by Matthew Webb
Where shall we look for meaning in
this life? Of what purpose is existence, and what part does the human
spirit have to play in an unlimited universe? We ask these timeless
questions because finding their answer would satisfy one of our deepest
thirsts…to know and understand. The modern world advocates we look
outside of ourselves to crystallize truth. A majority of science and
religious activity devotes itself to phenomena and rituals, yet the most
profound answers to life's questions are not found in searching out
the cosmos. We need not view the electron microscope or the latest pill
as the spiritual panacea they are touted to be. That kind of wisdom can
only be found within, because in knowing our own selves we find the
clarity to know the phenomenal world with accuracy.
In the quest for a deep realization of
Truth we must turn within. Within the limitless pool of consciousness in
the self, we find lasting meaning and satisfaction in life. From the
perceived inner meaning that is inherent to every human being, our path
to personal and collective success is made clear. Inquiring within is to
delve into the microcosm of the entire universe. It has been said that
more important than answers found, are the relevance of questions asked.
The right answers to the wrong questions in life are practically
useless. In asking about the reality of the self however, the answers
that are forthcoming give us the personal power to really progress and
evolve. In the modern world at present, we find that the question
commonly asked is "Who are you?" What this question really
means to ask is, "How do you compare with other people and
society’s images of ‘success’?" (by virtue of what you do in
the physical world). By asking, "Who are you?" we are
inquiring as to job title, social status, and the degree to which one is
recognized by people of "noteworthy credentials". Such
questions do not discover the deeper meanings of life. What we find in
asking "WHO?" are the relative distinctions of a passing
social phase, one that is arguably still a part of an immature human
civilization. Social status is of no real spiritual bearing. More
relevant than asking "Who?" is to ask "What?" What
is a human being? Profound insights result from that question. The
answer to "Who?" is always different and divisive, but the
answer to "What" in the human context, always refers to that
which is universal and powerful in all persons.
In asking, "What am I?" the
answers which begin to arise take on a far greater scope, for they are
not dependent upon any one time in historical perspective or culture.
What we are in fact, has been called a number of things such as,
"spirit", "consciousness" and "soul". What
we are goes well beyond just the physical domain, into the
realms of spiritual reality. These have deeper implications than is
generally imagined. If such implications were generally recognized by
society, almost everything which we do and identify with, would be
radically changed for the better. Wars would end, cultural differences
would be viewed as irrelevant, while religions and governments would
erode away, to be replaced by the universality of self as
consciousness, the all-pervading.
The "Who" of the human being
does not truly matter, for job titles and resumes reflect only the outer
appearance, not the inner reality. The "What" of the human
being is that we are all conscious entities, who are visiting this
material plane for a short while only. We are but souls in bodies.
This genuine understanding of what it is to be human evokes an
appreciation for living from deep within. To realize the self as soul,
is to embrace the reality of a Cosmos with purpose and direction. The
belief that we are confined to the material world alone, only to fade
into oblivion upon physical death, is itself a chain that binds the
mind. Such a view is indeed easy to hold, yet it offers little in return
but an empty poverty of daily living. This is so primarily because it is
untrue. Human existence is multidimensional. Our influence as centers of
consciousness, spans realms which are primarily ignored by the average
person at present, due to cultural conditioning. Never the less, such
realms or planes of existence are a reality, and so is mutli-dimensional
It is commonly accepted that varying
frequencies and informational content, can exist in the same space at
the same time. Radio and television technology acknowledge the reality
of differing "bands" (which are themselves composed of
individual frequencies). These exist side by side in the area which
surrounds your body right now. Also occupying your immediate area, are
the frequencies of light, sound, cosmic background radiation and an
unlimited number of other spectrums of existence. In the modern world of
technology, such facts are easy for us to accept. Yet the same is true
of various dimensional and spiritual existences, which most of us do not
yet perceive. These too are composed of spectrums of frequencies, of
varying vibratory rates.
Even our own emotions are but
individual frequencies of the same life energy within. One moment that
energy may be resonating with fear, the next with love, but in both
cases, the energy upon which they are built is the same. All of the
named emotions can be accurately viewed as vibratory rates or
frequencies, which form the spectrum of our felt experience in life.
This fact is analogous to how the universe itself is built into
spectrums of existence, and not just on this material plane, but in
innumerable other planes of existence as well. Existence is filled with
spectrums of frequencies which compose bands, or groupings of
frequencies. The colors of the rainbow for instance, make up the array
of visible light. The same is true of the bands of invisible light and
inaudible sound. Our audible spectrum of hearing is another such array
of vibratory rates, formed by the scale of tones that compose all music.
All of these known spectrums or bands, give us perfect analogies for
understanding the planes of existence. "Occult" texts
throughout the ages provide references to the various dimensions in a
variety of names, the "ethereal", "upper astral",
"lower astral", "Buddhic", "mental" and a
host of others. Advanced mathematics has shown that other dimensions
exist as well. Yet our own experience of life can demonstrate this fact
beyond a doubt.
Our bodies exist on this material
dimension as a collection of atoms and molecules, which have been
referred to by many occult-spiritual texts as "dense" in
nature, as compared to "more subtle" realms of existence. At
the same time we have a "psychic existence" in which energies
are exchanged from body to body, and mind to mind. The aura and chakras
of the human "subtle bodies" convey our feelings to others.
These are readily perceived in their own bodies, and vice versa.
Thoughts are transmitted from person to person on a common basis, via
many of the same principles we find in radio and television technology.
The human body-mind is in fact a multi-band transceiver of information,
via all of the chakras. Furthermore, not only do we possess physical and
energetic bodies simultaneously, we also have what is known as a
"causal body" or soul, that is the true foundation for our
other "vehicles". The causal body or soul is therefore our
true identity. It is also the one to which we return, with the entirety
of our focus, upon physical death. Our true identity as souls exists
without the need for bodies. The soul finds its’ reality by virtue of
the so-called "subtle" dimensions of existence. Our real
"home" is therefore not just the physical plane.
It is from this essential essence of
soul, that the Saints, Buddhas, Krishnas and Christs of all time, have
drawn inspiration and guidance. Through this conduit to the Divine, God
can be perceived and made visible to the inner eye. The eye of inner
perception, (consciousness itself) sees the realities of life, with far
greater accuracy than the outer two. Through clear inner perception we
See the way home to the true self, and to the presence of God. Through
introspection, we may consciously recall the greater purposes of this
current incarnation, as souls who have taken physical life for a given
period, and with evolutionary growth in mind.
From soul and its pure consciousness
do we journey upon the physical plane, as adventurers into new
territory. This we do for the sake of experience and the gaining of
greater wisdom. Just as the child ventures forth with curious
attentiveness to the events of life, so too does the soul assume a
physical vehicle for itself on the material plane. The river of life
seems shallow to those who deny the purpose of the soul, and who see
only material purposes in living. They submerge one toe in this river
and proclaim it known, and even uninteresting. From the purely
materialistic point of view, life does become uninteresting. This is
because such a view is divorced from the deeper reality of existence.
That reality is primarily spiritual in nature. Those who know the true
self and its aims however, dive into the river of life and its meaning
with relish. They do this because they realize the supposed
"safety" of the known is a trap to be avoided.
"Safety" becomes attachment, and attachment is not safe at all
for the spiritual being. The greatest hazard of living one may ever
encounter, is their own unwillingness to change, detach from old ways,
or to understand. Today we find much attachment to material possessions
and institutions, as a symptom of spiritual misunderstanding. To gain
deep wisdom, materialism must fall to the knowledge and goals of
spiritual purpose. It is here that society in general is in the greatest
need of change, because change is the prerequisite for real progress.
Evolution implies transformation. Thus, change is the essential reality
for this spiritual journey of life. Through it we gain the wisdom which
the soul seeks out. To acquire wisdom and greater consciousness is to
carry out the aims of our true selves, as spirits in bodies.
Human personalities often believe
themselves to be the ultimate pilot of the river of life. A personality
after all, is really only a collection of memories and beliefs, which
form the "Who" of social status. But we are much more than a
simple "Who", just as the carpenter is more than the things
they build. The potential of the creator can never be measured by the
things created. This is why human potential can never be measured by
the learned patterns of personality and culture. Those people that
embrace only a materialistic, social-status view of life, believe only
in what they can see, as in "Seeing is believing", through the
physical senses. This view neglects the essential reality that the
direct, intuitive perceptiveness of consciousness, is a far superior
mode to memorized, conditioned procedures for living. The materialistic
frame of mind also sees only effects and not causes. Even more
importantly, it see only those effects which it is trained to see
according to vocation, specialization, social training and
"higher" education. The materialist sees leaves blowing around
in the air, but hesitates to acknowledge the wind itself, so to speak.
We study disease and pollution as separate cases involving separate
solutions, without ever stopping to think that the cause of these
problems are originally man-made, through a materialistic live view. The
same is true of the modern mind itself. We become immersed in our
thoughts, but fail to see the consciousness, (soul) behind them. The
perception of reality has much more to do with the willingness to absorb
what is Seen, than it does the ability to perceive. Knowledge is thus
not the essence of wisdom. Going beyond the phrase "seeing is
believing", it would be even more accurate to say "believing
is seeing" in the modern world. As long as we believe that the
universe is simply a collection of molecules that interact without
ultimate direction of spiritual purpose, we will "see" only
material remedies for the problems of the world. In materialism our
minds will be limited to temporary physical achievements, rather than
eternal and spiritual ones.
Conclusively, the truest and only
lasting remedy for the world crisis is to completely change how we have
been taught to view life. Stated more fundamentally, this means we
need a change of consciousness. Each of us is fully capable of
changing our own consciousness for the better. This requires an inner
focus however, rather than a purely external one, in the realization
that the answers we need are found within. Meditation is a premium tool
for such a critically necessary self-transformation.
In meditation we gain the ability to
transcend the past, to find that we are more than memories or beliefs.
This is true also, even of a computer. A computer is more than a given
set of stored information. It is also more than specific programs which
determine how to act upon that information. Similarly, our personal
identity is not limited to our learned behavior and beliefs, any more
than a computer can be defined by any one program it happens to be
running. We are more than our memories, just as a computer is more than
its currently loaded files. As we learn to live beyond memory and
traditional thinking, we regain our inherent mode of direct perception
and intuitiveness. We learn in essence, "to transcend our life
program" (personality) and achieve beyond the confines of learned,
cultural behavior. To do this effectively, we must identify ourselves
To navigate the river of life, we need
the direct and natural perception that is the property of the soul
within. This perceptiveness is also known simply as clarity.
Clarity is the premium navigational guide for right living. Through the
clarity of soul do we begin at the headwaters of birth, and return to
the ocean of consciousness at death. Yet our essence, (consciousness) is
preserved throughout each life. The universe is an intelligent
structure, and it preserves those things of most value to it. It stores
information at all levels, and applies that knowledge with greater and
greater wisdom through new forms. The knowledge stored and applied by
each soul simply reflects this universal principle. Regardless of
occupation or social position, it is to this source of inner wisdom we
inevitably return, when a given physical life is ended. All that remains
of the worldly upon death are the spiritual gains made in personal
consciousness, of which the soul is composed. Thus, in Spirit all of
humanity is ultimately equal, and of the same ultimate cause. Our joint
purpose and heritage is evolutionary, spiritual progression.
The true self is literally made of
consciousness. All else including the mind and body, are but the tools
that this consciousness uses to carry out its evolutionary purposes.
This means the body and personality-mind, are but temporary abodes of
less than ultimate importance. "Of what is this true self or
consciousness composed?", you may ask. What are we really, at the
most basic level of Self. How may this essence be described? All of
these questions may be answered through deep meditation. Only through
your own direct perception will you realize the full truth of what is
about to be said. Never the less it is useful to speak of such things,
even when they are not immediately validated;
The true self as consciousness, or by
another name "soul", is composed of three primary elements.
These three may be referred to as Intent, Awareness
and Energy. The realization of
the self as consciousness, becomes an implicit realization of soul.
Self-realization then, is an experiential understanding of the
components of consciousness of which we are made. These are the real
basis for everything we do. The soul is composed of none other than
universal Energy, held in place and patterned by Awareness,
which is then given direction and purpose by Intent.
Through deep self-reflection we come
to realize that; the terms "soul",
"consciousness" and "true self" are synonymous.
A simple exercise in self-realization
is as follows. Place a pen or other object in front of you on a table.
Before reading any further past this line, look at the pen for a moment,
and then follow this instruction; "Intend to pick up the pen".
Those of you who simply reached out and picked it up, followed this
seemingly simple demonstration flawlessly. This was an exercise in
Intent, and therefore consciousness. What in fact, did you learn about
intent? The answer should be; Intent involves action. Also, all
action is preceded by intent.
To truly intend something is to act
upon it, as demonstrated by changes made. In this case the changes made
included a movement of the arm, and a lifting of the pen. To explain the
significance of this, is to say that your consciousness took action.
Your inner Intent directed your awareness to first focus on the pen and
then the hand that lifted it. Energy was employed to make this happen.
Interestingly, this is also the process of CREATION and CHANGE in all
parts of the universe. Intent directs awareness, which then coordinates
energy, in all things and at all times. Just contemplate the simplicity
and deeper implications of this for a moment. Everything we do in life
is based first upon intent, which is then focused by awareness, and made
manifest through energy. Everything. This includes the drive to
work, the blink of an eye, observing a sunset, talking with the
neighbors and reading these words.
The quality of our lives is
proportional to the quality of the intent we hold within.
In expanding our consciousness,
(intent, awareness and energy) through meditation, the mind and body are
refined. They are made more efficient and capable. Yet, this is not the
only advantage gained through such practice. Greater rapport of the
body/mind with the soul is also gained, which is itself pure
consciousness in essence.
Note that the following are five ways
of saying exactly the same thing;
"Let that which looks rest within
"Have awareness of awareness"
"May the soul contemplate its own
"A/A=C, whereas, "A" is
awareness and "C" is clarity"
Please contemplate these five for a
We find that the purpose of the true
self, or soul, holds the same purpose of consciousness everywhere in the
universe. The evolution of inner qualities, paralleled by outer forms,
is the expression of that universal purpose. Through greater realization
of the self as soul, we find that there is purpose, wisdom and
intelligence, underlying daily existence. By the same token, these
qualities underlie our very being. Upon realizing these things, it is
then that the real potentials of life begin to be revealed to the
conscious mind. The revelation of spirit as the guiding factor in
living, is itself both a surprise and a familiar relief, to the troubled
ego. Even more belief-shattering is the fact that not only are we guided
by spirit, we are spirit in the truest, most fundamental
sense. Thus we are not emotion, memory, thought, self-image, job title
or nationality. This material body is worn for a lifetime only and is
likewise not of the true self. It is a garment convenient for material
existence. The ego which inhabits the mind is also only a temporary
resident, in the trinity of body, mind and soul. We need not lament the
loss of the physical garment or ego, (mental software). But we may opt
to cultivate and strengthen both mind and body for the sake of spiritual
progress. This better enables our soul to fully manifest its purposes
while in physical existence. Mind and body are but the vehicles or tools
of the soul in the ultimate sense. This fact is made a practical reality
for the self realized person, becoming a major intellectual and
spiritual advantage. It is an advantage because we are no longer limited
to time, place, culture or personal history, as we realize ourselves to
be souls of cosmic purpose.
The focus and Intent of soul is to
evolve, to learn, and become ever more capable. As we evolve and become
more adept in our understanding of purposeful living, our consciousness
expands. We learn to use higher and higher levels of spiritual intent.
Our awareness is refined and carefully focused upon truth itself,
as the energy within grows and multiplies. The expansion of
consciousness is the primary foundation for unlimited
As souls we take these Earthly forms
to carry out evolutionary goals. As meditators we realize that the
evolution of consciousness is the purpose behind life, and even matter
and Energy themselves, in all places and times. Just as consciousness,
[or that which is called the Will, (Intent) of God] moves through these
physical bodies we wear, so too does it move throughout all of the
cosmos, ever defining and shaping existence. This is done for the sake
of creating ever more capable and self-realizing forms. This
"Divine Intent" if you will, is the very motive or cause, for
biological evolution. The Intent found in the universe is the basis for
intelligence in nature, and the advancement of all universal forms.
Consciousness thus defines the ultimate organization of matter. In the
same way, the true self ultimately defines the life of the ego. This it
does even when the ego mistakenly takes over the role of decision-making
in life. To spiritually advance, it is useful to remember that life
decisions are better left to the spiritual intent of the soul, which is
itself a larger part of a Cosmic Whole.
"We are One" is more than
just a platitude; it is a fact within the communality of all souls made
of a common essence…consciousness.
The Intent, Awareness and
Energy are common to all consciousness, everywhere in the universe. They
manifest themselves according to Cosmic design. This design is commonly
called "natural law" by science, and similarly "The Hand,
(or Will) of God" by Christianity. By another name it is the
"manifestation of consciousness in nature", which serves as
both the foundation for human action, and all other living things. Our
birthright is indeed That Which Moves and perceives, (Intent
and Awareness). This essence catalyzes and patterns the prevailing
Energies of the cosmos, into both the recognizable, and as yet
unrecognizable. It also patterns our own lives, each second of the day.
The named and unnamed mechanisms of
cosmic order, brought into existence by "blind" natural
forces, (according to traditional scientific views) may be better
referred to as, "the actions of the Intent At Large".
The meditator eventually confirms the fact of the intelligent guidance
of the personality, by the soul. They also confirm by the same token,
that there is an underlying intelligence in nature, that accounts for
its own self-modification and adaptation. Through soulic influence the
meditator eventually perceives the sentience of the universe in general,
which is of the same essence as that which is within. This realization
accounts for the traditional Vedic exclamation; "I am That".
Purely random cosmic order, made possible only by mathematical
probability, is a fiction created by minds which prefer conveniently
linear models of existence.
The universal macrocosm is
governed by the same essence of Energy, Awareness and Intent, as is the
human microcosm. This primary natural fact of human existence, can be
validated by the spiritual seeker regardless of the prevailing culture
or time. The consciousness within, or the "Inherent Buddha
Nature", or "Christ Consciousness" underlying the
superficial layer of personality, is none other than the soul. Just as
the terms "God" and "Consciousness" are synonymous
at the level of the macrocosm, so too are "soul" and
"consciousness" at the level of the human being. Our
attunement to the true self is of primary importance in the practices of
meditation and contemplation, as well as physical and mental
purification. This Self is the one which possesses wisdom and connection
to Wisdom. When we transcend all cultures, all times and inhibiting
conceptual barriers, it is then that the seeker of Truth is rewarded
with none other than a complete return to soul, or "That which
Moves and Creates" in all things. We are then returned
to a clear picture as to our purpose in life, and in fact, all life