear, joy – and their links with our thoughts, moods, memory and behaviour. For example, a situation of fear or excitement evokes a rapid heartbeat and sweating that mobilises the body to respond. Yet we experience joy, love, fear and anxiety, not with our head but in the pit of our stomach.
Intuition is an immediate recognition made from our spirit core, which transcends the material domain in its survey, and is not a perception exclusively informed by reason, explicit memories and learned associations. Some snap judgments and courses of action simply slip into mind inexplicably, sometimes after we have pondered for a long time to solve a problem or how it is solved in the morning after sleeping on it. In pure intuition, the spirit makes a decision. It is communicated by, a wave of power via the solar plexus to the cerebellum, and then it is adapted for the cerebral mechanism, where the rational perspective of the intellectual process finalises an appropriate expression, which might be a thought, a word, an action or an impression for future behaviour. Our unconscious intuitive and conscious rational minds unite to make possible the greatest of cognitive feats that must astonish our ‘thinking brain’.
The intuitive mind is nurtured by silence, contemplation and committed volition, and striving for the good, the good not just of ourselves or some abstraction called ‘humanity’ or ‘the environment’, but what we know to be good in itself because the spirit intuitively tells us it is so. The spirit knows what is ‘good’ because it originates in a part of Creation where that which we call ‘the good’ is embedded in life itself. Left to itself, the spirit will always choose the way upward, towards its origin. It is only the intellect, if it is allowed to dominate, that holds it down. Thus we should – as the Grail Message exhorts us – let the spirit within us ‘have its way’.
We are forever thinking, one thought immediately following or displacing another with hardly a moment to spare. Trains of thoughts and perceptions sweep endlessly across the landscapes of our minds, with a tiny part discharging into words and language. The general belief is that thoughts are generated by the brain and are no more than the exclusive product of the intellect. In reality, without the spirit, the brain cannot think. Due to its higher origin, the spirit possesses the power and the ability to press out forms from the substance of material planes.
We now know how much of our own and mankind’s weal or woe depends upon the thoughts we generate. Our greatest effort must therefore be directed to surrounding ourselves with constructive, luminous thoughts!
Presented by Edeltraud Grace
Source: Jide Adefope
Edeltraud Jakob Grace:
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