Friday, January 8, 2016

Chapter 13 - “Once You Understand the Material World Is an Illusion, You Will Find True Freedom”

Chipmunk by the river
With the construction crew finished with their work for the day, I went outside with my two cats to sit by the river as I usually do during the warm months. As I looked around me, I saw squirrels playing in the trees, racing from limb to limb. A tiny squirrel appeared to be unaware that my cat Emerald was hiding on one side of the bushes, quietly stalking for the opportunity to chase the squirrel if it came too close to the ground. Then I saw that something else had caught Emerald’s attention. It was a chipmunk that had come out of hiding for a brief moment before seeing my cat and disappearing again.

My cat Emerald, a Taurus (an earth sign), seems to focus solely on chasing after small grounded prey such as chipmunks, squirrels, and moles. My cat Cricket, on the other hand, is a Gemini (an air sign). Who would have guessed that she liked to go after the birds?

Cricket noticed I was watching her and started walking over to me from my neighbor’s house. Immediately, I heard the sound of blue jays warning her to stay away from their nest. While the blue jays wouldn’t bother with Emerald if she was out and walking around, they would dive-bomb Cricket and chirp at her whenever she came outdoors. I’m sure Cricket deserved it for the kind of harm she inflicted.

With this in mind, I started thinking to myself about the cycle of life and death. I know it is all an illusion. This is what we are taught as new agers after all—that nothing truly can come to harm because we are all spirit before we are matter, and it’s the spirit that “matters.”

As I’ve discussed in other chapters, I admit that the topic of illusion was always one that confused me a little with regard to how we focus on it within the new age. It seems we deem something to be an “illusion” when it is “negative” or when we feel afraid. This leaves me unsure of what to think about the “positive” for it is an illusion too. If we were to go by the teachings of Zen or the works of Buddha, the lesson would be one of learning to let go of attachments in general, whether we perceive them as positive or negative.

Then I heard Mother Nature speak, “Though all the constructs of the world are illusions—and your choice to be bound or not is neither right or wrong—they do, on some subtle level, feel very real to you.”

After a brief pause, She continued, “It would help you to better understand the concept of illusion if you understood it as something that brings you freedom instead of bondage and conformity to what is. To overcome illusion means you release all of your attachments. You not only release the attachments that are convenient for you to release but your attachment to having attachments in general.”

“Ah, I see,” I affirmed.

“Once you truly understand that the material world is an illusion,” She went on, “you will find true freedom. But it will be difficult for you to reach this kind of understanding if you are resistant and hesitant to being free.”

“That makes me think of a passage within the Book of Galatians,” I asserted. “Paul states, ‘Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.’

“He also said,” I continued, “‘Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.  But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces?  Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?’”[2]

“Paul understood the truth,” said my guide.

“What is blocking the rest of us from understanding this truth?” I asked.

“What is blocking you is that you are taking a backward approach,” She answered. “You are backward integrated. You think that if you believe in illusion in a mental way and keep your attachments, which are themselves illusions, that you will at some point reach your goal. You are not really conscious that you are not reaching your goal and that your approach splits you in two directions.”

“I know I’m asking you to be redundant, but how do we correct this pattern?” I asked.

“To correct the pattern, you would benefit from becoming forward rather than backward integrated in your approach,” She reminded me.

“Can you explain what that means again?” I asked.

“With forward integration, you apply action rather than simply mental application in order to come more fully into alignment with what is the truth,” She counseled. “For example, you have to come to live your life as if you understand it is an illusion, rather than just living how you currently live while thinking about how it is an illusion on a mental level alone. In other words, you change your lifestyle or your approach to life in order to fit what you know is true.”

“I doubt many of us can do this overnight,” I said. “So, what would be the first step?”

“The first step would be to see that every preconditioned code you live by or lifestyle you conform to is an illusion,” She answered. “In essence, you allow yourselves to clearly see all that you have given your power to. You allow yourselves to clearly see all that has subtly held you hostage or kept you blocked from achieving true freedom. You are not going to see it all right away. You may begin to see it in steps.”

“Then, what do we do?” I asked.

“You face your fear of letting these illusions go,” She responded.

“Can you explain that in more detail?” I asked Her.

“You have to first see where you are fearing to let an illusion go,” She responded. “For example, let’s take the idea that you belong to a country that has a ‘government’ whose rules you have to live by or be persecuted. This feels like a reality that is true, but it is an illusion. It is something made up by people’s minds, and something that you believe is true because someone told you it was true. This belief is reinforced by many people, so it gains resolution and strength. However, if you all decided to withdraw your belief and support in it, it would no longer exist. Yes, there is an enforcement situation built around this mind-created reality to force a collective to comply, but that still doesn’t make it anything more than an illusion, just an enforced one. The earth is still the earth and has not truly been divided into sections and countries that have rules. People’s minds made those sections and rules, and people’s minds can change them. This is how revolutions have happened. Through revolution, though, the tendency is less to break an illusion but to replace it with another one to be enforced.”

“So it’s like a story we have created,” I offered.

“Yes,” my guide responded. “Your illusions are all part of the story that you have built around yourselves. The only way to break the story is to stop telling it over and over again.”

“Maybe this is why so many indigo children[3] or more rebellious types have started rising in numbers,” I put forward. “Many of them seem fearless in their desire to take risks to challenge authority and those in power.”

“These types of ‘risings’ have been happening throughout history,” She reminded me. “There have been generations that came before you—such as the Essenes, the Franciscans, the Cathars, and others—who were set on living in the ways of God rather than under the rule of man or of a manufactured church or state. There were also many within these prior generations who may have died as martyrs—though a great number of them at least died free. That is, they died with the intention of not giving their power away to a life that would force them to live counter to their values. When a ruling church or state demanded they change their allegiance through threatening them with torture or death, they didn’t give in.”

“It seems like freedom is an important consideration when aiming to overcome our illusions,” I said.

“Yes,” She replied. “In order to truly embrace the philosophy that ‘all is illusion,’ you have to feel free first. Otherwise, you will not be able to move in any direction that allows you to actualize this type of instruction.”

“That is true,” I said. “But, like I already said, it is unlikely any of us will feel completely free overnight. I imagine we would have to take steps toward understanding everything is an illusion and then go from the easy stuff to the hard stuff.”

“Yes,” said Mother Nature, “You do, for now, feel rather limited. You feel bound and tied to the rules and constructions you have collectively made and willfully supported. It will be difficult for many of you to simply up and release what binds you for fear you would not be able to survive. For some of you, there will be a need for middle steps. However, others may not even see that there is even a need for middle steps. Many of you may remain split within your minds, following one philosophy in a very superficial manner while living in ways that contradict it at the same time.”

“What are those middle steps?” I asked.

“You will first need to be able to see how you are adhering to various ideals in a way that is detrimental and which causes you harm,” counseled Mother Nature. “To do this, you will need to be able to witness and feel for your lack of true freedom. You need to also feel hopeful that real freedom can be obtained through what you can release rather than what you could ever gain—of the material. But your lack of freedom and your confinement is all you’ve ever known, so you do not even recognize your state of lack in these ways. Part of your drive to acquire money and things is rooted in the hope that these can grant you more freedom of movement within your confined dream. You do not know how greatly you live in fear. In fact, this fear only becomes evident when you think of giving up what you would resist releasing of the world such as the rules you follow, the laws you abide in, your concepts of money and success, and your need to cultivate a mindset of greed in order to sustain yourselves, all aspects of illusions that you feel are too real for you to let go of, all causing you harm on some level and to some degree.

“So, you need to take the middle step toward creating the freedom that would allow you to release your attachments,” She continued. “This means that you need to first conquer the fears that bind you to outdated forms of conditioning and attachment that keep you acting at cross purposes with your primary goal: to discover what is real and true. You need to conquer your fear of letting go of your conditioned experiences. You can conquer such fears through reminding yourselves that a lot of what you think is real is only a dream.”

She could feel that I was wondering if there were different ways that the same goal could be achieved such as through meditation, mindfulness, or other approaches. She then said, “There are different approaches to realizing the same goal. Some disciplines would have you move straight from point A to working toward understanding the reality of point B. Through using nature, however, you can learn to reach the same point [B] you are trying to reach through an approach that has a few more steps in between. Using the natural world is a good tool for those of you who wish to learn to read the world symbolically in order to come to the understanding that it is just a dream, one that can communicate with you if you know how to read what it is communicating. Those who make use of nature in this way can begin to look at the world and see what your collective obsessions and attachments have wrought. Through what you can learn, you can heal the split between the way you live your lives and your good intentions. You can likewise learn to separate the true path from the one that would bear less favorable fruits for the whole.”

“That sounds a little easier than giving everything up immediately,” I said.

“For many of you,” She continued, “taking a stricter path of going from point A to point B without any middle steps would leave you without a means to support yourself. Those who join specific communities[4] or monasteries would have an easier time with stricter paths because communities and monasteries are more self-sustaining and less reliant on serving the structures of the world.  For those who do not have the means or desire to join a community or monastery, your task will be a little more difficult.  The idea of suddenly releasing everything you’ve held dear—through a process you don’t truly understand—might feel too restrictive for you or artificially forced.”

“Can you give an example of the path that would be too ‘strict’ or ‘restrictive’?” I asked.

“I was referring to the type of path where you might choose to spend time in a cave, a monastery, or unfamiliar form of communal living that allows you to take a break from the normal stream of life. Many of you might find this type of lifestyle too unappealing or restrictive. So, as a first step, for those who are unready to go that extra mile, using nature to learn the importance of balance, simplicity, finding what is natural within, and moderation can start you on your path.”

“Now I understand,” I said.

She continued, “Through learning to love nature and to revere all of the life surrounding you, you can start to see that the spiritual world is everywhere, constantly communicating what is truth and where to find it—internally and in a natural place. Through learning to love nature, you can learn to embrace simplicity and to move away from the external forms that keep you trapped in the path of seeking for something material and an illusion to complete you. For some, truth can be realized through seeing through the eyes of nature your interconnectedness with everything—seeing the type of lifestyle and values to live by that will help you to come up with solutions to some of your world’s more dominant issues. Though these world issues are illusions that seem very real to you, you can use what they communicate to embark on a new path.”

“Can you give an example of that type of communication and how it could help us embark on a new path?”

“If you look at what the world is dreaming as a whole, there is much pollution and threat of extinction everywhere. Even the oceans are becoming polluted with radiation, oil spills, chemicals, and other toxins. All of this pollution represents the clutter in your minds and lives; it represents something that pollutes each of you that participate in that collective way of life. It communicates a low vibration that is close to death.”

“To hear new agers talk, we and the earth are increasing in vibration rather than lower in vibration,” I said.

“You are asked to focus on attaining a harmonious vibration rather than one that is high or low,” She replied.

“What do you mean?” I asked, not sure if I understood.

“What I mean is for you to let go of using ‘higher’ versus ‘lower’ as indicators of a healthy versus unhealthy vibration. Instead, think in terms of using the indicators of ‘harmonious’ versus ‘discordant.’ In other words, the harmonious vibration is the fruit of a productive path and the discordant vibration is the fruit of the destructive path. Higher vibrations can also be discordant and are not necessarily indicators of health or that you are on the right path. A vibration that is too high can increase speed and can be discordant, as can be attested by the negative effects of high frequencies and high frequency emitting technologies upon your health and the health of the planet.”

“Low frequency emitting technologies can negatively impact our health as well,” I offered.

“Yes,” She replied.

“How will we know when we have created a harmonious frequency state?” I asked.

“You will see an end to nuclear and other forms of threats,” She affirmed. “Like I have repeatedly said, you will know from the fruits when you have collectively come onto the right path. Your lifestyles, governments, manufacturers, technology, popular forms of fuel and power, and other symbols will change to represent something more healthy and balanced. Some of you are currently feeling compelled to live in new ways, which is creating a small shift, but many of you still feel trapped in outmoded forms of living and conditioning.”

“Ah, I see,” I said.

“Due to the fact that a great number of you are engaging in a discordant way of life,” She continued, “it is leaving you vulnerable, in many ways, to what is discordant, manipulative, or corrupt in vibration and which communicates a message of self-sabotage and harm. This is because everything is a mirror. What harms the whole must harm the self to some degree and vice versa.”

“And the harm in the greater scheme of things is still just an illusion, right?” I asked, knowing that I had brought this up before but wanting clarity.

“Yes,” She replied. “It is part of your collective dream of life, but this does not mean that you cannot use what the dream communicates to understand your approach to things more clearly.”

“Can you offer what we could understand from this communication?” I asked. “Just so people understand.”

I then heard a laugh as if Mother Nature found my questions a bit amusing.

“I offer that only a fool continues to engage in what brings him harm if he or she knows better,” She said in a humorous tone. “If you truly know better and have broken through your denial, you should find yourself naturally wanting to gravitate to what would be the more loving rather than the more harmful approach. A loving path might be one of asking yourselves what habits or lifestyles you could develop that would have you participating less in what is having a polluting effect—internally and environmentally. In response to this kind of dialogue, you may wish to simplify your life. Perhaps you will wish to use less energy resources that come from natural gas, oil, or nuclear power, seeing what these things symbolize or communicate and how they represent something harmful or manipulative in vibration that you could detach from. Others of you might lean toward creating self-sustainable communities that have found a way to live off grid and that are ecologically friendly. What is important is to begin to feel a desire emerge from within to honor and revere everything that is blessed with a Holy Spark. You may wish to demonstrate this reverence through pulling away from your adherence to what corrupts the world or has distorted values.”

With this, I was feeling thirsty and needed a break. My cats were pawing at the back door, expressing that it was time to go inside and unwind for the night. I thanked Mother Nature for her wisdom and then went inside.



[1] Galatians 3: 23-25, NIV

[2] Galatians 4:8-9, NIV

[3] An indigo child is a term coined by psychics in the new age for children incarnated onto the planet with special gifts, psychic and spiritual qualities, and a purpose to challenge authority.

[4] Such as intentional communities. See ic.org

Continue to Chapter 14 >>