“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy
You are the Universe. Meaning you are the source to how you perceive the world. Today I would like to talk a bit about how it is we perceive the world, and how we can change ourselves and the way we see the world. I will briefly touch on some ways we can completely transform our lives.
The Buddha in his quest for liberation identified that every being is a composite of 5 processes, with 4 of them being mental and one physical.
Matter (Pali Kalapas): This being our physical body.
- Consciousness (Vinnana:) The first process, consciousness, is the receiving part of the mind, the act of undifferentiated awareness or cognition. It simply registers the occurrence of any phenomenon, the reception of any input physical or mental. It notes the raw data of experience without assigning labels or making value judgments.
- Perception (Sanna): The second process is perception, the act of recognition. This part of the mind identifies whatever has been noted by consciousness. It distinguishes, labels, and categorizes the incoming raw data and makes evaluations, positive or negative.
- Sensation (Vedana): Third part is sensation. Actually as soon as any input is received, sensation arises, a signal that something is happening. So long as the input is not evaluated, the sensation remains neutral. But once a value is attached to the incoming data, the sensation becomes pleasant or unpleasant depending on the evaluation given. If It is a pleasurable sensation we wish to make it permanent, and if we dislike it we wish to push it away.
- Reaction (Sankhara): We then react to the sensations, and in time build a series of likes/dislikes which form the basis of many of our personality structures. Most of us live our lives completely unaware to how we react to life and how the flow of our present moment awareness is pushed aside by our memories from a past event.
Through this process we form the basis of our psyche and create the root patterns and habits which direct our behavior. This is how we cognize the experiences of our lives.
How To Transform Yourself
“Although it is not law, every psychologist will tell you that habit is the most inhibiting force in the world. It completely restricts man and binds him and makes him totally blind to what otherwise he should be.” Neville Goddard
The purpose of this post, is to show you that it is possible to change our cognition, meaning we can change the way we take impressions through our 5 senses. The problem is that as most of us get older we become quite rigid as we live a life based purely on our old reactions, that eventually we don’t see a way out. We live within an invisible prison in which we believe everything our senses present to us is the only reality. But just like a radio, we can change the frequency of our instrument (body) and tune into different channels that were previously invisible to us.
The world is always new, it is us that makes it old through the filters of our past. You can prove it to yourself by trying this little experiment: Take a Good Look At My Face Because It’s Been a While
To help you learn how to divide your attention so you can begin to take in impressions consciously, check this post out: How To Really “Pay” Attention: Learning To Divide Your Attention
By taking impressions consciously you will begin to perceive in new ways and will see the world with eyes full of wonder. When you learn to take in impressions consciously and let go of your past conditioning, you will be one step closer to being authentically you. This is the beginning of learning to not react to your past.
Being The Authentic You
Deep down we all yearn to be who we are meant to be by living up to our inner potential. We all want to be authentic happy human beings. To be a complete and happy individual there are 4 aspects that we must fulfill.
- 1st aspect: You need to sincerely live what you deep down feel as you. This is the best inner image you have of yourself.
- 2nd aspect: You need to sincerely live only the best side of what you project to others. This is your outer image that you present to the world.
- 3rd aspect: You need to have a healthy outlook on how you think about others and life in general. How do you generally see other people? Do you only see the negative in people, or do you see the divine hidden within each person you come across? The image you have of others will greatly influence the type of life you lead. How do you view life? Do you see it as an endless struggle? or as a cosmic game full of joy and wonder?
- 4th aspect: What others hold you as. This is the expectations other people have of you. If you take a good objective look at yourself, how would other people view you? Are you someone who is dependable and a man of his word?
So what is authenticity? It is being able to live and be the best of these 4 aspects of life.
Spend a few minutes to think about what would be the “best” you. What would give you the best feeling about you. Define it. Define all four aspects. Anything that doesn’t mesh well with the other aspects means there is something within you that is incomplete and lacks the right understanding.
In all these four aspects you are the center of experience. When you have the best of all these four aspects you are living from a state of totality. There is no struggle between your inner and outer world. You are comfortable in your own skin and you express yourself and ideas effortlessly.
Our cognition is not something that is set it stone, it can be changed, it can be programmed. You are not your eyes, you see “through” your eyes. They are just an instrument, but we forget this and we become identified to whatever we are seeing.
To show you how we can even change the way we see things, I want to mention a technique used to become self-aware within a dream. In lucid dreaming and dream yoga, one technique is to imagine and really feel that your waking reality is also a dream. If you really live it and truly imagine it, the world will begin to take on dream like qualities. The purpose is that by doing this exercise over and over in your waking reality, you will take that same quality of consciousness into your dreams. At some point in your dreams you will question whether it is a dream or not, this questioning and shift in awareness is the key to becoming lucid and aware within your dream world.
Life Is But A Dream:
Just try this little experiment, for several months try and see the world as a dream. Drill it deeply in yourself that this material world is not really how it appears to be. Just like how in your dreams when you touch a wall it feels solid, but you know it’s not because it’s just a dream, bring that same attitude into your material life.
At first it will just feel like you are pretending, keep doing it, use your imagination, and really feel that this world is just like a constantly changing dream. If you continue, with time you will prove to yourself how powerful your mind is and how it can be conditioned to a new perspective. You will begin to feel how this world really isn’t as rigid and mechanical as you once experienced it. Instead of seeing things as matter you will see and feel them as consciousness, which is what they really are. If this sounds interesting to you, just try it, play with it, and let it become your own experience. This is simply an idea for you to create contrast in your life, to give a glimpse of other possibilities. To show you how you can change the way you see things.
Any idea you have of yourself can be changed with the right understanding.
Your cognition alone either enslaves or liberates you. Your conditioning and your relationship to it will either limit you or help you grow.
Write down all the obstructions and doubts that keep you from realizing the highest aspects you have defined for yourself.
First understanding you need is that your cognition is changeable. You need to integrate these 4 aspects sincerely into your inner space, and clearly decide to disregard all obstructions.
Healing Your Past To Grow In The Now
Now I want to describe a consciousness exercise that is intended to help you let go of your past conditionings, so that you can be free of erroneous self-concepts that prevent you from being authentically you in the moment.
Each moment of our lives is being recorded by a certain part of our brain.
All incomplete experiences, ones in which we did not act as we really wanted to in the moment, become a backlog and carried into the next moment waiting to be completed sometime in the future. All the things we suppress become a corrupted energy within us.
Think back to a time you really wanted to give someone a piece of your mind but didn’t. Two months later out of nowhere you let them have it, and they have no idea where this is coming from because it is irrelevant to the present moment. At the same time you may also feel a certain release, because something you wanted to express months ago, is finally out of your system. It has become a complete experience.
How To Dissolve Our Conditionings
Think back on anything that is causing you any disturbance. Go back to that same time, same form (your body image), and re-live it as vividly as possible, but remembering to dis-identify from it. Learn to see your past without becoming attached to it. Like you are watching a movie.
Learn to just live with your present moment awareness, and get rid of all the old self-concepts that impose themselves in the moment.
If you carry too much baggage from the past, the present moment will slip through your hands. The present moment is the only thing real. Happiness will never be found anywhere else.
Every night sit with yourself for a bit, and go back and see the past un-identified, and the past you carry will start falling. You may be tempted to question why certain things happened in your past. The right attitude to have is that it happened the way it happened, because it could not have happened any other way, and that’s that, it is over, see it clearly as a fact and be finished with it.
You will eventually starting living free of all concepts, just expressing your essence through your presence. “Being” authentically you.
With this clarity all your unfinished experiences from your past will lose their power over you. They only have power over you as long as you think that you can’t change your relationship to them.
Once you are clear on who you really want to be, and let go of all the old ideas that you derived your identity from, you will be free to grow into the authentic you that keeps changing moment to moment.
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