Why are you, the reader, seeking out this sort of information? For what purpose do take time out of your day to absorb this material when there are innumerable alternative ways you can utilize this time? Unless you are somehow here against your will, this means that you have consciously chosen to engage in a quest for information because you have placed some value in listening to another human being’s thoughts. None of you truly know what I am going to say here, therefore an element of faith, curiosity, or hope was assumed on your part in your calculation of whether or not continuing reading will behoove you or be a waste of your time.
Perhaps you are anticipating that I might be able to tell you something you don’t already know – something that might give you the intellectual edge on your life’s dilemmas, something that might assuage your emotional turbulence, or something that will help you to answer life’s biggest mysteries. Perhaps there was an assumption on your part, whether conscious or unconscious, that I have an answer that you do not; or that I can provide for you something that you need. Perhaps you have estimated the probability that you can glean some wisdom from the concepts I will discuss and the words by which I convey these concepts. Maybe you seek this material because you crave the affirmative consolation of another human in agreement with you. Humans often feel emotionally satiated when another person echoes their beliefs or mirrors their worldview. This can make the psychologically lonely man feel accompanied and thusly more confident in his convictions. Perhaps you felt intuitively pressured to attend this today, and are unsure of the reason but open to one should it present itself.
Why do I ask these questions, especially right out of the gate? In a world where deception is stalking us in the tall grass, where advertising, propaganda, and disinformation are sold at a premium, and where our own urges seem to commandeer our better judgement, it is imperative for us to scrutinize every thought, belief, and desire. No matter how seemingly innocuous or trivial these artificial urges seem at first glance, they are seeds that can potentially grow into a vine that constricts our intuitive natural urges.
Dependence & The Feeling of Necessity
For those of us that feel that we “need” something – whether it be from another person, from society, or from the abstraction of life itself – inspect this belief under higher magnification. Where has this frisson of lack derived from? Examine this attitude from a standpoint of retrospection. Reflect for a moment on a time in your life when hope was lost. It is often when we are, as the Spanish say, “en profundis,” in the pits of despair, that we have moments of sobering clarity. The Greek philosopher Seneca was the first to expound on the powerful clarity that emerges from deep within us when we mentally rehearse losing all things in our lives that we hold of importance. In the movie Fight Club, Tyler Durden says, “It is only when we lose everything, that we are free to do anything.” By stripping away the superficial apparent value that we place in materialism, social comfort, and other putative exigencies, we realize that which has been true all along – that we are living in an artificially constructed and inorganically upheld Illusion of Necessity. This illusion is quite convincing.
There exists within the mind of man an entire psychological infrastructure erected upon and built to serve the crippling notion that we are dependent, not independent. Now, I will not mince words: we believe it because we want to believe it. Fear of self-sustainability, both within and without, is one of the primary culprits of our inability to gain psychological sovereignty. Indeed, the one feeds the other, for it is the fear within man’s heart that transudes into the fear without man’s place in creation. The notion of lack we are discussing stems from man’s fear of insufficiency and mortality which stems from a misunderstanding of himself. He is infinite and he is immortal.
If there is one thing man does lack, it is an objective view of his internal predicament. As mentioned before, we believe what we want to believe. Currently, man believes he is incapable of handling his own emotions because he wants to believe someone else, be it a friend or psychiatrist, is better suited to dulcify his apprehensions and insecurities. He only wishes to tend his emotional garden when it is warm and sunny but immediately calls in the landscapers the moment he feels a raindrop. This outsourcing of man’s internal faculties has ominous implications for his social life.
Man can no longer subsist off of his instincts or ingenuity. The average man no longer has an understanding of wild edibles or how to grow his own food; instead he finds everything he needs at the supermarket. Man no longer takes care of his own health and wellness; instead he hires doctors and fitness coaches to help him stay healthy and fit. Man no longer builds his own homestead; instead it is built for him in the same cookie cutter design as all of his neighbor’s homes. Man no longer handles transactions through barter and trade; instead he gives away his money to banks that essentially operate as middlemen getting half the cut. Man does not generate his own electricity; instead he pays tooth and nail for inefficient brown energy that transports from far away and pollutes the environment. Man cannot even judge time without technological gadgets to do it for him. Modern man is entirely incapable of basic survival on the very planet he calls home.
Man’s State of Spiritual Infancy
It is this very reason why man is in a perpetual state of infancy. He has not reached adulthood where he gains the ability to take care of himself, feed himself, clothe himself, and doctor himself. Instead, he remains dependent on “the system.” He remains dependent on antiquated thought structures that constrain him in a certain vibratory frequency. In the same manner that biological life evolves, indeed there exists an evolution of consciousness that is dictating the universal laws and patterns expressed in energy and matter – beyond the reaches of science and math and beyond the realms of space and time.
This evolution of thought elevates our understanding of ourselves. There is generally a very specific sequence of stages through which man deciphers himself. Comatose victims who emerge from long stretches of time in an unconscious state often ask the following questions: Where am I? When am I? What has happened to me? What is going on around me? Why has this happened to me?
I believe this line of questioning closely mimics the evolution of man’s consciousness. We start our lives attempting to grasp the basics using our sensory systems. When the patient asks, “Where am I?” it is akin to observations like location, proximity, texture, taste, smell, sound, density, volume, weight, and temperature. Next we begin to integrate time into our analysis. When the patient asks “When am I?” it is akin to our attempt at understanding the sequence of the universe. Concepts like yesterday and tomorrow are devised to track the chronology of our actions and observations. Next, we investigate ourselves. When the patient asks, “What happened to me?” this is akin to existential quandaries like “Who am I? Where do I come from? And where am I going?” Next, we explore the world around us. When the patient asks, “What is going on around me?” this is akin to our observation of nature in all its majesty. Finally, we look for meaning and question the origins of creation. When the patient asks, “Why has this happened to me?” it is akin to our quest in search of god, connectedness, and love.
An interesting phenomenon happens in the evolution of consciousness; our attention begins with ourselves in an egotistical manner. We are driven by narcissism, vanity, materialism, acquisition, and sensual pleasures. Next, as we externalize meaning, our attention shifts outwardly to god, or to science, or to the universe. We look externally for answers. However, our attention inevitably boomerangs back to ourselves, but this time with the ego transcended. We realize that the answers we seek are deep within us. Psychology is the custodian of our spirituality, and philosophy is his door key to the roof.
The Evolution of Consciousness
These two concepts we are discussing: the illusion of necessity and the evolution of consciousness – they are closely intertwined, for it is a commonly held belief that man needs something for his consciousness to evolve. This false notion is upheld in old religious doctrines and new age philosophies alike. They peddle the litany that you need to think a certain way, act a certain way, look, sound, or feel a certain way. You need this experience, you need that experience. You need to learn information, you need to listen to a guru, and you need to subscribe to a belief set.
For the evolution of consciousness, nothing internal or external is needed. It is a self-evident inevitability. The very premise of existence brings about experiences, thoughts, emotions, ideas, beliefs, and growth whether it is sought after or not. We live in a stimulating universe, one that is abounding with influences and teachers that cater specifically to soul growth. After all, that is its one “sole” function. Bob Berglewicz says, “The external world is merely a tool, which, if used rightly, should only serve to help us better understand ourselves.”
At the present, man is experiencing spiritual growing pains. Ups and downs. He is old enough to ponder ontological notions of his own existence, but unable to adequately answer them. He is plagued with an insatiable appetite for answers with only breadcrumbs to nourish his yearning for the definitive. This implies that man is seeking the definitive. Perhaps man craves answers because he believes it will squelch his thirst for knowledge. Perhaps man desires answers because he believes uncertainty is the source of the pain he feels. Perhaps man is attempting to objectivize a subjective universe. Perhaps he is trying to solidify a liquid reality. Perhaps he is looking for answers that are not merely elusive, but nonexistent.
Is man predisposed for skepticism? And is too much skepticism a bad thing? If an answer were to become apparent, would man concede to its axiomatic trueness or would he continue to seek for new plausibilities? It seems that man is more focused on constructing an external reality to his liking than deconstructing his internal reality.
The systems of society man creates are extensions of his limited understanding of himself and creation. We look for superficial fixes to these deep systemic flaws corrupting a healthy and functional society; but rarely do we question man’s mindset in our evaluation of this pestilent culture. Does man’s weakness lie in positing theories and trying to prove himself right? How often does man listen to and align with nature without dismissing its perfection and trying to fix it, escape it, or outdo it? Man’s intuitive connection to nature is often ignored or over-analyzed.
Perhaps the source of man’s skepticism is his expectation of how these answers will arrive. Perhaps man is expecting someone else to discover truth and share it with him. Perhaps man is expecting truth to come to him only through an ineffable spiritual epiphany rather than everyday life. Perhaps man is expecting truth to be widely accepted once it becomes known. Perhaps man is expecting a grand and complicated truth rather a paltry and simple truth.
There is no manual for man to read to garner an understanding of that which he calls life. Some would assert that religions have disseminated books that attempted to solve this great riddle for us; but after all, man created religions and it was his hand that wrote the sacred texts.
There is no textbook for man to study the laws and formulas of creation. Some would assert that science and math have attempted to understand these recondite forces, but with new fields of science displacing outmoded ones, we cannot yet rely on these equations.
There is no law book for man to glean the appropriate course of moral action. Again, some would assert that religion and government have the absolute moral authority on right and wrong; but after all, man adjudicated these verdicts which are constantly revised and deleted, so how can they be irrefutably true?
The emotional hurdles we leap over on the dash towards the victory of ephemeral happiness seem much shorter when we recognize that each hurdle is there to give us the exact amount of difficulty we require for the spiritual epiphany we are ultimately seeking. We can leap them with precision and grace once this recognition is assimilated. We can clench our fists of apathy when presented with a challenging hurdle, but we must recognize that not only is the hurdle an intrinsic part of the race, but that we put it there for ourselves. We are foolishly getting angry at the obstacle we placed in our own path for our own benefit.
We want growth without challenge, which doesn’t exist. The titillating idea of a life without cataclysm is the mirage of the oasis in the desert of our hearts. Not only is it false, it is dangerous to believe in. We become vulnerable to unnecessary self-inflicted vandalism when we leave the front door to our hearts open. In other words, if we expect to live a life of ease, we will surely be caught off guard when adversity rears its ugly head. Often times we overcome what we begin to call “the biggest challenge of my life” and then we unconsciously expect the path ahead to be smooth and safe. How is it that man can survive the most harrowing tribulation, humbly realize that he can be brought to his knees by a difficult life lesson, and then immediately return to the arrogant belief that nothing can challenge him?
We hijack our own emotional control centers when we refuse to acknowledge the cyclical nature of experience thereby contractually obligating ourselves to repeat karmic lessons again and again until we derive understanding. This concept of The Eb and Flow of Adversity, is a titanic shift in our fundamental understanding of the universe. In the same manner a weightlifter must increase the resistance to continue muscle growth; life will present us with increasingly more difficult lessons to assimilate. A child will steadily progress through school by facing challenges that are perfectly tailored to his current cognitive state. The same is true for man on a soul level. No challenge too big or too small will be presented to the individual.
The eb and flow of adversity is intrinsic to the evolution of consciousness. In fact, it is the direct mechanism of it. Earlier we examined man’s expectation of how truth will arrive. It is often overlooked that adversity is the greatest teacher of all, and that destruction gives birth to improvement. Catastrophe is indeed the midwife of truth.
Once it is acknowledged that the eb and flow of adversity is the engine of the evolution of consciousness, it is plain to see that necessity is an illusion. Adversity is inevitable in a universe underpinned by collision, separation, and confluence. Beneath our feet, atoms course through space, elegantly dancing with one another, interacting ad infinitum, sharing and borrowing and relinquishing electrons, constantly creating and transmogrifying molecules and compounds. Above our heads, the cosmos mimics the dance of the atoms, with planetary and sidereal bodies colliding, partitioning, and subsuming one another. As above, so below; but what about man in the middle? Man fancies himself as the exception to most laws of nature; but certainly man is not the universal exception to change and adversity.
Some feel that the universe is conspiring against them. This is an error in perception, not an error in the universe. It is only after we take the Dharmic path, with duality transcended, that we realize labels like good and bad are incorrect. There is only neutral experience; we choose what to do with it. Some of the most common hardships that man faces today, both physical, emotional, and psychological, are things like disease, famine, economic disparity, violence, betrayal, abandonment, ostracization, mental abuse, and standing up for one’s beliefs. But perhaps the most challenging of all hardships is man’s process of enlightenment.
The Delusion of Failure
There still exists a rampant Delusion of Failure within the collective consciousness. This delusion has wreaked havoc on the mind of man for far too long through the emotional levers of disappointment, guilt, consternation, “sin,” low self-esteem, and self-loathing. Until man shakes this false notion of failure, he will be continue pressing his foot on the brake pedal of personal development.
Nature knows no such thing as weeds; man the gardener has labeled undesirables “weeds” although they serve a vital role in the ecosystem. It is the same for “failure” in man’s psychological garden. The label of failure is attached to undesirable outcomes, although they serve a vital role in the evolution of consciousness. Instead of lamenting the outcome, man should celebrate this moment for it is his arrival at a new understanding. Failure is success in disguise.
All paths lead to the truth. All paths, not just the path of complete devotion to truth and authenticity. For if someone is inadvertently on the path of falsehood, they will see the effects thereof, and will thusly come to understand the falsehood as well as its truthful counterpart. In the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2 Verse 40 perfectly encapsulates this point.
In this path there is no loss of the unfinished effort for realization, nor is there creation of contrary effects. Spiritual results begin as subtle transformations in the consciousness of the inner being. They are to be measured according to their peace-giving qualities. When a devotee advances very far, this inner peace becomes the consciousness of omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence. The devotee then controls the switch that runs the factory of cosmic creation.
*An amalgamation of billions of influences and thousands of past lives