The Beginners Mind And The Three Universal Goals

By Bill Harris in Management on January 1st, 2008 / No Comments

I’ve often spoken about three goals I believe pretty much all people have: to be happy, to be peaceful inside, and to be successful in the world. If I were to pick one term to encapsulate what I mean by all three of these, it would be that all humans wish to thrive. This series of articles, in large part, is about how to thrive. But instead of looking at the fine details, as we have when looking at your Internal Map of Reality, we’re going to look more at general principles. If you follow these principles, you’ll have the ingredients that will allow you to thrive in this life.

Often people will agree about something or profess to understand something on the theoretical level, and then turn around five minutes later and, in practice, violate the very principle they just pledged allegiance to in theory. This tells me that people often do not really understand the actual application of principles to real life. If you can’t apply principles to real life, they have little value. I will be doing my best in these articles to get you to understand the practical application of what I’m going to share with you.

No one would get involved with Holosync, or read my articles, or participate in any other personal growth approach, if they were already 100% happy, peaceful, and successful. If you were thriving, you wouldn’t have the motivation to learn this material.

This means that there is very likely some result you want that you aren’t getting now.

In order to get what you’re not currently getting, you must be willing to do things differently than you are now. This may seem obvious to you, but in actual practice, it’s not obvious at all. Over the last 25 years, I’ve dealt with well over 200,000 people in my role as a personal growth teacher. Almost all of them have shared one characteristic: they wanted different results, but almost always without having to change the type of thinking and acting that was creating their current results.

Somehow, people do not get, at a root-cause level, that how they think and how they act generates their results. This causes them to think they can get different results without changing how they think and act.

Getting different results does not come from changing your external situation. It comes from changing your internal situation.

My advice? Resolve right now to try new ways of thinking and acting. In previous articles, I’ve asked you to go into your own mind and discover the details of how you think, how you create your reality, what you believe, what you value, how you filter what comes in, how you store it, how you represent it to yourself, and so on. And, I shared with you my ideas of how to think in a way that gives you the ability to be in control of what you create.

What many people do when they read personal growth books and articles, or attend seminars, is look for those parts of the information that support what they already believe, and either ignore – or resist – those things that don’t confirm what they already think.

So I ask you to come to this series of articles with what the Zen Buddhists call “a beginner’s mind.” Use this information to adopt a new way of seeing yourself and your place in the universe. If, at the end of the series, you’d rather go back to your old way of seeing things, your old way of being, you’re free to do so. But unless you really try on what I’ll share with you, you’ll never really know if it is a better way.

So I’m suggesting that you look for times when I say something that’s foreign to the way you currently see things, and, just for fun, try it on, even if it feels funny to you, or even if you feel a lot of resistance.

What is “Reality”?
Let’s start with a very big picture overview of an age-old question, “What is reality?” For thousands of years, mystics have said that there is one energy in the universe, that the universe and everything in it is the play, the dance, the vibration of one energy – that underneath the seeming multiplicity, everything is made of the same substance. This energy, then, is everywhere, and “everywhen.”

This idea of Oneness is sometimes described as Omnipresence, or God. The Hindus and Buddhists call this principle, Sat: one energy, everywhere, making up everything, always, past, present, and future.

Quantum mechanical physicists, for several decades, have been saying essentially the same thing. They noticed that on the sub-atomic level, particles come into being, seemingly out of nothing, and dissolve and disappear back into nothing; that two or more particles collide, and one, two, three, or more particles, often of a different kind, appear from the collision; or that all the particles cease to exist. There is a “something” that everything comes out of and returns to and which makes up, or is the background of, everything.

The mystics, however, went one step further. In addition to noting that this one energy makes up everything, and is everywhere, forever, they also said that this one energy is aware of itself being everything and everywhere and everywhen – that it is conscious, that it has consciousness. The mystics called this second characteristic of reality Chit.

Consciousness, in this sense, is not the same as what we would ordinarily describe as knowing, in a cognitive sense. This is not the same as your senses and your brain knowing or recognizing something, though that’s one of the only reference points we have, intellectually, for understanding the term consciousness. Ultimately, you have to experience being it, and I’ll talk more later about what I mean by that.

So this oneness, this unity, is aware of itself being everything. Pretend for a moment that you are this one energy. If you were everything, there would be nothing outside of you to fear. That would be like fearing your own hand. If everything is you, and you’re everything, there’s nothing to fear.

There would also be nothing to get, nothing you could lack, since you’re everything. There would also be nowhere to go, no journey to take. Seeking would be unnecessary. You’re everything, always, everywhere, with nothing to want, nothing to fear, nowhere to go.

If you were established in this awareness of who you are, knowing that there was nowhere to go, nothing to get, and nothing to fear, you would be…happy, peaceful, blissful. The third characteristic of reality, then, according to the mystics, is called ananda, which means bliss.

The mystical explanation of reality, then, is that reality is satchitananda, which means one energy, everywhere, out of which everything is comes, that this energy is aware of itself being everything and everywhere and everywhen, and that as a result of this awareness, it is blissful, happy, peaceful.

This, according to the mystical view, is who you really are. Your fears, your desires, your idea that you have to get to somewhere, the idea that you lack something, is, in this view, an illusion. You are not a separate ego in a bag of skin, but, rather, this Oneness.

Why am I miserable?

But the question comes: If this is true, why am I so unhappy so much of the time? Why do I feel so powerless? Why does it seem as if I am a separate creature in what looks to be a pretty dangerous and perilous world?

To live, I need a constant supply of air, and without it I die in just a few moments. I need food on a regular basis, or I die within a few weeks. I need my environment to stay within a very narrow temperature range or the chemical reactions that keep me alive cannot happen. And then there’s ultraviolet rays, and other dangerous electromagnetic forces, and poisons, and dangerous people who want to hurt me, and if I get just a few miles away from the surface of a planet that needs a certain atmosphere, at a certain temperature, and which needs to be a certain distance from a certain kind of star, I can’t survive.

This is hardly the perspective of peace and bliss and the knowing that I am the One energy of everything.

The mystics have an answer for this: you aren’t happy and peaceful and in touch with the fact that you are all and everything, everywhere, eternally peaceful and blissful, because of your mind. Your mind is in the way of your experience of who you really are. Your mind, through what I have called your Internal Map of Reality, is creating an alternate reality that acts, in a sense (to use a metaphor from Eastern philosophy), like dust covering a mirror, keeping you from seeing who you really are.

Realizing that the mind gets in the way and obscures your true nature from you, the mystics came up with methods for gaining the ability to perceive reality directly, without the filter of the mind. The most effective and most popular of those methods is meditation. Meditation is designed to still the mind, until eventually you gain enough control that you can experience reality directly, rather than filtering it through the mind and creating a representation, a map, of reality (hence the term Internal Map of Reality).

As long as you attend to what the mind creates and see its creation as the reality, you miss everything else. When the mind wildly jumps around, creating, without your intention, your entire universe, inside and out, that universe will grab all your attention, and that’s all you’ll see.

As the mind becomes quieter, you begin to see the spaces between what the mind creates, like parting the branches in a thicket to see snatches of the meadows and mountains beyond.

One…or Many?

In describing reality, the mystics said something else very interesting: that at the moment of creation, this one energy of all and everything polarized itself into a seeming duality: good and evil, up and down, male and female, here and there, black and white, off and on, yin and yang, and so on. There is a tension between the two sides of each of these poles, and the mystics say that this tension between polar opposites is what causes the universe to manifest.

Notice that this duality is described as a “seeming” duality. There are two reasons why this duality, these opposites, only seem to exist. The first is that each side of the duality depends on the other side for its existence, which means that they really make up one thing, a unity. “Here” makes no sense without “there.” “Not me” makes no sense without “me.” “Good” makes no sense without “evil.” Each of these exist only in relation to the other.

Each of these seemingly opposite poles are one thing, not two. In being opposite, they are also inextricably tied to each other, and cannot exist independently. They’re like two sides of the same coin. You can’t have a one-sided coin, and the two aspects of duality cannot exist separately either, nor can one win out over the other.

The other reason is more basic, and consists of the fact that dividing anything into this and that, or any other divisions, happens in the mind only, not in reality. These divisions happen conceptually, and where the division made is entirely arbitrary. Because we socially agree on where many of these divisions are made, they often seem to be “real” but they are not. I will go into this in great detail in a future article, and it is a mind-bending and fascinating subject, as you will see.

Stay tuned for part two of this article…

For more information please visit:
The Centerpointe Institute

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