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Seeing Things the Way They Really Are, Part 3: Seeing yourself the way you really are

by / Friday, 05 February 2010 / Published in Uncategorized

So far we’ve looked at two aspects of seeing things the way they really are. The first was to see the connectedness of all things, to see that separate things and events are mental events and that, in reality, everything is one interconnected thing/event. Though it might be convenient (even essential) to chop the universe into separate things and events, all of this happens in the mind.

Though we need to create these mental divisions in order to navigate our life, when we mistakenly assume that these divisions are intrinsic to reality, we create suffering for ourselves–especially in the sense that we begin to feel as if we are one of those separate things, and that we are separate and alone and at risk in a dangerous world. As the poet A.E Housman put it, we feel “separate and afraid, in a world I never made.”

In reality, everything is connected and flowing along like water in a river. We mentally chop it up in order to help ourselves navigate our way through life. There’s nothing wrong with doing this. The problem isn’t dividing things into this and that, but forgetting that things aren’t really divided. We’re just doing it, in our mind, as a convenience.

Seeing this aspect of reality “the way it really is” allows us to feel a connection to everything else that is quite real–it IS the way things really are. Experiencing our unity with the rest of existence at least mitigates the feeling of isolation and separation we feel as humans. Since this involves seeing the interconnected onenessness (to use the New-Agey term) of everything, you might say that this is the positive side of the coin–the aspect of existence that most people idealize and would like to see as it really is. Few people would say, “Ugh. I don’t want to experience my oneness with everything.”

On the other side of the coin we have what people generally don’t want to see as it really is, the side of the coin that they perceive to be a source of suffering and pain. What’s on the other side of the coin? That all things in this world are impermanent and ultimately fall apart or end, and that we exist in a huge matrix of cause and effect relationships over which we have little control and which sometimes causes things to turn out in ways we don’t like.

We would love to escape from the fact that the things we love or want, even if we do get them, are impermanent. We naturally become attached to people and things, and inevitably those people or things go away, fall apart, or end. But there is no escape from impermanence. It’s build into the human condition. And, it’s painful.

We also often don’t like what we experience as a result of all the cause and effect relationships we’re caught in, because much of it we have no control over. As a result, we inevitably end up, at least part of the time, either failing to get what we want, or getting something we don’t want.

So impermanence and cause and effect represent the side of the coin most people don’t want to look at or acknowledge. Many who seek spiritual awareness, for instance, mistakenly think that spiritual awakening is a way of eliminating this “negative” side of the coin. Most of the new Western spirituality is based on this “get rid of the negative” type of thinking. Isn’t there a contradiction in the idea that we should be negative about negativity? What a rude shock it is to find that as you become more aware you also become aware of the parts of the universe you don’t like! [See parts 1 &2 of this series for a more complete treatment of these “two sides of the coin.”]

In this post I want to personalize the idea of seeing things the way they really are a bit more by looking at another aspect of this other side of the coin and asking you whether or not you can see yourself (and accept yourself ) as you really are.

Most people–especially those involved in personal growth–are avidly trying to get rid of or change certain aspects of who they really are. When I speak for groups and ask the audience members to give me a list of ways I can help, I always hear a list of aspects of  being human that they want to get rid of. Only occasionally does someone ask me how they can accept some aspect of being human. I’ve pointed out before that this game of trying to get rid of what you think of as “negative” is a suffering-inducing double bind. It creates an insoluable problem leading to a great deal of human suffering.

Resisting “what-is” in yourself is one of the greatest sources of suffering in your life. And, if you’re busy trying to get rid of the “bad half” of yourself, how will you ever experience this oneness you seek? You can’t experience your unity with everything while resisting or disowning half of existence.

So what can you do? Is there anything you can do? This is a fascinating question, so let’s take a look at it.

If we’re going to look at whether or not we can see (and accept) ourselves the way we really are, we’re first going to have to figure out who we really are. Part of that will be to look at ourselves in terms of both sides of the coin I mentioned above. We’re going to have to look at whether or not we can accept that we–and, in fact, all humans–have, and express, both sides. When we resist (or even try to ignore) either side, we cause suffering, both for ourselves and for others. Some people resist the transcendent side, some the relative side, and some resist both sides.

And, our resistance to seeing (and accepting) things the way they really are creates a great deal of suffering for us and for others.

Many people are experientially unaware of the transcendent side of the coin. This makes it difficult, of course, for someone to accept that they ARE the transcendent. (And, of course, if you believe in a dogma that contends that, yes, there is a transcendent (God, Higher Power, Great Spirit, Ground of Being, etc.) but you’re separate from it, that belief will also make it difficult to experience yourself as the transcendent.) So ignorance can keep you from seeing things the way they really are, and one form of ignorance is our mental constructs, our ideas, about reality (including the idea that we are separate from the whole).

Experiencing yourself as the transcendent (as opposed to just believing in it), then, is a huge breakthrough for a human being. Historically this realization, however, has been quite rare. There are certain practices that make it more likely, but no one knows for sure why some people experience it while others, despite years of dedicated spiritual practice, don’t.

One aspect, then, of seeing yourself the way you really are is experientially knowing that you are the One. Since all there is is the One, you have to be It, just as a wave is the ocean, manifesting for a while as a wave. This realization changes the way you see existence, at least in an ultimate sense. For instance, what happens to your physical body, whether this or that event does or doesn’t happen, whether your life is long or short, and other such things don’t, in an ultimate sense, matter. Billions of “you’s” will come and go, just as waves arise from the ocean and then sink back into it. In an ultimate sense you have nothing to worry about. The whole giant going-on-of-it-all will always be, in one form or another, and that’s who you really are. An experiential knowingness that you are the ocean, not just the wave, lets you relax about what happens.

This is the “being” side of what it means to be a human being. Let’s look, then, at the other side of the coin, the human side, the human who has to live in the relative world, the world of discrimination, impermanence, and cause and effect. Can you see THAT the way it really is? Can you really see and accept your humanness, without resistance, without denial?

Humans are descriminating creatures. We divide things into this and that, and especially into good and bad. Then we seek the good and resist the bad. If we are aware enough, we see that discrimination is both a valuable tool and a game–a game where the rules (what is good, what is bad, and which should win) are arbitrary, different for every person, and always changing. But still, to be a human being, you have to play. You WILL discriminate between made-up categories. And, this will lead to at least SOME resistance and SOME clinging. Because all things you cling to are impermanent, that will cause suffering. Can you see that this is so? Can you accept it?

And, because there are 6.7 billion other people on Earth, and innumerable geological and cosmic forces over which you have little or no control, you’ll often fail to get what you want, or get what you don’t want.

But here’s where it really gets interesting–and, for most people, difficult. As a human being, you contain, at least in potential (and very likely in action and reality), ALL the qualities human beings are capable of. You’re generous AND selfish. You’re kind AND mean. You’re selfless AND egotistical. You’re compassionate AND heartless. You’re smart AND stupid. And so on. You have every “good” quality you can think of, at least in potential. And, you also have every “bad” quality you can think of: lack of integrity, narcissism, selfishness, anger, hatred, cruelty, pride, greed, stupidity, aimlessness, confusion, etc., etc., etc.–you have it, at least in potential (and, as I said, quite likely, at least some of the time, in action and in reality).

This is one of the most difficult aspects of being a human being to accept. If you’re like most people you do your best to repress the “bad” qualities. After all, when you exhibit them other people don’t like you. We learned this from our parents when we were small–to be okay, we had to be a certain way, and this included “not being bad”.

Showing these bad qualities, according to society, means not being okay, that you aren’t a good person, that there’s something wrong with you. As I’ve said before (see for instance, my posts about shadows and the Game of Black and White) when you repress or disown these normal (“bad”) human qualities they express themselves anyway, in immature and dysfunctional ways that create suffering both for you and for others.

And, of course, many people have trouble accepting that they have certain “good” qualities. Instead, they idealize those they think have these qualities (often assuming, at the same time, that these people also don’t have the “bad” qualities). Then, when they discover that those they’ve idealized are human, too, they experience great disappointment.

When you deeply acknowledge that both the good and the bad are normal parts of being human, and admit to yourself that you have all of these qualities, at least potentially, something remarkable happens: these immature qualities mature into something beneficial, for you and for others. (Just to give one example of a “negative” quality: selfishness, when acknowledged and accepted, matures into self love and positive self-regard. This then leads to the ability to genuinely love and care for others. When resisted and disowned, however, selfishness expresses itself anyway (because as a normal part of being human it cannot be eliminated), in ways that create suffering for you and for others. See my posts on shadows for a much deeper discussion of how this works.)

The same goes for emotions. It’s normal for human beings to feel good AND to feel bad. The prevailing view of the new Western spirituality is that having a bad feeling means you’re doing something wrong, or that there’s something wrong with you. Thinking that there’s something wrong asks you to disown or resist half of being a normal human being. When you resist who you are in this way, you end up creating or attracting more of the very thing you’re trying to get rid of. On the other hand, when you acknowledge and accept your emotions, whatever they are, they mature. There is a seed of something wonderful in all your feelings, not just the “good” ones.

As always, awareness (in other words, seeing things the way they really are) is the key. When you become aware of something–by which I mean observing it carefully and seeing how it arises (quite likely as a result of something you are doing inside) as well as what consequences it creates–what doesn’t serve you falls away. So you don’t need to repress or resist or disown your feelings. You need to be more aware of them (not know about them, but be aware of them–one is experiential, the other is intellectual).

There is one grain of truth in the New Agers’ assertion that bad feelings are a problem. If something unpleasant happens, right now, it would be normal to feel aversion to it. However, if you feel bad every time something merely reminds you of a past unpleasantness, that is dysfunctional. For example, if you experienced trauma while growing up that led to a belief that you weren’t liked, and then felt afraid every time you were in a social situation, that is dysfunctional.

These are automatic, unconscious responses, the result of a lack of awareness. Such a person automatically and unconsciously makes certain internal representations (of what they fear) whenever they enter a social situation. Those internal representations automatically create fear or other bad feelings. The person is aware of the social situation (the trigger) and the feeling of fear (the result)–but is unaware of the middle step where they generate the bad feeling by making internal representations of what they are afraid of.

Awareness of how the fear is created, however, causes the whole automatic response to dissolve. Then, the person is able to evaluate each social situation on its own merits, rather than automatically concluding that every social group is a danger. There are, then, normal and natural “bad feelings” that serve a purpose–they alert us to real danger, or are normal human responses, such grief at the loss of a loved one. Then there are self-induced bad feelings where no present danger exists, but where danger is assumed, based on something that reminds us of a past danger.

When we are aware of both kinds of bad feelings, everything sorts itself out and those feelings that do not serve us fall away. This cannot happen, however, if we’re fighting to repress or disown emotional aspects of ourselves.

One of the characteristics of spiritually mature people (Genpo Roshi being one good example of this) is that they accept their humanness, positive and negative. If they rarely express their “negative” qualities, or feel the kind of self-induced bad feelings described above, it is because they acknowledge and accept all their emotions and all their human qualities. As a result, these feelings and qualities are more likely to be felt or expressed in their more mature version.

Being human, however, they may, from time to time, express (or feel) the immature version. What’s more, the spiritually mature don’t recoil when they see these “bad” qualities in others. Instead, they see them with compassion. In some cases, this can be a yang, or “tough love”, compassion. Though they aren’t triggered by people with such immature qualities, they are often moved to do something about the suffering caused by them.

Genpo just sent me an email with this poem, which expresses this acceptance in another way:

This ‘being human’ is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an
unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

–Rumi

To see things the way they really are, you’ll need to see and accept all of the humanness in yourself, and in others. You’re going to have to let it be okay that you have ALL human qualities. Doing this requires tremendous awareness.

When you accept your humanness, you can relax. Fighting against your own humaness is exhausting, as many of you know. What a relief it is to surrender to yourself (a process, I might add, that is never fully complete).

Always remember this key principle: awareness creates choice. If you’re aware of your selfishness, for instance, you can choose whether or not to act in selfish ways. If you’re unaware, you will act automatically. You will see, to the degree that you are aware, that there are times when it is good to be selfish–that is, to care for yourself and put yourself first. If a mother doesn’t take good care of herself, she can’t adequately care for her children.

There are, of course, times when being selfish has negative consequences. The more aware you become, the more you’ll see the difference, and you’ll know just what to do. When you’re aware enough to see the consequences in any situation, whether positive or negative, you’ll naturally choose those that are most resourceful, those that are most beneficial for you and for others: those that either alleviate suffering or create less suffering.

Awareness creates choice. To the extent that you see yourself the way you really are, in all your humanness, and in all your Oneness, you’ll have choice about what kind of human being you’ll be. This is what Genpo Roshi calls “the one who consciously chooses to be a human being.” You can only make this choice, however, when you are able to see things the way they really are, in all three ways:

1) When you see who you really are in an ultimate sense, that there is just one thing, and you’re It.

2) When you see that as a human organism you’re subject to impermanence and cause and effect, which has certain inherent pain.

3) When you accept your own human qualities and emotions, both the “positive” and the “negative”.

This is your challenge as a human being. There are many ways to work on this. I’ve found meditation, in general, and Holosync, in particular, to be incredibly useful. I’ve also found Genpo Roshi’s Big Mind process to be incredibly powerful. My Life Principles Integration Process courses are also very powerful. All three of these dramatically increase awareness, and the more aware you become, the more you see things the way they really are. And, of course, there are many other effective methods and paths.

Whatever tools you use, I hope this series has been helpful to you, and I appreciate that you are a part of Centerpointe.

As always, be well.

Bill

But wait, there’s more. I have 4 interesting recommendations for you.

***Make SURE you look at #4.***

1) Socially Engaged Buddhism newsletter: Genpo Roshi’s dharma brother, Bernie Glassman Roshi (they were both students of the Zen master Maizumi Roshi), practices what he calls “socially engaged Buddhism”. His mission is the alleviation of suffering in the world by promoting actualized spiritual practice, including meditation, study, direct social service and multi-faith cooperation. His group, Zen Peacemakers, manages holistic social service projects for disadvantaged people and communities, and works in prisons, hospice care, workforce development, job creation, HIV/AIDS supportive services and in several other areas.

If you would like a free subscription to their newsletter, Bearing Witness, just go to www.zenpeacemakers.org/subscribe

2) Boulder Integral–The Integral Incubator, with Jeff Salzman and Ken Wilber:

Are you inspired by a great idea, project or personal calling, but you’re not sure how to make it happen? If so, consider attending a five-day boot camp at The Boulder Integral Center in Boulder, Colorado, where you’ll use Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory to figure out how to make your dream, whatever it is, a reality.

For more details: http://www.boulderintegral.org/2009/07/integral-incubator-you-dream-enacted-with-jeff-salzman-and-ken-wilber/

To view a video about The Integral Incubator: www.integralincubator.com

3) Genpo Roshi workshop in Seattle, March 6-7:

Would you like to work directly with a real Zen master on the important issues of who you really are, how you can experience yourself as the transcendent, and how you can end self-imposed suffering? Would you like to learn practical and effective ways to tap into the infinite power and love you were born with?

If you live anywhere near Seattle, this is your opportunity to spend two full days with Genpo Roshi, March 6-7–and I highly recommend that you do so.

Genpo’s Big Mind process is one of the most powerful tools I’ve ever used, and spending time with a true Zen master (who’s also a totally “normal”, accessible, and approachable person) is a rare opportunity that will dramatically accelerate your growth. Over 100,000 people have experienced the Big Mind process and have used it to create a richer and more deeply relational life.

Spending two days with Genpo Roshi will quite likely change your life. It certainly has changed mine. For more details, just go to: http://www.bigmind.org/Seattle.html

Just as I was about to post this, I received this from Genpo’s office about a huge discount for this workshop:

“Thanks to a generous donation from our Big Heart Circle members, who are helping us to bring Genpo Roshi’s work to a wider audience, we are happy to offer a Discount Coupon that takes $200 off your registration price for the Genpo Roshi Seattle Weekend Workshop, March 6 & 7.

“If you are one person signing up please use the following coupon code (Seattle1) when you register. Click the “apply” button and it will calculate your discount. If you want to sign up for two people, click on Bring a Friend, and enter Seattle2 in the coupon code box and you’ll get a discount for both people at once.”

Again, the link is: www.bigmind.org/Seattle.html

 

4) This last recommendation is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever participated in:

If you’re interested in how cutting-edge science and spirituality intersect and affect each other, this is for you:

On April 10 I’ll be participating in a very special, one-time-only event at Smith College in Western Massachusetts, and I’d like to invite you to be there. Wait till you see who is involved.

Here are the details:

Several months ago I discovered that famed Buddhist scholar Jamie Hubbard (the Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies at Smith College in Massachucetts) is an avid Holosync user. We met and spent some time together, and he suggested that we put on a workshop together and invite some of the other “consciousness luminaries” he knows (many of the scientists that have been studying the Tibertan monks around the Dalai Lama, for instance, are his friends, as are other well-known figures in Buddhism and transformational work, such as Dan Goleman of emotional intelligence fame).

So, on April 10th we’re holding a day-long seminar at Smith College in beautiful western Massachusetts, tentatively called “Technologies of Awareness: Buddhism and the New Mind Sciences”.

We’re particularly interested in looking at the newer and more innovative methods of changing consciousness (including Holosync) and discussing how valid (and effective) they actually are compared to the ancient and time-tested traditional approaches.

Smith College is in beautiful Northhampton, Massachusetts, a short hop from New York, Boston, and other parts of the eastern U.S. The area is home to innumerable universities, spiritual centers, and Buddhist groups, where the intelligentsia, scientists, and practitioners of the spirituality of consciousness have congregated, making it a hotbed of ideas.

Jamie will speak, and also moderate the day (you will not want to miss his talk–he is NOT a dry and boring academic), I will speak, Zen master Genpo Roshi (creator of the innovative Big Mind-Big Heart process that Ken Wilber has described as “the biggest breakthrough in Buddhism in the last 200 years”) will speak, and the final speaker will be Andrew Olendzki, PhD., a Pali scholar (the language of the original teachings of the Buddha) trained in Buddhist Studies at Lancaster University in England, as well as at Harvard and the University of Sri Lanka. He’s the former executive director of IMS (Insight Meditation Society), the executive director of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS) in Barre, Massachusetts, and editor of the famous Insight Journal.

But, as they say when selling the ShamWow, “But that’s not all you get.”

And, this, to me, is the most exciting part of the whole thing.

In the evening, we’re going to have a private seminar/symposium where as many of these science and consciousness luminaries as we can get into a single room will, in a round-table setting, explore (and ask some hard, skeptical questions about) the latest thinking and research about consciousness, the brain/mind, and look at what methods, old and new, work best to expand consciousness and improve the mental, emotional, and spiritual lives of human beings.

Doesn’t this sound exciting to you? I know it does to me.

So, as I said, there are two parts to this. One is the all-day event I’ve just described. The other is the evening round-table, where we’ve invited a long list of luminaries in this field.

  1. Daniel Goleman is a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee famous for developing the argument that non-cognitive (ie, emotional) skills can be just as important as IQ, as described in his book Emotional Intelligence. He has written many other books, including The Varieties of Meditative Experience and is part of the Mind and Life group of scientists and thinkers who periodically meet with the Dalai Lama. To give all his credentials would take WAY too much room.
  2. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder and former Executive Director, The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and a scientist who is often part of the Mind and Life meetings with the Dalai Lama and in the forefront of research regarding meditation and other consciousness expanding methods.
  3. Katherine Anraku Hondorp, a senior Zen student in the Soto School, and Director of Zen on Main Street.
  4. Tara Bennet-Goleman, therapist, author (Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart).
  5. Mirabai Bush, Co-founder, Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Contemplative Mind in Society, and co-author (with Ram Dass) of Compassion in Action.
  6. Georges Dreyfus, Professor of Buddhist Studies, Williams College. A monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for many years, he has studied at some of the most important Tibetan monastic institutions in India and became the first Westerner to obtain the degree of Geshey Lharampa, the highest rank offered in the Geluk academies.
  7. Jay Garfield, Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Tibetan Studies in India Program
  8. Zen master Genki Roshi
  9. Zen master Bernie Glassman Roshi, Peacemakers, Maezumi Institute, etc.
  10. Bill Harris (President, Centerpointe Research Institute)
  11. Jamie Hubbard, Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies, Smith College
  12. James Hughes, Trinity University and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (the Cyborg Buddha project)
  13. Carolyn Jacobs, Dean and Elizabeth Marting Treuhaft Professor, Smith College School for Social Work
  14. Ryan Joo, Buddhist Studies, Hampshire College
  15. David K. Scott, Former Chancellor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Professor of Physics
  16. Julie Mazo, emeritus, Monroe Institute
  17. Zen master Genpo Roshi
  18. Andrew Olendzki, Director, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
  19. Philip Peake, Psychology Department, Smith College
  20. Catherine Rule (private local practice working with EEG and biofeedback tech)
  21. William Waldron, Middlebury College (Buddhist studies, Buddhist psychology)
  22. Arthur Zajonc, Professor of Physics, Amherst College, Director, Contemplative Mind in Society, Mind and Life Institute, Co-director of the Five College Faculty Seminar on New Epistemologies and Contemplation

Now, these are the people we’re INVITING to the evening event. I can’t promise that all of them will be there. Jamie and I hope (and anticipate) that most of them will want to be a part of this. I suspect that this is as exciting for them as it is for me.

Here’s one little twist you need to know about, though. Because of the way the academic world works, we couldn’t figure out a practical way to have a live audience for the evening symposium event. If we have a room large enough for the kind of audience we think this will attract, we’d have to charge enough to pay for it. If we do that, we have to pay the luminaries on the above list an honorarium and cover their other expenses.

In that case, we’d have to charge much more than the tiny amount I want to charge (you won’t believe how inexpensive we’ve made this), and that would prevent many people from attending.

Here’s my solution: We’re going to videotape the entire evening conversation (in high definition, to boot). Then, as an attendee of the all-day event…

…you can view the video of the entire conversation between these amazing scientists, scholars, and visionary thinkers (you’ll have to give us a week or two to do some minor editing) online, at absolutely no charge. In fact, you can watch it as many times as you want. And, if you want to own a DVD copy of it, you can have one for our cost (a few dollars) plus minor shipping and handling costs.

I know you’re wondering what this extravaganza will cost you. Well, not very much at all–in fact, considerably less than what you’re probably anticipating. An all day event like this, with world-renowned people of this caliber, would generally cost at least $500 to $700, perhaps more. That’s out of reach for a lot people these days, though.

So this event doesn’t cost $700. Or $500. In fact, it doesn’t even cost half of that. To make sure that anyone who wants to come can afford it, even in this admittedly lousy economic environment, we’re charging just enough to cover our expenses.

How much is that? Just $197. For that you get the all-day event, with four speakers, Jamie Hubbard, PhD, Andrew Olendzki, PhD, Genpo Roshi, and me. And, as an attendee of the daytime event, you’ll also be allowed to eavesdrop, by video, on the evening symposium where one of the most impressive and star-studded arrays of thinkers, scientists, and visionaries in the world will discuss ancient and modern methods of expanding consciousness–and anything else they want to discuss.

I don’t know exactly what will happen in this evening event, but Jamie and I are hoping that we will skeptically and honestly confront both traditional and modern approaches (including Big Mind and Holosync). This will be a no-holds-barred, frank discussion of a number of fascinating questions by some of the world’s smartest people–questions such as:

  • “Can you really meditate like a Zen monk at the push of a button?”
  • “Are Buddhism and other traditional Eastern approaches forever to be an exotic practices, imported from Asia, or are there other, newer ‘technologies’ that can be used for the same benefits?”
  • “What, if anything, does Western Psychology bring to the table?”
  • And, I’m sure, many more such questions.

If I wasn’t going to actually be a part of it (something for which I am both humbled and grateful) I would definitely want to see and hear it.

The venue we’ve reserved has a limited number of seats (400). Some have been set aside for the luminaries listed above who want to attend the day event, and another even larger block of seats has been set aside, at the insistence of Smith College, for students from Smith and several of the many other nearby colleges (there are at least a dozen, I’m told, within spitting distance).

This event is being advertised by a lot of other people, and at quite a few colleges and universities in the area, so if you want to be a part of it…

…get a seat NOW by going to www.centerpointe.com/Smith-College

As always, I plan to make myself super-available to meet you and speak to you during the breaks. DO come up to me and introduce yourself. I want to meet you.

So, that’s it. To reserve your spot (which, again, I would do NOW, not later, to make sure you get a seat), just go to www.centerpointe.com/Smith-College. But hurry. Before I even sent this to you, many of the seats are already taken.

Be well.

Bill

www.centerpointe.com/Smith-College  

/blog/podpress_trac/web/106/0/bill_harris_post0031.mp3

(click the player above to listen to this post)

95 Responses to “Seeing Things the Way They Really Are, Part 3: Seeing yourself the way you really are”

  1. Mark says :

    Hi Bill

    It would be great to see yourself and Genpo in the UK.

    Please come over and see your UK participants at some point. There is a whole world out there that exists outside the US.

    Many Thanks

  2. Don Bell says :

    Bill,
    Part 3 of your series, Seeing Things the Way they Really Are, seems a reiteration of Buddhist thoughts many of which have been confirmed by Quantum Physics vis a vis the interconnectedness of things & events (the Butterfly effect & Bell’s Theorem), the impermanence of things(Law of Atrophy) vs human nature/tendency to hold on to various attainments as though they were permanent, the need to go with the flow (Law of Allowance), etc….I very much enjoyed reading your thoughts about all of this. Net, net…it seems the more you can come into and enjoy the present moment, the less reason one has to worry about trying to make things permanent, while maximizing the enjoyment of the present, I Am experience.

  3. Brian says :

    Thanks Bill

  4. Madonna says :

    It’s good to be reminded that everyone has these so called negative parts. It means I’m less inclined to feel sorry for myself because I think I’m bad when the truth is, noone is bad, we just all have so many facets to ourselves that constantly change from moment to moment. Thanks Bill.

  5. Rosalind says :

    There is a koan in Buddhism that when a person offers you a gift, and you refuse to accept it, Who is left holding the gift? Well the same applies to criticism – you have a choice as to whether you accept it or not, and then whether to accept it graciously and take note of it if it rings true, or discard it if you find that it is not truthful. Criticism need not come from outside of ourselves; it may be the little voice inside!

    How we deal with criticism, judgement, or our reluctance to face aspects of our humaness, depends on how much status you have given to your Ego. When we insist on being in control, which can be displayed as a need to be right – in either a situation, a conversation or whatever – we are coming directly from Ego which is based in fear of lack or attack. Our True Self requires neither recognition nor validation, since it knows itself to be perfect, whole and complete and is therefore never in competition with Another. From this perspective one is able to accept criticism for what it is – the opinion of Another! And when we do not stand in judgement of the Other, neither do we stand in judgement of their opinion – in other words who is criticising who? When the uneasiness comes from within ourselves, it is simply the Ego arguing with itself whilst comparing itself to Another. I have covered this topic quite extensively in my own writing titled “Taming the Ego” – possibly the most challenging aspect of self-discovery.

  6. sheila says :

    thankyou for this post.The work continues! I feel helped and inspired in the ongoing daily task of refining and developing awareness…..

  7. Philip Bäckmo says :

    Hi Bill
    Thanks for your very simple and clear distinctions! As you orten do, you manage to really go to the core of the matter in a straightforward and accessible manner.

    /Philip

  8. Helene Ciriello says :

    …”ain’t it hard when you discover that
    he really wasn’t where it’s at
    after he took from you everything
    he could steal … ”
    – Boby Dylan

  9. Donna Sweasey says :

    Thanks Bill. At this point in time I am trying to keep food on our table
    and that can be all consuming at my age. I wish you the very best in
    your quest.

    FROM BILL: I understand.

  10. Jacki says :

    Hello Bill
    I didn’t read the first two parts, but the title of this caught my attention. Seeing yourself the way you really are. The title says it all. Like you said “experience yourself as transcendent”. Until you experience yourself as conscious awareness, you will only see yourself in (as) the thoughts that pop into your mind. If you watch the thoughts closely you’ll notice there is nothing permanent in them. For as long as your attention is on them, that is there life span. Put attention on what is noticing everything (including thoughts). I’m glad you brought up acceptance. This has been so key. It really does somehow open you up to awareness and as you said “the more aware you become, the more you see things the way they are”.
    Thank you for this blog.

  11. Mikee Z says :

    Bill, you created THE most sophisticated and effective psychological system in the world. We owe you (not really, but you know what I mean:)

    Thank you and Warm Greetings

  12. Madelana says :

    Bill,

    I think you are great! I love to listen to you and feel that you speak from the heart and with a directness that is at times shocking and at other times refreshing. Talk about both sides of the coin! And I appreciate that in someone I consider to be my teacher.

    I agree that magical thinking is worthless to a satisfying experience of living the highest human life we can. But I do believe that we need to realize that it all begins with our mind and without knowing what is ‘in there,’ we’ll never understand what is ‘out there.’ And that, as we advance our ability to know our mind (thank you, Holosync, for expediting and amplifying this process), we expand the possibility of having more control over our destiny… or at least how we experience our reality.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there and bringing such great stuff to your ‘peeps.’

  13. Verne says :

    Well I’d love to attend, but in this lousy economy, I need to be home earning whatever $’s I can muster. Any chance that the day event will be recorded and then both will be available for purchase?

  14. Aisjah says :

    Hi Bill,

    Great blog, loved the poem. It’s important to talk about having awareness and accepting both our negative and positive qualities. I still have trouble with this even though I “know” this stuff. Projection onto others is how I get to see myself in the kosmic mirror. But not all the time. Those “house guests” arrive all the time and I’m able to feel and be aware of their presence, then choose an informed way to behave and respond to a situation in life or direction. It’s not easy.
    The hard part is when I haven’t been aware and have acted on the impulse of a projection or aversion in “another”. That’s when accepting my human ness is the most difficult. That is where a lot of suffering comes into play. But even that is getting easier and I owe this to Holosync. Seeing the difference between responses that genuinely arises from the moment and not from a trigger from the past, has allowed me to grow the most and interact with people and situations I would never have allowed myself to be in before. So life is richer, and so am I. The more I surrender my faults and negative qualities and accept them allows me to do that with others. It’s up and down. I can’t do it all the time, but the potential is there. I have healthier choices now and can work in very real depth with clients and patients who are dealing with life debilitating illnesses. Their feelings of self hatred and blame are very painful, and the more I accept the negative in myself, I can work with them to get to a different perception of themselves, and start to deal with their life threatening illnesses, instead of rejecting them and not wanting to work with them. It’s almost as if they want you to hate them to verify their negative feelings. But when we don’t reject them, they have a space to evolve out of that state, and we have to forget it next time we see them, not to hold the past, but begin anew each time interacting with “them”-(ourselves).

    Just a little comment on magical thinking, I understand where it is on the AQAL scale, and I know how hard you are working to get people not to think this way, but perhaps it’s not possible to go beyond that type of thinking until there is awareness of all aspects of ourselves and acceptance and surrender, then taking responsibility for ourselves, our states of feelings and being. It is fun and childlike and magical and feeds wonderful childlike imagination, and it deflects suffering. If our species is to truly mature, evolve and grow up and know our oneness with everything in a lived, experienced way, then we have to let the magical thinking go and evolve to an even more wonderful aliveness and manifestation of our true selves.

  15. Nancy says :

    Hi BIll,

    What a great post! And what an exciting day you have planned at Smith. I am almost too distracted to comment on your post….

    However, I’m going to give it a try. I want to say, good for you for trying to confront good-bad and all the antonyms that we learn as children so that we can categorize. You confronted the practice, and then you upheld it’s validity, I think. You said, “One of the characteristics of spiritually mature people (Genpo Roshi being one good example of this) is that they accept their humanness, positive and negative.”

    I was reminded of the story of the Sedona founder, Lester Levenson, and how attempting to control everything caused him severe health challenges. It was only when he learned first to love and then to accept everything that he found health and peace. So, is it possible to raise a human child, without teaching categorizing with it’s eventual result of attempting to control bad vs good?

    I was reminded of the story of Baby X. Do you know that story? It’s about gender, but couldn’t it also be able all categorizing? http://www3.delta.edu/cmurbano/bio199/AIDS_Sexuality/BabyX.pdf

    I think so.

    Thanks always for inspiration,
    Nancy

    FROM BILL: If humans didn’t discriminate, they would not survive.

  16. Kathy Steevens says :

    Hi Bill,

    What you say makes perfect sense as always. It’s the doing of it that is difficult. Even acknowledgement of one’s human failings is relatively easy. We all, I think, can see that we have the potential for all human qualities within us, be they what we consider desirable or undesirable.

    Acceptance on the other hand is much more difficult. I can think, on an intellectual level that I accept certain things about myself, yet when faced with them in reality, discover I haven’t really accepted them at all, that I was just kidding myself. The game of black and white is so deeply ingrained that even when you make a conscious decision to play a lighter version, you catch yourself right back where you started.

    Look forward to your next post. I wish you’d come to Australia. I’d love to meet you.

    Cheers

    Kathy Steevens

    FROM BILL: Awareness is the answer.

  17. Richard says :

    Hi Bill

    Recently, someone said to me « I am happy to have you. I have the feeling you help me to evolve.” I did not reply to her that I was wondering how I could help someone to evolve, while I felt so lost. Oh, well, as I gave to the link to your blog, maybe she will know.

    You, Bill, you are helping me to evolve. It is 4:25 am, here, in France, when I write this reply. In this dark night of the soul, it seems to me there is light: a hope to make peace with myself, to accept myself fully instead of getting rid off a part of me. I am sometimes (often?) thick headed. When I heard for the first time about containing all the qualities (good and bad) of a human being, it seemed important to me, but you helped me to really realize the real importance of it. Thanks again, Bill.

    Richard

  18. gecko says :

    In other words, sh*t happens, then you die.

  19. Shane Leonard says :

    Dear Bill,

    I’ve not had a chance to read this post yet, but will do very soon; I am sure it will be as enlightening as always :) … The reason I’m writing though is about an entirely different subject (Please allow me to apologise as I know this is a slighty underhand way hopefully getting your expertise on something, and I will understand if you decide not to answer it). To get to the point I am very interested, as I’m sure others will be, in hearing your thoughts on the dark night of the soul and whether you had any experience of it on your Spiritual path?
    I’ve looked through the majority of your past blogs and couldn’t find anything on it and would really appreciate you sharing your thoughts on it.
    Best Regards
    Shane

    FROM BILL: See my 2-part blog series about the Five Stages of Waking Up about the 5 Ranks of Tozan. It discusses the fall from grace, which is a dark night of the soul.

  20. Will says :

    words words and always yet more words, obscuring the profoundly simple fact of what you are. BEING. To whom do these thoughts you find yourself so caught up in, appear? What is this “I” to whom they all refer? It too is simply a thought – tenacious, central, and habitual for sure, but JUST another thought. ALL these thoughts are objects in awareness. ANYTHING the mind can come up with is objective to awareness – including that whole sad sorry story of ME ME ME and how it needs changing.
    Awareness – what you truly are – is untouched. The ultimate subjective, it can never be “got” – the “getting” would BE it after all……..
    Step back just a little and notice the beingness you are, without location or attributes, and utterly beyond conceptual speculation. Pure cognition, unmediated. This is not a state to seek or acquire or achieve – it is already so and cannot be otherwise. The mind cannot grasp or divide what you are – it is not in the mind. Truer to say the mind is in it!
    Careful here……..there is no IT to go looking for…….
    You can’t “get” this – you ARE this. But get WHY this can’t be got – that’s it, it’ll all start to crumble on its own, the beliefs and the story of ME and all that nonsense about what’s right and wrong about it. Nothing will be different, except that ME ME ME will be out of the picture, and things will be simply the way they are.
    Nothing is as it seems, but everything is as it is. This is always so, but rarely realised.
    Bill and the rest of the enlightenment industry will hold you fast to the belief that there is something to get, to attain, to achieve, if you’ll just keep coming back for more. Have you noticed how you keep coming back? How it never quite lasts? How if you could just get that final part it would all fit into place and life would be great from then on……?
    THIS is what IS – NOT what you THINK about this! These thoughts refer only to more thoughts – and mostly to the ME thought. You are not a thought, nor can thought be used to stop thought or to pick and choose between thoughts! May as well put a thief in a police uniform and send him off to catch himself!
    Thoughts arise just as breath comes in and out and the heart beats and cells divide and the food digests. You haven’t a clue what the next thought will be, never have had. WHY would you EVER think painful thoughts if you had any choice whatsoever?
    Forget the content and pay attention to the process.
    Go looking for this ME you think you are – doesn’t it only exist in thought?
    What knows this? What knows the THOUGHT that this is known? THAT is what you are. A spacelike awareness upon which EVERYTHING appears.

    FROM BILL: You apparently haven’t read my other posts. And, I might add, for someone who is against words, you sure are long-winded. Words, or even having a self, are not wrong, mistaken, etc. Mistaking that self for who you really are, however, is delusion, as are mistaking words and ideas for what they represent.

  21. Nadya says :

    Great Insights Bill!

    I get it and accept your philosophy. It is difficult to accept ourselves wholely but not unachievable…as you clearly have illustrated.

    (The videotape of April’s seminar – is what l will look forward to!)

    I will now embrace my personal journey and “thank you” for your guidance.

  22. Sandra Trio says :

    Thank you. My summary: We are all sinners. God sent His son Jesus to die for all of us, so that we may understand that we have this potential of oneness. Once we become aware of our sins, we must repent and surrender. I have bought and studied your teachings along with many of your colleagues. And I never felt truly whole, until I understood Jesus Christ. I think what you are doing here is wonderful although you are missing a huge piece of the puzzle. Your teachings have led me to the truth. And I thank you for that. No one comes to me but by my son Jesus Christ. He is the way the truth and the light. Please reconsider how you teach. Love, and God Bless! -Sandra Trio

    FROM BILL: See one of my very first posts on this blog, where I address religion in terms of human development.

    If your perspective works for you, I think that’s great. Go for it.

  23. Ricardo Avendano says :

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for all your teachings and efforts to help us to be better persons in this Universe.I wonder if you hear about Master Samael Aun Weor from The Gnostic Movement and if is yes what you think about his teachings.

    FROM BILL: Not aware of him.

  24. Marie Raphael says :

    Hi Bill,

    Your message… “Seeing Things the Way They Really Are, Part 3: Seeing yourself the way you really are” are”.

    It was interesting reading and I enjoyed it.

    If we are conscious enough to can see things the way they really are and see ourselves the way we really are and accept it, we can change immature thinking into mature thinking which can lead us to make better decision for happiness. I strongly feel that we are all interconnected through creation, but we all have good and bad thoughts in us, which makes us human. Once you realize you do not have control over things in the universe, and you take control of your own thoughts and emotions you are now capable of finding the greatness within yourself.

    Thanks so much for sharing this great message…I hope in the future that I will get to attend some of your seminars and meet you person.

    Blessing,

    Marie Raphael

    FROM BILL: Thank you. Two things: Though mature thoughts are certainly more resourceful than immature thoughts, what I was actually talking about, more specificlly, is mature expressions of who you are–being mature rather than just thinking maturely.

    Second, I want to make sure that you understand that I’m speaking of good and bad as you perceive them to be. In reality, good and bad are ideas of reality that we impose upon it. As the saying goes, “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.” (I believe this is from Shakespeare.)

  25. Enjoyed this immensely. I agree that resisting anything keeps it in place. Also Deepak Chopra talks about mindfulness. Being in the moment. Ekhart Tolle says, the power of now. Being able to discover within myself parts of myself that I don’t know that I don’t know always surprises me when I discover something new within me. It always enhances my life. To me being aware is the key, no matter what or where it is. I’m still learning. No end to it. Bill, I just started your Holysync program that I bought in 2007. How’s that for procrastinating.

  26. I see the term “negative” as just another belief. In fact, what has worked for me is to make peace with my emotions. I see harmonious feelings (love, in harmony with my essence, I AM) and inharmonious (feelings that let me know I am faulty in my thinking, or judging my situation etc, etc seeing myself as separated from love/abundance in some form). The more aware I am and in the present, the easier it becomes to notice. Since I embraced and reframed the stories I made up in my mind as a child, and released the cellular memory, and now instead focus on love and gratitude, I have more compassion for myself and others. It is all about perception and flowing with feelings. Nothing is “good or bad” except thinking makes it so. We are making it all up anyway.

  27. Elaine says :

    Great post, very comprehensible. I’ve been studying Genpo Roshi’s methods — via a 4-DVD-set that I believe came as a bonus from Holosync, and then ordering his books. I keep discovering more “counter-productive” aspects of moi. Is there ever an end to them, a time when one becomes Completely fully-integrated? Perhaps not, oh well. The game or ‘process’ of integration is fun, why even want to stop? (Is that a sensible attitude??)

    It seems like we need to accept (integrate) the “negative” aspects of our humanity; and we need to accept our human impulse to divide our own beingness into “negative” and “positive,” as well as our selfishness, pervertedness, badness, etc. etc.

    Aside from all that—-I do have one question, Bill. It is to do with this “I am a wave of the ocean” concept. You mention it again in this blog, which justifies me in bringing it up here :>)

    I can certainly accept that my physical body is going to return to dust; and that my current personality (my elaine-ness) will have no continuation beyond this life, since it is shaped & formed by the circumstances of this life.

    But it seems to me that there is …something….that is not subsumed back into “oceanness” upon the death of the physical body; that maintains a type of individuality from one physical lifetime to another.

    The evidence that I base this theory (& it is only a theory, which is why I’d like your input, Bill) is that throughout my life, I have felt a profound connectedness (for lack of a better term) to some people, but not to most of those who have crossed my path. I have a handy label for these folks, I call them my “connected people.” Eg., a person who became a friend of mine, in my 20-s (there were lots of friends, but this one—felt different.) A lover (“love” at first sight, tho he wasn’t someone I could possibly have lived with. In many ways he was a jerk But still…there was something, a connectedness.) The person who is my son, but not my daughter or husband, dear to me tho they be.

    So I dunno. Are these people part of my puddle, which has an existance underlying the wave-that-I-am? My puddle being part of the ocean, to be sometime subsumed in it, but maybe not at the death of my physical/personality self? Or….? Have you the experience of this sort of random connectedness that is somehow more-than-ordinary? And if so, how would you (in the light of what you understand to be true) explain it?

    FROM BILL: The Big Secret is that you ARE the ocean–or, you can say, you are the pure awareness out of which the ocean, and all waves, arise. THAT is what keeps going after the death of “Elaine”. That pure awareness, which is who you are are, has no boundaries, no beginning, no end, and is beyond life and death, and beyond all distinctions. And, if you come to embody THAT, your puddle will be the ocean and every soul you come in contact with will be your son, daughter, lover, friend, and soulmate.

  28. Mary says :

    Hi Bill,
    As i was reading your blog i started to cry and come to realize all parts of myself that i was trying to get rid off i believe at that moment i had
    a breakthrough , thank you, thank you, from the botton of my heart i look forward 2 seeing you @ one of your seminars….

    Mary

    FROM BILL: You can take my online seminars right now, without leaving home. Just og to http://www.centerpointe.com/life/preview for a free preview lesson.

  29. Anna says :

    Hello everybody!!! How about having fun??!! I listen to my CD`s everyday with the purpose to have a happy life not to continue spending more money… for splittig hairs…. and continue to be depressive. I do have to admit that Holosync has helped me a lot teaching MYSELF BY MYSELF having fun and happiness in my life . With God as my supervisor. I do not need anyone else. Otherwise I would continue to be depressive and insecure. I thought and I still do that this is the main purpouse of Holosync Solution, isn´t it? Or what do you think , Bill. My best. Anna.

  30. Nancy says :

    “FROM BILL: If humans didn’t discriminate, they would not survive.”

    I had been talking about good-bad and categorizing as such.

    If we are taught that boys are smarter than girls, as an example, this sets up a category of smart people= boys, and dumb or “other” people= girls. This allows discrimination in salaries, service, health care, quality of clothing and cost of hair cuts.

    Some people are very discriminating about hair. This changes with fashion. In the 1960’s, long straight hair was beautiful, and today I think that curls are preferred. In the 1960’s, a small behind was preferred, and today, I am quite sure the opposite is true. — Do any of these discriminations have anything to do with human survival?

    If a man cuts me off on the highway, and I allow it. Am I less discriminating than a person who, in a rage, goes off chasing him? He might have had a wife giving birth in the car, or a mother-in-law who had stopped breathing and he was rushing to the hospital. — Was his action good or bad? Am I less human or do I have less survival value than the person who responded angrily because he discriminated that man’s driving behavior as “bad”?

    You often talk about impermanence as something negative. This time you said:

    “Many who seek spiritual awareness, for instance, mistakenly think that spiritual awakening is a way of eliminating this “negative” side of the coin.”

    Why can’t we just accept the winter and loss of leaves, or the change in smell of the ocean without a negative side at all? When you talked about our lives being part of the One in the way that a wave is part of the ocean, didn’t that imply that the wave will move and disappear as another few molecules become the next wave? Do you think that wave ought to think of this as “bad”?

    I submit that thinking of change as necessary rather than inevitable and as nurturing rather than as unavoidable is a way to remove the good-bad categorizing that you seem to be struggling with.

    And, to return to my struggle with whether or not we, as humans, need to categorize. Children learn to categorize when they are learning language. Tall, short, fat, thin, bigger, smaller, round-square-triangle. Learning to sort in multiple ways is part of cognitive testing.

    And, we do need to have preferences in order to make decisions in our lives. Some prefer their tea hot, and others prefer ice tea. Some prefer blue sweaters and some prefer red. The mistake is in allowing children to make the judgment, “Red is better” or “Hot is better”.

    Some children think that “Reading is more fun” and others think that “Running is the most fun.” They are discriminating, but the statement is not correct. I mentioned to a professional cellist that my grand daughter wants to learn to play the violin. He asked, “Why does she want to play the violin?”

    When Paul Cezanne and Edgar Degas were alive, discriminating people thought their paintings were terrible.

    Back to impermanence. I loved impermanence as a child. I was delighted with each new ability I gained, and with each new inch I grew. During my 20 to 40 years, I resisted impermanence with every fiber of my being. Now that I am beyond that, I am happy with impermanence again. I am seeing that change brings growth and an opportunity to learn. Learning keeps me young.

    Holosync is a big part of this for me and certainly brings change. So, is change good or bad? I think it’s energy.

    I am not discriminating about my “spirituality”. I am not saying that acceptance of change is better or worse than not accepting change. It is up to you whether you accept it or not, but I have found that accepting it gives me a lot more energy for moving with it. Like surfing or sailing; if you use the energy of the wave or the energy of the wind, you’re going to have more fun and use less energy than if you struggle to stay in one place.

    Accepting myself does not include discrimination, does it? If I start to compare my $ wealth against yours, I would be less happy with myself. And, if I compare it against Thoreau in his Walden Pond stage, I might come up feeling good about myself. If I compare my appearance against a pygmy, should I feel better about myself? And, if I compare myself against a model in her 20’s, wouldn’t I feel badly again?

    I think that discrimination is a problem, and not necessary for survival at all. I am who I am. I am not you. I am not Henry David Thoreau. Yet, as you say, we are all part of the One. Dr. Bruce Lipton (http://www.mindbridge-loa.com/fractals.html) suggests that for survival we begin to think of ourselves as part of one ecosystem, in the way that a cell will become part of a heart or part of a lung and continue in that role for the survival of the organism. What would happen if your heart muscle cells decided that they would rather be skin?

    Thanks,
    Nancy

    FROM BILL: By discrimination I don’t mean being triggered or reactive about things. I mean telling the difference between this and that.

  31. Connie Charnell says :

    Interesting article as always. I’m an avid user of holosync and also listen to The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle on my Ipod. I also listen to The four Agreements. I find the more I listen with an open mind the more I understand and therefore apply these concepts in my personal intereactions. I’ve always concidered myself as a “New Age” type because I explore and try to apply these principles. Perhaps these lables are what we are all trying to move away from?

    FROM BILL: You might enjoy my free online course, featuring several well-known awakened teachers, called Understanding the Power of Now: http://www.UnderstandingThePowerOfNow.com

  32. Tim says :

    Aspects of this blog remind me of a famous Mark Twain quotation…

    “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

    Thanks, again, Bill for stimulating us all.

    Be well.

    Tim

  33. Santiago says :

    Thanks a lot Bill

    Isn´t it interesting that there is no samsara and no nirvana ?

    Love,

    Santiago

  34. Natasha says :

    I’m too scared to truly bond with someone
    because of impermanence…
    I really wish I could overcome this.

    I have felt the pain of attaching and then loosing
    that someone. And I tell myself that its ok,
    that the things I gained when I attached
    were far greater that the pain and that its worth it.

    But still, I hold back, and this makes me feel so sad…

    FROM BILL: When someone is traumatized in early life when bonding with someone important (a child whose mother, for instance, that has trouble bonding with her child, inadvertantly traumatizes the child), they often feel the way you do. Everyone feels pain when they lose something or someone to whom they are attached, but you may feel it more than others.

    First of all, I think you need to see a competent therapist and work on this. You also need to make sure you use Holosync as a regular meditation practice. Finally, it would be an excellent idea to take my Life Principles Integration Process online courses. You can listen to a free preview lesson at http://www.centerpointe.com/life/preview.

  35. Samuel says :

    Hi Bill! How does it serve me that you say that I am “everything”? Thanks

    FROM BILL: It might keep you from feeling alone and isolated, and doing and feeling all the suffering that people experience because they feel alone and isolated. However, just “telling you,” actually, isn’t going to do much more than perhaps motivate you to actually find out, experientially, that you are everything. Knowing intellectually, by itself, won’t do much.

  36. ROSARIO says :

    Dear Bill,
    PLEASE,
    do you have a statistic of your holosync’s users about
    when (awakening, purification, flowering) usually
    the spontaneous trust-let go-surrender happened to them ?
    THANK YOU.
    rosario [Italy]

    FROM BILL: It happens when you do it. I would not treat this as something that Holosync magically does TO you. I would treat it as something you either do or not.

  37. Sam says :

    I have one technical question for you Bill. I also appreciate you stirring the pot as it seems that there are a lot of bubbles coming to the surface, and this whole thing needed a push to start working itself out. It seems that after this post I’m able to go back to your second course–yes I do have way too much time on my hands–and go into the material at a much deeper level; it’s syncing in in a way it had not up to now, and my comprehention is expanding.

    I’m wondering about the video sesshin after the Buddhist presentation in ma. Are there any seats available, or will the only way to attend the evening’s presentation be by video later on? Thanks.

    FROM BILL: It is a private seminar available to those who attend the daytime seminar, but available by video only.

  38. Dan says :

    Another very interesting and thought provoking post Bill. Thanks!

    BTW, on an unrelated topic, are you familiar with Dr. David Hawkins? I recently began reading a book entitled Power Versus Force by Dr. Hawkins that is very interesting so far. I was wondering if you had heard of him and if so what your thoughts were?

    Thanks.

    Dan

    FROM BILL: I am decidedly UNimpressed with Hawkins. In my opinion, he is a crank who uses pseudo-science nonsense to further weird theories he’s concocted.

  39. Maggie says :

    Great blog! Thank you so much for what you are doing, much appreciated. The work continues!
    To spread the good word and gain more happy readers you may want to try http://www.nouri.sh – a FREE newsletter service that allows you to convert any RSS feed into an automated customizable email newsletter your readers can subscribe to! It’s free and fun! Enjoy!

  40. Samuel says :

    Hi again! I dont understand this that I am everything. If I am everything wouldnt I be able to controll all parts of the universe? controll them like my hand? And who is that can become more aware? Well its “me”, but I am everything, then I would be all aware people and I would also be the people that are unaware? And wouldnt this make me feel alone because there is only “me”?

    FROM BILL: You should read the other posts on this blog, which explain this in much greater depth (which I know is a project, but one I think that will fascinate you are bring great rewards).

    There’s really just one thing–the All. All divisions are mental, not intrinsic to reality. If there is one huge, ongoing, flowing whatever-it-is (the All), then what else could you be? To say that there is a separate you, apart from the All, is, as I said, a mental concept. In reality, there is no division between “you” and everything else. You are the All, looking out through a certain pair of eyeballs. Any feeling of separation happens inside that universe between your ears. Another way to say this is that the wave is not separate from the ocean. There’s just the ocean, waving. You are the universe waving. Can a wave control the ocean? Nope. Can you control the All. Give it a try. I would bet that you can’t.

    I’m not waying that Samuel is the All. I’m not saying that what you think of as “you” is the All. “Me” is a conceptualization, an idea, just as “three” is an idea, or the border between the US and Mexico is an idea. I’m saying that there’s nothing else BUT the All, and that who you really are IS that All. The All, however, can’t be controlled. Who would control it? There’s nothing that isn’t It, so where would this controller come from?

  41. ROSARIO says :

    FROM BILL: It happens when you do it.

    Dear Bill,
    I want to happen it but it is not happened yet.
    it’s a double bind.
    Do you have a suggestion of HOW ?
    I am already observing with awareness what you teach in your online course and i am using holosync.
    THANK YOU.
    rosario [Italy]

    FROM BILL: Meditate, preferably with Holosync. Practice watching your mind.

  42. catherine says :

    Hi Bill
    Would be so interesting to attend the event! Unfortunately not possible due to distance and young children. Will the evening video become available to all eventually?
    I’m sure you’ve heard of Lee Gerdes. Any thoughts on his technology?
    I had 10 sesions of his brain training in the UK about a year or so ago out of interest. It was a very rewarding experience in lots of ways. I know he is not a great advocate of Holosync, but they were clearly very impressed with the state of my brainwaves nevertheless!

    Catheine xx

    FROM BILL: I don’t know Lee Gerdes. Most people who are not “great advocates of Holosync” don’t know very much about it and are dismissing it without any investigation. Every time a brain wave expert works with those who have used Holosync (Dr. James Hardt of Biocybernaut, for instance) they always remark that there is something remarkable about what they see.

    I don’t really have control over the video of the evening seminar at the Smith College event (see recommendation #4 at the end of Seeing Things the Way They Really Are Part 3 for more information), so I don’t know if it will be possible to distribute it in some way to those who do not attend the event.

  43. steve says :

    Hi Bill,
    I found some of your earlier posts more comforting. Bill i would hope that you consider remembering your tough parts of your life, vividly and not just take screen shots. Not everyone is aware and simply telling them that there is no afterlife and everything is connected is somewhat…non satisfying. People need inspiration, motivation, and a few how to’s on how to get started. It seems now that you have a lot of worldly connections, you are forgetting about how it feels like to be a mindless westerner robot. We need you Bill!

    FROM BILL: First of all, how about deciding to not be a mindless Westerner robot? That’s what I’m try to get you to do.

    Second, if you want a fantasy to help you feel better, this probably isn’t the place to get it. Awareness, which involves seeing things the way they really are, is the solution to all of life’s problems that have a solution (some don’t). If it makes you feel better to imagine that things are different than they really are, I would go ahead and do that. Personally, I think there’s more suffering involved in doing that.

    If you read my previous posts abut human development at the beginning of this blog, I clearly state (and this is a view shared by the most respected researchers in this area) that each new developmental level is a perspective on the human condition and how to navigate it. Each perspective works as long as it works. When a person gains new information, has new experiences, etc., this new information often doesn’t fit with the old perspective, which means they have to develop another perspective, one that is wider, larger, more all-encompassing, and which takes into account the new information or experiences.

    For instance, when you first start to support yourself when you are a young adult, you learn things that widen your perspective about being human. Your old way of navigating life doesn’t work anymore. When you get to be 60, as I have just done, just becoming older and closer to death changes your perspective.

    So, if your current perspective involves certain “beliefs” that comfort you, and this works for you, go for it. I’m presenting the point of view that the sooner you can see reality for what it is (to the degree that is possible) and acknowledge that realiy to yourself, the more likely you will be to be aware, happy, peaceful, and, quite frankly, powerful–the Master of your life, one who lives by choice.

    This is a bit like a person who discovers that they have a terminal illness and after going through the various stages people go through when they discover such a thing finally comes to terms with it. Such people are legendary for having such a powerful and peaceful presence that everyone gets a contact high from being with them. They radiate peace and love. Perhaps in coming to terms with those aspects of being human that you don’t like (such as impermanence) you might become that way long before you are near death.

  44. Samuel says :

    So you can say that I am a wave called Samuel, and the wave take form as a human, with a mind, and that mind generates an ego. Is this right:)? Thank you

    FROM BILL: The mind gives the wave the IDEA that it is a separate wave.

    I see you trying to UNDERSTAND all of this, to “get it.” What I’m talking about, though, can’t be understood, at least intellectually. You can get it experientially, viscerally, but trying to understand it is a trap. You feel like you’re almost there, you almost get it, but not quite, just a little more and I’ll get it, just a little more…

    The mind can’t get the no-mind. The mind, by it’s nature chops things up into mentally created “things” and “events.” It discriminates. And, this is useful for navigating your life. But it will not get you to an understanding of what transcends the mind. That’s why people meditate in order to quiet the mind, because that’s when they suddenly have the experience of being that pure awareness that underlies everything. This, however, cannot be described in words, or formulated in the mind. The sooner you give that up, the better. It’s a mystery. Part of opening up to it is being okay with the fact that it is a mystery.

  45. Carlos says :

    ” We all have a terminal illness , it is called birth” I think I read that in the ” peaceful warrior ” book.

    Bill I would like to comment on the “contact high” people get.

    I have never met personally (as far as I know) anybody who is “enlightened” , However I have noticed that I tend to pick up the states of people I come in contact with who has a specific trait or set of traits that I respect and admire.

    So if I get to spend time with somebody who is authentically confident or funny , or seductive or whatever I tend to pick up those states and feel and act like that at least for a period of time.

    I think that what happens is that when we meet somebody we respect who authentically exhibit charateristis we like (wether is confidence or awareness) We unconsciously start to model that person’s breathing patterns and facial expressions and body language and relaxation etc etc. So we get ourselves into similar states as the one exhibit by the person we admire.

    Carlos

    FROM BILL: This is a great example of what I was saying to Elaine about awareness creating choice. There is something you DO, Carlos, to pick up traits from other people. You’re doing it outside your awareness, however. If you watched carefully to see what internal representations you make that create this “rapport,” you would find that you have choice about who to do this with, and you would only pick up the traits of people you CHOOSE to emulate. As long as you do it unconsciously, outside your awareness, you’ll just do it with everyone, without choice.

  46. Bob Hughes says :

    Hi Bill,

    This was a timely reminder to see myself as I really am.

    After a year’s hiatus, I’m back using HoloSynch again.

    I had felt that I was satisfied with my meditation style of zazen in the full-lotus posture twice daily for an hour per session.
    (I had been doing this since 1989.)
    After a year of using Holosynch, it seemed unnecessary.

    Then last week I discovered a DVT (blood clot) in my left calf.
    No more sitting with knees bent in the full-lotus posture.

    So I’m switching to Standing Meditation (Zhan Zhuang).
    Standing for an hour, however, is much different from sitting for an hour; and it’s much more challenging.

    How to stand still for an hour without attachments?
    Aha, I got it! Put on the headphones and turn on your Awakening Level 1 CD.
    It worked!

    One of the choices you refer to in this blog is :

    3) Accepting one’s own human qualities and emotions, both the ”positive” and the ”negative”.

    Wow, using Holosynch during Standing Meditation is a very different experience!

    I could not have stood still for an hour without the HoloSynch.

    Taking Coumadin (rat poison to inhibit the liver from producing Vitamin K) has made my liver very unhappy.
    (The Liver is associated with the emotion of anger.)
    The second night standing with Holosynch was very productive–experiencing both the “positive” and “negative.”

    I really am an old coot with a thrombosis, on meds and with an unhappy liver.

    However, unlike sitting meditation, instead of being peaceful and alert after the session, I was wide awake, alert and sleepless the rest of the whole night.

    So on the third day, I only used the combination of standing meditation and HoloSynch in the morning. Consequently, I was awake and alert all day, functioning normally–yet sleeping normally that night.

    Now I know why you named the program “Awakening.”

  47. Elaine says :

    Bill says: “…..the sooner you can see reality for what it is (to the degree that is possible) and acknowledge that realiy to yourself, the more likely you will be to be aware, happy, peaceful, and, quite frankly, powerful–the Master of your life, one who lives by choice.”

    Elaine cogitates:

    Through using holosync, I have certainly become happier and more peaceful—-muchmuchmuch more happy & peaceful! and also, more aware. (The awareness—somewhat to my surprise—-includes being aware that there is probably quite a lot of which I’m UNaware.)

    More aware, more peaceful, more happy…..but no, not more powerful, not “one who lives by choice,” and not “more successful in the world.” So I wonder if there is some subtlety I am missing? Got any light to shed on this issue? Talk to us, oh wise one, of power & success? Thanks!

    FROM BILL: What you aware of, you have choice about. If you’re aware of how you choose your friends, you realize you could do it another way. If you are unaware of how you choose your friends, if the choice is made outside your awareness, you may choose to get involved with people who will hurt you in one way or another.

    When you are aware of how you create something, you can exercise choice. When something is created by your unconscious processes, you have no choice, and it seems like it “just happens.”

  48. catherine says :

    Dear Bill

    I have a tiny inkling you’d be interested in Lee Gerdes if you have time to google him.

    Catherine. xx

  49. Gaudeamus says :

    Bill, intuitively I understand what you say about the wave and the ocean. I remember that, as a child, I often was asking myself “who is it that is thinking this?!?” and would become very scared because I had no answer, because it seemed not to be “me” who was thinking “this”. Also, I always felt that I “am” the universe because, after all, I didn’t raise my hand and asked to be born into this world, but was born into this world unasked, and so the picture of the wave arising from the ocean intuitively feels true. However, is this something that helps me in living in the relative world as a human being? I am not sure – does it help to overcome the fear of death, pain and illness? I guess not. But that’s probably the essence of being human.

    FROM BILL: A couple of observations: First, it’s interesting to note that “the thinker”–what we often think of as “me”–is really just another one of the thoughts. Second, you weren’t born into this world, you came out of it, like an apple comes out of a tree.

    I’ve written a lot lately about there being no escape from impermanence and from cause and effect. These two create a lot of suffering in human beings. In fact, the amount of suffering in the world is so big that we have to avert our eyes, so to speak, to avoid being completely overwhelmed by it. In Buddhism, the benefit of experientially knowing that there is one all-encompassing thing and you are It–and that this one thing is unborn and undying–is what allows us to hold the incredible amount of suffering in our awareness and do something to help alleviate it.

    Buddhists take a vow, “Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to save them all.” Since sentient beings are numberless, saving them all is impossible, but we do our best anyway. Facing the vast amount of suffering, and devoting one’s life to doing whatever can be done about it would be impossible if one had not fully embodied the transcendent, which is what most people think of as enlightenment or awakening.

    I do think that having a real, visceral, and permanent knowingness of who you really are does improve your life. In fact, it changes it totally. You might want to read my posts on The five stages of enlightenment and So there you are, enlightened, which go over the stages of waking up. The first one, among other things, involves an awareness of the transcendent, an ability to “visit” but not stay; the third stage involves being permanently established in that awareness. And, there are stages after that.

  50. Buzz says :

    Hi Bill,
    I had written you a few months back about night terrors I was having, and how I felt holosync had contributed to it and how I felt I didn’t know if I could keep living with them. I did call the support line as you recommended, and found that the night terrors were the dark side of ME! I thought they were coming from outside of myself, such as mean people I had been around etc. But they were coming from the mean thoughts that I was having about the mean people. Imagine that. I haven’t had one since. YEAH, what a relief, to actually own that dark side (voice) and to truly realize and get through to my brain that everything is truly created from inside of me, not outside of me is huge.

    Just started Awakening 2 about 5 weeks ago, and all the warm fuzzy feelings I had gotten to when I finished up Awakening 1 are gone, I know that I will come out on the otherside and be warmer and fuzzier, I can’t help wanting it to be now, rather than later.

    Thanks for all you do
    Buzz

    FROM BILL: From time to time someone contacts us because they are having uncomfortable experiences while using Holosync. We tell them that those experiences are not “caused” by Holosync, but instead are coming from them. Often they are unwilling to acknowledge this, and accuse us of not wanting to take responsibility for what they see as Holosync harming them. I congratulate you on your willingness to look into this more deeply and to acknowledge that what you were experiencing was, indeed, coming from you.

    What people often don’t get is that this is GREAT that it’s coming from you. That means you can do something about it.

    This also illustrates two things I’ve been saying non-stop for over 30 years: when you are doing something unconsciously, outside your awareness, it seems as if it is “just happening.” Once you are able to watch yourself do it, with awareness, and see HOW you are doing it, it falls away, just as it has with you. As you continue you may discover more things in your life that are like this, but each time you do it is an opportunity to let it dissolve.

    This is also a great example of shadow material, and how we are convinced that it is coming from others, not from ourselves. You had disowned “meanness” and so you attracted mean people and even manifested them in your dreams. Owning that it was coming from you caused it to disappear. If you haven’t read the posts I’ve done about shadows, you might find them very interesting at this point. I’m sure they will give you further clarity about shadows and how they work in our lives.

  51. Matthew says :

    It’s interesting that you listed the transverse of the opposite side of the ‘coin’; impermanence and cause and effect. So, what is the SOURCE of impermanence and cause and effect?

    I might add I see a marked, gradual evolution in your core philosophy. I’m really glad to see that. The thing that impresses me most is honesty and willingness to admit one’s mistakes.

    And as I always say, skill doesn’t beget wisdom.

    FROM BILL: I can think of just one thing I have changed in what I’ve been saying for the last 20 years. Pretty much everything else I say today I find in what I was writing back around 1990. What is that one thing? That there are things in this life you cannot control (impermanence and cause and effect). I used to say that if you can control your mind you can control your entire experience of life. That, I think, is an illusion. You can exercise enough influence over things to have a hugely successful life, IF you are aware enough, but some things you just cannot control. Though everything else I’m saying today I find in my earlier writing, I certainly understand them and embody them at a much deeper, more personal level now than I did then.

    No one knows the source of impermanence or why this is a universe ruled by cause and effect. No one knows what gravity is, either, or why magnetism exists, or why the strong and weak nuclear forces are as they are, why space-time is “curved”, why the universe is fractal in nature and why those fractals are structured based on Fibonaci numbers–or the answers to scores of other fundamental questions.

    Humans are good at describing things, and seeing the relationships involved in how things interconnect and influence each other, but why things are the way they are, no one knows, and I suspect no one will ever know.

  52. Sam says :

    We usually talk about being the ocean rather than the wave, however what about developing the ability to involve oneself with the experience of the ocean and also be aware of the self/wave portion of consciousness. It’s like knowing that you’re watching a movie like a day-dream and also knowing full well that you have a body in the real world, even though you sometimes forget that you have a body because the movie’s so engrosing (and because there was no need to notice it) and until you shift or something you may as well not have one.

    I bring this discussion point up because there is a philosophy of being the one looking out upon the many manifestations, rather than trying to look from the perspective of many to one. I can look to resolve a conflict from the apex (triangle process of Genpo) in that I’m in the aware ego between seeming opposing sides, however when I try to look from my perspective or the perspective of the other to resolve things I usually distort things and have anxiety about which one is the “right view” or perspective. This is a suttle shift to the experience of the one unity point, and it’s seeming to help me quite a bit, however I think that it involves evolving one’s awareness consciously up to this point wherein this level is active. It seems that with holosync that one is able to do this with more fluidity, and that the amount of stuff that can come up is much more manageable. I can see from my perspective that things are chaotic and also see from the one ocean’s perspective that everything is fine even when out of balance, and I think it’s probably about integrating both parts rather than rejecting this new unfolding because it’s a bit difficult on the one I know of as Sam the self.

    They say that the great way is not difficult, and that it simply avoids picking and choosing. As I see it the great way is the one, mysterious or not, and the many possible manifestations of the one are the choices that the one mind of the universe has to choose from. Usually this choosing is made by the void, wherein the choice mechanism can only be understood by a true exposition of emptiness in one’s consciousness; words that are empty often sound great, to me at least. However when the one mind of the universe becomes aware of itself it then starts to become motivated to make choices which can lead to difficulty in achieving the way (whatever that means for the individual) and therefore it becomes a game wherein those who would rather disown difficulty rather than choose conscious awareness are weeded out and those who consciously choose are rewarded. White can win if played in a certain way, which involves a certain way of thinking and acting that can achieve the great way (or whatever one wants). This is starting to sound familiar.

    At any rate it seems that one is left with a choice, either stay a wave or become the whole ocean. What about both perspectives existing at once, and one simply shifting between them? Is this what you do, Bill?

    PS: I like how “Elaine cogitates” as it kind of takes me back to the good old days of newsgroups and bulletin boards. It brings a nice nestalgic feel to the community that we’re seemingly developing here.

  53. Elaine says :

    I asked you, Bill, to comment on my sense of not having achieved an increase in “power & success”; thank you for doing so….albeit in a rather tangental way….

    (Here’s the FROM BILL:
    “What you aware of, you have choice about.” [~examples~] “When you are aware of how you create something, you can exercise choice. When something is created by your unconscious processes, you have no choice, and it seems like it “just happens.”)

    Therefore…what I experience around “power & success” is what I am creating, quite unconsciously, right? And the question to ask myself is, “How do I DO that? How have I been creating ‘poor me, I have no power & success’ ?” That’s an interesting question! This is fun.

    I’ve become aware of how I created being unhappy & unpeaceful. I’ve changed those silly ol’ habits; so I expect I shall likewise become aware of how I create being unsuccessful. Then I can change those habits as well. Oooooo, I can hardly wait! Thanks Bill!

  54. Matthew says :

    I’d say that’s more integration of the relative to make a very general synopsis. Which, of course, is a great thing. Even recently over the past year – which if I had to guess has had something to do with your interaction with Dennis. Actually I don’t have to guess, you’ve made that quite clear.

    My question to you on the source of impermanence and cause and effect wasn’t geared towards a logical calculation or an attempt at describing why things are the way they are. I suppose that’s one of the limiting factors of a blog.

    What I was asking you was just that, what is the SOURCE of impermanence? How does impermanence exist? Not why.

    As I was saying earlier, I found it interesting that you described the opposite side of the coin as ‘impermanent’ with ’cause and effect’ — expressions of the opposite side of the coin, but not the opposite side of the coin itself.

    Impermanence and Cause and Effect are the mechanics of Separation. Separation is the source of Impermanence and Cause and Effect. If everything were JUST one, then impermanence would not exist. At least from the perspective of being a human.

    Also, I’d add that separation is not as much a mental event as it is a function of being human. If separation did not exist, neither would humans. That would be like having a waveless ocean.

    When I say separate, I don’t mean isolated. I mean individual parts. The same way waves are a part of the ocean.

    You elegantly analogized the border between Canada and America as an arbitrary one that only exists in the mind. I think that’s true. But where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Eastern US is not. That’s literal. Labeling or no labeling.

    Now, you may want to make the argument that only a human would label it “Atlantic Ocean” and “US” and that’s fine. But aside from that, the ocean is the ocean and North America is North America. Just like the # 1 is not the #2. But it’s one system in the sense that the ocean relies on the land to create waves or the way the #1 relies on the #2 to make numerical sense.

    So my contention is neither separation nor oneness in and of themselves is complete. “Oneness” isn’t a complete reality. “Separation” isn’t a complete reality. And one isn’t “more real” than the other. They’re both equally ‘real’. Ironically, how would you even describe oneness outside of being a human?

    That’s what the relative world is all about — seeing and experiencing your source through a separate vessel (or you could call it a relative vessel). Being separate or individual is a mechanical limitation all humans are subject to.

    I’ll just reiterate that you did take the time to describe the expression of that ‘separate’ side, without actually describing it as separate or parted or individual or even relative. Those expressions of reality are undeniable as you seem to extol so well yourself.

    As you say, black doesn’t make sense without white. Separate doesn’t make sense without One.

    That’s the ultimate “Chunk Up” in seeing the full spectrum of duality. Relative and Absolute.

    If that doesn’t make any sense or you completely disagree, I obviously respect that and I’d like to know where or how I may have been mistaken.

    I don’t have any axes to grind, so go for it.

    PS: I’d like to go on about a oneness experience through Emptiness and experiencing your true nature, but I wanted to address the human experience, impermanence and cause and effect particularly. I also would have liked to describe the one-system aspect more thoroughly as well, to provide a balanced context for what I said above, but that’s another blog.

    From Bill: Impermanence and cause and effect are manifestations of the relativity of all things, that everything exists in relation to everything else, and is constantly flowing. They are a manifestation of the oneness of everything, not the separation (there is no separation, other than conceptually). The ocean and the shore go together. You’ve just make them separate in your mind, as people do with the bee and the flower.

  55. Matthew says :

    As I was saying, I meant separate as in not isolated. Individual might be a better word.

    To be a human is to experience that limitation. Otherwise, it’d just be a waveless ocean. The wave is not the ocean while it’s being a wave. Obviously. Maybe in an ultimate sense, but that’s another concept.

    Impermanence is caused by ‘things’ not lasting. Cause and Effect is caused by individual parts interacting with each other. If it were one system, period, then that would not be the case.

    You’re describing something outside of being human.

    I think we have a different perspective on the matter, which I respect. Think of it as corn starch and water: when slapped hard, it’s a solid. When poked slowly, it’s a liquid. Where the slapping action could be seen as a life as a human and the poking action could be seen as the entire universe.

    It seems to me like you’re focusing on one side of the coin.

    FROM BILL: The wave is the ocean, even when it is being the wave. It is both. This is the view from the apex of Genpo Roshi’s triangle, the integration of the relative and the transcendent.

    The manifest universe is one fluid and constantly changing whole, always changing, but without being separate things. Separate things is an idea, not a reality. It is a very useful idea, and it’s necessary for humans to entertain that idea, but it is nonetheless, and idea about reality. When human’s suffer over separation it is often because they think that a supposedly separate thing is ending. That is a mental posture, however, a perception rather than a reality. It is not an accurate description of what is happening, which is that part of the whole is changing into something else in the ongoing fluidity of what Buddhists call the dharma, or what we could call the oneness of all of manifest reality.

  56. Gloria says :

    Bill, I have reread this article several times and listened to the audio a couple of times – it has an almost magnetic pull to it – just brilliant. For me it addresses the heart of the matter.

    I wondered whether there was actually something different in this article or whether my hearing has suddenly improved (probably a bit of both) but in dissecting it, I think the difference for me is the emphasis on the universality of the ‘negative’ side of human characteristics and how every single trait that is possible in a human being is present in every human being. I have been progressively able to acknowledge and integrate ‘normal’ human traits like selfishness, jealousy etc., but couldn’t even entertain the possibility of, e.g. being a child molester. It’s really quite a hard pill to swallow.

    About 25 years ago I heard an interview with a psychologist who had done extensive research on the psychology of torture. I have never forgotten what she said at the conclusion of the interview. She said to the interviewer, who was a very well respected scientist, that anyone could be turned into a torturer ‘even you, Robyn.’ He turned straight around and asked ‘and you?’ There was a few seconds delay but she finally agreed that yes, even she, with all her knowledge and understanding of the process involved, could be turned into a torturer.

    You said “Most of the new Western spirituality is based on this “get rid of the negative ” type of thinking.” I think that Western spiituality is largely based on the Judeo Christian religion and in that, the idea that we can ‘atone’ for sins via a scapegoat is central. Originally it was via an actual goat having the sins of the people heaped on its head and being turned out into the wilderness and then it became the lamb of God who died for our sins. The belief that we can get rid of what we don’t like in ourselves by pretending it is in someone else (projection of the shadow) and then killing them off (sacrificing them) is deeply ingrained in our culture and no doubt it goes way back into the origins of western civilisation. Eastern religions seem to be able to reconcile the ‘dark side of God’ much better than we can.

    I have done a little of Genpo Roshi’s work on my own and found it to be very useful and insightful although somewhat intimidating without the support of a live facilitator or group, none of which are available where I live. Byron Katie’s work is also useful. Mostly though I keep ploughing ahead largely on my own and with the help of articles like this and information avalable through the internet from all the great (and some not so great) teachers that are doing what they can to educate, inform and provide tools to help us become conscious. It is the key, as you keep saying, but that other side of the coin of awareness has to be contended with.

    Thank you.

  57. Matthew says :

    I think trying to describe separate ideas in an ongoing blog isn’t going to happen. Let me start over simply.

    Yes, it is both. Whole-Individual. It is not the wave. It is not the ocean. It is both. Beautiful. That’s integrated, that’s complete.

    Relativity is literal, not conceptual. The whole would not exist without relativity (individuality). Relativity would not exist without the whole. When you talk about something passing away, it is not a mental posture, it is bitter-sweet. As you yourself say, if you’re going to be human, you’re going to get attached to things.

    So, I would disagree with relativity being conceptual. That sounds like a very ancient way at describing things. It has the language of someone living in the transcendent. It would be like saying the wave is a conceptual idea and not literal.

    FROM BILL: I didn’t say relativity was conceptual. I said that separateness is conceptual. Relativity is the opposite of separateness, though due to the use of language it does sound like it’s sying that there are separate things and they exist in relation to each other. Actually it is saying that because of relativity (or, to put it in a better way, the mutual interdependence of everything) nothing is separate from anything else.

  58. Matthew says :

    On a side note, what is your stance on the James Ray sweat lodge tragedy? Since you seem to be close friends with the man/appear with him in a lot of seminars. Or at least were/did.

    I don’t know the entirety of it, but it sounds like magical thinking at its worst. It literally lead to people dying.

    FROM BILL: I know James Ray, though not super well, and it has been probably close to a year since I last spoke to him. My relationship consisted of seeing him at TLC meetings from time to time (though I haven’t been to one for 2 years) and having a phone conversation with him maybe once every 6-8 months. I did not know what he was doing at his Warrior training, or whatever he called it, including that he was doing sweat lodges, or how he was doing them. In fact, I didn’t even know that he was requiring people at those trainings to use Holosync.

    If he really did prevent people in distress from leaving the sweat lodge (which at this point hasn’t been proven), then I would say he has some serious liability regarding what happened. From my own experience with the media, I would warn people that the media have little regard for the truth, don’t vet many of the reports they air, and frame these things in the most lurid way they can think of in order to get more people to watch. So at this point I certainly don’t claim to know what actually happened. People I know who were there don’t paint a very complimentary picture of what James did, but I don’t know what happened, I have heard conflicting stories, and I don’t have a way of collecting enough evidence to figure it out.

    I do think that James is incredibly arrogant and I do think he thinks he’s been in some way commissioned by the universe to be some sort of huge spiritual leader, and I think this delusion has caused him to think that whatever he does is in some way divinely inspired and that because of that nothing can go wrong. I suspect that he was quite shocked to find that he doesn’t have the magic touch he thought he had.

    And, like all such people, some of what he teaches is helpful to people, while some of it, in my opinion, isn’t valid. Some of it may be dangerous, and here’s why: I think he appeals to people who want someone who KNOWS, because they certainly don’t, and “boy, would it be good if someone else did know and could tell me what to do and how to live, because I’m confused.” I don’t think everyone who went to his events fits this profile, but I think a lot of them do.

    I can empathize with people wanting someone to tell them the “answer”. Lots of people are looking to me for similar answers. The truth is, life IS confusing. What I’ve been writing about lately is that control over your life is largely an illusion, and the entire new Western spirituality of the last couple of decades has been based on the (I think, faulty) idea that you CAN be in control. I used to teach this myself, until I became wiser. There are things you can control, if you are aware enough, but there is much more that you can’t control. Seeing things the way they really are allows you to tell the difference and respond accordingly, and in the most resourceful way possible.

    James, by putting on that he KNOWS (and you don’t), gets to feel important. And, he probably thinks he DOES know. He grew up with a father who was a fundamentalist preacher, and I suspect that this left James with low self esteem, and his desire to feel important and his surety about things is quite likely an unconscious psychological defense against those feelings–though this is purely an educated guess on my part.

    At any rate, I think his huge ego is contributing to his downfall. I think if someone died at an event run by Jack Canfield, for instance, or someone else who has a little more humility, it would be seen in a quite different light by people. Of course the media, by sensationalizing the whole thing, gives people a image of what happened that I suspect is not accurate. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, though we may never know for sure what happened, and we’ll probably never know exactly what was going on in his head.

    I do think some of what James teaches is magical thinking. For instance, any time you hear people using quantum mechanics to demonstrate New Age principles, you can be sure that it is magical thinking. There is NOTHING in the weird, non-Newtonian events that occur in quantum mechanics that can be translated to the more gross relative world, but New Agers cite quantum mechanics all the time and bookstores are littered with scientific SOUNDING books about the connection between spirituality and quantum physics. I assure you that these people do not have any idea what they are talking about, could not even score a D on a quantum physics college test, and merely want to “prove” that their ideas about being able to control the universe with their minds are possible.

    I do feel compassion for James, however, and I certainly feel for those who were at these events who suffered or died (and their families and friends). This certainly was a tragedy.

  59. Matthew says :

    What I wanted to do was put an emphasis on the relative outline of the distinct parts of the universe. Say for example being a human. That human (or anything else) exists in relation to everything else. That could be described as relative or relate-ive. But I’m not sure it does a great job at describing Bill Harris’ or Jane Doe’s life. I think that’s where I’d use the word individual.

    Individual:

    Biology.
    a. a single organism capable of independent existence. *tell the bee*
    b. a member of a compound organism or colony. *Close enough*

    I’d go for the latter, where the colony is the universe and that “compound organism” exists in relation to everything else. Or to borrow a page from Arthur Koestler, a holon. Or “mutual interdependence of everything”, where the parts are called things? Either way, as long as the plurality is included in the singularity of things, that makes sense to me.

    FROM BILL: Again, these are ways of thinking about things. Where one “thing” ends and another begins is an arbitrary decision, and happens in the mind, not in reality. You mentioned the shore and the ocean in another post. You could just as easily see what we call the shoreline as what connects the ocean and the shore. Where does the stomach end and the intestine begin? It’s a matter of social convention. In reality, its all one thing. You’re not really getting that all divisions happen in the mind, nowhere else. You are so attached to these ideas that you think they are intrinsic to reality, when they are, in fact, extrinsic. Yes, they are useful–necessariy, in fact, if we are to survive. But they exist IN YOUR MIND, nowhere else.

  60. Matthew says :

    On a side note, do you ever struggle with the idea of losing what you’ve achieved upon death? I don’t mean externally, but I mean the work that you’ve put in emotionally, spiritually and psychologically; particularly in the arena of developmental awareness.

    Sometimes I wonder why I should bother with that effort. Sometimes I frankly don’t want to be born as someone who is unaware. Then I realize of course I’m already born and I’ve already died, hundreds of thousands of times. Not me personally, but speaking from the transcendent.

    I don’t know, in an ultimate sense it’s fine. But in a relative sense there’s a bit of a sting. My only logical conclusion is that the best you can do is to spread what you’ve learned to others. Burn yourself completely in that regard.

    Have you struggled with the feeling? Have you found anything that has created a shift for you?

    FROM BILL: How do you know that “you” have lived all these other lives? All you know is that other people believe that this happens. Now, if by “you” you mean the All, the One, then no “lives” are needed. The One just flows along, without ever having been born, and without ever dying. What you think of as “you” is a conceptualization. There is no boundary between what you think of as you and the rest of the All, other than in your mind.

    As for me, I’m here, I do what I do as part of the flow of everything, I don’t evaluate it in terms of whether or not something is being accomplished in some cosmic sense. What could be “lost” if what I call Bill dies? Who would lose it? As the famous Indian saint Paramahansa Muktananda said, “Life is a meaningless energy, going nowhere, for no reason.” It’s a dance, a flow, with no goal. Some people take this as him saying that life is insignificant, that there’s no reason to live. He’s actually saying what I am saying, that all meanings are added by the mind. This is why human being have the ability to create their own reality, for good or for ill–they have the ability to add meaning and distinction to the universe where none actually exists.

  61. Terry Lyle says :

    Hi Bill,
    I truly enjoy and benefit from your posts. I also read all of the comments and by the time I’ve gone through them all I have almost forgotten what the original post was about. Yet every comment and reply leads to more insight. (I download the audio to listen to later in order to recover the details of the post).
    So this is just a great big THANKS for all of your work. I always look forward to the next installment.

  62. Marcus says :

    Matthew – Thank you for your post. Especially this part:

    “I don’t know, in an ultimate sense it’s fine. But in a relative sense there’s a bit of a sting. ”

    It triggers this thought:

    If my existence is just a data-collector/experiencer for the All, then I often feel quite short-changed by the whole arrangement.

    I sense there is more, or at least hope there is?

    Marcus

    FROM BILL: You ARE the All. That’s all there IS is the All. And why in the world would you feel shortchanged by being the entire going on if it all? Wait till you actually FIND OUT (not just hear about it from someone else) who you really are.

  63. Marcus says :

    I should also add this:

    I’ve been using Holosync for 4 months. I’ve changed, and am much less anxious. That’s not a small thing.

    Thank you Bill!

    FROM BILL: My pleasure. You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, though. Keep going.

  64. Buzz says :

    Hi Bill,
    got another question for you. And somehow I know I know the answer, I just can’t seem to grasp it.

    As far as fear goes, such as when someone has hurt you, (my husband and I were ganged up on by his friends who were very hurtful and cruel) Even though I know that they were doing the best they could, and they were acting out of their own fears, and even though I have worked and worked on forgiveness, I have a gut wrenching fearful unconscious reaction when I think of these people or see pictures of them. I (we) have chosen avoidance of them for the past 7 years, and yet, let me see a picture of them and I seeth with anger and fear. So.. You say watch with curiosity my own reactions and it will drop away. I’m not getting it. I can watch my feelings of sick to my stomach, or turning red in the face with hatred (maybe) and hear my self talk of how “they should pay”, but none of this is bringing me any peace, it just keeps happening over and over. What voice or shadow do I need to get in touch with so that I can own this part of them that is in me? I have finally been able to connect that my FEAR is that I could get hurt by them again if they re enter my life. Yet keeping them out hasn’t been the solution.

    When I write this it all seems so juvenile and yet the fear is so real it is all consuming. I have called the support line, and I remember feeling better for a short time, but it always seems to return.
    Thanks in advance for your time and view
    Buzz

    FROM BILL: I’m not saying for you to watch your feelings, though that’s not a bad thing to do. I’m saying to watch HOW YOU create these feelings. You see their picture, and you feel angry. That’s what you are telling me. But that’s not what’s happening. The pictures are not causing the anger. There’s another step in the process, but you aren’t aware of it. (This is why Holosync is so powerful–using it increases your awareness so that you begin to see what you were previously unaware of.)

    The process actually goes like this: You see the pictures, you make certain internal representations, and those internal representations create the anger. The second step, where you make the internal representations (internal pictures, internal dialog, etc.) is happening outside your awareness. This second step is where the CHOICE is.

    You already know that you don’t like the feelings. It seems, though, that they are “just happening” whenever the trigger (the pictures) are supplied. If you see how the trigger leads you to automatically make those internal representations of what you don’t want/like, and how those internal representations directly create the feelings you don’t want, you will see that you have a choice as to what internal representations you make when you see the pictures.

    When those internal representations happen outside your awareness, there is no choice. It’s an automatic response. When you actually see how you are creating the feelings, though, since you don’t want them, that awareness will cause you to lose your enthusiasm for continuing to create them. To do this, however, you have to actually see yourself doing it. Knowing that you do it doesn’t count. This involves learning to observe, as they happen, the internal representations you make, which requires some practice.

    Most people are automatic response mechanisms. They have no awareness of HOW they create their feelings, their behaviors, which people and situations they attract or become attracted to, and what the events of their lives mean. Because of this, all four of these key things happen automatically. Become aware of how you create them, however, and you gain choice over them. Wouldn’t THAT be nice! I strongly suggest that you take my 3 online courses, my Life Principles Integration Process. You can hear a free preview lesson at http://www.centerpointe.com/life/preview.

  65. Buzz says :

    OOOOOOOOOH! I knew I was missing a step. Thanks once again Bill!

  66. Matthew says :

    The only arbitrary thing about the stomach is calling it the stomach – strictly linguistically speaking. The stomach exists in distinction from the intestine. But, as a whole, you could call it the digestive system: Everything from the mouth to the anus. Now, you could take this model and expand it to include everything. But to say that the parts that make up the whole are arbitrary and not intrinsic to reality is a predisposition of a transcendent perspective; a mind warp. A “holist” perspective. I don’t think the evolutionary process of leptons, baryons and quarks to atoms, to molecules, to amino acids, to cells et al really care about my “conceptualization” of an arbitrary outline created in the mind.

    You once said that you enjoyed greatly the book: “I am that”, by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and that makes perfect sense. I would just very politely suggest to you that you’re arguing one side of reality – And I commend you for doing it so elegantly – but it’s incomplete by itself.

    It’s interesting to note that you take heed to impermanence and cause and effect – Probably because denying them would be inane. You also said that the ocean is simultaneously the wave. It seems to me that you sort of do, sort of don’t understand the core observations of a one-part universe.

    I know you’ll dispute what I’m saying and that’s fine. We could go back and forth all year. Either way, I’m glad we could have a cordial discussion. I can take that away from our exchanges.

    …Til the next exchange

  67. Matthew says :

    “How do you know that “you” have lived all these other lives?”

    Well, since I said I was speaking from the voice of the transcendent…

    “Now, if by “you” you mean the All, the One, then no “lives” are needed. The One just flows along, without ever having been born, and without ever dying.”

    Having been born and died hundreds of thousands of times is another way of saying I am constant, which another way of saying I was never born. It’s just a play on words, but the witnessing, or “emptiness” quality is the same. I agree.

    “What you think of as “you” is a conceptualization. There is no boundary between what you think of as you and the rest of the All, other than in your mind.”

    I’m not going to rehash that. Though if you want to say that how you identify yourself is conceptual, I can agree with that observation; From the body to the mind to the universe and beyond.

    “What could be “lost” if what I call Bill dies? Who would lose it?”

    I think that’s the most obvious observation that comes up when you inquire that question. Though the answer seems a bit hallow – that was my personal answer as well – in describing the experience of being a human. But, perhaps I could integrate that side of things a bit more.

    “As for me, I’m here, I do what I do as part of the flow of everything, I don’t evaluate it in terms of whether or not something is being accomplished in some cosmic sense. What could be “lost” if what I call Bill dies? Who would lose it? As the famous Indian saint Paramahansa Muktananda said, “Life is a meaningless energy, going nowhere, for no reason.” It’s a dance, a flow, with no goal. Some people take this as him saying that life is insignificant, that there’s no reason to live. He’s actually saying what I am saying, that all meanings are added by the mind. This is why human being have the ability to create their own reality, for good or for ill–they have the ability to add meaning and distinction to the universe where none actually exists.”

    That sounds a bit impersonal, but I understand at least half of what you mean. *wink*

    Either way, I appreciated you taking the time to express your perspective on things.

  68. Usha says :

    Hi, I’m a newbie here and just purchased the holosync program and have not even received it yet.

    I was just reading this thread and find the discussion about the impermanence and cause and effect interesting. In my opinion there are two aspects to this view. One is impermanence and the other cause and effect.

    If anyone has read the works of the great philosopher and mystic, Adi Shankaracharya, you will know what I am pointing at.

    In addressing cause and effect of this existence, if one were to trace the cause of every effect one has to consider the reasoning that the cause of this earth is water, and fire is the cause of water and air is the cause of fire and the cause for air is the space, what we call the sky. In other words – earth, water, fire, air and space or sky.

    What is the cause of sky? Everything exists in space. But who is to prove the existence of space? Space by itself cannot say it exists. However, there is a consciousness that says ‘there exists a ‘space’ which contains all these things – air, fire, water and earth’. Thus it is only consciousness that proves the existence of the five great elements, space, air, fire, water and earth. But who is to prove the existence of consciousness? The buck stops there, because consciousness does not need proof of its own existence. It is the proof of its own existence and the proof for the existence of everything that exists! It is self-illluminating and self-evident! In other words, consciousness has two attributes – an awareness and a sense of ‘existing’. The sky on the other hand has only the attribute of existence but not awareness of its own existence.

    In light of this logic one can say the only reality in this world is consciousness and the world is real only in relation to the consciousness. Therefore, only what you perceive is what is real. But is it really? I mean is everything you perceive ‘real?’ If so, is the water I perceive in the distance real or only just a mirage? Is the snake I perceive in the dark reallly a snake or is it really a rope? In the same way, we have to question all our perceptions and dig deep in our consciousness for the reality. We will find that it is the consciousness playing out a drama in the screen of consciousness just like a dream in the consciousness of a dreamer! When the dreamer awakens to his consciousness, the world he created in the dream vanishes and he remains as pure consciousness with no relation to the dream as such but with only an impression in his mind of what seemed to have been and a lingering of the feelings he felt in his dream! And since the world he experienced in his dream was his creation it vanished upon his awakening. So it is with our waking world. An impermanent world that was only an illusion like the mirage, the rope that was perceived as a snake, the horizon that really has no ending. Why is it so? Who knows? All we know is that consciousness is the only reality without which nothing exists and which is self illuminating and self-evident. It is the light that lights up everything!

    FROM BILL: I’ll be if you were hit by a car crossing the street the philosophical side of “is it real?” would seem less important to you. Yes, there is what we could call the transcendent, the background, pure consciousness, or whatever you want to call it. But all humans exist in the relative world, too, and that is a world of cause and effect and of impermanence. These things cause a certain amount of suffering (in fact, quite a lot of suffering) for human beings. Realizing the transcendent is seen as the escape from that suffering, and in one way this has some truth. However, even when one has realized the transcendent, you are still subject to suffering and pain, your body will still fall apart, and things you love will still end. Even those who realize the transcendent find that there IS a relative reality (which, yes, flows out of the transcendent and is dependent upon it in the same way objects depend upon space), and humans are subject to that relative reality.

    You might want to read my posts, “The fve stagesof Enlightenment”, and “So there you are, enlightened” for the Zen view of this.

  69. Gloria says :

    A friend of mine often quotes her grandmother as saying: ‘ Some folks are so darn spiritual, they’re no earthly good to anyone.’

  70. Sam says :

    I like the comment from Usha as it describes something similar to what the Tebetan Buddhists talk about with respect to the five elements because, quite interestingly, I think that it might be plausable to place this articulation of impermanence into an integral framework that is understandable by individuals outside of these religions and their respective belief systems. If we hold a loose notion of what these “elements” mean, in that we note them only as internal representations that have been constructed, we can understand our illusion much more clearly from our individual (upper left quadrant) perspective and share in our shared beliefs (lower left) how this information is useful. One can witness how impermanence works by witnessing how the elements change within the body. We can take this as a continual weakening of the elements that make up our existence, in that the elements disolve into one another unless energy is added to reorganize the system. In other words when the earth element undergoes decay it breaks down into the water element (see an earlier post where Bill speaks of the “magic secrets of water”) and if decaying of the process continues this then changes to fire (analogous to electricity or the zing of holosync) which finally breaks down into the air element (the internal speach that drives the body). The empty space is the final resting place, the emptiness that the Buddhists talk about, and is the “object” of study; I place quoats around the object because it really isn’t an object unless one observes it, and then whatever objective awareness one comes up with has to be form rather than emptiness itself (to me).

    Integral would look at this from different quadrants and different perspectives, to understand how people experience impermanence and how this relates to these elements. This system is quite magical in it’s thinking (the one I’m describing) and it obviously has it’s drawbacks, however if I can more readily understand my body and it’s surroundings by these experiences of different elements from the four integral quadrants this works for me.

    Keep having fun, and please do look forward to the adventure that will open up for you with your starting the holosync program. You already have an inquisitive mind, and this program will help you in leaps and bounds.

  71. Hagai Shalev says :

    Bill, I wanted to express my deep appreciation for this extraordinary series. I gained tremendous benefits from it. In General, you are the only teacher I follow persistently for more than 3 years. I learned a lot from you and I’d like to thank you very much for this.
    Keep on the good work.
    All the best,
    Hagai

  72. CG says :

    Bill,

    How do you decide whether to stay in or leave a romantic relationship?

    FROM BILL: To make a decision about anything you have to have criteria. People gain criteria from experience and education. Having a lot of good, accurate criteria is called wisdom, also expertise. When you use criteria to make a decision you are saying one or more of the following: “This LOOKS right (or wrong).” “This SOUNDS right.” “This FEELS right.” “This SMELLS right.” “This TASTES right.” This SEEMS right (it fits certain data criteria–price, size, number, etc.)” If you have inaccurate criteria, things will look, sound, feel (etc.) right when they aren’t. If you buy a computer, but you have no criteria, or poor criteria, about what characteristics about a computer would make it a good computer, you’ll have trouble knowing if it is the “right” one.

    So, what are your criteria for where your relationship is (looks, sounds, feels, etc.) right? Are these criteria reasonable? Are they based on reliable experience? What does your relationship need to look like, feel like, etc., in order for it to be “right”?

    This is one of many things that we go into very deeply in my Life Principles Integration online courses. Listen to a free preview lesson at http://www.centerpointe.com/life/preview.

  73. Sam says :

    Can you say something about the lenze through which we view reality? Is it different from awareness?

    FROM BILL: It’s your mind.

  74. Michelle says :

    This podcast has touched me more than any other podcast to date. Thank you Bill.

    To accept ALL parts of ourselves… the good AND the bad. All things as one. I think this is called unconditional love….. something I have been learning to give towards myself. To stop judging these experiences and side of ourselves and just have them, honor them, LOVE them..so they can mature. To welcome them at the door!!!!

    Perhaps death as well….if we welcomed death, just as much as life, maybe we wouldn’t fear living so much anymore. Maybe all of this isn’t as painful as we make it. Not to wish for death, but to accept it, face it and know it’s unevitable…. we would appreciate living so much more, because life too, just like everything else, is impermanent.

  75. Sam says :

    Are you saying that awareness is my mind?

    FROM BILL: Nope. Awareness happens when you get the mind out of the way. The mind creates the contents of awareness.

  76. Kim McGinnis says :

    Bill-phenomenal post! My husband and business partner, Mark, are longtime users of Holosync and are fans of yours. On the subject of this post I believe the key word here is ‘acceptance.’ This is a concept that has been misunderstood because, as you said in your post, we all think that to evolve we must be nice all the time. This is something that helps me: when I catch myself judging others, I think… I do that to myself when I don’t accept my sometimes less than stellar behavior. The key is to learn from it and do better next time.

    Mark and I are marketing specialists and we recently started our first feature film together, along with author/entrepreneur, Andy Feld. One of the main points of our film is about self responsibility, and how this mature way of taking charge can lead to a deeper happiness in one’s life. I think you touched on this topic in a very thorough and insightful way. I especially loved the Rumi excerpt about the ‘unexpected guest.’
    Thank you,
    Kim

  77. Sam says :

    So you get the mind out of the way and there is left only awareness, and what the awareness is aware of is the objects of mind?

    FROM BILL: Yes, but getting this intellectually, as you’re trying to do, isn’t going to be helpful. If that’s what you do, this is just another idea about reality. You have to experience this for yourself, not just understand it intellectually. The mind can’t see reality accurately, or directly. Only spiritual practice (or a spiritual accident) can bring you to the place where that happens.

    Forget about “figuring it out.” Forget about it.

  78. Sam says :

    It seems that one needs a certain level of awareness to “get it” to happen, as in getting the mind/body to drop off soto speak, and until the practice is done that creates this awareness then there’s no use in trying to figure out how to get it to happen; I get it. It seems to me that the study of impermanence can help us understand this because there are times when the mind is, times when it isn’t, and times when it is once again. It seems to me that the trick is to notice these on/off aspects of the mind and have enough skill to take advantage of these moments when the mind goes away (or is separated from) and use our understanding of cause and effect to orchestrate our integrating the learnings when the mind comes back. For instance often times I solve problems in a flash when my focus is on something else, probably because at the moment when the ahah moment came I was focused on a different task so that the mind focused on the earlier task (problem) was at that time not in existence… Sounds a bit weighty for sure, however let me push into this a bit more.

    Let’s say that I’m trying to gain the awareness that comes when one is passing a koan, mu for instance. I can’t figure out what mu is with the logical mind, rather I have to just sit and wait for insite to develop around this koan; as soon as you stop trying to get it you get it. However once this has happened and one has passed the koan soto speak, one can then use the koan to investigate the place from which the awareness arose to answer the koan. There are two destinct levels of investigation here, and I certainly agree that one should be mindful from which place one is coming. I was just wondering how we might use what you’re talking about here to actually figure something out, but without the pushing impulsive activity that often comes when someone is trying trying to figure it out. What I mean is that when one is sorting by necessity one often feels that the koan need be past for particular reasons, however when one sorts by possabilitties one can pass the koan effortlessly even if the same reasons for passing the koan exist. I have no need to pass koans however I have found that they often lead towards my expanding my learning, so I carry on with the koans; if I were trying to pass the koan to gain status or favor from the teacher then this would be a different situation.

    Also what about the awareness tells us about these two different levels I spoke about? Genpo Roshi also illustrates differing reasons that people might have for practice, and perhaps this is helpful in our discussion.

    FROM BILL: If you get it, why all the words after you say so?

  79. Mary Alice says :

    Hi Bill,

    I wish you would dedicate a blog posting to dating/marriage and how to appropriately be consciously attached. I’ve been divorced for a short time and it is so weird going from knowing everything about someone to dating someone new and never knowing if each date is your last with that person.

  80. Sam says :

    Because he who says doesn’t know, and I don’t know what I don’t know. I know that I get it, but that “it” is probably around 5-10% or so.

  81. Robin says :

    Bill,

    On the topic of awareness, wireless phones paired with wireless health monitors are now a reality, including measuring brainwaves during sleep. See video below
    TEDTalks : Eric Topol: The wireless future of medicine – Eric Topol (2009)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTZM9X3JfTk
    After watching this video I immediately thought of having a feedback mechanism that monitors brainwaves that could record our state while doing any number of activities including holosync, sports, playing music, traditional meditation, or any and every other human endeavor which could benefit from brainwaves that may be more conducive to peak performance.

    I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the above video and whether it could further support the efficacy of using holosync, from which I feel I’ve benefited greatly.

    Robin

    FROM BILL: Unfortunately, these portable-type EEG units are innaccurate AT BEST. Any movement or muscle tension, for instance, creates artifacts that make the data useless. Also, there’s no accurate way to make sure the best sites on the brain are being read, especially during sleep. Besides that, brain waves are MUCH more complicated than people assume. As I explain brain waves in our literature, we have to simplify it or it would be incomprehesible to people and their eyes would glaze over. When I have spent time with Dr. James Hardt, one of the top experts in brainwave biofeedback and the relationship between brain waves and various states (including “spritual” states), I’ve learned from him that a complex matrix of multiple brain wave patterns are happening in the brain all the time, they are different in different parts of the brain, and they are always changing. We talk about “being in an alpha state” for simplicity, but what is really happening is much more complex. If I showed you, for instance, just six channels of brain waves from a subject, the complexity of it would make your eyes glaze over. Some EEGS have 32 or 64 electrodes, so imagine what that would look like. It is incredibly complex.

    These little hand-held devices unfortunately just can’t provide the sophisticated monitoring required when looking at brain waves. The heart monitors and other things he mentions might be more accurate, but I’m not an expert in that. Perhaps those who know more about those would also be skeptical.

    There are many devices on the market, including things you can hook up to your computer, that purport to measure brain waves. None of them are accurate or worth using, in my opinion. I am not an expert in the exact device the guy in the video is talking about, but I’d be willing to bet that an expert like Dr. Hardt would not be impressed.

  82. Mikee Z says :

    Hi Bill!

    What do you think about Centerpointe being on twitter (60 million users) and facebook (it has 400 million users)? It would help spread the word about holosync and blog.

    Thank you and best wishes

    FROM BILL: Go for it. I just don’t have the time for social media stuff.

  83. Andy Feld says :

    Ignoring the negative or as you suggest ‘being negative on the negative” cannot be a productive path. For almost all of us our negative life experiences have usually been our geatest teachers. Cancer in the family, a divorce, a business failure etc. all seem to guide us inward which in turn gives us new insight into our life and our purpose. One of the keys to a happy life is embracing these ‘negative’ moments, learning from them and limiting the down time. Thanks to all for the dialogue. Andy

  84. Theo. Butler says :

    Hello Bill Harris:

    This is one of your many students of the wonderful personal development tool called “Holosync”. I literally studied and meditated/prayed over the necessity of buying into this powerful product and system. I am glad that I stepped off of that cosey ledge that I was fearfully and comfortably uncomfortably perched upon for all of those many years in my search towards excellence and transcendance in the here and now. I’m here to tell you that the journey is still tough as hell and very challenging, but now I’m enjoying it more with real insights and awareness. Thanks Bill, Thanks Holosync family. Theo. Butler PO Box 25138, WDC 20027

  85. Benny Loeffel says :

    I go along with you actually, I think! Should it be plausible so that you can get your site translated into Spanish? English is actually my second language.

  86. bill norman says :

    As a Holosync user for 3 years now, I found the comments helpful. One question that popped up, and which I do not recall you explaining here or in your online courses or the seminar with Genpo I attended, is this: What is the difference between Consciousness and Awarness?

    Thanks for your good work.

    Bill

    FROM BILL: There may be people who have this or that definition for these words, but ultimately they are just…words. They represent something, and in spiritual/metaphysical circles the meanings are fuzzy and change depending on the understanding of the writer. Scientists have definitions that are a bit more nailed down, but I’m not sure their definitions are EXACT, and they are different depending on whether one is a psychologist or a nuerophysiologist or something else. Consciousness is one of the most elusive things in human experience, and no one really knows what it is. My definition is that your true nature is pure awareness, that is, awareness without content. Attention is usually paid to the CONTENTS of awareness, so the awareness itself is usually missed.

    One definition of consciousness is the ability to respond when stimulated. That means you are consciousness, but so does a rock.

  87. Samuel says :

    Yes, I see what you are saying. But it feels for me like I need a “view” on who I am and what the world is and so on. This why I keep asking you things. I think that whenever I feel “bad” about this area is when I resist my old “view” doesnt work any more. And I go thru chaos and reorganization to higher level, is this right? Thanks a lot Bill

    FROM BILL: One of the ironies of being human is that wil WILL have some sort of perspective. That’s what the mind does–it creates a perspective, and that perspective involves something to hang onto, some reference point by which we identify who we are, where we are, what we are, and what the world is.

    All of these represence points, these points of view, are at best partial. All of them, ultimately, are false. The reality is that there is nothing to hang onto–no identity, no fixed purpose for it all.

    The ultimate in Zen is to realize that this is true and to be okay with it. This is the whole point of my series on seeing things the way they really are. Still, even after acknowledging that this is the way they are, we still create a perspective, a reference point. We know, however, that we’re making it up–if we’re aware enough. And, yes, it freaks people out to think that, as one great saint said, “The universe is a meaningless energy, going nowhere, for no purpose.”

    He didn’t mean this in a depressed way, however. He just mean that everything just “is,” and all meaning, all goals, all stiving to get somewhere, all purposes, come from the mind. These things are not intrinsic to reality. We add them to reality. This a, ironically, a good thing. It makes the universe your playground. You have a choice between automatically and unconsciously adopting meanings and purposes about the world and your life that are unconsciously based on past influences, what society believes, what your parents believed, etc., or creating meaning and purpose consciously and intentionally (while realizing that you’re making it up, and ultimately none of it matters).

    As long as you are doing it automatically, you have no choice, and you think it REALLY matters. This is the main source of suffering for human beings.

  88. Judith says :

    Hello,
    I am just going to ask a question that probably proves I don’t understand any of the blabla : through Holosync (or other mean of growth) are we supposed to FEEL at one point that we are Everything and Everywhere Forever ?
    Because, it doesn`t help to know that I am a wave in the ocean or even the ocean itself if I don`t FEEL it. It is not soothing to know that there is a blank before and after my current life. It is not a consolation to know that the Universe works perfectly fine. All those things I believe with terror.
    I must be missing a key.

    FROM BILL: Good question. Knowing anything is, in my opinion, the boobie prize of personal or spiritual growth. This is why I talk instead of being aware of something–which means experiencing it, seeing it, seing how it works as it happens. Awareness might include feeling something, but it is more than just feeling it. You could feel something without being aware of how you have created the feeling, for instance.

    The mistake a lot of people make in looking at this who thing of “oneness” is that they expect that they, the separate self–in this case, the separate self you call Judith–is “one with everything.” Most people are somehow expecting to maintain the sense of a separate self and at the same time feel this oneness they’ve read about or heard about.

    Instead, this experience of oneness happens when the sense of being a separate self dissolves. Though you are, like everyone else, incredibly certain that you are a separate self, the separate self is just an idea of who you are created by the mind. There is no way to be separate from everything else. It’s one, infinitely big, flowing thing/event. Nothing can exist in isolation. Everything exists in relation to everything else and responds to all its interactions with everything else. You can just look around and sense how that works.

    When mystics talk about oneness, and say that “you are everything,” they don’t mean that Judith is everything. They mean that there is one thing, or, you could say, one thing/event, and that you aren’t separate little Judith, you’re that one infinitely large thing/event, looking out through some eyeballs in what you think is separate little Judith. Judith is intimitely connected, however, with everything else. You’ve just learned to see her skin as a boundary between a separate self and everything else.

    Look at the border between the US and Canada. It’s an IMAGINARY line. There’s really nothing there. “Canada” and “the United States” are ideas. In reality they are one thing (and, you could extend this to include the entire earth, and then everything else). Dividing things up into separate things is a mental exercise, but in reality nothing is divided up. It’s handy for us to do this division, but it all happens in our head. So this isn’t a mystical thing–it’s just common sense.

    But back to your question about feeling it. When people do certain spiritual practices, especially meditation, they sometimes enter a state where the mind becomes quiet and stops creating these mental divisions. In fact, it stops conceptualizing altogether. This happens during Holosync use quite often. You’re “gone” in a sense–no one home, you might say–and you don’t realize it until you “come back.” It also happens in traditional meditaiton, especially after you have more experience with it.

    Then, sometimes people have more profound experiences of this “no-mind” state that continue outside of meditation. In Zen they call this a kensho experience. Though it “wars off” after an hour, a day, a week, or some amount of time, it changes you because now you know from an experiential place that the oneness people talk about is real.

    Then, so a few people, there is an experience they call daikensho (great kensho) where your awareness of the oneness is permanent and doesn’t wear off. There are stages after this, too. I wrote a two-part series on this in this blog: The Five Stages of Enlightenment, and There You Are, Enlightened. You might go into the archives and read them. Also, earlier than that in the archives I wrote about the highest developmental stages, which describes the same thing in an even broader way.

    What keeps most people from the experience of oneness is their attempt to “figure it out.” This expience can’t happen when you’re figuring it out because it’s a no-mind experience and figuring it out (which you can’t do, anyway) is a mind-experience. The mind’s main job is to divide things into this and that, to create distinctions. The oneness experience is one of no distinctions, pure awareness (without content), and it happens when the mind is still.

  89. Andrew says :

    I’ve found Holosync, at the deepest level, has really been about helping me uncover that “things are not as they appear to be” and more like they are scripted archetypal behavior implants: You better act this way and follow the script or else. Not so funny but you have to laugh once “you kick the habbit and shed that skin”.

  90. Dee Ayala says :

    Bill, love what you always have to say and it’s very inspiring as well as the awareness that it brings to us all. My only disappointment is that I received this blog with events that have already taken place so that in the event I would have been able to participate it was a done deal. None the less I will continue to read what you share and look forward to the abundance of awareness.

    Be well

  91. Nerakami says :

    This is a great post, as conditioned minds need constant reminders in our effort to let go of the delusions of who we think we are.

    To Will: There are times I do think Teachers of spiritual information remain too much in the esoteric and not reinforcing enough practical information to apply in our moment to moment… I’ll tell you this however, a mind that is brainwashed with illusionary thinking cannot separate innate Self from the conditioned beliefs to instantly “get it” – hence the effort for it to become effortless… negating the process of undoing is not helpful – seriously, how can a mind caught up in the monkey-chatter grasp the fullness of living, “I am not my thoughts” without going through the process of creating a sense of separation.. it’s called the journey

  92. Sanna Loihtuvuo says :

    Dear Bill,
    Jill Bolte Taylor´s book, My Stroke of Insight, helped me a lot to accept and understand both sides of me. And of cource, Holosync is the best method to increase awareness.
    “On the morning of the 10th December 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. a thirty-seven-year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist experienced a massive stroke when a blood vessel exploded in the left side of her brain. A neuroanatomist by profession, she observed her own mind completely deteriorate to the point that she lost the ability to walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life, all within the space of four hours. As the damaged left side of her brain — the rational, logical, detail and time-oriented side — swung in an out of function, Taylor alternated between two distinct and opposite realities: the euphoric Nirvana of the intuitive and emotional right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace; and the logical left brain, that realized Jill was having a stroke and enabled her to seek help before she was lost completely. In My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, Taylor brings to light a new perspective on the brain and its capacity for recovery that she gained through the intimate experience of awakening her own injured mind. The journey to recovery took eight years for Jill to feel completely healed.Using her knowledge of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and an amazing mother, Taylor completely repaired her mind and recalibrated her understanding of the world according to the insight gained from her right brain that December morning.”

    Best regards,
    Sanna

  93. Roberta Ideus says :

    Bill, I started Holosync a little over a month ago and so far it’s doing what it’s touted to do. My “life problem” has been, as long as I can remember, worrying about the “why” of everything. I gave up on religion years ago because I just couldn’t fool myself anymore. No matter how hard you believe, nobody knows what the point is by us being here, at this time, in this place, etc., and nobody knows what happens to us after we die. What is death?, blah, blah. The whole thing was a drag on my life. It was the first thing I thought of when I got up in the morning, I worried about it all the way to work, and it was the last thing I thought of at night. I still functioned, and few people knew what was going on in my head, but it was always there. I was into magick for quite awhile and got a little more satisfaction out of that, and I’m not sure what other people on this blog mean about “magical thinking”, but one thing that became clear to me is that everything truly is about cause and effect and that everything is connected. That’s what you keep trying to tell everyone, isn’t it?
    Holosync, if nothing else, has already helped to make that clearer to me and though I always had an inkling that we do indeed make our own reality, I feel closer to understanding that now. I can stand apart from myself and see how I’m doing it. I feel much more accepting of it all now and more peaceful about everything. I love to learn and at 63 am attending nursing school instead of sitting around wondering what the point to it all is. I’m learning to live for now, to enjoy my children and grandchildren in the now, and enjoy work more and feel less frustrated about having to work longer instead of retiring. I plan to take your online course as soon as I catch up with some school expenses and I will keep on with the soundtracks. I get up early every morning before work and have my Holosync time. Life really can be good, even in its impermenance.

    FROM BILL: Of course, I’m not saying that it isn’t fun to try to figure out what’s going on. It is. In an ultimate sense, though, we’ll never know. Because of the search, though, we sure know alot of things that that we didn’t before, and many of them have made life easier for everyone. (Of course now the Progressives think all of them are evil.)

  94. Ken says :

    I have two questions about Genpo Roshis poem……… Who sent the guide and where is beyond?

  95. ken s. says :

    Hi bill I was wondering how your thoughts on a cause and effect world fit in with spirituality. Personally I understand the laws of cause and effect and can think rationally enough to where, at least any from any religious source, the idea of god seems magical as you might put it. I’ve read some ken wilber where he talks about a kind of given spiritual knowledge almost like that of our senses but that’s not really something i can relate to. What is spirituality for you? And how is it related to rationality?
    Thanks,
    Ken
    p.s. feel free to direct to me to a post, book, or other source if you know of one

    FROM BILL: The meaning of “spiritual” changes as people move through a series of developmental levels, which I describe in detail in the first dozen or so posts on this blog (see the archives). Most of the posts on this blog address your question in one way or another. Spend a week or so reading them with your question in mind and then come back and ask again if you still have the question.

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