It is generally assumed that consciousness results from creation, but we’ve got the cart before the horse on this one. In truth, creation results from consciousness. For something to come into being—to be created—it must first exist in consciousness. This is as true whether we’re coming up with something important and earth-shattering, or just having a fleeting and insignificant attitude. The basic principle doesn’t change.
What causes us to suffer greatly is that we don’t realize how significant our conscious creations are. We are disconnected from the reality that there is a cause for every effect we experience. In fact, nothing makes us suffer more acutely than experiencing a painful effect whose cause we created—but we don’t know it.
This is even true, although to a lesser extent, regarding the good stuff that happens. For if we don’t realize that we are the ones creating our experiences, we’re going to feel like a helpless puppet, as though our lives are in the hands of some power we can’t wrap our brains around. This power, ladies and gentlemen, is truly our own consciousness.
So let’s break it down, this consciousness of ours. The most obvious aspect of it is our power to think, to have discernment and to make choices. But it’s also more than that. Consciousness includes the power to feel and to perceive and to know.
In addition, it has the ability to follow its own will. It makes no difference if our willing is done with our full awareness or if we are cut off from realizing what we’re doing. It’s still our own will, which is integrally connected with our inner creating machine.
This business of willing is an ongoing process, not unlike feeling and knowing; they don’t just stop for a break whenever they want to. So feeling and knowing and willing are always rolling along, wherever and whenever consciousness shows up.
We can break our consciousness into the parts that are above the waterline—the things we are aware of—and those that are below the surface and out of our normal, everyday awareness. It happens from time to time—correction: it happens all the time—that we have several will currents that, on the surface of our awareness, contradict each other. We want, for example, to simultaneously always be loved completely by everyone and to never be bothered by anyone.
These contradictory will currents short-circuit on the surface and therefore slip under the waterline of our awareness. This shifts us into a state of numbness where we are lacking in awareness. Now our consciousness is dimmed out on the surface, but under the water, it’s alive and well and kicking up a storm. This is an aspect of our consciousness that continues to have the power to create—actually, it has even more power than if we were aware of it and in control of our will—and it produces life experiences we are at a loss to fathom. Worse, we think their existence has nothing to do with us.
Any authentic spiritual path must raise all our confused and conflicting desires and beliefs from their depths. This will shine a new light on all our life circumstances, helping us to see them in their right light and to see how they are—believe it or not—our own creations. With this awareness, we will have the power we need to re-create our lives.
The tools at the disposal of our creative consciousness include the ability to perceive of these underwater machinations, and to manifest possibilities through healthy use of our will. Turns out, we can divide all of humanity into two camps: those who know this and deliberately use the tools to create constructively, and those who aren’t aware of it and—being victims of their own ignorance—constantly create destructively without realizing what they are doing. That’s gonna leave a mark.
As we head upward on the evolutionary ladder, humans are the first batch of beings who have the ability to create on purpose, with consciousness. Those of us on a conscious spiritual journey to find ourselves—really, to find and know our true selves—must uncover how we create. Literally, we need to see how have we created whatever we have, or don’t have. Then we’ll also see how our struggling against our own creations ratchets up our pain and tension level.
This is inevitably what happens when we don’t connect the dots between our life and our misguided mental activities. Whatever we don’t like, we tilt against, never realizing that when we do this, we tear ourselves apart a little more. Even our rebellion may be partly unconscious, manifesting as a nebulous malcontent with life and a futile sense that there is no way out. Our discontent then is, in a weird way, part of our rebellion.
Let’s go a bit deeper with this, looking at the various directions—for better or for worse—our consciousness can take. First, there is the universal spirit within us from which flows the most pure wisdom and always-expanding bliss; it leads us toward an infinite variety of ways to express ourselves in life and feel our own fullness. It’s not exactly right to say that this universal spirit is in us, but rather that we are this. But most of the time, we lose track of this.
Moving in the other direction are the distorted expressions of our creative consciousness. This is the part of us that wills destructive and negative things into being. We could call this the eternal fight between life and death, between good and evil, or between God and the devil. It doesn’t matter what names we give these powers; the names will even change depending on what part of the world we’re in, our personal preference and even what’s trendy.
Call them what we will, these powers are our own. Never are we a helpless pawn in someone else’s game. Understanding this all-important fact will change our perception of ourselves and our attitude toward living. Not knowing this will forever makes us feel like a hapless victim of circumstances that are beyond our control.
There are three conditions needed to experience ourselves in our true identity as universal spirit:
1) We have to be willing to tune into it. Of course, first we have to realize it exists. Then we can activate the universal spirit by intentionally listening within; we will need to become quiet to allow this to happen. Sounds simple, but given the static in our busy little brains, it may not be easy. Our own minds block the possibility of making a connection.
We will need to train our minds to calm down enough to stop perpetually firing off thoughts. Once we make some headway here, we’ll experience a certain emptiness. At this point, we’ll be listening, but we’ll only hear the echo of nothingness. This may be disappointing—possibly even frightening.
If we stick with it, the universal spirit will start to make itself known. It’s not that it decides to now reward us for being a good child who now deserves it, but rather that we are now tuning into its presence. It was always there and never out of reach, but it was almost too near for us to perceive it.
When it first manifests, it may not come to us straightaway via our direct inner knowing. It may need to travel through some detours to reach us, possibly through another person’s voice or later as a seemingly coincidental idea that suddenly occurs to us. If we remain alert and sensitively attuned to this inner reality, we will know when we are making contact with the mother ship.
Over time, the emptiness we perceived will prove to be more like a tremendous fullness that words can’t do justice. The sense of immediacy—that this universal spirit is right there, all the time—will feel wonderful. Discovering its presence and its very nearness will fill us with a feeling of safety and strength; we will know that we need never feel inadequate or helpless ever again. This source of all life is available 24/7 to guide us in every teensy-weensy detail of life that is important to us.
This inner source will refresh us with rich feelings; it will calm us down and stimulate us, all at once. It will show us how to handle life’s problems. It will offer us solutions that combine honesty and decency with our best and highest interests; it will unify love and pleasure with reality; it will help us complete our duties without sacrificing our freedom in the least. It’s one-stop shopping for everything we need.
The only snag is our own misperception that all this can be found only in a galaxy far, far away. We’re geared to think of universal spirit as something really remote, making it nearly impossible to experience its nearness—its amazing presence right here, right now.
2) We will need to get up-close and personal with the parts of our consciousness that have gone off the deep end into negativity and destructiveness. Our problem is our mistaken notion that our life is a fixed mold we have been plopped into and must now learn to cope with. We think it’s all somehow separate from what we think, will, know, perceive and feel.
Slowly but surely we start to catch on that it takes a serious heap of self-honesty plus discipline and effort to pole vault over our resistance to looking at ourselves full-on instead of projecting all our ills outside ourselves. But until we do, the light switch for our universal spirit will remain off. Sure, there may be a few dimly lit areas where our channel is unobstructed, but where the blocks and blindness and feelings of helplessness persist, we’ll stay stuck in the dark.
3) We need to use our thinking apparatus to reach out to the universal spirit and create, and we need to realize that we create with both our conscious and our unconscious thinking and willing. In truth, each individual consciousness is merely a separated fragmented of the whole, possessing all the same creative powers and possibilities as the universal spirit. So our thinking ability is no different from the universal mind. We only experience ourselves as separate because of our belief that we are separate. The separation is not real.
In the same minute that we sense the immediacy of this loving presence, we will feel how our thoughts are not separate from those of the greater being. As we go along our path, we will realize more and more that the two have always been one; we’re the ones not availing ourselves of our own innate powers. We either leave them unused or, in our blindness, we abuse them.
Armed with this eye-opening perspective, we can finally start to experience ourselves in all our universal-spirit glory, using our conscious thoughts constructively and deliberately in a two-step process. First, we need to see what we’ve been up to—how we’ve created destruction through negative use of our thinker. Then we can set about formulating a better plan for what we wish to create.
Once we get a handle on how we are—in the flesh—the same universal spirit that created the world, we can reverse our current creative process and use the tools of creation to re-craft the life we are now leading.
When we flip on a few lights, we may discover that much of what we thought of as unconscious wasn’t really all that hidden. This is important to take note of, especially wherever we have disharmony in our lives. We gloss over so many obvious attitudes that hold clues to how our creative powers are now working. And make no mistake, they’re actually working just fine. They just may be inverted into making messes. Our work is to slow things down and consider every small detail of our life situations, looking for a fresh perspective that ushers in the insight we’ve been lacking.
Just knowing all this has a purifying effect on our souls—which, by the way, is the point of incarnating in the first place. It’s like a light bulb coming on in our awareness showing us that, hey, we have the power to create our own life. The realization that what we have done with this talent so far has been to create destructively won’t be such a doggie-downer if we consider this means we also have the power to change things up and create things of beauty. This leads to an immediate awareness that it’s true what they say—we are eternal beings and it’s in our nature to expand infinitely.
So we are basically talking about three levels of reality. 1) Our individual self, which includes what we’re aware of in our consciousness and what we’re not aware of, in our unconscious; it also includes both our Glinda the Good Witch of the North side, and that less-than-lovely Wicked Witch of the West, 2) our universal self, which is our Higher Self, an aspect of God, and 3) the universal spirit, that great creative force that is the whole enchilada.
All of these must become accessible to us. But let’s not kid ourselves—each of them can be equally hard to perceive. It’s not correct that our daily thoughts are easier to get at than our destructive, killjoy of a will, or than our divine nature with its gorgeous wisdom and unending creative power. They are all, each and every one of them, right there; they only seem far away because we have turned a blind eye to them.
In doing so, we have turned both our willful destructiveness and our great creative spirit—both of which we really and truly are—into being “unconscious.” We need to give their existence the benefit of the doubt as a first step toward discovering them. For many of us, at this point, we aren’t even observing our daily thoughts, which most definitely are right there for us to grab.
As such, without giving our thinking apparatus any critical review, we don’t see how our thoughts run in the same unproductive negative channels as the part of us hanging out with those flying monkeys. Nor do we take note of how we get a kick out of this, deriving a strange satisfaction from continuing to look away.
Once we do an about-face and get a look at our negative thoughts, it will be important to realize a) what they are doing to us, and how they are connected with whatever results we deplore most in our lives, and b) that we have it in our power to change them, to chart a different course for ourselves by setting a new direction for our thoughts. Together, these two realizations can make all the difference in the world, allowing us to come into our own and find true liberation. Talk about glad tidings.
This is what it means to “find ourselves”—to discover our true identity. But first, we have to find ourselves pursuing negative thoughts. We need to see ourselves brooding, time and again, in the same vicious circles; we need to see how we—almost willfully—pursue the same circuitous and confining ways of thinking, never wanting to venture beyond them.
Lets say we’re convinced that we can only experience a certain negative thing in life—a bad job, a bad relationship, a bad whatever. Once we see how we take this for granted—holding onto it with surprising tenacity—we can ask ourselves, “Does it really have to be this way?” Just raising this question—asking to know the truth—opens the door a smidge and lets in a little light.
It’s our narrow view about what’s possible that makes it impossible for us to imagine other alternatives. So then the simple awareness that maybe it doesn’t have to be this way creates space for new possibilities. Next we can start to venture into these thoughts, using them as blueprints for creating. Then the world becomes our oyster, wanting us to find that pearl.
What opens up the world for us is our willingness to eliminate whatever is now standing between us and the more desirable way. We will need to rally the courage needed to face it and move beyond the belief that life can’t be other than it currently is.
It’s possible that we long for a positive result but, at the same time, aren’t ready to accept the logical consequences, due to our wrong thinking that doing so will create some kind of unworkable hardship for us. Here we have an immature desire to cheat life—we hope to gain more than we will have to give; we childishly resist giving of ourselves.
It’s no wonder we don’t get our way, because life doesn’t work that way. Life won’t meet our unfair demands, and then we will feel cheated and resentful. The real problem is that we haven’t fully examined the issue and identified our false reasoning and unwillingness to give of ourselves. That, friends, is how we create erroneous and distorted conditions that stand between us and infinite possibilities.
Once we see how we are the ones molding our reality, by way of our conscious thinking that is influenced by our destructive side as well as by the universal spirit, we can reshape our experiences. After awhile, we’ll also start to notice something interesting: we deliberately choose our destructive ways; they are not something that befalls us.
We’ll need to have made a bit of progress before we can admit this. We’ll see that we are the ones forsaking happiness and fulfillment, bliss and the possibility of a fruitful life. We might be terribly unhappy about the results we are getting, but nonetheless, we keep hanging on to our negative will. This is the smoking gun we’ve been searching for; this is the all-important key we’ve been needing to figure out.
The age-old question is: What started all this? Why on earth would people do something so utterly senseless? Religion has a word for this behavior—for the mind going in this direction: it’s referred to as sin or evil. Psychologists refer to it as neurosis or psychosis, among other things. Call it what we will, this is indeed a disease. And in order to heal it, we’re going to have to get to know it, at least to some extent.
The next question that crops up is: Why did God put this evil into us? As if. No one put anything anywhere. Once we get the drift that we’re the ones rejecting happiness, the same puzzling question will shift to: Why do I do this? Why can’t I want what would feel good? If we read the teachings about the Fall (covered in Jill Loree’s book Holy Moly), we’ll learn about a spirit who was, at one time, utterly good, expanding constructively into ever-greater realms of love and light.
But then he veered off course and separated himself from his innermost Godself. He became fragmented. How did this happen? Why did he launch himself headlong into dark, destructive channels? All accounts of this, given here or anywhere else, can be easily misinterpreted if we think of it in terms of a historical event—as though it took place in time and space. So here’s another vantage point from which we can try to understand how destructiveness came to be within a fully functioning and wholly constructive consciousness.
Picture, if you will, a state of being in which only bliss exists, and the infinite power to create using our own consciousness as our tools. Our consciousness includes many things, but most noticeably, it is our thinking apparatus. So it thinks and, lo and behold, something gets created. It wills and, like magic, whatever is thought and willed, comes into being. Life is good. Creating then starts with thinking that takes on form and becomes a fact of life. This all happens beyond the confines of the ego, where consciousness flows and floats freely.
Enter, stage left: the human ego. It is only from the perspective of the human ego that thoughts are separate from form and deed. The less awareness we have, the more separation there is. At some point on this spectrum, thoughts don’t seem to have anything to do with what happens; none of the three stages of thought, form and deed seem connected at all. If this makes sense, we’ve just cleared the first hurdle in raising the level of our consciousness.
No matter how separate time and space may appear to us, thought-will-action-manifestation is a single unit. When we’re once again no longer confined to our earthly bodies and are in a state of being with no tight structures in us, we’ll experience this grand unit as a living reality of bliss and fascination. The whole universe will be open for exploration. We will forever find new ways of expressing ourselves, creating forever more worlds and more experiences and more effects. There will be no end to our fascination with creation.
Since the possibilities for what we can create are infinite, our consciousness has the opportunity to explore itself by confining itself. Out of curiosity, it can fragment itself, you know, just to see what would happen. So to experience itself, it contracts. Instead of exploring more light, we want to see what dark feels like.
Creating is pure fascination, and this fascination doesn’t cease simply because what we create is, at first, perhaps a little less pleasurable or brilliant. It’s like passing our finger over the flame of a candle; if it doesn’t hurt too much the first time, we might do it again, but more slowly. Even in the less-than-pleasurable experiences lies a special fascination and sense of adventure.
This is when things start to go South. Our creations start to take on a power of their own. For every created thing has energy invested into it, and this energy has a self-perpetuating nature; it gathers its own momentum. The consciousness that teed up this fun experiment may want to play a little longer than is “safe,” until it no longer leaves itself enough power to reverse the course of things.
This is how consciousness may get lost in its own momentum and become unwilling to stop. Creation then happens in a negative state until the results suck so bad that the person gets a grip on itself and starts to turn the ship around. Our consciousness must counteract the momentum by “remembering” what it already knows—it could be another way.
At some level, our consciousness knows there is no real danger. Whatever suffering we feel as human beings is an illusion, in the ultimate sense. And once we find our true identity within ourselves, we’ll know this. It’s all a big game, a fascinating experiment, and if we will only try, we can recapture our real state of being.
The thing is, many human beings do not yet really want to try. We are still fascinated with exploring our negative creations. Others of us haven’t gone that far off the deep end, so we haven’t totally lost our awareness of who we are and our power to redirect what we want to explore. Still others of us are temporarily lost, but we can find ourselves again the moment we really want to look. The human condition is quite the mixed bag.
Our mind has the power to create negative experiences. But it has even greater power to be used for something positive, because in the negative there are always speed bumps and roadblocks, pot holes and total washouts. All these things weaken the force. Once we switch over to creating through more positive channels, something will click into place and everything will flow more smoothly. We won’t continually bump up against the torture and suffering inherent in our negative creations.
The more our consciousness has separated itself from the herd, the more fragmented it will be, creating a standalone structure that is apart from the whole unstructured consciousness of all that is—that state of being in all its blissful glory. Once we’ve become fragmented, the lost parts of our consciousness will gradually work their way back. This fragmented state needs some kind of structure to hold it together, to protect it from the chaos caused by our destructiveness and negativity.
The ego, with its confinement, is the structure that essentially protects us from our own destructive creating. It holds our destructive urges in check. Only when our consciousness is once again in alignment with truth will we no longer need this structure. So we must use our thinking tools to find our way out of our negative creations and the resulting need for a confining structure.
By looking into the chaos, comprehending it and realizing its power to create, we can reverse the downward curve we are on that denies pleasure and love and happiness by instead courting pain and waste and decay. The part of our universal self that has remained whole knows this pain is both short and illusory. The rest of us, the part lost in chaos, not so much. And so we suffer.
Once our conscious processes are pulled into the service of unearthing our destructive creativity, returning us to our original state of free-flowing consciousness, the confining walls of our ego structure will dissolve. Our unstructured consciousness will gain momentum in reinstating itself and becoming our natural state of existence.
This is where it’s all going, folks. Our efforts need to go in the direction of bringing order to the confusions of our mind and relaxing its over-involvement with itself. Our minds need to see what we have been blind to, as well as to the mind’s tendency to get lost in itself. It’s not the outside world that confuses us; it’s our own consciousness, and the inner world we create, that does so.
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