Dear friends,

As time passes it is getting harder and harder for me to keep the English part of my blog. I will therefore have to stop it here. Thank you very much for reading it and commenting. Special thanks to Meow, ersi and James for their insightful inputs. It was my honour to receive them.

I wish everyone all the best,


Not our fault

I had to write an article on Lacan for a Greek magazine recently. In the past couple of months that I’ve been reading all related literature, I was impressed by the way Lacan tried to solve the riddle of human psychology. At the root of every want/desire that we feel, he said, there is a primary want which can never be met: the want to re-connect with our mother, like when we were in her womb. Now, this primary want cannot be met, so it changes faces all the time (like with metonymy in language). But, alas: even if some individual wants are eventually met, we can never feel satisfied and fulfilled, as our primary want will never be satisfied…

Besides wants, there are fears too. Our utmost fears are those of pain and death. What has threatened our security, our individuality, our attempts to meet our wants in early childhood is destined to be our companion forever, changing faces all the time, just like our wants do.

Now, both scientists and esotericists agree that the personality of a human being, which is the sum-up of our reaction to what is happening in the present moment, in our endeavour to satisfy our desires and/or avert potential threats, is completed around the 7th year of age. This means that our childhood wants and fears are its key determinants: we shape our personality in just these few years. After that, we are like a CD player, playing the same CD over and over again. Overwriting is possible, but it takes huge amounts of conscious effort.

The catch in this whole mess is that there is really nothing we can do. It’s not our fault. Even under optimum conditions, a child will always find something to be dissatisfied with, to be let down, will undergo a traumatic experience or will feel threatened – if not by anything else, by the comparison of sizes alone (his/her little body compared to the adults’). And all these determine the quality and depth of the fixation: how fearful, how weak, how incapable of loving we will become. It’s just how it is. And it’s not our fault.


Happiness super market

I’ve been into the triptych “love-beauty-enlightenment” since I was 18. I’ve tried many methods, among which: the Emin Way, Reiki, SRT, channeling and divinations of sorts. I’ve read tons of New Age books about spirituality, enlightenment, immortality and so on and so on. I boasted that I knew things that others did not, thought of myself as something extraordinary and waited to be adored by all creation in return. Every day I uttered deliberations to bring prosperity, love and happiness my way. I believed in my co-creator powers. Thus, I engaged heavily in meditation and visualizations – and was very sharp, if not downright rude, if someone had the nerve to interrupt my important engagements. I thought I had become enlightened, you see, that in some sense I was in this world but not of it.

There is no safest way to the rosy clouds. When putting yourself in such a situation, you essentially put it at the center of the world. Everything and everybody else just orbits around you as if of secondary importance. In a way, you become your own sun and get blinded, as a consequence. It’s a little bit like holding a lantern. You allow yourself only a very limited view: your body and just a few inches around it. And then you become so absorbed in what you see that you are convinced there is nothing else. In reality, you are holding a lantern in broad daylight, somehow like the Hermit card in the Tarot pack.

I would have stayed in this trance forever, if it weren’t for a series of hard jolts that brought me back to my senses. They actually forced me to lift my head and look around. And what I saw just made me gasp. Life had eluded me all these years. I thought I was living it to the maximum, but what I was really living was a self-delusion. I had even come to the point of lifting my shoulders in apathy when learning about other people’s hardships: they brought it to themselves, I thought. They are paying for old or new sins; they have no idea how things work.

Well, it turned out that neither did I. I thought of life as a big happiness super market and of world as a place of infinite joy and pleasure. I clang to it like babies cling to their feeding bottle, shut reality out and felt free to criticize everyone and everything. Such a fool that I was! Life was passing me by all these years that I spent in meditation, in contemplation of “beauty and love”, in certitude that I was enlightened.

Well, the world holds many things that are plainly ugly. We humans are so imperfect as a species and so predictable that it is almost alarming. But it’s OK. Even if the world is both ugly and beautiful and me imperfect and transparent, it’s OK. I’m still alive. And, at least now, I have the chance to begin to understand humility…


Test your EQ!

I am going on vacation for a week, but I’ll leave you with a little test which is supposed to measure the EQ:

There is a woman and a man, who love each other but live on two different islands. The man shares his island with a savage. The woman seeks a way to get to the man’s island, because she loves him, and the only way she finds is to go by boat. There is only one boat available and the boatman tells her that he will take her to the other island, if she takes off all her clothes and goes on board naked. The woman is puzzled with the boatman’s request and goes to the wiseman of her island to ask him. The wiseman’s advice to her is: “Follow your heart”. After that, the woman decides to take off her clothes and go on board the boat naked, as the boatman requested. The boatman keeps his end of the agreement and takes her to her beloved’s island. When she arrives at the island, however, the first person she meets is the savage, who immediately rapes her. At that particular time, her beloved arrives and, seeing her with the savage, breaks up with her calling her a whore.

Who do you think is most responsible for this outcome?

You’ll have to wait for the answers until Monday 26 July. Stay well and have a good time till then!



For the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, the soul had something that was called “fora”, meaning direction. In other words, the soul was thought to have taken up, long before the birth of the body it inhabited, the direction of good or evil. Thus, man was considered to be born good or bad.

Quite some time has passed since then. Meanwhile, psychology has sustained that hereditary elements account less than behavioral ones for a person’s conduct. A person turns good or bad, according to the conditioning s/he receives during childhood.

Notwithstanding that, my late grandmother was certain that it's what people are made of that is of importance. No matter how many hardships one runs into in the course of his life, if he has a good soul, he will keep his goodness forever - and vice versa.

If this is so, however, how guilty is someone who commits murder? What if he is (genetically or at soul level) predisposed to do so? Can he be found guilty for his genes or his soul’s predisposition? How can these be his fault?

What do you think?


Is there such a thing as soul?

Much talked about, much used, the concept of soul has nowadays turned into a chewing gum, especially when put in the context of reincarnation. The truth is that the concept of soul has been tackled by both philosophy and religion since antiquity; this should account for the dozens of definitions there are. The soul is also connected to immortality, as it is widely believed that it’s the one and only component that survives physical death. In connection with the body, the latter is seen either as its prison or its shrine.

In terms of etymology, the word soul is linked by some scholars with the word sea, probably reflecting early Germanic peoples’ beliefs that the bottom of the sea was the place where souls originate and return. The corresponding Greek word psyche literally means a “gasp of air blown into”.

Do I believe in soul? Well, I used to. I am not so sure any more that the concept can be of real use; on the contrary, it can be misleading. People talk about the soul and reincarnation, as if it is their personality that will survive; a grave misunderstanding. Soul and personality are not the same. If it exists, the soul is the underlying layer where the ingredients of personality (thoughts, emotions, sentiments) softly fall upon or, by contrast, achingly leave their burning etchings on. It is the sum-up, the end result of a person’s tendencies, virtues, vices, ethics, codes of conduct, etc. It is the “therefore” of one’s life.

If there really is something of the sort, it should be likened to a processor and personality to a piece of software. Thus, “real” love for example should translate into love of the processor rather than the software.

And then there are other questions. Is soul restricted to humans? In other words, is it only humans that have soul? What about animals, plants, minerals? Is the animistic view to be ruled out as total folly?

What do you think?


On koans

The purpose of a koan is for the person who engages in it to realize the difference between the mind (which manifests itself as a flow of thoughts) and consciousness (which is the space that contains the flow of thoughts). Always the issue is to understand that it is identification with our thoughts and feelings which creates the sense of “I” and that there is something broader, namely consciousness, which is common to all and within which our individual “I”s simply happen. Zen masters identify consciousness with life itself.

The paradox surrounding a koan tends to arouse the mind for long, as the mind thinks it over and over trying to “solve” the paradox or simply find an answer, more or less like a dog chasing its tale. With koans, one is given the opportunity to realize the difference between mind and consciousness.

The moment when someone realizes that mind and consciousness are two different things, he can understand that the mind identifies with his personality and consciousness with his essence; this is how the koan’s purpose is fulfilled.

Fulfilling the purpose of a koan has little to do with explaining it. No matter how many explanations a koan receives, its meaning is never exhausted anyway. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that it has one and only, definitive explanation.

Examples of koans:

- Two hands clap and a sound is produced. What is the sound of one hand?

- How can one express the truth without speech and without silence?

- If I truly love myself, I must not love myself. If I want to protect myself, I must not protect myself.

- It’s neither the flag that moves nor the wind; it’s the mind.


A koan

A koan: “There is no time. What is memory?”

If I knock the table with my hand twice, I have to accept that it’s time that separates the two knocks from each other. Therefore, time exists. But it only exists because I have memory of the first knock.

Everything I build within me, I build using memory as cornerstone – and because memory has plenty defects, I cannot but doubt everything I build.

What does this leave me with? With this very moment, right now; nothing more. Even if time exists, it’s not important.


Love (second part)

b. Lowering one’s defenses. This has been discussed over and over in this blog and it is essentially a rephrasing of “allowing one’s heart to break”. In connection to romantic love, we may see it is the more beneficial the more it relates to oneself, meaning that the benefits are reaped at the level of oneself and less at the level of interacting with another, as is the common misconception.

c. The focusing of sexuality. Sexuality too is personal. It is believed to bring people together, but it doesn’t do it on its own, cultural conditioning does it.

We may see then that “love” is primarily an internal process – it comes from and returns to the self. Although it is the object of one’s infatuation allegedly receives our attention, in the end it was us and only us behind the scene all along.

“Real love” in connection to another human being is the point where we accept and allow them to be as they are. It is the point where we can afford such an attitude. It is a point of reconciliation with ourselves, first of all, and of inner strength.



The discussion on communication gave me the impulse to reflect a little on the concept of romantic love between two people. What is this love? Let’s explore.

When we tell someone “I love you”, we are in fact stating that we feel the chemistry between us, which is mutually based on acceptance and admiration. We are also saying that we are lowering our defenses to a great extent, allowing the other person to even hurt us. We mean that our sexuality is focused on and channeled to that other person. At the same time, the tendency to protect and take care of him/her, which is similar to what parents feel for their children, emerges. People also refer to an unexplainable connection with that person at a deep/soul level.

I think that the package is, more or less, this. Let us now explore its components.

a. The (big) issue of chemistry. The chemistry between two people can lead (according to some) or is the result of (according to others) an unexplainable and deep soul connection. That the chemistry leads to the connection is, I think, the natural procedure. That the chemistry is the result of soul connection is, in my view, nothing more than internal projection: we convince ourselves that this is so and that what is happening to us is “destiny” – thus, inevitable.

Darwinists maintain that the chemistry felt when two people meet is nothing but the mutual recognition that the combination of their genes will underpin evolution. Some esotericists talk about karma and the law of reciprocity, others – more serious in my opinion – attribute the fact to an omni-present intelligence which recognises that these two people can “learn” from each other.

That the purpose of such a relationship is to “learn” marks the point from which we are allowed to see that the concept of love is nothing more than a purely internal process that starts from and returns to the “I” – what is handed over to the “you” suddenly becomes secondary.

(to be continued…)



As I surf around the blogs of my newly acquired Opera friends, I see how their posts reflect ideas, beliefs, maxims, thoughts, emotions etc. drawn either from a more philosophical or a more real-life context, depending on each person’s composure. That’s normal – even typical.

At the same time, that’s why the most striking feature I’ve noticed is in the comments. Most of the time, people write a comment not in reply to the ideas etc. discussed in the post, but on a personal basis in friendly tunes. This creates the impression that making a comment is more important than the comment itself. It is, therefore, as if what’s of real importance is not the ideas etc. discussed, but communication per se. I like that very much.

Even though I often don’t feel comfortable addressing people I barely know on such a personal basis, I really enjoy watching the easiness of others when they do it and I also enjoy the way it is received by the authors. As far as I’m concerned, it’s like people cut to the chase and go after what’s real: communication. One might argue that the internet allows only a superficial type of communication. Maybe; but it’s still wonderful.


A conversation (cont.)

Do you think it matters who the person is you go into that deep commitment with?


Just that both are willing.

Not even both. One is enough. Even if you both say you want commitment, each will have a different idea of what commitment means.

You talk about staying, right?

I talk about not moving.

OK, but every time I’ve left a relationship it has been beneficial. It was much better that it ended.

What was better? You felt better, that is what was better. So as long as you believe you need a good feeling to be with someone, so long as the ground of a relationship is thoughts and emotions, the ground will change as soon as something is touched in you. If this is the foundation on which we have built our house, the house cannot stand.

Sometimes I had a strong knowing in my belly that I needed not be in that particular relationship. It felt like an intuition.

Where do you experience intuition?

It feels like a massage from deep within me.

And where do you find it; where do you recognize it? Where do you hear that voice?

In my belly.


I don’t understand.

When you have a feeling, who is it recognizing the sensation? Do you really meet it or do you interpret that feeling? There is a feeling in the body; if you just meet this feeling without any interpretation, what does this feeling tell you? If there is no interpreting and no labeling, what does the feeling tell you?


Exactly. This sensation is not speaking with you. What you hear is the interpretation you put on to the feeling. You believe in the interpretation and then it feels as though this interpretation tells you something, according to what you like and what you don’t like. It is your likes and dislikes that are speaking.

That very sensation you are having in the body right now, let us see who is communicating with whom? Again, does that sensation speak to you when you don’t interpret it, when you don’t give it a name?

That’s not what I am talking about. I’m talking about intuition. There’s a difference. Sometimes I just suddenly know something.

Is it intuition? If there has been any psychological process before a decision to go, then you are listening to an interpretation of your feelings; trying to get an answer from it about what is right and what is wrong. Now look at those moments when you left your boyfriend or you made him leave. Was it that everything was fine and the next morning you woke up clear, with no agitation, and said “I’m leaving”?


No, there have been lots of emotions involved, lots of thoughts, lots of pain, a lot of projection. All this came together and you did not know how to meet these sensations. There was a lot of confusion and the only way you knew how to get out of this confusion was to leave. There was a listening to that, so to say, “voice”. But there is no voice, because our emotions don’t speak to us. We speak to them. In a relationship, knowing does not need any thought or any emotion. In a relationship, it knows whether you are living your truth or whether there is a little trick involved. Living your truth means being really willing to face what shows up in you. The trick that stands in the way of this is believing in justifications, believing in the emotions – that they are true – and believing in thoughts. That very knowing knows if you leave because you don’t want to experience some patterns in you or if you just leave. If you leave and there is not the slightest residue in you; if you are perfectly clear of emotional stuff with your partner – complete, no blaming, no bitter taste – then you know it is true knowing: that still, small voice that is free of emotion, free of movement. When there is disagreement, when there is a taking up of a position, then there is a trap. If you think about your ex-boyfriends, are you totally complete with them? Do you feel that they did something wrong or that you did something wrong?

Yes, there is some of that.

That shows that there was some not meeting of a pattern. There is nothing wrong about that, but in each relationship, sooner or later, you have experienced the same; and the pattern will return again and again until you face it. You have not seen the pattern, so you believe in it and you move. If we don’t move when the emotion pops up, in that very friction between the clarity of not moving and all the pressure to go, charcoal turns into a diamond. If we leave when the pressure shows up, the charcoal remains charcoal. Only because we have such a smart mind and we believe our own justifications, do we leave one relationship believing the next one is going to be better.


A conversation

To E.

I have lots of questions about relationships.

We all have.

One of the questions I have is about how I often feel that I want to give more affection to other people than they want to receive.

Do you want something from the other?


So what do you want when you give more affection than the other person wants?

I want to feel loved or OK.

Does that work?


No, and actually it is manipulation. We give to receive; and if you don’t get what you want, what then?

I have to meet the feeling inside me.

Do you meet it? Really meet it? It shows up, sure. Do you really experience how it feels when you don’t get what you want?

Not fully, because the pattern continues.

This is good insight. It will repeat, wherever we are, in whatever group of people we are with. It will show up again. Whatever wants to be met, will have to show up. I cannot promise anything else.

Thank you.

Some people like to hear that, some people don’t. In the lunch break I was speaking with a friend about relationships and I could see I had checked for myself every type of arrangement in our culture, and some outside our culture, to deal with a relationship. Marriage, open relationship, closed relationship, no relationship, being a monk, being on my own, sleeping around. Maybe there are some other options I don’t know about, but I have checked all these. The last thing I checked was what I wanted least: to be absolutely fully committed. In the present partnership, a thousand times I have had the impulse to leave or make her leave. And somehow I didn’t leave, and somehow she didn’t leave. I cannot foresee the future, but that very commitment has caused such an immense pressure in which I could see every possible justification to leave or make her leave. But we didn’t leave. It is just a willingness to experience whatever comes up; not to move. It is a knowing of the truth that leaving or looking for somebody else will not end the need to face whatever needs to be faced. And somehow things have been met inside myself that I could not ever have dreamt of. I could not have had the slightest idea that those patterns were there.

Sometimes it was hell for me and for her. So when we speak about relationships – all types of relationship, including friendship, teacher and disciple – only a few will stay with you long term. As long as we get what we want, everything is nice. The moment something shows up that is not comfortable and you are not clear enough to stay, either you go or sabotage things to make the other one leave. Nothing else is possible until we know about the possibility of living as awareness amidst the greatest pain. Some say that is the biggest power in the universe.

How does it feel to speak without illusion, without any promise that there is a realm of endless happiness in a relationship? How does that feel?

It’s a kind of relief.

Yes, otherwise you will be on the run for the rest of your life in search of some kind of perfection, or you will be constantly avoiding a relationship. To avoid any deep emotional connection, you can take some magic mushrooms or other drugs. But beingness is not the same thing as a good feeling.

Beingness embraces bad feelings also. So the invitation is not to relieve ourselves of bad feelings, because this is the trap, but to relieve ourselves of having to have a good feeling. Beingness embraces hell when hell is the reality and, in any profound relationship, hell will show up at times.

(From Florian Tathagata's book "Being")


Science - no fiction

During the past two years or so, I’ve been reading in parallel two kinds of books. One was rather metaphysical (mainly Florian Tathagata’s trilogy, “Being”, “Given” and “Space”) and the other one popular medicine (e.g. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s “My stroke of insight” and Norman Doidge’s “The brain that changes itself”).

To my bewilderment, I saw that these two kinds of books were entirely complementary. Not only did I find in the second reasons for the statements I encountered in the first, but also in the first exact descriptions of biological facts referred to in the second. This made me realize that the way we perceive the world has broader biological base than we are used to think.

As you probably already know, the brain has two hemispheres, the left and the right. These two communicate through an “information transfer lane”, i.e. a large concentration of nervous tissue that connects them, called the “corpus callosum”.

From the corpus callosum, information received through our senses is transferred to the gyrus cinguli which is part of our paleomammalean or limbic system. Now what this limbic system does is it attaches feelings to the information. That’s its job. And it does so before information is transferred to the external lobes where our higher cognitive abilities are to be found. This in simple English means that each stimulus that enters our brain is by default ascribed a feeling first. In this sense, we are feeling beings that think rather than thinking beings that feel, as is the common perception.

An important feature of the limbic system is that, although it operates throughout our life-time, it does not mature. Its neurons, just like most of the brain’s neurons, contrary to body cells, are not replaced. This biological fact explains why each time that our emotional buttons are pressed, we react as when we were 2 years of age. Luckily, the cells of the external lobes do mature and can recognize new information when they see it. This recognition ignites a process of comparison/contrast with information recalled from our memory, which leads to the evaluation of the situation at hand and (hopefully) the choice of a less emotional reaction to it.

Now the left and the right hemispheres of our brain are not in symmetry. The right hemisphere is designed to perceive things as they are connected to each other. This means that for our right hemisphere there is no time other than the current moment, which it sees as a huge collage of impressions and stimuli. As the borders and lines between things are blurred, everything is perceived as connected to each other, i.e. as a one and only thing. Mirror neurons, which enable us to put ourselves in another’s shoes or make us aware of another’s emotions, are also located here.

The left hemisphere, on the other hand, processes information in an entirely different way. It literally dismantles the general impression of the right hemisphere into details, which then links to details from the moment before. By organizing details in such a linear sequence, it creates the concept of time, dividing it into past, present and future. This hemisphere tells us for example that this must come before that and forecasts what is to come. In fact, our left hemisphere speaks to us incessantly, as it hosts the centers for understanding (Wernicke’s area) and producing language (Broca’s area), reminding us who we are and how we are connected to the world outside. Thus, it is the center of our personality.

Our brain’s left hemisphere also creates loops or mechanisms of automatic responses to stimuli, channeling our behavior towards ever the same reactions, based on projections of what feels safe (in this sense, we are the figments of our left hemisphere's imagination). Moreover, it is the part of our brain that categorizes information in every possible way, even quality-wise, including what we like and dislike. It is thus the seat of judgment and analysis - two functions that make it constantly compare us with everyone and everything we run into, keeping us informed of the parts in which, to its judgment, we excel or are lacking.

And while our left hemisphere is responsible for understanding the structure and the meaning of words, our right one is responsible for understanding non-verbal communication, e.g. the tone of the voice we hear, facial expressions or body language. Our right hemisphere understands the big picture and evaluates the consistency of an action as a whole. Similarly, while our left hemisphere perceives the boundaries of our body, our right one understands the place of our body in the space around it.

The invitation to be as space, located at the top of my blog’s right column, which is inspired by Florian Tathagata’s teachings, is actually an invitation to “step to the right”, so to say, in other words to commit more to the way that our brain’s right hemisphere perceives the world. Since it can’t speak (no language centre there), its way is the way of intuition, of the whole picture, of attention to the totality of everything instead of to individual details. Essentially, then, the invitation is to consciously shift our attention from the narrow focus of our brain’s left hemisphere to the way of the right.



I think I’ll take up James’ idea (http://my.opera.com/2logical/blog/survivor) of an imaginary scenario, only mine will be a little bit more plausible. Here we go:

Imagine you’re the working mom of three and your husband needs to go abroad for a month. You have practically no help with the children and the house.

Imagine now that somewhere out there you have a relative you can call in, in case of emergency or dire need, who does appear in such cases, only to disappear into intergalactic space again soon after.

Finally, imagine that this relative of yours calls you one night (always during your husband’s absence) and, in the midst of your panic (three children running around, you having to find ways to get them to and from school, drive them to their different after-school activities, do the shopping and all the chores etc), you hear her say “I’m glad to announce that at last I can help you! I can send you distance healing!”

What do you say?


An anthropocentric world

We may have not invented the universe, but the universe is our invention alright.

Anything we understand of this world, e.g. that water is H2O, that no speed is greater than the speed of light, that e=mc2 etc are not absolute and eternal truths valid everywhere, any time in the universe, trillions of years before and trillions of years after today. The known and measurable conditions we see in our universe are the result of how we think. This is why views change over time: because our perception changes.

When a simple man, who is not an expert, says today that the sun rises from the East and sets in the West, he is not lying. Nor does he call Copernicus, who believed that the Sun revolves around the Earth, a liar. Both simple and scientific views are the product of thoughts and thoughts depend on perception. We see the universe the way we do, because this is the only way we can.

We don’t have a choice really. It is impossible to get out of the limits of our selves, as it is impossible to get out of the universe and observe it. Our view is inevitably anthropocentric, but this is not arrogance per se. What is arrogance is the conviction that our idea of the world is the world; to believe that e.g. mathematics and geometry, which we have invented, were there prior to our existence. To trust that what we believe today (which is different from what we believed yesterday and in all likelihood from what we’ll believe tomorrow) has universal validity. How on Earth can we claim that our thoughts are the world or that they should be taken for the world? That’s audacity. At the same time, that’s why being aware of our finite abilities and abundant limitations is humility.


The God gene hypothesis

Some characteristics are common and shared between tribes, civilizations and eras. One of them is the conviction that God exists. Every single civilization has a word ascribed to God, special places for His worship and a literature about Him.

According to Jung, the study of archetypes in the collective unconscious leads us to the conclusion that there is a religion component built within the human, that affects him in much the same way as e.g. the sexual instinct. Primitives were as involved in the expression of this component, e.g. by creating special symbols that connote it or even religions, as they were with the cultivation of land, hunting, fishing or meeting of any other basic need.

The faith in God is so deeply rooted in humans that today many scientists believe it to be nothing short of a reflex: we believe in God same as we shed tears when in pain or laugh when we rejoice. We have the ability to believe in God, just like we have the ability to speak or to write or to understand and compose music. There is then a strong possibility that faith in God is actually a matter of genetics, i.e. integrated in our DNA, thus in our central nervous system.

The founders of a new scientific branch, neurotheology, believe that faith in God was incorporated in our genes, in much the same way as our ability to understand and produce language was. This happened, they say, in order to help as come to terms with the issue of death: if God exists or if a reality other than the physical one exists, then our essence is its extension and not subject to decay and death, as our physical body is. Such ideas are discussed in great depth in books such as Matthew Alper’s “The God Part of the Brain”.

But what if this is not so? What if nature’s laws are not blind and what if it was not coincidence nor natural choice that put the God gene inside us? What if it was God Himself who wanted us, in our oblivion, to be able to cling on to who we really are? Questions without a chance of receiving a definite answer ever…



“Pye, how many aspects of us are there, anyway?” I asked.

She laughed, looked out the window to the patterns below. “How many can you imagine? They are countless.”

“All these patterns are us?” Leslie asked stunned. “As far as we see, as far as we fly, these patterns are our choices?!”

Pye nodded with her head.

We haven’t started yet, I thought, and it is already beyond believing. “What about everybody else, Pye? How many lives can there be in one universe?”

She looked puzzlement at me, as if she didn’t understand my question. “How many lives are there in one universe, Richard?” she asked. “ONE”.

From Richard Bach’s book, “One".


The eighth day

In the Old Testament’s Book of Wisdom (1:13-15) it is written: “For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living. For he created all things that they might be: and he made the nations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon the earth. For justice is perpetual and immortal”. This is the reason why, according to Bible scholars, the passion for life and immortality is deeply rooted in our souls.

Who can deny, however, that we live in a world penetrated by death, which comes in sharp contrast with our passion for life? What then can this world possibly be? It is the world of the eighth day, the day after the seven days in which Creation was completed; the day in which deviation from the originally intended, lack of love and death are allowed. It is also the day of hope for beating death; the day we learn how to love from the beginning; the day that the Spirit touches the Earth bringing enlightenment to all of us.


The big questions of life

In not so many words, the only way that essence can manifest in this world is through the personality. One might think then, OK that's why I have to try and make my personality/character better, uproot the evils therein, promote the bright sides etc. Sorry to spoil it for you*, but this is barely how it works. This way of thinking only adds to the confusion. It is the essence manifesting (and fully embraced when it does) that will do the job, not you. I can of my own self do nothing, as written in the Bible (John 5:30). Personality cannot change itself; it is the essence that changes it.** We know that essence changes the personality, when inspiration shines forth and memory is at one with the moment, creating small marvelous eternities, as ersi wrote in a comment the other day.

In plain words: trying to control things is essentially not trusting that God can do it. It has underlying it the false belief that without you, God or the universe won't make it, which is self-flattering and egotistical.

This essentially leaves us with only one thing to do: leap empty-handed into the void of the unknown, in full trust or, rephrasing it, allow our heart to break. The bulk of the drama we experience in everyday life comes from our constant effort and agony to stop our heart from breaking. But it is just a habit; nothing more. Can we allow this habit to rest? Can we rely on radical trust instead? These are the big questions of life.

* Surprisingly when you come to think about it, most people (myself not excluded) find consolation, some even a sense of “personal mission” in taking up the role of the martyr or the victim or … or …
* In other words: don't try to change yourself. Simply, gently, let it be. The only thing that the self wants is to be accepted as it is. This creates peace inside. Psychological mechanisms (defense mechanisms in their most part) are put in motion when we try to change ourselves. The effort for the targeted change then occupies all the space within, leaving nothing for the essence to manifest. I know it sounds unorthodox, even paradoxical. But that's how it is. And after the how, the what. Do you know what it is? It is pure LOVE. So, this is the meaning of "to love myself" (= not trying to change myself).


The inevitable "I"

Based on my various readings from time to time, I have come to understand that most of us identify, in a more or less automatic way, with any experience we have in connection to the moment (a sentiment, a feeling, a thought, a fantasy etc.). This identification causes us to lose contact with our being or essence and to tie ourselves down to the cognitive level (i.e. our conscious mind, which gives rise to the sense of I).

This conscious mind, then, becomes the most powerful executive operation in us, creating a strong sense of who we believe we are ("I"). The more we identify with it, the longer we steer away from being, in a vicious circle. We then stop knowing who we really are and the sense of I that our conscious mind has created becomes dominant.

Full identification with the I (the personality) leads to the false belief that this I is the only reality there is, creating a narrow box we put ourselves in and the false certainty that there is nothing more to seek for or see. Thus, the most important part of life is missed out.

Now, this view is arguably true. But it doesn't in itself translate into a need to escape, degrade, disregard or kill our personality, as many modern "gurus" suggest.

Personality is built on two pillars: memory and imagination.** It can be likened to a software programme, intended not only to help us humans navigate through the world, as it is commonly supported, but to actually make the world what it is.

My previous two posts were intended to prove the inevitability of these two pillars and consequently of personality itself. This comes in straightforward contrast with popular views such as Bronte Baxter's* with whom I have argued in the past over the issue. Bronte maintains that extraterrestrial beings are after our Iness and that we surrender it to them when eg we hum mantras, etc.

Our personality, our Iness is a fact we can't escape, let alone surrender to someone or something else. Probings, as aforesaid, to escape, degrade, disregard or kill it are nothing but fallacies constructed by people who haven't bothered to think any deeper. The only achievable thing there is, is to create space inside.*** Life, essence or being (name it as you wish) will then flood in to cover the vacant space. The only valid choice we have is to unconditionally embrace and accept everything that arises within us, every single manifestation, weaving it in the tissue of our very personality. In this way nothing will be left unattended and all realities of Life will be able to unfold and reveal themselves with every step we take.

**This is not to say that the functions of memory and imagination are exhausted in personality. It's the other way round: personality uses these two functions to structure itself.
***This can only be achieved by seeing the box we have closed ourselves in from outside. I have proposed a way to do this: by being Space.


Without imagination

The world would seem flat and colourless. Repetition would be the only reality and everything would translate into an algorithm: always the same steps leading to identical results, in an effectual sequence. Language would stop taking leaps, everything intended to make our lives beautiful (music, dance, literature, painting, poetry, sculpture to list a few) would cease to exist. Figures of speech, like simile or metaphor, that make understanding easier and add depth to thinking would only be perceivable literally, losing their meaning. Life could never be an "as if", in Hans Veihinger's* sense, and thus would seem always unknown and frightful. Abstract meanings and ideas would have no framework to manifest in and would exist no more. (…)

* Hans Veihinger, philosopher, is the author of "Die Philosophie des Als Ob". In his view, man is made to act; his mind was bestowed to him not in order to seek the truth, but to act. In this task of his, distortions and fallacies serve him better than certainties. Mind, Veihinger tells us, most of the time works on (semi-)conscious fallacies. In his work, Veihinger uses plenty of examples to show the immense methodological importance of fallacy in a number of disciplines (mathematics, mechanics, physics, chemistry, etc).


Without memory

How would the world look like and we in it? Without memory, we wouldn't know who we are, we wouldn't know what we like and dislike, what we love and hate. We wouldn't know which country is ours, what religion we believe in, we would understand nothing about the customs and institutions that profoundly determine our lives. We would have no recollection of how one can eat with fork and knife nor a clue about what these are; what a wheel is and why it is of any use; what letters and numbers are. We wouldn't remember names, categories, types. We wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the effect and the cause, we wouldn't understand the concept of time. Present would be sum up to the response of our system to external and internal stimuli, which once done, would cease to exist, as if it was never there. Nothing could have meaning - and if it did, it would only be instant. (…)


A matter of perception

Suppose you accidentally knock a glass of water off the table, make it fall on the floor and smash. What would you say? “I broke the glass” or something similar. But was it really you that broke the glass? Let's see. What you actually did was make the glass enter the field of a force that existed prior to your action (your knocking the glass off the table), i.e. the force of gravity. Caught up in the field of this force and because of the very nature of its matter, the glass then smashed on the floor.

Every moment of our lives it is not us causing things to happen; rather, it is us who go either along or against the forces that make the world balance. When we go along these forces, silence is produced: nothing extraordinary, nothing visible happens. When we go against them, the balance is disturbed and noise and chaos arise. It's like in a peaceful day - everything going smoothly - when suddenly you cut your hand. All of your attention, all of your consciousness, your entire focus turns to the cut. The sense of peacefulness fades away and suddenly the only thing you can be aware of, is the blood running from the cut and your pain.

This is more or less why (and how) we perceive of the world as falling apart around us, how it seems that evil prevails. In reality, it is balance that prevails, but balance produces only silence and does not catch our attention.

Which brings us to another self-illusion: all of us want to do something great, we want to “make noise”. Wanting to do something great is not a bad thing. It is just that greatness is achieved by people who keep it small and simple, without having it in mind. Life is vast on its own and only when we keep it small and simple can we gain access to its greatness.

Of course, we always have to do it through conventions and compromises. We have to go about life, “as if” we knew what is all about. We have to operate in it, “as if” we could grasp its meaning, “as if” we knew the truth, otherwise we will not be able to make decisions and without a decision-making process, we would die. There is no other road to survival than our very subjectivity. This is not to say, nonetheless, that one mustn't be at all times aware of the conventions he makes in order for existence and co-existence to be possible and this includes the system of fears and threats he has put in place in order to guard these conventions.

The awareness of our subjectivity is the tool that will eventually guide us to mirror wisdom and from there to the conclusion that “everyone's right”, that everyone reflects the level of truth they understand and that all levels are crucial to the world. And then, suddenly, through this understanding, and while we were looking for a theory that would explain everything, we may see that we are just a step away from the sense of unity with everything there is.


Love and fear

When I love, I belong. When I belong, I feel the need to produce. I produce objects, meanings, life. I grow.

I love and at the same time I fear. I fear who I am. I fear that others will reject me for who I am so I fear to be as I really want to. I stop growing.

I have to protect myself. I have to hide myself. And I hide so efficiently that in the end I lose myself. I don't know who I am any more.

My fear for others protects me from my deepest fear, the fear for me, the stranger. I choose to fear others so that I don't have to fear myself. Fear is nothing less than a necessity

If our personality could speak to us, these are the words it would utter.


The point of no return

"My work is an attempt to make room in the Kosmos for all of the dimensions, levels, domains, waves, memes, modes, individuals, cultures, and so on ad infinitum. I have one major rule: Everybody is right. More specifically, everybody — including me — has some important pieces of truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace."


"We move from part to whole and back again, and in that dance of comprehension, in that amazing circle of understanding, we come alive to meaning, to value, and to vision: the very circle of understanding guides our way, weaving together the pieces, healing the fractures, mending the torn and tortured fragments, lighting the way ahead — this extraordinary movement from part to whole and back again, with healing the hallmark of each and every step, and grace the tender reward."


"With science we touch the True, the "It" of Spirit. With morals we touch the Good, the "We" of Spirit. What, then, would an integral approach have to say about the Beautiful, the "I" of Spirit itself? What is the Beauty that is in the eye of the Beholder? When we are in the eye of Spirit, the I of Spirit, what do we finally see?"

Ken Wilber

Mirror wisdom and other kinds

Let's pay attention to the internal process that leads to the adoptation of the green meme or the discarding of the myth of one and only truth. We'll do it through a well-known symbol: the mirror.

To begin with, one could say: "the mirror is vacant". True, the mirror is vacant, it includes nothing of its own, yet it is always full, because it cannot not reflect the parts of the world that our point of view defines. No matter what my point of view is, I will always see things of the world inside the mirror. And if I stand straight in front of it, I will see myself.

Even though the mirror is vacant, I cannot ascertain its vacancy with my senses. I cannot put my hand inside it as I could do with an empty box. If I try, my hand will stumble on its surface. To my senses (to my touch and vision), the mirror is full. Since its vacancy cannot be perceived with my senses, it is metaphysical.

This vacancy, which seems infinite, does not determine or restrict. It shows things of the outside world, but it does not make comparisons. It doesn't compare these things with one another or with itself. It has no agenda, it does not reject. It accepts everything, just as it is. This sums up what the mirror wisdom is about.

And from the mirror wisdom flows another: the wisdom of equality. It is gained the moment we let things enter us without preference or rejection. It is the moment we understand that they are of equal value. Water, steel, air, minerals, human beings, irrespective of their individual characteristics, all are equally useful and co-operate equally significantly for the evolution of the cosmos. Everything is of vital importance to the universe. If one bit is missed, the world cannot function properly.

When we adopt such a stance, at first we get confused. The world appears flat. It is exactly the point at which the third wisdom emerges: the wisdom of distinction. The privilege of distinguishing correctly comes only after I have acquired the mirror wisdom and I can allow everything enter me just as it is. I gain the privilege to distinguish correctly, only after I have earned the wisdom of equality and understood that everything is essential to the world. Because only then am I free from making judgments. Only then can I distinguish without discriminating, without killing or getting killed in the process.

Which leads us to…

The "green meme"

In his version of Spiral Dynamics, Ken Wilber takes up the notion of meme, which was first introduced by Richard Dawkins. Memes, in his context, correspond to levels of consciousness and every level builds on the adoptations of previous ones. Therefore, each level transcends its predecessors, encompassing or including them at the same time, in much the same way as cells include the atoms they consist of etc. Each and every level, then, is fundamental to all levels that come after it and should be acknowledged with compassion.

The green meme is the last of first-tier memes and forerunner to second-tier ones, which involve a refocusing on the being or essence. Thus, it serves as an epilogue to, say, the scientific materialism of the orange meme, the mythic fundamentalism of the blue meme and the magic-animism of the purple meme.

Through the exact same processes with which evolution manifests, differentiation and integration (e.g. one cell splits into two, then four, sixteen etc.; at the same time differentiated cells integrate to form tissues, organs, etc.), the green meme differentiates the essence of its preceding memes and integrates the result into a tapestry of multiple frameworks, each comprising pluralistic views and individualised parts, thus paving the way towards a truly integral world. What the green meme says is this: "sacrifice self interest in order to gain acceptance and group harmony".

No man is an island, nor should he behave as one.

The myth of one and only truth

The more one thinks about it, the more difficult it becomes to believe in the existence of one and only truth. From an early age, however, we learn that there is an all-elusive transcendental truth, to which we have no access. Only, this is a myth.

I think that this myth was created by the various clergies who, eager to perpetuate their "authenticity", ended up dividing the world into initiates, experts, awakened (or whatever) and not.

Since we were taught the myth of one truth from childhood, it is hard to accept as adults that each and every person keeps and expresses parts of the truth equally – especially if we don't agree with theirs. This is the case, though: each one of us reflects the way in which the world looks from the level s/he is able to perceive and ALL levels are crucial ingredients of the world. There is no such thing as a "one and only" level of reality, with which every other level is to be compared and found naïve or inaccurate. By contrast, every level, every version is the precise expression of a higher or lower, in any event essentially significant, level of reality. What's more important, we cannot understand ourselves or the world without any of these levels.

Rupert Sheldrake has put it in different words, conveying the same meaning nonetheless: "I think that self-awareness comes about through mutual awareness. I don't think self-awareness arises within a kind of solipsistic world of navel gazing. "Consciousness" means, literally, con scire, to know with, or to know together. I think that the reason that we are conscious is because we are interconscious in relationship to other people. Consciousness is shared, and I don't think an individual human being, without language and without relationship with other people or any other thing, would be conscious. I think that consciousness has to be understood in relationship, not as a kind of isolated thing. […] And I think that if a galaxy is conscious, then its consciousness would depend on its relationship to the stars and solar systems within it, and also, probably, its relationship with other galaxies. There'd be a kind of intersubjectivity of galaxies, a communion or community of galaxies."

Fascinating, isn't it?