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About Sephiroth88

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  • Birthday 02/02/1965
  1. Yes it does. I agree! My previous post is derived from Michael N's book "Journey of Souls. It has been what I consider to be the most sensible, intelligent and realistic description(s) of what happens after death I've ever read or heard about. It really resonated with me as well.
  2. My understanding so far is that, yes, we will at some point no longer need to re-incarnate into a physical body, after we have learned, realized, discovered all the lessons our souls need to learn by being in a physical body. Our souls will then move on to the next stage of our evolution, whatever exactly that may be, I don't know; won't venture to say. Doesn't necessarily mean that we cannot incarnate again physically if we choose to, like to help those incarnated on earth or whatever. But I think it will get to a point where incarnation is no longer a mandatory thing. I could be wrong though. Wouldn't be the first time
  3. Okay, thanks for the answers ^.^
  4. What are our Souls? Quick question here I'd like to have others understandings of about. What are our souls? Are they individual units of consciousness or Source energy, incarnated into the physically manifested things we call our bodies? Thoughts? Comments? Thanks!
  5. Enlightenment by Adyashanti Hey all. Here's a good piece about enlightenment. It's actually chapter 19 from Adyashanti's book Emptiness Dancing. ENLIGHTENMENT Over the years of giving talks and having discussions with people about freedom, enlightenment, and liberation, I have discovered that most of the people who are seeking enlightenment or liberation have no idea what it is. It is ironic that people who are spending a great amount of their energy, even sacrificing their lives in some cases, by locking themselves up in monasteries, or coming to satsang whenever a new teacher comes into town, and spending all of their extra money on books, weekend seminars, and evenings like this where they ponder spiritual matters intensely, really don't have any idea of what they are after. This came as a bit of a shock to me when I started to ask people what it is they think enlightenment is. The most honest would usually kind of scratch their heads as it suddenly would dawn on them, "I really don't know. I'm not really sure." And those who weren't quite capable of mustering that much authenticity would usually spit out what somebody else had said, such as, "Well, it's union with the divine." Other people would come up with their own ideas. In modern vernacular, we call those fantasies. "When enlightenment happens it's going to be ..." fill in the blank. Usually the expectation is that it's going to be something like an infinitely extended orgasm. We say in Zen, "If you sit down, shut up, and face a wall long enough, something is going to happen." Many people have done this and then had an enjoyable experience— perhaps a very extended pleasurable state that lasted a few minutes or hours, or perhaps, if they were lucky, throughout a whole retreat. Maybe this feeling lasted only a few seconds in a given meditation before the mind said, "Now if I just extend this experience infinitely through time, that is what freedom is going to be like." However, my experience of enlightenment was simply the demolition of everything that I thought it was going to be. And I have never met anybody who has truly and authentically awakened to the Truth who has ever said anything other than that. I have never met a single person who has come back and said, ''Adya, you know it's pretty much like I thought it would be. They usually come back and say, "This is nothing like anything I thought it would be. And this is nothing like any of the spiritual experiences I have had before in my life, including experiences of bliss, love, union with the divine, or cosmic consciousness." Again, as we say in Zen, "If you sit down, shut up, and face the wall long enough, then all of these experiences are going to happen to you." And then guess what is going to happen to those experiences? They are going to pass away. Now, most people who actually know this pretend that they don't. Most people who have been through the list of spiritual experiences know that not one of them has lasted because, if it had, they wouldn't still be seeking the next experience. So most people who have been at the game of spirituality long enough know that no experience has lasted. Nobody wants to face this. Students can hear hundreds or thousands of times that enlightenment is not an experience, and still they bring the concern to satsang, ''Adya, what I gain in satsang when I come, I lose when I leave." And I always say, "Of course. It doesn't matter what experience you have, you're going to lose your experience. That's the nature of experience." It sounds good to say that freedom is that which doesn't come and go, but the only thing the mind can do with that is imagine an endlessly extended experience that doesn't come and go. And then it thinks, "I just haven't come up with the right endlessly extended experience that doesn't come and go. I haven't got it right." For some reason, and I take absolutely no credit for this whatsoever, while I sat and faced the wall for fifteen years as a Zen student, various experiences occurred. These events included mind-blasting kundalini experiences, mystical union, bliss, and being flooded with divine light and love. Like most people who sit facing a wall, I found these experiences didn't happen nearly as often or last nearly as long as I would have wanted them to. At particular points along the journey, there was a tendency to think, "This is it! This experience is so overwhelmingly pleasurable that this has to be it!" My consciousness expanded infinitely wide, and I was pounded with more insights than I could take in. If you want these experiences, there is a prescription for getting them—just sit and face a wall for endless hours a day. But I received what I found out later was an incredible grace, which was that right in the midst of these most amazing, beautiful experiences, that didn't happen nearly often enough, an annoying little voice would come in every single time and say, "Keep going; this isn't it!" The rest of me would be thinking, "This indeed is it because everything about my body and mind is telling me this is it. All signals are go. The pleasure has become so immense that this has to be it." Then the little voice would come in and say, "Don't stop here, this isn't it." If I had my choice, I probably would have taken that little voice and thrown it out the window because I noticed that other people had these great realizations too, but at least they got to enjoy them for a few days, weeks, and in some cases months, being very convinced that they had arrived. And I rarely got to groove on one of these realizations for more than ten minutes. That doesn't mean it would stop happening immediately. It just means that while it was happening, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this wasn't it, no matter what the experience was. I say this was a tremendous grace because time and time again it pushed me out of the place where I probably would have liked to settle. If you hold on to any experience, you will experience suffering as soon as it passes. It's amazing that so often this suffering does not get us to move on, but causes us to turn back 180 degrees to look for the experience we lost. So many times this suffering is a complete waste of time because we don't get the lesson that any experience that came and went is not enlightenment, and we try to repeat or sustain it endlessly. If we are really lucky, either we know right away that a passing experience isn't it, or the experience fades and we don't do the 180-degree turn backwards. We realize that whatever the experience was, it wasn't enlightenment. Because all these experiences are something that are happening to a me, and any experience that happens to a me is bound by time, which simply means it's going to come and go. For me, this was a grace because I saw whatever experience that came down the pike wasn't the enlightenment I was seeking. It shortened my journey immeasurably. When we talk about seeking enlightenment, which is about the most abused word in the spiritual dictionary, what we are really seeking is the answer to, "What is the Truth?" That question is an entirely different orientation than, "How can I get that experience?" and "How can I sustain it?" Asking, "What is the Truth?" is a demolition project. Most of spirituality is a construction project. We're ascending and ascending— ideas are ascending, kundalini energy is ascending, consciousness is ascending. It just keeps building, and a person feels, ''I'm getting better and better." But enlightenment is a demolition project. It simply shows you that everything you ever believed was true isn't. Everything you take yourself to be, whatever your self image is—good, bad, or indifferent—you're not that. Whoever you think others are— good, bad, or indifferent—is not true. Whatever you think about God is wrong. You cannot have a true thought about God, so all of your thoughts about God tell you precisely and exactly what the divine is not. Whatever you think the world is tells you exactly and precisely what the world is not. Whatever you think about enlightenment is also precisely and exactly what it's not. Do you get the flavor of it? It's a removal project. What does it remove? Everything. And unless it's a removal of everything, it's not ultimately liberating. If there is one thing or a single viewpoint that hasn't been removed, then liberation hasn't happened yet. In the lives of most human beings, everything is about an avoidance of the truth. The truth that we are avoiding is the Truth of emptiness. We don't want to see that we are nothing. We don't want to see that everything we believe is wrong. We don't want to see that what everybody else believes is wrong. We don't want to see that our viewpoint is wrong and that there is no right viewpoint. We don't want to see that everything we think about God is what God is not. We don't want to see what the Buddha meant when he said there is no self. We would rather quickly insert a positive statement. So instead of seeing that there is no self and that everything the mind holds as true is ultimately empty, our minds will quickly insert something positive like, "I am consciousness," or "All is bliss," or "God is love." We do not want to see that there is a gaping void at the center of our existence. Throughout the centuries, when spirituality is spoken of in a way that is as close to Truth as the spoken word can possibly come, it is covered up as fast as possible. Even in Zen—which as far as I can see is one of the purer forms of chasing the Buddha's enlightenment experience—there is often an avoidance of the central teaching, which is that there is no self. That's why when you open a magazine, even a Buddhist magazine, you cannot find the central tenet of the teaching. It's not there. Instead, most spiritual writing tells you how to be more compassionate and loving, how to meditate better, count your breaths, say your mantra, or visualize your deity, and on and on. Even in Buddhism, it is often covered up, though it is a little difficult to hide the central tenet of the founder: there is no self. Even if it's not hidden, it's rarely talked about, and when it is, it's kind of dressed up. The real teachings about enlightenment are like a sword blade that swooshes right through whatever direction you were going in. They cut your legs off, and you find yourself nose-down on the floor, bloodied from the fall. It was said long ago that it's the truth that sets you free, and the most compassionate thing that we can do for anyone, including ourselves, is to tell the truth. What is not liberating is to tell ourselves or tell each other only what we want to hear. That's not compassionate. That's cruelty in a hidden form because it enslaves us to an endless cycle of chasing something that doesn't exist. The Truth might make our minds feel somewhat helpless, but that is the whole point! That's what surrender means. Surrender doesn't mean, ''I'm going for the divine, giving everything up, giving my life, my heart, my everything. I'm giving everything up so I will attain the ultimate spiritual goodie." Many of the people who are doing their hundred thousand prostrations around the Himalayas are doing them only because they think it's going to get them the ultimate goodie. Have you ever thought about it? If I didn't think it was going to get me the ultimate goodie, I wouldn't be doing it, for Pete's sake. A hundred thousand prostrations is a real pain in the ass. Surrender is the same bow down, internally or externally, but made without seeking anything in return. The rest is a game. It's ego. ''I'll pretend to be spiritual because it's going to get me something." The truly spiritual is, "I want only the Truth. I'm willing to give up everything that's not the Truth. It doesn't matter whether I like to give it up or I don't like to give it up. It doesn't matter whether it shakes the whole foundation of my being or it doesn't. And it's not that I want the truth as an acquisition that I can hold and possess. It's that I want the Truth, which by its nature has to be that which is not an acquisition." There has to be an absolute release, an absolute letting go, but not for something in return. The absolute letting go is letting go of the one who is letting go. There's nothing in enlightenment for the me. In one sense, enlightenment is realizing that there is no separate self. We might hear that a hundred thousand times, "There is no separate self." But what happens when we take it inside and seriously consider what it could mean? We would find it means that everything I as a separate self holds as true isn't. The taste of no separate self is totally liberating. "No separate self" does not mean there is a spiritual experience that goes something like, "I have extended myself infinitely everywhere, and have merged with everything." That's a beautiful, wonderful experience for a separate self to have, but that's not what Oneness is. Oneness is not merging. Merging happens between two and since there is only one, then any experience of merging is one illusion merging with another, as beautiful and wonderful as that experience may be. Even when I experience having merged with the absolute, with the infinite, with God, it simply means that my fictitious self has merged with another fiction. Mystical experiences aren't enlightenment. Oneness is when there isn't another. Oneness is—there is only this. There is no that over there, there is only this. And that's all there is. There is only this, and as soon as you say what this is, you've just defined what it's not. This is only realized in the utter demolition of everything that it's not. Then that awakening is an awakening outside of everything that comes and goes. It is a total waking up outside of time. This awakening is just like waking up from a dream at night—which is why that metaphor has been used so often throughout the centuries. The dream is as real as this moment. If you think your life is threatened in your dream, you're going to panic just as much as you'll panic if you think your life is threatened right now. But when you wake up in the morning you think, "My goodness, it wasn't really that real." It was real as dreams go. It existed as dreams exist, but it doesn't have the reality we thought it did when we were in the midst of the dream. Human beings don't know how significant it is to wake up from a dream in the middle of the night. You literally woke up out of a dimension that you took to be just as true as this dimension. It's a cataclysmic change of consciousness. Everything that I thought was true in that dream ends up not being true. When there is real and authentic spiritual awakening, the impact is exactly the same. I'm not saying this world is or is not a dream—it's pointless to define this world. But I am saying the experience of awakening is exactly like that. It's the experience of, "My God, I took myself to be a human being named so-and-so and I'm not. And it's not that I'm something better or bigger or more expansive or more holy or divine. It means I'm not. Period." That doesn't mean there is not a body. There is obviously a body. That doesn't mean there is not a mind. There is obviously a mind. That doesn't mean there is not a personality. There is obviously a personality. There is also a sense of self Enlightened or not, you will have a sense of self. Otherwise consciousness couldn't work in a body. Otherwise someone would call your name, and you would never respond. As far as I can see, every sage throughout time has somehow been able to respond. Ramana actually put it the opposite way. He said "There is only the Self," which is just, "There is no self," turned upside down. It's the same thing. What is there when there is no self? What do we call that? Ramana decided to call it the Self. But really the Self is what is there when there is no self. I guarantee that you will have a sense of self after enlightenment. Your body could not operate without a sense of self. So it's a myth that somehow when you get enlightened, you're going to lose your sense of self. It is possible when meditating to temporarily lose your sense of self, so that if somebody called your name you would not turn around. I have seen people in meditation not even be able to get up. In India they call that nirvikalpa samadhi. It's a nice experience. Some insight might come out of it. Some insight might not come out of it. You can have the experience called a temporary cessation of the experience of self, but I guarantee that it will be temporary because your body cannot function without a sense of self. If you really drop into no self, it's outside of time, which means it doesn't last a short period of time, and it doesn't last a long period of time. It is a timeless realization, and if it's not, then you haven't realized it yet. Then, at best, you have had an experience called "I temporarily lost my sense of self," which is not what "no self" means. No self means, with or without the sense of self, that you directly know thoroughly that there is no self, which also means there is no other. There is only one thing going on. Whether you call that one thing God, the divine, consciousness, Buddha nature, emptiness, fullness, leftist, rightist, it doesn't matter. But when there is only one thing going on, there is only one thing going on. There is only emptiness and its infinite display of itself. Freedom is the ultimate demolition project because it steals everything from you. That's why it's liberating. It steals your argument with yourself because there isn't one. It steals your arguments with others because there aren't any. It steals your argument with the world because there is only That. There is only one thing going on, and that is never in argument with itself. Never. Ever. That's why it's so freeing, because you are freed from this endless twoness. When there is awakening to our true nature, our minds are no longer looking at emptiness because there is no separate somebody to look at it. We realize that the only thing that's ever looking at emptiness is itself. That's another reason why I am not the first to say there are no enlightened individuals, there is only enlightenment. Enlightenment wakes up. Not you or I. You and I are rendered insignificant and nonexistent. Enlightenment wakes up. That's why it is said that everybody is inherently enlightened. But that statement is misleading because it implies that everybody is a separate, special, unique little somebody who is inherently enlightened, and that misses the point. An illusion can't be enlightened. So it's not really true that everybody is enlightened. It's only true that enlightenment is enlightened. The other part of it is that enlightenment steals everything from you. That's how you can spot enlightenment—whatever body it has happened through is robbed totally blind, and it knows this, but it couldn't care less. It is so happy to be robbed blind, to not have all those points of view, to not believe the opinions of the mind—which will still have some opinions because there is still a body, mind, and personality that will have their ideas—but these are now seen as meaningless. That's when you know something authentic has happened. I have steered away this evening from talking about many of the positive aspects of enlightenment, but there is no way you could really see the truth and not be giggling in some way for the rest of your life. There is no way that you couldn't just love this world to death, even though you know it's not half as real as you thought it was. There is no way you could not love people a hundred times more, even though you know that they're not what you thought they were. But I don't want to speak too much about that because the mind starts to think it's being handed candy when it's not. It's being handed a sword. Santa Monica, California: February 8, 2002
  6. Wow, Teal. I almost envy how you are articulate enough with writing to be able to describe your journey on ayahuasca. I've had 14 journeys myself now at a Native American church in the state of Kentucky. But I've not ever had any quite as intense as yours which you described above. I cannot articulate how I felt at times on my journeys, all the deep thoughts and questions I was afraid to ask because of fear. . ., the immense amount of information, it seemed, that I felt like I had quickly going by me.. And much more. One time, on my 9th journey, and thankfully I was lucid enough, I fought off an entity that seemed to want to intrude into my psyche. At least that's what my experience seemed like. For the most part though, I feel my journeys on aya have been productive and positive. Ayahuasca has been described as being like "mother natures red pill". If you've ever seen the first "The Matrix" movie, you'll known what I mean. It'll rock your world, that's for sure, no matter how prepared you may think you are. And I read up on it and got an intellectual heads up on it which helped, but the actual first experience on aya. . .damn!! Somehow though, it seems to me that an ayahuasca ceremony in the USA just isn't quite the same as a traditional ceremony in central or south America, with actual icaros singing and working with the medicine while you are having your journey and so on. For lack of a better way of putting it, it seems that an aya ceremony in the USA gives you the essentials of what aya is about, while a traditional ceremony in central or south America gives you a more "full effect". From my experiences with it, I can see why the native peoples in central/south America considered it sacred. It's some really powerful stuff. It is best to approach ayahuasca with respect and with noble intentions and motives for drinking it, like for healing, or to perhaps expand your consciousness and to help with spiritual growth and the evolution of your soul. Things along those lines. I wish I could say more. . .but I don't have the time. Teal, I can see that you had really had some rough times in your journey. Well, it seemed like pretty much the whole journey was rough. But I believe you'll look back on it in hindsight and see just how productive and worthwhile it was. Aya can definitely cut through the illusions and bullshit about some things.
  7. You go! Stand in your sovereignty and tell them entities what's up. Make your boundaries, allow no consent or permission for them and know who you are. Awareness is very important. Also be aware of what things you yourself give permission and consent to. We are not all powerful, but we are more powerful than what the media and society would have us believe.
  8. Thanks for the replies. I'll check 'em out.
  9. Are you on the path of Awakening but sometimes feel that you are just one person, that you aren't making much of a difference in the world? Do you think you have to be an activist, out there in the "real" world with protest signs and stuff? That you don't have the time, money, or maybe the skills or ability to make a difference? This article encouraged me; hope it does the same for you:
  10. Here's an excerpt which contains info about something called "Lifeline" that I came across a while back reading a PDF document called "Fringe Knowledge for Beginners", which you can get for FREE here . Just scroll down a bit to find the link to download the full PDF if you're interested. When you feel overwhelmed with negative emotions, life seems to suck, shit has hit the fan, or whatever. . . Hope this helps:
  11. Hey all, I was wondering if anyone can post a couple of links to a couple of good websites that have some basic, beginner info about astrology. I'd like to learn more about it. Thanks!
  12. I'm not an expert on this kind of thing, especially from experience with non-physical entities and stuff, but from all the material I've read about people who have dealt with non-physical negative entities, you can try saying something like the following to it: “Back off! You are not allowed to enter my space! This is my space and my boundary! You have no permission to enter! Get off of me and stay away! This is my body and you are not welcome!….” You may have to keep this up for several minutes or whatever. I've had to say stuff like this a couple of times when I felt my "space" and my psyche was being intruded upon by an entity. Not long ago, I was asleep at night and had a dream. In this dream, I saw a door that was open a little bit. I was moving towards it and as I got near it, I heard what sounded like a very loud clap of thunder or something. Unusual for me to experience that in a dream. The dream ended and I lay there somewhat awake for a bit, then I got up to use the bathroom. As I was in the bathroom, I felt and sensed a malevolent presence. After being done in the bathroom, I immediately said some things like I suggested above to this entity. Within a few minutes, it went away; I no longer felt its presence. You may also have to deal with your male roommate about this. He may be an "organic portal" that is attracting these kind of entities to himself, which may also be attracted to you since you are nearby. . .Can't say for sure, of course. For more info on what "organic portals" are, check out this article if you want. You can also check out the book "Practical Psychic Self-Defense" by Robert Bruce. You should be able to find a used or new copy of it at or elsewhere online. Hope this helps.
  13. Another good article at Loner Wolf :
  14. I used to not believe in astrology years ago, thanks to the Christian religion, which I have been out of now for years. Hell, I can't say I even really know the basics of it, but I know it was used by many people in the past till modern science came along and separated astrology from what is now astronomy. But since my spiritual awakening a few years ago, I now believe there is definitely some truth and stuff to it, but I don't think that a person's life has to be fated or completely set in stone in all ways to it. And like using a pendulum, I don't think it should or has to determine everything in your life. Let astrology serve you, not the other way around. I'm an Aquarius, by the way. But again, I really don't know too much about astrology. I'd like to read some good basic info about it sometime though...
  15. Here is an article that goes into more in-depth discussion of being grounded, embodied, and more : ) But first, a little excerpt from the article: