The Self … not Selfie

The word Selfie has become deeply ingrained in our vocabulary, take a picture of ‘me at the Acropolis’, at the pub falling over, me with my new lover, standing next to someone famous, looking depressed, every scenario that we could possibly imagine.
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We live in strange times, a time when humanity is trying to climb out of its cocoon and take off like a butterfly; meanwhile at the same time we have a global community of people wanting to define themselves forever in frozen moments in ridiculous poses. Generations immersed in self obsession beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
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Growing Up
Liking oneself is valuable.  The inverted ego is painful, people grovelling around thinking they are worthless, not good enough, it’s part of the guilt-mind-control program of the religious tyrants, persecute everyone’s thoughts and then offer salvation. Humans are made of stardust, gods in the making, have the ability to love, to wander the stars endlessly weaving through the corridors of the heavens.  So what does it matter if someone hurts your feelings and you get offended?  Really, we need to grow up? Unless a person can divert the arrows of hatred and selfishness of others, dissolve it into nothingness, dis-empower it, there’s little hope for incarnations to come, that is if the great Gods give them another chance…. seriously now (tongue in cheek).
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As long as there is self hatred it is difficult to cross over.  Cross over what? The river that stands between humanity and forever-ness.  On the human side of the river lies a civilisation in conflict, hatred; enchantment with bling, chasing shiny things and before one knows it life is over, the spirit being is ripped out of the body and as the great Sages say, death is like a rose bush being pulled through ones being…then back out into deep space to do a life review and then pop back into another body somewhere for more or less of the same.  The great Buddha man Gautama said something like, “get off the wheel”. Humanity is imprisoned and loves it, it’s like shoes that are too tight, people keep wearing them because they look good but it’s a painful experience….and anyhow they look great in a Selfie.
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The Self and Selflessness
For eons, not just on this planet but right throughout the Cosmos, man and other beings have sought the meaning of life, to understand the Source of Creation, the goal, to put to rest the questions that haunt him/her/it.  From that quest there have been many philosophies created, some have imprisoned species and other tenets have helped them to dig deep, in many cases they have just put their minds at rest and have allowed them to go about their business and do ‘other stuff’.  With their philosophical questions answered, they can be at ease and not worry any longer. Ahhhh the tragedy of delusion, civilisations imprisoned by thought, not just here but throughout the galaxies.
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Bharat, people usually know it as the greater Indian subcontinent, historically has had many glorious beings wander its sands, earth and skies.  In the age of darkness there are many charlatans, the self obsessed pretending to be wise men. But leaving them aside, there have wondrous beings who stepped in and out of bodies there and delivered wisdom appropriate to the times they moved in and also dropped seed thoughts to grow in future generations.  These great beings arrived to remind man of his hidden nature. In some traditions it is known as the Self, or in today’s language I will coin the phrase ‘the Non-Selfie’.
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The Imaginary Me
Modern man (and also that of any time period or sector of space) has difficulty in comprehending selflessness.  He/her/it often considers that it means annihilation, death of who it believes itself to be.  On that note I will give limited-thought-man a little slack and say yes it’s true it is the death of who he/she/it believes itself to be. There is a major difference between who one thinks one is and who one really is.  Who a person believes oneself to be has come about by receiving information and building up a picture and eventually the person says “that’s me”, it is reinforced by the world around and when someone disagrees or says something negative, a person holds tighter, screams and shouts to protect its imaginary self.
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The Beauty of Nothingness
The sage Jiddu Krishnamurthi once said, “you must become nothing”.  A lot of people have disregarded or would bypass this snippet of wisdom.  It is running in the opposite direction to everyone else, everybody is building themselves up to BE something.  It is also easily misconstrued by students of spirituality who have half-knowledge, once hearing this, the sledgehammer method has been known kick in and there is often an attempt to destroy oneself and become blank, eradicate the personality, there is an attempt to run from life, t0 transcend. Human life is a glorious thing, the rising sun, the echoes of the valleys, the touch of a tender being who loves us, the rain on the tin roof, singing out loud on a sunny day, being IN experience is an important thing, life is precious. Experiencing is important, the idea of running is counterproductive, the problem is CLINGING to experience.
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What humanity suffers from is what I will call ‘loop syndrome’. As many would know, an audio loop is a sample of music that just keeps going around and around.  Humans have an experience and want to repeat it.  And mind you this is what happens with drug addiction, do it once, like it, give me more, like it a lot, give me a bigger packet and so on. This happens with MOST experiences.  In an harmonious life, a being has an experience, extracts the juice, the joy and wisdom and moves on.  With humans, what happens ‘under the bonnet’ is the thought particles get stuck and the awareness part of oneself keeps running back to have another hit of the same, like a faulty vinyl record or a CD glitch.
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SELF
The nature of the Self is closely related to selflessness, it is a beautiful contradiction.  Self is closer to SPACE than object and this is why so many people are what would be referred to as ‘going the wrong way’, there is often no consideration that what a person places in the SPACE is the obstacle.  On the other hand selfishness temporarily asserts itself as a powerful being, it separates itself out and places its own agendas above all others, at the expense of others.  Desire and need is normal, it rises for a moment, does its stuff and falls back into the abyss of space; this is the nature of the world of form and thought, there is a constant refreshing.  The NOT SELF, is a series of thoughts that join together and say “hey that’s me”, “I’m old, I’m clever, I’m beautiful, I’m fat”… the bundle of stories the NOT SELF gathers together throughout its lifetime creates the identity that it believes itself to be.  It defends itself at all costs
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FREEDOM
Freedom comes about by gently dismantling and discarding the story of who we are. The continuous self obsession of ‘Selfie mentality’ covers the canvas of life with layer upon layer of information that reinforce the sense of I. And this doesn’t mean that I think ‘freezing moments in time’ in photographs are a bad thing, but understanding self obsession and how it stands in the way of super-consciousness is critical. Personally I don’t really see what people call EGO, I just see it as thought taking up space; a process of meditation is very helpful in learning to detach from thought and abandoning the known.
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There is a way through all this chaos on the world stage and it is in understanding Nothingness, the great Emptiness.  EVERYTHING on the screen of life regardless of what world or galactic civilisation one is in, emerges out of Emptiness/Nothingness and then recedes when its life-cycle is over, this may be a brief moment or billions of years. This Nothingness is ALIVE, it holds all potentials and is at the core of our being and this is where freedom lies.

Tilopa 2.0

The Yoga of Addiction

I think addictions can be a good thing. Being distracted by, absorbed in something and a sense of regularity has its benefits. All great musicians and artists are addicted, Einstein, Newton and Buddha were all engulfed by a deep passion of wanting to ‘know’ and to reach an end, even if that end was temporary, they sought a resolve. It seems obvious when it comes to addictions that our flavour, our choice of ‘poison’ is what makes the difference. We can ask one simple question, “Does it weaken us, or strengthen us?” …. said in a deep radio announcer Shakespearean tone ‘that is the question’.
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Gimme the Lot
We can be reckless beings, the feeling of being infallible, the arrogance and bravado of youth, thinking we are invincible… gimme more, just keep loading up the bong till paranoia seems like the norm. Which tablet? Give me the lot; sucking down buckets of alcohol till even our dearest friends don’t want to know us. And we go back for more next week; ultimately in time we end up on an island of isolation, we no longer function well enough to navigate the changing fortunes that emerge on our screen of life; and do more of the same thing that got us to that point.
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The Loneliest Moment
I have very strong views on drugs and alcohol, I am not frightened to say them, they undermine our sense of community, an epidemic of destruction, they destroy the beauty of life. The window I look through comes from one ‘still frame’ moment just before my oldest boys funeral; the hearse pulled up, I walked over and just stood alone beside it, not knowing where to look, seeing the coffin, how long to stay? Why is no-one else here? Where is my family? Where are my friends? …. the preciousness of life was defined then and there, standing at the doorway to eternity. And the loneliest moment in the history of the universe had just invited me in. In a way, that moment defined the man I wanted to become, or the one who could have died with my son.
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Doughnuts are Better than Cocaine
What leads a person to the place where my son lay can be many things, life is challenging, we can be frail and keep throwing layer after layer over us until we disappear. But regardless of specifics, I do know it is about addiction, or more specifically, what we align ourselves with.  Addiction to me does not mean alcohol, heroin, ice or any other thing used by the hidden bankers to undermine the threads of the fabric of the community we live in. It means the way that we get stuck on a thought, what we think and hook into becomes bigger than us. A silly example would be:

I see doughnut (yum) >  My memory recalls sensation of bliss (mouth waters) > I devour doughnut (or half dozen) > Doughnut tickles my being (sugar dancing in mouth) >
Goes about its secret business (digests, turns into a little bit more fat than i was hoping for) >
Ultimately impacts in ways that make me feel worthless ( i think I am fat, or don’t like my pimples)…..
It really depends on how many times we run the loop, it all comes back to thought. And i am not saying don’t eat fun stuff, I am talking about doughnut addicts.
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Making Friends With the Enemy 
If we are smart, self-loving, alert, tender with ourselves, we will develop a sense of ‘well-being, problem is that’self care and love’ is the wisdom fruit of life’s experiences. So let’s short track this.
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In the same way that a clear pond way up in the hills, in the wooded valleys has fresh water coming in; we need to refresh our thoughts, to keep new information coming in so we don’t stagnate. Personally, I go for science and technology, quantum physics and break-through’s, I ponder the stars and dream a lot, question religious texts and try and get inside them, study and explore different aspects music.  I do this because I UNDERSTAND ADDICTION and the plasticity of the brain.  If I freeze and become addicted to things that undermine me, I would lose my sparkle for life. I have an obligation to those who I love, those who have left the world already, those who have taken the time to offer me the knowledge they had; so I seek joy in the depth of experience. My nature is addictive, I was very aware of that at a young age and in a stroke of genius turned it into my friend. I have learned to use it to my advantage; to choose things that are good, not just those that feel good temporarily.
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And it’s that simple.

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