Friday, January 8, 2016

Chapter 10 - Abundant in Knowledge but Lacking in Wisdom

Crow
©  | Dreamstime Stock Photos
Waking on a beautiful morning, I decided to sit out on my front stoop for a while before having breakfast. There was still a lot of construction going on by the river, and I wanted to avoid all that chaos. While sitting on my front stoop made it a little more difficult to see all of the birds, ducks, geese, chipmunks, and other animals that I would normally see while sitting by the river, there was nonetheless a lot of life to observe such as bees, ladybugs, dragonflies, and the odd squirrel that my cats didn’t chase away.

As a black dragonfly started hovering around the rose bush beside me, I started thinking about the discussion on false light and illusion from a few days ago. I was reminded of how easily we can accept something as the truth when it might be a distortion to some degree.

Taking the example of some of the quotes that float around the internet, for a long time I naturally accepted many of the quotes as the real and authentic words of Buddha and other masters. It is so easy to accept what we are given as the truth without researching further or asking questions. It wouldn’t be until I found out about a site called fakebuddhaquotes.com that I discovered a whopping 80 to 90 percent of Buddha quotes that I thought were words of Buddha were not even his words at all. Many were the words of authors such as Swami Vivekananda, Jack Cornfield, and others.

This led me to finally read some of the works of Gautama Buddha. I’m glad that I made this decision because it was a huge wake-up call to realize that the person I thought of as Buddha was entirely different from what many quotes, images, and banners had made him out to be. Another thing I discovered is that the chubby Buddha is a completely separate person from the tall and slim Gautama Buddha. So, sometimes, not only are the quotes misattributed, but the image may depict Hotei (a monk who lived in China during the 900s AD) rather than Gautama. Despite how he is quoted in ways that make him appear as if he would be a proponent of the new age, reading The Dhammapada made me see otherwise.

The more I started reading Gautama Buddha’s real words, the more I desired to share them through social media. However, as a demonstration of how susceptible we are to believing in disinformation, when I posted an authentic Buddha quote from The Dhammapada to my Facebook page, a friend immediately posted a comment to advise me that the quote was “not a real Buddha quote” because “Buddha would never have said that.” For those who want to know the quote, here it is (from The Dhammapada, verse 47):
“As a mighty flood sweeps away the sleeping village, so death carries away the person of distracted mind who only plucks the flowers (of pleasure).”
The more I started seeing the distortions that were everywhere (not just within the banners that misquoted various teachers and masters), the more an uncomfortable feeling began to arise within me of how we are exposed to mass amounts of information and, at the same time, copious amounts of disinformation as well. Since many of us are easily impressed upon, this makes us vulnerable. In fact, I was finding that the more I started examining the bigger picture, even with regard to our new age beliefs and activities, the more it almost appears chaotic.

Reflecting upon all of this, I was reminded of an advertisement I had seen on TV. In it, athletes were hurting themselves in order to achieve a goal. The message being communicated was not to be bothered if people called you a “weirdo,” “obsessive,” “fanatical,” in those ways of hurting yourself, because that was what you “have to” be; you have to be beaten, muddy, and sore to be “better, period.”

The commercial then infers that this is what is needed to be “better leaders,” “better parents,” and “better, stronger, more determined, humans.” The end of the commercial says this is all about being “more human” (typed out in bold letters on the screen).[1] But, what is the real, subtle underlying message for those of us who might give our power away to this kind of idea?

Taking a step back in order to examine the messages we subtly pick up from all around us, it seems as if much of the information we have been receiving has been keeping us stuck in our minds and harmful lifestyles rather than teaching us how to transcend them. It seems as if the world is screaming that we have it all backwards. It seems to be screaming at us that we are in such a race with life, or in competition to get ahead, that we don’t know how to stop racing or competing in order to just be still. Most of us can’t see this, though because we are conditioned to believe this is what we should be striving for. Thus, while many of us may have high ideals, good intentions, and wish to embrace a philosophy that helps us to collectively overcome some of the problems in the world, we seem to be sabotaging ourselves to some degree at the same time. As new agers, we all want to be a positive force in the world, but sometimes it is confusing to know what that entails anymore.

Observing the new agers that surround me, there seems to be two different trends that are dominant during this time. I am sure both arise due to different styles of coping techniques—for how to deal with the way we sabotage our world and ourselves.

One trend within the new age tends to focus on what is called a “love and light” approach. This kind of approach does not believe in making too many waves. Its mission is love and its focus is on the mental realm and on activating love through the level of our thoughts predominantly. Collective change is thought to be brought about through a variety of means, such as:
  • external “shifts” in the universe or galaxy
  • becoming more psychic or special (such as through being a starseed, indigo child, crystal child, blue ray, etc.)
  • portals in the galaxy opening
  • astrological transits or calendar endings (such as the Mayan calendar)
  • various “activations” (including of the earth’s grid)
  • focusing on world meditations
  • increases in “frequency” or “vibration”
  • angelic or ET intervention
  • other passive things that require waiting on something external
There is usually a simultaneous focus on “ascension programs” or employing healing techniques that could help us become more loving beings or to think more “positively.” When it comes to emotions, they tend to be separated into the categories of “positive” or “negative.” Those emotions and thoughts deemed to be “negative” are thought best to try to avoid out of fear of attracting something undesirable.

A second trend in the new age seems to prefer a more aggressive and revolutionary approach. It tends to see conspiracies everywhere and is determined to overcome them. Despite its idealism that focuses on exposing truths, it still seems to keep its followers feeling stuck and defeatist in ways. To me, it seems to again wait for something external (such as a revolution or for our governments to become more proactive concerning vital matters) to bring about change.

Standing outside of both trends and looking in, it seems whatever trend we follow—some of us ascribing to a little of both—we end up waiting for something external to help us to create the change or “shift” we are looking for.

With this topic in mind, I asked if there was any animal that wanted to step forward with wisdom to share. Suddenly, a crow flew by and seated itself on one of the hydro wires close to my home. So, as I went into my meditation, I asked the spirit of the crow for wisdom concerning our ability to create the change that we are looking for without waiting for something external to make it happen. It wasn’t long before I would feel words flowing through.

“While humanity is abundant in knowledge, it is lacking in wisdom,” the crow advised.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge wisely,” was the reply, “which you will know when true wisdom has been applied from its fruits.  And, until humanity can perceive the fruits of its miscreative thoughts and behaviors, it will continue to miscreate[2] and produce unloving fruits.”

“Oh, I see,” I said, but the crow had more to say on this subject.

“This problem of miscreation occurs when individuals possess knowledge but do not yet fully understand it inside their hearts,” the crow said. “They only know it in their brains.”

“That’s what I’ve been noticing particularly concerning our concepts of love,” I explained. “We seem to rationalize that all we need to do is to think positively and practice love on a mental level. We do not seem to consider whether our actions within a greater sphere of life are in alignment. We do not even think that it matters to consider these things. Such consideration is deemed negative and likely to manifest a negative effect if dwelled upon.”

Then I heard the crow’s wise voice guiding me once more, “Think of it this way: if a person truly believed in transcendent love or in serving only what was ‘positive’—while rejecting what creates a ‘negative’ or unloving effect—they would automatically desist from taking any part in what corrupts the world. This is because their mind would no longer comprehend any need to have fear. It would no longer have a need to serve a way of life that is polluting. Nor would it need to live a life where they are unable to walk their talk.”

“Many individuals do perceive they are walking their talk,” I put forward.

“This is because their ego is advocating that all that is necessary is to walk the path of love in their minds alone,” said the crow. “This is because the ego likes to take the easy way out. It will try to convince you that lifestyle and action is not something you have any control over. It will try to convince you that it is unnecessary to consider whether your lifestyles are in alignment with what will have a truly life-affirming effect upon the world, including its plants, animals, and fellow humans.”

The crow continued, “Your inability to see beyond your ego, however, deserves compassion. It is merely the result of misunderstanding that you, and many of your dear brothers and sisters, can only comprehend the ideals of ‘love,’ ‘light,’ and ‘oneness’ in a way that keeps you locked inside a mindset that favors separation and competition.”

“How can we transcend this pattern?” I asked.

“The ability to transcend this pattern lies with bridging what you understand intellectually with the wisdom of the heart,” was the crow’s answer. “Then the path of love can be redefined as simply what produces loving fruits. All that produces unloving fruits must be defined as something else. Only then will the mind—desiring to be in Love’s service—know through the wisdom of the heart what action is required: the act of ceasing to partake in what corrupts, sabotages, or harms the whole.”

“What about those of us who believe focusing on the negative fruits isn’t necessary because they are illusions?” I asked.

“For those individuals who feel the corruption and negative fruits of the world must be denied because they are ‘illusions,’ the wisdom of the heart does not judge in terms of positives and negatives but merely in terms of what is,” the crow responded. “It sees such fruits as they are in the present moment as a form of miscreation that has manifested from unloving thoughts, whether such thoughts are conscious or not.”

I began thinking back regarding the two trends that I saw within the new age and their different approaches to dealing with worldly issues. I then heard the crow’s wisdom guiding me once more.

“In the end, there is nothing wrong with being part of either faction. There is nothing wrong with being between stages. For understanding wisdom must progress in stages. However, if people attempt to jump ahead of themselves in knowledge, while stubbornly continuing to serve and cling to creations that are the opposite of love—without understanding why—wisdom will never be achieved.”

“So, it is less about waiting for change to happen externally,” I said, “and more about attempting to understand why we manifest creations that are unloving.”

“And, to take responsibility,” the crow added.

“What do you mean by responsibility?” I asked.

“You have to acknowledge the role you play in the creation of various fruits that manifest in the world,” was the response. “There needs to be more understanding of how you are all creators. There needs to be understanding concerning how everything you do impacts the larger picture around you even in small un-thought of ways.[3] Your current and unenlightened approaches are considered normal to you and part of your cultural conditioning. You have to be willing to overcome some of this conditioning in order to see how many of your emotions, agendas, and actions are founded in your unconscious feeling of being trapped, defeated, and helpless but to conform to all that produces miscreation in the greater world.”

The crow continued, “Within this age, you have the profound opportunity to learn how your thoughts manifest the fruits of your thinking into the world around you both personally and collectively. Many of you have been focusing on the movement from thought to manifestation in a very straightforward way. You have yet to learn how to move backwards from the fruits in the world to see the thoughts underneath them—thoughts that you have been unaware you were thinking, thoughts that led to certain actions, attitudes, lifestyles, or other things. For it is the labor that arises from your thoughts that has produced various fruits in the world.”

“What do you mean by ‘labor’?” I asked.

“I mean the acting out of your beliefs and thoughts onto the world around you. All your actions, lifestyles, values, definitions, and attachments originate from seeds of thought,” was the crow’s response.

“How do you suggest we learn to move backwards from manifestations to their root thought-forms?” I inquired.

“In quiet and stillness,” was the answer. “In quiet and stillness, simply learn to pay attention. It is as easy as breathing when you learn how.”

The crow continued with something similar to what the dragonfly had offered, “Live your life like you are dreaming and waking up within the dream. You are becoming a lucid dreamer. You do not need to judge what you dream. You merely need to look for what the dream communicates to you while you are dreaming it. Do not attempt to say ‘I did not dream this’ while running away. You would never wake from a dream at night and try to rationalize it never happened. You would understand that the dream arose from certain things going on within. With the dream that the collective consciousness is dreaming, the symbols of the dream arise from the collective mind and what has been produced through its thoughts and belief systems that many of you share.”

“Can you explain that a little more?” I asked. “Can you give an example of what belief system is manifesting.”

“One example is that you have programmed yourself as a collective that you can never slow down,” the crow offered. “Then, because so many of you are rushing to do this and that within the world, everything becomes rushed and this rush produces stress and confusion. You are all so concerned about the future in a way in which you can only focus on your own self-survival, self-interest, or whether you will be able to get ahead or reach a goal. Everything becomes ungrounded. You wonder why you and others may suffer from symptoms of restlessness, exhaustion, or illness. On a planetary level, your environment reveals this rush as well. Due to your inability to keep up the pace, you produce conveniences that you hope will save you time. You also produce and make use of technology that further complicates your situation through exposing you to frequencies that are high speed, low speed, or disturbed.

At this point, I decided to take a break from my meditation and thanked the crow for its wisdom. It left the power line on which it was perched and flew off to settle in a tree nearby.

My cat Emerald started pawing my cheek so that I would pay attention to her and give her some love. So I decided to play with her a bit before retiring inside for the evening.



[1] The commercial is for Reebok and titled “Freak-show: Be More Human.” See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDb-7DY3CjU

[2] To miscreate means to create something that one did not consciously intend to create or which goes against one’s best interests. According to dictionary.com it means, “to create amiss or deformed.”

[3] As mentioned elsewhere, this includes our lifestyles we never think about. We just accept them, and our adherence to cultures, definitions given to us for success and failure, etc. All of these things manifest a bigger and destructive picture in which we seek to deny that our small actions and lifestyles matter concerning its formation.

Continue to Chapter 11 >>