Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Introduction – why awareness matters

Mankind made it into the 21st century. Our world is becoming more and more global and we are beginning to understand that we all share one planet. Through the internet a few billion people communicate to each other every day. We have access to a broad spectrum of insights and information. In that sense, we are more “connected” than ever.

On the other hand we are struggling with economical and financial crises, environmental crisis and armed conflict, extremism and violent clashes between different belief systems. We seem to be more “divided” than ever.

Look at the judgement, rejection and violence people inflict on others, just because they are labeled as “others”. No matter whether it concerns religion, nationalism or political views, people have rejected, injured or killed others, only because they have a different belief system.

This is a very very serious matter and it raises a few fundamental questions;

  • Could it be that all these things are in fact connected?
  • Could it be that the root cause of these conflicts is not the content of various belief systems, but the act of identification with a belief system?
  • Are division, separation and duality the actual principles of reality, or are they only our human interpretation of reality?
  • Can we move beyond belief systems and if so, how?

These are the questions that have led to the creation of this website. Now you may have questions about this and be rather sceptical. That’s good, be sceptical, don’t believe anything or turn things into a belief!

Q: You may ask: all of this sounds idealistic. What’s your belief system then, surely you must have one?

A: Understood. You could say that posing we can grow beyond our attachment to belief sytems is a “belief” itself. It is a bit of a paradox isn’t it?

Q: What you suggest is impossible. We will always be stuck with some form of belief system. We can’t live without believing in something, you are wrong!

A: Agree, beliefs will stay but we can learn to not cling to them and outgrow our attachment to them. We pose this makes a HUGE difference, it is a paradigm shift.

Q: This whole thing about awareness and consciousness sounds so airy fairy, new age like. Why should I care?

A:  Some call consciousness as profound a mystery as the “big bang” which started the universe. Your entire experience of life and existence, happens in or through consciousness. Your state of consciousness matters more than you realize.

Q: Yeah, yeah, surely you want to sell me some kind of idea or belief. Right?

A:  We assure you we are very serious about this. We do not want to sell you anything. The last thing we want is to create another belief. That’s the whole point.

Q: You have not convinced me!

A: Of course not. We can’t convince you of anything, we even specifically don’t want to. We do intend to challenge you to explore the limits of your own awareness and to be curious about what’s beyond them. Only your own experience of that will “convince” you.

Let’s look at the greater perspective, after all you and I are part of this grand universe.

The evolving universe

Our home, Earth, is a really beautiful planet. It’s about 4.5 billions years old. Nothing however indicates that our planet is at THE center of the universe. Current estimations are that there are some 2000 billion galaxies, each fantastically huge and with on average some 100 billion stars. (read here) When confronted with these staggering, spectacular facts and the infinite size of the cosmos, what does that “do” to you?  There are probably millions of planets in the universe which have life on them. Do you really think Earth is the center of the universe and that the whole universe resolves about us and what we think or believe?

Evolving belief systems

Science tell us that we can trace back modern man to about a few hundred thousand years ago. (read here). Throughout the ages mankind has developed various ways to try understand and explain “life” and “the universe”.

Both the method of science (mostly analysis and knowledge based) and the method of religion (mostly belief and faith based) have evolved over the ages. Science is constantly evolving, and in a way religion is too, except it is doing so very very slowly. We for instance no longer adhere to the beliefs of the Mayas, the Egyptians, the early Romans or ancient Greek, but instead more “recent” religions have become dominant, while others have become outdated.

Many religions contain a creation story, and therefore imply a Creator. Most people call this Creator “God” and believe that He (She?) created everything with a special purpose, where the earth and mankind are central. Monotheistic religions often tend to exclude or “condemn” people who do not adhere to that particular form of belief. In Islam, Judaism and Christianity this tendency is particularly strong. The logical consequence of such strict points of view would be that “GOD” only created the earth for a certain part of mankind (with belief “A”), which would imply that all “others” (possibly billions) who believe something different (“B” or “C”), are “infidels” and thus are doomed unless they “convert”. History is filled with division, conflict and wars arising out of this kind of dogmatic and fundamentalist thinking.

According to experts, there are over 4000 religions in the world. Which one is right? Yours? Are all the others wrong? Is there really ONE truth somewhere to be found?

Isn’t it clear that we humans cling to belief systems, that we so much need certainty, and consolation, that we are willing to defend our beliefs by all means, including rejection and extreme violence.

What would happen if you are deeply aware that the other person is a self aware being like you, when you are not under the spell of your judgements, your beliefs and convictions? Would you reject, harm or kill another human being? We pose you would not.

Being Aware has a huge effect on you, no matter what you believe or where you are from. That is why awareness is so important and why we need to grow in awareness. We can in fact learn to let go of our attachment to beliefs, opinions and judgements. Mankind is only just beginning to learn this. The power and impact of belief systems are still very real. Just look at the daily news.

 

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Inner freedom and happiness have nothing to do with attachment to thoughts or beliefs. To realize you are not your thoughts or beliefs, is the beginning of awakening…

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There are over 4000 religious belief systems in the world.

Which one is right? Yours? Are all the others wrong?

How come some people really think this?